iApps Well, these apps aren't going to review themselves http://www.lunch.com/iApps <![CDATA[ If I was once in love, now I'm married!]]>
The concept is pretty much similar to Lunch.com if not a lot more! Flipboard was a news reader, now it is comprising of millions of magazines created by members and readers. Curating similar topic of interest is the main driver in this iOS app and in just barely two months over 1/2 million magazines been created by its members.

Wait... that's what Android users are still doing as Flipboard hasn't been upgraded to version 2 as yet. Until then, iPhone users are having a blast creating all sort of magazines.

The result? It doesn't take a genius to know that sooner or later printed magazines will be a thing of the past, just like the CDs and DVDs. 

What does Flipboard 2.0 do other than curating articles from all over the web and within its own app environment? Well, it is also videos and photos enabled, curating at its best. Imagine flipping through a magazine with all these embedded within its pages when the source materials can be any corner of the web! That's unthinkable for publishers! Not to mention every waking hours there are millions of people doing that! Who is still waiting for magazines to be published on paper?!?!?!?!?! Poor souls... many will be out of job soon!

As of today, I've created over 50 magazines, some public and some private. That figure speaks for itself, don't you think?!

Tip: If you've no idea where to start and have a flickr account, think about this... your photos on flickr are already in a magazine within Flipboard. All you need to do is just download the app, click on search to look for your user name and you'll find everything you have on twitter, facebook, google + and flickr in a magazine of your own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's totally awesome as far as I'm concerned!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard_2_0-5-1864508-236062-If_I_was_once_in_love_now_I_m_married_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard_2_0-5-1864508-236062-If_I_was_once_in_love_now_I_m_married_.html Sun, 5 May 2013 08:24:16 +0000
<![CDATA[Flipboard 2.0 Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard_2_0-1864508-236061.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard_2_0-1864508-236061.html Sun, 5 May 2013 08:04:05 +0000 <![CDATA[Angry Birds Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua]]>
This game is like crack.  This game is fun, but it's too addicting.  Who would have thought that a game where you use various types of birds as slingshot fodder to attack evil green pigs and their dwellings would catch on like wildfire?

I'm the type of guy who'd rather sit in front of my PC and play Crysis or Dead Space, but this is a fun game to play when you're on the go.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Angry_Birds-663-1605235-234992.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Angry_Birds-663-1605235-234992.html Mon, 1 Apr 2013 07:10:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ UI Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X]]>
The Galaxy S III sports a physical home key on a pretty thin lower bezel, which is comfortable to operate, and preferable for some people before the capacitive key found on the One X+. Most side and front buttons, physical or not, are easy to feel and responsive on the phones, with the exception of the volume rocker on the One X+, which is too flush with the surface, and with too shallow of a feedback, so it takes getting used to.

                           Samsung Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Technology_News_2013-5-1849643-232017-UI_Comparison_Samsung_Galaxy_S_III_vs_HTC_One_X.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Technology_News_2013-5-1849643-232017-UI_Comparison_Samsung_Galaxy_S_III_vs_HTC_One_X.html Mon, 21 Jan 2013 06:25:36 +0000
<![CDATA[ Just a little sweeter than Bejewelled]]>
The game is free, but you are constantly bombarded by options to "power-up" with in-app purchases.  I got by okay until I hit level 35, at which point I was asked to pony up $.99 to unlock more levels, or spam my Facebook Friends in order to continue.  At this point, I'd definitely gotten my $.99 worth of enjoyment out of the app, so next time I fire it up, I'll be "paying to play" and continue the game.

http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Candy_Crush_Saga-5-1849448-231972-Just_a_little_sweeter_than_Bejewelled.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Candy_Crush_Saga-5-1849448-231972-Just_a_little_sweeter_than_Bejewelled.html Sat, 19 Jan 2013 17:56:56 +0000
<![CDATA[ Just a little sweeter than Bejewelled]]>
The game is free, but you are constantly bombarded by options to "power-up" with in-app purchases.  I got by okay until I hit level 35, at which point I was asked to pony up $.99 to unlock more levels, or spam my Facebook Friends in order to continue.  At this point, I'd definitely gotten my $.99 worth of enjoyment out of the app, so next time I fire it up, I'll be "paying to play" and continue the game.

http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Candy_Crush_Saga-5-1849448-231971-Just_a_little_sweeter_than_Bejewelled.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Candy_Crush_Saga-5-1849448-231971-Just_a_little_sweeter_than_Bejewelled.html Sat, 19 Jan 2013 17:55:55 +0000
<![CDATA[Steve Jobs Quick Tip by RabidChihuahua]]>
The people that compare Jobs to folks like Nikola Tesla don't know what they're talking about.  Tesla not only had great ideas, but he actually got his hands dirty to actually create machinery and other devices to bring alternating currents to practical use.  Similarly, Bjarne Stroustrup not only had the idea to make computer programming easy and logical, he actually worked from 1980-83, buidling off the computer language C to invent C++ (a computer language that's the backbone of so much computer software and video games today).  Tesla and Stroustrup were real geniuses.  Jobs, on the other hand, was just a guy who had wacky ideas but made his team of computer hardware and software engineers do all the work for him, while Jobs took all the credit.

Jobs, you might have fooled a lot of people into thinking that you were a genius, but you haven't fooled me.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/whatcanisay/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-232-1436382-230032.html http://www.lunch.com/whatcanisay/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-232-1436382-230032.html Wed, 21 Nov 2012 20:22:57 +0000
<![CDATA[ A month on & until iPad Mini arrives (in a week!) ...]]> Apple.com HK site as in that country it is using the lottery/ballot system to determine who get to buy them every day. Even today it is still adopting that very strategy. I suppose Apple store didn't want to deal with a load of customers coming to its 2 stores in Hong Kong and not serving the crowd well. It's foregone conclusion that there would be loads of crowd. So, whoever get the lucky draw the day before can then go and collect his/her prize the next day. I tried the first 2 days but wasn't so lucky. Then I had to leave for vacation to Korea and hence ended up not getting it thereafter. I finally got one in Singapore upon my arrival to the country last monday. The craze here is not as bad as that of Hong Kong.

I had skipped 6 iPhone versions before generation 5. The reason I decided to buy now was simply because it is now "sleek, thin & light". 

After almost a week of use, here are my observations and experiences (based on the fact I have iPad 2 and is familiar with Apple iTunes store and its ecosystem):

The Good
  • Weight - It is much much lighter than the iPad and also the other generations of iPhones due to its thinner exterior and also a different casing material. 
  • Look - It looks updated, sleek & futuristic. Not that the other iPhones weren't back then when they were launched. Still, I do like the feel of its case and especially the black matt finish.
  • Speed - With an improved core processor, it runs faster than its predecessor.
  • Camera - I was an Android user before I bought the iPhone 5. Camera function on the iPhone is much superior and gives a more natural rendition in terms of colors than the Samsung phones. The reason why I chose IPhone 5 over those of Samsung's (latest being S3 and Note 2) is because I really hate the (unnatural) color I spotted on Samsung's screen. That alone is enough to turn me away!

The Bad
  • Battery - To someone who had been spoilt with long battery life on the iPad (some 9 or 10 hours), the battery life on the iPhone 5 needs some getting use to. If I spend time working on the phone non-stop, it lasts only some 3+ hours, I reckon. However, if one is not constantly playing games or it or downloading apps, it probably can get by the day without recharging, provided one doesn't spend hours talking on the phone. Otherwise, an external battery charger is essential. In this regard, Apple is not optimizing user experience as far as I'm concerned. If it can provide substantially long battery life in iPad mini, why can't it do so on the iPhone?!
  • Screen size - 4" may be good to hold in the hand but it is a torture when it comes to watching videos. I need at least a 5" so that my eyes won't strain so much! Then again, I guess I'll just have to keep to watching videos on the iPad (or the iPad mini as soon as I get hold of the stock in a week or two)!
  • Cost - For a 5th generation product with 2 versions of generation 3 & 4, this is one expensive gadget!!! Costing almost US$1000 without contract and about half of it with contract. For the Android phones, they are normally bundled in HK with a two year contract for free!!! Although I paid for it thinking that I'm overpaying, I ended up asking more from the product and in that regard, the iPhone 5 is not good value for money!

So there goes the initial thought and feedback about the IPhone 5. I'm not that crazy over it that I'd go queue for it overnight or am I that excited over it after I bought it. I do feel that other than a better camera, it feels like an iPad nano (except that it has better quality camera). Other than that, it is so much more expensive than the iPad although when it comes to weight, it is just about 1/3 of the newly launched iPad mini. Is it worth paying so much more for a better camera? Well, it's up to individual and also how often one use that for social media. That's the main reason why it is getting a +4 and not +5. 

In essence, I feel Apple needs to be more competitive where pricing is concerned and not keeping up with milking its loyal fans and customers years after years. Sure, its shareholders will not agree but after all these years, is Apple only interested in making money? Is that its main motivation? Now that Steve Jobs is no longer around, who is going to keep track of Apple's sense for design and strive for excellence?!

Only time will reveal .........]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_5-5-1837917-229451-A_month_on_until_iPad_Mini_arrives_in_a_week_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_5-5-1837917-229451-A_month_on_until_iPad_Mini_arrives_in_a_week_.html Sat, 27 Oct 2012 15:49:06 +0000
<![CDATA[iPhone 5 Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> sleek, light AND thin.

Finally, Apple satisfies my concerns. Still, I think it can be improved further. A 5" screen would be preferable and also may be an overhaul in its design! I personally think Apple can do better with a sweeping change instead of milking its consumers and fans with the many generations of the same product.

Other than that, I'm quite happy with what I got now. It serves its purpose as a phone in its own class.

