by Jim Gresham on May 16, 2013
On my quest to find a quality sleeve for my iPhone 5 and iPad mini, I stumbled upon many fakes or wannabe premium options. In fact, I have yet to find a sleeve to request for review. Thankfully, Kouros found me. A Portugal-based company priding itself on quality ingredients for its products, Kouros makes an exceptional sleeve for both iPhone 5 and mini.
All products are designed by the in house creative team through regular brainstorming, focusing on fashion trends that are practical for a technologically driven lifestyle. To that end, the company uses rigorous testing methods to ensure longevity, suitable look, and proper feel. For this review, I take a close look at the Essence for iPad mini and Prime for iPhone 5, both of which are simplistic, professional leather sleeves… Read More
by Jim Gresham on May 15, 2013
As many of our frequent readers know, I am a fan of connected home products. In particular, several home Wi-Fi cameras are covered through our review section and today I take a close look at the Y-cam HomeMonitor system.
Developed by Y-cam Solutions, the 2005 startup company strives to create simple and affordable products for home and small business protection. In addition to hardware, software and firmware are also continually improved, according to the company description. I can vouch for their efforts having already received a firmware update since installing the unit.
Setting HomeMonitor apart from the competition, is the ability to store a full week of motion captures on company servers for no subscription charge. However, while offering a good benefit package, Y-cam HomeMonitor struggles on some basics… Read More
by Jim Gresham on May 14, 2013
Covering several Bluelounge products in our review section, astute readers will now be somewhat familiar with the product line. Creating items from packs to docks, Bluelounge attempts to combine form and function for their small, yet clever array of items. The company, taking hints from both art and architecture, prides itself on “forward design aesthetic.”
Well over a year ago, the MiniDock became a staple item for users trying to get rid of desktop clutter. A portable charging dock made carrying a 30 pin cable around the house a thing of the past. Today, Bluelounge updates their MiniDock with Lightning compatibility and refines a few nice touches at the same time. I was able to get my hands on a prerelease model and am impressed with the new features… Read More
by Jim Gresham on May 14, 2013
Recently, a slew of my reviews focused around connections made at CES 2013. In a predictable unchanging fashion, X-Doria is a company I bumped into during my travels in Vegas. Fairly new to the accessory scene, I like the high density color schemes and puffing ink used to give texture to many items of the X-Doria product line.
A friend from the company recently sent over the Dash Icon hardshell for MacBook Air. The shell is currently only available for the 13″ model and also includes the standard puffing ink design. With a slightly raised surface and bold color options, X-Doria’s mission is to place their products between technology and fashion… Read More
by Jim Gresham on May 13, 2013
Stumbling across my Phiaton friends at CES, they were quick to point out the new MODERNA MS 200 earbuds, which recently hit the market. The hot rod red coloring and genuine carbon fiber speaker wells were the first attraction, as they lay on the display table. Even in a crowded pre-convention party, they sounded like a winner.
Now, having listened to the MS 200′s from the comfort of my home, I can confirm my suspicions were true. With a racing red headphone cable matching a classic black earphone chassis, more than quality sound are the causes for head turning attraction. These half in-ear buds are quite the performers, with bass enthusiasts getting what they desire.
Gone are the days where bulky headphones were the only great way to hear the beats of your music. Take a look past the fold for a breakdown on looks and performance, while possibly scoring your own pair to take home… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 30, 2013
The summer blockbuster movie season is upon us. Well, maybe in a couple more weeks, but I’m going to give Oblivion credit for starting things off this summer. Here is the problem, I didn’t even know when Oblivion released. Sure, I could use the iTunes Movie Trailers app to watch the trailer, and even see the release date. But, what I cannot do, is set a reminder.
Thanks to the guys at TapHive, the newly updated and beautifully designed TodoMovies app solves problems caused by my memory deficient brain. TodoMovies helps discover new, upcoming, and past movies, while providing an elegant way to create a watch list and set release reminders.
