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Mac Accessories

FASTEST USB Flash Drive For Mac With SSD Speeds

One of the fastest Mac compatible flash drives money can buy is this high-performance Apple friendly USB 3.0 flash drive from VisionTek. With Read/Write speeds in the 445/373 MB/s range respectively, the XT Pocket SSD it makes fast work of backing up or copying files to and from any MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Pro with USB 3/x ports fast and affordable.

Ultra-Fast Mac Flash Drive

SSD Speed Flash Memory Thumb Drive

Few flash drives incorporate the advanced controller circuitry to deliver SSD-like performance in a slim, keychain drive form factor.That nakes it one of the fastest Mac flash drives we've ever seen. No only is the VisionTek XT pocket SSD keychain drive insanely fast, it's also very, very competitively priced in 128GB to 1TB capacities.

Best Mac Accessories 2020 Update

Wondering what the best peripherals and accessories for Mac computers are in 2020? The Apple computer scene is evolving rapidly - especially with the advent of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C devices. I've been tracking these changes, though haven't been tech blogging about it lately. It's time to update things here on so stay tuned for new Macintosh gadget reviews and articles in the days ahead.

USB 3 Mac - SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hubs

USB 3.0 Hub For Mac
With the exception of the Mac Pro (expected soon) all other currently shipping Macs now include SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. That includes the Mac mini and iMac each with FOUR USB 3.0 ports on-board, and the MacBook Pro and Air which have dual USB 3.0 ports.

For Mac desktop users, four USB3 speed ports is more than they'll ever need. Especially when they might be using WiFi to connect a printer, Bluetooth to connect some external speakers, and maybe even using a ThunderBolt external drive for TimeMachine backups. However, the majority of Mac users are mobile and 3 out of 4 Macs sold are MacBook laptops. The MacBook line only include two USB 3.0 ports these days so there may be a need for a Mac USB3 hub to connect additional devices when Apple users are at at their home or office desk.

One of the computing technologies I track has been the USB 3.0 peripherals market. Years back I knew that SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports would become the de-facto successor to USB 2.0 and that both Windows PC manufacturers and Apple would eventually adopt this emerging device connectivity standard. A website dedicated to USB 3.0 Hubs has languished amid fierce competition and the delayed and rather slow adoption of USB 3 over the past few years. It made sense to recently make the site Mac-specific to target a less competitive niche, and to find Mac friendly products with both function and flair that's more in line with an Apple users technical needs as well as their aesthetic sense of style and design.

We've yet to see USB 3.0 take over in a huge way: Currently USB 3.0 has become ubiquitous for external hard drives, USB 3.0 flash drives, and ultra-fast SSD drive solutions. USB 3.0 has also appeared on high-demand A/V devices like music and video recording gear. Other peripherals like printers, scanners, keyboards and mice don't really NEED the potential 5Gbpa bandwidth USB3 provides, so those sorts of peripherals have yet to see SuperSpeed upgrades.

Insanely Great Mac Accessories - That Work With iOS Gadgets

A huge shift is occurring in the personal computing marketplace: Desktop computers and even good ol’ laptop sales are under tremendous pressure as more and more people take to iPhones, Smartphones, and tablet computing on Apple iPad and others. The chart below from IDC reveals the increasing trend towards mobile computing devices and phones and away from conventional computing platforms.

Handheld Devices vs Conventional Computers

These trends are of interest to Apple computer users. Many of us use both a Macintosh desktop or MacBook laptop AND have one or more iOS gadgets like an iPad, iPhone or iPod to complement it. So our notion of shopping for the “Best Mac Accessories” these days should really take into account the kinds of Apple compatible peripherals that will work well on MULTIPLE computing platforms.

One good example of shopping for tech peripherals with the most versatility and usefulness for both Mac OSX and Apple iOS would be in the Bluetooth computer speaker market. Ideally, look for wireless Bluetooth speakers that can pair with - and remember the configuration for MULTIPLE devices. And if you use an iPhone, HANDS-FREE Bluetooth speakers with built-in microphone and call management features are the smart buy.

