Hyper review: a video magazine for people with busy lives

By Lory Gil on Aug 31, 2015

I could literally spend hours on the Internet looking at funny, educational, and inspirational videos. However, I don’t have the luxury of spending hours on the Internet. I often miss a lot of the great content that comes out regularly.

Hyper is a video magazine for the iPad that pulls together a few of the top videos every day so you won’t end up going down the rabbit hole that is the Worldwide Web, unless you want to. We’ve got a hands-on app review of Hyper for you today. Read More

 

Review: Astropad Mini turns your iPhone or Apple Watch into a pro graphics tablet for your Mac

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 27, 2015

We wrote about Astropad Graphics Tablet, an app that turns your iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac, shortly following its February 2015 debut.

Designed and built by smart ex-Apple engineers Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli, the app has since been updated with support for FiftyThree’s Pencil stylus and gained other new features.

The team just released Astropad Mini, an iPhone edition of Astropad’s iPad app with Apple Watch support for remote drawing into Mac apps and more. Read More

 

Review: Lara Croft GO is the essence of adventure that feels unmistakably Tomb Raider-y

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 27, 2015

It only took a few minutes for me to get hooked on Lara Croft GO, a new premium title from Hitman GO creators Square Enix Montréal.

Created in partnership with Crystal Dynamics, this gorgeously done puzzle-solving adventure takes Hitman GO’s turn-based strategy concept and simplicity of action to a whole new level while managing to incorporate several marquee aspects of the traditional Tomb Raider formula and gameplay.

But Lara Croft GO, a $4.99 download in the App Store, is hardly the same game as Hitman GO. More than the collection of its impressive parts—mesmerizing soundtrack, artful animations and gorgeous visuals—Lara Croft GO manages to distill the famed series down to its essence.

I spent a few hours playing and reviewing this game in the days leading up to its release, here are my hands-on impressions and findings. Read More

 

Crisp: a clean and simple email template keyboard for iOS

By Sébastien Page on Aug 27, 2015

How many times a day or a week do you send the exact same email to people? It usually is a canned reply to an often asked question, or maybe it is a tidbit of personal information such as your address. If you use email, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Crisp, a new app available in the App Store today, wants to make this better by offering a clean and simple email template keyboard for iOS. Read More

 

Portal for iOS: wireless file transfers from your computer to iPhone made easy

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015

Portal, an Android app that launched earlier this summer, is now available on your iPhone free of charge in the App Store.

Created by a company called Pushbullet which makes a namesake cross-platform notification mirroring utility, Portal for iPhone uses QR codes and takes advantage of peer-to-peer connectivity to transfer very large files and folders between your devices in a snap.

With Portal, you can transfer files from your computer to an iOS device via a simple interface that can be accessed through any web browser. The app lets you transfer as many files as you’d like and imposes no file size limits.

Here’s a quick review of Portal based on my brief hands-on time with the app. Read More

 

Review: RIF6 Cube Projector – a great iPhone companion?

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 24, 2015

The RIF6 Cube ($269 on Amazon) is a portable DLP projector that’s super-small at only 2”x 2”. You can literally fit this projector in your pocket and then use it to project an image from your iPhone’s screen up to 120”.

The main thing that the RIF6 has going for it is its size, or lack thereof. It’s so incredibly tiny, that it’s hard to believe that it can project anything, let alone a 120” picture.

The small size, though, is both a blessing and a curse for the RIF6. Due to its small size, it’s sub-HD at an 854×480 resolution. It also packs a speaker that features barely audible sound quality.

But I’ve decided that both of these downsides are things that most people will be able to live with, because you’re buying this projector for the incredible sense of portability and flexibility that it brings, not because it packs the latest and greatest features in projector technology.

Watch our video review inside as I highlight the unboxing of the RIF6 Cube, and showcase the basic setup and display capabilities that this svelte little device possesses. Read More

 

Nomad Stand for Apple Watch review

By Sébastien Page on Aug 22, 2015

In my apparently endless search for the perfect Apple Watch dock, I have come across the Nomad Stand. Its simple design is what caught my eye at first, but after using it for a few days, I can say there is more to it than meet the eyes.

Most of the stands for Apple Watch I’ve seen so far seem to take the wrong approach. They appear to try too hard to design something that in many cases doesn’t compliment the design of the Apple Watch itself, but actually works against it.

Nomad Stand succeeds where many others have failed. Read More

 

Review: Skiva PowerFlow 7 Port StandCharger + Giveaway

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 21, 2015

Chances are that if you’re reading this review, you have more than one portable device that charges via USB. Maybe you have two—a tablet and a phone—or maybe you have multiple phones.

