I want a case for one purpose: toting my iPad wherever I go. And I want that case to be over my shoulder and out of the way. My first solution was the Kensington Sling Bag, which I posted about in early May. It served my needs well, but I wore it out in a few months of heavy use: frayed and coming apart at the seams. Fortunately, just as it was fading, STM sent me their Jacket iPad. And it's just what I was hoping to find.
Whew, I just finished an article for the magazine about all the video streaming options for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. A big job. We've covered a number of them, and most entail some sort of cost. Joost, though, is free, and the content is free. It offers a motley assortment of content that can be fun. I enjoyed watching a couple old Rocky & Bullwinkle episodes, and The Lone Ranger. The app streams celebrity news and gossip, music videos, action sports, comedy, and original web content.
Tango Video Calls (free) was just released today and seems another good option in addition to FaceTime and Skype. Calling is free, and you can connect with other iPhone 3GS or 4 users, as well as with Android phones. It works over 3G and Wi-Fi. You can invite friends and others via one-click email or text message. The app automatically imports your iPhone contacts. It lets you easily switch to audio only, and to swap the large and small screens so that you can see more clearly what the other person is seeing.
I'm working on an article for the magazine about streaming video and am surveying apps that stream movies and TV. Let me know your favorites. We've covered Netflix in our blog, the movies app that seems to be the most popular. And it's likely the most cost-effective, with unlimited streaming for $9 per month. Another contender with quite good quality is mSpot Movies. The app is free, and rentals are typically $3 or $4. Many of the movies have free trailers available.
Adam Dachis at Lifehacker has put together a list of the best productivity apps. He covers list apps, task managers, note apps, the amazing (and free) Dragon Dictation (shown at right), Dropbox (for syncing files), and more. Some of these are must-have apps.
One of the really fun things about these gadgets is using them as portable movie players. You have many options for doing that, such as renting in iTunes, using the Netflix app, and more. And if you already have a collection of DVDs, one option you have is to convert them for viewing on your iPad. SimpleMobile Review has a great step-by-step guide, complete with screen shots, that walks you through the steps of converting your DVDs.
As you likely know, the biggest change in iTunes with the release of version 10 was Ping, which integrates social media into your iTunes experience so that you can see what music your friends are listening to, etc. Now Apple has released an update to iTunes 10 that adds a Ping sidebar. Read all about it on Macworld.
CNET has an interesting report on studies from this past week that show Apple ranks number 1 in customer satisfaction. A six-month study of smartphone users found that iPhone users were the most satisfied. A separate study also found that, for the seventh straight year, overall Apple scored the highest in customer satisfaction among all companies in the PC industry.
If you have an iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1, you'll want to use the HDR feature for taking the best quality photos. As I explained in an earlier post, when you take a photo using this feature, it actually takes three different shots in three different exposures, and then combines them in order give the best quality and detail. A very helpful article on the Macworld website explains more about this feature, when to use it, and when not to use it.
Finally — a screen protector for the iPad that reduces glare. They claim that with the ScreenGuardz HD Anti-Glare screen protector you'll have no problem seeing the screen even in direct sunlight. And an added advantage for me is not constantly seeing my own reflection on the screen. The cost is $20.