By Siva Om on Tue, 11/25/2014
Video games on iOS are huge right now. In acknowledgement and celebration of this fact, Apple's newest iPhone 6 commercial is all about gaming, specifically a new game entitled Vainglory (free). Vainglory debuted alongside the introduction of the iPhone 6 series of iPhones and was used at the unveiling to demonstrate the prowess of the new iPhone's gaming capabilities, and with good reason! Vainglory has absolutely gorgeous graphics as well as intense and fast-paced, strategic multiplayer gameplay, built from the ground up for iOS.
By Siva Om on Sun, 11/23/2014
It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case, it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges, and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is the Powerful; a tremendously protective, extreme-duty iPhone case of gargantuan proportions from Love Mei.
By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 11/19/2014
It's a given that if Apple has a good feature, it will find its way into Android and vice versa. "Good artists copy, great artists steal" is the line Steve Jobs stole from Picasso, so we don't need to argue over who stole what. It happens. So I am hopeful that Android's new Smart Lock features (enhanced in Android 5.0 Lollipop) will end up in iOS in one form or another. This feature lets you determine when your smartphone should remain unlocked by more than just a time setting. Trusted Devices allows for unlocking via a nearby device, like a smartwatch.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 11/17/2014
I have a good job. I get to review apps and accessories, often before they hit the market. But today that good job is a great job, as I had the opportunity to interview Jon Taffer, host of two of my favorite shows, Spike TV's Bar Rescue and Hungry Investors. Unlike most "reality" TV shows, Taffer's programs are truly real (although condensed for practical purposes) examples of bars and restaurants that need help, and get it, from one of the industry's most renown experts. Jon walked me through how the unscripted shows are produced, without his meeting any of the players in advance. The one thing we don't see is his crew of more than fifty working in parallel to rebuild each bar from the inside out, in less than five days. But this interview wasn't just about his TV shows.
By Jim Karpen on Wed, 11/12/2014
Black Friday deals are coming soon, and websites are beginning to post the details. AppleInsider has all the info on Walmart's deals, which include an iPhone 6 for $179 plus a $75 gift card, meaning that your final price is effectively $104. They also have iPad deals, such as the first-generation 16 GB iPad Air for $397 with a $100 gift card.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 11/11/2014
When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, with gold as one of the color choices, and the many colors of the iPhone 5c, many naysayers commented that when you resort to color choices to differentiate your product, you've lost. Still, demand for the gold model outstripped supply, and sales of the iPhone 5c, while not as popular as the iPhone 5s, would be the envy of most Android handset makers. So it's interesting to see what LG has announced to differentiate their latest Android phone.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 11/11/2014
The release of iOS 8 (and subsequent updates through iOS 8.1 so far) brought about the usual dilemma for owners of older iOS devices. Should they upgrade or stay at iOS 7 (and even iOS 6 in some cases) and only run iOS 8 on any newly acquired devices? Personally, I've chosen the latter, and running iOS 8 on my new iPhone 6, but running iOS 7 on my iPad Air. Today, that changed. It wasn't by choice, but rather necessity, as I had to do a Keynote presentation which had been created on my MacBook Pro running Mac OS Yosemite. That required upgrading the iPad Air to the latest version of Keynote for iOS, which also required iOS 8.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 11/11/2014
If you find it more convenient to listen to some text on your iPhone or iPad rather than read it, you can easily enable that capability. You might, for example, want your device to read a web page or ebook or other document to you as you drive. While this feature has been available for some time, note that iOS 8 gives a convenient new option for invoking speech.
By Jim Karpen on Mon, 11/10/2014
If you're so devoted to your iPhone that you know you'll never ever use a different platform, then you don't need to read this post. But if, someday, you were to forsake your iPhone and switch to Android, then Apple's new web tool will be of interest to you. It's intended to address a problem that arises when one makes the switch. What had been happening is that when people switch to another platform, when their contacts who still use iPhones send them a text message, it automatically gets sent as an iMessage. Because iMessages can only be read on iOS devices, a text message sent to the new Android user doesn't get through.
