Welcome, one and all, to another 148Apps holiday shopping guide! Today marks the first of five guides for iOS-related holiday gifts we’ll be sharing with you all every day, over the course of the week. Are you having trouble figuring out what to get for a distant relative, new neighbor, or estranged second cousin? Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.
Today’s guide is for the health nuts. Those people who get up inhumanly early to exercise, bike and/or jog with regularity, or otherwise make athletic activities a significant part of their day. If you’d like to help the health-conscious iOS users in your life with some handy gizmos, or maybe nab a useful app or two they may not have heard of, check out our list below for some ideas. Continue reading 148Apps 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide for Health Nuts »
It seems like it was just last week that we reviewed the Misfit Shine Activity Tracker. Wait a minute, it was last week!
Well if our review has you pondering getting one of these alien watch-looking things for yourself, you might want to take a minute to refresh the web page. Misfit Wearables has just made a new Coca-Cola Red edition available. I dunno about you, but I think the red looks mighty sleek – regardless of the softdrink association.
SIGNAL‘s RP One is designed to be a standalone game controller that connects wirelessly to all current iOS 7 devices. It’s meant to evoke the feeling of a console controller – with an ergonomic design and size that should be comfortable to a variety of hand sizes and a number of controller inputs like dual sticks, a digital pad, face buttons, and triggers.
The RP One also comes with a universal stand/charging dock meant to accommodate iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches as well as many of the cases they might be nestled in. Combine that with the option to use both the RP One and an iOS device while they charge and it’s essentially like a home console. Of course it can still be used on-the-go and allows for up to 10 hours of continuous play.
The RP One will be available some time within the fist half of 2014 and will sell for $99.99.
Logitech has announced a new iOS controller called the Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery, which works with the iPhone 5, 5s, and iPod Touch 5th gen and is now available for $99.99. It features a D-pad, two shoulder buttons, and 4 action buttons. Yes, that means that there are no dual analog sticks with this one.
The controller does feature powering capabilities that increases the length of time users can enjoy their game playing, though. It also lets users power the controller and phone while both are still connected. Current games that support the controller include Bastion, Galaxy on Fire 2 HD, Limbo, Lego Lord of the Rings, Asphalt 8, and more.
“We designed this controller to deliver a true console-gaming experience on an iOS 7 mobile device,” said Ehtisham Rabbani, general manager of the Logitech gaming business, in a press release. “With gaming so pervasive on the mobile platform – our research shows that 87% of iPhone and iPod touch users play games on their device – it’s time to revolutionize the experience.”
MOGA’s new MFi controller, the MOGA Ace Power, is set to offer full console-style controls for your iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, and iPod 5th generation. It comes with dual analog sticks, a d-pad, action buttons, and L1/R1 L2/R2 shoulder buttons. It also features MOGA Boost: an internal battery which helps power your phone while you play, extending the battery life so you can enjoy all your favorite games for a longer period of time. Pretty nifty, yes?
Wacom announced a new accessory for iPads, the Intuos Creative Stylus which allows users to draw the things they know best on the device they already own.
Engadget reports that the stylus offers a realistic pen-on-paper feel for tablet drawing and painting, and has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. This also comes alongside a new version of Wacom’s Bamboo Paper app that adds new features, such as being able to share work on Tumblr and Dropbox, premium notebooks, new tools, and expanded color palettes.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 20th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Avaz – AAC App for Autism (Augmentative Picture Communication Software for Children with Special Needs) is an app that helps children with special needs improve on their communication. The app is designed to help with speech therapy and has 3 vocabulary sets that feature over 5,000 core and peripheral words. It also has automated tracking that allows speech therapists to keep track of each session while working without having to take written notes.
•Automated tracking – Helps SLPs/therapists track a child’s session while working on the app instead of making detailed notes
•Instant customization – Add a new message or edit an existing one within 15 seconds!
•Be social – Share Avaz messages on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail
•Prediction with Pictures – Use predicted words, prompted by pictures to improve sight-reading
•Record your voice – Personalize Avaz by recording a voice that the child is comfortable with.
