GeekDad Review: HISY Bluetooth Camera Remote for iPhone

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I’m not big on the whole selfie thing, but there are many occasions when I like to get into the picture for group shots with my family and friends. If we planned things ahead, a proper camera on a tripod with a timer is the usual method for capturing the moments. Spontaneous shots are more likely to be on one of our iPhones. There are self-timer apps available for these siutations, but I think HISY has come up with a much more useful solution: the HISY Bluetooth Camera Remote for iPhone. Continue reading

Ponder on Your Device Cables

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The cables we use to charge our devices probably aren’t given much thought until we can’t find them. They’re there… they work. If you’re like me, you probably think that there’s just not much room for improvement when it comes to these cables, right? Well, the folks at Color Cables proved me wrong. Continue reading

SLXtreme 5 iPhone Case – XTreme Protection + XTreme Battery Life

SLXtreme 5 Case

I’m not going to pull any punches here — the SLXtreme 5 iPhone case (for 5 and 5S) is not for everyone. It’s bulkier… heavier… and definitely pulls in some strange looks. I’ve been using it now for almost a month and I can attest to the fact that I got at least a dozen odd looks every day not counting those individuals who had no issue saying something like “Man, that is ONE serious case!” The SLXtreme 5 is, however, exactly as advertised — waterproof, battery rugged, and solar powered. Continue reading

GeekDad Review: Nomad Mini 2 Portable Paintbrush Stylus

Nomad Mini 2 Portable Paintbrush Stylus in action.

Around this time last year, I was trying out a Nomad Brush FLeX stylus for my iPad. I’m not much of a digital artist (if the sample photo doesn’t make that clear), but I do enjoy noodling around with a tablet and a digital painting app like ArtRage. The Brush FLeX really ups the experience thanks to its synthetic capacitive brush, and the machined aluminum body felt extremely solid. I’d still recommend looking at it if you’re into this kind of thing. My one complaint about the Brush FLeX was the reliance on a plastic case to keep the bristles from being damaged in transit. A new year and I’ve switched to an iPad Mini. And in keeping with the miniaturization theme Nomad sent me a new Nomad Mini 2 paintbrush stylus. I think I like this one even better… Continue reading

10 Things Sci-fi Promised Us That DID Happen in 2013 (or Thereabout)

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Last week I published a list of top 10 things science fiction promised us that didn’t happen in 2013. So, lest you think I’m completely negative, let’s take a look at a few things that did happen in 2013… 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

GeekDad Review: Romo App-Controlled Robotic Pet for iOS Devices

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What kid doesn’t like an R/C toy? Who wouldn’t want a programmable robot, one that learns to react to your face, recognizes colors and has its own highly animated facial expressions? What about your own mobile remote presence, complete with motion control and two-way audio and video feeds? Using your iPhone or iPod Touch as its brains, the Romo app-controlled robotic pet for iOS devices manages to pull off all these capabilities. It does so in a way that’s both entertaining and educational for kids and the icing on the cake is there are no additional batteries required (anyone who’s had to load up an R/C car then its controller knows what I’m talking about) — the Romo base recharges via USB while your iOS device recharges using your normal method. 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

The Ballistic Hard Core Case Rocks

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Technology and real life don’t always mix well, especially when you have kids. Most of the time, I’ve settled on the Griffin Survivor or (often better) the Otterbox Defender cases, both of which do a decent job of standing up to rigorous abuse. A couple months ago, though, Ballistic sent me one of their Hard Core cases for my iPhone 5 to test out, and it won me over. 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

What if You Don’t Fall in Love with iOS7?

Image: Karlis Dambrans via Flickr

An hour later, he came into my room, his lip quivering. “I hate the new operating system.” He could get used to the new look, the new set-up, but he couldn’t get accustomed to a new sound. Siri’s voice had changed ever so slightly; it was less robotic, less hesitant. The fluidity of sound made him feel as if it wasn’t his Siri anyone. Continue reading