Review: wrist dialing is easy with Watch Keypad, an app Apple should have made

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 5, 2015

WatchOS 2 appeals to sausage-fingered types with its bigger, square keypad, and that’s quite cool by me, but isn’t its lack of a dialing functionality in apps like Messages and Phone quite a shame? This poses a major problem when needing to place a phone call from the wrist to a number you don’t have assigned to a contact.

Watch Keypad by Dutch developer Rob De Ruiter, as the name suggests, solves this problem in one fell swoop.

This app makes it real simple and easy to type a phone number to call from your Apple Watch, without any restrictions on contacts. I spent some quality time testing Watch Keypad and will be using a lot going forward, here’s why. Read More


SoundShare review: a social network for music lovers

By Lory Gil on Oct 5, 2015

As of October 1, I am officially a paid subscriber to Apple Music. It is the first time in years that I’ve paid for streaming music. Because I like Apple Music so much, it makes it a little difficult to test music streaming apps without comparing them to what I think is the best version out there.

With SoundShare, you aren’t streaming music as much as you are building friendships based on musical interests. Similar to a Twitter or Facebook feed, you can let others know what you are into. Today, we go hands-on with an app review of SoundShare. Read More


Leave your wallet at home with the Q Card Case for iPhone 6s

By Cody Lee on Oct 3, 2015

Earlier this week, Lory told you about the CM4 Q Card Case, a hard plastic case that doubles as a wallet. I’ve been trying out the Limited Edition leather version of the Q over the past few days, so I wanted to offer up some insight on the accessory for those considering buying it.

Evaluating an iPhone case essentially boils down to answering two simple questions: does it look good? And is it functional? If the answer to both is yes, the case is usually a winner. If both answers are no, then it’s usually not. If the answer to one question is yes and the other is no, you just have to decide which is more important to you. And that seems like a good place to start this review. Read More


Review: Spigen Slim Armor Volt wireless charging case

By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 1, 2015

In addition to Spigen’s GLAS.tR SLIM screen protector, I’ve been using its Slim Armor Volt wireless charging case for my iPhone 6s Plus. Spigen sent me a care package filled with a boatload of cases, and this one was by far the most intriguing to me.

There are a good number of Android phones that feature wireless charging capabilities out of the box, but there has never been such a feature for the iPhone. Instead, iOS users will need to opt for some sort of third-party wireless charging case solution, and the Spigen Slim Armor Volt fits the bill.

How well does it work? Watch our full video review and see for yourself. Read More


Review: Password Chef—enjoy untethered password entry with recipes

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2015

The App Store offers several high-quality apps that help you create strong passwords for various services, manage your passwords and synchronize them between devices with ease, AgileBits’ freemium 1Password being perhaps the most popular one.

But there’s now a brand new password manager on the block which takes a clever approach to securing all your online accounts with strong passwords but without having to actually remember them.

How about re-creating passwords from recipes?

Welcome to Naranja Studio’s Password Chef, a novel $2.99 app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad which takes advantage of unique recipes to basically turn any site name into an easy-to-recall password, canceling the need for additional software or devices. Read More


Lifeline 2 review: 3 Minute Games gets magical

By Lory Gil on Sep 28, 2015

When Apple Watch first launched, 3 Minute Games made a huge impression with its choose-your-own-adventure game, Lifeline, designed for the wrist worn device. It is a simple text-based game where players help a character on the other end survive. It was a huge hit with Apple Watch owners.

Lifeline 2 is out now and it is definitely a proper follow up to the first game. It has all the same charm as its predecessor, but has an entirely new story and includes some new features to make players happy. We’ve got a full game review of Lifeline 2 for your reading enjoyment. Read More


Gruber: Optical Image Stabilization in the iPhone 6s Plus makes a big difference for video

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 22, 2015

It’s one of those things where you don’t know how noticeable it’s going to be until you actually try it in hand. But tonight, we have it on good authority that Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) makes a noticeable difference when shooting video with the iPhone 6s Plus’ camera. So much so, that it can make choosing between the 6s Plus and the regular-sized iPhone 6s, a device that lacks OIS, tougher than last year.

A few hours ago, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber posted his annual iPhone review, and while the entire piece is a well-thought-out and nuanced read, one portion in particular stood out to me the most—his thoughts on OIS for the iPhone 6s Plus.  Read More


Review: iTranslate 9.0 is the closest thing yet to the killer Apple Watch app

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2015

Now that the watchOS 2 software update has released to the general public, a healthy debate is developing amongst my techie friends about the benefits that native apps are supposed to enable.

