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Weekly Wrap: New Macs, delightful apps

We took a week off from the Weekly Wrap, because your devoted wrapper was stuck at jury duty. But now we're back and ready to summarize the Macworld week that was, highlighting our biggest and best stories in case you missed them. Just don't let it happen again.

New Macs

Dan Frakes says that the new Mac minis are faster, cheaper, and more expandable than ever, but he misses the machine's optical drive. Jason Snell, meanwhile, says that the new Core i5 MacBook Airs approach perfection. Both gentlemen joined Philip Michaels to discuss the new Macs in another edition of the Macworld Podcast; the challenge was getting Jason to stop hugging his new Air long enough to record the darn podcast.

Photo Finish

Instagram scored its 150 millionth photo. Through a complicated mathematical formula, we've calculated that each of those uploaded photos has earned the company precisely $0. Regardless of its lack of a business model, we love Instagram, along with Hipstamatic, Flare, and others of that ilk. (Oh, and if you would prefer to browse your Instagram photos on your Mac, Instaview may be worth a peek.)

On the other hand, if you prefer your photos filter-free, check out our top-rated DSLR cameras. If you prefer taking photographs only during vampires' witching hour, we can help you with that, too. Regardless of where you take your pictures, let us help you import them into Aperture 3 the right way. (Step 1: Ensure computer is plugged in.)

Lion Well, Richly

We literally wrote the book on Lion, and if you haven't downloaded our Superguide yet, you should soon: We're not going to let the editors involved out of our literal lion pen until the book sells its 150 millionth copy.

FileVault 2 encrypts even external drives in Lion; Roman Loyola explains how, and you know how much fun it is to do as the Roman does. Ted Landau can help you resolve various Lion installation issues--we've started calling him The Lion Tamer around these parts. Though it's not quite part of Lion yet, Apple did lift the curtain on its planned pricing for iCloud storage upgrades.

If you love Lion but hate its iOS-style autocorrect, Christopher Breen figured out how to turn it off. Personally, though, I love autocorrect, despot its occidental flowers.

And since Lion and Quicken don't mesh, Jeffry Battersby rounded up some of the best money management tools that are Lion-friendly.

iOS, Therefore I Am

Over the past week, we showed you how to sync PDFs with the iPad, how to find the best personalized news apps for iPhone and iPad, and even how to adjust the volume on your locked iPhone. You could have the loudest, newsiest, PDFiest locked iOS device on the block armed with all that information--but we didn't stop there.

We reviewed InMyBar, which helps you mix drinks using your iPhone (though not as a swizzle stick). We also reviewed NBA Hotshot HD, a game so frustrating it will drive you to drink cocktails no doubt prepared with help from InMyBar. Other apps we covered included OmniWriter, Skype for iPad, and Google+ for iPhone.

Google pulled down on its iOS Gmail interface and updated it with pull-to-refresh and Retina display compatibility. Puerto Rico--the board game, not the U.S. territory--is now available for the iPad.

Contributor Joel Mathis rattled off oodles of new iOS accessories. Marco Tabini wrote up oodles of iPad cases. Use your noodle: Read those oodles.

Elsewhere, Jason Snell posited that iOS games have unseated nerds as the kings of Comic-Con. And Alexandra Chang reported on a combination of software and hardware that enables pilots to control aircraft with their iPads. (Perhaps those infamous birds are so angry because they still rely on slingshots to gain their own ability to fly.)

Artist Kyle Lambert wrote up advice on mixing colors for iPad artwork. (Warning: Do not put actual paint on your iPad.) In case Words With Friends isn't dominating your life enough, Lauren Crabbe wants you to know that it's now on Facebook, too.

Apple quietly updated the Apple TV, adding the ability to stream old TV show purchases, along with the ability to watch Vimeo videos. The downside, of course, is that now your Apple TV knows every show you ever bought, including that episode of the Knight Rider reboot from 2008.

More on the Mac

We spill a lot of virtual ink on iPads and iPhones, but the Mac that is our namesake remains our first love. We reviewed a plethora of Mac apps, including Sandvox, Shade Control, Opera, After Effects CS5.5, CleanHaven, and ImageXY.

We don't just want you to know about the quality of new software; we also want to make your life better. That's why we wrote up tips like how to make Safari's location bar perform searches, Sharon Zardetto's five favorite text-selection tips, and a tutorial on converting audio and video files for free. Sometimes it seems like the only how-to article we don't publish is "How to find more hours in the day to better consume all the incredible articles Macworld publishes."

Moren the Mack

It's worth noting that your friend and mine, senior associate editor Dan Moren, published lots and lots of remainders--not to mention another thrilling edition of our intermittent series Under the Gavel.

That's all, folks

Another Weekly Wrap, much like the week it encapsulates, has now come and gone. We'll see you next week, unless we get called in for some other civic duty.


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