As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am preparing for my trip to Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference in San Francisco, so I am trying to decide on which gadgets will make the cut to travel with me. Right now, I am choosing a case for my iPad 2. Here are my requirements: The case should offer protection for the heavy use expected over the next week. Since literally thousands of fellow developers will be there with their iPads, it should be distinctive so I don't lose my iPad in a crowd. It should have a stand so I can use my Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard for extended typing sessions. And finally it shouldn't add too much bulk or weight as I'm trying to travel light.
Scosche is one of those rare accessory companies that thinks up new items you didn't know you needed. They also tend to build a better mousetrap such that you don't want to go back to the old one. As I pack and prepare for the cross-country trip to Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, I'm trying to pack light. No MacBook, just my iPad 2. I'll bring my Apple wireless keyboard, for lengthy typing sessions, but that's about it. The iPad's ten hours should suffice, pending nightly recharges, but to be safe I'm bringing the following Scosche gadgets:
Crayola and Griffin have teamed up on a novel gadget and I was excited to see the final product, ever since I saw an early version at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Together, they offer a free iPad app entitled Crayola ColorStudio HD and a $30 stylus (sold at BestBuy currently, with more outlets on the way). The app can work in finger mode, but it's designed to work with their oversized battery-powered stylus.
There are a lot of apps that claim to do speech recognition. In reality, what those apps typically do is record your speech and upload that recording to a server that does all the heavy lifting. Examples include the very popular Dragon Dictation, Vlingo and most importantly, Siri, which was actually acquired by Apple. This method can be effective when you have a fast network connection but the Holy Grail of speech recognition needs to be performed in-app.
In Part 1, I wrote about the ActiveSLEEVE, an accessory that lets you wear your iPhone on your arm. It's a great gadget, but what if you want to access the touchscreen while the device is 'at hand'? Or what if it's colder weather and you need a jacket. Enter the WEARCOM SOMA-1 from Alphyn Industries. The SOMA-1 Wearcom pullover is a remarkably well-made jacket that just so happens to have a flip-open velcro covered capacitive-touchscreen-friendly pocket on the forearm. Even if you don't use the gadget pocket, this quality garment could be your everyday jacket.
In the current 'How To' issue of iPhone Life Magazine, I wrote a column entitled 'How to get a grip on your iPad'. As a follow-up, i will be recommending options to wear your iPhone (or iPod touch) on your sleeve, literally! My iPhone is almost always attached to my belt, via a belt clip and case. But there are times when you want your iPhone more 'at hand.' If you're jogging, especially in the summer, you may not have a belt and might want your iDevice on your wrist or arm so you can listen to tunes.
I hate to give publicity where it's not deserved, and thereby promote an unworthy app, but when I saw this app, and more significantly, the developer's "name", I had to write about it:
The app name: "Talking Justin Bieber"
The company name: "All Americas Super Hot Video Games & Amazing Talking Cell Phone GPS Tracker 3D Guns Game Club Music Security Alarm Sound Board Angry HD Pics Booth Buttons App Services Company and More"
"Awesome!" "Booyah!" "This is the BEST thing ever!" and similar exclamations were heard coming from my six year old after a few minutes with Hasbro's my3D accessory/goggles for the iPhone and iPod touch! If iDevices weren't already in the hands of many youngsters, Hasbro is doing their part to add to that phenomenon. And while Nintendo is trying to push a $250 3DS model, this add-on is just $35, less than the cost of most Nintendo 3DS cartridges!
Apple might control most of what you see when you turn on your iPad, but that shouldn't stop you from customizing the exterior. I recently had the opportunity to try three distinct customization options for my new iPad 2, and it was a lot of fun! I thought it would be neat to have my iPad look like an actual printed issue of iPhone Life Magazine! So I used our Buyer's Guide as my image. It worked well because the black background could mask any seams and be expanded or cropped as needed.
Hate waiting? Especially at the Emergency Room? There's a FREE app (FastERTX) for that, courtesy of iPhone Life's own Medical blogger, Harvey Castro, M.D.! The app serves the Dallas / Fort Worth area, but it's a great idea that should be available everywhere.
FastERTX is currently in top 100 medical apps and helps DFW patients find the local HCA hospital, wait time, call hospital, website to hospital, list and map views plus driving directions, using your gps location.