About Jim Gresham

An avid Macintosh convert, Jim appreciates the fine, detailed, and progressive products Apple designs. He spent his younger years tinkering with computers, reading about technology, and watching Star Wars. Since 2008, he has worked on improving his Apple arsenal and spends his free time researching latest gadget trends, trying to find the next accessory or app for review. A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he enjoys the stiff crease on a well-ironed dress shirt and dons a bow tie on a regular basis. You can catch up with Jim on Twitter, or jim[at]idownloadblog[dot]com

Twelve South’s HoverBar 3 expands compatibility to work with any iPad

by Jim Gresham on Sep 2, 2014

Way back in September of 2012, I wrote a fairly lengthy review of the HoverBar by Twelve South. The device is a mounting mechanism for iPad. It is not a new contender to the mountable space, certainly not two years later, but it is a well designed product. Twelve South, a South Carolina based company, limits their product development to a low number each year, ensuring proper care is spent on each device they launch.

The HoverBar 3 is an intentional upgrade on the previous generation. The 22″ arm extends from a bi-directional assembly that screws into a metal clamp. Overall, the design and assembly is almost exactly the same. Where the new generation differs is the compatibility for iPad 2nd – 4th generation, iPad Air, and both versions of iPad mini. Read More

 

The SmartStyle case gives a notebook feel to your iPad Air

by Jim Gresham on Sep 1, 2014

X-Doria is a relatively new comer to the Apple accessory arena. While they have been around for a couple years, they are still making a name for themselves. One of their key product features is a puffing ink that raises as it is heated in the production process. Almost any design you see in their product lineup, utilizes the 3D puffing ink, making it standout among other simply screen-printed competitors. The ink provides tactile feedback, offering an easier to handle case and a good looking stark color pattern.

The SmartStyle Patterns for iPad Air gets its name from the stylized printed patter and the Smart Cover technology. Using exactly placed magnets, SmartStyle behaves similarly to an Apple Smart Cover, waking or sleeping iPad as the cover is either opened or closed. Read More

 

Wallpapers of the week: universe galaxy creation

by Jim Gresham on Aug 31, 2014

As the section is titled Wallpapers of the Week, it stands to reason we pick the best images we can find around the net on any given week. Today, there is a great selection of nebula and galaxy wallpapers, but I would not call them the most popular over the past seven days.

Going back a few days, Apple announced the September 9 event for iPhone, and possibly a wearable device. The event, which is always a hyped occurrence, is gaining more excitement by hosting media at the Flint Center and building a whole separate structure to house something. All of this to say, if you missed the Apple announcement wallpapers earlier this week, make sure to check out the handy work of some great iDB readers.

Alternatively, don’t miss the great colorful wallpapers in today’s post. Read More

 

The Tylt Ruggd case is built for style and damage protection

by Jim Gresham on Aug 31, 2014

If you are prone to dropping, abusing, and misusing your iPad Air, hopefully you are shopping around for a solid case. You are going to need something with a shockproof design, corner protection, rubberized absorbing base layer, and a little bit of flexibility. All of those features are built neatly into the TYLT RUGGD iPad Air case.

Making no bones about design, the RUGGD forgoes any eye candy design and goes straight for protection. With bulky corner cushioning and what appear to be four leg-like bumpers on the back, RUGGD should have you safe and sound, unless you drop it face down. Read More

 

Kick your laptop up a notch with Kickflip

by Jim Gresham on Aug 30, 2014

There are times when typing at a flat angle is uncomfortable. It is most noticeable when using my MacBook Air 13″. All of the keyboards I use, including Apple’s standard wireless keyboard, are angled for ease-of-use. Contrary to standard keyboards, Apples laptop line sits flat on the resting surface.

