This is it – the end of our strange and wonderful shopping journey for the year. We know it can be tough to know what to get for someone for the holidays – anyone, really, regardless of how well you know them. We’d like to think that these shopping guides have been of some help. Even if you didn’t go after anything on these lists there’s the chance that something sparked an idea, which resulted in a successful gift. At least that’s what we’d like to think.
Today’s guide is for the intense “power users” you may know. Business folks, diehard Apple fans – anyone who tends to push their device’s battery to the limits every day, mostly. If you’re looking for something to make their trips easier, help out at the office, or even just keep their iPad running for a few more hours, check out our list below for some ideas.
iKit NuCharge Battery Case for iPhone 5
The iKit NuCharge Battery Case ($89 – iPhone) is a compact, lightweight case that allows users to charge their phone on-the-go. It’s pretty much perfect for commuters, travelers, and anyone who spends large chunks of time away from their charger, really. It’s a great way to keep a phone working so no important calls are missed, or even allowing for enough time to watch Home Alone while waiting at the airport. [Our Review]
The NuCharge case is a great all-around piece of hardware to have, but it pairs particularly well with essential work-related apps like Triage ($0.99 – iPhone), Appoint ($3.99 – iPhone), and Reeder 2 ($4.99 – Universal). You won’t have to worry about running out of juice while answering important emails, last-minute changes to an itinerary, and keeping up on feeds.
ZaggKeys Cover for iPad Mini
If you’ve got an iPad Mini and plan to use it for anything other than basic web browsing, email reading, and gaming, then you’ll probably want to check out the ZaggKeys Cover for iPad Mini ($99 – iPad Mini). It’s well-built, has a sturdy hinge, is slim enough to be conveniently portable, allows users to place their iPad in backwards (i.e. they can use the iPad without awkwardly leaving the keyboard open or separating it entirely), and the keys are backlit. Kind of a no-brainer for any iPad Mini owner, really. [Our Review]
With a fancy iPad Mini keyboard like this, why not consider a writing app or two? Write for iPad ($1.99 – iPad) is a good coice for someone looking to write just about anything on the go, while Infinite PDF ($9.99 – iPad) offers up an extensive suite of PDF managing tools. It’s a combination that’s handy for presentations, setting up book layouts, and so on.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99 – iPad) is one iPad keyboard that I’m particularly fond of. It offers some decent screen protection, pops on and off easily but is also strong enough not to accidentally fall off on its own, and makes for an incredibly sturdy stand. This is another one that’s idea for anyone who does a lot of writing for any reason, as well as for those who like to give presentations with their iPad [Our Review]
With those two factors in mind (presentations and writing), why not think about OmniPlan 2 for iPad ($59.99 – iPad) or Air Display 2 ($9.99 – iPad) as a digital pack-in with your gift? OmniPlan is ideal for organizing large projects and managing teams down to their smallest details. Air Display, on the other hand, would go incredibly well with the Ultrathin’s functionality as a stand and allow the user to turn their iPad into a second computer monitor.
Dodocase Folio for iPad
Let’s take a step back from all the super-intense stuff for a moment and appreciate the Dodocase Folio for iPad ($124 – iPad). It’s a very sturdy, functional, and elegant case that would look great on any professional’s iPad. It includes large pockets on the inside flap for notes and such, a little spot along the fold for a pen or stylus, and has this marvelous “old book” appearance when closed. It makes the iPad a bit more bulky, but it’s still ideal for anyone who prefers to stay organized (and look good while doing it!). [Our Review]
SanDisk Wireless Media Drives
The SanDisk Wireless Media Drives ($50 to $100 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) serve as an ideal alternative to cloud storage. They vary in price and available storage space, but any of them can be useful in a variety of situations. Loading up a bunch of movies to stream to an iOS device later (thus sparing the device’s own storage space) is only one example. The drives also allow users to upload their own media files from their device – so tons of photos from a family trip, video from an on-location film shoot, and more can all be transferred with little effort or fuss. [Our Review]
You might want to consider including It’s Playing Pro ($4.99 – Universal) with one of those drives, as according to our own Jeff Scott it’s actually a much better app to use for streaming video playback than the suggested official SanDisk app. Say&Go ($0.99 – iPhone) is another good fit, since users would be able to record all the voice memos and notes they could stand without worrying about using up their device’s storage. Photo apps such as FancyCam ($1.99 – iPhone) are also a great fit due to the photo/storage combo.
