This year's Consumer Electronics Show had its share of wireless audio components, several of which I included in iPhone Life's coverage of the event. I found several new Wi-Fi AirPlay compatible speakers. Of the lot, I finally received a Wren V5AP ($399) review unit last week. Of all the Wi-Fi speakers I’ve had the chance to review in recent years, I must say this one truly gives the Sonos Play line a run for its money.
I have several games to report on this week, plus interesting news about the makers of Galaxy on Fire 2 releasing a mobile space shooter, MMORTS (Massive Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy) game later this year. So let's get right to it!
First up is Trigger Fist (my favorite shooter of all time), which I finally got around to grabbing an expansion pack for. Second, I'll review an old emulation game called Gridlee, a game other blog sites say allows you to drop other game ROM files into and play, although I have not yet personally confirmed this. If true, the free Gridlee may have a short life in the app store as Apple frowns on emulators and may soon yank it. Third up is P.R.O.B.E., a free Sci-Fi board game I played, which has a synthed up computer voice. Last but not least is Versu, a just-released interactive story app, reminiscent of old-school adventure games.
I often use my iPod touch for grabbing quick home recording tracks, and one of my favorite accessories used to be the Blue Mikey
from Blue Microphones. But when an Apple iOS update killed analog input, my original Mikey became a thing of the past.
The RØDE iXY
is a similar recording accessory, but is more specifically designed. While Blue makes great mics for music, RØDE is tailored to live broadcasting. The unique RØDE iXY can capture an outdoor live event or a basement recording jam at very high-quality sample rates!
With mobile gadgetry filling every niche in our lives, you would think we'd relegate pen-and-paper handwriting to the dustbin of bizarre things humans once did. Instead, we're inventing more sophisticated systems of conveyance for handwriting, such as with the Bluetooth Targus iNotebook, and why not? It has been our primary way of presenting ideas since the days of the first cave paintings, while electronic transcription methods are single-cell organisms by historical comparison. The Targus iNotebook proves we will not soon give up scratching out meaning on dead tree pulp, but in this case, it will track the etching, and connect it (via Bluetooth) to your iPad so you can scratch away and watch it "technologize" the results!
Some ex-Rovio gamemakers teamed up under the Boomlagoon banner to create another 2-D physics game--a platform scrolling game called Noble Nutlings. The free game is hugely fun and probably destined for gaming success! The other game I tried out this week is Pinball Arcade. Electronic Pinball is to iPad what jelly is to peanut butter, and the easy touch and robust graphics of iPad make almost any 3-D pinball game just plain awesome! Pinball Arcade is one of the most authentic recreations I have seen done on any hardware. Too bad the freebie lite mode times you out and charges you to buy tables, but well, developers gotta eat too... and the lifelike tables are easily worth the price!
I was able to rock out loud at CES on the new iRig HD connected to an iPad (also connected to their new Bluetooth speaker--the iLoud), but that's not the point of this post. You can get more great CES coverage in the next issue of iPhoneLife (so if you haven't yet subscribed, hurry), and to say IK Multimedia rocked the show is putting it mildly. No other show vendor comes close to showcasing the latest (and coolest) iOS music gadgets like these guys! The iRig HD was a Best in Show Winner at CES--more booth pix follow with a PR announcement about the new HD model...
Register and subscribe to the Tor.com email newsletter (if you like Sci-Fi, Fantasy, scary stuff, etc.). Just do it now. The email notifies often of free stories posted up to their web site (many of which turn into 99 cent downloads on iTunes), and tons of insider info, just plain cool news updates on all things freakie, weird or otherwise even remotely SFF-related. They have made the best of 2012 completely FREE! That's right, the best of 2012 short fiction all wrapped up nicely in a late (or early, depending how you view it) Christmas ebook present! Get it here...
Not all wireless speakers are created equal. You can turn up several of the mid and low-end models, and the sound is good, but they won't match a quality stereo receiver system with a preamp. Enter MTX with their Street Audio line of wireless (and wired) speaker technology. I was able to test out their "coming soon" line of new IT1 docks at CES. Wow is all I can say, even with the CES ambient show noise, these speakers cut right through everything with sparklingly clear tones, and rich depth. 6 internal speakers powered at a whopping 180 watts (RMS) with side-firing woofers will do that. The dock retails for $599, and the air wireless model for $799, which might seem a bit on the high side for a wireless speaker product, but well, the iT's are for serious audioheads! Oh yeah, they had some cool headphones too...
At CES 2013, at the Imagination Technologies suite last week, I had a meetup and demo session with the pioneering wizards behind the processing technology that drives system on chip (SoC) graphics encoding and rendering in many mobile devices (including iOS). You already know how amazing the iPhone/iPad graphics experience is, of course. If you want to get a glimpse of the next generation Smart TV, graphics and home automation processing power Imagination has coming, then you want to read this...
The GoSmart stylus (see my review here) is my most used accessory. I have tried a ton of stylus products, and they are all pretty effective in some fashion, but GoSmart is a cut above most products, in my opinion. It's not just the weight, feel or construction of it, all of which are superb. It is also the ingenious wire-frame tip that make it the right tool for intricate drawing tasks. I had a few minutes at CES to sit down with Dr. Jae Son, the inventor of the elegant GoSmart to find out how he came up with this amazingly great product!