The Neatest Gadgets & Apps from MacWorld / iWorld 2013
Remember the days when computers weren’t small enough to fit in your pocket? MacWorld does and if you were lucky enough to walk down the aisles of the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, you’d see why desktop computing with a mouse still rocks. Of course it IS the i-Century, so no surprise that MacWorld is now MacWorld/iWorld with Apple mobile devices clamoring for some love too. Enough talk — here’s some of the cool stuff we found that we wished we could have just walked off with –especially since some can’t be bought yet.
So you put this “appcessory” adaptor on your iPhone to make it the child of a mouse mating with a Wii remote, with the Godfather being a Kinect. Yep it means motion and visual gesture controls are now yours — think the movie Minority Report, only with a touch-screen.
Nomad FLeX Paintbrush Stylus
Draw on a touch-screen with a sharp point and you’re nuts. Use your fingers instead and you’re still nuts. But use a paintbrush that’s made for capacitive screens and you’re artist brilliant, especially since the brush tip is flexible and slides across silky-smooth. A precision-milled aluminum body makes for a good grip and choice of colors makes it colorful.
NuGuard KX Kinetic Energy X-Orbing Protective Case (4/4S-5)
Here’s a good idea: make a protective case for an iPhone that’s not so bulky so it can fit in your pocket. But don’t trade “slim” for not being able to take on a 20 foot drop and stay in one piece as well as uncracked.
iStop Motion for iPad 2
Calling all Tim Burtons…if you have the nerves to take it a step at a time, this is how you animate. The program provides an abundance of intuitive features: overlays show what is being created, even as “click and drag” and quick jumps through timelines visually show what you’ve accomplished or still need to do. There’s even a remote in to use an iPhone’s camera. And with audio tools built in that take advantage of the “Cloud,” soundtracks are no longer intimidating to include.
It makes sense to clean a tablet after poking it — carrying around a cloth, no. But having the microfiber stretched around an iPad or iPad Mini makes for immediate access you can ignore the rest of the time. Choice of colors too.
Here’s the skinny: a DSLR doesn’t have much of a viewfinder so use a tablet like an iPad instead (or a smartphone). Since it’s remote-controlled wirelessly with built-in WiFi, transferring photos or activating camera functions is no biggie.
Classic Match Foosball
Sure you can play games on an iPad, but you need to grip when slamming the ball into the Foosball goal. So you put the iPad in the shell, run the app and grip at the 8 control bars to make your play. It’s like messing with a real tournament table, only a whole lot smaller, though that’s no excuse if your gaming skills just plain suck.
JPEGmini for Mac
Lots of pictures, yes we have. Lots of hard drive or solid-state storage space, no. JPEGmini cuts down on the total by reducing an up to 28-megapixel image by a factor of 5 — but doesn’t lose the resolution or file quality. Example: a 100-gigabyte photo collection becomes 25GB.
MirrorCase for iPad
Who enjoys the contortions needed to hold an iPad while shooting a video or photo? Instead keep the tablet horizontal and let an app access the pivoting mirror for landscape or portrait views. Niceties include a rear kickstand, acoustic port to pump up the sound, a front protective cover and a stylus storage compartment for those who need such things. iPhone 4/4S-5 version too.
OS X Mountain Lion Tips and Tricks
The only way to know it all is to get info from others more knowledgeable than you — this book in hardcover or digital form inundates with non-technical ways to control what you’re doing on the Mac. You will find a lot of tips and tricks which you probably never considered or didn’t have the time to figure out on your own.
HP Envy 120 e-All-In-One
A color printer’s got to do and be a lot of things: accessing apps to make it work on a touch-screen panel that retracts after printing gets supplemented by remote use with an iOS device are good examples. Of course that also means built-in WiFi. And because the paperless office is like Bigfoot — it’s cool that the lid of the scanner is transparent and there’s a USB port for charging your iPhone while waiting.
NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner & Digital Filing System
So the paperless office might be possible after all — or at least getting all that stuff out of your pockets, the car’s glovebox or the kitchen table and into the digital realm. Documents, business cards, Costco receipts — it all gets scanned, analyzed and laid out neatly. And with “Cloud” based backups, accessing and organizing your filing system’s just a couple of app-clicks away.
This USB mike knows what you want so it delivers real-time, studio-quality digitally enhanced audio. Adaptive processing combines with tech to reduce vibrations and disruptive rumblings. With three recording modes highlighting vocals and instrumentation, think of this as a “point and record” mike that will polish YouTube broadcasts as easily as music demos.
Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 Right Wireless
Grip this mouse and let its ergonomic shape keep your wrist happy. Wireless Bluetooth means you lose the cord while 2 thumb buttons and pointer speed adjustments make for a comfortable, working grip. LED indicators for battery charge and pointer speed as well. Comes in lefty/righty styles so as to match your hands, not the other way around.
RUNNUR Hands Free Carry-All
RUNNUR may look like the strap that got ripped off a messenger bag, but you’ll call it mighty convenient once it frees your hands and pockets but keeps your phone, wallet, keys and whatnot snug and center front. There’s even room for snacks and a secret passport pocket, making it far more useful than that stupid fanny pack.
Because your iPhone or iPad is just as tired of you leaving it at Starbucks as you are — this Bluetooth tracking device attached to your keys or tossed in a pocket beeps out an alert before you’ve left the scene. Working with an app it also notifies you of incoming calls and emails and lets you “page” one to the other within a 65 foot radius — but so you don’t lose the car instead, it’ll also lets you “pin” its location for an easier return.
iPotty for iPad
Not everything is digital, but we’re going there. And speaking of going for the toddler in training, taking a seat with an iPad on an activity stand means more time spent sitting. The stand rotates from horizontal to vertical and of course there’s a touchscreen protective cover — better be, right? Guess being born with an iPad is the next step.
Keep your iPhone pocketed and glance at your wrist for the time but also for getting alerts, answering calls, opening text and emails and even running apps. See what’s going on right there on the color screen, mirrored from the phone. And yeah works with Android too.
So a 15.6-inch portable display that works with your MacBook or iPhone or iPad doesn’t get the juices flowing? How about we add a high-def screen? Or HDMI input to go along with USB? Or that it can mate with the iPad to to become a base or protective case?
H9 Harmonizer Effects Processor
Digital audio processing takes the stage to sculpt and enhance sound in a tiny box packed with reverb effects and control over delay, modulation and pitch and physical inputs ‘cause it’s no toy. But the best part is that it can Bluetooth into an iPhone/iPad and remote control/access the wide range of Eventide’s stompbox effects.
Rostami Magic Apps
Bar tricks aside, who hasn’t tried their hand at a casual magic trick? Or failed to impress? Let the iPhone handle the tech and apps like iForce and iPredict+ handle the magic while making you look like the mentalist you know you aren’t.
The big screen of an iPad makes using the camera easier on the eyes than from a smartphone. But convenient and practical for taking photos and filming, not so much. At least not till you pop that tablet into this aluminum-framed baby and take advantage of its tripod mount and external threaded holes for holding a microphone, lights and other camera accessories. The optional Lenscaster lets you attach lenses to use with the iPad for infinitely greater control too.
An iPad or mini stand small enough to fit in your pocket is good — but having a notched system for angling it to suit your preferences is even better. Anodized aluminum means it’s durable yet lightweight, and of course it supports both landscape and portrait orientations.
Easy to figure out that your iPhone fits in front as you grasp like holding a hunting bow. But the surprise comes in just how immersive and interactive games become as you combine resistance and muscle strengthening (use for a full body workout too).
Check out Marshal’s reviews of The Coolest Stuff from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show or lust after the new Bentley Continental with us.