•Use Avaz on multiple iPads – Synchronise Avaz content at home and school through Dropbox
•Visual reinforcement – Reinforce learning through animated zoom-in
Price: $4.99 for Amplitube, $99.99 for iRig HD
Version Reviewed: 3.0.2
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IK Multimedia just keeps getting better, improving its products with each iteration. When I reviewed the iRig and Amplitube Fender a couple of years back, I found them both to be outstanding pieces of consumer-level tech to connect a guitar to an iOS device.
The iRig HD, then, continues that tradition as a solid, well-built and improved hardware solution for connecting a guitar to any iOS device, or even a Mac. It comes with three cables to connect with – Lightning, 30-Pin, and USB – covering all the bases. It’s also a 24-bit analog to digital conversion unit that’s around the size of a small cigar, easily fitting into your pocket or gig bag.
What’s different about the iRig HD is the way it eschews a headphone jack, letting your iOS device run the sound. This is a great, streamlined way of connecting stuff that just makes sense. I plugged my guitar into the large 1/4-inch jack on one side of the iRig HD, then connected the Lightning cable to the iRig HD on one end and the iPad mini on the other end. Just like that, I was set.
The sound quality is great; even better than the original iRig, which now retails for $40. There’s a little bit of latency when playing notes through to the Amplitube Studio app, but even that is adjustable in the settings.
Amplitube Studio, then, is another great step forward. Not only is it Audiobus capable, allowing you to use all of the presets and pedal/amp combinations you choose, it also has a new multi-tracking system available as an in-app purchase for $26.99. It’s no Garageband, but for those looking to do all their recording and editing in a guitar-centric app, it seems a solid multi-tracking digital audio workstation for a great price.
The base app provides a great line up of pedal effects and amplifier models, with several outstanding effects pre-sets. When purchasing the iRig HD and connecting it to an iPad with Amplitube Studio on it, musicians will get a few more of each as well.
The interface is easy to use; with pedals, amps, and mics looking just like their real-world counterparts. One actual valid use of skeuomorphic design. Players can use the several preset effects chains, modify them, or create their own from scratch. Every amplifier model has full access to its front panels, just like a real amplifier, giving knob-twiddling guitar geeks truly infinite control of their sound.
The only niggling issue I have with the iRig HD is the lack of any professional output solution. I like that IK Multimedia has moved the sound processing to the iPad, but to use this kind of set up on stage requires another purchase. Even with a pedalboard, there’s still the question of sound output. Thankfully, with the 24-bit sound here, it’s a fairly easy fix to get the iPad out to a PA system with a simple 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch adapter.
Bottom line: the iRig HD is a great higher-end analog to digital converter with great sound throughput, allowing anyone to connect a guitar or other line-level musical instrument to their iOS or Mac OS X device. Amplitube Studio continues to evolve the Amplitube brand forward, providing a host of pedal- and amp-based effects for the beginner as well as more experienced guitar players.
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When I received the Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810, I was excited. HEre was a keyboard that I could use with my iPad and iPhone, as well as my Macbook, on the go. I end up hanging out in quite a few places where I need to write, and a fuller sized keybaord makes that possible with the iPad mini I seem to be carrying around, as well. I’ve taken my Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard around with me, so wanted to see how this K810 illuminated model would do in comparison.
As a typing platform, the K810 shines. Pun intended. It’s solidly built, feels well-engineered and produced, and is a delight to type on. the keys are spaced far enough apart that it feels comfy to use in any configuration; even on my lap (which is how I’m typing this review right now: iPad mini on the arm of my recliner, Logitech keyboard in my lap). The battery is rechargeable, another leg-up on the Apple keyboard, via a micro USB port on the left hand side of the unit. The power toggle switch is on the right side of the unit on the vertical face. It’s a solid-feeling toggle, too; very well put together.
Where the keyboard really blasts past my previous favorite Apple bluetooth keyboard is in the three-device switching ability. ONce the keyboard is initially paired to one device, it can then be paired with up to two more at the same time. Switching between devices is then handled via the F1, F2, F3 keys. I was able to pair the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard to my iPad, my iPhone, and my MacBook Air all at once; pressing the corresponding F key allowed me to type first on the iPad, then the MacBook Air, then the iPhone in a text message, then back to the iPad. It’s no muss, no fuss configuration and wow is it useful.