By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 11/08/2014
Amazon may have stumbled with the Kindle Fire Phone, due to pricing missteps and other issues, but they're not done innovating and working on integrating their technology into our daily lives. Today, Amazon preannounced the Echo, an unassuming speaker that does a lot more than play music. The cylindrical device sits in your home and is always listening for verbal commands. Similar to Siri, you can ask Echo for weather reports, to play music, etc. The gadget has omni-directional speakers and microphones that can listen to commands even if they come from far away.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 11/04/2014
According to AppleInsider, a leaked Sam's Club flyer shows that they'll be offering the iPhone 6 starting at $99 (with a 2-year contract) for one day only on November 15. Not only will it be a limited-time promotion, but also each location will be limited to selling 40–50 units. The sale pricing will only be available in-store. AppleInsider says that Sam's Club will also be offering $100 off the iPad Air (first generation) — both in-store and online.
By Siva Om on Tue, 11/04/2014
It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone called for a protective case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges and extra heft. Rather than clump an assortment of different cases together, I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. In a break from the norm, this week we are featuring two cases that are currently still in the funding stage at Indegogo; the LUNATIK TAKTIK 360° ($99) and their AQUATIK ($79.99) waterproof protective cases.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 11/04/2014
The iPhone 6 is beautiful, but you probably want to protect it without adding too much bulk. The Crusta case from Amzer ($45) might be the solution. Thanks to a robust set of color choices, you can have a unique design combination, 42 combinations in all. Plus, you can still show off that gold iPhone 6, thanks to the tempered glass back. They also have a tempered glass screen protector as an option. The effect makes the Crusta look and feel like just a bumper, but it provides all around coverage with six-foot drop protection and dust proof connections.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 11/03/2014
It's hard to find one case that meets all your needs, but the ibattz mojo REFUEL ARMOR S Removable Battery Case comes close. First off, it is a rugged, splash-resistant case. It accommodates the Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s through a rubberized flap that normally covers the home button but pulls down to reveal the sensor. There's a screen protector built in as well.
By Siva Om on Sat, 11/01/2014
It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges, and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is the stylish Access Italian leather case by Nodus, which is currently available at a special discounted pre-order price for a limited time.
By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 11/01/2014
I don't like to recommend Kickstarter projects too much, because I've been burned and I hate to let others down. But once in a while a project comes along, like the Pebble watch I backed on Kickstarter, that makes it worth it. That was an example of an existing smartwatch firm, with a good design, and experience, and enough money already raised to make the product a reality (eventually.) There's another project, the Pronto power pack, from a group who has experience in the field, the backing of Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, and way more than the $50,000 they sought already raised. So the signs are good.
By Siva Om on Wed, 10/29/2014
Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. This week we have a special Halloween-themed installment featuring some of the best horrifying and fear-inducing games the App Store has to offer.
By Nate Adcock on Tue, 10/28/2014
I have crammed for many a test using flashcards, and can attest to the timeless effectiveness of using them as a study aid. I have attempted to learn Spanish since high school, which has so far proved largely ineffective. Flashcard Languages ($1.99) cuts out the fancy app embellishments and focuses on the key words and phrases you need to make real progress in expanding your vocabulary.
By Siva Om on Mon, 10/27/2014
Do you know what #GamerGate is? It's a term that's received a great deal of publicity lately. If you are a someone who plays a lot of video games and keeps up with current events then you are likely quite familiar with GamerGate. Whatever your gaming platform of choice happens to be, whether it's a console, a tablet, or a smartphone, if you are more than a casual gamer then the issues that are swirling around the hashtag #GamerGate have to do with you. GamerGate is about the sometimes controversial content of video games, the people that play them, and the press that covers them, and from a broader perspective, GamerGate is about lingering stereotypes and prejudices that play out in video game land.
By Siva Om on Sat, 10/25/2014