While I love my iPad more than my iPhone, I'm anxiously looking forward to the launch of iPad mini next month. I'm definitely preordering it this friday!!! As far as the two products are concerned, iPad reigns!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/travelgadgets/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_5-317-1837917-229393.html http://www.lunch.com/travelgadgets/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_5-317-1837917-229393.html Wed, 24 Oct 2012 15:19:31 +0000
<![CDATA[Words With Friends Quick Tip by Sharrie]]>
Nothing about an age old game other than a great way to improve one's vocab. I only wish it has a dictionary within the app itself!!! Great that it's free of charge though!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/game/UserReview-Words_With_Friends-191-1436247-224497.html http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/game/UserReview-Words_With_Friends-191-1436247-224497.html Fri, 1 Jun 2012 07:52:06 +0000
<![CDATA[Zite Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> Flipboard but less dynamic. Yet, it feels different and the sources of articles are more varied (I think). What frustrates me is it doesn't allow me to bookmark the articles on my tablet directly from the reader. 

Nonetheless, it's a social app as it allows one to share on the major sites or even apps but NOT keep a record of it on my own gadget!!! Major frustration!!!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Zite-1824446-224399.html http://www.lunch.com/reviews/d/UserReview-Zite-1824446-224399.html Mon, 28 May 2012 05:00:11 +0000
<![CDATA[15 Apps to Get You Through the Holidaze All For Under $1]]> http://www.lunch.com/iApps/Lists-5-3039-15_Apps_to_Get_You_Through_the_Holidaze_All_For.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/Lists-5-3039-15_Apps_to_Get_You_Through_the_Holidaze_All_For.html Tue, 15 Nov 2011 22:24:09 +0000 <![CDATA[ So This Is What Love Feels like: The Most Amazing iPhone Yet]]> I wasn't going to pick up the iPhone 4S, but after giving it some thought, I decided to go for it anyways.  ...Because why not?  I was eligible for an upgrade anyways.  Instead of breaking out a lawn chair in front of an Apple like The Woz did, I hit up the Apple site at midnight October 7th and pre-ordered that baby.  I figured I would probably receive it in the mail a few days after the October 14th release date, but to my surprise and delight, I received it right on the 14th.  Straight from the factory.  Activating my iPhone on my own was a total breeze and I did it without incident. 

The iPhone 4S may not have been very well-received when it was first announced, but that didn't stop people from ordering it, and it has actually gotten pretty rave reviews.  For the past few generations of iPhones, a new one has been introduced approximately every year.  However, it took nearly a year and a half to announce this one, so there's got to be some sort of radical new redesign, right?  There were rumors of it being thinner, having a larger screen, plus an array of other physical changes, but when the 4S was announced, the main takeaway was that it was a faster iPhone 4 that you could talk to and that had a nice camera.  Nonetheless, the Apple faithful, myself included, eventually warmed up to it by the time it was released two weeks later and they sold like hotcakes.

Here are the main three features that the 4S touted over the 4:

A5 Chip
Speed.  With the new A5 chip, the same chip that was first used in the iPad 2 released earlier this year, everything is so much faster:
  • Apps -- Both Apple apps and third party apps pull up lickety split. 
  • Camera -- The camera is ready just a couple of seconds after it's pulled up, and after that, it can take the first photo in 1.1 seconds and all subsequent photos in half a second.
  • Web & Email -- All things equal -- carrier, connectivity, etc -- the 4S loads content way faster than previous generations of the iPhone.  With decent wifi, it's near instantaneous.

As expected, besides the initial testing of it by asking funny questions, I haven't really used it much nor do I plan on using it much in the future.  I've actually had the original Siri app on my phone from when it was first released in early 2010 and had only ever used it once.  It's a really neat concept and I could see it aiding people more in the future, but for now, it'll remain another unused cool feature on my phone.  Similar to FaceTime.

On the version of Siri integrated with the 4S, every time I've tried to use it for something practical so far, well, let's put it this way -- Siri is like a dog; occasionally, it does tricks for me when we're alone in a controlled setting.  However, when I try to show it off to friends or use it in some other setting, it doesn't work more often than not and embarrasses the heck out of me.  With the mistakes it makes and its inability to comprehend me the majority of the times, I might as well just be texting or Googling something by hand.

A couple of examples of when Siri has failed me when I tried to use it for reals:
  • I attempted to send a text to a friend as I drove closer to her house.  Instead of sending the "I'm here" that I dictated, it sent "Bear", to which my friend responded, "What about bears?".   I've tried the voice to text feature several other times with similar results, so I've decided to just type from now on when I can.
  • I was out running with a friend in an area with spotty 3G connection, which caused my Pandora to go in and out.  I decided that I wanted the reliability of the music preloaded into my iTunes, but I didn't want to stop running to do this, so I turned on Siri and dictated what I wanted through the mic attached to my headset.  I tried repeatedly to get it to understand "Play music".  Eventually I was screaming "PLAY MUSIC" into my mic while running.  When Siri did eventually understand me, she told me she couldn't do anything because I had no connectivity.  I don't understand why I needed 3G or wifi to pull up songs that are already on my phone.  I ended up having to stop and pull up iPod on my own.

Now to the fun part about Siri: mess around with it, which you've probably seen on blogs and Youtube.  My friends and I played around with it and here are some of our favorites...






And my favorite of all...
My friend and I just about lost it when Siri popped out with an actual answer for the last question.  What's more is that if you click on any of the options, it actually lists out the nearest swamps, dumps, metal foundries, etc, and shows you their ratings.  I love their sense of humor and it would've been so rad to have been on the team that thought of all of these questions and answers.

So my conclusion on Siri: useless for anything practical besides setting the occasional alarm clock, but pretty darn entertaining at other times.

My favorite feature of all.  I'll go as far as to say that the 4S is worth it alone just for the camera.  If you've seen some of my food reviews, you know that I love taking pictures, and as such, I've always had at least a point and shoot on me at all times for the past several years.  Well, get this -- since getting the 4S, I've officially retired my point and shoot and my purse has become so much lighter.  It was no joke when they said during the announcement that this is probably going to be one of the best cameras that most people will own at this point.

Here are some of my favorite things about this feature:
  • It's 8 mega pixels with 5 element lens.  That's 60% more pixels than the 4.  These factors make for amazingly high quality, sharp photos.
  • It has a f/2.4 lens and backside illumination, so it takes amazing low light photos.
  • IR filter -- the colors are gorgeous.
  • Not only does the camera pull up really fast, it takes the first picture in 1.1 seconds and subsequent ones in half a second.
  • Even when the phone is locked, the camera can still be accessed by double clicking the home button.
  • Photos can be taken with the increase volume button.
  • Photos can be cropped and enhanced, including the removal of red eye.

Here are some examples.  I usually edit my photos, but the ones below are unedited and you can see them in several situations -- outdoors, indoors, low light, etc.





On previous iPhones, these would've been near pitch black


Whatever flaws the photos may have, there's nothing that a little photoshopping can't help.

Last thing I want to note on -- appearance.  The iPhone 4S looks near identical to iPhone 4.  There are just several minor tweaks to the design.  The two most obvious being 1) the iPhone 4S has a couple of extra black lines on either either side, 2) the silent switch was moved down about two millimeters, which doesn't seem like much, but annoyingly, it makes it so that my made-for-iPhone 4 case doesn't accommodate for it.  So just keep the latter in mind as you're case shopping for your 4S.  If not for the case issues, though, you can barely tell the difference:
I would suggest the 4S to anyone who has a pre-iPhone 4 phone.  If you have an iPhone 4, I would say wait for the next one, which will hopefully be a complete redesign.

The 4S is so fast and I can't get enough of the camera.  Seriously, if you're typically a point and shoot camera person, this will probably be one of the nicest cameras you've owned up to this point and will replace your need for a separate camera.  As for Siri, it's a neat concept, but definitely not a compelling reason to get the iPhone 4S. 

Still though, the 4S more than does its job as a smartphone and this is definitely the most amazing iPhone yet.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_4S-5-1770309-215077-So_This_Is_What_Love_Feels_like_The_Most_Amazing.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_4S-5-1770309-215077-So_This_Is_What_Love_Feels_like_The_Most_Amazing.html Sun, 6 Nov 2011 18:07:13 +0000
<![CDATA[ A garden of sprouts]]> TED takes on a new light and life on the iPad 2. Its iPad app made it one of the most pleasurable to watch a video and to learn about others' thought processes and ideas.
In some ways, entering the world of TED is like being in the community of Lunch. You've no clear idea what you'll find. If you are open to collective intelligence, you'll find something of great importance and use to expand and align your consciousness. Often, I subscribed to the idea that when one is ready, one will be presented the tools and knowledge that one needs to acquire in life. And to my delight, TED hastens that process with "teachers" from all walks of life.

So, what is so great about TED on the iPad? I'm specifcially adressing about TED on the iPad as it is the mode that most captivates my interest and also where I made it a point to return for future visits. That is of utmost importance since it is the process of learning taking place in dynamic proportions. Naturally, before I had the iPad I had visited TED on its website. But, a week or two later, I'd have forgotten all about it (hence, no return visit). The iPad delivers the talks effectively wherever I'm. Yes, initially we need the internet connection but the wonder of this particular app makes it a breeze to save my favorite talks on the iPad.
The quallity of videos is something I must applaud. Thanks to the iPad excellent hardware, videos are as great as watching HDTV! Sure, I could save a lot of tv programs but it's not as easy for me to take them to the hair salon, bathroom or the long flight many of us are confined in and totally bored on it. Having said that, the real quality of the talks depend on the speakers. As a whole, TED has many superb speakers with a fanfare of creativity and persuasion. That's what made it such an attractive package! Essentially, what collective and corraborative intelligence on TED does is basically a shift in paradigm!!!

Here are some of my favorites and uplifting videos from TED. Enjoy...

On Creativity & Inspiration

On Travel

On Economy

(A Lunch Featured Review)
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-TED_iOS_Application-5-1774815-214733-A_garden_of_sprouts.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-TED_iOS_Application-5-1774815-214733-A_garden_of_sprouts.html Sat, 29 Oct 2011 04:58:51 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Visionary Who Leaves Behind Quite the iLegacy]]>
Steve Jobs literally changed the world.  He revolutionized technology and in turn, those products went on to affect many people's lives in positive and profound ways.  His genius-ness enriched our lives through innovations that changed the way that we consume and create music, movie, news, and other information and entertainment, and even changed the way that we communicate with each other, the way we learn, the way we think, and the way we live. 