NeatConnect Cloud Scanner
Whether working from home in a personal office or on a trip with a portable one, the NeatConnect Cloud Scanner ($499 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is definitely something to consider. This wireless document scanner doesn’t require the use of a computer of any kind. Instead, it can scan and upload documents (saved as PDF, JPG, and more) directly to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. This means it would be a snap for someone to scan a few receipts to load onto their iPhone for expense tracking, or important paperwork that they’d be able to transfer to their iPad and fiddle with. Greyscale, color, black and white, or two-sided – it makes no difference to this scanner. [Our Review]
So why not include something like Polaris Office ($0.99 – Universal) with it? This mini office-on-the-go app even supports Dropbox file transfers, so it’d be a snap to upload documents with the NeatConnect and then download them straight to Polaris Office. PDF Expert 5 ($9.99 – iPad) is another great fit, what with it being newly redesigned for iOS 7 and receiving a sizable amount of new features – namely the Review mode that allows users to edit and make notes on PDF files.
Dropcam Pro ($199 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) isn’t about productivity, but about peace of mind. The camera connects to a home network and can be accessed through an iOD device in order to watch the house while on a trip, keep an eye on the kids or pets from work, and plenty of other scenarios. Setup is easy, video streams can be kept private or shared with specific individuals (or made entirely public if one so chooses), and the app even knows to turn the camera off once the user comes home. Of course you’ll also want to grab the free official Dropcam app to go with it. [Our Review]
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated office/travel/business-friendly app ideas.
The week is almost over, and the holidays are that much closer, but those gifts won’t find/buy/wrap/give themselves now will they? 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 centers around iOS gamers. These are the folks who love their portable games and spend most of their morning commute matching pieces of candy or fighting immortal titans. If you’d like to make the gamer(s) in your life have an overall more pleasant and convenient gaming experience, or simply get them some really cool stuff to play, check out our list below for some ideas.
MOGA Ace Power Gamepad
The MOGA Ace Power Gamepad ($99 – iPhone/iPod Touch) has several distinct advantages over the other controllers in this list: it’s collapsible so it’s easy to carry while still acting as an extension of the iOS device, it’s the first official MFi gamepad for iOS devices, it uses dual analog sticks in addition to buttons and a D-pad, and it comes with its own battery that will help to extend the amount of time iOS gamers can play things while away from home – or at least a charger. The noticeable downsides are that it’s rather heavy thanks to the internal battery, and it doesn’t support portrait orientation. [Our Review]
While you’re considering the MOGA Ace Power Gamepad, you should probably also think about software to go with it. I’d recommend Oceanhorn ($8.99 – Universal), Dead Trigger 2 (Free – Universal), and Silverfish ($1.99 – iPhone) since all three are not only good games in their own right but also confirmed to be compatible. I’m sure there are plenty of other games out there that will work with it as well, but if you’re trying to put some sort of package together it would probably be best to stick with what you know will work.
MOTO TC Rally
There’s also the option to mix things up and use and iOS device as the controller for something else, rather than attaching a physical controller to it – hence the MOTO TC Rally ($99 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch). This is more than just a RC car with an iOS controller: the free app used to control it adds quite a few gaming elements to the physical racing. Users can race their friends and cause virtual damage -that actually affects performance- through special impact sensors, use power-ups, customize their car’s performance and more.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3
The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit ($349 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is another great option for those looking to venture a little off the beaten path. I mean it lets users basically build whatever the want, then control it with their iPhone or iPad. How cool is that? It’s got the universal LEGO appeal, the remote control angle, and taps into those creative juices for potentially limitless amounts of fun. [Our Review]
iKit NuCharge Battery Case for iPhone 5
The iKit NuCharge Battery Case ($89 – iPhone) is certainly something to consider for the iPhone 5 or 5s gamers in your life. The lightweight case doesn’t block any ports, and it allows users to recharge their phone on the go. Perfect for lengthy trips or holiday visits with relatives where someone (not naming any names here) inevitably forgets to bring their charging cable. [Our Review]
What games go best with a phone-charging battery case? Battery hogs. There are a fair number of them out there and they can usually be picked out by their super-pretty graphics. A couple of great-looking (and just plain great) games you might want to consider are Warhammer Quest ($4.99 – Universal) and, of course, Infinity Blade III ($6.99 – Universal). However, XCOM: Enemy Unknown ($19.99 – Universal) is by far the biggest battery-muncher and would definitely benefit from something like the iKit NuCharge case.
