Category: Hardware »
iPhone gaming and mobile phone gaming in general are poised to take over the entire handheld gaming market but there is still one big thing holding them back. Touch controls can be great but they are no replacement for responsive, dedicated, physical buttons. Plenty of hardware manufacturers have tried to fix this problem with varying degrees of a success and now a new challenger, Bladepad, is trying to enter the fight.
Bladepad is a slim, protective case that adds a directional pad, two analog sticks, four shoulder buttons, and four face buttons to an iPhone all with full back-lighting. Like a PSPgo or Xperia Play, players can slide the buttons back underneath phone when they are not needed or just easily remove the case entirely. The case and phone can be simultaneously charged over USB and “the battery life is competitive with both the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita.” Bladepad, LLC says that the product will work with any iOS device using Bluetooth 4.0 including the iPhone 4S, the new iPad, and presumably whatever new iPhone comes out this fall.
However, the project is still in need of funding. Those interested should check out the Bladepad Kickstarter page where one can pre-order at reduced prices along with shirts and other prizes. Bladepad is currently slated for release this holiday season for $99.
Fresh off the announcement of their solar-charging bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad, Logitech is back with a new solar-charging keyboard, the Wireless Solar Keyboard K760. However, there's one powerful feature in this keyboard that will make it extremely attractive to power users: it has the ability to pair and switch between multiple devices. This means that it could easily be connected to the Mac, then taken to another room with the iPad, and then on the go with the iPhone, with its ability to switch between three devices. The multiple device support, combined with the fact that it doesn't need to have its batteries replaced, and its similar layout to the official Apple Bluetooth keyboard, may make it a more attractive option for anyone shopping for an Apple-compatible keyboard. Now, if only they could find a way to make the Magic Trackpad solar-powered. That thing eats through AA batteries like Pac-Man. The Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 will be available this June for an MSRP of $79.99.
With all of Apple’s relatively recent success in the smartphone and tablet market, we can forget sometimes that what kicked off their modern dominance was a device that simply played music. BICOM, Inc. has been recognizing how important music is to the company with their playGo series of iOS receiver systems. The newest model, the playGo AP1, is their biggest leap forward yet.
Previous playGo models used USB interfaces but the playGo AP1 instead streams audio wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Apple’s own AirPlay functionality. Music from iOS devices, iTunes and other services like Pandora, Rhapsody, and Spotify are wirelessly pushed to speakers with their high-fidelity audio intact. The playGO AP1 also retains built in USB for compatibility with older devices.
Unfortunately, the project is still in need of funding. However, interested buyers can check out the playGo AP1 Kickstarter page and purchase one early for $199. The funding deadline in July 5th and if it’s a success, expect to see the playGo AP1 released shortly thereafter.
Logitech has announced a new iPad accessory that's a really bright idea – literally. The Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio is a folio-style case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard that will work for typing on the iPad, with support for the iPad 2 and the new iPad. The internal rechargeable batteries are charged by light, whether it be the sun, or even light from indoor lamps. The battery capacity is such that Logitech claims that on a full charge, the battery will last 2 years at a rate of 2 hours daily usage. This sounds bold, but the Logitech Keyboard Case by Zagg can easily go months between charges as well.
The solar cells appear to be on the outer side of the folio holding the keyboard, so it appears as if charging while typing is not possible. The case is designed to hold the iPad in two ways: one for typing, and the other for media watching, where only the front row of keys which contains media keys is available. The case is expected to retail for $129.99, and can be preordered now from Logitech's website.
Anyone as remotely geeky as I am has been immediately drawn to this post because of the picture of this obviously awesome iPhone mount. This mount, the Galileo, functions in even cooler ways than it looks. The Galileo is an iOS-controlled, robotic, tilting, 360-turning mount for the iPhone.
This crazy thing is perfect for photographers, cinematographers, and just any gadget crazy techie (me) who wants to play with this thing. It can turn at 200 degrees per second and is controlled by another iOS device (I’m already imagining the possibilities of using this thing with my iPad). Its function is basically up to the user’s imagination. There’s an image on the Galileo’s Kickstarter page showing the mount on a skateboard about to go under a car (and an iPad to watch what it sees). There will even be an SDK for app developers!
The Kickstarter page has already raised over $250,000 (the goal was $100,000) and has 21 more days to go. The most popular pledge is $85 (the lowest to receive the product when it’s released). The Galileo is set to retail at $129.95 when it’s released (estimated June 2012) so pledging for $85 (along with the other 1400 backers) is a steal. Check out the Kickstarter page here and the video below for a demonstration.
I’ve had all three iPads. My first iPad was the 32GB WiFi original, then the 16GB WiFi iPad 2, and now the 32GB WiFi iPad (third-gen). I made a huge mistake buying the 16GB version for my last iPad 2. The second I decided to start putting movies and TV shows on my iPad 2 was the moment I regretted it. Kingston now sells a “flash drive” that may help others in similar situations with their iOS devices.
The Wi-Drive is a portable drive (16 or 32GB) that connects to WiFi and extends storage for iOS devices. Along with the free Wi-Drive app, the drive can be loaded up with files from a desktop or laptop and stream those files to an iOS device. It can even share the data with up to three different users at the same time.
The drive is about the size of an iPhone 4, so it fits in most pockets and bags. A USB cable transfers files from computers to the drive. The 16GB version is available on Amazon for $44 and the 32GB version for $95.