Just to name a few. 

Not to mention that many influential and successful young entrepreneurs in the tech sphere of the past couple of decades cite Steve Jobs as a huge inspiration.


Looking back on Steve Jobs' life story and experiences, it's apparent that he's lived a colorful and unconventional life with a lot of bumps in the road.  No one could have predicted that someone who lived a life like Steve's to get to the point where he ended up.  He was an accident, born to unwed parents who gave him up for adoption.  His first chosen set of adoptive parents changed their minds about adopting him.  He dropped out of college.  He traveled to India in search of spiritual enlightenment.  He experimented with psychedelics.  He got fired from his own company.  He got diagnosed with cancer.

Et cetera, et cetera.  You know the story.

Yet, I'm sure that no one can imagine anyone else but Steve as the one who made Apple what it is today.  Like it says on his tribute on the Apple site, "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built".

No one says it better or tells his story better than Steve himself, nor is there a better way to showcase his charisma.  These two videos will give you the chills, and in light of his passing, especially his third story in the second video:


At only age 56, Steve left us far too soon.  He had so much more living to do and so much more to contribute to the world.  In spite of the multiple medical leave of absences that he took in recent years, he still made it a point to be a part of every major product and strategic decision at Apple.  Looking back on his last years, despite his failing health, it's obvious that he was still brimming with ideas, that he was highly, highly passionate about Apple, technology, and changing the world, and that he had so much more that he wanted to share.  He must have worked right up to the point until he really felt like he physically could not give anymore, only resigning less than a month and a half before his passing.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose".  Let this be a lesson to us to live life to the fullest and to take risks into the unknown, no matter how scary.  Seriously, go out and live.  Boldly.  Do something.  Find ways to change the world.  Spend a little money if you need to.  You can't take it with you.


R.I.P. King of Silicon Valley. 

Thank you for all that you've shared with us and for being such a visionary and inspiration to so many.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-5-1436382-214033-A_Visionary_Who_Leaves_Behind_Quite_the_iLegacy.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-5-1436382-214033-A_Visionary_Who_Leaves_Behind_Quite_the_iLegacy.html Thu, 6 Oct 2011 08:20:56 +0000
<![CDATA[ RIP Steve Jobs! The Legacy? Follow Your Heart!]]>

Death knows no boundaries. It does not recognize nationalities, age, demographics, beauty, bank accounts nor fame. We can't really tell who will live to a ripe old age or who will pass on the next day. All we are left with is how much a person has effected in his lifetime, not how long he has lived.

Steve Jobs is the inspiration behind this review. You may/may not like him but you can't quite fault his ingenuity or his strategic marketing even if you're his main competitors. I'd choose to think that Jobs passed away at the height of his career. Whatever could be or would be in the future is up to anyone's speculation. For Steve Jobs, he has done more than most of his peers in the technology sector by simply catering to consumers' needs and a step beyond that. He had simplify life for many and facilitated the world's leap to a more connected world.

He is certainly an icon of our times. Just as Princess Diana was. These are 2 public people whom I woke up unexpectedly to news of their deaths. Shocking? Yes, to quite a degree. They are too young to die and had done a great deal for many in the world. Shocking enough to think about our own mortality and be reminded of our time left in life as well as our place in this life.

Yet, the death of Steve Jobs translates to an immortality - his spirit, his creativity and his belief about following one's own heart will be here to stay for decades if not centuries and beyond.

Most of us don't know the man but most of us personally and intimately know his works. We live our days alongside his many creations. We were transformed one way or another by them. So yes, we know the man, well, in a different dogma and dimension. 

Yes, Steve Jobs is gone for now, but his legacy is here to stay, forever and ever....................

(A Lunch Featured Review)]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-5-1436382-214032-RIP_Steve_Jobs_The_Legacy_Follow_Your_Heart_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-5-1436382-214032-RIP_Steve_Jobs_The_Legacy_Follow_Your_Heart_.html Thu, 6 Oct 2011 05:49:42 +0000
<![CDATA[Steve Jobs Quick Tip by Sharrie]]> http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-191-1436382-214027.html http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/public_figure/UserReview-Steve_Jobs-191-1436382-214027.html Thu, 6 Oct 2011 03:01:17 +0000 <![CDATA[ Full of fluff and hyperbole]]>
Like many devoted Apple or iPhone fan, I've been (not so) patiently waiting for news of the fifth generation iPhone.  I've been so ready to upgrade.  When Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO two months ago, however, I thought it would be a long while before the next iPhone would be released.  My thought was that if there was an iPhone to be unveiled, surely Steve Jobs would at least announce that as a parting gift his fans.  So when it was announced that Apple would be having their "Let's Talk iPhone" keynote yesterday, I set aside my morning to watch the announcement unfold on Engadget's live blog (they didn't allow video streaming this time).

The keynote started off with a lot of build up about how awesome Apple is.  There was talk of how successful they've been and they threw out a ton of stats while discussing the success and adoption of iPod, iPod Nano, Lion iOS, iPad, iOS 5, etc, etc.  They also threw around a lot of words like, "fast" and "amazing" and "gorgeous", etc.  They spoke about that for an entire hour before finally getting to the iPhone.  The good stuff, and what we've all been waiting for.

Here are the most significant updates that were announced for the iPhone 4S (yup -- a 4S, not a 5), and you can see the phone in action in this video:

A5 Chip
This is also the chip that's inside of the iPad 2.  This hardware will make the iPhone run much, much faster all around than the iPhone 4, whether it's pulling up apps, taking pictures, or surfing the web on Safari.  To be more exact, twice as a fast, and graphics load 7x as fast, making activities like game play amazing.


As a photography enthusiast, this one had me mega juiced when they announced it.  Here are the stats:
  • 8 megapixel and can take 3264 x 2448 photos -- 60% more pixels
  • Backside illumination -- brings in 73% more light
  • Takes the first photo in just 1.1 seconds and the second in half a second -- 33% faster
  • IR filter -- for better color accuracy and uniformity
  • Five element lens -- that's an extra lens compared to iPhone 4 -- 30% more sharpness
  • f/2.4 -- larger aperture to allow more light in
  • Face detection
  • Photo editing -- now allows users to crop, enhance and edit photos in several other ways
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Video image stabilization

Here's one example of how amazing the new camera is, to which Phil Schiller remarks, "Do you know how hard it is to make a squirrel stand still?"

My favorite part of the whole camera talk though, was when they compared the speed in which various smartphones capture photos:


Phil quips, "I don't know what Droid Bionic users need to do between pictures. Maybe go get coffee?"  Oh snap!

They also mention that the camera could now be accessed even when the phone is locked with a double click of the home button, which is very convenient.  Once the camera is pulled up, photos can also be snapped with one of the volume buttons.  Also very convenient.

When they announced this, I was a bit confused because I had already downloaded the Siri app in January of 2010.  I tested it once and though it's a cool concept for an app, I had only ever opened it once and never bothered with it again.  During the announcement, I tried to pull up the Siri app again and found that it no longer worked.  Apparently, Apple acquired Siri in April of 2010 and is now set to be fully integrated into the iPhone 4S.  Here it is in action:

It looks pretty neat.  During the keynote, some examples included using voice control to ask the phone various questions, such as, "What is the hourly forecast?" and "Do I need a raincoat today?".  You can also set an alarm, put something on your calendar, ask for international time and even ask for restaurant recommendations and definition of words.  These all sound like cool features, but the one that I think that I'm going to find the most useful is the fact that I can text through voice control.  I can finally reply to text messages while driving.

Here's one thing that I couldn't help but think about, though -- how accurate and useful voice control will be.  My current iPhone has voice control as well, only it's less functional.  Though it comes with a set of features, I find that I only end up using it when I'm driving and need to call someone, but even then, it only accurately calls who I tell it to call 25% of the time.  Furthermore, the few times that it does work, I'm practically screaming into the speaker, and enunciating slowly and clearly.

They do make a point to point out that it gets better as it learns your voice.  If that's the case and I don't have to mega enunciate and practically scream into my phone every time I use it, I may be taking advantage of it more.

One thing's for certain though: apparently Siri will never cross me,


Sounds great, right?  Now what else is there?  And what does it look like?!

Then the keynote ended. 

Yup, that was it.  All those rumors of them rolling out a larger screen and thinner body?  Nada.  It appears that they didn't give the body any tweaks at all.  Not even a little.  I'm not saying that the new iPhone has to live up to rumors, but if I'm getting a new, hyped up phone, I want it to be new and shiny both on the inside AND the outside.  Even if just a slight aesthetic tweak.  There was also rumor that there'd be a budget iPhone, which would be the iPhone 4, plus another souped out iPhone.  Clearly didn't happen.

So after I got off my high of the event, my take away was this: the iPhone 4S is basically a phone with the same exact body as the 15 month old iPhone 4, with 7 month old hardware, and I can tell it to do things with my voice.  The A5 processor sounds great, and the voice control does sound cool.  Though as I mentioned earlier, I probably wouldn't be using it much.  Plus, it's kind of awkward telling your phone to do things in public.

But on the upside, I'll be taking some amazing photos.

I wasn't the only one underwhelmed; Apple stock took a 5% nosedive immediately after yesterday's announcement.  Investors were clearly not impressed either:


I didn't think that I'd be asking myself this, but is the ability to take clearer photos and to be able to text with my voice while I'm driving or jogging really worth the hassle and money to get a new phone for?  Not to mention that I'd be tied down to AT&T for another two years.  Meanwhile, Apple would release the iPhone 5 in the middle of that contractual period and I'm stuck with an old model for another year.

