I've been having a ball with the iCADE
, $100 from ThinkGeek.com
though I've also seen it at Toys R Us and Best Buy. Originally conceived as an April Fools Day joke, the idea was so attractive that they had it built as a real product... something that happens with remarkable frequency!
Apps are passé. This holiday season, kids will want are real world gadgets that can be controlled by apps! And that's exactly what Dexim delivers with their Gyro Controlled Monster Truck.
Between my wife and kids, I have several 'chicks' in my life but it was the youngest ones (7 and 11) who were immediately drawn to the chicboom keychain speaker from chicBuds.com
. Available in various trendy female friendly patterns, there is more than meets the eye with this little gadget. Smaller than one half of a pair of fluffy dice, the chicboom can fit in your purse or gadget bag and you're good to go.
I love Apple and they usually get things right, but the Calendar app leaves a bit to be desired. I often have to enter quick reminders and the built-in app can be cumbersome. For example, if I need to check the oven in one hour, I should be able to set a reminder to do that without having to tweak dials to set a clock for an hour from now. Why can't I just touch a button that says "+1 hour" and be done?
Sanho is one of those accessory vendors that makes the Apple ecosystem better. They don't try to rip off Apple or other accessory vendors with cheap knockoffs. They either build a better mousetrap by improving on an existing accessory or they invent something new that you didn't know you needed until you saw it! You might know of them under their brand name HyperMac and their HyperJuice external batteries for MacBooks, iOS and USB devices.
I confess, I am a serial case-swapper. I get to try out a lot of cases, as a writer for iPhone Life Magazine, so I can pick and choose the right case for the right job. Maybe it's a waterproof iPhone case for my trip to Cancun, or glow-in-the-dark iPhone case I used on a recent camping trip. The same applies for my iPad 2. I have a trade show coming up and I expect to be demoing my apps on my iPad, so the case I will be using is the Handstand.
Being a perfectionist isn't easy. But when it comes to making a waterproof iPhone case, it's a requirement. That's why it was nice to see that personality in the folks from LifeProof. I met them at MacWorld in January 2011, and they showed me a prototype of their upcoming iPhone 4 case. It was waterproof, dirtproof, shockproof, and even snowproof, hence the name "LifeProof." I have seen and tried other waterproof cases before, but they were much bulkier and they obstructed the various ports, so you had to fully remove the case to charge them.
My daughter is entering Middle School and it can be intimidating. So I was excited to see Be Confident in Who You Are: Middle School Confidential, a graphic novel turned into an interactive, electronic book, complete with audio and visual effects. There are a variety of topics so a student is likely to find something they can relate to, whether it is bullying, body image, self confidence, etc.
The gold standard for a Bluetooth keyboard for an iPad is probably Apple's wireless keyboard. But gold can be heavy and expensive, and the Apple keyboard is pricey at $69. A competing keyboard needs to be smaller or lighter, or cheaper or have more features like specialized keys. With that in mind, I tried out some alternative Bluetooth keyboards.
"Awesome!" and "Adorable!" and similar pronouncements were shouted when I displayed the Headphonies® "Stryker" Portable Micro Speaker to my kids! At first, they thought it was a cute little toy like their plethora of figurines from Disney and Hello Kitty, but when I showed them that it was a portable speaker, that actually performed a useful function, they were really into it.