The MacWorld Expo trade show in San Francisco isn’t what it used to be, but if you’re an Apple junkie it still has a lot of appeal. It’s pretty much all Apple, with a little PC thrown in here and there. Here’s a round-up.
• Jam for iPhone is the iOS Instagram for music, according to company representatives. It turns anyone, including the musically challenged, into rock stars by making their singing musical masterpieces.
Your lyrics are recorded and then the app turns into a song based on the melody, scale and cords supported in it, and can add musical instruments such as trumpets and guitars. After you’re done it can be saved to social media or just made into an MP3.
The app is free and extra features can be added for 99 cents each.
• The super thin Garmin Nuvi 3597 does everything to get you where you need to be, with directions that include specific points of interest such as recognizable landmarks, stop signs and traffic lights.
The body is a half-inch thick, and has a five-inch diagonal touchscreen LCD. Features include a powered magnetic mount.
It directs you in friendly tones, telling (and showing) you what lane to be in, landmarks to look for before turning and when a street light is approaching.
Right out of the box, it’s loaded with detailed maps of North American and includes free lifetime updates.
Details: www.Garmin.com; $379.99
• For $2,000, you can put your iPad in the driver’s seat with the Double from Double Robotics.
It looks like a Segway, except there is no human on top, just your iPad, which is controlled remotely from anywhere in the world with Wi-Fi via an app.
Described as “the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there,” you can use it to watch your sick kids at home while you’re at work, roam around an office or directly face anyone speaking in a conference call.
The controls let it go backward, forward, up and down and it runs on an internal rechargeable battery. The company is promoting it as ideal for educators, conference calls and the medical world.
• The Daylight Viewfinder helps iPhoneographers take photos in high-glare or bright conditions.
It’s an eyepiece that works as an extended viewfinder, which you can adjust like a diopter for each user.
After you download the free app, it works with Apple devices with retina displays and attaches to the touch screen like a suction cup and doesn’t scratch your screen.
Details: www.daylightviewfinder.com; $29.95
• At first glance, the Twig looks like any other four-inch Apple 30-pin charge and sync cable. But you can see the usefulness when it folds out into a tripod to hold your iPhone or iPod in place.
Each leg is wired so you can bend it in any direction or leave it flat. It’s strong enough to plug into an AC outlet, bend upward and become an instant wall-charging dock.
It’s available in six colors for $20 in the 30-pin charging model. A Twig lighting connection is expected later this year.
• Cloak is software for Mac and iOS to prevent hackers from watching what you are doing on public Wi-Fi networks.
Everything you do is encrypted and decrypted in their cloud and then sent to where you want it to go. It will automatically detect unsafe conditions and secure them before the bad guys can get hold of your data.