Before yesterday's talk, it was x's on my calendar until the 5th gen iPhone came out and I was 100% sure that I was going to get it.  Now that it's been announced though, I'm really on the fence and almost tempted to just wait a year for iPhone 5 to come out, or even get a non-iPhone phone.  I'm sure installing iOS 5 into my current phone will tide me over for at least a bit.

Though when I step back and think about all of its new features again... Twice as fast.  Sick new camera.  Voice activated texting. 

Okay, who am I kidding?  I'll probably still be getting it.  Though just not with as much enthusiasm as I'd thought.

Update: @ read this post and forwarded me to this article by Jason Kottke breaking it down for naysayers like myself.  It's a fantastic post. ...But I still want a unicorn!

Update 2: I got the 4S, and I love it.
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Announcement_of_iPhone_4S-5-1770064-214007-Full_of_fluff_and_hyperbole.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Announcement_of_iPhone_4S-5-1770064-214007-Full_of_fluff_and_hyperbole.html Wed, 5 Oct 2011 10:14:02 +0000
<![CDATA[Flipboard Quick Tip by Sharrie]]>

With Flipboard, I'm able to keep in touch not only with the hobbies and activities I'm passionate about, it also gives me a new platform to share those contents, news and events with people whom I care to share with! 

Flipboard made everyone into his/her own curator of things or activities they fall in love with! It's certainly a new toy you'll fall in love with!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard-191-1502741-212220.html http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard-191-1502741-212220.html Mon, 29 Aug 2011 08:03:47 +0000
<![CDATA[ Bookmarks, Magazine styled]]>
What Flipboard does is to give its users a chance to create his/her own magazine. You can include some 21 sites as your personal favorites (somewhat like your bookmarks) within Flipboard's favorite section, essentially 2 pages. More favorites can be added but it's hidden from view. 

How does Flipboard work?
Well, essentially it's set up as a social news app and take advantage of the colorful and visually pleasing screen of the Ipad to display some of the contents that had been shared and tweeted around the net. Any content from any site that had been tweeted and shared through Facebook often enough will find its way into Flipboard, as long as you add the very site that host those content.

What's good about Flipboard?
Flipboard renders the popularity of content and news across the net into a readable platform. Of course, the fact that it's a social media app means only if the content or news are actively seek by readers and shared will they find their way into this app. It gives many sites a reading into how popular some or all of their contents are. It's hence a great marketing tool.

For its users, Flipboard is yet another dynamic way to find about what's out there and a way to congregate one's favorite contents within a field, sector or hobby. It's however a lot more visually pleasing and exciting than merely bookmarking links to one's browser. Flipboard gives the reader a chance to choose what to read and what not to in a simpler format than what we are accustomed on the net.

What's not so great about Flipboard?
Some contents may be great but won't find their way into this app simply because they are not popular! 

All in all though the advantages outweigh the imperfection. Try it and if you find a new way of using it, do share with all of us here on Lunch!

(A Lunch Featured Review)

http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard-5-1502741-212219-Bookmarks_Magazine_styled.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Flipboard-5-1502741-212219-Bookmarks_Magazine_styled.html Mon, 29 Aug 2011 07:54:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ $0.99 iPhone apps... Here I come!]]>
The class was taught by Stephen Kochen who is also the author of Programming in Objective-C.  At the very beginning, he did a quick assessment of the skill level of the students and then tailored the course material appropriately.  Almost all the students came from a similar background, including myself.  We had some programming experience in a language other than Objective-C, but we were all new to the iPhone programming.  While there are no required prerequisites for the course, it does help if you've had some programming experience, particularly if it is in an object oriented language.  If the concept of strings, integers and arrays is a little fuzzy to you, you would be better served building up a programming foundation before taking this class.  After taking the class, I do feel like the iPhone SDK is very approachable for new programmers, but this class probably shouldn't be your first experience in programming.

Throughout the three days, the course consisted of lecture mixed with "hands-on" lab work where we would build simple iPhone applications and then iterate on them with new concepts that were introduced.  There's a great feeling of accomplishment as you work through the projects because you get several "finished projects" in a very short amount of time.

The iPhone SDK is huge, and it would be impossible to cover the entire thing in 3 days.  The course covered several frameworks, but not ones I was specifically interested in.  However, we were given enough instruction to be able to look through the documentation on Apple's website and use what we learned to guide us through other frameworks.  It was very much a "teach a man to fish" mentality.

After the course, I was immediately excited to go out and build the next "Angry Birds", but it became apparent that much more repetition was still needed (just like learning any language).  While trying out new projects, I constantly referenced the projects I'd built in the class to look up how we did certain things.  It was a great resource to have in the end.  While there's still quite a bit for me to learn, I came away from the class with confidence to take on new projects.  I highly recommend the class as a way to kickstart the learning process. ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_Bootcamp-5-1750114-210201-_0_99_iPhone_apps_Here_I_come_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_Bootcamp-5-1750114-210201-_0_99_iPhone_apps_Here_I_come_.html Tue, 12 Jul 2011 17:48:16 +0000
<![CDATA[ A great app to keep your health in check]]>
Since diet accounts a lot for your overall fitness, even moreso than physical activity, I felt like a food diary of sorts would be helpful for that.  Knowing me, I'd never realistically keep up with keeping an old school paper journal, so I hit up my trusty app store and downloaded the highest rated free food diary app there was -- MyNetDiary -- and it did not disappoint!  I've been updating it with my diet and exercise daily/religiously since.  Note: this is a review for the free version of the app.  There's also a pro version with even more features.

You start off entering your basic info, like age, height, weight, weight goals, when you want reach your goal weight by, etc.  My personal goal isn't to necessarily to shift my weight in any drastic direction, but to get fit and toned by making sure I'm putting the right foods and nutrients, and the right amount of it, into my body (I am, afterall, training for Tough Mudder!).  I'm looking to shed some fat, gain some muscle, and become overall stronger and healthier.  MyNetDiary is marketed as a calorie-counting weight-loss app and doesn't exactly have an option for my goal, but I still find their daily analysis of my diet and exercise really helpful and insightful.

Based on the data that you enter, it gives you tips on how to achieve your goals.  For instance, if you're trying to lose 10 pounds by the end of summer, it will calculate how many calories you should consume a day versus the daily recommended average of 2000 calories.  Also, after you've entered in at least 400 calories into your food diary in a day, it will give you a more in depth analysis on how much weight you'll lose or gain in a week and a month based on what you've consumed and the calories you've done.  It also points out pros and cons of your diet, like too much fat, or too little calcium, and gives tips on how to improve your diet, like eat more fiber in the morning.

Entering in your grub.  Below are the ingredients for a salad

Exercise entries

An overview of the day's caloric intake

An analysis of the day's diet and exercise

Highlights of your day's diet and exercise

Nutrients consumed

FYI, there are a few more features of this app that didn't particularly pique my interest, but might be of interest to others -- you can take before and after photos, take measurements, and there's actually a community behind this app so you can share tips and feedback with other people who may be on the same heath track as yourself.  There's also a website that syncs up to this app.  I visited it once recently and it wasn't impressive.  It was actually kind of messy compared to the app, so I'll just stick to the app.

There's one other pitfall to the app -- the amount of calories burned and the nutritional value of the food that you consume are only loosely approximate.  For counting calories burned, I suggest a calorie counting device of sorts, that takes your weight, age, gender, body fat percentage, heart rate, etc, all into account, because the app can't do that.  In terms of food, it's already hard enough to measure as it is, but then there's also contributed content, which are food data contributed by members and aren't always accurate.  I myself have mistakenly entered in wrong serving sizes for contributed content and had not know how to fix it.  So don't use this app as the rule; just use it to eyeball and gauge your exercise and diet.

Despite the few flubs, I still think that this is a great app for anyone who wants to gain or lose weight, or simply just gain insight into their diet.  If you have a smartphone, you're likely addicted to it and are on it pretty often, so you have no excuse not to update it.  I have to add though, that for optimal fitness results, an app alone is not enough.  I suggest reading about exercises and diets that will work in your favor, and even consulting a personal trainer and nutritionist if you can.  Having all the knowledge, support and resources behind you will work better for you than blindly going about.

Now I'm on my way to getting getting toned and mud-swimmin' fit ;)]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-MyNetDiary-5-1418158-209198-A_great_app_to_keep_your_health_in_check.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-MyNetDiary-5-1418158-209198-A_great_app_to_keep_your_health_in_check.html Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:56:43 +0000
<![CDATA[ 20 Lines of code and Xcode 4, Awesome!]]> This video was absolutely awesome. It was exactly what I was looking for... I love the format of watching a professional at work while being interviewed by a inquisitive host. She asks all the right questions that an beginner/intermediate who is hungry to learn would ask. This interviewing style is far superior than just watching someone work alone. Sometimes you need to ask why something was done a certain way, or when should something be done, etc. etc. and that's what the host does extremely well. What a great series... I am thoroughly impressed! Oh, and the other bonus was it covers IOS 4 and Xcode 4 (Xcode 4's interface has changed and a lot of things were moved or integrated).]]> http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Quick_iPhone_Game_Development-5-1746655-209160-20_Lines_of_code_and_Xcode_4_Awesome_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Quick_iPhone_Game_Development-5-1746655-209160-20_Lines_of_code_and_Xcode_4_Awesome_.html Tue, 21 Jun 2011 22:16:47 +0000 <![CDATA[ DietPoint has such a large collection of diet plans!]]>
I found DietPlan (an application) which have 90 plans!! It helped me decide how much weight I wanted to lose and with such a lot of content, I was on my way in no time :)

It gave me meal reminder, ready made shopping lists and a web forum which was great to use and allowed me to interact with others on the diet which made me feel I was not fighting alone!

