Category Archives: iPhone

Hands on with HyperJuice: to-go power with built-in plug, multiple ports

HyperJuice offers a portable battery pack that you can haul around, plug into any wall socket, and use to charge two items at once (even two iPads at once!) with its dual USB ports. Shipping in a variety of eye-catching colors, as well as the basic black you see in the image at the top of this post, HyperJuice retails for US$129.95 (10.4Ah) and $159.95 (15.6Ah).

I was able to test out one of the lower capacity units and can report that it seems to work as advertised. Port access was just fine and the items charged as promised. I only had two complaints about the unit.

Phocus phantastic for phun iPhone photography

Back in the dark ages of the iPhone 3GS, there was the OWLE bubo — a machined aluminum case that provided more gripping surface for holding the phone as a camera, a tripod mount, a cold shoe for an LED light, and interchangeable lenses.

When the iPhone 4 and 4S came out, the company didn’t create a new bubo.

They’re back now as Phocus with a new, less expensive, and lighter product that works with the iPhone 4/4S.

The Phocus comes in two varieties — a kit with two lenses for US$99.95 or a three lens kit for $134.95.

The two lens kit is actually made up of a wide angle lens with a removable macro lens, while the three lens kit adds a 2X portrait telephoto lens.

A lens cap to protect the wide angle / macro is available for $8.95. If you like using filters (UV Haze, polarizing, or effect), both the wide angle lens and portrait telephoto lens take standard 49 mm filters.

Doodle Cat: Like "Simon’s Cat", like "Doodle God", but with cattitude

Simon’s Cat (Free) is undoubtedly an adorable app. The question is, rather, is this app for you? It’s basically a mash-up of Simon’s Cat-like art and Doodle God (which was among our suggestions for great vacation apps). You combine on-screen items to “alchemically” create new objects. The cat purrs, plays, and is generally sweet and cute.

After playing with the app, I rather like it, but with certain caveats. First, I found it really hard to play on the iPhone — it really needs the iPad’s bigger screen because the manipulatable objects are just too freaking small.

Second, I had a hard time with items being dragged offscreen, before I figured out that big swipes across the play surface would reveal hidden items. After hearing my grunts of frustration, my daughter was all “What’s the prob, mom?” and I was all, “I lost my cat!” And she was all, “But we never had a cat.”

Parrot MINIKIT Neo voice-controlled hands-free kit coming in September

Parrot MINIKIT Neo voicecontrolled handsfree kit

For many drivers, hands-free kits are not only a good idea, but the law. A huge array of devices have come out over the past few years, many with a common problem — they’re rather bulky and unattractive. Now Parrot, the same company that brings you the über-cool AR.Drone, has announced the MINIKIT Neo (US$99.99) to change all of that.

From an initial look at the MINIKIT Neo, I think it’s going to be a winner, and for those who either don’t have an Siri-equipped iPhone or won’t be able to get a Siri Eyes-Free Mode button in their car, it appears to be a good solution. The device weighs only 2.5 ounces, is battery-powered (eliminating the need for dangling cords), and is advertised as “100 percent hands-free”. There’s a reason Parrot is making that distinction — a lot of “hands-free kits” that I’ve tested actually require the user to tap or push a button to perform certain actions, which can be just as distracting to a driver as picking up a phone.

Microsoft: "Post-PC" is the wrong idea

The Verge has a piece contrasting the Microsoft and Apple diverging views on what Apple calls the ‘post-PC world’.

The Microsoft view is there is no post-PC world, just what the company calls the ‘PC+’ world. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner discussed this at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

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