Admittedly, someone like me is a bit of anomaly, as I review phones and cover them on a daily basis. Hence, it’s not out of the ordinary for me to have multiple smartphones at any given time. This has especially become true as I get acquainted with more Android devices.

One of the main caveats of having this many portable devices is keeping them charged. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a phone or a tablet that I haven’t touched in a while, only to find it dead—the dreaded “dead phone syndrome”.

The problem really is two-fold: a). I don’t have enough wall outlets and chargers in convenient places to keep the devices topped off, and b). my devices are usually scattered all over the place.

Skiva’s new PowerFlow StandCharger 7-Port USB Charging Station aims to eliminate both problems. It can charge all of your devices at the same time via the seven 2.4 Amp USB ports, and it also houses each device in a organized manner.

But does the Skiva do enough to warrant a serious look? Is this $59.99 device truly better than your current system of charging your device? Check out our video walkthrough and thoughts inside.
Read More

 

I’ve become addicted to this game, and so will you

By Sébastien Page on Aug 21, 2015

I’m not much of a gamer, but every once in a while, I come across a little gem that gets me hooked for a short period of time. Circlestances is one of those games.

The concept of the game is pretty simple. Two circles are moving in random directions on your screen. Your goal is to tap the screen every time they overlap. The more they overlap, the more you score. Sounds too simple?  Read More

 

Review: Sennheiser ClipMic digital and Apogee MetaRecorder

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 19, 2015

As many of you guys know, I’m fairly involved in audio and video when it comes to producing content for iDownloadBlog. As someone who co-produces multiple podcasts each week, I’m especially fond of audio, and any new product that surfaces that could possibly give my audio game a boost is on my radar.

One such product is Sennheiser’s new ClipMic digital ($199 on Amazon). It’s a lavalier mic that connects directly to the iPhone via its MFi certified Lightning connector. With the ClipMic digital, you can basically transform your iPhone into a high quality audio recorder… Read More

 

Review: BatteryBox – a good charging solution for your MacBook?

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 18, 2015

I’ve been using Gbatteries’ BatteryBox ($219 on Amazon) portable MacBook-enabled battery charger for several months, and now I’d like to share my thoughts on the device.

The BatteryBox is a dense, yet small compact box that’s almost exactly as wide as of pack of playing cards, and about as tall as two and a half packs of playing cards.

Needless to say it’s a very small device, but it’s also extremely dense and a little awkward to travel with. It’s essentially like carrying around a power brick from your favorite game console in the mid-90’s.

The BatteryBox is dense because it packs in a whopping 60 Wh rechargeable li-ion battery. That’s a lot of juice, and as such, it can power a MacBook Air for 13 hours straight. As a user of a MacBook Pro, the amount of time I get from the BatteryBox is obviously reduced, but I still came away fairly impressed with the results.

The BatteryBox can also charge other items, like iPhone and iPads, via a standard USB connection. In fact, it can fully recharge an iPhone up to 11 times, which makes it great for traveling where you power outlet access may be limited.

But what makes the BatteryBox stand out is the fact that it can connect directly to a MacBook’s charging port via a specially designed connector. Since Apple owns the patents to MagSafe connectors, Gbatteries had to come up with a different method for connecting to the MacBook. The BatteryBox is the result of its efforts, and it works well from my experience.

If you’re a MacBook user who’s often on the go, should you consider supplementing your MacBook’s battery with a BatteryBox? Find out inside… Read More

 

The Spigen Nightstand S350 is my favorite Apple Watch charging dock

By Sébastien Page on Aug 18, 2015

The Spigen Nightstand S350 is a new charging dock for Apple Watch that minimalists like me will surely appreciate. Its very small footprint and simple design make it the perfect nightstand accessory to charge your Apple Watch at night, while preventing to clutter the precious space of your bedside table. Read More

 

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon review: spin a web of mystery and death

By Lory Gil on Aug 17, 2015

In practically every image of an abandoned building, especially an old house, there are dozens of spider webs spread out everywhere. You might wonder what it is those spiders are doing with their days and nights, free to roam around without fear of human interactions.

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon gives you a glimpse into what it might be like as a spider, wandering the rooms of an abandoned estate, looking for food, and discovering much more. Check out our full game review of Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon below. Read More

 

Operation Dracula review: a relentless vertical shoot-em-up from a 1980s dreams

By Lory Gil on Aug 7, 2015

As far as arcade shooters go, some of the most action-packed are the ones where you are being bombarded by a massive onslaught of firepower that you can’t seem to get away from. Some call it the “bullet hell” genre.

