At the Apple Store

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Geek Get-Togethers

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Apple Store (my home, away from home)! The nearest one is about 45 minutes away, so I don’t go that often. I was meeting some friends for dinner last night at that area, so I had to stop by.

I’m a big fan of the colorful iPods posters and ads, but those of course aren’t new, so they’re not on display. But one thing I noticed is that they’re using iPad 2′s as a type of kiosk. There’s an iPad 2 mounted on the table next to each item which plays a video about the item. It’s a pretty cool idea and a great way to show off the iPad 2. (See them on the table behind me in the photo.)

Anyhow, as you can see, I look wayyyy too happy in that photo. That MacBook Air is quite adorable. ;)

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Mac App Store is Open!

January 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Apple, Games

The Mac App Store is now open for business! There’s currently over 1000 free and paid apps for you to choose from. Using your iTunes account, you can download and install great new apps in just one step!

The Mac App Store offers apps in Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, Utilities and many other categories. Similar to the iTunes Store, users can also browse new and noteworthy apps as we ll as staff favorites and top charts for each category.

The Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard® users through Software Update as part of Mac OS® X v10.6.6.

For more information, see the official Mac App website.

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Walk-Through of Apple’s Game Center on iOS 4.1

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Games

Apple recently released their iOS 4.1 Software Update. This first major update brings new features such as Game Center, Ping (in iTunes), iTunes TV show rentals, HDR photography, and much more. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Apple’s first major announcement — Game Center.

What is Game Center? It’s Apple implementation of social gaming on your iPhone (and later on your iPad). You can find your friends or even let Game Center auto-match you with players for various games. Game Center is one central place where you can track achievements and compare high scores on multiple games.

Installation. After installing and updating your iPhone or iPod Touch1, a new icon will appear in the lower right of the first page. This will take you to Apple’s new Game Center. It’ll appear as an icon, just like any other app.

Signing Up. Click on it to get started. The first time, it’ll ask you to sign up for Game Center and to pick a username/password for your account. This account will be associated with your Apple ID. If you’re using a family iTunes account, you may want to sign up for another iTunes account just for the Game Center. (This is an easy process, the button is just at the bottom.)

Just like any new system, it’s a race to add all of your friends and most importantly, grab the username you want. So even if you don’t play many games, you might just want to sign up ASAP just to get your desire username!

Friend Requests. When someone requests to be your Game Center friend, fanfares sounds play and a message is displayed on your device (of course, you need to give permission to have push and sound on for Game Center). Clicking “Accept” adds the user as your friend but it doesn’t take you out of what you were doing, which I really like! Usually clicking on these sort of notifications will take me out of my current app and into another.

Playing Games. Now there’s only a handful of games that have been updated to run on Game Center. Be sure to update these apps first before trying to use Game Center. Some games include Farmville, WordsWorth, Flight Control, Real Racing, Pac-Mac, Cro-Mag Rally, Cocoto Kart Online, and a few more.

Be sure to be logged into Game Center and then launch your game of choice. You should see a sliding note on top of your app that says “Welcome back, USERNAME.” That lets your know that you’re logged in on Game Center. Now play the game just like you would. Depending on the game, you may have more options on game play as well as different types of achievements.

Game Center. Now that you played a few games2, close them and launch Game Center. On the first screen, you will see your profile — your username, number of friends, games played, achievements, your status update, and your iTunes email account. At the bottom are 4 tabs — Me (current page), Friends, Games, and Requests.

The tab “Friends” lists all of your accepted friends. You are able to view their status (similar to Twitter or Facebook Status). If you drill down deeper, you can see their profiles, all the games they played, and the games you have in common. If you don’t have the games they play, you can click on the link and purchase the apps. That’s a clever way of selling apps! For the games you do have in common, another page displays that puts your scores and achievements head-to-head with theirs.

The tab “Games” lists all the games you played (that have Game Center). Clicking on them will show you the leaderboards, achievements available and which you have accomplished. There’s also a button at the bottom that says “Find Game Center Games.” Clicking on this will take you into the iTunes App Store where you can purchase apps with Game Center enabled.

Lastly, the tab “Requests” will lists all of your friend requests. The number of requests here will be the red badge number on your Game Center icon.

Overall, Game Center is a great idea for social gaming. Unfortunately, it’s still too early to really test out the system since only a few games have Game Center enabled. The idea of social gaming is not new. There are already some successful systems in placed like Plus+ and OpenFeint, so I’m interested in seeing how Game Center will affect them.

See Apple’s official website for more information about iOS 4.1 update and Game Center.

1. iOS 4.1 only works on iPhone 3Gs and higher, iPod Touch Gen 2 and higher.
2. Only some games have been updated to run Game Center. Be sure to read the game developer’s notes.

