It goes on very easily, and it gives a nice tactile feel to the Air. My only concern with the skin was the cutout around the Apple logo (which was really just a circle). I felt that if that had been a precise cutout around the logo it would have given a more “finished” feel to the top skin.
It’s available from onanoff.com for $69.95 for the kit.
Thanks to them for sending me a review sample!
ProClipUSA.com sent me a review unit for their new tablet headrest mount and device holder. This particular holder is for the iPad 2, but they have a selection for several different tablet models. This has the same great quality as the rest of their products, and it’s going to be a great addition to the rear seat passenger in my wife’s Cadillac.
If you’re not yet familiar with ProClip, they offer a wide variety of mounts for various electronic devices for most vehicles. You need a vehicle mount which is always custom fit for your specific make and model, and you need a device holder which will fit your phone, tablet, or GPS perfectly. Check out their complete line of vehicle mounts and device holders-I highly recommend their entire line of mounting accessories. They look and fit like factory.
I bought the 13″ core 1.8Ghz i7 with 4GB RAM and a 256GB SSD last night at the Apple Store. So far: screen is a huge improvement (resolution) over my existing 13″ MBP. Speed is amazing. I had heard people talk about how fast flash memory was, but I had never experienced it on a laptop until last night. Applications launch instantaneously. It came pre-loaded with OSX Lion, and I had no issues setting up all of my programs. I’m always amazed that I can sign into a few programs and 90% of the data I need automatically appears on my computer (thanks to Google/Gmail, Dropbox, and my Windows Home Server).
So far I’ve tested it with my usual cadre of programs that I use on a weekly basis: Photoshop, Lightroom, iMovie, Skype, and a healthy dose of Google Chrome. All appear to work great without any issues for me.
It wasn’t all rosy though; I had a huge issue with wifi speeds, and discovered that somehow the settings in my router had reverted to 54Mbps. I corrected those settings and I get my full 50Mbps download speeds from my provider.
I’m very happy with this purchase thus far. Even with loading all my data and stuff on it last night battery life is still on par with my MBP. I have to say that I wouldn’t like it as much if it didn’t include the backlit keyboard, and that was one of the reasons I passed on the last Air that came out in October-ish.
My next plan is to sell my 6 month old 13″ MacBook Pro, and pick up another Mac Mini so I can pass along my older Mac Mini to my daughter. I’m excited about the fact that Apple finally got around to updating the processors in some of their best hardware, and I think the Air will be a keeper for me for a while (but I say that every time).
I just posted the unboxing on YouTube, so if you haven’t yet, check it out below!
I picked up the newly updated 13″ MacBook Air with a core i7, 256GB SSD, and 4GB RAM. Check out my YouTube video unboxing and first look.
The fine people at Phonesuit.com sent me a sample of their new Primo Power Core Battery Pack. This is an 8200mAh portable battery charger that can charge just about any device you can imagine. It includes support for iPad.
Check out the unboxing below, and check back for a follow-up review once I’ve had time to put it through its paces. You can order your own from Primo Power Core page on the Phonesuit website
I bought another 13.3″ MacBook Pro over the weekend, and since we now have 2 in our house, I decided that I really needed a way to distinguish between the two. I’ve always been a fan of carbon fiber, and I knew SGP was a good brand to use for Apple accessories. I found this SGP carbon skin for my MBP for $21.99 from sgpstore.com and it was on its way.
This video shows the installation process. I gotta say that I really love this skin; it gives a nice feel to my Mac, and it looks excellent. I wasn’t crazy about the way they cut the corners to fit the contour, so I improvised: I used some of the extra material from the outside envelope to cut some pieces to cover the corners. I think it turned out very well!
Here’s a shot of the corner pieces after installation:
I also found a great use for the carbon Apple cutout – it fits nicely on my Mac Mini!
Have you ever been out far away from a power source with a fading battery in your favorite gadget? Wish there was a solution to this? Sure, many gadgets and smartphones allow you to swap batteries, but buying a spare battery for every device can get expensive, and it’s bulky to carry around a bunch of spare equipment.
PhoneSuit has the solution: The Primo Battery Cube. You may remember I reviewed a similar product back in February which was designed specifically for iDevices. The Battery Cube offers very similar functionality with a lot more versatility. Instead of the proprietary Apple connector, this compact package offers both mini and micro USB connectors for maximum compatibility.
The package itself is pretty neat. It’s 1.5″ in both length and width, and 3/4″ thick. On the front, it has a small mirror which hides 4 charging indicator arrows. The side houses two DC-in ports (both mini and micro USB). This offers nice charging flexibility. On the bottom, a small rubber flap covers two charging ports which ratchet out into position. This allows you to connect the Cube to your device and move it to a comfortable position while using it.
Here are the rest of the highlights:
- Powerful 1000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery
- Integrated Micro-USB and Mini-USB charging tips to provide instant power to over 95% of SmartPhones.
- Cube features two input ports as well so it can be recharged by either a Micro-USB or Mini-USB cable.
- Charging tips rotate and lock into place allowing you to position the Cube for a comfortable feel while using your phone.
- Tips fold cleanly away in the back for protection when not in use.
- Extremely small size about one and half inches (40mm) in length and width
- Four-Point LED meter displays the remaining charge
- Includes one Micro-USB cable
- Detachable keychain loop
- Cube is also charge compatible with a large variety of Bluetooth headsets and USB powered electronic devices
I tested the Cube on several of my gadgets including my Nexus One, my Sansa Clip, and a couple of bluetooth headsets with excellent results. Although I have a spare N1 battery, sometimes I just need a quick 20% bump to make it the rest of the day. This is the perfect thing to throw in your bag and have the peace of mind that you won’t run out of juice.
