By Lory Gil on Dec 19, 2014
Fans of tactical military turn-based strategy games can step into a future where humans merge with technology to become superhuman. Sprinkle a little magic into the equation and you’ve got a tactical game for every walk of life.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut is such a game and features a dystopian future where tech and magic collide, creating the kinds of criminal element you would never wish to encounter in real life. We’ve got a full game review of Shadowrun: Dragonfall for you right now. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 17, 2014
The market is crowded with Bluetooth speakers. Every time you turn around, there is someone selling another Bluetooth speaker. They are an excellent iOS device accessory and I recommend having at least one. Of course, they run the full range of prices and I have had my hands on cheap and expensive several hundred dollar models.
When choosing a speaker, it is important to decide what is most important to you. Do you need one small enough to throw in your bag or do you prefer a home theater style option that can shake the walls with crisp and booming sound? Divoom is on the lower end of the Bluetooth spectrum. Providing small packaged, portable Bluetooth speakers with a rugged edge is the niche market for the Texas based company, which sent them over for review. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 16, 2014
Samsung called us iPhone users wall huggers in their recent commercial attacks. Sure, we charge fairly frequently, but iPhone owners just like using their device more and do it more frequently. Right? Sometimes that leads to a low battery. Even with an iPhone 6 Plus touting about 10 usage hours before depleting, I sometimes find myself in scenarios where additional charge is critical.
There are loads of battery backups on the market. Just walking into a 7-11 convenient store will reveal small stick sized charging devices for a few bucks. But, a backup is one of those you-get-what-you-pay-for experiences. Take a look inside for details on Outdoor Tech’s Kodiak Power Bank. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 15, 2014
Since Apple announced MFi controller support for iOS games, fewer options appeared than originally anticipated. The reason for a slow response is a bit surprising. However, my point of view is slightly skewed as an iOS accessory hardware reviewer. Still, I cannot imagine why app developers would not want to build in the support. Even more shocking is the small list of hardware options.
At CES 2014, it seemed like controllers would be the new thing. Unfortunately, several companies I chatted with never released their controller. We have come a long way since January 2014 and a full year plus another six months since the MFi controller support protocol released at WWDC.
SteelSeries was one of the first companies to-market with their SteelSeries Stratus. The Stratus was an extremely small MFi controller, but perfect for on-the-go gamers. Recently, they released the Stratus XL, a full sized battle tested design, similar to a true console handheld. After settling down with the XL, it changed the way I look at iOS as a gaming platform. Read More
By Lory Gil on Dec 11, 2014
In March, a fun turn-based strategy game called Braveland found its way into the App Store and my heart. I recall enjoying the illustrated fighters and the simplistic game mechanics. In that world, your hero is a warrior, fighting for his people. Braveland is back, but with a new hero, a new landscape, and new enemies to destroy.
Braveland Wizard is the sequel. In it, players control a newly graduated wizard who is on a mission to find out who stole the book that is used to complete a wizard’s final test. While much of the mechanics are the same, this new title offers plenty of additional gameplay features. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Braveland Wizard for you today. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 11, 2014
No one in my home has a green thumb. Sure, like any normal family we have some decorative blooms around the house, but nothing to get too crazy over. Mostly because we are a family on the go, plants suffer in both the summer and winter, when the weather is most extreme. If plants could talk, right?
Well, Parrot developed a way to get the data you need about plants, simply by walking by. While we may be too busy to notice a plant while rushing past, what if you could receive a shout of desperation. A plant begging you for water through a push notification is hard to ignore. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 10, 2014
Tired of carrying around multiple cables? Of course you are! Lots of gadgets pile up around iOS devices. There are battery cases, portable Bluetooth speakers, powered headphones, and the like. Unfortunately, none of them use Lightning cables for charging as they instead require a micro USB.
I keep both a Lightning cable and micro USB cable in my daypack at all times. Actually, I keep two Lightning and two micro USB cables in my pack. My forgetfulness only proves the challenge of keeping enough cords around. If only there was a cable to satisfy both standards. Thanks to accessory maker TYLT, the Syncable-Duo is just the solution. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 8, 2014
Apple only produces a small wireless keyboard, which is frustrating for users that require the benefits of a full sized option. Using an Apple wireless keyboard for home use is usually manageable. However, using a reduced keyboard in the office is more of a struggle. The lack of a number pad is extremely complicated when entering digit data and the like.
Why Apple is yet to produce a full size, Bluetooth keyboard is beyond understanding. Third party companies are starting to enter the space with designs that compliment Macs. For several years, Logitech and other companies offered wireless keyboards, but they are bulky and clash with Apple’s aesthetic. Satechi’s Wireless Smart Keyboard is filling the gap. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 8, 2014
Headphones are one of those device categories where more money does not necessarily equate to a better quality product. Many branded, read “designer,” headphones cost extra simply because they have a celebrity backing them. There is a single branded headphone line that gets most of the attention and offer a high price tag for entry.
There are ways to more intelligently choose a pair of cans. Make sure the sound is superior quality. Of course, pay attention to build quality, but sound is paramount when purchasing headphones. Start with plastic. If the entire headphone is plastic, start second guessing your purchase. Pulling the Phiaton Bridge MS 500‘s from the box was quite a rewarding experience, complete with machined aluminum, perforated leather, and red stitching. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 7, 2014
Where do I even begin talking about selfies? Everyone loves a good selfie. They are wildly popular across the world, even causing South Korea to ban “unregulated” selfie stick sales. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, and other forms of popular social media channels are completely filled with selfies. What caused our self obsession will never be explained, but the selfie is here to stay.
