App Review: Draw Something for iPhone and iPad

March 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Freebies, Games

One of the hottest social games right now has got to be Draw Something by OMGPOP. Anyone can play; whether you’re an artist or not, it’s fun, addictive, and quite easy!

What is Draw Something? As the name suggests, it’s a Pictionary-type game where you draw and try to guess your friend’s word. You and your friend are on the same team. Drawing and guessing a word correctly rewards both sides.

To start, search for your friend in the game. They can be found either by username or Facebook. Then you’ll be given a list of three words, each one having a different value. The easiest word is worth one coin. The next challenging word is worth two coins. And the most difficult-to-draw word is worth three coins. Select one of the words and draw it on the next screen.

Once you’re done drawing, submit and send it to your friend. A video recording of you drawing your masterpiece unfolds for your friend to watch. Below the screen are twelve letters. Some of these letters are in the word, and some are not. Once they figure out what the word is, they can start tapping on the letters to fill in the blanks. If they guess correctly, it’s their turn to draw something for you. When it’s your turn again, you will see a video of your drawing along with your friend’s guesses. And then you get to guess their drawing.

So what can you do with all these coins you collect? You can purchase more paint colors! The five default colors are nice, but having many shades of various colors to pick from is fun too.

So what happens if you’re stuck? If you can’t figure out what your friend drew, you can use the bomb and blast away some of the given letters that aren’t in the word. Only one blast per round is allowed. If you still can’t figure it out, you can just pass.

I think the drawing videos being played back to the users is what makes this game stand apart from other drawing games. It’s fun watching how the brain works, from drawing the first stroke, to the exact moment when the user figures out the word.

I highly recommend trying this game if you haven’t already. The game is on sale at an introductory price of 99 cents and comes with 400 coins and extra bombs. If you are unsure about the purchase, try the ad version for free.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | Universal Full Version (99 cents) | Universal Add Version (Free)

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Review: iLuv Smart Back Cover for iPad 2

March 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

Already own an Apple Smart Cover for your iPad 2? One of the best complement for it is the iLuv Smart Back Cover. It’s a hard shell case that is smooth to the touch, yet sturdy and rigid for everyday use. The texture on the case feels really soft and doesn’t scratch easily. This makes it a nice slim solution for those of us who like to toss our iPads in our bags.

The iPad 2 fits nicely in the iLuv Smart Back Cover. There are cutouts for all the ports and camera, and even a cutout for the speakers so your audio isn’t muffled. What I really like about this case is how smooth the cutouts are. There are no sharp corners that can leave you any scratches. The back case is lightweight and fully protects the back of your iPad from dust and bumps.

It’s available in colors that match and coordinate with your Apple Smart Cover. The iLuv Smart Back Cover also works best with an Apple Smart Cover, as this will cover all the edges of the iPad.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars · i-Luv.com · $ 39.99 · Amazon ($9.60+)

Disclosure: This product was sent by iLuv for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Grablet for iPad

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

Why hide the beauty of your iPad behind a case? Instead enhance with the Grablet! Available in a variety of colors, this case will surely add a splash of color and fun to your iPad!

At first glance, the Grablet looks like some sporty rock climbing equipment for your iPad. With its sexy curves, it’ll surely get people’s attention.

This case has four grooves that holds each end of the iPad. The sleek X-shape design displays how elegant and beautiful your iPad is, rather than hide it. The corners are padded and raised to protect from bumps or drops. You can put the iPad face down without scratching the surface. It also works perfectly with the magnetic Apple&reg Smart Cover.

What makes this case stands apart from the rest are the handy quick release straps on the back. Simply push to easily snap them off. Switch with the additional accessories to allow infinite potential uses. You can hold your iPad comfortably in your hand with the Grablet. If you remove the hand pad or wrap, you can let one of the straps hang on a cabinet knob for easy kitchen viewing. Or wrap the straps around your leg for a secure fit. You can even wrap the straps around a car seat for easy movie viewing. The possibilities are endless. For more ideas, see the Grablet gallery.

Each package comes with:
1 Grablet novus g2
1 Grablet Hand Pad
1 Grablet Hand Wrap
2 x 13” Straps w/ 4 G clips
4 x Grablet Strap Retainers

Available in an array of bright and fun colors — Cadmium Yellow, Jungle Green, Ultra Pink, Slate Gray, Burst Orange, Cadet Blue, Fog Silver, Fuze Green, Glacier White, Onyx Black, Sonic Purple, and Lava Red for $39.99.

