2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Free
Apps

Twitter, Inc. Twitter 2.1

It’s free. Simple. And now there’s more to love, except for one little unfortunate change. Twitter 2.1 has just hit the Mac App Store, adding support for multiple windows, autocompletion of usernames and hashtags, and new font size preferences. All you’ll have to accept is the huge, ugly gray bar that’s been added to the top of the app’s window, which moves the close, maximize and minimize buttons further away from the icons, and provides an explanation (“Timeline,” “Profile,” “Search”) for where you are in the menu system.

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$25
Apps

Advenio MacGourmet

At this point, a computer has become as indispensable in the kitchen as a sharp knife—who wants to use paper cookbooks when the world of recipes is available digitally? Since there’s no shortage of cooking apps in the Mac App Store, it means something when we say that MacGourmet ($25) is amongst the best. Think of it as iTunes for recipes.

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$30
Apps

Zykloid Software Posterino

Ordering poster-sized prints in iPhoto is easy. Making poster-worthy images to print out is hard—unless you’ve got Zykloid Software’s Posterino ($30). This deceptively simple app helps you to layout photo collages in sizes up to 20” x 30”, making it a perfect companion for your favorite large format online printing service.

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$10
Apps

Telltale Games Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate with Terrorists

Telltale Games brought Sam and Max back to life, and it’s just released the first of a three-part series that feels like a spiritual successor. Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate with Terrorists ($10) is presented in the same style as those classic point-and-click adventure games: you control a British cop—known colloquially as the Fat Arse of the Law—who has to take over in a hostage negotiation and meet of all the terrorist’s demands.

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Free
Apps

Stefan Hafeneger Sofortbild

Who said great software has to be expensive? Despite its funny name, Stefan Hafeneger’s Sofortbild (Free) lets users of Nikon’s DSLR cameras control their rigs right from their Macs, making it a godsend for portrait photographers, or anyone else who needs immediate access to their shots—we’ve used it ourselves to cover events live, and it works flawlessly.

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$5
Apps

Bloop Time Track Pro

Lawyers do it. Creatives do, too. Now you can automatically track the time you’ve spent working on projects with Time Track Pro ($5), an inexpensive new tool from Italy’s Bloop. Install it using the Mac App Store and a little ruler icon will appear on the top right of your screen. Click it whenever you need to see a breakdown of how you’ve spent your time, app by app. If you want to focus solely on one aspect of how your Mac’s been used throughout the day, you can turn off its ability to track certain apps and web sites; Time Track Pro keeps a daily log that you can analyze by the day, week, or month as you prefer. Reports are easy to read and accompanied by simple bar graphs.

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$10-$20
Apps

Popcap Games Zuma's Revenge

Technically, Popcap’s colored ball matching game Zuma’s Revenge ($10) has been out for a year and a half, but it’s worth spotlighting today for two reasons. First, it’s beautifully crafted: like all of Popcap’s recent titles, the production values are nearly off the charts by puzzle game standards. As in the original Zuma, you control a frog-shaped cannon that fires red, green, yellow, and blue balls into a snaking line that will kill you if it reaches a certain end point—every three or more balls you match shrinks the line, a fun if familiar play mechanic. Second, the recent debut of Zuma’s Revenge on the Mac App Store drops the original price of entry in half, and lets you install the game on all of your Macs without registration hassles.

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$150
Apps

Encore Software Home Design Studio 15

If you’ve ever tried to remodel a room on your own, you probably know how challenging it is to visualize the “before” and “after” at the same time. Encore Software’s Home Design Studio 15 ($150) is there to take the guesswork out of your plans: it opens with a simple 2-D grid that you can use to create individual rooms or an entire house, then lets you place common objects into the empty spaces, and do a complete walkthrough from your choice of multiple 3-D vantage points. Suddenly, remodeling becomes a simple matter of making easy drag-and-drop tweaks to a floor plan—only as complex as you want to make it.

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Free
Apps

AGLogic Swackett

You can check the weather on your iPhone or Mac at any time. But if all you want is for someone to tell you whether or not you need to wear a jacket, Swackett (Free) from AGLogic has you covered. Give the app your location, and you’ll quickly see the temperature, weather conditions, and a graphical representation of what to wear: sweater, jacket, or coat. Simple.

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$50
Apps

VinotekaSoft Vinoteka

Fancy yourself a wine collector? Well Vinoteka ($50) from VinotekaSoft might just become your new best friend—think of it as Delicious Library for fermented grapes. Featuring a clean design with the wood and glass you’d expect from a virtual wine gallery, this Mac app helps you monitor all of your bottles across your cellar and wine fridge, keeps track of tastings and food pairings, and syncs with several different professional sources for ratings. You can digitally recreate your collection and organize it however you see fit.

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$6
Apps

Big Blue Bubble Burn the Rope

It was hot on the iPhone, so naturally you’re going to dig Burn the Rope ($6) from Big Blue Bubble on the bigger screen of a Mac. The goal of the game is to burn away all the ropes using a flame—the catch is that the flame can only burn upwards. On the iOS version you actually rotated your iPhone or iPod touch around to keep the flame properly oriented. Rather than making you twist around your Mac, the developers were kind enough to include an on-screen hand to turn the puzzle.

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Free
Apps

Ian Page Mactracker 6.0

Now available in the App Store, Ian Page’s Mactracker 6.0 (Free) would be neat enough if it was just a compendium of different Mac computer models, but it’s more than that: there’s a chronological database starting with the 1983 Lisa and progressing through even the latest “early 2011” MacBook Pro models, plus every iPod, iPhone, iPad, and major Apple-branded Mac accessory. Each Mac entry includes details on the machine’s processor, dimensions, supported versions of the Mac OS, memory and expansion capabilities, plus a lot more—a great reference tool if you’re trying to figure out how your computers have evolved over the years.

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$50
Available Now
Apps

Valve Portal 2

You loved Valve’s action puzzler Portal back in 2007. You’ve patiently awaited the sequel. Today, the wait’s over: Chell, GLaDOS and the gang are finally back in Portal 2 ($50). Yes, you still have your portal gun. But this time around Aperture Science has been kind enough to load you up with all sorts of new goodies—including tractor beams and special paints—and lets you play with friends, as well.

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$3
Apps

Gameprom Pinball HD

Let’s face it: even the most diehard fanboys get jealous of 3D Pinball: Space Cadet on Windows. Heck, it’s half the reason we considered installing VMWare Fusion. Gameprom has stepped up to fill in this hole in our lives with Pinball HD ($3). Featuring jungle, wild west, and underwater tables, it looks awesome—and you can play it without worrying about viruses and Blue Screens of Death.

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$20
Apps

Ecamm Printopia 2

Everyone was excited when Apple announced AirPrint for iOS last fall, but too few supported printers killed the buzz. Printopia 2 ($20) from Ecamm helps resolve that issue by acting as a print server on your Mac, allowing you to route printing to any of the devices on your home network.

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