You may be surprised or confused about this post. Yes, we are about to review the HP TouchPad. A tablet that had its hype from the Palm Inc. brand, and was quickly destroyed by the release of the iPad 2, followed by the trashing of HP’s consumer electronics business by then-CEO. The HP TouchPad does have some things to offer, but it is nothing compared to any generations of the iPad.
- webOS has a great card user interface with proper multitasking.
- Adobe Flash Player built-in.
- Ability to install Android is a huge-plus, making the tablet suddenly extremely capable.
- Very thick, heavy and a finger-print magnet.
- Extreme lack of apps. No dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, etc.
- Apps with access to Dropbox will turn out as no-access.
The Bottom Line
The HP TouchPad is a dead product. The lack of big apps makes the tablet hardly useful. However, if you are just looking into web surfing and checking emails, this is a capable tablet. However, for those of you who want to just make this an extremely useful tablet, we suggest users to install the Android operating system. This will allow you to access the big apps, and the buttery-smooth Jelly Bean experience with Widgets on home screens. The TouchPad is available to purchase via eBay via auctions, and they are offered at very low prices between $80 to $140. This tablet is a good buy compared to buying a cheap Android tablet. We will be reviewing Android Jelly Bean on HP TouchPad very soon.
Watch our full video review to find out what this tablet offers, and whether it is worth buying even after 3 years of release.
Every tech product you purchase usually comes along with a warranty. With Apple products, they all come with a one year limited warranty. You can, however, extend this to up to three years with Macs, and another year with iPhones, iPads and iPods. However, this is an additional purchase in which you would have to really consider if you should purchase it or not.
What do you get with AppleCare? AppleCare is not just a warranty extension. It is also a guarantee that will assure you to have the best customer service with Apple, and how they will charge you on repairs. If you have purchased AppleCare, or if your product is still within warranty, your repairs will automatically be covered by AppleCare. Meaning that you would not have to pay extra for it. However, accidental damages are another story. If you would lie your product, specifically and iPhone, to be covered from accidental damages, you would have to purchase what is called an AppleCare+ within 30 days of purchase of your iPhone.
Do you really need AppleCare? In our video below, we explain the importance of AppleCare and whether you should buy it or not. Our simple advice is this: If you own a Mac, it is a must buy. Macs are just like traditional PCs, and they have a higher chance of failure over time, compared to phones and tablets. Therefore, whatever goes wrong in the future, make sure you are covered, otherwise you will be facing high costs of repairs.
If you have an iPhone though, like I said, it is a different story. I personally never purchase AppleCare for iPhone, simply because I know that it would hardly ever fail on me. Even if it does, it will most likely be a software issue that can be solved by myself. Whether you want AppleCare+ to cover accidental damages is entirely up to you. Also, if you know that you will be upgrading your phone every year, then there is no point in purchasing AppleCare.
If you own an iPad, it is the same story. I will not purchase AppleCare for iPad, unless I know that I will be keeping it for a long period of time, almost two years. However, the extension of the warranty is just an extra year. If it was an extra 2 years like the Mac, then I might have bought it. iPods are the same story. You would now want to waste money for them.
Let’s be very honest – learning a new language is hard. You spend months or even years trying to become fluent, but ultimately, when you speak to the natives, you are barely able to communicate. There have been many attempts at solving this problem, from hiring the pricey private tutor to the ‘teach yourself in 30 days’ books, and none have really reached an optimal solution.
Introducing Language Zen, the newest and most optimal way to learn a new language. Language Zen is a web-based language learning software, and whilst there are several other language learning software, like Rosetta Stone, Language Zen makes use of cutting edge algorithms and data mining techniques to make a learning experience personalized to you, to make sure you are able to become fluent as soon as possible.
Instead of the typical route of giving you a word or phrase and asking you to choose the most appropriate picture, Language Zen does not take such a black and white approach. Instead, Language Zen will able to analyze each of your answers and give suggestions or advice on how to say it better, or use alternative words which is more commonly used to say the same thing. And based off your answer, they are able to give even more appropriately challenging lessons based off your personal strengths and weaknesses.
Language Zen uses a sophisticated data mining technique to analyze millions and thousands of sources of a language, from more serious sources like newspapers to more entertaining sources like popular music, and also from more scholarly sources like scientific articles to more childish nursery rhymes. Through this wide range of data, Language Zen is able tailor courses to the users age, but also to find the most common everyday parts of the language. Furthermore, Language Zen is not only able to teach you the core parts of the language, but is able to tailor the courses to more specific topics if you have an end goal in mind, such as being able to understand Spanish folk songs and music. On the topic of music, Language Zen is also able to recommend and play songs with lyrics for you to listen and learn, allowing you to engage with the culture and also to learn the language in an even more colloquial manner.