The Grablet also comes in two versions, one for the iPad 2 and one for the iPad 1.

4.5 out of 5 stars · TheGrablet.com · $39.99 · Amazon ($39.99)

Disclosure: This product was sent by The Grablet for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Architect Stylus

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories

Slick and beautiful, the Architect Stylus may have been created from a minimalist’s dream. Made of anodized aluminum, this stylus perfectly compliments the iPad.

The Architect Stylus is made up of two parts — a distinctive cap and an anodized aluminum body. The cap has a unique loop cutout in it that’s a perfect fit for a lanyard or keychain. This cap can also be screwed on either end of the stylus. When the stylus is in use, you can screw it on the top end. When not in use, you can screw it on the end with the nub, protecting it from any dust or scratches.

Using the stylus on your iPad (or any capacitive touch screen) is wonderful. Simply glide the stylus on the screen like you would with your finger. Write, draw, or browse with high accuracy. It feels ergonomically-correct in your hand with just the right weight and thickness. The Architect also comes with a small case to prevent any scratches on your stylus.

Overall, the architect is a beautiful stylus that’s both functional and enjoyable to see and use. My favorite part is how it compliments the iPad perfectly, as well as the unique design.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars · TheArcticStore.com · $22.95

Disclosure: This product was sent by The Arctic for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: iZon Remote Room Monitor

March 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

Enjoy some peace of mind with the new iZon Remote Room Monitor. It’s small, stylish, and has many features and functions you’ll enjoy.

The best feature of this room monitor is not the camera itself, but its ability to be connected to your iPhone, iPod Touch, and/or iPad! Stream video right on your iOS device with the free app. This means you can be anywhere and still access your camera. There’s no need to be just a few feet away. From the app, you can record 30 second videos to a private YouTube account, or instantly record with the push of a button. Currently, there is about a 20 second latency for video in the app.

You can find many uses for the iZon. Use it as a baby monitor, home security, or just a way to check on your love ones. Never miss a moment again!

Setup is easy with the iZon Remote Room Monitor. First you’ll need to download and install the free Stem:connect iOS app on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and/or iPad. Then connect your iOS device to the iZon “stem” Wi-fi network to configure the camera. This is a really clever way to setup the device.

One downside is that it doesn’t have low light capability. Other wi-fi cameras such as the D-Link DCS-932 have the infared feature for the same price. Another downside is that you can’t send audio to the room monitor. For example, if you’re using it as a baby monitor, you can hear everything happening in the room, but you can’t talk back to your baby to calm them down. But on the flip side, unlike most baby monitors, you can hear audio and record video remotely from anywhere. You don’t have to be a few feet away to view the baby or your house. That’s a big plus and outweighs the downside.

Enjoy the iZon Room Monitor for $129.95, a fair and competitive price. It’s only available in one color, white, and you can download the app for free. The app is universal, so it works all iOS devices, including both the iPhone and iPad.

Steminnovation.com · $129.95 · Purchase online, or at Apple retail stores, Target stores and select Best Buy locations.

Disclosure: This product was sent by Stem Innovation for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: ePillow for iPad

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

Add a little comfort in your use of the iPad (or other tablets) with an ePillow. It’s exactly what it’s name sounds like. It’s a pillow stand for your iPad (or other electronic device). It has a simple design that brings comfort, keeping your hands free from holding the tablet device.

Basically it’s a soft pillow (made of suede, synthetic leather, or cotton depending on the color) that has a little holder in front to hold your device. Lay the pillow on your lap and slide in the iPad (or tablet). And then use it as you would normally do. It puts your device at a nice angle so you’re both comfortable and not straining from holding the device. Adjust the angle of the pillow to what best suits you. You can slip the device into the holder in either portrait or landscape mode.

If you’re a traveler, the ePillow is very convenient to take with you also! On the back of the pillow is a long strap. Simply slide this strap into the handle of your suitcase, and don’t worry about it falling anywhere. Use the ePillow on the plane or the car to read your books, play games, watch a movie, or even sleep on when you get tired (unless you’re the driver)!

On the front top right of the ePillow is a small pocket that’s big enough to hold your charging cable. You can store it in there when moving around.