After using TodoMovies for a while, I am thoroughly impressed. Not many dev teams are able to adequately combine beauty and useful function. Thankfully, TapHive knows how to produce useful content in a nice package… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 27, 2013
I previously reviewed a Toast iPhone skin, which remained on my iPhone 4 until last week when I shipped it to my father. It had a long life and properly adhered to my iPhone the whole time. Now, Toast has added the iPad mini to their collection and mastered their technology by creating a skin that will cover a multi-curved corner. The new Toast skins will completely cover the back of your iPad 2, 3, 4, or mini in completely natural real wood veneers.
The combination of technology and natural wood grain is quite special. I do not fancy myself a lover of woods, but the elegance of nature immediately next to one of the most beautifully designed Apple products is truly a sight. Having used the iPad mini skin for a while, I was impressed with its grip, finish, and design… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 26, 2013
Tired of fumbling around for your iPhone in the car? Why are we forced to pick up our device every time we hear a push notification? Why do we keep wasting money on suction cups and intrusive docking systems? ProClip USA does not know the answer to these questions, but it is providing a solution.
ProClip USA builds device holders for almost every make and model vehicle currently on the market. I stumbled across their website well over a year ago, but did not receive the opportunity to review a product until bumping into the team at CES in January.
Thankfully, they were kind enough to send over an iPhone 5 and iPad mini mount for my 2007 Nissan Altima. This review takes a quick look at installation and provides feedback about my experience with these two options… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 25, 2013
Only a few hardware companies immediately come to mind when I think “Apple accessories” and Case-Mate is one of them. While browsing the new collection one morning at CES, the press rep walked me through their fanciful new collections. Correct me if I’m wrong, but just a short time back, I would not think “luxury” when I heard Case-Mate. I tend to envision plastic, but solid, durable cases, similar to the cases you would find on the early iPhone adopters devices. Perhaps something fun, or cute.
Well, the tides have turned and Case-Mate is now offering a completely new line of iPhone cases, flips, pouches, and sleeves. With new lines including Crafted, Refined, and Signature, the cute days are gone. Offering genuine leather and gem quality mother of pearl cases, luxe and glamour may be the new adjectives for Case-Mate.
Having just received the Signature Flip and Madison cases from a friend at Case-Mate, I gave them a run through for good measure. In this review we take a look at the new Case-Mate and determine if changing ways turned out for the better… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 13, 2013
Slowly, I am becoming more of an iOS multiplayer fan. Original hesitancy spawned from my unwillingness to invest large quantities of time hovered over my iOS device learning the ropes on a new app. As I have said time again, there is no personal interest in long complicated games for my portable Apple products.
Because of my predilection for quick pick up and play games, multiplayer was typically out of the question. However, with the advent of time shifted multiplayer, made famous but not created by Real Racing 3, I now dabble in other similarly crafted apps. For example, one of my new favorite games, that I never knew existed, is Top Bot, a multiplayer robot racing challenge for best speed… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 11, 2013
Having reviewed different ranges of audio accessories for iOS devices, until now, I had yet to review a portable wireless speaker set. There are plenty around, but none of them ever piqued my interest. Unless my wife started asking about them, I would not have considered owning a wireless speaker considering I have a pretty serious home system and a pair of nice headphones.
After spotting the Braven 600, I figured why not give it a shot. It seemed like a well-built option, considering the price. Braven is a company with which I was not immediately familiar, but when I opened the box, I was quite surprised at the well-packaged speaker. It’s a perky little thing, for the size, and it is a nice addition to my current line up. Follow me past the fold for the full details… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 11, 2013
Disney made quite the name for themselves in the iOS app world with hit titles like Where’s My Water?, Where’s My Perry?, and more recently Monsters, Inc. Run. Christian previously mentioned Disney’s new physics puzzler Mittens would be a good one to keep your eye on. After spending a bit of my weekend with my new favorite feline friend, alley cat Mittens, I am happy to report that Disney has done it again.
