Welcome to our weekly installment of Picks of the Week at iSource where we provide our expanded coverage of Apple accessories and applications. Here we will promote our favorite iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV related items, as well as bring you occasional tips and tricks. Hopefully many of our favorite items will also be of interest to you. Please feel free to comment on our selections, and suggest picks of your own. Check out this week’s picks after the break.
Counter-Strike: Global Offense
Picked by: Alex Jordan
My pick this week is the newly released Counter-Strike: Global Offensive from Valve. For years I played Counter-Strike: Source and enjoyed it dearly. However, the game was beginning to age after eight years and it was time for a new version. Valve released CS:GO on Tuesday, but I had been participating in the open beta a week prior, and it was totally worth it. For those who know Counter-Strike, you’ll feel right at home, and will likely enjoy the changes and additional gameplay modes Valve added to the classic mechanics of the game.
Just as with the previous versions, players are split into two teams- Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists. Depending on the map, hostage or bomb scenarios are thrown into the mix. To win, you either eliminate all of the members of the other team, or complete the objective. Other, new, modes of play include “Demolition”, where weapons are awarded as you progress, and “Arms Race” wherein you use each weapon to eliminate the other team.
What’s even more amazing, to me at least, is that the game costs a mere $14.99 on Steam. Plus it runs exceptionally well on my MacBook Air. So, if you enjoyed any of the other Counter-Strike games or online multiplayer games in general, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is worth a look.
$14.99 [ iTunes ]
Any.DO [ v 1.2.2 ]
Picked by: Jay
My Pick this week is the task manager, Any.Do, mentioned by Thomas here. I’m a huge task master, and I make lists – lots and lots of lists: mental lists, grocery lists, to-do lists, reminder lists, etc. Which means I’ve tried just about as many task manager / reminder apps as I have lists. From the overly complicated to the equivalent of a Notepad.
Unfortunately, even with geofencing, I’m not impressed nor overly fond of Apple’s own Reminder app. Why? As an example, I wanted a weekly reminder to set out the trash on Wednesday nights: the weekly Reminder does alert me to do that, and also tells me it’s 244 days past due. Seriously? Now that I’ve upgraded to Mountain Lion, I may give it another try, however until that time, I’ve found the Holy Grail of easy-to-use task management apps with Any.Do.
Similar to Clear’s simplistic design, Any.Do clears the screen so you can focus on just your list. Begin your task entry by pulling down the screen, or touching the (+) button by TODAY, TOMORROW, THIS WEEK, or LATER. Enter details by typing or voice – though the voice recognition could take lessons from Siri-, and set up a reminder, folder, and share it if you wish. Once it’s entered, moving a task from TODAY to TOMORROW is a drag-and-drop move. Completed your task? Swipe to delete.
Simple – and just plain awesome.
Free [ Link ]
Things 2.0 [ v 2.0.1 ]
Picked by: Thomas
My pick this week is Things 2.0, the beautiful and extravagantly priced task manager from Cultured Code. I’ve written enough reviews of the various Things clients across the Mac, iPhone, and iPad that they likely no longer need a major introduction, but I will say that Things 2.0 really has been worth the wait for me. The new date picker, the way that I can tap on a field to edit it (I uses to have to always tap on the Edit button first), and the reliably fast cloud syncing has made Things a pleasure to use once again.
If you’re not already on OmniFocus and you want a reliable, attractive task manager to spend all of your hard-earned money on, look at Things. It’s $50 for the Mac app, $20 for the iPad, and $10 for the iPhone. You could probably get away with using just the iPhone version, but syncing is so delicious…
$49.99 [ App Store ]
The Padintosh by ThinkGeek
Picked by: PatrickJ
This is the most fun back cover case for the iPad I’ve ever come across. It’s advertised with a slogan of ‘Party Like It’s 1984′ because the design mimics a classic old-school Macintosh PC. It features the MacPaint screen with the word Hello written on it and even a floppy drive slot. I ordered one within 2 minutes of first seeing it at the ThinkGeek site and I’m very happy I did. It’s fully compatible with the iPad Smart Cover, has very precise cutouts for all buttons and ports, and is among the lighter back cover cases of this type that I’ve seen.
One other thing to love about this case is that it’s a real crowd-pleaser and conversation starter. My daughter thinks it’s super-cool and she of course never laid eyes on an old Mac, and I’ve had lots of compliments and questions about it when I’ve taken it out to local coffee shops.
$24.99 [ Link ]
Boomerang for Gmail
Picked by: Renkman
Have you ever wanted to send out an email later in the day, but you didn’t have time later in the day to write it? Sure you could compose a draft, and hope you remember to send it when it needed to go out. Or, you could set a reminder with your favorite reminder app to send the email out. OR, if you have a gmail account, you could use Boomerang for Gmail. I recently discovered Boomerang when the need arose for me to send out a weekly email to a group of people–oh, yeah Boomerang does that too!
With Boomerang, you can schedule an email to go out at a particular time, set dates and start and stop times for the re-occurance of a particular email, and even set an email to be delivered at the same time each day, week or month. This is a great tool for when you realize on Friday afternoon you might need to discuss something important with a friend or co-worker at the beginning of the week, and you don’t want your email to get buried in everything the recipient might receive over the weekend. Simply set Boomerang up to deliver the email first thing Monday, and problem is solved. All of this can be achieved offline as well–nice touch. Basic subscription service (10-messages/month) is included in a free 30-day trial. After your 30 days is up, there are personal and professional options ranging from $5-15 / month.
Ever get an email with important time sensitive information in it that you need to remember, but perhaps not for a few day or even weeks? Boomerang has you covered there, too. Simply open the email in your inbox and select Boomerang, and set the boundaries of when you want the message to return to your inbox. You can even have Boomerang return a message to your inbox if the recipient(s) haven’t responded to your email. If, at a later date, the need arises to change your scheduled messages, simply click on “Boomerang” in the upper right corner, and you can manage all the messages you have previously set up.
Free 30-Day Trial [ Link ]
$5/month personal $15/month professional
There you have it! Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Picks of the week. Please let us know what you think, and share with us some of your favorites in the comments section below.