When looking at the app, there was a lot to choose from but with more than a million views and active users posting every day, I felt this was the best once to go for! I honestly felt there was a sense of community and it was such a nice feeling talking to others who had the same experience as me! DietPoint (which used to be Diet2Go is also on the Android Market so I can put it on my tablet :P

Overall I enjoyed using DietPoint and I managed to lose my desired weight in 3 weeks I was overjoyed.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-DietPoint-5-1744844-208776-DietPoint_has_such_a_large_collection_of_diet.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-DietPoint-5-1744844-208776-DietPoint_has_such_a_large_collection_of_diet.html Tue, 14 Jun 2011 16:07:46 +0000
<![CDATA[ One of the best buddies a driver can have]]>
Take a look:

(And yes, those are the actual prices of gas in San Francisco!)

For those wondering how the app gets the prices, here's the cool part -- the pricces are GasBuddy community-reported.  Of the handful of times that I've used this app, it's been up-to-date.  App users have a choice of using the app with or without signing up for an account.  One does not need an account to search for gas prices, but one is necessary to enter prices.  What do people get for entering gas prices besides the satisfaction of having helped others?  They also get entered into a contest to win, appropriately, gas.

The concept and current state of this app is already pretty darn awesome.  Here are some things that would be cool to see in the future though:
  • Business hours of the gas stations
  • The ability to call the gas station from the app
  • The ability to sort and filter gas stations chains and names (for those who prefer or loath certain chains)

All in all, this is an overall very helpful money-saving app.  I also think that it's very cool that a lot of the gas prices are actually provided by the GasBuddy community.  Thanks a bunch to the folks who do that!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-GasBuddy_iOS_Application-5-1738514-208061-One_of_the_best_buddies_a_driver_can_have.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-GasBuddy_iOS_Application-5-1738514-208061-One_of_the_best_buddies_a_driver_can_have.html Tue, 31 May 2011 06:25:35 +0000
<![CDATA[ Total carnage! I LOVE IT!]]>
Angry Birds is the most frustrating, delightful, maddening and addictive casual game to come along since Tetris.

The premise is simple - use a slingshot to fling different types of birds through the air to attack structures built by pigs who stole your eggs. The structures are made of wood, glass, and stone in different configurations, and the birds you're throwing have different attributes and abilities. You get points for destroying the scenery and for taking out the pigs. The more havoc you can wreak, the better!

The graphic style of Angry Birds is fun and cartoony.  What's amazing is how, level after level, the challenge increases and the fun continues.  Watching the carefully-built pig shelters tumble and fall under my avian onslaught never fails to be fun.  I've played through well over 60 levels (full three-star ratings on all of them so far, thank you very much!) and it still hasn't gotten old.  I've gotten mad, I've laughed out loud, I've tried different tricks to maximize damage...but I haven't gotten tired of it yet. Not even close.

The rumours are true. I'm hopelessly addicted. Don't judge me - you will be too. Give in and enjoy it.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Angry_Birds-5-1605235-207887-Total_carnage_I_LOVE_IT_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Angry_Birds-5-1605235-207887-Total_carnage_I_LOVE_IT_.html Thu, 26 May 2011 19:09:46 +0000
<![CDATA[Textually Active Quick Tip by devora]]> http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/online_video/UserReview-Textually_Active-13-1738473-207824.html http://www.lunch.com/MovieHype/reviews/online_video/UserReview-Textually_Active-13-1738473-207824.html Wed, 25 May 2011 19:55:12 +0000 <![CDATA[ oRemote should be taken into account when shopping for an AV Receiver]]> While shopping for a new receiver, I could have made my search even easier had I started by looking at the iOS apps which work with the different brands.  As luck would have it, the best AV Receiver App is oRemote for Onkyo, which just so happens to work perfectly with my my recently reviewed HT-RC360.    More specifically, it's about to pending the next release of oRemote -- more on that later.

The oRemote App lets you control every facet of the new networked Onkyo receivers over your local WiFi.  The two-way communication provides plenty of feedback on the iOS screen so you know exactly what you're doing without having to look at the receiver or a TV screen (perfect for browsing through local playlists or Pandora stations while sipping a beer in the backyard).

Onkyo provides their own iOS app, but it's not nearly as functional (nor as pretty as oRemote).  oRemote supports Zone 2 controls which is ideal for my aforementioned backyard beer sipping music listening sessions, and the oRemote app is optimized for both iPhone and iPad making full use of the iPad's extra screen real estate.

When I initially installed the oRemote app, it wasn't compatible with my specific receiver (I installed it despite the warnings that my particular model was not on the "supported" list), but whenI contacted the developer, he was quick to reply with updates and mentioned an updated version was on its way.  He was also kind enough to include me in the beta test so I could test it with my hardware.  The developer seems very pro-active and responsive to the user base, and I consider that another huge advantage for this app.

Onkyo would be wise to promote and market this app over their own (or perhaps even contract out the developer directly) because the oRemote provides a huge value add to their product lineup.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-oRemote_for_iPhone_iPod_touch_and_iPad_on_the_iTunes_App_Store-5-1738105-207786-oRemote_should_be_taken_into_account_when_shopping.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-oRemote_for_iPhone_iPod_touch_and_iPad_on_the_iTunes_App_Store-5-1738105-207786-oRemote_should_be_taken_into_account_when_shopping.html Tue, 24 May 2011 17:44:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ Pulse News is like the RSS Reader for those with ADD]]>
You can easily add your favorite RSS feeds by searching for them or adding the URL directly, or if you use Google Reader, you can just login with your account.  

I've tried other RSS readers, but they often felt too much like work.  I was never able to get into a good rhythm where I would consistently "mark" the stories I had already read, or browsing between sources or for most recent stories was never as efficient as I would have liked.  Navigating in Pulse is very intuitive and "iOS" friendly, making good use of the swipe for scrolling the headlines and tabs across the top make it easy to organize your feeds.  I've also found Pulse to be quite versatile.  I use it to read tech sites, deal sites (a bad habit I just can't kick), and some of my favorite Twitter feeds.  Having all that organized in one app makes it much faster to get in, see what's new or of interest, and then get out.

My only complaint is that there isn't a way to go back to get "older stories".  Once you hit the end of the line, you're done.  On a few instances, I saw something interesting I wanted to read in the morning, but when I went back to read it that night, it had already "rolled off" the page, so I'd have to go to the website directly to find the article again.  However, Pulse News does let you tweet or facebook post stories that you find, as well as email or "InstaPaper" articles as well, so there are ways to tag items you want to save for later.

The app is currently free in the Apple Store (I was one of the suckers that actually bought it early when it was released), so it's worth checking out. ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Pulse_News-5-1734482-207235-Pulse_News_is_like_the_RSS_Reader_for_those_with.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Pulse_News-5-1734482-207235-Pulse_News_is_like_the_RSS_Reader_for_those_with.html Tue, 10 May 2011 17:22:37 +0000
<![CDATA[ AT&T Threatening Users into Compliance]]>
In March of 2011, I saw two articles which convinced me to give AT&T's tethering plan a try:
  1. Users reported that iPad's connected via a tethered iPhone would receive GPS information as well
  2. AT&T was sending threatening letters that users of the MyWi app would automatically be enrolled in their Personal Hotspot tethering service.
I was really keen on seeing how the iPad could act as a large screen GPS app while driving while being fed location information from my iPhone and I was really NOT keen on AT&T "automatically" enrolling me in their Personal Hotspot service (yet, ironically, their scare tactic worked).

Anyway, for my first test, I enrolled in the AT&T personal hotspot service, set up a password I would use to let other devices connect to my iPhone, and then tethered my iPad to the phone.  I then loaded the Google Maps app on both devices and watched to see how well the GPS tracking worked on the Wifi only iPad during a drive home -- the answer was, not very well.  While the location information was being updated on the iPad, it wasn't nearly as real-time, nor as accurate as the iPhone tracking.  It appeared that the iPad was still using very basic triangulation to establish GPS, so more often than not, my location was mapped onto buildings rather than on the streets.  Also, the location only seemed to be updated about once per minute, so it was not getting real-time updates during the trip.  Although the large map display was VERY COOL to have in the car, it wasn't nearly accurate enough to use as a turn-by-turn GPS replacement.  Lesson learned, I'll probably spring for the 3G iPad on my next upgrade solely for the enhanced GPS functionality.

Other than that, everything else about the AT&T Personal Hotspot was very favorable.  Download speeds were better than I had expected and the iPhone battery life seemed to last longer than when I used the MyWi app for tethering.  Also, connecting to the iPhone from the iPad was very fast and easy, and if I was a regular business traveller, I could easily justify the extra expense.

For now, I can still add and remove the Personal Hotspot service on a month-by-month basis, so I'll cancel the service at the end of this month. But for any upcoming trips, I would quickly reactivate the service.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-AT_T_Personal_Hotspot-5-1728341-205724-AT_T_Threatening_Users_into_Compliance.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-AT_T_Personal_Hotspot-5-1728341-205724-AT_T_Threatening_Users_into_Compliance.html Tue, 12 Apr 2011 05:43:15 +0000
<![CDATA[ Quirky Guided Tours To Two Home Towns]]> invite a relevant review, Lunch popped into my mind as a key place to extend the invite to review an iPhone App, should the subject pique your interest.

I am a longtime member of International Women's Writing Guild - IWWG - and that is how come GPSMyCity approached me to see if I had an interest in creating  self-guided walking tours of a city or cities that I know and love.

Well, I had one of those experiences where the concept started to percolate and I found myself doing circle loops (join the dots!) on my daily bicycling jaunts, of the places I would love to highlight in my home town.

Long story short, I proposed a title/theme tour I was game to produce, got approved and dove in. The final product, after a few fine-tuning tweaks, went through the approval process into iTunes and is now for sale ($2.99);

Santa Cruz California: "Rad Statues, Chocolate & Chai"

"The City of Santa Cruz, perched on the Pacific Rim, has, at its essence, a distinct whimsy, as well as a real edge, that defines the cultural milieu. The weaving of Santa Cruz statues, monuments, and select ‘watering holes’, brings to the fore quintessential Santa Cruz; a playful and steady challenge to the status quo, along with home-brewed brilliance publicly celebrated."

That was fun, and I was not done.