Note: This article was original written for Beatweek Magazine.

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New “iPod Nano” Announced Today!

September 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Steve Jobs announced a new iPod Nano today and I think the new design is absolutely adorable! It’s 46% smaller than the previous generation, has a more square design, and has a multi-touch screen interface. There’s a built-in clip so you can easily wear it on your clothes while walking. jogging, or working out. You can rotate the Home screen as well and customize the icons on it. This new iPod Nano also has a built-in FM radio, which is nice if you need to catch the news on the go! Best of all, it comes in a variety of colors: (Red is available exclusively on

I would love to get one of these — in pink, blue, or green! — but I don’t really need one. I already have an older iPod Shuffle (that I got as a gift) and it works great when I’m working out. But these pretty colors and the cute multi-touch screen is quite tempting. Plus, it makes a great fashion statement, but that means you’ll need more than one to compliment your outfits!

The camera has been removed in this version, which I think is a good call on Apple. A camera on a tiny device like this wouldn’t make sense. It’s already hard to hold and the quality wouldn’t be that great.

The 8GB model is $149 and the 16GB model is $179. They’re available for purchase starting today. If you’re interested in getting one, I suggest heading down to your local Apple store to try it out. For more information about the new 6th generation iPod Nano, see the official website.

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Apple iPod Announcements

September 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories, Multimedia

Working and watching the Apple Announcement on my iPad. :) Lots of new iPod models, iOS 4.2, iTunes 10 with PING, and Apple TV so far…

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iPad Ordered

March 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Happy Apple iPad Day! For those of you who have waiting for a while, the day to order had finally come. Now we just have to wait until the shipment date!

I just pre-ordered my Apple iPad. I ended up getting the 16 GB Wifi version. I had plan on getting the 3g one but with all the added costs, I just couldn’t justify it. Plus, if I need internet I’m sure I’ll have my trusty iPhone with me if wifi is not available. I’ll give it a try for a year and see if I want to upgrade to a 3g (or better) version when the second model comes out. And I hope that version has a camera and some multi-tasking.

Now I’m anxious to see how the iTunes App store will change. And what will be showcased the first week of shipment? I’m assuming there will be 3 different types of apps in the store: regular iPhone /iPod Touch apps that will work if you display it 2x its size, the apps that are hybrid and can display different versions depending on the device used, and the iPad-Only apps.

So, are you getting one? Pre-ordering? Or waiting a while to get it later? Or are you getting a tablet alternative?

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MacWorld Expo 2010 Overview

March 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Links and Resources, MacWorld 2010

MacWorld Expo 2010 was quite a fun and educational experience. Even without Apple being at the show, the Mac community is still very strong. What I really loved this year was being able to meet the actual iPhone app developers at the App Pavilion and seeing the projects that they’re working on. There were also a lot of learning opportunities at the conference as well. Below are some of my conference highlights:
Read more

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Notes from iPhone/iPod Touch Development Seminar

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Conferences, Links and Resources

I attended the Software Development for iPhone and iPod Touch Seminar yesterday, presented by Steve Hayman.

He briefly talked about development for the iPad (which is very similar to iPhone / iPod Touch development), as well as how to create web apps and native apps during the presentation. These are my notes from the session.
Read more

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My Thoughts on the Apple iPad

January 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Apple finally unveiled the highly anticipated tablet today called the iPad. When I heard it was called the “iPad,” the first thing that popped into my mind was definitely not a multimedia device. I can understand Apple wanting to stick with the iPxx naming scheme, but they could have broken out of that and called it an iSlate or iTablet, or iTab or something like that. But, we’ll save the jokes for later. Let’s talk about this new creation!

Although I haven’t actually touched or seen an iPad up close, I already know I love and I want it. I’ve already thought about what I would use it for months ago. I’ve actually been shopping around for an eBook reader for some time now. I liked the simplicity of the Kindle, but also the complexity of the Entourage Edge that I saw at CES. The iPhone has spoiled me with all the touchscreen movements and commands that seeing buttons on a device like the just doesn’t seem appealing to me.

I’ve very happy that I waited on purchasing an eBook reader. I know I’ll be using the iPad for mainly that purpose. I don’t expect it to replace my netbook completely, but it can once more hardware is added to it (probably in the next versions). The iPad may seem bare right now, but I think it has a lot of potential. The new SDK is out, and seeing the kind of apps that developers are able to make for the iPhone just makes me think this iPad can pretty much do anything.