Asking to “kick it up a notch,” Bluelounge released the Kickflip just a few weeks ago. Hoping to increase productivity and ease everyone’s wrists, the Kickflip does just as the name suggests: props your laptop with just a flip. Read More

 

Share one Bluetooth keyboard between multiple devices with the Multi-Sync Keyboard

by Jim Gresham on Aug 30, 2014

Have you ever used a Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Sure, you have! All serious iPad users have, at one time, tried to use a Bluetooth keyboard with their favorite tablet. I tried to use an external keyboard on several occasions with my iPad, not just for reviews either.

The same can be said for iPhone. In fact, at one time I was searching mini Bluetooth keyboards to keep on my desk, just to make iMessaging easier. That was before my OS X days. During the course of any day, I almost always keep my iPhone and iPad in a dock or stand next to my computer. Being a user of multi-devices, there are certain tasks I like to accomplish on each device.

Complicating my movement from device to device in a serious work environment is input. Typing on an iPhone or iPad’s virtual keyboard is not the best experience, and that is coming from a fanboy. What would be perfect, is a wireless keyboard that operates either devices without the hassle of re-pairing each time. What would be perfect is the Kanex Multi-Sync Keyboard. Read More

 

September 9 invites wallpapers: “wish we could say more”

by Jim Gresham on Aug 28, 2014

Today, Apple sent out invitations to an event hosted on September 9, 2014 at 10:00AM PST. Per usual, there is a rush in the community to determine what Apple has hidden inside the graphic. The “Wish we could say more” line has lead many to speculate about enhanced Siri optimization or the ability to action iPhone through voice commands on a wearable device. Just yesterday, Re/code claimed the highly anticipated Apple wearable, dubbed “iWatch,” should launch alongside the iPhone 6 at the upcoming event.

As with many recent Apple announcements, designers quickly put their skills to work, publishing wallpapers inspired by the invitation. Inside are a few wallpapers, for your favorite upcoming Apple event. Read More

 

Incipio Lexington folio gives professional flare to your iPad Air

by Jim Gresham on Aug 28, 2014

iPad Air cases abound, as is expected with any Apple product. Flooded markets of parts, pieces, cases, and accessories define the smart device realm. Incipio being a standard in the Apple accessory market is always quick to offer several solutions for all devices. Today, we take a closer look at the Lexington hard shell folio case. The Lexington is a rigid case that will keep you protected just about anywhere, but still look classy in the office. The rigid Plextonium back offers necessary support, but keeps things minimal and crisp. Read More

 

The Incipio Focal case will turn your iPhone into a point-and-shoot camera

by Jim Gresham on Aug 27, 2014

Despite smart devices replacing point-and-shoot cameras in the mainstream, there still seems to be many people confused by the transition to an app-based camera. Every time I am out and ask someone to take a picture of my wife and me, it seems to be a shot in the dark, so to speak. People always fumble around with the screen, trying to zoom, or change the flash, or even take the picture.

I run into people that push the software button to take the picture instead of using the volume button. Either way, there always seems to still be an unfamiliarity with the way an iPhone takes pictures. Unless you were born in 2007 when the iPhone launched, there is a transition from point-and-shoot cameras to the iPhone, and it continues to be a struggle for some.

In that light, Incipio developed an app and hardware combination bringing point-and-shoot characteristics to iPhone. Focal is a camera case providing easy snap picture taking. Dedicated shutter and zoom buttons prevent screen pecking while trying to setup the perfect shot. Read More

 

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch review: control home appliances and electronics from your iPhone

by Jim Gresham on Aug 26, 2014

Growing up as a child, anytime my family would venture out of town for more than a couple days, my father would run around the house trying to locate “the timers.” The timers, with which anyone is familiar, were the timer switches for the lamps in the house. They were old brown boxes with a beige turn wheel and a little switch, think I/O, for each of 24 hours. After manually selecting each switch to either turn on or off the receptacle, off you go for vacation. Now your lights magically turn on while you are away.

