I never had a piano lesson, even though we had a piano in the house, growing up. That piano collected dust and was more useful as a piece of furniture to display picture frames on. I always wished I had more initiative and learned to play.
But today, thanks to the magic that is the Piano Apprentice from ION Audio
, I actually learned how to play the melody from The Entertainer! And it just took about 30 minutes! The Piano Apprentice is a creative combination of a physical piano keyboard, and a free app with several lessons included, and tight integration between the software and hardware.
It's always been a struggle for Apple peripheral vendors. They have to find a way to build a better mousetrap, so to speak, than Apple. Look at the Apple Magic Mouse for example, and notice that nobody has really even tried to build a better mouse for Macs. In the PC world, where mice and keyboards are almost an afterthought, it's easy for a vendor like Logitech to make better keyboards than what comes with the computer.
But with Apple, their wired and wireless keyboard are built well and wouldn't be out of place in the Museum of Modern Art.
The iPad is great, but even after three generations, it's hard to grip. It really could benefit from a handle. So I was excited to see the TabletClaw
, an innovative multipurpose solution for gripping your tablet as well as propping it up.
The TabletClaw is made of rubber and hard plastic, made in the USA by the way, in a portable package designed to slide on to most tablets, not just the iPad 2 and new iPad.
The stylus is the mousepad of today. You don't really need one, and you can probably get one for free or very little money, but once you've tried a genuinely well designed one, you won't want to do without it. Such is the case with the artfully named and designed Monet stylus from The Joy Factory.
For a long time now, I have lamented the absence of a solution for converting HDMI to VGA, so I could project from my Apple TV or from an iPad using Apple's HDMI cable instead of their VGA cable. Why? Primarily because the VGA cable does not allow a way to charge the iPad when in use, whereas the HDMI version has a 30 pin female connector so you can plug in a syncing cable.
Additionally, since most office projectors accept VGA, not HDMI, this has been the missing link for many professionals.
As they say, when it rains, it pours. In recent weeks, I've received two such devices that convert HDMI to VGA and they each have their pros and cons.
makes so many cases that you really have no excuse not find the one you want. Belt clip holsters, battery packs, and more. But in the past, I've avoided rugged, bulky cases because they interfere with docking cradles.
So I was really excited to see the assorted offerings from Sedio
at last month's CE Week in New York City.
Maybe you don't want to use a bulky case, or maybe you're already using the Apple Bumper on your iPhone. But suppose you still want to add some style to your iPhone.
has a neat approach, called the Cushi. It's a three dimensional adhesive cushioning pad that sticks to the back of your iPhone, but doesn't leave any residue when removed.
There are some overpriced earbuds out there that trade on their name or celebrity endorsements, or both. But the vpulse In-Ear headphones from Velodyne
build on Velodyne's three decades of speaker expertise, especially in the subwoofer arena.
True to Velodyne's heritage, the vpulse provides plenty of bass, in a compact, comfortable package. They are relatively affordable, at under $90, considering the quality of materials.
It happens all the time. You need a USB cable to charge or sync your iPhone but you can't find one. Caseinity
has come up with a novel approach, by including a short cable clipped to the interior of their case.
The case comes in white or black, although the short USB cable is white in either case. There is some added thickness, as you might imagine but it's not excessive and it incorporates a honeycomb protection layer, so you're getting a decent case with a nice extra.
In the nearly four years I've been writing for iPhone life Magazine, I've never ever recommended a Swarovski style crystal iPhone case for several reasons. First, they end to be fragile as the crystals fall off, ruining the look, and second they tend to be very expensive, in the $100+ range. That becomes even more expensive when you consider it won't last long. So I was pleased to see, feel, and try the latest cases from Crystal Couture Cases at last month's CE Week in New York City.