I’ve invested a lot of time and money in my iTunes App collection, so hearing that all iPhone / iPod Touch apps will work on the iPad was such a joy. That was definitely the right move on Apple. I can’t wait to play some of my games on such a big screen. It’ll definitely be a fabulous experience. Plus, if you invested a lot of money in your Kindle eBook collection, they will still be readable using the Kindle iPhone app. Also, I’ve always wanted a Wacom Cintq so I could draw and edit graphics right on the screen. Although the iPad isn’t as powerful, I can see basic features for it in a drawing app. I’m sure there will be stylus accessories coming soon.

Things I love about the iPad are:

  • App Compatibility – being able to use iPhone apps on the iPad will prove to be very powerful. This will be in the hands of app developers and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!
  • Design – the design looks gorgeous. It also seems a bit fragile, but that’s a great reason to shop for some amazing accessories. I’m hoping Speck will come up with something super awesome.
  • Lightweight – it’s only 1.5 pounds and is super thin. It has the basic options and is prefect for the frequent traveler.
  • User-Interface – the UI is familiar, elegant, and beautiful. Perfect for average users as well as super geeks.
  • Color – why read in black and white when you can have color?

So those are my main uses of the iPad – ebook reader, gaming console, and an artist tool. As great as this tool sounds, there are a couple of drawbacks:

  • No Camera – the biggest drawback to my iPod Touch was the lack of a camera. When I first got my iPod Touch, I didn’t mind hunting for wifi hotspots as much as I did not having a camera. A lot of the apps used had a picture upload feature, and I wasn’t able do use it. Sure I had a separate camera with me, but pictures wouldn’t have the instant upload quality that I was looking for. I’m guessing there’s no camera option to keep the price on the device in the affordable range.
  • No multi-tasking – is a big negative on the device. The iPhone has a much smaller screen, so running one app at a time sort of makes sense. But the iPad has so much screen real estate that running only one app at a time doesn’t make sense to me at all. I’d like to listen to music and surf the web at the same time, not just look at an album cover while the music is playing. When I’m surfing the web, I like to copy and paste text into Evernote so I can remember things. Closing apps and opening each one everytime seems to be a lot of steps to me. This is a software issue though. Hopefully we can see an update to the OS in the near future. Being a geek, I want a little more control over my devices.
  • Storage Space – When I travel, I like to dump my photos onto my netbook so I have extra space on my sd and cf cards. I’m not sure if there’s an easy way for me to do this on the iPad. Looking at the specs, I don’t see a usb slot anywhere. And also, why would I want to store my photos on another machine just to sync it onto my iPad? This would make sense if I wanted to carry around my portfolio or a presentation on the iPad. I don’t see myself putting my vacation photos on here.
  • Note-taking capabilities – The main reason I want an eReader is to read technology books (away from the computer). I’d like to be able to take notes on the pages and such, just like I would in a textbook. I’m hoping the iBook app or the other book apps themselves would have this feature.
  • Model Options – I don’t quite understand why there are so many model options. Couldn’t Apple just cut out the wifi only models? Surely the hardware to add 3G capabilities isn’t over $100 is it? I say $20 extra max.

Overall, I think it would be an amazing eBook reader that happens to do a little more. Remember when the first iPhone came out? I didn’t do too much beside make calls, look pretty, and tell you what time it was. Look at what the iPhone is now. With the explosion of apps, it could do and be anything. So app developers, go code and make me proud! There is the incentive of being showcased front and center if your app is optimized for the iPad! I’ll be on the lookout for some amazing ones to review!

I don’t think the iPad is for everyone. But if you get one, what would you use it for? What do you like or dislike about it?

Many thanks, GDGT, and SlashGear for their live blogging of the Apple Special Event! It was so much fun to follow and I felt like I was as the event!

For more information on the Apple iPad, see their official website.

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Favorite Free iPhone Games

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Apple, Games, Reviews

dizzybeeiPhone game apps are so much fun! I love playing a quick game while standing in line at the store or waiting for my food at a restaurant. I’ve stopped playing with my Nintendo DS ever since I got my iPod touch. Oops.

I really love the lite versions of games because of the “try and buy” factor. Here are a few iPhone games available in the iTunes store for free. Remember, if you enjoy it, consider purchasing the full versions!

Note: Clicking on the links below will take you to the iTunes store.

Puzzle Games

  • Rolando Lite – adorable puzzle role-playing game. Lots of levels for a free version.
  • Dizzy Bee Free – very adorable and one of my favorites.
  • Block Classic – always a classic!
  • Flood-It! – turn pixel boxes into one color in under 22 moves.

Match 3 Games

Role-Playing Games


These are some of my favorite free iPhone game apps. What are yours?

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Macworld Expo 2009

January 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Apple, Geek Get-Togethers

Macworld 2009 ScrapbookMacworld SF 2009 for me has been a great experience. I didn’t spend much time at the Macworld event itself, but all the little events in and around San Francisco for the few days were all very nice.

