Weekly Wrap: Apps aplenty, hardware news, and far fewer resignation stories

This may come as a shock, but somehow, it’s already September. As you attempt to come to grips with the fact that time keeps flying by faster than a top-of-the-line Mac Pro encodes video, let us regale you with our best and brightest stories from the past week. Spoiler alert: This week, no one resigned.

Hardware stores

Editorial director Jason Snell concluded that the Roku 2 delivers cheap, easy video streaming—and outperforms the Apple TV. Senior editor Roman Loyola reported that a customized Core i7 Mac mini offers iMac-like performance, so if you want to configure your mini to achieve such speeds, you’ll simply need to do as the Roman does. And staff editor Serenity Caldwell dishes on how you can digitally sketch on paper with Wacom’s Inkling. (Answer: Very carefully.)

Senior editors Dan Frakes and Jackie Dove reviewed a trio of iPad stands, which I’ll attempt to summarize without technically reading them first:

Heckler Design @Rest for iPad—so named because of its built-in ability to harass people via Twitter.

M-Edge FlexStand—it’s an iPad stand in the shape of the letter M, and it’s very stretchy.

Macessity KiiPad iPad stand—it combines your Nintendo Wii Mii avatar with a kiwi. Or something.

App-etizers

You love iOS apps, and we love iOS apps. So, I suppose it’s only app-ropos that we app-portion at least part of this roundup to our iOS app coverage. You could say that this section puts the “app” in Weekly Wrapp.

Madden NFL 12 for iOS—a game that seems to have too many gridirons in the fire,

Video Time Machine—an app that totally killed the Radio Time Machine,

MLB.com At Bat 11—updated with improvements that make things far less foul,

Navigon—which offered up product roadmap details to provide a better sense of direction for its apps,

• and Dolphin, which provides tuna-safe tabbed browsing.

If running all those apps starts to wear your iPhone battery down, you may want to check out my roundup of eight iPhone 4 battery cases. Or you may want to spend more time with your family. To each his own!

We also bid farewell to one App Store entry this week. As senior associate editor Dan Moren reported, the Financial Times app is no more; rather than comply with Apple's App Store policies, the company now relies strictly on its iOS-optimized website for iPad subscribers. In response, Apple reportedly commented that it refused to take seriously any publication printed on salmon-ish paper.

The Mac’ll hope

And, of course, there’s a slew of Mac stories to share, too. Editorial intern Lauren Crabbe rounded up ten super-cool plug-ins for Aperture. Note: They’re neither merely super or simply cool—these plug-ins exhibit both of those qualities in equal amounts; viewer discretion is advised.

Apple’s final cut of Final Cut Studio apparently wasn’t final: The company put Final Cut X’s predecessor back on sale. Separately, Mr. Snell wrote up some tips on using Skype and GarageBand to make a great-sounding podcast; his most important advice is ensuring that Carl Kasell is one of your panelists.

If you’re virtually uninterested in anything but virtualization, take note: Parallels Desktop 7 adds Lion virtualization and more.

We also provided tips on mastering Mission Control, arranging and sorting files in Lion’s Finder, and the real point of iTunes’s Skip feature (beyond handling Celine Dion tracks).

If real-life had a Skip button, and you could skip ahead seven days, then you could start reading next week’s Wrap already. Since that’s not yet possible, fill up your time until then by carefully reading every single article linked in this one. If you read them all, you get a prize! (The prize is, um, knowledge.)

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