The ePillow works with various devices, including iPad 1 and 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia A500 Tab, LG Optimus Pad, HP Touchpad, Android Toughbook Tab, Sony Tab S, Asus Transformer Prime, ePad and even books!

When putting the iPad (or tablet) into the slot, a portion of the bottom part of the iPad is covered. All your frequently used apps in your dock (most likely email, Safari, etc) will be covered up when using the ePillow. But this isn’t a problem at all if you’re viewing video or movie. If you are changing apps constantly, this may be a little bit cumbersome if you’re using the apps in your dock.

Choose from a variety of materials (and colors) including suede, synthetic leather, and cotton. Currently available colors Brown, Black, Red/Grey, Aqua/Grey, Pink/Black, Black/Pink, Red/Black.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · ePillow.net · $29.95

Disclosure: This product was sent by ePillow for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart for iPad 2

March 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

If you find yourself walking around a lot to show screens and apps on your iPad, you may want to consider getting the Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart Case for the iPad 2. It’s an iPad 2 case that not only fits snuggly on the iPad, but also in your hand!

Made of a soft silicone material, the case fits the iPad 2 perfectly, leaving openings for all the buttons and ports, including a side to slip your Apple Smart Cover into. To use, simply press the case in along all the sides.

What makes this case extra special is the mechanism on the back of the case. There’s a circular piece with a strap that allows you to put your hand in. Once your hand is in, spin, turn, or hold the iPad to the position that best helps you display the screen. And when you’re done displaying the screen, you can put it down on a table and the circular back becomes a stand. Turn it to be in either portrait or landscape mode. It’s about a 30 degree angle, which is perfect for typing.

If you would like higher angle, that’s where your Apple Smart cover comes into play. Place it on the iPad and turn the cover into a stand. Now it’s perfect for movie viewing.

Overall, it’s a wonderful case, especially if you enjoy holding your iPad in one hand. Being able to use the case as a stand too is a bonus. The Hub Innovations Rev 360 Smart Case is available in assortment of over 20 beautiful colors and patterns. Variations of this case is also available for iPad 1 users ($49.95), as well as iPad 2 users who do not have Apple Smart covers ($59.95). The only difference between the regular Rev 360 for iPad 2 and the Rev 360 Smart for iPad 2 is the opening for the to place the Apple Smart cover.

Rating: 4.5 our of 5 stars · $69.95 · hubinnovations.com

Disclosure: This product was sent by Hub Innovations for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Atari Arcade Duo Powered

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad, Reviews

Blast to the past with the Atari Arcade by Discovery Bay Games! It’s a retro Atari game controller for the iPad, and just the perfect gift for fans of the Atari 2600 video game console. It’s such a fun way to bring back those childhood memories!

The Atari game controller is an extension to the iPad. It’s a one-piece device with a joy stick and 4 buttons on it, as you would expect on an old arcade machine to have. On the top of the controller is a place for you to slide your iPad in. This part is a little tricky because the slot is only as big as the iPad’s charging port. Once you slide it in, click on the two locks on both sides. These locks keep the iPad in place so it doesn’t fall out while playing.

The next thing you need to do is download the Atari Greatest Hits iPad app. It’s a free iPad app with in-app purchases. The app comes with one free game. You may remember the old favorite, Missile Command. Of course you can play the game without the controller, but it’s much more fun with it!

Be sure to mount the iPad onto the the controller before launching the Atari Greatest Hits app. If you happen to launch the app first, you may need to close the app or restart the iPad. Once mounted, select a game to play and go to “Controls.” Make sure the “Atari Arcade powered by Duo” is selected. Then hit “Play.”

The joystick and buttons feels so much like the old arcade games. They even make the same clicky sounds! They could sound a little loud, but that’s what makes them great!

Play some of the old arcade favorites like Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. You can purchase packages of 5+ games for just 99 cents, or purchase all 99 games for just $9.99.

One downside is that it only works with the Atari Greatest Hits iPad app. You can’t use the joystick with other games. I’d love to see this working for Pac-man one day.

Overall, the controller and the games in the apps are a lot of fun if you like the retro pixel games. They sure bring back a lot of great childhood arcade memories!