The illumination is a nice extra, even in low light. It doesn’t seem to affect the battery life too much, as I’ve only charged this bad boy once in a two week period. I’d say it has aa much if not more battery life than the Apple keyboard, though I didn’t measure the specific times each needed a recharge or new batteries (in the Apple keyboard’s case).
My only niggling issue is the Windows-centric labeling on the bottom row–Alt for Option, Windows symbol instead of an Apple Command key symbol. If Logitech makes a version of the K810 with Apple symbols on it, then it would be my perfect keyboard. THey do, however, make something similar for the Mac, called the Easy Switch keyboard, but I was not sent that unit to review.
For now, the Logitech Illuminated Bluetooth Keyboard K810 is still my go-to keyboard for all applications: writing on the iPad, using my MacBook Air with an external monitor and mouse, and for answering text messages on my iPhone wile working on the computer at the desk, or using the iPad in my armchair. My accuracy and speed is not affected at all, especially since I’m used to using the smaller format of the Apple wireless keyboard.
Developer: IK Multimedia
Device Reviewed With: new iPad, iPhone 5
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IK Multimedia might be trying to take over the music peripheral world. The company has a wide range of apps, instruments, and support items that could, in theory, be used to build a band entirely out of iOS instruments. The latest offering from this prolific manufacturer is titled iRig Keys, a super portable iOS keyboard with 37 velocity-sensitive keys, modulation and pitch wheels, low power consumption, and core MIDI compliance. The iRig is aimed at the portable musician, the composer on the go, the backpack virtuoso, and as such, it succeeds brilliantly.
The manufacturer offers the free version of iGrand Piano or SampleTank, both IK Multimedia, as the apps to use with the iRig Keys, but this unit will work with any MIDI app on the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. It comes with an included USB cable to plug into a Mac or PC as well, opening up the use of any core MIDI compliant app on a laptop. I was able to make the keyboard work with iGrand, SampleTank, and GarageBand. The setup was as simple as plugging in the keyboard via the 30-pin dock connector and firing up any one of the keyboard apps on my iPad 3. I didn’t notice a significant battery drain while using the iRig Keys unit, either.
The small size of the iRig Keys is the killer feature, of course, as it can easily fit into a backpack or even just carried by hand. It’s small, light, and the controls and keyboard keys all feel well-made. The keys are indeed velocity sensitive, and the handy data send/volume knob feels solidly attached. The octave up/down buttons don’t feel chintzy at all, and the two expression wheels don’t wobble when used. All in all, the iRig Keys shows a superior build quality that should help it hold up over time as it moves from place to place, in and out of backpacks and shoulder bags.
For on-the-go composition, song recording, or piano practice, iRig Keys works well for an attractive price. The unit is powered by the included iOS or USB cables, but does not draw excessive amounts of power to drain the iPad or iPhone attached to it. The keys are easy to play, feel solid enough for mobile use, and will allow musicians at any level to create and record music as inspiration strikes.
Price: $99.99 (retail), around $80 on discount
Hardware Tested On: iPad AKA new iPad AKA iPad 3
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While the Logitech Mini Speakers won’t fill a concert hall with sound, they aren’t meant to. They are meant to be a great option to carry with you and use at the office, in a hotel room, the car, etc. For that, we are very impressed with the Logitech Mini Speakers.
With their compact size comes surprisingly great sound. This makes the Logitech mini speakers a great, convenient, and cheap way to broadcast sound from your iPhone or iPad.
Using Bluetooth to receive sound from your iOS or other compatible device, it’s an easy setup. Once paired, you can select the Mini Speakers for sound output like you would any Bluetooth or AirPlay output device. You can control these speakers either from your device or from the capacitive buttons on the top of the speakers. Volume, next/previous track, play/pause and a speakerphone feature are available. Using this for a Bluetooth speakerphone is a secondary, yet very useful feature.
The size is great and not indicative of the sound these speakers produce. A little bigger than a slightly squished baseball, these red and black or all black speakers are easy to toss in a bag or drawer. They charge via USB and can hold a charge for up to 10 hours of playback. Also impressive for the size.
While there are other options for small Bluetooth speakers, these easily come in on the low end of the price scale at only $99 retail. A great deal when other small portable speakers of this quality are up to twice the price.
If you are looking for a good set of portable, personal, Bluetooth speakers, the Logitech Mini Speakers are a great, and cheap option. Give them a shot.
