Weekly Wrap: App Gems, holiday buying guides, and other jolliness

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We have but one goal with the Weekly Wrap: to display some of our best stories from the week gone by, so that you can catch up on any stories you might have missed and relive stories you loved. So, without further ado—or perhaps just the tiniest smidgen of ado—let’s dive in.

Good buy

If you can’t tell whether you’re feeling more holly or jolly, that’s probably because the holiday are nearly upon us. And, as everyone knows, the most important part of the holidays is buying awesome stuff for people.

To help you out, our editors assembled stories like our definitive iPad keyboard buying guide. We coupled that with a list of 21 overlooked iOS accessories. We also offered a slideshow with great business gear for under $60 and a buying guide for document scanners. If you want to buy any of this great hardware, you better scurry: Like the threat of eggnog and caroling, many holiday shipping deadlines are fast approaching.

And if you're giving or have just received a shiny new iPhone 4S this season, make sure to grab a copy of our iPhone 4S Superguide. (I promised my bosses that a single mention in the Weekly Wrap would move an additional 500 billion copies. Don’t let me down.)

App Chat

This week saw the official unveiling of Macworld’s annual App Gem Awards. That’s where we recognize and celebrate the best apps of the year across a wide swath of categories. (We also podcasted about the awards and the app landscape in general.

In addition, there was a veritable sleigh-ful of app news this week, covering all manner of apps, including these:

  • YouSendIt—we wrote it; you read it;
  • Skulls—an app devoted to 360-degree photographs of animal skulls, really;
  • Muppet Mail—certainly in the running for the most muppetational app we reviewed this week;
  • Dramatic Black & White—which, disappointingly, has nothing to do with the cookie;
  • Magic Guitar—which undoubtedly will leave someone gently weeping;
  • Task Eater—we’re still investigating whether it’s one-eyed, one-horned, flying, or purple;
  • Netflix—sort of a low-rent version of Qwikster;
  • Notability—now with 100 percent less tability; and
  • Flipboard—which we continue to flip for.

Meanwhile, back on the Mac…

On Monday, Apple announced that the Mac App Store had passed the 100 million download mark. One of the apps therein is FX Photo Studio, Macworld's latest Mac Gem. It’s unclear what percent of Mac App Store downloads were driven by Macworld recommendations, but based on my own calculations, the answer is: a number.

iTunes Match continued its international rollout, causing one question to be repeated in myriad languages across the globe: “What’s the URL for Jason Snell’s piece on configuring iTunes Match Smart Playlists to upgrade your music library again?” Speaking of iTunes, don’t miss our guide on creating a perfect holiday playlist.

Elsewhere, we offered tips to help you fix erroneous Lion autocorrections, permanently, along with uses for a “blind” MacBook Pro. (Unfortunately, Apple’s engineers still haven’t invented a Seeing iMac.)

The hodgepodge

Some stories deserve Wrap attention, and don’t fit anywhere but the bottom. Pogoplug revealed its Series 4 cloud storage device, proving once again that if you’re going to store something in the cloud, you want a hardware item on your desk. We offered three tips for getting more out of iMessage. And we took a closer look at the strange case of Amazon and its hesitancy to offer detailed Kindle sales numbers.

Like the iPad accessories you all surely bought me this holiday season, consider this week—and this Wrap—wrapped.

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