Note: The Atari Arcade controller is compatible with both the iPad and iPad 2.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · DiscoveryBayGames.com · $59.99

Disclosure: This product was sent by Discovery Bay Games for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Woodees iPic Stylus

February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

There’s now an iPad / tablet stylus made with musicians in mind. It’s both stylish and functional, and may I add, quite adorable. It’s Woodees’ new iPic Stylus. It works with all touchscreen devices, and resembles a guitar pic, but with a stylus nub on the end.

The iPic offers a very natural feel for musicians, especially if they’re playing the guitar, bass, or other musical string instruments on the iPad or iPhone. You can hold it between your thumb and index finger for that natural “pick” feel. Or even hold it to “poke” at the screen to type. You can even turn the iPic to the side and strum it like a real guitar pick on your device.

For fun with musical instruments, download the free iPad app, Miso Music: Plectrum for iPad to test iPic with.

One thing I would change about the iPic is the surface of the pick. It’s a little bit slippery to hold at times. If the surface of it had some texture, it may work better even for the sweatiest fingers.

Overall, the iPic is a fun little stylus, especially for the musician at heart. It’s available in both black and white. Normally $19.99, it’s currently on sale for $14.99.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars · Woodees.com · $14.99

Disclosure: This product was sent by Woodees for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Macally Ecostand2 for iPad 2

February 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

Is Macally Ecostand2 a case or is it a stand? It’s a little bit of both actually, and best of all, it’s eco-friendly too! This case and stand combo contains two parts — a plastic back case that fits nicely on the iPad 2 and the flexible bamboo stand.

The Case. The case is simple to put on. Simply snap the case on back of the iPad 2, and securely work your way around the edges to make sure it’s all in. It’s made of a hard plastic that’s dark gray in color. There’s cutouts for all the ports and buttons, including the back camera. The case only slightly covers the front edges. On the middle of the case is a large circular magnet. This part is used to attach to the bamboo stand.

The Bamboo Stand. The stand looks like a small cutting board but with flexible and bendable pieces in the center. To put the stand into a vertical stand, bend the bottom part down and back, and the top part at the angle you wish the iPad 2 to be in. The center piece should be at a 90 degree angle.

The stand does take a little bit of muscle power to move and position, but that’s a good thing because it means it’s sturdy when you use it as a stand. Not to mention, it looks very nice too, especially if you love bamboo.

To put the stand in a typing position, simple push the top part of the stand all the way down.

Using both the case and stand. Both the stand and case have magnetic pieces on them. To use them together, simple put the iPad 2 (with the case) onto the circular area of the stand. Be sure to use both hands when doing this. Once it’s in place, you can turn the iPad at any angle you wish. It’s one of the view stands that allow a full 360 degree rotation for various viewing angles and positions.

This stand and case combo is excellent for game playing or video viewing. And when you just want to use the iPad by itself, simple detach the iPad from the stand with a light pull.

One improvement I would make on this product is the case. The cutouts have some sharp edges that would be nicer if smooth, especially when the iPad is used without the stand. Overall, the Ecostand2 is beautiful to have and display in your home.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 starts · MacAlly.com · $39.99 · Amazon ($37.50)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Macally for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: ZooGue BinderPad for iPad 2

February 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

If you use a 3-ring binder to carry around your important documents, why not add your iPad 2 to the mix too? Introducing the ZooGue Binderpad for iPad 2. There’s currently no product on the market quite like it.

This iPad 2 case is made to fit in a regular 3-ring binder. And with many schools requiring iPads instead of textbooks, this case is a great solution!

To use the BinderPad, slide your iPad 2 in from the top and secure with the velcro. Once in, just put it in your 3-ring binder and you’re good to go. It’s as simple as that!

The case fits the iPad 2 perfectly, with cutouts for the front screen, cameras, all buttons, and ports. The back of the case has a nice soft plush feel, yet is super thin at the same time. The side of the BinderPad is made of a tough polyester material and the 3 holes are reinforced with metal rings, securing the iPad safely in your binder.

Overall, it’s a nice ultra-thin case for you iPad 2 if you enjoy carrying a 3-ring binder around. It most likely works best for students who also use iPads for their schoolwork. The only change I’d like to the case’s design is to add a zip-on or fold-back piece that would cover the front glass when not in use. Currently, only the front of the binder protects the glass of the iPad. I think a soft plush piece would work better for the case.