Jawbone, known for their award-winning Bluetooth headsets, has announced UP, a wristband and app combo that tracks daily activity such as sleep, motion and eating habits. The goal of it is to help people live a healthier life.
For those who follow Ted Global, they’ll remember that UP was previewed at the event this past July. Tracking sleep, eating habits and motion, the wristband is worn 24/7 and wirelessly communicates with the iPhone app via MotionX technology. The app then calculates daily totals, displays them and works to give users a better understanding of their health, what drives it and ways to improve it. And no, it’s not another weight loss gimmick. It is about visually displaying the hundreds of decisions made every day to be healthy and gives the user the motivation to alter their behavior for an all-around healthier lifestyle.
UP also includes a social aspect with the ability to challenge friends. Within the app friends can send encouragement and challenge each other for most hours slept, who had the healthiest meals and more. The wristband will be available on November 6 for $99.99 while the app is available for free as of today.
Posted March 1st, 2011 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: REMARKABLE REMOTE SUPPORT
TeamViewer Free is a remote desktop app that allows iDevice users to log onto a remote computer to perform an array of functions. Near flawless execution, combined with top-notch customer service/support make this app a must-have for those needing a good, solid remote desktop application. But for those who need the ability to access more than only one account, having to shell out $90 dollars for the Pro version can be a huge turn-off.
Cast your mind back to August 5th 2008. The sun was shining, and the birds where singing. That was until the (now iconic) ‘I Am Rich’ app rocked the App Store sideways. Officially becoming the most expensive application to of hit the App Store ever, and priced at $999.99, the app hit the mainstream for being controversial to the highest level. Offering nothing more than a ‘souvenir’ of personal wealth, the app was designed to show how ‘rich’ you were. The premise being, if you owned it, you were rich.
On August 6th 2008, following it’s release, and in response to the huge amount of media coverage and bad press the title had garnered, Apple pulled the application completely, from all 72 countries iTunes operated in. Now fast forward.
Just when we thought it couldn’t happen again, it has. October 16th 2009. Developed by 15 year-old Mark Gurman, You Are Rich hit the App Store. Designed to be a complete copy of the original, You Are Rich is the absolutely bare bones of iPhone development. After you get past the shock of spending $99.99 on a picture of a glowing red gem-like fire-ball thingamajig, maybe the ‘Secret Mantra’ will make you feel a tad better? Then again, maybe not ..
I was lucky enough to grab a review copy from Mark, making me – not really that rich. However, if this is your type of app, you’ll be glad to know this version will cost you ten times less than the previous, at just $99.99, and has a slightly different ‘secret’ mantra than the original. For those of you who can’t afford this app, or simply can’t afford to throw your credibility out the window with this app, the new mantra is below for your viewing pleasure:
“If you see this: You are Brave, You are a Success, You are Bold, You are Flashy, You are Amazing, You are Rich.”
On the mantra screen you’ll find a button which states ‘Play Mantras’. Doing so throws up three options, including: Mantra, You Are Rich and I Am Rich. Tapping each one seeing the app play a different sound, with the first reading out the already written ‘mantra’ aloud, in this kinda eery hypnotic voice.
The fact is, I’d get this app while you still can! No really – Since being exposed to the app’s mantra, my personal wealth has grown hugely. In fact, I’m typing this here now from a small yacht on the Caribbean, while sipping a Margareta. While I’m here I might actually start a new business – “You Are Rich” branded handkerchiefs. Think it’ll take off?
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted September 15th, 2009 by Jeff Scott Our Rating: :: TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE
TomTom first announced their GPS app at the 2009 WWDC in June. Hotly anticipated, it's finally here. But, it came in at the most expensive option available. $100 seems to be a lot for an app these days. Is it worth it?
I am eager to let readers know about Oceanhouse Media’s annual app sale in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday from Wednesday, February 25 through Monday, March 9. During this time, five of their best-selling Seuss stories will be on sale for $0.99 each, and there will be discounts for other classic Dr. Seuss titles as […]
MyLeisure, by TrustMe App, is like a personal assistant for your free time. You’ll get recommendations on what to watch, play and read based on your personal taste and your friends’ suggestions. The app links directly to Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and more to make it easy to find something to do. Once you log in […]