With Santa Cruz under my belt, I wanted to do my other home-from-home City; Nottingham, England. Again, my title/theme tour emerged organically, weaving together what delights me in my frequent sojourns to that English Midlands City;

Nottingham, England: "Robin Hood, Ale & Alley Cats"
"Nottingham; renowned of course for the ever-embellishing tales of Robin Hood, his Merry Men, Maid Marian (who is variously portrayed as bloom-of-youth sex bomb to rotund bossy matron), and the mean ol' Sheriff of Nottingham.  Take a look now at how the Medieval City fares into the 21st century. Perhaps the notorious vagaries of the past served to inform a more just Civic Rule in this Midlands City, which has emerged as a 'Transition Town'  forerunner, attracting major development funding from European Union for state of the art transit system to get you from here to there on your Guided Tour."

And that's it!

I have couple promo codes.; If you are a LUNCH reviewer, Facebook or Twitterer who would like to take a virtual Tour of either Santa Cruz or Nottingham....; ping me :)]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_Apps_self_guided_walking_tours-5-1727398-205295-Quirky_Guided_Tours_To_Two_Home_Towns.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_Apps_self_guided_walking_tours-5-1727398-205295-Quirky_Guided_Tours_To_Two_Home_Towns.html Fri, 8 Apr 2011 06:09:58 +0000
<![CDATA[ I'm getting the band back together... one iPad at a time]]> distress.  Other than that, I have no music abilities.

Now with all that said, I love GarageBand for the iPad.  Apple developed an iPad version of their popular desktop application and have essentially created an ultra-portable recording studio.  The app comes with built-in "instruments" that you can use with the iPad's touchscreen to lay down multiple tracks.  The obvious ones are a touchscreen piano keyboard and drum kit which have great sound samples.  

The instrument that makes GarageBand a killer app is the "Smart Guitar" instrument.  The scre en shows several chords.  You can tap on the chord letter to play the entire chord, or you can pick at the individual strings within a chord to play individual notes.  Plucking the strings within the chords and hopping around between chords is really easy and it sounds great.  It's like I'm creating a little background music for an MTV StoryTellers -- my own "banter" music.  "A few years back, in a little town not too different from this one... I met a girl" -- That sentence is a whole lot more engaging with a little background strumming accompaniment.  If you don't feel like strumming and pecking, you can  just select one of the "AutoPlay" options which will play a background riff for you and all you have to do is manage the chord changes.  Even my two-year-old daughter can pull off a solo concert with this.

As you lay down your different instrument tracks (or live recordings), you can then edit them in the track view to add loops, effects, or adjust volumes, as well as edit the timings.  This is the part where I start to go blurry eyed on the whole audio recording skill set, but it's an incredibly easy interface to use and fun to play with.

My favorite feature, however, is one that is currently undocumented.  GarageBand for iPad seems to have some limited MIDI support built-in to it.  What this means is that with an iPad, and USB Camera Connection Kit, and a compatible MIDI keyboard, you can capture your keystrokes on a physical music keyboard and GarageBand will record the MIDI track which you can use to edit or play back with different instruments.  Since it's an undocumented feature, finding a list of supported devices is tricky, but it worked fine with my Yamaha S08 -- if that helps anyone.  It's just one more very cool way to get music into the GarageBand app which you can then continue to edit and tweak to your hearts content.

Once your tracks are in GarageBand, you can then export the song file for more advanced editing on the GarageBand desktop app (and presumably other music editing software), but that was beyond my scope -- for now, I'm just going to continue playing a little background music as I tell my family about my day at work.
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-GarageBand_for_iPad-5-1720888-204369-I_m_getting_the_band_back_together_one_iPad_at.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-GarageBand_for_iPad-5-1720888-204369-I_m_getting_the_band_back_together_one_iPad_at.html Tue, 22 Mar 2011 17:44:56 +0000
<![CDATA[ Cute, colorful, comfy,]]>
Not only do I like the way this case feels--firm in my grip--I also like the way it looks, especially in the showy red color. The thickness is reassuring because I have been known to drop my phone and I think this case is thick enough to absorb the shock.

I have always been a fan of the distinctive Apple logo and am proud to display it through the cut-out in back, so that's another plus.

All in all, I'm pleased with this product and will recommend it to my friends. In fact, a friend who has lost feeling in his hands due to nerve loss from MS, tried it and he adds his praise to mine. He likes the fact that it's not constantly slipping from his grasp like his black plastic case does.

The only thing better, in my estimation, would be if it came in a black-and-white zebra print. :-)

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, February 24, 2011
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-amazon_basics_silicone_case_for_iPhone_red-5-1713294-203017-Cute_colorful_comfy_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-amazon_basics_silicone_case_for_iPhone_red-5-1713294-203017-Cute_colorful_comfy_.html Thu, 3 Mar 2011 05:28:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ Greatest phone ever]]> http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_3G-5-1115783-200537-Greatest_phone_ever.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone_3G-5-1115783-200537-Greatest_phone_ever.html Tue, 1 Feb 2011 14:54:34 +0000 <![CDATA[ Solar iPhone a Patented Possibility]]> Solar iPhoneOn Leap Year Day this year (February 29) I had talked about a new solar iPhone charger that was on the market from Freeloader. Now, Apple has taken a leap of its own by filing for a patent for a solar iPhone 2.0.

Of course photovoltaic cells on small portable devices have been around for a while on calculators, watches and even toys. But, the iPhone is a power-hungry device, as are all cell phones that require a lot of energy just to operate. In fact, Forbes is reporting it would take up to 1 million wrist watches with solar cells to power one solar iPhone.

The most likely scenario that Apple is hoping for is twofold. First, would be a small panel of photovoltaic cells on the iPhone that would provide some supplementary electric charge. Two, Apple is thinking way ahead and imagining an iPhone five years in the future that can be fully powered by solar given a few breakthroughs in photovoltaic technology along the way.

Knowing that some people are already using solar iPhone chargers, Apple may just be wanting to give users an assist if they temporarily misplace their charger and need to make an important phone call or two just to get by. The technology isn’t quite there yet but this does open up some interesting possibilities for the future.

For instance, will we be seeing some geeky dude with glasses wandering around from sunlight to shade, talking on the solar iPhone saying, “Can you hear me now?”



http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone-5-1447252-199452-Solar_iPhone_a_Patented_Possibility.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-iPhone-5-1447252-199452-Solar_iPhone_a_Patented_Possibility.html Mon, 17 Jan 2011 18:46:53 +0000
<![CDATA[ Stitcher Radio is One Step Closer to On-Demand Radio]]> listen to podcasts in the car during my commute.  The only problem is the amount of preparation it takes beforehand.  In order to get a podcast on your iPhone from iTunes, you need to download it beforehand (and if it's larger than a certain size, you can only download it while connected to a WiFi network).  Alternatively, you can stream the podcast directly from iTunes, but if you want to stop and start up later where you left off, you have to find the podcast again, and then try to find the spot where you left off.

Stitcher eliminates that pain by letting you stream podcasts immediately over the cellular network.  And provided you are logged into your account, you can pick up and continue your podcast from where you last left off.  If you tag specific shows as favorites, you'll also get alerts when new shows are made available.  I don't know how extensive their library is, but they had both the Adam Carolla Show and the Adam Carolla Carcast show which I listen to.

The only knock I have against Stitcher radio so far is that they don't appear to keep archives of shows.  So if you want to listen to every episode of a particular show, you would need to listen to each one before the next new one comes out -- so you couldn't listen to a bunch of old shows on a long road-trip, for example.  Otherwise, for my daily commute, Stitcher works just fine, but if you're planning a long road trip, load up on the archives via iTunes beforehand.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-Stitcher_Radio_iPhone_App_-5-1417213-199137-Stitcher_Radio_is_One_Step_Closer_to_On_Demand.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-Stitcher_Radio_iPhone_App_-5-1417213-199137-Stitcher_Radio_is_One_Step_Closer_to_On_Demand.html Tue, 11 Jan 2011 18:28:11 +0000
<![CDATA[ Navigon on iPhone is the Ultimate Driving Companion]]> http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/navigon-mobil...or-usa/id384680007?mt=8

I've been researching navigation apps on the iPhone for a while and all my research kept bringing me back to the Navigon app.  However, I wasn't willing to test the waters at the $50 price point, so I continued to get by with free apps like MapQuest and Google Maps.  Fortunately, the App Store, like most other retail shops, knows how to throw up sales on Black Friday as well and I purchased the Navigon app for $29 last week.

Since it was a holiday weekend, it was inevitable that I would have trip over the river and through woods, so I'd have the perfect opportunity to test out my new navigation app.  The Navigon app does lots of things very well and I was hard pressed to find ways I would improve it.  More importantly, since Navigon runs on the iPhone, there are additional advantages over stand-alone navigation devices.  Specifically, I use the USA Spec iPod adapter in my car to listen to music and stream Pandora from my iPhone through my car stereo.  That also allows my iPhone to charge anytime it is in the car.  By adding Navigon to the mix, I can continue to listen to music stored on the iPhone or through Pandora, and when driving instructions are announced, the music level automatically lowers to make it easier to hear instructions.  If a phone call comes in, it's all still routed through the speakers and I can answer via bluetooth headset or speakerphone.

Navigon also offers a $20 "live traffic upgrade" which gives you lifetime traffic updates.  On the ride back from Santa Barbara, I was alerted of SEVERAL traffic incidents which were along my route, but unfortunately, Navigon did not have any alternate routes to offer me.  The ETA fluctuated wildly based on the traffic conditions, which is nice for setting expectations of what's ahead, but until I see case where my route gets changed to avoid the traffic condition, I'll wait to pass judgement.

Other Nav Features:
  • Landscape and Portrait mode
  • Freeway sign and lane "Reality View" so you know what lane to be in
  • Speed limit alerts
  • Google Local Search integration
  • Text to speech audio
  • Contact book integration
The only feature I really wish the Navigon had was the ability to receive voice commands so you wouldn't have to type in destinations.  The Navigon app takes up 1.5GB on the iPhone so I'm assuming that means that the map data is pre-loaded onto the phone.  That means if you lose cellular signal, you should still be able to navigate using the included maps.

