2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$60
Apps

VMware Fusion 6

The back and forth has been going on for years: last week, Parallels announced the newest version of its Windows-emulating software Parallels, and now here’s VMware with Fusion 6 ($60). Like its competition, this software allows you to run multiple operating systems on OS X at the same time, including newly-added support for Mavericks and Windows 8.1. If you’re already running a 4.x or 5.x version, the upgrade is $10 less.

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$40
Apps

Aspyr Media Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite ($40) is one of the most highly regarded video games of the year, and has finally found its way to the Mac thanks to Aspyr Media. Six months after it was launched for consoles and PCs, it can now be downloaded through the Mac App Store, among other outlets. It’s the third game in the Bioshock series, though not a direct sequel to the first or second games.

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$80
Apps

Parallels Software Parallels Desktop 9

Well, this isn’t terribly surprising: with a new version of OS X just around the corner, Parallels Software has a new version of its Windows-running Mac software ready to go. Parallels Desktop 9 ($80) will be available on September 5 as a fresh download, or can be grabbed now as an upgrade to older versions. As with every new edition, version 9 brings increased speed and fresh features, plus support for the latest PC and Mac operating systems, including the yet-to-be-released Windows 8.1 and Mavericks.

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$3
Apps

Charles Aroutiounian Hue Menu

Although it’s expensive, Phillips’ Hue Connected Bulb system is still quite cool. It’s fun and sometimes practically useful to change the color and brightness of lightbulbs in one or more rooms. Developer Charles Aroutiounian apparently feels the same way: he just released Hue Menu ($3), an app that gives you full control over the Hue system, right from your Mac.

 

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$3
Apps

urbn; pockets This is my body - Anatomy for kids

It’s not often that we feature kids apps here, but then again, it’s not often that we find any that really catch our attention. Just released, urbn; pockets’ This is my body - Anatomy for kids ($3) popped out in the Mac App Store, and upon closer inspection, is certainly worth checking out. Developed by doctors, it’s an interactive tool to teach kids all about the human body.

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$20
Apps

The Fullbright Company Gone Home

Sure, we’ve played video games without weapons before, but never without any other people, other than the character being controlled from the first-person perspective. That’s new. Gone Home ($20), from The Fullbright Company, is a new title out for those who are looking for a new type of gameplay, and have some patience. Set in a home, it tasks you with finding out what happened to your family after returning to emptiness from a year abroad.

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$22
Apps

Daedalic Entertainment Deponia

Retro computer gamers (including us) miss the point-and-click adventure games we loved in the 1990s—irreverent titles such as Sam & Max still hold up to this day. Daedalic Entertainment’s Deponia ($22) is a brand-new release in the same vein, and now available in the Mac App Store. With a prince and pauper story set in a world that’s been turned into a garbage dump, we’re certainly interested.

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Free with OS X Mavericks
Fall 2013
Apps

Apple iBooks

Readers, rejoice! Once you update your Macs to OS X Mavericks this fall, there’ll be a few new apps in your dock, and iBooks (Free with Mavericks) is one of them. Assuming that you’ve been building a book library on your iOS devices, the same content will transfer right over to your computers.

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Free
Apps

Coppertino Vox

When we actively load iTunes these days, we generally just want to listen to music—no need to sync, visit the App Store, or play back videos on a computer. That’s why we appreciate Vox (Free), from Coppertino. Just out of beta, the app is a lightweight tool that offers quick and easy access to your music, plus support for numerous audio files, including lossless formats.

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$7
Apps

Emiel Janson Dialogue

Apple’s OS X Messages application lets you communicate through text with iMessage users, without ever having to touch your iPhone. Developer Emiel Janson’s Dialogue ($7) offers similar functionality for phone calls. Using Bluetooth, it connects to any phone, and allows you to place and receive calls right through your Mac. On top of that, it lets you record phone calls, and save the audio files right to your machine. There are a few major caveats, however. 

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$50
Apps

Realmac Software Ember

Realmac Software has taken its app LittleSnapper and reengineered it to become a whole new title, Ember ($50), which is now available in the Mac App Store. Described as a “digital scrapbook,” it allows you to store images from anywhere and everywhere across your Mac, organize them, annotate them, and more. It’s a powerful tool for keeping everything together, and making the most of all your images.

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$200
Apps

Apple Logic Pro X

Building on the success of its professional music recording app Logic Pro 9, Apple today debuted Logic Pro X ($200), featuring a redesigned interface, new instruments, and a couple of big new additions. Built to follow the style of top session players and engineers, Drummer adds an AI drummer to play alongside other instruments, switching between different beats and song genres as needed. And a free companion app, Logic Remote, lets an iPad play and control Logic Pro X from afar with keyboard, drum pad, guitar fretboard, mixing board, and transport control interfaces.

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$15
Apps

Double Fine Productions Stacking

When Double Fine Productions is attached to a game, you can pretty much be assured that’s it’s going to be inventive, fun, and at least somewhat weird. Stacking ($15) is no different. Having first been released on consoles, and then Windows and even Linux, the studio’s Russian stacking doll game has now found a home in the Mac App Store. In it, you play as Charlie Blackmore, the world’s tiniest nesting doll; that should give you a sense of the type of humor these developers bring to their games.

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$29
Apps

Touch Press The Elements

Originally known as an early “wow-worthy” iPad app, Touch Press’s The Elements ($29) is now available in a Mac edition. The price is high, but you’re paying for gorgeously designed educational software that makes the periodic table come to life. From actinium to zirconium, the app features a whole lot more than a simple list and numbers.

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$3
Apps

Graveck Strata

There are so few original games these days that any time something new pops up, we’re eager to check it out. Graveck’s Strata ($3) is the rare example of a Mac App Store title that seems to be truly unique; it’s not just a port of an iPhone/iPad game, and it’s not just a slightly modified take on some popular genre. Instead, it’s a new kind of puzzle game that combines simple but beautiful graphics and increasingly challenging gameplay.

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