Remember the scene in John Carpenter's sci-fi classic, They Live, where the hero dons a pair of special sunglasses and finally sees how the world around him really is? Using Google's awesome new iOS version of its Chrome browser offers a similar type of reality check, shining an ugly spotlight on how Apple holds back third-party browsers on the platform. If you've used Chrome on the Mac, you pretty much know what to expect from the iOS app: Fast omnibox search or URL entry, unlimited tabs, Incognito mode for private browsing, and the ability to sync open tabs, bookmarks, and passwords to a Google account in the cloud.
Printers are a dime a dozen these days, even all-in-ones. It wasn’t too long ago that you could get a free printer with your new Mac. Competition aside, we judged the HP Officejet 6700 Premium on a number of counts, and it passed almost all with flying colors.
The Store ’n’ Go ($174, www.verbatim.com) is a handy, bus-powered 500GB external drive that can connect to your Mac with FireWire 800 and super-speedy USB 3, and it’s back-compatible to USB 2 as well. Plus, Verbatim includes all the cables, and it comes preformatted for your Mac. Just tear open the packaging and start hard-drivin’--if you win our contest.
Apple's new Podcasts app is a testament to the tremendous evolution the medium has undergone since its humble iPod beginnings. Having long outgrown its iTunes tab, it was inevitable that Apple would develop a standalone app to mark the podcast's maturation into a legitimate form of entertainment. Expectedly, the universal app looks great, though it's not quite as functional or bug-free as desired.
While you may be very excited about Mountain Lion and iOS 6, Apple isn’t the only company with interesting new products on the way. Microsoft is slated to release its long-awaited (and undeniably cool-looking) Windows 8 operating system for desktops later this year, with bona fide Surface tablets and a mobile release of Windows Phone 8 arriving shortly thereafter. So let’s take a look at what the competition is up to, and see where Apple could maybe learn a thing or two.
The iTwin ($99, www.itwin.com) is a handy way to securely share files with no worries about logins or fiddling with settings. Using a familiar drag-and-drop model that anyone who’s used a USB thumb drive can understand, the iTwin just works. And you can get one if you win our August contest.
The computer mouse has been around since 1963, and has enjoyed almost ubiquitous use by computer owners around the world ever since. But if San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion has its way, the iconic input tool will soon be little more than a museum piece. The company plans on launching what it calls a Leap 3D motion control system--a revolutionary new way for computer users to physically interact with their computers.
Our iPhones can do amazing things, but time after time we find ourselves running through the same repetitive taps and swipes to accomplish simple tasks. Launch Center Pro attempts to streamline automation with a unique tap-and-slide interface that offers centralized control over the various actions found within hundreds of apps.
Putting a fresh spin on iOS racers, Slingshot Racing ditches traditional steering and gas controls and simply lets you tap the screen to grapple onto nearby pillars and whip around turns. As such, timing and momentum take center stage in these looping, steampunk-themed environments, with a variety of play modes included across distinctive tracks.
Before WWDC, conventional wisdom was that Apple would release a 15-inch MacBook Air, and a lot of people hoped Retina displays would make it to the Mac lineup as well. What we got instead was a reimaginging of the MacBook Pro: dramatically thin, less than 4.5 pounds, but still powerful enough to handle whatever you can throw at it -- and with the highest screen revolution of any notebook computer ever built.