$4
Apps

Menu Bar Labs Diapositive

For casual Instagram users, the web site and mobile apps are probably more than sufficient, but if you’re heavily into the social photo service, Menu Bar Labs’ Diapositive ($4) provides an OS X app for getting at your Instagram feed. Designed exclusively for OS X Yosemite, this app provides a stream-like browsing experience similar to Twitter clients we’ve seen, with tabs at the top that let you access your own feed, Instagram’s most popular posts, posts you’ve liked, profiles, and a search for users and tags. The feed itself is elegantly simple, with photos front and center, descriptions and tags, and easily accessible buttons for liking and commenting on posts.

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Fall 2015
Apps

Apple OS X El Capitan

Apple introduced the next version of OS X today during its Worldwide Developers Conference. Dubbed OS X El Capitan, the update focuses on a number of user interface improvements, including iOS-like swipe gestures in the Mail app, pinned tabs in Safari, the ability to mute other tabs in Safari to deal with background audio, enhancements to Spotlight search that add more contextual information to searches, and a new natural language search in Spotlight, Mail, and Finder, allowing users to find information with searches such as “documents I worked on last June.” Several improvements have also been made to mission control and the windowing interface, allowing for full-screen enhancements to apps like Mail, and split-screen side-by-side window presentations for improved multitasking. Metal has also been added to the Mac version, providing significant graphics improvements and better battery life.

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$100-$200
Peripherals

Western Digital My Passport for Mac (mid-2015)

Western Digital’s newest update to its My Passport for Mac ($100-$200) portable hard drive features 256-bit AES password-protected hardware encryption. The Time Machine-compatible hard drive uses USB 3.0 for fast transfer rates. Backed by a three-year limited warranty, the updated My Passport for Mac comes in 1TB, 2TB, or 3TB options — we received the 2TB version.

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Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse

Although trackpads are becoming more popular options for Mac users, a lot of folks still prefer to use traditional mice as their pointing device, and Logitech continues to up the game in this area with its MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse ($80). Designed for portability, this new mouse features a new Darkfield Laser Sensor that’s designed to track on any surface you put it on — including glass — so you can use it just about anywhere you happen to be, with nothing more than a flat surface required. The compact design allows you to easily slip it into a bag, and a countered shape and rubber surface makes it comfortable even for prolonged use.

The scroll wheel on the MX Anywhere 2 mouse is equipped with hyper-fast scrolling, so you can quickly read through long documents or Web pages and then shift to click-­to-­click mode for more precise navigation.
Similar to the Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse can be customized by using Logitech OptionsTM software to replicate touch gesture controls on Mac® computers so you can accomplish more with precise control. The rechargeable battery lasts up to two months replacing the need for spare batteries, and one minute of USB-cord charging gives you up to two hours of usage.

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$10
Apps

Frogmind Badland: Game of the Year Edition

Long an iLounge favorite for iOS, Frogmind’s Badland: Game of the Year Edition ($10) finally arrived on Mac last week. Originally released in 2013, the physics-based side-scroller has been updated with above full-HD visuals and totally reconfigured controls for the Mac.

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$1,999 - $2,499
Macs

Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display (Mid-2015)

While Apple brought its new “Force Touch” feature to the 13-inch model of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display around the same time as the new MacBook, Apple’s larger model has taken a bit longer to get the update. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display ($1,999 - $2,499) goes a step beyond simply adding the Force Touch trackpad, however, with some nice performance boosts to storage and battery life.

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$1,999 – $2,299
Macs

Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (Mid-2015)

Apple has updated its iMac with Retina 5K Display ($1,999 – $2,299) which first debuted last fall, dropping the price of the original model, introducing a second more affordable option, and emphasizing the higher resolution display by adding “5K” to the product’s name. Sporting the same 27” 5120 x 2880 display, the $1,999 model features a 3.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU and AMD Radeon R9 M290 graphics, 8GB of memory and 1TB of storage alongside four USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt 2 ports.