For more private audio needs - a stereo Bluetooth headset for Mac and iOS can serve both Mac desktop and MacBook users - as well as mobile computing needs for music listening and handling calls on your iPhone as well. Again, look for on-earpiece controls for call management if you plan to use a handsfree capable headset for your cellphone needs.

Another example is the insane demand for Apple AirPrint compatible printers for iPad - iPhone or iPod Touch. More and more laser, inkjet and All-In-One multifunction printers now support wireless iOS AirPrint printing, as well as compatibility with Mac OSX.

Lastly, compact wireless Bluetooth keyboards for iPad, iPhone and Mac which implicitly support some of Apple iOS or OSX special function keys are available when keyboard input is needed as well.

In conclusion, when you’re shopping for Apple accessories, think with a multi-device big-picture view so that your peripheral purchase can work well on existing platforms you already own -- and those mobile gadgets you’re more likely to acquire in the future.

Slow Road To Mac USB 3.0 Accessories and Peripherals

The debut of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on Apple’s Mid-2012 MacBook models has been a long time in coming. It seems likely that before year’s end, we’ll see USB 3.0 iMac and Mac mini updates before the Holiday shopping season. The somewhat neglected Macintosh Pro is slated to get both ThunderBolt and USB 3.0 ports in early 2013. That’s the good news. USB 3.0 for Mac is well on it’s way to replace the decade-old USB 2.0 standard, while still maintaining backward compatibility with slower, legacy USB 2.0 gadgets.

USB 3.0 MacBook Air

$999 11.6" Display

USB 3.0 MacBook Pro 13"

Dual USB3-USB2 Ports

USB 3.0 Retina Display MacBook

New Ultra-Thin NoteBook

The bad news is the transition to a Mac SuperSpeed future is going to have a slow ramp-up phase, with some nasty glitches and got-cha’s along the way. For example, the Digital Music creation market is finding some of their legacy USB 2.0 audio hardware is not playing nice on either PC or Mac USB 3.0 ports even though they’re supposed to be fully backward compatible.

At least the external hard drive market embraced USB 3.0 whole-heartedly last year. As a result, most new backup drives now incorporate USB 3.0 as the defacto standard interface - usable on older and current systems - and ready to plug into the SuperSpeed future. That’s a good thing and anyone pondering a Mac backup drive solution ought to make sure it has USB 3.0 to ‘future-proof’ their purchase. The downside - as the Windows market already learned - is that in spite of USB 3.0’s Ten-Fold theoretical bandwidth increase over USB2, the real-world performance doesn’t come anywhere close to the specs on paper. Part of that is simply the limitations of mechanical hard drives which can’t fully leverage USB 3.0’s bandwidth potential. So realistically expect backing up your Mac to cut your data transfers and backup times in half, but no where near ‘a 10th of the time’ we were all hoping for. Solid-State SSD backup drives do leverage USB 3.0 bandwidth a lot better - but unless you can fit your Mac data onto a 120GB or 240GB SSD, you might find the more impressive performance of flash memory drives over USB 3.0 to be a bit too pricey.

There are USB 3.0 card readers that work well on a new Mac, however you’ll find most SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards don’t have data Read/Write speeds that can keep up with a USB3 port anyways. Other devices like USB keyboards, mice and graphics tablets simply don’t have the ability - nor the need - to max out USB 2.0 speeds, let alone USB 3.0.

Things get more interesting in the Audio-Video market, where USB 3.0 accessories for A/V enviroments can and will take advantage of USB 3.0 for high-bandwidth, low-latency needs like multi-channel audio and high-definition HD video streams.

Adult Mac Video Chat Made Easy - ISPQ 9 For Mac

Best Webcam Chat Program For Mac OSX
Nanocom announced the official release iSpQ 9 for Mac OSX. ISPQ is a great online chat community that's been around for years. It offers PC and Mac compatible messaging and online video conferencing privately 1:1 or multi-party. Whether you're naughty or nice, Gay or Straight, there's a wide range of both General and Adult chat rooms to explore, meet and optionally play with others online. ISPQ recognizes your Cinema display or MacBook's built-in iSight webcam - or can be used with any number of OSX compatible USB external webcams for Mac which offer more flexibility in webcam angles and placement for showing your stuff.

