10 Things Parents Should Know About the Amazon Fire TV

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Amazon has a lot going on of late. Just yesterday they rolled out the Prime Music service, yet another perk for Amazon Prime subscribers, and next week they are poised to unveil another new device – smart money seems to be on it being the long-rumored Amazon phone. Still, before we dive headlong into speculation, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on Amazon’s last big reveal, the Fire TV. Continue reading

Which is Better for Reading? An E-Reader or a Small Tablet?

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Only five years ago this wasn’t a question anyone would ask. Pre iPad, the Kindle and Sony Reader were pretty much the only game in town for digital reading devices. The iPad changed things in 2010, but those early tablets were big and expensive. The real competition between traditional E Ink e-readers and and tablets for consuming the “printed” word didn’t happen until Android tablets went to 7-inches to do an end run around Apple’s domination. Suddenly tablets were roughly the same size as e-readers and not a whole lot more expensive. That resulted in predictions that tablets would doom the the dedicated e-reader the same way smartphones were killing the point-and-shoot pocket camera. The e-reader isn’t dead yet, but should it be? Which is better for digital reading, an e-reader or a small tablet? Continue reading

Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 Review: Samsung Embiggens the Tablet

Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 is big

Samsung, the company that super sized the smartphone with the Galaxy Note, spawning the phablet craze, is at it again. While arch-rival Apple has been busy the past few year making its iPad smaller – because the 9.7-inch form factor was too big and too expensive for many people — Samsung decided to do the opposite. It unveiled the Galaxy NotePro 12.2, a 1.66 pound, $749 (and up) monster of a tablet with a 12.2-inch display packing four million pixels. The company sent me one to play with (a bold move, considering I downsized to an iPad Mini Retina this year), and I put the behemoth through its paces. I didn’t hate it, despite the massive size. In fact, I kinda liked it… Continue reading

2 Months In: The iPad Mini With Retina Display Is Close to the Perfect Tablet

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display

I have the opportunity to play with a lot of different tablets. I own a small collection too —iPads and Android (no Windows versions here, although I have had a handful in the house for testing). I’m a fan of these things. The one that I use almost exclusively these days is my iPad Mini with Retina Display. As far as I’m concerned, Apple has pretty much perfected the tablet with this device. Continue reading

Tis the Season — For Cheap Apps

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Did your kids score a new iOS device for Christmas, or maybe you treated yourself to a new iPod, iPad or iPhone over the holidays? I’m pretty psyched myself after receiving an iPad Mini with Retina display to replace my much-loved (but showing its age) original iPad. Loading an iPad up with games is a heck of a lot cheaper than investing in the cartridges needed to fill up a 3DS library, but the holiday season is the best time to stock up on iOS games. Many developers have some of their top titles on sale for up to 90% off. No line-ups, no parking hassles and you don’t even have to change out of your PJs — just log on to iTunes. For even bigger savings, check for stores that have iTunes cards on sale. Continue reading

4 iPhone Cases Reviewed: M-Edge, Belkin and Radius

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While I passed on the iPhone 5s (I’m spoiled by all these big-screened Android phones and decided to give Apple one more chance to come up with a bigger iPhone 6 next year), my wife bought one. In fact, she waited the extra month and a half to get the gold version. ‘Cause gold is better… Anyway, once you have one of Apple’s shiny aluminum and glass bars in your hand, the trick is to keep it shiny. That’s where a protective case comes in. We tested out four iPhone 5s cases in an attempt to find the best one for different use cases. Here are the results. Continue reading

GeekDad Review: Sonos Play:1 Compact Wireless Speaker

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I’ve had the opportunity to play with many Sonos products over the years and have watched with interest as the company has expanded from a specialized player found mostly in independent, audiophile stereo stores to a nationally recognized brand with a growing product line. And while it still continues to offer premium equipment, Sonos has also branched out into less expensive gear. Up until a month ago, the price of entry to the Sonos streaming music ecosystem was $329 for a Play:3 speaker plus $59 for a Bridge (needed to connect the wireless speaker to your Wi-Fi network). The latest addition to the Sonos line-up makes the high quality wireless audio even more affordable. The Play:1 which hit shelves in October, goes for $219 but still offers high quality sound and the ability to be integrated (now or later) as part of a larger Sonos music network. Continue reading

Exclusive: MythBusters‘ Tory Belleci Launches Educational Post-Apocalyptic Game App

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It’s not often that you come across an educational app aimed at kids that’s a genuinely fun, graphics-rich video game that adults will enjoy as well, and even less often that you find one set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland full of broken-down cars and sand sharks. Continue reading

The Simpsons: Tapped Out Halloween Update is Out

The Simpsons: Tapped Out is back in the Halloween spirit

Mobile, casual game-playing, freemium-loving zombies already know that EA’s The Simpsons: Tapped Out is one of the most addictive games out there. I may not be heavily into the genre, but I do love The Simpsons and this game has been on my iPad since it first came out. Besides getting rid of most of the bugs and technical issues that plagued the game last year (— cough— busy servers, lengthy load times and occasional terrifying moments where your Springfield was lost and it appeared you had to start from scratch — cough —), EA has also removed the platform divide and offers The Simpsons: Tapped Out for Android users now too. Just like last year, a new release brings Halloween spirit to the virtual Springfield, including ghosts, gremlins, GOO, trick or treating and content tied in to the TV show’s “Treehouse of Horror XXIV” episode. Continue reading