This week, I played 2 great games that are very different, but both great fun. Trigger Fist is a combat game that you will both love and hate. Hate it because like real combat, it's so easy to get killed, but love it because it's so freaking cool!! Cool enough to warrant an iPhoneLife video demo, also included in this review. The other game I played the week, Flight, is a simple 2D-scroller recreating the fun and nostalgia of paper airplane flight.
There was a day long before the mobile revolution when video game consoles reigned supreme, and many might have even said that computers were no good for anything other than causal games or low action fare like adventure games. I did a lot of console gaming back in the 8 and 16 bit eras, and one thing that was common among many games was that they were hard. It could be fair to say that some bordered on being impossible. Ironically, that was part of what appealed to gamers back then. The folks at 2 Ton Studios are clearly a product of that era as well, as evidenced by their premiere release Ninja Boy. My feelings towards the game shift at any given moment from intense enjoyment to sheer frustration, but in the end I’m almost positive I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent with it.
With all the chatter in the blogosphere, about new products soon to be released, and patent battles being fought on all fronts in the courts of law, I think it's important to keep in mind the old expression: "You ain't seen nuthin' yet!" Truly, hasn't this week been a great example of that.
With the court cases bringing out details Apple would just as likely have preferred to keep private, we have been granted a rare insight into the evolution of products in the Apple iDevice chain, as well as having been given glimpses into what Apple had in mind, in prototype form, two years ago.
That said, can you imagine what Cupertino has in store for us in say, 5 years? That's not that long. Think about it. Within 5 years, devices and functions that are now, only in prototype/patent form, may very well be seeing the light of day. It's not for nothing that Johny Ive says that the products Apple is working on now, are some of the best, most exciting products Apple has ever invented!
I enjoy streaming music services probably as much as any form of music listening experience, so it's no wonder I am a big advocate of the Sonos line of internet players and accessories (see my related reviews here). For getting your music wirelessly around the house, there are few choices that compare in terms of quality and ease of use. Doesn't hurt that you can use iPhone or iPad to control it all. Sonos recently added a new device that didn't interest me all that much (a pricey wifi sub-woofer called the SUB), but they have been making quiet and steady progress on their apps and services, so I figure a quick repost up is in order. Not only did their apps get a few helpful tweaks (use hardware buttons to control volume, etc.), Sonos has recently added both the Amazon Cloud Player, and the new Songza service to their menu of selections. Now you can play custom music lists for free via Songza, and/or enjoy your own cloud store of tunes (if they're synced to Amazon) anywhere in your house. You can get more info at their blog here...
Open it. Plug it in. Print. Such is the claim of Lantronix and their xPrintserver, a much needed device that turns just about any printer into an iPad, iPhone and iPod touch compatible printer without any software changes or specialized apps. Well, I tried it, and it's a valid claim. The xPrintserver is a brilliant piece of technology, especially if you have a favorite printer at home or work that otherwise would be left out of the iOS party.
Just like the earbuds that ship with iPods and iPhones, the Apple USB cable isn't meant to be the highest quality item to come out of Cupertino. Apple does a lot of things right, but their cables and earbuds just don't cut it.
I've used a variety of external battery packs over the years, but none have met all of my needs, until now. The Peak from myCharge packs plenty of power, with up to 6000mAh but what really helps is the built-in 30pin Apple PLUS microUSB connectors, and an on-board USB port. And most importantly, that 30pin cable provides enough juice to power an iPad.
This means you don't have to worry about lost cables, and you can be charging up to three devices at a time. The other bonus is fold out wall prongs to recharge the Peak.
You don't have to settle for plastic or even metal accessories thanks to Altaz. I had a chance to use their latest Micro-Fi miniature speakers and they represent such a pleasant juxtaposition of today's technology and real wood speakers. The Altaz Micro-Fi is highly reminiscent of the bookshelf speakers I had in college, back when people cared about how things were made.
As a matter of principle, I try not to buy the higher memory configurations of iPhones and iPads. It doesn't seem right to charge an extra $100 for 16GB or even 32GB of additional memory, considering SD cards sell for a fraction of that amount. But I do find myself running out of memory, especially when it comes to videos and music.
Fortunately, PhotoFast has a low cost, reliable solution. The i-FlashDrive is a USB flash drive with a 30 pin connector on the opposite end. You can plug the USB end into your computer and copy files in either direction.
I like cars. Guilty as charged. We have a couple of convertibles (an Alfa Romeo Spyder, a Fiat 2000) and now, even a Vespa. When we get a new vehicle, I try to buy a small diecast toy of that particular model. Just something to look at while the vehicles are in storage during the winter.
We have several iPhone reviews. Articles like,iPhone Goes 3G,is one of many that gives you a more in depth look at Apple's products. Here are several iPhone reviews on past and current models.
"On July 11th, 2008, Apple and AT&T stores started selling the iPhone 3G, and over one million consumers bought one in the first three days, making this the hottest smart phone launch ever. The 3G brings speed,assisted GPS, and a new low price to Apple's smart phone platform. And while the hardware has definitely been improved, it's the OS 2.0 and software suite that is truly revolutionary."
IniPhone 3G S and OS 3.0, we take a first look at the new 3G S. Resting in your hand, it looks pretty much like the 3G, but in this case, looks are deceiving. The iPhone 3G S sports a faster processor, better battery life, a 3 megapixel camera, enhanced 3D graphics, and a variety of other improvements. Best of all, it's claimed to be twice as fast as the 3G.
We also reviewed the new OS 3.0 and software suite. Apple added some nice features, including Cut & Paste capability, enhanced A2DPBluetooth that supports stereo headsets, an upgrade of SMS to full Multi MediaServices, improved search feature, landscape keyboard in Mail and other apps,and additional enhancements to Calendar, Contacts, iPod, and Safari. Apple also added a new native app to the application suite. VoiceMemo lets you capture and edit short audio recordings and e-mail or SMS them toa friend.
iPhone reviews: Apple began selling an unlocked versionof the iPhone 4S (iPhone Life Article Here). That means that you can use it with any carrier, andyou don't need to sign a contract. Unlocked phones are a big advantage for frequent travelers. GSM is the most common standard abroad,and the whole cell phone business model is typically much different in other countries. No contracts, no subsidized phones. You simply buy a SIM card and put it in your phone. You can even buy SIM cards at kiosks in airports and on the street.