My plane finally landed in SF on noon on Sunday, and I spent the day with my college friends in the city. We had lunch there and walked around Union Square. It was a lovely day. We spent the night driving to Sunnyvale to meet up with some other college friends.

Monday, I had a great lunch with my friends at Qik! They’re based in Downtown Redwood, which was a hop-skip away from where I was staying. We talked about all sorts of geeky stuff and planning for the night’s tweetup. ;)

Monday night came, and our crazy tweetup at 21st Amendment was underway. It was so nice to see everyone! There were a few surprises too. :) Thank you all for coming and making the Tweetup so much fun!

My Tuesday was really short. I browsed around the Macworld show room for a bit, and had to catch my plane. I was happy to see Veronica Belmont walking around. And I caught a live taping to Macbreak Weekly with Leo Laporte.

I wish I had more time to look around… but maybe I’ll save that for next year! Yes there will be a Macworld next year! ;)

Daynah & Chris Pirillo At Qik Headquarters @daynah, @misskaren, & @ijustine I <3 Nokia! @calilewis, @daynah, and @ijustine Our Twitter Badges

For more photos, click below!

Read more

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Apple Store in Vegas

September 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Ramblings

Yes, I had to stop by the Apple store while in Vegas and snap some photos. :)

At the Vegas Apple Store!

Twice as fast. Half the price. 30 times bigger than the first version. ;)

Read more

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iPod Nano – Just Shake It!

September 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Multimedia

I was at the Apple store in Las Vegas, Nevada and finally got my hands on the new iPod nano. Boy it’s cute! And it comes in an array of colors! My favorite feature, if you haven’t guessed it already, is the shake feature! Just shake it and it’ll play a random song. ;)

(Sorry about the video quality! I’m such a video n0ob!)

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Copy and Paste for iPhone

August 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Breaking News! Finally, a way to copy and paste between apps on the iPhone/ipod Touch! This was reported by GeekBrief.Tv!

Cut and Paste for iPhone from Cali Lewis on Vimeo.

Sources: GeekBrief.TV, OpenClip.

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iPhone 2.0.1 Update

August 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

I updated my ipod Touch to the iPhone firmware 2.0.1! It only took.. forever. iTunes was backing up my data — all 8 gigs, which took a very long time. I should have deleted podcasts before the update. But anyhow, the actual install took about a minute or two.

Instantly, I noticed that the buttons (apps) responding a lot quicker, as well as the page scrolling. None of my data was overwritten, which is good. Oh wait, my wallpaper was gone, but that was an easy fix. Twitterific still crashes on me though. I’ll go through and test out my other apps this week and will post updates! Til then, happy updating!

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iPhone App: Cookie Bonus Solitaire

August 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Games, Reviews

I was playing this game, Cookie Bonus Solitare, this morning and loved it. It’s an iphone/ipod touch Solitare game with a cookie twist. You’re also able to connect online and chat with other people playing the game. I’ve already finished level 1, here’s my score:

Read more

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iTunes App Updates

July 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

I was wondering what would happen if new versions of the iTunes Apps were available. And I found out my answer today. I was checking my iPod Touch and above the App Store icon, there was a number in red. I clicked on it and it showed me all the updated Apps for today. So I went ahead and logged into iTunes and re-downloaded the apps. Since I bought it previously (for free), I was able to download another version of it. I imagine this would be the same for paid apps too. Here are the screenshots.

iTunes Apps

Today I updated and synced new versions of PhoneSaber, Pandora Radio, and Facebook. If you installed these apps previously, you may want to update them as well.

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iTunes U on UC Campuses

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Multimedia

I went to a session on iTunes U the other day. Currently 3 of the UC campuses are on it. Davis and LA are still working with Apple on the roll out. So their iTunes pages are not currently listed or searchable. But you can get to them at the following links:

I wonder if UCR will be on iTunes U soon too. I would love to see that. And I know a lot of faculty and librarians are interested in it.

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Tip: iPhone/iTouch Screen Capture

July 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Tips and Tutorials

I just learned this new feature for the iPhone/iTouch from Cali.

There’s a way for your to screen capture in your iPhone/iTouch.

Step 1: Hold down the Home button.
Step 2: Tap the Power button.

You’ll see the screen flash, and your screen shot was taken. So easy!

To access your new image, click on the Photos button and all your photo albums will show up. Your image should be in the Saved Photos album.

Then you can easily add these new images online through your Facebook, Myspace, or other apps.

Unfortunately, the iPod Touch doesn’t have a built-in camera, which would be something I would love. So all my mobile uploads to Facebook will screen captures for now. lol

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iPhone 2.0

June 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Apple, Gadgets and Accessories

Here’s a sneak peek at the iPhone 2.0! Isn’t it beautiful…?


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