Somehow the iPhone manages to help me push off a future car purchase because I can constantly add more "bells and whistles" to my commute without having to change my car.  At this point, an integrated Navigation system built into the car would be a very tough sell for me considering the features available through the iPhone and apps like Navigon.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Navigon_MobileNavigator-5-1671792-194540-Navigon_on_iPhone_is_the_Ultimate_Driving.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Navigon_MobileNavigator-5-1671792-194540-Navigon_on_iPhone_is_the_Ultimate_Driving.html Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:45:52 +0000
<![CDATA[ It's Finally Here!]]>
Sure, Google Voice's mobile web version was great for a mobile site, but there's nothing quite like the ease of just being able to tap on an app icon to pull it up, so I was over the moon when I heard that Google and Apple had finally put the past behind them (including the drama of a FCC investigation) and compromised, resulting in the release of the official Google Voice iPhone app this past week.  I downloaded it straight away and save a few bugs, I'm pretty darn pleased with it.

User Interface
At first glance, the app has a really nice and clean user interface, which proves to be very intuitive.  Upon loading, it goes directly to the inbox, where text messages and transcripts of voices messages can be found.  I really love the look of this page.  It's like the iPhone email box, except with a few extra sprinkles.  If someone who leaves you a message is already a contact on your phone, their name and their thumbnail would show up neatly next to each message.  Messages can also be very easily starred and archived with a simple tap on that page.  One thing that I think is important and that I wish was shown on each voice mail is the date and time stamp of each message.  Right now, only the date is shown in the inbox.

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4131/5194744696_3cee5d48b0_o.jpg    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5042/5194745120_901567e3b2_o.jpg

Speaker Feature
One of my favorite features of the app is that it has the option to turn the speaker on and off.  Sounds simple, but in the mobile web version, the speaker was perpetually on as if I were watching a Youtube video, so I could only listen to my voice mail in private places.  Now in the app, I can just turn the speaker off and listen to my  voice mail wherever I want in private.

Other Features
The rest of the features on the app are akin to what can be found in the iPhone's call details, such as contacts, placed, received, and missed calls, as well as text messages.  Some other cool things that can be done on the app is that it gives you the ability to call and text from your Google voice number, and you can set Quick Dial Contacts, which is just like the Favorite Contacts list on the iPhone.

Just a Few Gripes
Now I mentioned that there were a few bugs.  The biggest one was that when I opened up the app for the very first time, the screen was just completely black and no matter how many times I restarted it, the screen would still be blank when the app opened up.  Only when I deleted the app and downloaded it for the second time did it work.  Another gripe is that this app loads pretty darn slow and there are delays when responding to taps.  Also, this app only works on the iPhone and not the iPod Touch for the time being.

These few bugs are relatively minor though, and I'm sure that Google will address them soon.  Aside from that, I am one happy camper with this app release!  It's in the App Store now, so go check 'em out in iTunes for yourself!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Google_Voice_iPhone_Application-5-1669462-194197-It_s_Finally_Here_.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Google_Voice_iPhone_Application-5-1669462-194197-It_s_Finally_Here_.html Mon, 22 Nov 2010 21:23:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ It's time to clear the iPad for take-off and landing]]>
All was going well until the passenger seated at the window asked to pass by us to use the restroom.  As I closed up the iPad to let the man go through, my daughter let out a scream the put the entire plane on notice that she was not happy to have her entertainment disrupted.  I quickly set her back up with the iPad once the man passed by, but at that point a chill ran through my spine.  I thought "what was going to happen when we needed to shut off all electronics for landing??"

Regardless of how you feel about my parenting techniques and using electronics to entertain a toddler, I didn't feel that cruising at 30,000 feet surrounded by strangers was the best time or place to try to instill a life lesson about hours of play time.  Most people would be reluctant to constructive criticism at the tail end of a cross-country flight, let alone a jet-lagged two year old who just finished off her last Goldfish crackers.

Fortunately, over the next 30 minutes, I was able to ween my daughter away from the iPad with some $10 crackers and raisins and I avoided the catastrophic melt-down during the landing which I had envisioned.

My experience caused me to consider the rules currently in place during take-off and landing that require all electronics to be completely shut off.  Sure, it may not seem like such a long time, but when you're trying to entertain a toddler, it feels like an eternity.  How old is this rule and do we still need to have it in place?  Are the communications electronics on the airplane so susceptible to electronic interference that a few games of Angry Birds could take down the aircraft?  And if so... should we even be flying at all??  Don't get me wrong, if using electronics does cause measurable interference with the avionics, then I'd much rather put up with some crying kids (and adults) than land in the middle of Lake Erie.  But let's at least collect some new data on this and see if we can rewrite some of the rules.  There's a very good chance that even today, a number of electronics stored in suitcases and purses are NOT shut off during take-off, yet no crashes have been attributed to "rogue electronics interference".  

Let's ask congress to take a break on investigating steroid use in the MLB and global warming, and put them to task on something that can have an immediate impact on millions of travelers!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-193418-It_s_time_to_clear_the_iPad_for_take_off_and.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-193418-It_s_time_to_clear_the_iPad_for_take_off_and.html Tue, 9 Nov 2010 18:23:29 +0000
<![CDATA[iLMU App Quick Tip by RyanWeiss]]> http://www.lunch.com/LMU/reviews/d/UserReview-iLMU_App-12-1649548-185338.html http://www.lunch.com/LMU/reviews/d/UserReview-iLMU_App-12-1649548-185338.html Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:04:37 +0000 <![CDATA[ My Wife and 2 yo Son's Favorite Game]]> Skeeball is a simplistic game to which I have both the HD and non HD versions. Simply put, you toss your balls and try to get the best score. As you play game after game, you have the option of earning multipliers, which build up until you are getting more tickets and higher scores.

In order to curve the ball, you tilt you ipad left or right and it will cause the ball to curve in that direction. The re playability of the game comes with tickets. As you earn tickets, you go to the store. Each time you go to the store, a random list of toys appear. Some of them are rare and only rarely appear, others are very common and always appear. You also have the option of buying balls, which you can then change so that you are throwing new balls. An addition to the HD version gives you the ability to purchase new lanes as well.

Each time you play, a new list of toys appear and your job is to collect them all. If the toy you want isn't available, you go play another game and try again. If you lack enough tickets, then you go earn tickets and come back again.

My wife loves skeeball and is absolutely addicted to this game. My son also loves playing it, as one of the few games a child his age actually can play and play well. For a simply $1-2 game, it is well worth the price for anyone who likes collecting and unlocking things or skeeball for free.

My only complaints, which keep it from being the +5, is that they decided to jump on the inapp purchase bandwagon with the HD version and now sell extra balls/lanes/rare gifts at a $1 a piece, 4 packs in all. I really hate it when applications do this stuff, and it feels like a complete rip off on an app you already paid for. My other complaint is the curving by tilting can be frustrating if you are not perfectly strait, and leads to a little bit of unrealistic tendencies. They really should offer different ways to curve the ball, such as arrows to line the curve like in bowling games, or the ability to arc your finger to create spin.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Skeeball-5-1637281-174528-My_Wife_and_2_yo_Son_s_Favorite_Game.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Skeeball-5-1637281-174528-My_Wife_and_2_yo_Son_s_Favorite_Game.html Tue, 5 Oct 2010 16:43:50 +0000
<![CDATA[iPad Quick Tip by 1MZJohansen]]> http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-191-1436308-166791.html http://www.lunch.com/iPadfans/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-191-1436308-166791.html Mon, 27 Sep 2010 23:20:34 +0000 <![CDATA[ Very Captivating]]>
I haven't gotten the chance to see it in action on the iPad, which might help its only fault, that being the small screen on the iPhone and wanted to get a bigger picture of the tile layout.  It supports pinching, but there's only so much area to fit everything into.

The AI are tough enough to keep you working hard on your strategies.  All in all, well worth the $5 in the iTunes store, especially if you're a fan of the original board game.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Carcassonne_iOS_application_-5-1626284-165936-Very_Captivating.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Carcassonne_iOS_application_-5-1626284-165936-Very_Captivating.html Sat, 25 Sep 2010 10:05:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ One of My Favorite Games]]> I ended up getting the ipod version of this game for free rather than paying for the Ipad version. However, I have seriously considered paying for the Ipad version because I like the game so much.

Civilization Revolutions really runs back to it's routes, and strongly reminds me of Civilization 2, which is arguably one of the best strategy games ever created. For those of you unfamiliar with Civilization, it is a turn based strategy game.  The task is basically to build cities. Each city will produce money/production units/science/ and food. You can assign the city the task of building buildings or units, which take x amount of production units. What buildings the city has and where the city was built both effect all of the things the city produces and in what amount.

After building several cities, and researching new technology, you will build a civilization that goes from bows and arrows to Humphees and Stealth Planes. Your goal is to beat all the other civilizations by either reaching the most advanced stage of technology, taking all of the capital cities, becoming the financial empire, or growing to cultural dominance.

99% of the time, you will have a domination (capture all the city) gameplay, simply because it is more entertaining than sitting around learning technology or earning money. There are random maps generated, or set scenario's. Scenario's shake up gameplay by adding or taking away elements, such as more aggressive barbarians, faster technology learning, starting with more money, ect...

In the end, the game does not score +5 because for all of it's good things, it really is a diet coke version of civilization 2. Civ2 came out like 20 years ago, so you can understand why it's a little embarrassing to come out with a cut down version of a game produced 2 decades ago. I understand some of the needs. For example, rather than having settlers that build roads and irrigation(no longer possible to modify landscape), you can build roads in the city screen, which always go between two cities you own, so no building a road to your enemies town. But still, where they took stuff away, they should have added new things as well.