The physics based puzzler is everything I have come to expect from my preferred iOS games. I’m not one to sit on the couch and plow through games on my iPad mini, but I do really like the pick up and play nature of this particular genre. It seems Disney may be perfecting this style game as it continues to develop quick, fun, and pleasing games anyone can immediately play with a small learning curve… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Apr 10, 2013
Since my visit to CES 2013, a quest for a backup portable iPhone charger began. Running around the world’s largest trade show peddling for power was pretty ugly. New Trent was kind enough to send one over for review and it fitted the bill for my charging woes. A simple, travel size device, the iTorch IMP52D provided a full charge in just under 2 hours for my iPhone 5… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 28, 2013
When I think of a stylus, I immediately jump to this image in my head of a nerd wearing something like a Best Buy Geek Squad suit with thick glasses and black rims. On the weekend this person likes to configure Punnett squares with the probabilities of his offspring’s hair color instead of actually dating. Obviously he lists Binary as his second language on the resume.
Anyway, I’m here to break this stereotype. Not that I exude coolness or a hip, forward lifestyle, but I like to think I’m not a pocket protecting member of the nerd herd. Sensu is a cool stylus and after about 500 words, I think you will agree… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 26, 2013
It is almost redundant for me to begin another article expressing my love affair with quality iOS device stands, but, for the sake of tradition, allow my introduction sentence to lend credence to my lust. Bluelounge announced today, their newest product, the Mika, which is a simple stand for iPad, but strong enough to hold a full size MacBook. Thanks to a buddy at Bluelounge, I was able to get my hands on one for review prior to the announcement… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 26, 2013
Growing up in the 90′s provided the extreme advantage of spending late nights in front of Mech Warrior 2. Aside from King’s Quest V, Mech Warrior 2 is one of the few PC games I ever completed from start to finish. When we were contacted by Personae Studios to review their newest build of MechWarrior: Tactical Command, I had no hesitations to agree. Moving from a FPS console and desktop option to RTS, the iOS Mech Warrior experience will be appreciated by MechWarrior fans, old and new… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 20, 2013
The iPad mini is an elegant device with its chamfered edges and anodized coating. I really hate using cases that cover up the design, which brings me to sleeves. The best thing about a slipcase is the ability to enjoy the beauty and feel of the iPad mini without covering it up in a terrible, bulky case. The people at ColcaSac, whose iPhone case I previously covered, have developed a new line of cases for the iPad mini… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 18, 2013
Again we hit the hallowed time during the year when the world exalts American college basketball players as if they were gods. Millions of dollars in lost productivity across the US puts a further damper on the economy as we all turn from work to watch basketball.
At iDownloadBlog we relish the opportunity to participate in this worldwide assault on productivity – not that we will stop bringing you the best Apple news for a month. Join us beyond the fold to learn how to monitor the action from your favorite iOS devices and sign up for the iDownloadBlog tourny pool… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 14, 2013
After meeting with Seagate at CES, I was excited to get my paws on their new Wireless Plus, which is big brother to the recently retired and previously reviewed GoFlex Satellite. We all need our digital content on the go and, often, our iOS devices do not have enough room. I know my 16GB are carefully utilized on both iPad mini and iPhone. Toting around a Wi-Fi enabled 1TB Seagate drive prevents the need for choosing which media to bring along. Just drag and drop your media file to the Wireless Plus and walk out the door… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Mar 12, 2013
Rokform is quite a regular on the review stream around these parts and it should come as no surprise. Before you assume, no, this is not a sponsored post. Simply, Rokform makes extremely quality products and I am always impressed by them.
The most recent chunks of T-6061 aircraft grade aluminum that Rokform CNC machined into a usable hunk of metal is the RokDock. The heaviest accessory on my desk, the three pound dock is a hyper-masculine throne upon which my iPhone rests. The RokDock is just awesome, no need to complain about my open love affair with their products… Read More