The ZooGue BinderPad is available in both black and dark grey for $29.99.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · ZooGue · $29.99

Disclosure: This product was sent by ZooGue for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Incipio iPad 2 Premium Kickstand Case

October 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

If you’re looking for a nicely padded folio-style iPad 2 case, the Incipio iPad 2 Premium Kickstand Case may be the one you want. It has a unique three-fold design that converts your iPad into many different positions and uses.

First of all, putting your iPad 2 into the case is absolutely easy. Open the case and simply slide your iPad into the four sturdy clips. It’s best to hold the case in landscape mode when doing this and slide in from left to right. Once it’s in, you have yourself a good looking iPad 2 folio. But transform itself to be much more.

The exterior of the case is made of a rugged rip-stop nylon. It’s thick enough to provide a lot of protection for your iPad 2. To protect it from bumps and scratches, the interior is made of a soft micro-suede material, along with four sturdy clips that hold your iPad 2 in place. There are cutouts in the flaps for the camera and the buttons and ports are not covered, making them easily accessible.

A stand. The tri-fold design allows this case to become a stand. On the front interior flap of the case is a soft rubber strip that has 3 grooves (or indentations) in it. Fold flap with the iPad 2 on it and set it on one of the grooves. This then converts your case into a nice iPad stand. There are three angles that you switch between. Each one is good for surfing, video viewing, and email reading.

Typing Mode. It was such a pleasant surprise when I learned that the case can be converted into a typing position. You’ll first need to flip the case inside out (backwards). Then you’ll notice on the front flap, there’s a smaller mini front flap that can be pulled up. Open and pull up and you’ll see three ribbon stays. Now fit the flap with the iPad 2 into the exposed ribbon stays and it’s in the perfect elevated position for you to type your notes or documents. This feature makes the case work very well in the classroom or business meetings.

Screen View Only. Perhaps you’re playing a game or reading a book and prefer to have your screen exposed. So you need the front flap to not get in the way. To do this, flip the front flap back so it touches the back side. On the back flap is an elastic band. Pull this band over the front flap so it gets held in place. Now the case won’t get in the way of your reading/game playing!

Overall, the Incipio iPad 2 Premium Kickstand Case is not only very functional, but lovely and professional at the same time. The rip-stop nylon on the exterior adds a beautiful texture to the case. The only drawback is that the case is slightly thicker than most folio-style cases. But this extra padding helps absorb any drops or impact the iPad 2 may face. If you enjoy having a built-in stand, need a case that will protect both the front and back of the iPad, and type a lot on your device, this is case may suit you.

The Incipio iPad 2 Premium Kickstand Case is available in four colors — Black Nylon, Light Gray Nylon, Sand Nylon, and Black Synthetic Leather. Each can be purchased for $39.99.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars · MyIncipio.com · $39.99 · Amazon ($25.94)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Incipio for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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New iPhone 4S will be available Oct. 14th!

October 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

The new iPhone 4S will be available for pre-order on Oct. 7th, and will launch on Oct. 14th, 2011.

Some new features include:

  • Dual-core A5 chip, making it a lot faster than the previous model.
  • All-new 8MP camera and optics.
  • iOS 5 and iCloud.
  • And Siri, your personal assistent.

The new iPhone S will be available in black and white; 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399. 64GB is the first time in an iPhone.

Also, iOS 5.0 will be a free update, releasing October 12th, 2011.

For more information, see live coverage from GDGT and Mashable. Also see Apple.com when the website is back up. ;)

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Review: Just Mobile AluPen and AluCube

September 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Reviews

The AluCube and AluPen are a minimulist iPad-owner’s dream. This set includes the AluPen, a stylus for your iPad (or tablet) with a matching stylus stand, the AluCube.

The AluCube. The AluCube sits nicely on the desk and can be used as both a stand for your AluPen or a paperweight, or even both at the same time. This 1.5″ inch cube is created from a single chunk of premium solid aluminum. On the top is a circular recess that’s lined with rubber to hold your AluPen snuggly in place. On the bottom of the AluCube is a cable recess that allows you to run your iPad cable (or Macbook cable) nicely on your desk. This cable holder helps keep your desk very tidy! On both sides of the cable recess are non-slip rubber bases to prevent your AluCube from slipping or moving around on your desk.

The AluPen. This chunky stylus for your iPad (or tablet) is unique for it’s wider nub that makes writing/drawing precision much better. The AluPen fits in your hand like a crayon or chalk would. You can read a more detailed review of the AluPen here. The AluPen is now available in a big array of colors — Siver, Black, Titanium, Pink, Blue, Gold, Green, and Red.