Mac Compatible HD Webcam

Logitech HD Camera For Mac

iSpQ is unique for Mac while also offering great features such as quick messages, profiles and video chat cross-platform. One notable and much welcomed addition is a Gallery View of the directory so it is easy to quickly see thumbnails pictures of who's online. ISPQ offers a free edition through premium level paid accounts. There's also dozens of minor fixes. iSpQ Mac 9 is compatible with Intel Macs running MacOS 10.5 or higher - including the latest OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion release. The Windows or Mac version can be downloaded from this page.

Cheap ThunderBolt Hard Drive With USB 3.0 As Well

Combo Interface Mac ThunderBolt Drive
Combo interface hard drives are often a Mac users best shopping choice over the long haul. While many may only use a single interface - say USB or ThunderBolt or FireWire for their own use, sometimes when you need to transfer your data to a new Mac - or share files with someone else - the versatility of having more than one interface to choose from can come in very handy.

Just released - and on the bleeding edge of high-speed connectivity - Buffalo Technologies is now shipping a portable laptop drive with dual interfaces - the Buffalo miniStation USB3 + TBolt drive. This portable external hard drive is now the cheapest ThunderBolt backup drive option available - AND - it's first to market which also offers a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, So it's the first combo interface storage solution ideal for nearly any Apple user.

COMBO Interface Laptop Drive

USB 3.0 + ThunderBolt Interface

With a 500GB drive currently selling for $210, and 1TB for $250 it's now the cheapest ThunderBolt drive Per-Gigabyte out there - with the added benefit of USB 3.0/2.0/1.1 connectivity - AND IT INCLUDES BOTH A USB 3.0 AND THUNDERBOLT CABLE as well for a complete TimeMachine and data backup solution. It's pre-formatted for Mac OSX, ready to use out of the box.

Remember, USB 3.0 is BACKWARD COMPATIBLE with slower USB 2.0 (and even USB 1.1) though they'll operate at slower speeds. That's perfect for the MAJORITY of older Macintosh systems and MacBooks out in use today - while offering future ultra-fast drive connectivity as well. It's also perfect for the current crop of both ThunderBolt and USB 3.0 enabled Apple MacBook Pro systems now shipping. Other desktop Macintosh models that will have both ThunderBolt and USB3 - namely the iMac and Mac mini - are expected to get revisions later in the year.

Mac USB 3.0 Enabled MacBooks Now Shipping

The recent announcement of revised MacBooks with USB 3.0 support opens up a whole new generation of computer peripherals and accessories for the Macintosh platform. Dubbed 'SuperSpeed' - the new Universal Serial Bus standard offers some compelling benefits to Apple users that really were not clearly conveyed in Apple's WWDC keynote speech.

USB 3.0 MacBook

The appeal of the updated Ivy-Bridge Intel architecture is its in-built support for USB 3 which we'll see explode across both Mac and Intel PC desktops and laptops in the year ahead. They're projecting BILLIONS of USB 3.0 enabled computers and gadgets by the end of the decade - and that's nothing to sniff at.

Beyond sheer data transfer speed improvements - approximately 10 TIMES the current USB 2.0 spec, there's also more 5 volt power (milliamps technically) available on the port to provide more current to recharge battery powered USB devices faster and reduce the likelihood of self-powered peripherals complaining with 'There's insufficient power available…' messages you occasionally see when connecting a USB device. Internally the USB3 spec also handles power-management better than USB2, offering more sleep and low-power idle modes to prolong battery life in laptops and gizmos.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is simply backward compatibility with slower legacy USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices - all will operate at their usable speeds on a USB 3 port, thus preserving your investment in legacy Apple accessories.

Right now, new MacBook owners can take advantage of USB 3.0 drives, hard disk enclosures, cables and hubs that are currently on the market. (Visit this USB 3.0 site for SuperSpeed external drive options.) Before year's end we're likely to see a much broader range of shipping SuperSpeed peripherals such as USB 3.0 TV tuners for Mac, Audio and Sound Recording gear, Video Capture devices, Flash Card Readers, Printers, Scanners and more. The era of USB 3 on a Mac is just beginning… Expect Apple to continue to roll out USB 3 iMac and Mac mini desktop systems before the Holiday shopping season starts...

