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Reviews

Palm Pre, Palm Pix, webOS Review from an iPhone Perspective -- Smartphone Round Robin

My first smartphone was a Palm Treo 600 and so my last 2009 Smartphone Round Robin "away" review focusing on Palm's new webOS platform as embodied by the Palm Pre and Palm Pix does not lack for symmetry. Between the two, last year I reviewed the Palm Treo Pro which I quipped was more HTC than Palm, ran Windows Mobile and not a Palm-made OS, and had a keyboard that was hard to consider "pro" level. 3 years of round robin, three totally different platforms from Palm, and only this review for me to try and make my own sense out of it.

Luckily I had the mobile accomplisher himself, our editor-in-chief Dieter Bohn to show me Palm's new platform and their new devices, and the truly exceptional community over at PreCentral.net Forums to help understand where it's at and where it's going.

(And just a reminder, every day you post on that PreCentral.net thread, or any of the official Round Robin threads, is another day you're entered to win one of six (6!) new smartphones!)

Now let's get this on...

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Review: NDrive USA Navigation for iPhone

(Ndrive Navigation for iPhone Forum Review by cjvitek. For more Forum Reviews, see the TiPb iPhone App Store Forum Review Index!)

NDrive USA [$32.99 - iTunes link] is a new GPS app which features turn by turn direction, entering the already crowded marketplace. NDrive prides itself on a simple interface, and when looking at the map, that is readily apparent. The map itself has little of the clutter that some of the other apps have – no different colors for different land types, no buildings popping in, no markers for POIs, etc. Just you, the map, and the route. Some people may prefer this approach, others may not. I will point out that in some locations, you do have 3D buildings appear – certainly not in Edinburg TX, however.

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Motorola H17 Bluetooth Headset for iPhone

When Dieter swoon-ishly told me the Motorola H17 Bluetooth Headset [$89.95 - iMore Store link] was his new daily driver, I knew I had to try it out -- the man is the definition of super-user. And the H17 didn't disappoint. It's my new daily driver as well. What makes it a go-to headset? A combination of form-factor and feature sets, and we'll look at both after the break...

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Motorola Portable Bluetooth Car Speakerphone T305 for Hands-free iPhone 3G/3GS Talking

Here in the great state of Illinois we kicked off the new year with a law that prohibits anyone talking on their cell phones (or iPhones!) while driving a vehicle -- unless they use a Bluetooth device. Now I am not not sure about your state laws but if you are in the same boat as I am, why not take a look at the Motorola Bluetooth Car Speakerphone T305? [$44.95 - iMore Store Link</a]

For the full review follow me after the break!

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Pandemica Augmented Reality Shooter for the iPhone

Pandemica [Currently Free - iTunes Link] is an innovative, intense, augmented reality first person shooter (FPS) game for the iPhone.

Developer XMG Studies uses the iPhone's camera and compass along with motion detection to make an extremely interactive, one-of-a-kind gaming experience.

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Review: Case-Mate Smooth Case for iPhone 3G/3GS

You just got your new iPhone for Christmas and you may have been wondering what case you should purchase to protect your new gift. I'm here to tell you if you are in the market for a slider case the Case-Mate Smooth for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS [iMore Store Link - $27.95] is one to consider. For the full review follow me after the break!

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Android Motorola Droid and HTC Hero Review from an iPhone Perspective -- Smartphone Round Robin

Google's Android was last year's "new thing", and while Palm's webOS takes that place this year, Android Central brings us their second generation hardware with the likes of the HTC Hero, and the 2.0 version of its OS with the Motorola Droid. That Google enjoys massive tech-geek cachet while at the same time maturing into two such different (potentially fractured?) sets of hardware and software, while being the cloud company and yet not enjoying the most cloud-centric OS in the 2009 Smartphone Round Robin are what make it potentially the most interesting platform this year.

To help me figure it all out, Casey Chan went over the finer points for me and the Android Central Forum members provided tons of great feedback. Thanks to all the 'droidekas!

(And just a reminder, every day you post on my Android Central thread, or any of the official Round Robin threads, is another day you're entered to win one of six (6!) new smartphones!)

Okay, time to get Androidy with it... after the break!

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Case-Mate Barely There Chrome Case for the iPhone 3G

Say hello to the Case-Mate Barely There Chrome Case for the iPhone [$19.95 iMore Store Link]. It's a streamlined case with a chrome outer shell and a mirrored screen protector. And it's the hottest iPhone case to come around in a while.

If you haven't already bought a gift for that special man/woman in your life, then just pick this one up. The perfectly mirrored surface is beautifully complimented by the gleaming chrome case. Yes, if Hercules had had this case he would have been able to defeat Medusa and make sure his hair still looked good. The back of the case also has a "beauty spot" for your apple icon (a hole in the case so you can see the apple logo). This case is such a stunner that it got a gasp of approval from one of my more difficult to please male friends.

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App Review: Air Video for iPhone

(Air Video for iPhone Forum Review by msbaylor. For more Forum Reviews, see the TiPb iPhone App Store Forum Review Index!)

I was quite surprised when I found Air Video for iPhone [$2.99 - iTunes link] was available in the App Store and was even more blown away with what is said it could do.

  • Video Streaming: Watch videos from your computer, over the air, on your iPhone or iPod touch. No need to sync with iTunes or transfer files.

  • Live Conversion: Convert video from a non-iPhone friendly container like AVI or MKV, or codec like XviD or DivX while you're watching. No need to convert-

iPhone and iPod touch are very picky about the video formats they can play. Normally this means you need to convert the entire video before you can watch it. This can easily take an hour!

But would it live up to it?

Besides downloading the iPhone App, you'll need to download the program for your computer (for PC & Mac OS X 10.4+). Neither app/program will work without the other. The iPhone app is basically a front end (UI) to the computer program.

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App Review: Labyrinth 2 for iPhone

(Labyrinth 2 for iPhone Forum Review by cjvitek. For more Forum Reviews, see the TiPb iPhone App Store Forum Review Index!)

Labyrinth was one of the first games that I saw to come out for the iPhone. I never downloaded it (beyond the free version) but when Labyrinth 2 [$4.99 - iTunes link] came out, I thought I would give it a try. And boy, am I glad I did.

Labyrinth 2 takes the classic Labyrinth and builds a complex game from a simple concept. For those unfamiliar with the original ORIGINAL labyrinth, it was a wooden board with a couple of dials on either side. These dials would tilt the board, and your goal was to move a marble from the start of the maze, or labyrinth, to the end. My father actually had the original! The original iPhone version was basically the same thing, except tilting the iPhone was how you moved the balls. This new version adds some new levels and twists on to that concept.

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