The selfie stick was one of the first hardware selfie assistants. I saw them around touristy places when I traveled, but didn’t think much of them about a year ago. Now, they are increasingly popular and being utilized in everyday places. Several iterations of selfie-inspired accessories cropped up and iLuv is capitalizing on the fad. Launching “selfy,” iLuv guarantees you will always have a quick way to snap a selfie and includes a laundry list of add-ons to assist. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 6, 2014
Living a conflicted life, I am an iPhone nudist but also a hardware reviewer for iDB. As you can imagine, the struggle comes when reviewing accessories that cause the user to obfuscate the design and detail of an Apple iOS device with unnecessary appendages. I do not like bulky cases, even if their primary function is protection. I do not even like screen protectors because it stands between my finger and the glass.
When Inatek approached me about a sleeve, I jumped at the option. Sleeves are one of my favorite accessory genres because they allow the device to be used naked, while still providing protection for travel and day-to-day carry. The Inatek TPB-IM sleeve fits the bill. Read More
By Lory Gil on Dec 5, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of tilt-based games. I am of the opinion that video games started out as stationary cabinets and we are messing with the formula when we add different control mechanisms.
Bounce On Back is a tilt-based platformer game, but it is way more fun than I thought it would be. Plus, if you really hate the controls, you can opt for a D-pad instead. We’ve got a complete game review of Bounce on Back for you today. Read More
By Lory Gil on Dec 4, 2014
Puzzle games are a big hit around here. We love to put our brains through daily workouts to keep our minds fresh and strong. That’s why, whenever there is a new submission to the genre, we jump at the chance to check it out.
Dwelp is a puzzle game that requires you to pay attention to future steps. Not unlike chess, what you do next will have an affect on what can be done in the future. We’ve got a full game review of Dwelp for you below. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 4, 2014
It is rare to find a case I adore. Most of my hesitation stems from being an iPhone nudist, which I mention in most of my articles. Further complicating matters is my disdain for overly complicated designs or cases that interfere with the look and feel of iOS devices.
Many case companies get most things right. The protection level is perfect or the look and feel is spot on. Everyone does their thing. However, running into my third year of accessory reviews, most of the marketed cases are boring to me. In fact, my hardware review articles are quite infrequent due to the lack of truly new cases. Many companies are in their third or fourth iteration of the exact same case, merely updated for the newest iPhone form factor.
Standing in stark contrast to the mundane daily cases, Nodus introduced me to their Access collection. Even before holding the product, I thought to myself, here is a company that is doing it all exactly right. Shortly thereafter, I pillaged my mailbox looking for the iPhone 6 Plus Access case. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 2, 2014
In a recent attempt to go paperless, inspired by our own Jeff Benjamin, I began the search for a solid document scanner about this time last year. Thankfully, December is the month before CES and I hunted for a solution at the world’s largest end-user computer conference.
Finding the right scanner was not particularly important, because I had no idea what should accompany a scanner purchase. What features does one need when it comes to scanning? Other than using primitive scanners back in college or a full blown office scanner, there is no personal benchmark for home-use that I could rely upon. In my quest through confusion, I stumbled upon the Neat team members, who promised a scanning option that did not require tethering to a computer. The NeatConnect is a powerful desktop tool without the requirement of annoying USB cables. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 26, 2014
I love when new games come out that completely defy their genres. It’s not that I don’t enjoy traditional games, but titles that break from the norm are bold, brave, and refreshing.
FRAMED is one of those games that is unique enough to feel like a whole new genre, but work within the context of familiarity so as not to scare you away. We’ve got a full game review of FRAMED for you today. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 24, 2014
For me, there really is nothing better than a good, old-fashion side-scrolling platformer. As a kid, those were the types of games that first got me into spending all of my quarters at the local arcade. Although gaming technology has improved and the mechanics have gotten more advanced, I still love the 2-D world of my past.
Space Expedition: Classic Adventure is just that, a classic adventure. As a lone astronaut on a research space station, players must uncover the events that led to its abandonment. We’ve got a full game review of Space Expedition for you right now. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 20, 2014
In the 1990s, point-and-click adventure games were really hitting their stride on desktop computers. It may have been the only time when there was a chance that PC gaming had the potential to overtake console gaming in popularity. Now mobile gaming is filling that spot.
Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure is a science fiction set quest in the 1970s about a group of space travelers that land on an alien planet. Your job is to help this story unfold by completing missions. We’ve got an in-depth game review of Space Age for your reading pleasure today. Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 18, 2014
Icewind Dale came out 14 years ago on Windows computers. In 2000, I still hadn’t even begun playing Dungeons & Dragons on a regular basis, so this title slipped past my view for many years.
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition recently launched on iOS and it features all of the familiar settings of the Forgotten Realms, plus includes a few new spells, text options and other enhancements that bring the game to life in the mobile arena. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Icewind Dale for you today. Read More
By Timothy Reavis on Nov 15, 2014
iOS multitasking remained relatively untouched for the first several years of its existence, and although iOS 7 revamped its UI, it still maintained the core idea of using one app at a time. AppHeads is an upcoming jailbreak tweak that will reinvent iOS multitasking for some and, at the very least, greatly enhance it for others.
If you’re familiar with Facebook Messenger, you probably already have an idea of what the interface of AppHeads will look like. It uses the same round icons as Facebook Messenger, but instead of juggling conversation threads and friends’ faces, AppHeads uses these bubbles to manage running applications. You can watch this tweak in action in the video below. Read More