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So the world didn’t end on 12.12.12. Almost as dramatically, though, Google Maps did reappear on iOS. Now you can choose whether to stick with Apple’s beautiful vector-based display and put up with its work-in-progress data, or go back to the more established but clunkier alternative.

It’s easy to forget just how miraculous both apps are – and neither will cost you a penny. Like the man said, everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. It could be the theme song of 2012.

Apple made bigger profits than ever, and its share price nosedived. Tim Cook proved Apple could exist without Steve Jobs, and his leadership was roundly criticised. The iPhone 5, predicted to be a flop, was a brilliantly conceived evolution that sold in unprecedented numbers, but blogs remain obsessed with its lack of a chip that might save you swiping your credit card in shops. The iPad 4, iPad mini, new iPods and ultra-thin iMacs are powerful, desirable triumphs of engineering, but never mind that – some of them arrived a few weeks late!

In MacUser Vol 28 No 25, on sale now, we completely fail to take a look back over the past twelve months and ponder the fortunes of the industry. Nor do we look ahead to 2013 and make a series of increasingly outlandish predictions about the products that some analyst reckons will appear because a Chinese website said so.

Instead, we get on with what we do every issue: reviewing the best new stuff that actually exists, and helping you to get more from it.

Our cover star – or rather snowflake – is the upgraded Mac mini, now with faster processors and the option of Apple’s hybrid Fusion Drive. Also on test are the big three font managers, OCR apps that convert documents to editable text via your iPhone’s camera (yes, really!), and Mac add-ons including a £250 alternative to Apple’s Thunderbolt Display, a £60 inkjet with its own tilting screen and high-yield cartridges, and a pen that remembers what you write and transfers it to the cloud without wires.

In Praktik, our mag-within-a-mag for creative pro tips, find out exactly why that dog is still looking into that gramophone; simulate cross-processing in Photoshop; prepare for successful video shooting; and draw a vector logo on your iPad.

And finally, don’t miss our annual guide to the most practical gifts for the Apple lovers in your life, from touchscreen gloves to USB Stratocasters.

This is the last issue of MacUser before we break for the holidays, so your next issue will be out on 4 January. Find us at newsagents, supermarkets and bookshops; on your doorstep when you sign up at here; on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via Newsstand or the App Store; or to read on your Mac or iPad. Missed a crucial issue? Find it online at here.

While you’re enjoying a few extra days at home, do send a picture of your workspace to Desk of the Month, mailbox@macuser.co.uk. As always, you could win a beautifully made Just Mobile accessory.

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