The game crashes frequently on my ipad, but then again, it is not the ipad version of the game, so I can't blame it too much. It is a great game, very fun to play if you are into strategy games, giving you hours of play, where the other strategy games out such as strategery only have a couple of minutes of play per game. Definitely worth the price if you are a fan of civilization and want it on the go.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Civilization_Revolutions-5-1625857-165589-One_of_My_Favorite_Games.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Civilization_Revolutions-5-1625857-165589-One_of_My_Favorite_Games.html Fri, 24 Sep 2010 19:59:00 +0000
<![CDATA[ Great Game]]> A cheap affordable Strategy based game very similar to risk. Strategery takes place on a randomly generated map that will remind you of Risk. The game is a domination strategy game with plenty of options to keep you playing. You take over enemy territory through random dice rolls. Each unit from each side equals one dice, which will automatically role and declare the winner. Naturally having more units prompts a significant advantage.

At the end, rather than the beginning, of each turn, you will be able to place your units. The game offers many different modes, including control of where the units or placed or allowing the computer to decide for you. You can also play land grab, where every grabs lands each turn at a time, or a game where everyone is randomly given lands. Map size can also vary from very small, to quite massive.

It is a lot of fun, and most games can be over within 5-10 minutes, presuming you don't think too hard about it. It is definitely one of my favorite games and well worth the $2 price tag. Strategery is well build domination strategy fun.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Strategery-5-1625275-165146-Great_Game.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Strategery-5-1625275-165146-Great_Game.html Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:07:10 +0000
<![CDATA[iPad Quick Tip by Shopaholic]]> http://www.lunch.com/iPadusers/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-536-1436308-159262.html http://www.lunch.com/iPadusers/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-536-1436308-159262.html Fri, 17 Sep 2010 19:06:55 +0000 <![CDATA[ iPad is the perfect laptop]]>  

I bought my iPad because I have an app that I'll start working on after the new operating system comes out in November.  I really had no idea that it would turn out to be my favorite computer!
I have: a few old Windows laptops and my four year old MacBookPro. For almost all of the things I need a laptop for, the iPad is as good as having the laptop and is often better
kkkI bought my iPad because I have an app that I'll start working on after the new operating system comes out in November.  I really had no idea that it would turn out to be my favorite computer!
I have: a few old Windows laptops and my four year old MacBookPro. For almost all of the things I need a laptop for, the iPad is as good as having the laptop and is often better

I bought my iPad because I have an app that I'll start working on after the new operating system comes out in November. I really had no idea that it would turn out to be my favorite computer!

For almost all of the things I need a laptop for, the iPad is as good as a laptop and is often better.

Consider the things that are important in a laptop:


My MacBook Pro weighs almost 6 lbs and my Windows laptops are even heavier.  The iPad 3G  is 1.6 lbs - that's a big difference in luggability.


The iPad is small enough to carry easily, but the screen is large enough for me to work comfortably.

If I cannot make out the tiny print on some particular webpage, a quick flick of two fingers blows it up for me instantly.

I can work  with this in my lap or standing up because it is small enough and light enough to hold with one hand. The MacBook Pro  too hot for my lap and while I might be able to balance it on one hand briefly, that obviously is not safe or comfortable.

Battery Life

The iPad is beyond incredible.   I am often up at 6:00 AM and I'll use the iPad off and on all day to do my normal work (email, web browsing, writing) and when I quit at 10:00 PM, it usually still has 10% or more of its charge!

This means that when I go out to a customer, I don't even bother to bring the charger - I won't need it.  If I do have to bring a real laptop, I'll probably have to bring either the charger or a spare battery.

It's not a Toy

I've found that many people don't realize how much real work you can do on an iPad.  I am a tech guy and often need remote access to my customers machines.  I can do that with the iPad: I have VPN capability, SSH, RDP, Webex, VNC and even Citrix.   On a recent mini-vacation, I did remote work for a client all the way down the New Jersey Turnpike while my wife drove!

No Entanglements

My MacBook Pro is a great machine, but I usually have it hooked up to its Time Machine drives, an external monitor and a bigger keyboard.   If I want to go enjoy nice weather on the back porch, I have to unhook all that, and of course we have that battery life issue again.  With the iPad, I just wander wherever I want.  It's using my wireless when it can and the 3G the rest of the time.

By the way, I can get away with the $15.00 a month, 250 MB 3G plan and don't even need that all the time.   I only turn it on if I have to be out somewhere there will not be wireless access, so so far I have only spent $45.00 with them - most months I have not subscribed.  That "turn it on, turn it off" capability cuts down expenses for me.


No, it isn't perfect.  There are some things I need a real computer for and some things that are just easier on a real computer.  The new operating system due out soon will make the iPad even more useful, but I suspect it will be a long time before I could use this for everything I need to do.

That's OK.   It does more than enough to make this my favorite companion.  I like to say it is the perfect second computer, but actually it has become my primary computer - the MacBook is really my second computer now.

ˇ˛The iPad is small enough to carry easily, but the screen is large enough for me to work comfortably. If I cannot make out the tiny print on some particular webpage, a quick flick of two fingers blows it up for me instantly. I can work quite easily with this in my lap or even standing up. The MacBook Pro gets far too hot for my lap and is impossible to use standing up for more than a few seconds.
ˇ˛The iPad is small enough to carry easily, but the screen is large enough for me to work comfortably. If I cannot make out the tiny print on some particular webpage, a quick flick of two fingers blows it up for me instantly. I can work quite easily with this in my lap or even standing up. The MacBook Pro gets far too hot for my lap and is impossible to use standing up for more than a few seconds.
The iPad is small enough to carry easily, but the screen is large enough for me to work comfortably. If I cannot make out the tiny print on some particular webpage, a quick flick of two fingers blows it up for me instantly. I can work quite easily with this in my lap or even standing up. The MacBook Pro gets far too hot for my lap and is impossible to use standing up for more than a few seconds.
The iPad is small enough to carry easily, but the screen is large enough for me to work comfortably. If I cannot make out the tiny print on some particular webpage, a quick flick of two fingers blows it up for me instantly. I can work quite easily with this in my lap or even standing up. The MacBook Pro gets far too hot for my lap and is impossible to use standing up for more than a few seconds.
I have: a few old Windows laptops and my four year old MacBookPro. For almost all of the things I need a laptop for, the iPad is as good as having the laptop and is often better.
I bought my iPad because I have an app that I'll start working on after the new operating system comes out in November.  I really had no idea that it would turn out to be my favorite computer!
I have: a few old Windows laptops and my four year old MacBookPro. For almost all of the things I need a laptop for, the iPad is as good as having the laptop and is often better
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-158699-iPad_is_the_perfect_laptop.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-158699-iPad_is_the_perfect_laptop.html Fri, 17 Sep 2010 12:54:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Nike+ GPS App doesn't break new ground but it makes it look pretty]]>
The new Nike GPS app now uses the GPS built into the iPhone to monitor your pace and course.  As I said... this is nothing new -- several other apps do the same thing, but the Nike app adds a bit more "flair" with a fresh coat of paint and some workout specific additions.  

The Workout
The UI is very simple and intuitive and I had no problems figuring out how to start and stop a run.  While on your run, the app will notify you as you cross specific distances or times.  This is great when you want to try to beat your previous time on a specific route as you can see where you are at specific landmarks during your run.  I usually don't like to run with headphones (as I'd rather not get hit by a truck I didn't hear), but there's an option for a "Power Song", so if you're having a tough time making it up that hill, you can easily bring up your "Eye of the Tiger" (or whatever your power song might be) to help you push to the top.  Since this app relies on the GPS for tracking, you do need to be doing outdoor runs in order for it to work.  I think it will work indoors if you use the Nike shoe insert, but as I said before, those results were sketchy at best.

The Cool Down
After you complete your workout, you can upload your stats to Nike+ site.   love collecting stats on my workouts, and the Nike app (along with the corresponding website) provides enough information to inspire me to go back out and challenge my best times on different "courses".  The app tracks your course on a map along with pace and elevation information.  It's fun to see where you picked up the pace during your run (when those loose dogs came out) or when you may have slacked a bit (like that steep hill climb).  I just figure the more information you have available, the easier it is to track your progress.

On the website, you can challenge other Nike+ users to check out your course and times, but I'd like to see more support for social networking.  The ability to "Tweet" your workout after a run might provide even more motivation to keep you to your training schedule.  I think the more "Social Aware" this app gets, the more people will use it and the more fun it will be to share your workouts with friends.

The only downside of the app is the $1.99 price, but like most apps in the App Store, it's still very reasonable.  There are free alternatives (and it's probably better to support the smaller developers), but the Nike+ App just has a nice polish to it which makes it fun to use.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-Nike_GPS-5-1614997-156372-The_Nike_GPS_App_doesn_t_break_new_ground_but_it.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-Nike_GPS-5-1614997-156372-The_Nike_GPS_App_doesn_t_break_new_ground_but_it.html Tue, 14 Sep 2010 18:17:07 +0000
<![CDATA[ Very versatile]]> I'm saving my money up for this one.  I have a friend who has one and I fell in love with it.  Read books, have it read to you, and a GPS all in one.  It doesn't get any better than this.  More expensive than a Kindle, but with all its versatility it is the e-gadget to have!

http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-112279-Very_versatile.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/product/UserReview-iPad-5-1436308-112279-Very_versatile.html Sun, 15 Aug 2010 14:35:57 +0000
<![CDATA[ It's an application for iPhone but works with iPad]]> Scrabble app. for the iPhone works great with the iPad.  I play against the computer or against my active games with friends on Facebook.  If you have internet on your iPad, it will even inform you when it's your turn when playing against your friends. 

If you love word games then this is a game for you! ]]>
http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Scrabble_app_-5-1442936-106471-It_s_an_application_for_iPhone_but_works_with_iPad.html http://www.lunch.com/iApps/reviews/d/UserReview-Scrabble_app_-5-1442936-106471-It_s_an_application_for_iPhone_but_works_with_iPad.html Thu, 12 Aug 2010 17:25:13 +0000