Mophie Juice Pack Pro
The Mophie Juice Pack Pro ($129 – iPhone) may not be the most elegant-looking case, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in functionality. This is one very durable charging case that will keep batteries going longer and protect the phone from minor splash, dust, and more serious impact hazards. It’s a good fit for camping trips or gamers who are particularly brutal with their devices. [Our Review]
The Mophie Juice Pack is another charging case, sure, but it’s also quite durable. So it should be able to stand up to a little punishment when you toss your phone across the room after a particularly rough game of Tilt to Live 2 ($2.99 – Universal) or Pivvot ($2.99 – Universal), and will let World War II turn-based airplane strategy buffs like our own Andrew Stevens keep playing Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies ($4.99 – Universal) through just about any harsh weather conditions.
Ultimate Ears Mini Boom
Doubtless we all know at least one audiophile, and the Ultimate Ears Mini Boom speaker ($99 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is definitely something to consider for them. It’s easy to connect to any device via bluetooth, is durable, a good size for travel, and produces some impressive sounds even by itself. It’s a great way to enhance anyone’s iOS gaming experience. [Our Review]
Of course if you’re looking to get some nice speakers, you may want a game or two to go with it that put the enhanced sound to good use. I’d recommend The Last Door – Chapter 2: Memories ($1.99 – iPad) for those who love a good scare as it’s a ridiculously creepy game without any audio enhancement whatsoever, so you can imagine what some high-quality speakers will do to it. Home ($2.99 – Universal) is another excellent choice for the same reason. LEGO Lord of the Rings ($4.99 – Universal) is another good option because, come on, who doesn’t want to hear that epic score and the official movie dialogue on something more substantial than their iPhone/iPad speaker?
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated game ideas.
Three days in and, if you’ll forgive the reference, “it doesn’t show signs of stopping.” Welcome once again to another one of our holiday shopping guides! Even the most battle-hardened gift giver can be plagued by indecision. 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 those creative types in your life. These are the people who like to draw, compose music, sculpt, or otherwise make things with their iOS devices. So long as they enjoy creating, and you’re in need of some gift ideas, you should check out our list below.
OlloClip Quick-Flip Case
The Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses ($69 – iPhone) are about the best recommendation we can make for the creative types in your life. This collection of interchangeable lenses – 2 macro, a fisheye, and a wideview – clips right on to the iPhone, and are a great way to enhance one’s photography without the need for any retouching. The only real issue with the Olloclip lenses is that they can’t clip on to an iPhone unless the case is removed. The Olloclip Quick-Flip Case ($49 – iPhone) is the perfect answer to this problem. The corner can unclip and swing away to make room for the lens attachments without the need to remove the case entirely – and as an added bonus it comes with a tripod adapter. [Our Olloclip 4-in-1 Lenses Review] [Our Olloclip Quick-Flip Case Review]
While the Olloclip lenses are great, there’s no shame in getting a little digital help for those photos and videos. Pro Camera 7 ($1.99 – iPhone) is a very handy app for taking great photos and videos. TimeShiftGen2 ($0.99 – iPhone) with its real-time filter previews and easy-to-use interface would make for another handy inclusion.
SanDisk Wireless Media Drives
These wireless SanDisk Drives ($50 to $100 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are also a worthwhile consideration for most artistic types. Whether they like to snap lots of photos, mess around with amateur (or even professional) video, or illustrate, they’re a fantastic option for storing a massive body of work without eating up an iOS device’s storage space. They can be particularly useful for when users are on-the-go or otherwise away from their computer for extended periods of time. [Our Review]
Pretty much any apps that allow users to store their created content would be a great fit with these SanDisk drives. AppCooker ($9.99 – iPad) allows would-be developers to create rough app prototypes, so having an external backup for all of those files and assets is a good idea. Music creation apps along the lines of Session Band – Piano Edition ($5.99 – Universal) aren’t a bad idea either. I mean those remixed tracks need to be saved somewhere, right?