Both the AluCube and AluPen are made of a brushed silver aluminum that matches the back of the iPad nicely, as well as other Apple products.

It’s a beautiful set that I would highly recommend. My only concern is the high price point of the set. Together, the AluPen and AluCube are $39.95. The AluPen costs $24.95 alone and the AluCube costs $15.95. If you purchase the set, you also get the added bonus of a small carrying set for your AluPen. It’s like a slipcover for your AluPen to prevent bumps and scratches.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · Just Mobile (Xtand.net) · AluCube – $15.95 USD, AluPen + AluCube – $39.95 USD, AluPen – $24.95 (Available in Siver, Black, Titanium, Pink, Blue, Gold, Green, and Red. · Amazon AluPen ($16.08)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Just Mobile for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: GumDrop Drop Tech Series Military Edition Case for iPad 2

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

Need a super sturdy iPad 2 case? The GrumpDrop Drop Tech Series: Military Edition iPad 2 case is one designed for civilians but inspired by the military. This little gem contains not just one or two, but four layers of protection! And it does that without adding too much bulk. This rugged case features multiple barriers of shock absorption, a built-in polycarbonate screen protector, and microfilm dust filters.

Layers of Protection. The first layer is the polycarbonate front. This is an interior layer that protects the front edges of the iPad 2. It completely covers the front edges, leaving only cutouts for the Home button, front camera, dock port, and headphone jack. The cutout for the front camera has a thin film on it to protect it from any scratches. Before putting this layer on, you need to slide in the second layer, the screen protector frame.

The screen protector frame is nice because you don’t have to deal with any sticky situations. No adhesives to worry about, just simply place it in the first layer and put these two layers on top of the iPad screen. It protects your screen without any of the mess!

The third layer is the Polycarbonate back. This pieces is placed onto the back of the iPad and snaps into the front layer. This piece covers the entire back of the iPad 2 with cutouts for the headphone jack, mic, back camera, rotation button, volume buttons, and dock port. There are also some narrow holes in the back to add in some design. The speaker area has a cutout, but has a thin mess around it to keep dibris from getting into the speaker. The camera has a clear protective film so it doesn’t get scratched.

Finally, the last layer is the military green silicone skin. This piece completes the whole look of the iPad case. When you have all of the other layers snapped in place, put this silicone skin cover around it and push in the edges in place. The soft texture and grooves in this skin makes it easy and nice to hold. This layer covers up the Home button, dock, and headphone jack so no dust or dibris will get in.

Overall. With all the layers together, you have yourself a highly protective case. It protects both the front and back, and all edges and ports. The best part is that it doesn’t feel as clunky as some folio cases and other ones that have this much protection. And because theres a protective film layer, you won’t see as many smudges and fingerprints on your iPad.

There are two minor downfalls with this case. One is that a little difficult to remove once you get it in. It will take a little bit of work to take it apart. You probably won’t need to do this often though, unless you want to put your iPad in a certain stand. The other thing I noticed is that if you need to tap something on the edge of the iPad screen, it may not respond as quickly. You will have to press a little harder since that’s where the film and the interior case meet. There may be a small gap. Again, just a minor issue.

Overall, it’s an excellent accessory choice for your iPad 2, especially if work (or play) in a rough environment. The Military Edition is available in an army green color for $69.95. The Drop Tech Series iPad 2 cases are also available in other colors such as black, black/red finishings, white, and pink for $59.95.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 · GumDropCases.com · $59.95 – 69.95 · Amazon

Disclosure: This product was sent by GrumDrop Cases for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Facebook Timeline Enabled!

September 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Links and Resources

Facebook announced their new Timeline earlier this morning and it looks beautiful! It’s definitely a new way of expressing yourself. Profile pages will now have some more personality! The feature won’t be available for everyone until later this month, but if you’re too anxious to try it out, follow these steps on TechCrunch to turn on your Timeline profile.

If you already have a developer account, you can skip steps 4 and 5. Instead, go into one of your apps and head straight to “Get started with Open Graph” section. Enjoy!

P.S. Are we connected via Facebook yet? Subscribe to me at http://fb.com/daynah

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September’s Bargain iPhone and iPad Apps

September 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Games, Reviews

Start the Fall season right with some new bargain apps for your iPhone and iPad!