Operation Dracula is a vertical shoot-em-up that can be considered a bullet hell game because your entire screen is filled with firepower coming at you from every angle. We’ve got a full game review of Operation Dracula for you today. Read More

 

How to add ratings to Cydia tweaks

By Jeff Benjamin on Aug 4, 2015

Cydia Ratings is an awesome new beta jailbreak tweak that brings an App Store-inspired ratings interface to all of your favorite Cydia tweaks.

Ever since Cydia debuted, there’s never been a real way to go about rating the tweaks housed inside. Users are thus made to either take the plunge on a tweak without knowing how good it is, or wait for a review from iDB. Now, with Cydia Reviews, users will have a legitimate way of reviewing and reading reviews for all of the tweaks available on Cydia. Read More

 

Prune review: yard work has never been so beautiful

By Lory Gil on Aug 3, 2015

There truly is an art form in pruning. Trees of all shapes and sizes act differently based on the way you manipulate their growth. The art of the Bonsai is the perfect example of how a perfectly trimmed tree can become whatever you want it to be.

Prune is a game about trees. In it, players trim branches to grow their foliage until they reach the sun. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Prune for you today. Read More

 

Create colorful keyboards that match your mood in an instant with Photokeys

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Photokeys by developer Appyfurious was released in the App Store last evening. This quite interesting application makes it easy and fun to create your own colorful keyboards in seconds, from any photo in your library.

Just take or import a picture, adjust color themes as you like and your keyboard is ready for use in any application.

If you’re unhappy with the results, refine your custom designs with manual controls to mix and match your own colors and achieve the keyboard nirvana. But wait, there’s much more to Photokeys, a 99-cent download from the App Store, than meets the eye. Read More

 

Review: Inateck MercuryBox Bluetooth speaker

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015

One of my biggest beefs with the iPhone and iPad is the lack of love given to sound output quality. Neither device features speakers that face the user, and the speakers that are there produce sound that’s just passable in my opinion. It’s definitely one of the biggest opportunity areas for improvement when it comes to iOS hardware.

Other devices do a much better job with sound quality. For example, the HTC One M9 features front-facing speakers, as does the just-released Motorola G 3rd-gen. Even tablets like the Nexus 9 feature front-firing speakers that sound relatively good. The iPhone and iPad? Not so much.

But that’s okay, because that’s what external speakers were made for. In fact, I just got my hands on stylish-looking Bluetooth speaker called the MercuryBox (42.99 with Amazon discount code below). It’s from a German company called Inateck, who sent us a sample unit for review.

Is this the perfect device to improve your iPhone’s sound output? Read More

 

Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition is so engaging you might forget to eat in real life

By Lory Gil on Jul 30, 2015

Sometimes, there are games that are so engrossing that you don’t even realize that time has passed. They can sometimes get you into trouble, especially if you suddenly find yourself still at home in your slippers when you should have been at work 10 minutes ago.

Don’t Starve is an action survival game for the iPad that might cause you to forget to eat dinner while trying to keep your character well fed and safe from things that go bump in the night. We’ve got a full game review of Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition for you today. Read More

 

Review: Moto G 3rd-generation – an iPhone user’s take

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015

The Moto G is a budget Android smartphone line from Motorola that has nurtured a very good reputation in the tech community. The latest 3rd-generation Moto G, which debuted on Tuesday, is now available in stores like Amazon and Best Buy.

We’ve made it our mission to review various Android smartphones over the year in order to provide you with a balanced look at what the so-called “competition” is offering. As most of you know, I’m a die-hard Apple fan, but I do have a soft spot in my heart from Android, even though I think that many of the decisions that Android OEMs make are borderline shameless.

That said, I’ve been extremely keen on testing out the latest and greatest version of the Moto G, because I think it’s the perfect companion Android phone for iPhone users wishing to dabble into the “other side”. At a mere $179.99 unlocked, the Moto G is an outstanding value. Yes, there are other Android phones that fall within this price range, but they’re usually horrible specs-wise, or if they’re decent, they’re inundated with bloatware (I’m looking at you Asus ZenFone 2).

The Moto G is different. Not only is it factory unlocked, but it features decent specs for a phone this cheap. But most importantly, it lacks the bloatware so popular in other phones in this class, or even so-called flagship phones. True, it’s not a Nexus device, which is 100% stock Android, but it’s very close, and arguably, improves on stock Android with some of its unique offerings.
Read More

 
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