SAN FRANCISCO — The Mac Observer spent the week looking for the coolest products at Macworld/iWorld 2014 and came up with a great list of apps and hardware. Read on to see which products earned TMO Editors' Choice Awards this year.
The FLIR One ($349) is a camera add-on for your iPhone 5 and 5S that attaches as a case and lets you capture thermal images and video. Unlike other cameras designed to show heat signatures from the objects around you, the One can show details well enough that you can even read text. It's great for investigations, home repairs, and anywhere else you need to take temperature readings you need to easily store as photos or video.
Hider 2 ($19.99) from MacHider is a Mac app that lets you encrypt and hide important documents on a file-by-file basis. It relies on AES-256 encryption, can perform its magic on files tucked away on your Mac's internal drive as well as external storage devices, can encrypt folders as we as files, and can store secure notes, too. We also mentioned Hider 2earlier this week.
Fujitsu's ScanSnap SV600 ($795) turns document scanning on its end -- literally. Instead of plopping your documents on a glass plate and closing a lid, which doesn't exactly work well with books, the SV600 holds its scanning element sits on an arm and looks down on your pages. It automatically detects page edges, supports color or black and white scanning, can remove distortion from the bend in book pages near the spine, and can scan a full spread in only three seconds.
Just because your iPhone's screen is small doesn't mean you can't enjoy 3D video. Whoosh3D lets you do that -- even if the video was originally shot in 2D. The app can capture 3D video from your iPhone or iPad's built-in camera, too. The app is free, but you'll need the special polarized screen protector the company sells to enable 3D viewing. Covers area available for the iPhone ($29), and are coming soon for the iPad and iPad mini.
BusyCal is already a popular and powerful alternative for Apple's Calendar app on the Mac, and soon you'll be able to replace the company's address book management app with BusyContacts. The app is in beta now, but should be shipping soon. When it does, you'll be able to sync contacts through services such as iCloud and Google, Exchange, Twitter, and LinkedIn and Facebook. The interface looks great and offers a feature we've been hoping would come for a long time: Column view. Add in tags, custom views and smart filters, and BusyContacts is a perfect compliment to BusyCal -- and a natural replacement for Apple's Contacts app.
Apple's AirPort Extreme Basestation supports 802.11ac connections, but not every Mac includes support for the faster WiFi speeds. BearExtender Turbo ($79.97) from BearExtender gives you the ability to use 802.11ac speeds just by connecting the device to your Mac's USB port. It supports full speed connections over USB 3.0, and slower 480 Mbps speeds when connected to USB 2. TMO's own John F. Braun checked it out earlier this week, so check out his coverage for even more details.