Band of the Day – Here’s an app that makes discovering new music a lot of fun! It has a very slick user interface. Learn and read about a new band each day and listen to a one of their songs while you’re reading their bio. If you love the song, just click to purchase via iTunes. Definitely worth the download if you enjoy music. iPhone / iPod Touch Version (Free)

Turntable.FM – Join in a room and DJ music with your friends! Discover new music and give props to the DJ. It’s a fun music social network app with a cute little interface. At any one time, there can be up to 5 DJ’s playing music in a room. Let them know if the song is either Lame or Awesome. There’s also an option to chat with the listeners as well. iPhone/iPod Touch Version (Free)

VidRhythm – Ever dreamed of starring in your own music video? Well, stop dreaming because it’s about to become a reality in just one minute! Create music videos instantly by recording just a few sounds. The app will remix it for you and you instantly become a rock star! Universal App – iPhone 3Gs+, iPod Touch 4th Gen, and iPad 2 Only ($1.99)

Tonara – This app is great for musicians! Ever play the piano and you have to take a quick pause to turn the music sheet? Well, you don’t have to do that with this app. It can listen to the music you’re playing and follow along with you. Great if you’re just starting to play the piano. Only bad thing is there’s only a few music sheets available at the moment. But it is free, so be sure to try it out! iPad Version (Free)

Feed Me Oil – For all of your puzzle lovers out there, this one is a must-have! In the game, you need the little monsters oil but putting contraptions so the oil will drip in where it’s suppose to go. Absolutely fun and addicting. Try out the lite versions to see if you enjoy it. iPhone/iPod Touch Version (99 cents) | iPhone/iPod Touch Lite Version (Free) | iPad Version ($1.99) | iPad Lite Version (Free)

My Horse – If you love horses, I highly recommend this app. Adopt, feed, pet, train, and take care of your virtual horse. The graphics are amazingly beautiful and realistic. It’s also a universal app, so you can use it on all your iDevices. Connect with friends on Facebook and Game Center to have your horses socialize. My username is ‘daynah’ if you want to add me!
Universal App (Free)

Dragonvale – Build a little village where you can raise your dragons! Grow and plant them and interact with friends who are playing as well. The graphics are adorable, and the game is relaxing to play and listen to. Plant beautiful trees, habitats, and other beautiful things dragons love. A must-have for dragon-lovers. Universal App (Free)

Dolphin Browser – What a fun way to surf the internet! This browser displays your most visited websites in a beautiful magazine-style display (iPad Version). Flip and turn headlines to read the complete articles. Add news sections to your browser start up page so you can quickly view them. Rss files are displayed nicely with photos and excerpts. Great alternative browser.
iPhone/iPod Touch Version (Free) | iPad Version (Free)

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iPad Stand Review: Just Mobile Slide

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

The Just Mobile Slide iPad stand is one or the more interesting iPad stands available today. It’s made of two pieces — a holder that matches the back of the iPad exactly, and a mini rolling pin that fits right in the holder (when not in use).

To use the Slide, slide your iPad into the holder and put the rolling pin behind the iPad. Set the rolling pin at the angle you would like your iPad to stand.

When in use, the Slide has a very nice elegant look. The iPad can stand in both portrait or landscape mode. However, in portrait mode, the stand does cover part of the Home button. Although still accessible, it is still partially covered.

If you constantly remove your iPad from the stand, you may find that this stand may not be the one for you. The moment you take the iPad out, the rolling pin rolls down, and you have to adjust it again to the right angle before putting it in. I find this a little frustrating since I change the direction of my iPad all the time because some apps only work in landscape or portrait mode. Besides this one point, it does look very nice and is small enough to pack away in a suitcase or bag if you travel a lot.

Although it’s marketed for the iPad and iPad 2, this stand also works with other tablets and eReaders on the market.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars · Xstand.net · $34.95 · Amazon ($32.49)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Just Mobile for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Review: Moshi Concerti for iPad 2

September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, iPad

If you have an on-the-go lifestyle, the Moshi Concerti may be just the iPad 2 case for you. Not only is it stylish, but it also provides complete protection for your precious device. In addition, there are many ways to use it, making your iPad 2 experience quite enjoyable.

