While several of my compatriots here at 148Apps waxed lyrical about all sorts of general things they appreciate from the past year, I'm going to get specific. Sometimes, it truly is the little things that make me happy. To wit, the iPhone 5, the iPad mini, the Letterpress word game, a portable bluetooth speaker, and an illuminated portable keyboard. Seriously, these all made my 2012 just that bit brighter.
I reviewed this as a Wi-Fi only device, then promptly went out and bought an LTE model. The iPad mini is everything I've ever wanted in a tablet, with the perfect form factor and amazing battery life. While I still would love a faster processor or higher resolution screen, the mini is an unbelievably fantastic device at any price. I use it daily for news reading, writing, music creation, calendar reminders, and a ton of things that I used to just use my iPhone for. Now that I have the iPad mini, I can keep my iPhone just a bit more charged as I offload many tasks to the mini.
The iPhone 5 is a triumph of form and function, as many an outlet has proclaimed from the start. What I find amazing about it is how simply useful it is. The combination of killer app ecosystem, tied into the well-iterated iOS 6 structure and married to an absolutely flawless industrial design make this the best iPhone I've ever owned. While I do miss the double-sided glass panels of the iPhone 4, the trade off in terms of weight and durability are well worth it. I use this thing in all areas of my life, and I notice more and more people around me doing the same.
Wait, what? A word game? You'd think I'd spend more time with a game like Infinity Blade, or Magic 2013. Maybe even something like Arcane Legends, which I admittedly play daily. The win here goes to Letterpress, however, precisely because it is a word game, and one which has stolen more of my mind share this year than any other game. Winning the game requires a deft handling of both vocabulary and strategy, which keeps me coming back for more, every day.
Braven Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While working on a round up of a few of these jambox-style small, rechargeable portable speakers, I fell in love with the Braven 600 model sent along from the manufacturer for review. You'll be able to read the full write up in the next few days, but suffice it to say that this one has it all: small footprint, good sound, and incredible battery life. Oh, and pairing it to any Bluetooth capable device is a breeze.
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
I don't think I could call myself a blogger without some sort of keyboard to use with my iPad 3 or iPad mini while out in the field. Or, you know, at piano lessons. The Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 is a delight to use, as you can see in my full review here. It's quickly become my keyboard of choice across my many devices, including my Mac mini in my home office (also known as my bedroom). The ability to tap an F key and have the keyboard respond to one of three different devices is a revelation of workflow joy, allowing this to replace my Apple bluetooth keyboard in a rather quick fashion.