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Free
Apps

IK Multimedia iRig Pads Editor

We were pretty impressed with IK Multimedia’s iRig Pads MIDI Groove Controller when it arrived last year, and the company has now taken its offering up a notch with its iRig Pads Editor (free), a Mac application that lets users much more easily customize the MIDI controller for their own personal creative process.

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$5
Apps

Nothing Magical Redacted

While advanced photo editing tools such as Photoshop can certainly allow you to do things like apply blurs in order to hide private information, or “redact” images, it’s definitely overkill if that’s all you want to do on a regular basis. And of course, not everybody even keeps these kinds of “pro” tools on their Mac. Fortunately, if all you’re looking to do is redact documents or screenshots, however, Nothing Magical’s Redacted ($5) offers an inexpensive and quick solution. Simply drag-and-drop the image you want to work within into Redacted and drag boxes over the sections you want to hide. You can even choose from three different redacting styles — pixellate, blur, or a simple black bar.

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$12
Apps

Overmacs Reformator 1.2

While Apple’s Photos app is a handy way to organize your photos, its options for converting and updating metadata are limited at best, so in these cases you’re better off simply exporting your photos and passing them through a third-party app more specifically geared toward the task. Enter Overmacs’ Reformator ($12), an app expressly designed for bulk image operations, including converting into popular formats, assigning meaningful names, watermarking with text and images, making adjustments, and more.

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Mobee Technology Magic Hub

Mobee Technology’s Magic Hub ($50) is a peripheral that mounts on the back of an iMac to give users three extra USB ports. Magic Hub has four USB 3.0 ports — one is used to connect with the iMac itself — and all ports output 2.1A. The peripheral is directly powered by the iMac or monitor itself, and it’s able to charge devices even when the iMac is turned off.

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$10
Apps

Overmacs PhotoSweeper 2.1

Now that Apple has released its Photos app for OS X, it’s probably a good time to deal with cleaning up your library before migrating it over and moving it to iCloud Photo Library — especially since you’ll need to pay Apple for space to upload your photos to iCloud, and if you have duplicates in your library, those definitely will count. If you’ve already made the plunge and migrated your library over to the new Photos app, you’ve probably noticed that Apple has done nothing to deal with avoiding duplicates, and of course if you’re trying to consolidate photos from more than one place to get them all into a single Photos library, the process can get even more confusing. Fortunately, Overmacs has you covered with PhotoSweeper 2.1 ($10), an update to our favorite photo duplicate management app release, made to specifically add support for the new Photos app.

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Kanex Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock

Kanex’s Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock ($250) lets users connect up to eight devices to a Mac. Two Thunderbolt ports are featured on the dock, boasting a blistering transfer rate of 20GB/s. Up to four Thunderbolt-compatible peripherals can be daisy-chained to a Mac at once through one of the ports. The dock also has three USB 3.0 ports — one on the front of the dock can be used to charge iOS devices — a gigabit Ethernet port, an audio in/out port, and an HDMI port, which offers 4K resolution and dual display support.

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$10/month
Apps

Adobe Lightroom CC

With Apple basically having turned its back on continuing to develop its “pro” photo management app, Aperture, serious Mac photographers are essentially left with Adobe’s Lightroom as the only real game in town. Many photographers already preferred Lightroom to Aperture, if for no other reason than the fact that Adobe kept up a pretty brisk update cycle that seems to have fallen into a stride of one major upgrade per year. This spring brings Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC ($10/month), an update that preserves all of the features, UI, and workflow that Lightroom fans have come to love, with some great new added features such as Face Detection, HDR image support, panorama creation, video slideshows, HTML5 web galleries, and more.

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$18
Apps

Macphun Noiseless

Although recent iPhone cameras have gotten significantly better at low-light photography, it’s still inevitable that some graininess or “noise” will mar the surface of your photos when shooting in less ideal lighting conditions. Professional tools like Lightroom offer some capability of dealing with this, but running everything through Lightroom or Photoshop may be too much for the casual photographer to deal with. Fortunately, Macphun’s Noiseless ($18), provides a much simpler, lower-cost alternative. Designed with simplicity in mind, Noiseless provides a “one-button” solution for removing digital noise from photos while keeping the detail and color intact.

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