Reviews

XGear Shield Case for iPad – accessory review

If you’re looking for a sturdy and transparent skin, the XGear Shield case for iPad for $29.95 may be the case for you.

The XGear Shield is made from dual-compound materials that creates a shock absorbing bumper on the edges. Translation: it has thick edges that fit securely to the iPad that can reduce damage to the corners if bumped. Though not completely transparent, XGear Shield has more of a frosted backing that and not only looks good but totally protects the back and sides of iPad and gives you complete piece of mind from scratches.

There are two things that I really like about this case. The first is how secure it is. There are some cases that fit, but the edges and corners are loose. While this may make for easy removal, I fear it can get caught on something and slip off of the iPad. This is not the case with the XGear Shield. The edges are actually a challenge to put on and remove so you know the case isn't going anywhere. On the downside, it doesn't allow for docking with the iPad dock. All of the openings are there, but the power button has given me some challenges. Turning on is easy though by tapping the home button instead.

Video and photos after the break!

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

MindNode for iPad- app review

I am always looking for tools to help me be more productive. I am very excited over discovering MindNode. MindNode is a suite of mind mapping products across multiple Apple platforms that allows you to brainstorm or mind map out thoughts and ideas. MindNode is available as a universal app for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad as well as a free and paid version for the Mac. Today I will be looking at the iPad version, but functionality is the same across apps.

You start off with a simple node. That node can be an idea or thought, perhaps an object. You can rename the node to what ever you like. From here, you can add another node by tapping the plus icon. You can really start to branch out quickly too. You can branch from the main node, any children nodes, or just make a new node from scratch. If you find your ideas are taking over on a particular node, you can detach it and make it a new node.

To help differentiate nodes and thoughts, you can change colors of the connector lines and the node itself. You can even setup the colors that will be used and what order they appear if you like. If you need to move around a node, simply drag the title to a new location, or you can cut, copy or paste by double-tapping on the node. To help keep your mind maps organized, MindNode gives you the ability to search within your document and look at a list of all of the existing nodes and their parent-child relationships in your document.

Sharing documents is a snap in MindNode. You have several options at your disposal:

  • Mail to MindNode
  • Freemind
  • png
  • Text Outline
  • OPML Outline

Desktop:

  • WiFi sharing with MindNode Pro only
  • Websharing, provides URL, port and user name/password

For all that MindNode does it is an incredible value. The ease of exporting is a particular plus in such a specific type of product. If you enjoy visually brainstorming ideas, concepts and more, MindNode for iOS is a fantastic product that helps to make us more productive.

[$5.99- iTunes Link]

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

iOS 4 review

Complete review of Apple's iOS 4 software for iPhone and iPod touch

iOS 4 (previously iPhone OS 4.0) continues Apple's relentless yearly mobile OS update cycle. If 2007 was the mainstreaming of the multitouch user interface, 2008 all about the App Store, and 2009 was filling in the feature list, then iOS 4 promises to be... well, that's why we're here.

(And yes, iOS. That's the new name Apple has licensed from trademark-holders Cisco to represent the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch -- and maybe soon the Apple TV and who knows what else -- family.)

Back on April 8 at the sneak preview event, Apple promised 7 "tent-pole" features and 100+ general user features overall, along with 1500 major new API for developers. We're going to walk you through the ones that matter most.

Note: iOS 4.1 is now available. See our complete iOS 4.1 walkthrough for the latest on Game Center, HDR photography, Ping social music network, and the other new features.

See also our iPhone 4 review for more on hardware specific features.

More →

6
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

iPhone 4 preview

Everything you need to know about Apple's new iPhone 4

iPhone 4 is the most significant hardware revision to Apple's widescreen iPod, breakthrough internet communicator, and phone since the original iPhone 2G was released in 2007. But how significant is it? Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there were over 100 new features and singled out 8 for special attention. We'll take the most interesting of both and see just how important they are, after the break.

