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.
We have made a series of videos discussing what we think at Plomonet about the possible upcoming products from Apple. Categories are divided into Macs, iPods & Apple TV & iPhone, and iPad. Videos are available below.
Our hosts, Kenta and John have discussed about the differences regarding the Black & Slate models and the White & Silver models of both the latest iPhone 5 and iPad mini. YOu can watch the videos of the discussions below.
No matter what device you chose to rock, be it an iPhone, Android, or *Shudder* a Windows Phone, it is always important to protect your it. Cases are simple, slip or snap them on and you are good to go, no problem. Screen protecters, on the other hand, are much different, and have practically become the bane of my existence. I do not know what it is, but I can never get them on just right; they are so hard to line up perfectly without stretching them out. Then, when you finally get it on, what do you have to show? A bubbling, linty screen protector and a few more stomach ulcers. I was beginning to believe that it was something I was going to have to live with… that is, until I stubbed upon the: Shell Shock G-Class for iPhone 4s. The awesome people at Cellairis kindly provided me one to test out, and I am beyond impressed.
The Cellairis Shell Shock G-Class is a screen protector unlike any other, this is because it is made of GLASS. Yes GLASS, how great is that!? To be specific the Shell Shock is made of “Impact Resistant Tempered Glass”, and boasts other features such as HD Crystal Clarity, Scratch Resistance and a Precision Fit. Now any company can make exaggerated claims, but the Shell Shock holds true to every one.
The packaging is pretty simple, nothing to extraordinary; it was easy to open however, which was nice. Inside I found one Shell Shock front protector, one cleaning cloth, one home button cover, and one back protector. Pretty straight forward, so I’ll move on.
I am slightly a perfectionist, so the thought this was going to be torturous for me. I was dead wrong. Applying the Shell Shock could not be any simpler. Simply clean you iPhone’s screen, remove the backing, align the protector and drop it down. Since the screen protector has only an opaque top and bottom aligning the for edges of the screen is a easier than coming up with a metaphor to describe its simplicity. After dropping it into place, give it a quick wipe with the cleaning cloth to make sure it is stuck down, and then remove the plastic sheet on the front. That is about where I almost started hyper ventilating. I was shocked, no bubbles, no peeling, no specks of anything, just my perfect retina screen. Then I touched it, ooohhhh so nice, It is actually hard to tell I have a screen protector on. After calming my self down, I applied the home button cover. Since the glass is in fact .56mm thick, the home button cover raises the button to just about flush with the screen. I also learned a neat little trick for placing it on perfectly; simply get a piece of scotch tape and stick it to the top of the cover. Then remove the backing and align it using the tape. All you have to do is press it down tight and remove the tape. The logo on the home button is different, so if you are sentimental about your rounded square you are plum out of luck, but I rather think power button-esque look is quite elegant. I did not apply the black plate, but if you have a bumper I would recommended doing so. It is not made of glass, but it does appear to be made of a heavy duty glossed plastic.
The Week Later:
So I have had the Shell Shock G-Class screen protector for about a week now, and I am still deeply impressed with it. There is still no sign of any sort of bubbling or peeling, and there isn’t a scratch to behold. Yet that is not surprising due to the fact that the screen as a 531.56 MPa strain of surface. (Safety glass is 100 MPa). I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a very good relationship. There a few minor drawback that I have noticed, and I must stress MINOR, they are barely worth mentioning. First, I have noticed an occasional lack in sensitivity on the lock screen, but only on the lock screen, which leads me to believe that it may just be a software issue. Also, since the screen protector is only transparent for the screen part, when looking at an extreme angle, I do not know why you would, the screen is slightly cut off due to the depth of glass. Last, while the package does claim to be fingerprint free, I have noticed that there are some, but only if my fingers are a little oily. Again those are minor issues.
So overall, I am glad to own the Shell Shock G-Class screen protector. It is so natural feeling that it is like rocking a naked iPhone without having to worry about damage. A true dream come true. Just a side note, make sure your case can fit the extra thickness of the screen protector. Other than that, I would gladly recommend the Shell Shock to anyone fed up with conventional screen protectors. You can get one HERE for $39.99 for just the front or $49.99 for both pieces, a little hefty but definitely worth it. The Shell Shock also comes in multiple colors if you are feeling fun. Take a look Cellairis’ website a look HERE, for more awesome accessories and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pintrest for more information about product releases.
Did you get it? Have an app or product you want me to review? Let me know in the comments below.
Sushi Mushi is a puzzle game that is extremely fun, and suitable for everyone. The concept is simple. There are 30 little pieces of sushi with a specific shape and colour, and all the user has to do is to highlight the ones that are the same colour and/or the same shape to get points. The aim of the game is to get the most points by the end of a 3 round match against either your friends or the strangers you play against. As you win, you will level up. Levels are measured by “belts” (like karate and other martial arts). With all the extra little touches, such as daily fortunes, and achievements, this game is extremely fun to play with.
This game is multiplayer-based (like Words With Friends™ and DrawSomething™), so a wifi or cellular connection is required to play. The connection does not affect the gameplay at all, so don’t worry even if your internet connection is not up to par. You can login through either Facebook or email- Facebook may be the better choice, for you can play against your friends if they have the game too.
Overall, this game is great. It’s very colourful and the cuteness is unbearable. This fast-paced game is very easy to understand and very fun to play. Though it’s going to take sometime to level up to a high level, it’s very competitive and a very good game to consider when you’re bored. This game is compatible with iPhones, iPads, iPad Minis, and iPod touches. This is a must try game.
The great people Dew Motion recently gave me the chance to review their Quiver Bluetooth and I am pleased to say I really like it. The Quiver is exactly what it sounds like, except instead of storing arrows it holds smartphones.
The Bluetooth Quiver is quite simple in design, really all it is is a long pouch with a toggle stick. However it is this simplicity that makes the Quiver so awesome.
The Bluetooth Quiver is pretty easy to use. Just slip the quiver over your shoulder or waist and tighten as you would a backpack or belt. Dew motion designed the Quiver so it can be comfortably worn either way depending on what activity you are doing. As I am a runner mostly, I tend to use it mainly as a belt, especially during on the hotter days. While connected to Bluetooth all I have to do is slip your phone away in the convenient front zipper, and extend your headphone which feed through a hole in the back. When connected you also are able to use the toggle on the front to change your volume, song or even answer a call.
The Quiver is great at keeping everything I need right with me. When I run I want to focus on my form and improving, not worry about which pocket can I keep my key and other valuables in where it will be comfortable and I won’t loose them. Not to mention that regardless of the light-weightiness of the iPhone, it might as well be a lead block when you run with it in your hand. The Quiver is fairly comfortable and is a convenient way to control my music without having to fiddle with my iPhone
There are only a few things that bugged me. First of all the Bluetooth unit is slightly cumbersome and was difficult to set up at first. Also if I use the Quiver without a shirt on, I have noticed that it does chafe a little bit. Lastly, the fastening alligator clip that can be used to secure the Quiver to your pants, does not remain tight. (However I did fix this by simply tying it.)
Overall I love the Quiver. It is perfect for anyone who loves to be outside but still enjoys being connected to the rest of the world or who just loves listening to music while being active. For $100, it is decently priced, especially since the Quiver is so versatile and solidly constructed. You can pick one up HERE. The Quiver also comes in non-Bluetooth variety.
Did you get it? Have an app or product you want me to review? Let me know in the comments below.