The long story short, native apps run directly on the device and talk to its underlying hardware and sensors so most tasks should feel faster and smoother than before.

For instance, apps can now play sounds through the Apple Watch’s speakerphone and take voice input from its built-in mic. To test how this works in the real world, I’ve spent a few hours with iTranslate by Sonico Mobile GmbH, arguably the best translator app you can put on your wrist to overcome language barriers, Star Trek-style. Read More


iPhone 6s review roundup: 3D Touch a major innovation, amazing cameras, fast performance

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 22, 2015

The iPhone 6s review embargo lifted this morning, and as is always the case, many outlets immediately published their reviews. Those reviewing the new iPhone 6s have been able to use the new digs for almost two weeks, which is plenty of time to form an accurate opinion.

The consensus? The iPhone 6s is a performance beast, and features amazing camera quality. But what stood out to me most about nearly all of the reviews were the thoughts on 3D Touch. In a nearly unanimous chorus, reviewers praised the iPhone 6s’ flagship feature, which allows users to press on the screen to access new menus and features. Read More


Sky review: a game that is as simple as its name

By Lory Gil on Sep 21, 2015

With all the new features in iOS 9, it is quite a frenzy of excitement around here. It can sometimes be hard to remember to appreciate the simple things in life, like the smell of summer rain or the first leaves of fall, or a cool minimalist game.

Sky is a simple tapping game with an appealing minimalist visual aesthetic that relaxes and invigorates at the same time. I know I sound like I’m talking about soap, but if you play the game, you’ll know what I mean. We’ve got a game review of Sky for you today. Read More


Review: Motorola Moto X Pure Edition from an iPhone user’s perspective

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 15, 2015

As you guys know, I’m a fan of the Moto G—Motorola’s off-contract budget phone that packs in a surprising amount of good features for a super-cheap price. As I stated in my review, the Moto G is a good choice for anyone wishing to dip their toes into the Android waters, or for anyone who needs a cheap second smartphone.

The Moto X Pure Edition ($399.99 on Amazon), is a whole different beast altogether. It looks similar to the Moto G in build material, but it’s way bigger, has a 5.7″ QHD screen at 1440p, a 21 megapixel rear-facing shooter, a front-facing flash, captures 4K video, and features extremely fast charging.

Unlike the budget Moto G, the Moto X Pure Edition is Motorola’s de facto flagship offering for 2015. At $399 for the base model, it’s more than double the price of Motorola’s popular Moto G, yet much cheaper than major “flagship” models from big named Android OEMs.

How does it stack up with the competition? How does it compare with the iPhone 6 Plus—its closest iOS competitor? Check out our full video review for all of the details. Read More


Star Wars: Uprising review – the journey to ‘The Force Awakens’ has begun

By Lory Gil on Sep 15, 2015

As a self-proclaimed Star Wars fan, I am both excited and have trepidations about the upcoming seventh installment. That does not, however, stop me from getting overly excited about the hype leading up to The Force Awakens, and that includes video games.

Star Wars: Uprising is being billed as the game that bridges the storyline between Return of the Jedi and TFA. While it may fill in the story gaps, is it a game worth investing your time in? We’ve got a full game review of Star Wars: Uprising for you today. Read More


Review: Mia for Gmail is the perfect replacement for Google Notifier

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 14, 2015

If you need a fast and lightweight email client for Gmail without the bells and whistles (and bloat) of Apple Mail, you should give Mia for Gmail a whirl. Mia is a minimalist desktop email client for OS X by Stéphane Quéraud.

As opposed to copious minimalist Gmail clients that however wrap the web interface inside native OS X code, Mia provides the full native experience and sits right in your Mac’s menu bar rather than run in Safari or Google Chrome.

In addition to showing you most recent emails, Mia allows you to compose new messages and jump through all your inboxes with unbelievable quickness. All in all, it’s the perfect replacement for Google’s defunct Gmail Notifier app. Read More


The Walking Dead: Road to Survival review – play from the others’ point of view

By Lory Gil on Sep 11, 2015

The Walking Dead, which started as an indie comic in 2003 has, in the past decade, become the most popular zombie story since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. There are TV shows, books, games, and more, based on Robert Kirkman’s original adventure.