(For more on the software, see our massive iOS 4 feature walkthrough).

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Guitar Hero for iPhone - app review

During the WWDC 2010 keynote, Activision announced and released Guitar Hero on the iPhone. This game is well made and provides a lot of enjoyment for players as they strum, tap, slide and whammy to the beat of popular rock songs.

The gameplay of Guitar Hero is fun, unique and includes much more than tapping notes. An arrow pointing left or right indicates that you need to tap the note where the arrow begins and slide your finger to where the arrow ends. This action needs to happen fairly quickly. If two or more notes are connected by lines, then you must tap the first note and slide your finger to the next notes. Your finger needs to reach each note connected in the line at the appropriate time that corresponds to the beat of the song. A vertical line means that you must hold down the note until the line ends. Sometimes these appear at the end of an arrow which mean you must slide and hold. The last thing that comes up is an orange bar that is the length of all four notes. This bar simply needs to be tapped at any location.

Some notes have stars on them. Successfully hitting all these notes in a sequence adds to your star power. There is blue bar on the right of the screen which indicates how much star power you have. Once it reaches half-way, a blue bar will appear above the note catchers. Tapping this activates your star power and doubles your score multiplier. The more star power you have, the longer it lasts.

Guitar Hero also offers character customization, leaderboards, Faecbook sharing, and in-app purchases. If you want more than the 6 songs included with Guitar Hero, then you must purchase songs in bundles of three. Each song pack costs $1.99. There are no free songs available for download.

Guitar Hero includes the following 6 tracks:

  • Queen – “We Are The Champions”
  • Rise Against – “Savior”
  • The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
  • Vampire Weekend – “Cousins”
  • Weezer – “Say It Ain’t So”
  • The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

The downloadable song packs via in-app purchase are grouped by the following artists:

  • The Faint, Minus the Bear and Silversun Pickups
  • Band of Skulls, Obits and The White Stripes
  • Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest the Hero
  • A Day to Remember, AFI and Breaking Benjamin
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Queen

I have thoroughly enjoyed the short time I've spent playing Guitar Hero and don't plan to stop playing anytime soon. The game runs great, looks great, and is very well designed. It's only a matter of time before I become a famous rock star!

Videos and screenshots after the break!

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

MathBoard for iPad - app review

MathBoard for iPad is an educational application designed to help you or your child excel in arithmetic operations. The level of difficulty is customizable, making MathBoard a great learning tool for children in kindergarten through elementary school as well as adults who wish to brush up on their basic math skills.

MathBoard is simply a multiple choice quiz generator. You can customize which topics you wish to be quizzed on, how many questions are in the quiz, and what range of numbers you want in the problems. Topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square roots.

While taking a quiz, there is a small area at the bottom of the screen where you can use your finger (or stylus, if you prefer) to work on the problem as if you were using a pencil and paper. This is an excellent feature of MathBoard, however, the area is too small. For example, when working out a multiplication problem of two numbers with two or more digits, you quickly run out of space to complete all the calculations in the traditional manner. Instead, you must continue your work next to the work you already did. This can be very confusing for a child who is new to the procedure. I would like to either see a pop-up to do scratch work on or landscape support. Most of these problems require vertical space to work out and rotating to landscape may solve the lack of space issue.

After completing the quiz, MathBoard displays your score and gives an option to save the quiz. If you do, you can come back to it later and retake the entire quiz or just the questions you got wrong.

Despite the small scratch work space, MathBoard is an excellent application for learning arithmetic. The interface is very beautiful and much more enjoyable than taking printed quizzes with pencil and paper!

Video and screenshots after the break!

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Chaos Rings for iPhone- app review

Chaos Rings is the ultimate RPG thus far on the iPhone. Square Enix has done a fabulous job bringing the console RPG experience we have come to love on to our beloved Apple devices.

