Reviews

SGP Ultra Crystal and Ultra Oleophobic screen protectors for the iPhone 5

For some, the big, beautiful iPhone 5 screen just begs to be stared at. For others, it's a scratch-field waiting to happen. If you experience scratch paranoia, one of the first things you'll want for is an iPhone 5 screen protector.

The Ultra-Crytal and Ultra-Oleophobic are the latest from SPIGEN SGP's new iPhone 5 Screen Protector Steinheil Series. Steinheil is billed as an enhanced, ultra-hard optical coating and SPG claims these screen protectors are 25% thicker than previous models, with no rainbow effect, and no interference with either the capacitive multitouch sensors or the clarity of the new, spectacular in-cell display.

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Apple Podcasts app review

Shortly after Apple unveiled iOS 6 at WWDC 2012, they released the standalone Podcasts app into the App Store. Previously, podcasts were downloaded via the iTunes app and could be played back in either the Music or Video app, depending on whether they were audio or video podcasts. That split, along with with the lack of any ability to subscribe to podcasts, made it a less than ideal experience (which numerous third party apps tried to solve.) Now, with the dedicated Podcasts app, and with its iOS 6 and iPhone 5 updates, Apple is better is solving it themselves.

Note: This was originally supposed to be part of my iOS 6 review but due to size and time constraints, I'm posting it separately, an belatedly.

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Gridditor for iPhone and iPad review

Gridditor is an iPhone and iPad app that lets layer multiple filters to your photos and displays them in a unique way. Gridditor will show you four filters at a time, one in each direction (up, down, left, right), and the farther you move in any direction on the grid, the stronger the effect gets. The gird preview allows you to see the effect of applying multiple filters at once and the randomization of the filters shows you creative possibilities you may not have considered otherwise.

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Netbot for iPhone and iPad review

Tapbots, the creators of the extremely popular Twitter app Tweetbot, have released Netbot, an iPhone and iPad client for the Twitter-like social network App.net. If you're a fan of Tweetbot, you'll immediately feel at home with Netbot with its identical UI, familiar sounds, and simply outstanding design.

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Nikon slaps Android on a camera and it doesn't stick. (Or, why there's no iCamera yet.)

Apple keeps improving the camera in the iPhone on a roughly yearly schedule, but given some comments from Steve Jobs on revolutionizing photography, there have been rumors of... something more. Nikon has just explored one avenue of more-ness, namely slapping Android on a point and shoot to see if it would stick. And it doesn't.

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Felix for App.net for iPhone review

Felix is an iPhone client for the Twitter-like social network called App.net. There may not be very many iPhone apps available for the service, yet, but even with little competition, the folks at tigerbears have done a beautifully phenomenal job with Felix.

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Final Fantasy for iOS vs. Final Fantasy for NES: Retro gaming shoot-out!

Back in the day, the NES and the Super NES were THE consoles with THE the best role-playing game (RPG) titles, and Squaresoft (now Square Enix) was THE best of the best. Square's most renowned franchise, the Final Fantasy series, debuted on the NES in 1987 in Japan. That original Final Fantasy game was later released iOS in 2010. Or so they would have us believe. How does the iOS version of Final Fantasy stack up against the NES version of yesteryear? Was it moved over pixel for pixel, bit for bit? Was it improved to take advantage of modern hardware? Was it ruined by a process with no respect for the original? For the honor and virtue of retro gaming fans and RPG players everywhere, we decided to have a look.

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iOS 7 wants: Album art centered on Lock screen

Album art has never been perfectly centered on the iPhone or iPod touch Lock screens. It's been placed immediately on top of the slide-to-unlock bar. Because of the 3:2 aspect ratio of previous iPhone and iPod touch devices, however, and because the top of the album art and the reflection beneath it peak through the translucent time and slide-to-unlock bars, the visual weighting was close enough to appear centered and thus, balanced. Not so with the iPhone 5 and its 16:9 aspect ratio. Now the bottom alignment of album art lookes decidedly bottom heavy. Worse, there's a big black gap between the top of the album art and the bottom of the time bar.

The advantage of bottom aligning album artwork on the 16:9 display is that none of it is obscured by the name of the song, and even when you double-click the Home button to bring up the music controls, very little is obscured. The disadvantage is, in design parlance, "Oh god, my eyes, my eyes..."

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iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Which one should you get?

Apple has released the taller, thinner, faster, lighter, brighter iPhone 5 -- and we've got your definitive iPhone 5 review right here -- and now Samsung is bringing their next-generation giant, the Galaxy Note 2 to market.

As much as Samsung has been labeled a "copyist" over the course of the last couple years, the Galaxy Note series has always been a big exception, literally. Due to its size, some have labeled it a "phablet", half phone, half tablet. While it's both of those things, it's also neither. It's really a Wacom-style digitizer put into highly mobile form. And as anyone who's ever used a Wacom knows, it resembles a stylus in shape only.

So what happens when you put Apple's precision up against Samsung's power? The iPhone 5's elegance against the Galaxy Note 2's enormity? Let's take a look.

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PowerSkin Battery Case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 review

If you updated to iOS 6 on your iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 and despite all our battery life tips, still aren't getting enough power to get you through the day, or if you simply travel and need to recharge on the go, the PowerSkin Battery Case for iPhone is worth a look. Like other battery cases, the PowerSkin fits snugly over your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S -- sorry, no iPhone 5 version available yet! -- and hooks into the Dock connector to supply power.

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