The Concerti is a folio-style case made of a beautiful microfiber material from the inside and out. On the inside of the case is a silicone enclosure that securely holds the iPad in place. This soft silicone interior case covers the edges of the iPad, keeping it safe from everyday wear and tear. It has cutouts for the dock, speakers, on/off button, camera, headset jack, and mic. The volume buttons are not cut out, but the material is soft enough that you can easily press on the side.

This case offers many different functional positions. After you put your iPad in, you’ll notice that it’s on the left side, unlike most iPad 2 cases. This allows it to open up in a way where you can use the camera without needing a camera hole in the microfiber part of the case. If you’re holding it in portrait position, open and fold the cover to the left to expose the camera.

Another way to use the case is to turn it into a stand. The case allows three different stand positions in landscape mode. All great for web surfing, gaming, and video viewing. To use, open the case and have the iPad in landscape position (Home button will be on the left). Select a position to stand it in — there are three set of bumps on the interior of the case that will hold the iPad in the position you wish it to be.

Also, if you enjoy carrying your iPad around in your hand — like to take roll in a class or notes while you’re walking, there’s a built-in hand pocket to help alleviate wrist stress in the case.

To keep the case closed, there’s a convenient elastic strap that holds the front cover in place. Simply lift up the strap and wrap it around the case.

Overall, this a great case to dress up your iPad 2 in. It’s stylish, functional, and quite versatile. Not only does it fully protects the iPad 2, but it feels so soft in your hands as well. The Concerti is available in three colors — Tyrian Purple, Sahara Beige, and Falcon Gray. You can purchase it for $55.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars · MoshiMonde.com · $55.00 · Amazon ($54.95)

Disclosure: This product was sent by Moshi for review purposes. This is part of Beatweek Magazine’s coverage of iPad products. Opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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End of Summer Hot Bargain iPhone and iPad Apps

September 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Freebies, Games, Reviews

Looking for new apps for your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad? Here are some of end of summer hot bargain apps! Enjoy!

Plants vs. Zombies is an addictive and cute tower defense game. Plant magical plants in front of your yard to keep the zombies away! Normally $2.99 for the iPhone version and $9.99 for the iPad version, they’re both on sale for a limited time! Must-have app for your devices!
iPhone/iPod Touch Version (99 cents) | iPad Version ($1.99)

MadPad – Meet Smule’s latest app, the MadPad! Remix your life and make a soundboard out of it. Record everyday sounds like opening a soda can, jiggling your keys, your friend’s laughter into the ultimate percussive instrument!
iPhone/iPod Touch 3rd Gen+ Version (99 cents) | iPad Version ($2.99)

Smurfs’ Grabber – If you love Smurfs and crane machines, you’ll love this game! It’s a twist on the typical crane machine. You’ll be given certain smurf formulas and must pick up all the ingredients. Free to play, and you earn up to 5 coins a day. Each coin allows you to play for 5 minutes. You can spend real money for more coins, but I think 5 minutes a day is addicting enough. :) Universal App (Free)

The 911 Memorial Past, Present… – Take a look at the World Trade Center before and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Read historical facts and watch past videos of the construction of the WTC. See interviews of people involved in the architecture, and read about the plans for its future. The app will be free through September 12. After this, it will cost $9.95.
iPad App (Free until 9/12)

NBC watch full episodes of NBC shows like America’s Got Talent, Up All Night, The Office, Community, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show, 30 Rock, SNL, Chuck, The Voice, The Celebrity Apprentice, and so much more! Also see show-related games and photos.
iPad Version (Free)

djay – Transform your device into a full-fledged portable DJ system! The realistic dj interface allows you to mix and scratch songs from your music library. You can perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your iPod library auto-magically! Normally $9.99, the iPhone version is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents!
iPhone / iPod Touch Version (99 cents) | iPad Version ($19.99)

Music Beta by Google is not exactly a native iPhone/iPad app, but it is an HTML 5 web app. If you have account on Music Beta, view it in your web browser on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and see how it runs beautifully. Save it as a bookmark on your home screen and a nice icon will be added. music.google.com

Five Little Monkeys eBooks – “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed.. one fell off and bump his head. Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said… no more monkeys jumping on the bed!” I’m sure you’ve all heard of this book and watching it animated is so much more fun! There’s great narration and you can read the book or have it automatically play. This week, all the Little Monkey eBooks are on sale for 99 cents. They’re normally $2.99! Apps are all universal, so you cam play them on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad!

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