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Best of Macworld/iWorld 2013

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Best of Macworld/iWorld 2013

I'm back from Macworld/iWorld 2013, my 25th Macworld show in a row. Unless it's my 26th in a row. Anyway, regardless, here's a brief rundown of the best stuff at the show.
  1. Rage Software previewed "EasyWeb," their website creation program for the Mac. It has a lot in common with Apple's Pages and they are positioning it as the successor to Apple's iWeb. It comes with templates to help you get started and it's very easy to whip up a really nice looking website. The best part: they handle the web hosting too. For $99 you get the software and a year of web hosting (and email hosting too). This means that after you make your website you can click a button to put it onto the internet. No need to obtain web hosting from a third party. This makes publishing a website as easy as printing. Read more about EasyWeb here.
  2. Lantronix showed their xPrintServer, a small white box that makes your printer(s) available to your iPhone and iPad. All you do is connect xPrintServer to your network-- it does the rest. Very simple, very easy. It's practically magic.
  3. Speaking of magic: Greg Rostami showed four magic iPhone apps. All were completely mystifying. I shuffled a deck of cards and chose a card and held it so that Rostami couldn't see it. He gave me a phone number for a psychic and when I called her I got her answering machine… and in her message she said "I've been expecting your call. I see the four of diamonds" and of course that was my card. Here's the link for that app (called iPredict+). Only $2.99.
  4. Not quite magic, but still amazing: iPhone and iPad stands that used a miraculous new material called "micro foam." It looks and feels like a thin sheet of rubber, but what it really is is zillions of tiny suction cups. Put your iPhone against it and it sticks, eliminating the need for brackets and clamps. I saw it with my own eyes. Unfortunately, though there were two companies showing prototypes of their micro foam iPhone and iPad stands, neither were ready to sell anything. Keep your eyes open for this stuff when it becomes available. Visit https://www.facebook.com/gekostand and http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/297012779/slope-an-elegant-stand-for-ipad-nexus-7and10-kindl for more info.
  5. iPhone cases don't usually make my "Best Of" list but Seido's "OBEX" iPhone case is an exception because it is completely waterproof while still giving access to the screen. They had an iPhone in an OBEX case, inside an aquarium (with fish) and the iPhone was on and playing a movie under the water. If you're someone who accidentally drops his iPhone into the sink or the swimming pool or pots of soup this is the case for you. I also saw BodyDock's iLumina case, which comes with interchangeable backs and bands so you can mix and match depending on your mood. They'll send you a new band and a new back every month for six months at no additional charge. Sounds like fun for the right person and it would probably make a great gift (but not for me, I already have one).
  6. Last but not least, Flint showed a new way to take credit cards: snap a picture with the iPhone's camera and the Flint app OCR's the number so you don't need to type it in (and you don't need a hardware thingy to swipe the card through). Visit their website and see the introductory video.

This wasn't the biggest Macworld/iWorld but it was still a lot of fun. Next year's show runs Saturday February 1st through Monday February 3rd, 2014-- with Sunday February 2nd being the Super Bowl (and Mom's birthday, and Groundhog Day too)! I am hoping that somehow they change the dates for next year's Macworld/iWorld and if they do I will let you know.

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