A recent addition to the mobile gaming world is The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, which is a city building game that incorporates battle elements. You can play alone to complete missions, or go on raids with your in-game faction to gain needed supplies. We’ve got a full game review of The Walking Dead: Road to Survival for you today. Read More


Review: WALTR for Mac converts & transfers any video to iPhone and iPad, no iTunes required

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 7, 2015

Getting DivX and MKV movies, FLAC audio files or audiobooks onto your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is an incredibly cumbersome multi-step procedure, one that involves third-party apps like Handbrake to transcode “foreign” media files into iOS-friendly formats before importing them into iTunes for syncing with your iOS gadgets.

I’ve tried many, many apps which promise to get the job done before deciding to settle on WALTR by young European startup Softorino.

Now, I’m not exaggerating when I say that WALTR is an absolutely incredible piece of software. This nifty program literally takes the pain away from transferring media to iOS devices without worrying about file types.

Its lightning fast algorithm is hands down the best I’ve ever seen, on any platform, ever. I’ve been happily using WALTR for months now and couldn’t be happier with it. And trust me when I say that you should be using WALTR, too, especially if you aren’t jailbroken and want the simplest solution possible for transferring media to your device without going through iTunes. Read More


Review: Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 – a budget Android phone with a unique feature

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 4, 2015

It’s almost unfair how many great budget smartphones there are that run Android. I think it’s safe to say that there is an embarrassment of riches for Android platform users in the budget phone category.

I’ve already reviewed phones like the Asus ZenFone 2, and the 3rd-generation Moto G—both highly competent phones. Today, I get to go hands-on with a similar phone, as far as price is concerned, in the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 ($249.99 on Amazon). Read More


Review: you don’t need Apple Watch to get reminded to stand up with this nifty Mac app

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Your Apple Watch pings you when it’s time to stand up and move a little and so should your Mac, except that it doesn’t. Maybe you don’t own an Apple Watch? Lead a sedentary lifestyle much? Hopelessly out of shape? You should make standing up a habit as standing for just three hours every day, five days a week, has the same health benefits as running ten marathons a year.

You could create a reminder to ping you every hour to stand up, but that’s not an elegant solution as these alerts reach all your devices, not just your Mac.

A far better solution that I want to talk about today would be something like Stand. Stand is a simple Mac app built by developers Red Davis Hector Simpson which sends you a notification every hour to get up from your desk and move around a little. Read More


Infernal Innovations’ car mount magnetically suspends your phone

By Timothy Reavis on Sep 4, 2015

One of the many first-world problems people face everyday is having a convenient place to stow their smartphone whilst driving. Leaving it in one’s pocket seems to be the default move, but if talking while driving is legal in your area, pulling a phone from your pocket is arguably more dangerous than the phone call itself. Even for simple tasks like skipping a song, or following driving directions, there has to be a better solution.

Read More


Review: this is my ‘Next Keyboard’ for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

In my December 2014 preview of Next Keyboard I wrote the app had the potential to become “the first iOS keyboard done right”.

What started out as the most funded app project on Kickstarter by Toronto-based award-winning studio Tiny Hearts Apps has become a reality.

I’m pleased to report that Next Keyboard is now available for download in the App Store.

Rather than mindlessly pile features one on top of the other like many other developers do, Next enables efficient typing in a stylish environment that’s easy on the eyes, without distracting you from the task at hand.

It’s got everything you’ve come to expect from a software keyboard, including predictive typing, lightning fast editing, playful stickers and colorful themes, instant access to all the emojis you love, including stickers, and much more.

I’ve spent some quality hands-on time with Next Keyboard, here’s what I found. Read More


Review: WatchWeb for Apple Watch kinda brings web browsing to your wrist

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2015

Like the Apple TV, your Apple Watch lacks the built-in Safari browser. Even though the case can be made quite easily for surfing the web on a big screen TV from the comfort of your couch, who in their right mind—and why— would want to squint at the tiny screen to read webpages?

No one, that’s right. But still, what if you could browse the web from your wrist? If you argue that an Apple Watch web browser is a terrible, terrible idea, I’m with you.

But what if there was a way to quickly look up information, sports scores or anything else on the Apple Watch that Siri can’t do for you? Enter WatchWeb, a web browser of sorts for the Apple Watch by Conifer Apps.

It’s a novel idea that certainly has legs, but boy is it iffy. I had mixed results during my hands-on time with WatchWeb so read on my review for the full reveal. Read More

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