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TUAW's Best of 2012 Personal Picks: Steve Sande

While I'm busy running the TUAW Best of 2012 nominations and voting process (voting starts soon!), I have a few favorites that I wanted to pass along as my personal Best of 2012. These picks don't follow any particular order and they're definitely not following the categories that we've set up for the TUAW Best of 2012.

Best Desktop Mac: The new 27" iMac. With a 1 TB Fusion Drive, 16 GB of RAM (so far) and a blazing 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU plus a less reflective display, this was my favorite purchase of the year.

Best iPhone: The iPhone 5. Sure, I really didn't need one this year, and I probably should have saved the money. But what an amazing phone! It's light, amazingly thin, fast, and the 4" screen is outstanding. On top of that, Siri seems to work quite a bit faster.

Best iPhone and iPad Game: Without a doubt, it's Letterpress. Don't laugh, but while I'm writing this I'm also playing a game against "Harumph" of TUAW TV Live.

Best iPhone, iPad and Mac Writing App: Day One. I love this app, since it lets me keep a daily journal wherever I happen to be. I've used all three versions to enter my "Dear Diary" entries, and they're always in sync. Universal iOS app is here, Mac app is here. One of the first things I plan to do in 2013 is to sit down and read my entries for the past year.

Best iPhone Navigation App: Sorry, Google Maps, but I find Apple's much-maligned iOS 6 Maps app to be perfectly fine. I like the Siri integration, being able to say things like "Take me home" to get directions back to my house from somewhere else, or "When will I arrive at home?" to get an estimated time of arrival.

Best iOS 6 Surprise: Hands-down, it's Passbook. I use it for airline boarding passes, Starbucks purchases, and movie tickets. I can't wait to see where Apple and third parties take Passbook in 2013.

Best iPhone, iPad and Mac Browser: Google Chrome. It's fast, it syncs settings between platforms, and it just seems to work on everything for me. iPhone version's here, iPad is here, and Mac can be downloaded here.

Best iPad stylus: It's a tie! I don't usually use a stylus unless I am attempting art, but when I do, I love both the Pogo Connect and the Sensu Brush.

Best iPad Accessory: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover.

Best Apple-related Books: Hey, I'd be remiss if I didn't put in a personal plug for two books written by me and my buddy Erica Sadun. Talking To Siri will soon be out in a second edition and enhanced edition, while Pitch Perfect is about to come out in an expanded version.

Best Mac Utility: Reflector. I use this app to broadcast iPhone and iPad screens on TUAW TV Live, and it's also useful for capturing video for training purposes. It was excellent when it first came out and has been getting steadily better with each new release.

That's just a random sampling of some of my favorite things from 2012. It was really a great year for both applications and accessories, with some real maturity coming to the iOS market. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2013.

We'll start voting on the TUAW Best of 2012 soon, so keep your eyes open.

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