Macworld Round-Up: Stuff I Bought

I’m back from Macworld 2011 and as usual, it was a lot of fun. Also as usual, it was a lot of walking but this year I wore tennis shoes instead of cowboy boots. It took a while but I’m getting smarter.

There was plenty of cool stuff to look and play with and you can read about some of it here, here, and here. Rather than describe every interesting item I saw at Macworld I’m going to tell you about the things that I bought. You know I had to like it if I spent my own money on it. Here, then, is what I bought.

Camera Plus Pro (iPhone app for cropping/fixing/enhancing photos), $1.99. Share your modified pictures via email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Picassa with just a couple of taps. You get a lot for your money with this one.

Here’s a picture I took with my iPhone 4.

Here’s how it looks after cropping and sharpening and a little “warming” using Camera Plus Pro. I could touch that triangle in the lower left-hand corner and post it to Facebook in a jiffy if I wanted to.

Here’s what the interface looks like for cropping. Easy enough to do.

L5 Remote (iPhone app combined with an infrared transmitter), free app, $49.99 for the transmitter. Use your iPhone as a custom universal remote control for TV and stereo. Create multiple remotes (swipe to move between them) for different rooms. I can make one for controlling Mom’s TV and another for controlling my own stuff.

Here’s an example of what you can do. Note the buttons at the bottom for various stations– Tennis, Golf, ESPN and ESPN2, etc. Set those up and you’ll never have to remember that ESPN is channel 417 and ESPN2 is channel 429.

Two things I’m going to buy soon:

Kensington “SoundWave” Sound-Amplifying iPhone mount* (for use in the car– attaches to windshield with a suction cup or to an air vent with a clamp). I’ve decided to use my iPhone as a GPS, but I need to attach it to the car somehow. This Kensington device is the ticket. The part that makes this thing special is the sound from the iPhone comes out of its bottom speakers and is routed through some tubes into a couple of flared-out openings, and it makes the sound louder– a very important thing when using a GPS in the car. Without some sort of amplification the iPhone isn’t loud enough to be heard in the car. This holder’s design approximately doubles the iPhone’s volume. And you don’t have to take the iPhone’s case off to make it fit.

IRIS “Scan Anywhere 2” scanner*. List price is $199 but the people at the IRIS booth told me it will go on sale at Frys.com with a $75 mail-in rebate starting February 1st. They expect the price to get down to about $120 after the rebate. This scanner is about as big as a box of aluminum foil so it is very portable. It connects to your Mac with a USB cable and you can shove paper into it a sheet at a time and it scans just fine. The really big news: you can do it even without being connected to your Mac. The Scan Anywhere 2 has rechargeable batteries in it, and it has built-in memory, and it has an SD (camera card) slot, AND it has a USB port for attaching a USB “thumb” drive. So, you can use the Scan Anywhere 2 on an airplane, or in a hotel room, or really just about anywhere. Then, after doing your scans, you connect it to your Mac (or pull the SD card or USB stick and connect that to your Mac), and it mounts on the desktop like an everyday drive, and from there you can drag the scans to wherever you want to drag them. Very neat, especially at $120.

Here’s a picture.


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