“Recommendations” is a page on William’s iBlog which tells you about the best apps, devices, and tech sites.
Editor’s Note: This page is always updated with the latest and greatest recommendations.
Exceptional Mac Apps
- Pixelmator is amazing if you want a superb graphics editor at an affordable cost. It’s simply amazing, and even William’s iBlog uses it to create graphics!
- Disk Diet is a great app to help you free up disk space. This is particularly useful for people have a limited amount of storage space, such as MacBook Air owners.
- Ever wanted to create a QR code that takes you to your own website (or blog)? With the free QR Encoder app, you can encode URLs, text, SMS, and more into your own QR code. Show it off to your friends. Have them use their smartphones to scan the code, and it will take them to your URL or whatever you encoded in it. No coding required to use!
- Folders Factory is an inexpensive but great app for Mac users looking to customize their systems. Worth the money!
- The iWork suite of apps is incredibly useful when it comes to productivity. The UI is very streamlined, making it a joy to work with. And with the recent updates for Retina Display graphics and Documents in the Cloud with iCloud, it just keeps getting better with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Pages allows you to work efficiently with documents, Keynote allows you to create stunning presentations, and Numbers lets you make useful yet good-looking spreadsheets. And even better, you can import and export in Microsoft Office formats.
- PopClip brings iOS-style text editing to the Mac. It’s incredibly intuitive, and there’s really not much to say about it except that it’s really useful. Try it out! You won’t regret it.
- Soulver is just epic. This really awesome app allows for simple and powerful day-to-day conversions alike. You can define variables, select stocks, and use the most up-to-date currency rates in your calculations. And that’s just the beginning. (Download a free trial here.)
- HandBrake is an extremely powerful and open-source transcoder for your video files. It’s easy-to-use interface makes it super-easy to convert and compress video between different formats. In my testing, I turned a 360 MB file into a 37 MB file. Awesome!
Brilliant iOS Apps
- 1Password is a hands-down essential. It’s unbelievably powerful and simple to use. You can securely store all your passwords in one place with top-notch encryption. Its awesome interface makes this app stand apart from the rest. I use this app on a regular basis.
- Flipboard for iOS is an unbelievably simple news app which lets you get all your news in one place. The UI is absolutely fluid, and the developer is really committed to bringing great new features to users. All for free!
- iBooks for iOS is one of the best readers for ebooks and PDFs. Its gorgeous UI makes it a pleasure to use, and it integrates perfectly with all your iOS devices. Apple’s worked hard on it, and it’s free (they want you to buy books)!
- Camera+ for iPhone and Camera+ for iPad allow you take amazing photos. You can easily create phenomenal pictures. The capture modes, filters, editing functionality, scene modes, iCloud sync, and much more make this one of the best values on the App Store. Camera+ is really an app hard to turn down. (I have no regrets buying this app at $0.99!)
- WolframAlpha provides a plethora for information. You just enter your input in everyday language and it will give you detailed and thorough results. It’s hard to put into words how much I value this app (or service, if you will).
- FlightBoard for iOS is an elegant and easy to use app displaying flight departures and arrivals for airports around the world. Its relatable user interface makes for a pleasant experience and sharing flight information is extremely easy. Definitely a useful app for any traveler.
- Yahoo! Weather is an absolute must-have app for iOS. Its beautiful interface elements coupled with gorgeous photos from photographers through Flickr make checking weather conditions a lot more interesting and fun!
- iTranslate Voice is a great app which allows you to speak/type and get a voice translation (Internet connection required). Its 2.0 update greatly enhances usability.
- MyScript Calculator is a fantastic calculator where you can write with your finger, not tap buttons. Its downright simplicity make this one of the best utility apps in the App Store.
- Currency is an extremely simple and easy-to-use app for currency conversion. It’s incredibly fast and fun. The low price is something that can only help.
- ForeverMap 2 is simply awesome. With this app, you can download maps for offline use, helping you make sure that you won’t rack up a huge data roaming charge from your carrier while overseas. The developer has provided many nice updates that enhance the visuals and functionality.
- Pixter Scanner OCR is an amazing app which allows you extract text from your photos. This is especially great if you’re scanning a newspaper or magazine article. The iOS 7-style interface gives you a glimpse into the future, and the app actually works!
- Mailbox for iPhone and iPad delivers a whole new email experience for Gmail. Its lightning-fast UI and fluid experience makes it a pleasure to check your email. Here’s Macworld’s review for Mailbox for iPhone.
- Real Racing 3 is the best racing game on iOS, hands down. In fact, some consider it the best game in general of all time. It’s real cars, real tracks, and real people as well as stunning graphics are just phenomenal. It’s definitely a game worth downloading, provided that you have approximately 2 GB of space left on your device. You’ll also need an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5, an iPod touch 4th/5th generation, or an iPad 2/”The new iPad” (3rd gen)/iPad with Retina display (4th generation). Get this game. You’ll have hours (maybe days, weeks, months, etc.) of fun. [Note: This is a freemium game.] Here is William’s full review.
- iStudiez Pro allows students to keep track of tests, assignments, grades, and GPAs. It’s nice interface and easy of use makes this an essential app for anyone in school.
- For any frequent traveler, the MacBook Air is redefining portable computing. With it’s thin and elegant design, MacBook Air is showing the world how a computer can be thin and light without compromise. Now with 9 hours of battery life for the 11-inch and 12 hours for the 13-inch, the incredible all-day battery life definitely helps. Plus, 802.11ac Wi-Fi enables much faster speeds over Wi-Fi! Starting at just $999.
- If you are a professional photographer, videographer, or graphics designer who needs incredible performance from your computer while displaying graphics at stunning resolution, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display will be an indispensable tool for your work. From its incredible Intel Haswell processors to its stunning battery life, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display outpaces the competition, and has a great affordable price for any pro user. Starts at just $1299 for the 13-inch and $1999 for the 15-inch.
- iPad Air has an absolutely gorgeous thin and light design. At just 7.5 mm thin and at just 1 lb., it’s the thinnest and lightest full-size iPad yet. And with an all-new 64-bit A7 chip, dual Wi-Fi antennae, powerful apps from the App Store, iOS 7, and 10 hours of battery life, iPad Air is the also the most powerful iPad yet. Best of all, it starts at just $499.
- If you’re looking for a more portable iPad, the iPad mini with Retina display is for you. Now with a gorgeous Retina display, 64-bit A7 chip, 10 hours of battery life, powerful apps, advanced wireless technology, and beautifully integrated hardware and software, this iPad mini is now better than ever. Starting at just $399.
- iPhone 5s: Now with the 64-bit Apple A7 chip, the M7 motion coprocessor, all-new camera system, True Tone Flash, and of course, Touch ID, this is the most forward-thinking phone ever built.
First-Class Tech Sites