Reviews

IncrediBooth for iPhone 4 - app review

Remember the little photo booths at amusement parks you would cram into with a bunch of friends to get a strip photos printed? IncrediBooth is an app designed to mimic that experience. It uses the front-facing camera on the iPhone 4, so this app is only available for the iPhone 4.

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maximo IP-HS5 iMetal isolation headset for iPhone and iPad

I took the maximo IP-HS5 iMetal isolation headset with me to WWDC 2010 this year, figuring it was a great way to test them out on both my iPhone and iPad. And it was. Due to "enhanced security" I had to be at the airport hours early, which meant hurrying up and waiting most of that time. Luckily I had a few podcasts and audio books on my iPhone so I queued those up to tied me over.

Now, low-bit rate talking isn't the best indicator of sound quality, but I have found many headsets over the years didn't handle just such low-quality talking very well. Some were never loud enough, many were never clear enough. The maximo ip-hs5 on the other hand did a good job. (In a fair bit of turn-around, I even used them to record both iPhone live! and iPad live! from on location in the hotel).

Sitting behind me on the plane were a pair of pre-schoolers who's parents biological creators lacked the custodial fortitude to ask them to stop kicking the chairs of those of us in front of them or screaming at the top of their lungs. So, I was also able to test out the iMetal's isolation and while I don't think anything under full blown cans could have drowned out the poor boundary deprived kids behind me, they did a great job of muting the overall ruckus.

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BodyGuardz Skin for iPhone 4 - accessory review

The BodyGuardz Protective Skin for iPhone 4 provides excellent scratch protection

I have just applied the BodyGuardz Protective Skin onto my iPhone 4 ($24.95 in the TiPb iPhone store) and I put at ease about not getting any more scratches on my iPhone 4.

Application can be a little daunting, but if you take a gander at the video above we'll walk you through the steps. I find the trick is to not be shy about using the supplied spray so you can more easily adjust the screen protector and squeeze out those bubbles. It's also worth noting that for at least a day after you apply it and sometimes a few days, your iPhone 4 is going to look a little weird - but having used these products for many years I know that the bubbles and 'fog' goes away completely.

After the break, a few more thoughts, a small gallery of photos, and a video showing how to apply the protective skin.

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Eliminate: GunRange for iPhone 4- app review

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Ngmoco has just brought out the ultimate game/tech-demo (to show your friends) for the iPhone 4 -- Eliminate GunRange. It's a virtual gun range game where you use real weapons to shoot targets. The concept is not entirely engrossing as there are plenty of other top-notch shooting games out there (ngmoco's own Eliminate comes to mind). What makes this game fun and special is that it is the first game to take full use of the new iPhone 4 gyroscope. How does it work? Continue reading to find out!

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XGear Folio Carbon Fiber Case for iPad - accessory review

The XGear Folio Carbon Fiber Case for iPad is slim, strong, and sexy, with a suede interior and what feels like a darn-near bullet proof outer shell. In sharp contrast to the plush, old-world, executive leather of the Marware Eco-vue, the XGear Folio is sleek, futuristic materials and textures. It adds considerable protection against scrapes and scuffs, if not as much against shocks and drops.

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Quick Review: Dictionary.com for the iPad

Dictionary.com is one application that everyone should have on their iPad. Dictionary.com has 1,000,000 words, 90,000 synonyms, antonyms and since it caches everything right on your iPad, there's no need to be connected to the internet to use it. There is also a audio feature so you can ensure you will pronounce the words properly, and a word of the day -- with its definition explained -- to help grow your vocabulary.

The interface of Dictionary.com is very clean and easy to access. The main screen has a search bar for the thesaurus or the dictionary. Once the word is written you have a pull down list of words to choose from. The word is then displayed with the definitions. The words origin, history, phonetic and audio pronunciation are also accessible from this screen. The thesaurus is similar in format, with a simple search bar and pull down menu of words to access.

[iTunes Link].

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Griffin FlexGrip for iPad- accessory review

This week I had a chance to look at the black FlexGrip case for the iPad by Griffin, available in black, blue, purple and white. The FlexGrip manages to protect and look good. It's made from silicon, but the slick kind. The case it self is not slippery, but rather it does not stick to surfaces. This is good if you place your iPad in a bag and want to access it easily but bad if you want it to grip on a surface.

I used the case for a couple of weeks putting it in and out of my backpack, laid it on tables, watched content on it, etc.  The only issue I had with the case is that the edge flashings do not grip the iPad's glass tightly. This is an issue for me as I seem to collect lint where ever I go. I found myself having to occasionally clean out the lint particles. Also, it is important to note that if you use the iPad dock like I do, it does not fit in the dock with the case on.

Ultimately I liked Griffin FlexGrip for iPad. Just be aware of the looser flashings and that it is the slip not sticky silicone.

The Griffin FlexGrip for iPad is currently available for $28.95 from the TiPb iPad accessory store.

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Air Display for iPad- app review

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This week I am taking a look at Air Display by Avatron Software. You may have heard of Avatron as they make the great Air Sharing apps for iPhone and iPad. This app works like an external display for your Mac desktop or laptop (good news PC owners, it will work on a PC soon!).

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iPhone 3GS Review (2010)

Yes, we're really reviewing the iPhone 3GS 8GB, Apple's other huge smartphone release for 2010. It went on sale the same day as iPhone 4, in many more countries around the world than iPhone 4 did, and importantly -- in the US it's now $99 on AT&T contract.

Let that sink in for a moment. A couple weeks ago iPhone 3GS was still one of the best smartphones on the market. Since making it's debut in June 2009 (when we reviewed the original), it's stood the test of time against the Palm Pre, BlackBerry Storm 2, Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One, Palm Pre Plus, HTC Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G. Sure, other phones began pulling ahead in terms of raw specs and feature sets, but iPhone 3GS maintained its edge through a combination of overall elegance, usability, and ecosystem.

The only other thing that's changed between then and now -- aside from the price drop and reduction of storage that came with it is -- the arrival of iPhone 4.

For many people who want an iPhone, iPhone 4 will be the easy choice. But just like last year when Apple dropped the iPhone 3G to $99, it's not the only choice.

Total cost of ownership (TCO -- what you pay including the phone and the carrier contract) be damned, some people want a budget smartphone. Some people want to walk into the store, drop not a penny more than $99, and walk out with an iPhone. This year, those people can do just that and what they're leaving with is not only an iPhone 3GS, but an iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.

And that's worth a review.

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SteamBalls HD for iPad - app review

SteamBalls HD is a match-3 puzzle game for the iPad. It's fun, challenging, unique, and beautifully designed.

The goal of SteamBalls HD is to get a horizontal match of 3 balls of the same color, but it's more difficult than it sounds. At the bottom of the game board there are 4 scales and each ball is assigned a weight. The side of a scale that is heaviest will drop to the bottom; if the weights are equal, then the arms of the scale will be level. Underneath each arm, the current weight is displayed to save you from doing the addition in your head. As you progress through the game, new colors are introduced making it more difficult to get a match. The game ends when any column of balls reaches the top of the board.

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