Usually, when a new iOS gadget is introduced, I preorder it, receive it on the first day of shipments, and promptly write about it for iPhone Life. With the iPad mini, I did all of the above except I took a few days to write this article. Why? Because I'm using the mini too much for other purposes! Or my kids have grabbed it from me! So, it's 4am Monday and I've finally got a chance to reflect on this marvel of engineering.
Magellan has offered quality GPS tools for years, so I shouldn't be surprised that their GPS Car Kit
for the iPhone and iPod touch is a quality product. Apple's maps app may not be world class, currently, so Magellan offers their own proven Roadmate app.
I must admit I was skeptical of the new Flit Shopping app
, as it is targeted at women, but I've found it useful for men, too.
The premise is that you can browse and search for items like purses, shoes, etc. Next, you identify items you like by touching 'Cute' (okay, that's where they could use a 'Cool' option for guys) and share your findings with friends using your social network.
I've been playing with Legends of Loot, from Majesco
, and it's been fun! Imagine you are PacMan but you have to fight your way through the maze and collect treasures. Instead of ghosts, you fight mummies and instead of 'dots' you collect gold coins, plus keys to unlock doors, etc.
Fighting mummies is a lot like Fruit Ninja, where you 'slice' your sword using your finger. As the game notes, don't worry... They're already undead!
I've written about Nomad's artistic brushes
before but their newest line, the Flex series
, adds a nice twist. As with all of their styluses, they use capacitive hairlike synthetic threads as a paintbrush would, but thanks to their conductivity, you can use painting apps, like ArtRage, with greater control. With the Flex line, you can add a second tip and flip the stylus around and have a thicker or thinner brush tip, depending on your needs.
I attended the CES Preview in New York City this summer and got to see a cool merging of app and board games, thanks to iPieces from Pressman Toy Corp
. They offer a wide variety of physical game pieces that interact with their free iPad apps.
I first got to preview the MirrorCase at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and again at the New York CES Preview a few months ago, but now it's shipping and I've had a chance to use it firsthand.
lets you lie your iPhone almost flat and point the camera at your object of interest, and record videos or take photographs.
People will try to remind you that Steve Jobs dismissed seven inch tablets, saying the interface didn't work. But I am old enough to remember back as far as 1984 when Steve Jobs defended design decisions that he knew would be discarded soon after. For example, he praised the 64K limitation of the original Macintosh, which I owned back then, saying it would force developers to write more efficient code, knowing that the 128K model was around the corner. Besides, the iPad mini boasts a 7.9" screen, which is technically closer to 8" than 7".
I'm not a big fan of Instagram. It can be pretty obvious when a photo has been through an Instagram filter. But what if you really want to manipulate an image, perhaps to make it look like it came from an old film reel? You are going to want more fine grained (pun intended) control compared to Instagram.
As good as Apple is, they sometimes leave gaps in their product line or leave out features. This isn't a bad thing, as it allows third parties to fill in those gaps. For example, the iPad Smart Cover and Smart Case are nice and the Smart Cover was certainly innovative when released. But they only do a good job of supporting the iPad in landscape mode.