At $39.95 and available directly from PhoneSuit.com, it’s a little pricey compared to just buying a spare battery for one device. The beauty of this Cube is in the flexibility it offers. It’s definitely a welcome addition to my gadget bag.
I seem to have read one too many of those “complete iPhone fanboy tries converting to Android” articles today. I decided I’d spend my lunch hours blogging about a few points that seem to always be missed when iPhone users try Android and dismiss it because it doesn’t work like their Apple product. Here are some of the common arguments:
1. It doesn’t work with iTunes!
The most glaring thing I see written and discussed is media sync. When an iPhone fanboy (I’m going to shorten this to iFan to save space) plugs in his Android phone and nothing happens, they always seem to be confused about what to do next. While iOS devices are limited to iTunes for downloading content, Android OS offers many great options for syncing content:
- Manually move content using the Android phone as a USB drive (yes, it’s legal, and yes, there is file system access)
- TuneSync – wirelessly sync with your existing iTunes library
- BeyondPod – wireless podcast syncing over the air – no computer required
- DoubleTwist – iTunes imitator which works with Android – limited
I personally use BeyondPod to grab all of my podcasts every night. It does it automatically, and it does it extremely well. I don’t have to do anything but listen to my podcasts.
2. App “X” isn’t available/as good on Android
Great, then why would you switch? Seriously, if you depend on one app, and it’s bad or not available, don’t consider the switch. There are crapps on both platforms, and some real gems. Slingplayer on Android is 5x better than on iOS. Facebook, not so much.
3. The keyboard is better on iPhone
I would agree that the iPhone keyboard is the best soft keyboard out there. However, it’s limited in functionality, and it only allows one method of input – tapping. Android’s voice input is available system wide, and it works very well. With the recently released Google Actions, you can press one button and send a text, email, or search without any further screen taps. Also, if you tried Android and didn’t use Swype, you missed out.
4. Visual Voicemail isn’t on Android
This goes back to my earlier point – you can’t use Android the same way you use iOS. iOS has VVM, Android has Google Voice (and voicemail). It works great, is very well integrated, and, in addition to visual voicemail, will actually *gasp* give you speech to text translations of your voicemail (sometimes with hilarious results).
5. I’m not a big Google Services user
If you’re not using Google Services, Android may not be for you. Much of the magic comes from the power of Google, and trying to use it without that magic is like trying to use iOS without iTunes. Explore things like Google Voice. Save on your texting plan. Use a GV number just for selling things on Craigslist. Organize all your contacts in the cloud. Share your calendar with friends, and be able to add things to your spouse’s calendar.
6. I don’t want/care about/need Flash
Great. Don’t install it. Or, set it to “On Demand”. It’s nice to have, and comes in handy. HTML5 may be the future, but we’re not there yet. I personally love being able to access Flash content on an as-needed basisi.
7. The iPhone screen is SOOOO NICE!
No question about it – that Retina screen is great. However, you were using a washed out 320×480 display for the last 3 years. That screen is also stuck at 3.5″ with no hope for anything larger. Android devices offer a variety of screen sizes and resolutions. Choice is nice.
- Google Voice
- Gmail integration
- Google Navigation – how can you miss this?
- Voice Search/Actions
- Notifications – seriously, iOS needs serious work in this department
- Social media integration
- 24 hour Try-before-you-buy Market policy
- File system access
- Cloud backup
- Apps not tied to Apple’s review process – this can be a double-edged sword, but being able to try out programs from outside the market is a huge plus in my book
- Barcode scanner
There is no doubt that the iPhone has changed what consumers expect from their mobile devices. However, that doesn’t mean that the way Apple envisions your mobile device experience is always the best way. If you don’t hate AT&T’s service, and you’re happy with your iOS device, it’s ok to keep using it. However, reality is that there is a lot of competition in the mobile space, and if you look up from your Retina screen for a second, you’ll see some cool things Android does that iOS doesn’t. Dismissing these things is a bad idea, since you might find utility in the things I listed above. Don’t be like Steve Jobs and say you’ll never need those things because I guarantee that once iOS gets them, you’ll be change your mind like the iFans who suddenly LOVE background apps.
One final word of advice for “switchers”:
Don’t write your article like you’re the shrew who can’t be tamed. Nobody cares if you didn’t switch
There has been a lot of discussion about the AMOLED screen in the Nexus One and how great it is inside, but how it sucks outside in sunlight. I happen to own both an iPhone 3Gs and a Nexus One, so I decided to do some comparison shots.
The pictures below are all taken with both screens set to full brightness.
These outdoor pics are taken in full sun at around 6pm.
For these next shots, I took a screenshot from my N1′s homescreen, and copied it to the iPhone so I could display it using the iPhone photo gallery.
The Nexus One’s AMOLED screen really excels inside as you can see in the comparison shots below (N1 on the right):
This closeup really allows you to see the pixels on the iPhone screen vs the smooth, high-res screen on the N1:
Feel free to draw your own conclusions. I don’t see a definitive disadvantage with the Nexus One screen outdoors, and I’ve been using it full-time for the last month. On the other hand, the iPhone 3Gs screen is very washed out and lifeless at high brightness levels. Yuck.