Our story begins with several pairings of unlikely partners thrust into a battle they do not wish to fight in a tower competing for rings. Starting the game you are given two choices for characters. Both teams include two people and you are always a party of two. When beginning, you are given a choice of two pairs and both have a similar story but different dialog. Each team has a stronger "fighter" type of character and the other is more of a support/magic character.

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Case-Mate Gelli Kaleidoscope Case for iPad - accessory review

If you're looking for a nice, fashionable, and well-made skin for your iPad, the Case-Mate Gelli [$36.95] may be the case for you.

The Case-Mate Gelli is made from cutting-edge flexible thermoplastic material that Case-Mate claims to be more resilient than silicone and rubber. It fits very snuggly onto the iPad even after removing it several times. The skin feel great in your hands and adds some traction to your grip. It is also very thin; so it adds additional protection without adding unnecessary bulk. All ports are accessible with the Case-Mate Gelli.

The Case-Mate Gelli comes in two different chic designs: Kaleidoscope and Checkmate. I took a look at the Tomato Kaleidoscope skin and it is very beautiful. The thin, translucent case looks great with the iPad's aluminum back. The Apple Logo and iPad branding show through the skin perfectly. The noticeability of the circles designed into the Kaleidoscope case is enough to look great, yet not stand out so much that it seems to be screaming "look at me!" The Kaleidoscope case comes in Tomato, Pink, and Aurora (yellow/gold). The Checkmate skin comes in green, blue, and gray.

I have been very happy with the Case-Mate Gelli case and highly recommend it to anyone interested in a skin case for their iPad.

Video and photos after the break!

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Documents to Go for iPad- app review

As a user of Dataviz's Documents to Go product for years, I was ecstatic for the iPhone release and now even more so for the universal binary for iPad. Documents to Go is a mobile office productivity suite that allows you to create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formatted documents and file types on your iPad.

Let's first look at how we can access our documents, there are a few different ways. First, you can create documents on the iPad. Next, you can sync with your desktop (PC or Mac). You can install a free desktop sync tool. This allows you to pick a folder on your computer and sync those documents to the iPad, or use the built-in iTunes sync if that is your preference. Last but not least you can connect to a few different web services in the "cloud" and edit your documents and save it right back to the cloud. Documents to Go supports these services:

  • Google Docs
  • Box.net
  • Dropbox
  • iDisk
  • Public Disk (iDisk)
  • Sugar Sync

Syncing your documents to the cloud is truly fantastic and is something Apple's own iPad iWork suite does not offer beyond iWork.com.

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pregnancy Tracker from WhatToExpect.com for iPhone - app review

What to Expect when Expecting is one of the most popular pregnancy books available, and they also have an app to compliment their book and website. Pregnancy Tracker from WhatToExpect.com is an iPhone application for pregnant women to keep track of their pregnancy.

There are 5 sections of Pregnancy Tracker. The home screen, called "tracker", is where you see your due date, a countdown to your due date, Baby's gestational age, what trimester you're in, and something to compare your baby's size to. (This week, my baby is the size of a butternut squash!)

The Weekly tab provides useful information about what to expect with your body and also the changes that are happening in your baby's development. This section is very thorough and gives quite a bit of information.

The Daily tab is my favorite part of Pregnancy Tracker because I haven't seen this in another pregnancy application before. Here you are given a new tip, fact, or reminder each day. Most apps have something similar, but it only changes weekly.

You can store photos related to your pregnancy in the Photos tab.

The last tab is for Forums. This is a great section to communicate with other moms and moms-to-be about pregnancy or anything else related. What makes the forums even better is that they are the same forums that you can find on WhatToExpect.com. This opens up the conversations to anyone, not just iPhone users.

Pregnancy Tracker is a great pregnancy application that is packed with information. The main thing it's lacking is good pictures; It would be really nice if nice pregnancy related pictures were added to the app. Other than that, I have been very happy with Pregnancy Tracker. And the best part... it's free!

Video and screenshots after the break!

More →

0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Pages