Even in the late ’80′s, I remember those timers looking dated, even acting dated. But, they worked and continue to be the same technology most people use today. Thankfully, Belkin is putting a stop to this archaic fumbling system with a modern appeal. The WeMo line of home automated devices gives you the power, literally, in a carefully crafted app and hardware unit. Read More

 

Wallpapers of the week: king of the jungle

by Jim Gresham on Aug 24, 2014

We are back with another edition of Wallpapers of the Week. Last week, we featured a grouping of wallpapers termed “stars and moons,” to much excitement. However, there were several comments about not receiving the posted wallpapers in iPad format. The Wallpapers of the Week section is designed for iOS device wallpaper downloads, but that doesn’t guarantee any certain size submission. With the intent to make a conscious effort to please those readers looking for iPad wallpapers, this week I chose a set of wallpapers with iPad specific sizes.

Taking the subject back to nature, the walls herein are of the jungle’s king. With no intent on striking a resemblance between Apple’s operating system and the subject matter, simply, lions are a very striking and photogenic creature. The lion’s majesty is caught in these images and shared for all your iOS devices. Read More

 

The Big Turtle Shell and its 2.0 sidekick are Bluetooth speakers that can handle the elements

by Jim Gresham on Aug 24, 2014

I’m partial to having a speaker in almost every room of the house. There is no particular reason why and, after thinking about it, I am not really that into music. However it is nice to always have some jams going in the background. Thanks to Outdoor Tech, I can have music going in one room, but still hear it in the next. Or, if I am rocking out in the neighborhood pool, I am loud enough to get in trouble.

After meeting with Outdoor Tech at CES, I was really excited about both the Big Turtle Shell and the Turtle Shell 2.0. If you can recall, I reviewed the Turtle Shell gen. 1, and was pretty impressed. In fact, the Turtle Shell has not left my kitchen, except for a couple of roadie tours, for a complete year. I have access to a lot of gear, so it is definitely a credit to the product for any one to make it a full year.

I must admit, the Turtle Shell has been de-throned, in favor of the 2.0 version and the big brother, Big Turtle Shell. Read More

 

Wallpapers of the week: stars and moons

by Jim Gresham on Aug 17, 2014

Previous popular wallpapers included galaxy images. Our galaxy variant and starred night sky wallpaper posts were some of the most popular over our first year of Wallpapers of the Week. In the spirit of giving the readers more of what they want, this week we present another set of galaxy inspired wallpapers.

Today, there is a pack of wallpaper posts highlighting a whimsical approach to the starry sky. From creatively placed moons, to clouds and even space ships, if you are into galaxies, possibly far, far away, step inside for your downloads… Read More

 

Wallpapers of the week: cityscape

by Jim Gresham on Aug 10, 2014

This week’s wallpaper post moves away from graphically created imagery and back to a photographic focus. While previously popular posts include simulated geometric shapes, the contents in today’s walls include similarly playful designs.

Utilizing standard photographic techniques, both images bring back the basics. The cobbled street image plays with leading lines in the street, drawing the users eye to the photo’s mid-point. However, with a blurred background, the focus hangs in the foreground on the textured stone road.

In the additional image, tall buildings are utilized to frame the street, creating depth of field, while making the image seem visually longer and deeper than flatter graphically designed alternatives. In both versions, the flat tonal color scheme will make icons pop and the Lock screen clock will not be lost. Step inside for the download… Read More

 

Wallpapers of the week: Instagram’s Bolt

by Jim Gresham on Aug 3, 2014

As with previous Wallpaper of the Week editions, there is a desire to populate relevant media to the section. Typically, the section is completed with wallpapers by theme or genre. Alternatively, when there are time related walls, we like to make sure they spot light on the Sunday afternoon post.

Instagram released a new Snapchat competitor, Bolt. Considered a “one-tap photo messaging” solution, Bolt does not require a Facebook or Instagram account to operate. Instead, Bolt utilizes a mobile phone number to interact with friends via photos and videos.

With a minimal and elegant home page, Bolt sparked the interest of @JasonZigrino, who submitted his wallpapers inspired by the new app. Read More

 
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