The Language Zen team is also very passionate about the software and its ability to make it significantly easier for you to learn a new language. Here are some quotes from founder and lead developer of Language Zen:
“We’re creating what we hope will be quantifiably the most effective way to learn a new language. The entire team’s multilingual and our language learning experiences include traditional classrooms, on-line courses, private tutoring, immersion, audio courses, traditional software and foreign language TV and song. This had a big impact on our approach as we sought to incorporate the strongest elements of each method in a way to entirely adapts to needs and interests of an individual user.”
“I began developing our adaptability algorithm when doing research in linguistic psychology. Every word and phrase and meaning has different characteristics, from the grammar its being used in to its closeness to the English word. There wasn’t any program that tracked each user’s experience and adjusted itself to them. I wanted to make a software that people would trust to make the best use of their time, a program that adapts to the user. Not a program that makes the user adapt to it.
-Ofir Geller (lead developer)
And whilst the Language Zen team has made an extremely useful piece of software for you to learn a new language better, they now need your help. In order to have the best educational material to help you learn a new language best, they need to raise some funds to secure licenses for essential media content. Here is a link to the Indiegogo fundraiser. By being an early supporter of Language Zen, you will gain access to Language Zen for at a highly discounted price, as well as have access to share your experiences with the Language Zen team to make the software even better for you. In order for Language Zen to take off, they need your support to raise USD $30,000 by August 18.
I hope you feel as optimistically about Language Zen as I do.
On June 10th, Apple has made some major announcements regarding their software products: OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. Mavericks takes Apple away from their cat-themed naming to a California-based flagship locations, which will continue for the next decade. iOS 7 is a major overhaul in terms of its design and user interface of the iPhone and iPad. Here are the videos of our full coverage.
If you have read some of my other posts, you would have discovered that the only thing I hate about technology is the constant need to charge devices. I am always on one device or another and the fact that I have to worry about finding an electrical outlet or getting tangled up in a series of extension cords so I can charge and use my iPhone at the same time is a major nuisance. May I introduce to you, the Jackery Air a new project on Kickstarter. While I have yet to get my hands on this new power pack, I think it is worth looking into.
The Jackery Air comes in a beautiful orange color, and is made using the same aluminum molding process that Apple uses. This not only makes the device look sleek and sexy, but also it looks like it belongs next to your Apple devices. The Air measures only 4.9×2.4×0.3 inches and weights right around 5 ounces, meaning that it can back up its claim for being “The World’s Thinnest Portable Charger”. The Air has a three-color LED status indicator tells you how much power level is left. It’s so powerful that a fully charged Jackery Air contains enough power to charge a typical smartphone two to four times.
The Jackery Air has two power options: 2800 mAh and 5000 mAh, depending on the amount of charger you want the device to hold. The Air is capable of charging all of the most common consumer electronics including:
HTC: One X, S, V / Sensation XE XL / Inspire / Droid / ThunderBolt / EVO / Radar
Amazon: Kindle / Kindle Fire
Motorola: Droid Razr Maxx Bionic / Triumph
Sony: Sony Xperia Z J P
Blackberry: Blackberry Z10 / Curve
LG: Nexus 4 / Optimus / Touch
Others: PS Vita / MP3 MP4/ GoPro
So you do not have to worry about compatibility when using the this power pack.
I for one, am a strong believer in the aesthetics of product packaging. And though I do not know what magic the interior design of the box holds, the outside is quite appealing which in my opinion is the mark of a good quality product.I also like judging books by their cover, so there you go.
Inside this box you will find the Jackery Air of course, as well as a high speed usb charging cable that can also be used to charge most Android devices.
Also to note, if you back them on Kickstarter you can also receive a dual USB car charger as well as other rewards.
So the Jackery Air looks like it will turn out to be a welcome addition to the device family of anyone looking to extend the battery life of their smartphones and tablets. With a combination of design and power that cannot be beat, I know that the Jackery Air will definitely be soaring to the top of everyone’s wish list.
Check out their Kickstarter page here or connect with them via one of these channels:
I recently came across a new Kickstarter project that has great potential. It is a charging block with a twist. This little guy, by the name of Bolt can plug into your wall like the standard Apple charging block, but then when it’s time to go the Bolt can come with you and still charge your phone. You see, the great guys at Fluxmob have found a way to pack a 3000 mAh battery into this small rectangle giving you the ability to charge on the go. What is great about the Bolt is that it can be charged up with a standard outlet, no more carrying around a separate USB charging cord. Hopefully I will get the chance to do a more in depth review on the Bolt later on, but until then go check out their Kickstarter campaign here or there website here. I believe this will be a revolutionary new accessory that definitely deserves funding, so go help them out!