Enjoy TV On An iPad - Captured On Your Mac

With its large, high resolution display, watching TV on an iPad proves more enjoyable than on the smaller screen of an iPhone or iPod Touch. But regardless of which you own - it's all doable with free or low-cost apps from the iTunes App Store. Check out Equinux's Tube To Go or free Live TV app, or ElGato's $4.99 EyeTV app.

It all starts with a Mac compatible TV tuner to record and export your fave TV shows and movies on your Mac. Adding a USB HDTV tuner to your Apple computer opens up a world of television viewing enjoyment at your Mac desktop or laptop - or on the go!

iPad TV software - Mac EyeTV or TubeStick TV tuners

Your best tuner choices are the Equinux Tubestick TV Tuner for Mac (or PC) - or any number of tuner capture devices from ElGato such as the latest model; the 2010 EyeTV Hybridfor OSX (as wel as Window Media Center PCs.) Both offer ways to either remotely stream TV over WiFi or 3G -- or sync your recorded television content to your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone for TV enjoyment when you're out of range.

Ipevo's P2V Webcam For Mac/PC Does Macro Close-Ups

This next generation Mac and Windows compatible 2MP web cam from iPevo is unique among cameras: The IPEVO P2V USB Camera can zoom in closer than any other webcam on the market with a 2" focal range. Like it's predecessor, the POV -- it features a unique design for handheld demonstrations of detail -- Hence it's name: The Ipevo Point 2 View Webcam. It also includes a laptop clip and destop stand for more conventional video chat uses - and snapshot software for not only PC - but also for Mac OSX 10.5+ Leopard.

Ipevo Point 2 Vies 2MP PC and Mac Webcam
The P2V webcam has built-in hardware Auto-Focus with switch-selectable override for manual zoom - and a snapshot button (but alas, no microphone.)

Low-Cost SuperDrive DVD Burner For Mac

It happens. Mac DVD burners laser 'eye-balls' burn out and start giving disc burning errors. Or, your MacBook Air needs a drive that costs half of what Apple's $99 USB SuperDrive for MacBook Air does. Or, your Macs factory-installed burner is just getting temperamental and unreliable. Slot-Load SuperDrives are notorious for problems ejecting, discs getting hopelessly stuck, and at worst - damaged. It happens.

$50 Mac Compatible USB SuperDrive Replacement

USB Powered DVD Burner For Mac Computers
This Mac friendly Samsung USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive gets all it's power from its USB cable.
. For some it's a viable and low-cost alternative to paying $200 or more to have a MacBook or iMac's Super-Drive replaced. It may be a good stopgap solution to still be able to read and burn DVD's and CD's on an aging Mac that you don't want to sink alot of repair money into, but still has some life left. T

I Love My EyeTV Hybrid TV Tuner Improvements

ElGato Systems MacWorld 2009 Expo introduction of the revised 2009 Model 10020974 EyeTV Hybrid TV Tuner Stick for Analog, HDTV and FM Radio Reception takes HDTV viewing on the Macintosh to the next level. Post Expo, these were initially ONLY available direct from ElGato's Online Store. But within a few weeks, Amazon now lists this TV tuner for Apple Mac OSX: t's available, in-stock, less than full retail, and eligible for free shipping. The best HD computer TV tuner for Mac just got better - and cheaper.

In all of MacGizmoGuy's years of Apple computer life, only a few really dramatically transformed my Mac experience. The introduction of the first iPod and iTunes was a huge shift that clearly impacted hundreds of millions of people world-wide. But it was the addition of a USB TV tuner - video capture gizmo right around the year 2000 that really changed the way I enjoy TV - Forever.

Do you own a computer TV tuner or a DVR/Tivo? Have you thought about TV on your Mac? Leave a comment...

Which Webcams Are Mac Compatible?

A rapidly emerging standard: UVC USB 2.0 Video Class Webcams which are Mac compatible - They're driverless plug and play for modern Apple computers running OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.4 Tiger. But not all video chat webcams that are Mac friendly are identified as such, not all web cameras use UVC sensors. YET. But the standard is taking hold. So if you don't own a Mac with a built-in iSight (like a Mac Pro tower or Mac mini) -- check out the webcams for Mac link above.