Macworld/iWorld 2013 is now a week behind us, and the AppleTell team on hand in San Francisco has had time to go through our notes, press kits, and photos to determine our favorite products of the show. Associate editors Aaron Kraus and Bill Stiteler, along with editor-in-chief Kirk Hiner, have put together an interesting mix for the MacBook, iPhone 5 and…your fresh meats and vegetables?
Aaron: Henge Dock’s Horizontal Dock
Turn your Retina MacBook Pro into even more of a beast with one of these docks. Voted a Macworld Best in Show, the Henge Horizontal Dock features motorized port connectors, so just set your laptop in it and the dock automatically plugs in all your ports, connecting all your external devices automatically. Better yet? Your ports are multiplied, so you can connect six USB 3.0, three mini DisplayPort devices, two audio devices, one FireWire 800, one Ethernet, and an SD card (in a pear tree).
Since the dock is horizontal rather than vertical like other Henge Docks, you can actually have up to four active displays for your choice of massive productivity or lots and lots of social media feeds.
Now, I’m going to cheat a little and break this down, because I also want to draw attention to my favorite app. Naturespace is a free app lets you buy Naturspace’s holographic audio experiences in-app at high quality 320 kbps AAC, rather than iTunes Plus 256 kbps from the iTunes Music store. These tracks use special recording and mastering techniques to provide not just sound, but also audio spatial information, so a lake track lets you hear water lapping the shoreline but you know it’s at your feet, while the call of a bird originates from the your left but echoes off the trees to your right. Perfect for meditation, drowning out a noisy office, or white noise to help you sleep, the app also features optimizations for whatever type of headphones you might be using.
Simple and obvious, the Chefsleeve is a cutting board with an iPad mount, along with a set of disposable touch-sensitive sleeves.
I personally know many people (including myself) who use the iPad as a cookbook, and the design of this product (along with its compressed-paper, eco-friendly production) will make this a must-have in a lot of homes.
Many booths at Macworld/iWorld warrant multiple visits. The one I stopped at the most may have been tucked away in a far corner of the show floor, but it had no problem standing out. Esoterism was showing off numerous accessories for the iPhone and iPad, but it’s their Embrace-5 Aluminum Bumper for iPhone 5 that won me over by solving the most annoying problem with aluminum frame cases: no screws.
The frame hinges at the bottom, and can be opened by twisting the knob at the top, like winding a watch. Removing and applying the frame can be done in a matter of seconds, and the iPhone sits securely inside thanks to a rubber lining. The case is comfortable to hold, all of the buttons are easily accessible, and the bottom is flush with the iPhone itself so docking with third party devices Apple’s Lightning Adapter should be no problem and all.
And the cases look even better in real life than they do in their photos. A great product by a team that’s very passionate about their work.