In this video, I discuss about the changes Apple has gone through in the past years, and their product line today. All of these contribute to how the public feel about the “cool-ness” of Apple. With the introduction of the un-surprising iPhone 5, The new and new iPad, and the fabulous MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Watch to find out my thoughts about how cool Apple is.
Throughout the past years, Apple has updated iOS to include more productive and useful features such as multitasking, iCloud, notification center, and more. However, if you look at the core apps, or built-in apps, those aren’t really updated much. Take Notes, for example. Nothing much has changed other than 2 new fonts and iCloud integrations. Weather doesn’t seem to have any functional changes. The Stocks app was only updated to be able to view graphs in landscape mode. The Calendar app has gone through no real cosmetic change, other than the integration of iCloud. Yes, they may be great apps already according to Apple standards, but many of us have to agree that we are all bored with how they look and act. Today, I will be talking about 4 apps that have replaced the default Safari, Mail, Music and Maps app.
First of all, Safari. Safari is a great browser. Now with integration of iCloud, with bookmark syncing and iCloud tabs, it’s a great browser. Even better, it also has offline reading lists, and a Reader view to make it easy for the eyes. However, I have made the switch to using Google Chrome. Why? Simply because I have also switched to Chrome on my Mac. Safari is a great browser, but it is really slow. My Mac is close to unusable when I have more than 10 tabs opened. Whereas with Chrome, it manages them very well to maintain the performance. Google Chrome for iOS also had bookmark syncing even before Apple made it available. Google Chrome in my opinion is simply the fastest browser on the planet. And same goes true with the iOS version. What I love the most about the iOS version is how easy it is to switch between tabs. With Safari, you would have to tap onto the tabs icon, and then flick to choose which tab you would like to switch to. With Chrome, you can also tap on the tab icon and view all of your tabs. But instead, you can just simply flick from either edge of the screen to switch between tabs. Just as simple as that. Much faster, much snappier than having to go through annoying taps.
The Mail app has had a few big features in the past years, such as a unified inbox, more than one exchange accounts, flagging and VIP inboxes. However, it never really made use of the multitouch user interface of actually swiping. Now I use an app called Sparrow. Sparrow is a famous Mac app that also landed on iOS not too long ago. It has unified inboxes, it has attachments, it has flaggin and starring. But is also has a great swiping feature. If you are in your inbox, you can just swipe to see the options of what you can do with that specific message. You can delete, archive, star, flag and so on. Because you can view these with a swipe, that allows you to save some screen space on the bottom, allowing you to view more messages at a glance. When you are in a message, and you would like to go through your messages, you don’t have to go back to the inbox again to see view each message. All you have to do is just swipe up or down, to go through your messages. Just like how you switch between tabs in Chrome for iOS. Very simple and easy. There are some drawbacks though. Sparrow does not do push notifications, which kind of sucks, and it does not have support for exchange accounts. And, because Sparrow has recently been acquired by Google, we will expect no future updates in terms of new features. Plus, the upcoming, widely discussed Mailbox app will be arriving the App Store soon, which is also promised to revolutionize your inbox.
Next up, the Music app. Simple sentence. The default Music app is ugly. It has been great in 2007. But not in 2013. ALthough with iOS 5 and iOS 6, they have refined the look of the Music app, it still is the same process of going through a long list of artists or albums or songs, just to reach your favorite song. What if you were able to browse your music more graphically? What if you can view your history? Your newest? Your most played? Well that’s what Track 8 does. It is a Music app that does all of that, with an interface that copies Windows Phone. You have the album art as tiles, and once you tap on the, there is an animation effect that takes you to that album. From the Home screen, you can see your history, newest and most played, which will allo you easy access to your most favorit and newest songs easily. All I can really say is, you just have to check it out. It even beats the music app in Windows Phone! Although it is a paid app, it is definitely worth it!
Last, but not least, is the Maps app. We all know that the Maps app in iOS 6 has caused a lot of trouble for many people. It’s not accurate, not Street View, and it’s just… crap. Even the Maps app before iOS 6 with Google’s backend was better. But now with the introduction of Google Maps for iOS, made by Google themselves, things have really changed. It is simply the best maps app ever. Normal view, satellite view both look awesome, with vector rendering and 3D capabilities. Navigation is easy as expected, and Street View is back. It’s free, it’s awesome, and it’s a must have.
Those have been the 4 apps that have replaced the default iOS apps. Do you have any other suggestions, or with any other apps? Please let us know in the comments section. You can also watch our video discussion about this topic on the top of this article.
Here at Plomonet, Kenta discusses a lot about Tabler vs. Laptops. He has made many videos in the past about his thoughts regarding the two, at that point in time. This year, with the inclusion of the new iPad mini, he has some new thoughts he would like to discuss. The video is available below.