Intuos Creative Stylus
The Intuos Creative Stylus ($99 – iPad) and drawing go together like two things that go really, really well together. Wacom knows tablets, and by extension they know styli. The Intuos feels great, works great, comes with an assortment of attachment tips, and the compatible apps (listed on the official site) offer palm rejection and pressure sensitivity. [Our Review]
For the more musically inclined, consider the iRig HD ($99 – iPad/iPhone). The device can connect a guitar to any iOS device and plays the sound directly through the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Producing songs or simply screwing around with a guitar and converting the resulting tunes into a digital format doesn’t get much easier than this, and Amplitube for iPad (iPad – $9.99) is the most significant companion app to consider along with it – since it’s actually developed specifically to work with the iRig HD and allows users to do all their recording and editing directly on their device. [Our Review]
Castiv Guitar Sidekick
The Castiv Guitar Sidekick ($29 – iPhone/iPod Touch), on the other hand, is a surprisingly simple contraption that’s equally as clever. This little clip attaches to the neck of a guitar and allows the user to clip their iPhone or iPod Touch to the other end – an ideal spot for reading tablature, recording tunes, tuning, and more. [Our Review]
Why not add The Backing Track App ($0.99 – Universal) to the Sidekick while you’re at it? This useful little app adds a background track for the guitar player to mess around with. The tempo can be adjusted and the tracks will loop until the users decides to turn them off. It makes practicing improvised tunes a snap, and is a lot more portable than a computer or radio.
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated creativity app ideas.
Pardon the obvious lead-in but ’Tis the Season. And truly, ’tis. If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet (or even started it), chances are you could use a hand. That’s where 148Apps comes in. We’ve got a list of helpful shopping apps for you to browse through that should make the mad rush for gifts a touch easier. They won’t help to shove crowds of last-minute shoppers out of your way, but they could very well keep you from having to deal with such circumstances in the first place.
With that in mind, we present you with 148Apps’ Big List O’ Holiday Shopping Apps!
Mashalot (Free – iPhone) is a kind of hybridization between social apps like Twitter and Pinterest, and consumerism. Users create a profile, snap pictures of their purchases, add tags, categorize their finds, and share news of their catch with the community. The power lies in its open-endedness. Since all content is use-created and supplied, it can include information on more than just simple retail items. Cars, houses, insurance rates – the sky is pretty much the limit. And it works well as a wish list, too!
Shopping by TheFind
Shopping by TheFind (Free – Universal) is more of a cross-referencing tool. You can search the app to find the best prices and stores for the items they’re looking for, or even scan barcodes to compare prices while in the store. It can also notify you of coupons and other deals while you’re in the checkout. And if that’s not enough, it’s also possible to sign in with Facebook (don’t worry, they won’t post on your timeline) for a much more personalized experience.
Coupons by Shopular
Coupons by Shopular (Free – Universal) creates a personalized coupon book just for you. It offers up a selection of hand-picked coupons every day, throughout a large assortment of stores like Best Buy, Starbucks, Hollister, and so on. The app uses the iOS device’s location services to tell when you’re near various stores, then automatically notifies you of all the deals when you’re in the vicinity. No subscriptions, no prepaying for savings, no need to sign up, and most importantly: no searching.
RedLaser (Free – iPhone) focuses on using your iPhone to scan barcodes and QR codes in order to comparison shop instantly. It will cross-reference the price of whatever you scan with online stores, pull up coupons and circulars, and even suggest alternatives if needed. It can also be used to store loyalty card info, pull up store maps and listed hours while in-store, create shopping and wish lists, and backup all of your info securely with a RedLaser account.
Price Check by Amazon
Ever pull out your iPhone while shopping to check the price of something on Amazon? Well that’s exactly why Price Check by Amazon (Free – iPhone) exists. This official app will let you search through Amazon’s online stock via barcode scanning, text, voice, or photo. Entries include customer reviews along with the pricing information, and the app even offers price-matching for products in the US Amazon store.
BuyVia (Free – Universal) is another concierge-style app that lets you create your own custom profile of favorite stores and products, both online and off. It will search for deals catered to your specifications, alert you when an item you’re after goes on sale or has a price drop, and offers those ever-popular barcode scanning price comparisons. Perhaps the best part is that the app stores your details securely on the cloud, and allows you to access your lists and deals across all of your iOS devices. So you can set up a list at home on the iPad, then double-check it on your iPhone when you’re out.
Retale (Free – Universal) aims to be your go-to app for finding deals at big name stores. It provides you with digital circulars to peruse, and can also notify you when your favorite stores are having sales. It can be used to search for individual products, create a shopping list (or several), save your favorite pages, and notify you when a sale is actually about to end. No more coupon clipping and no more forgetting!
PriceGrabber (Free – iPhone) is another app in the vein of RedLaser. Nothing wrong with having a few options, is there? You can scan barcodes to compare prices with other online and brick-and-mortar stores, receive price alerts, favorite items you may not be ready to purchase just yet, and other such cool stuff. Get directions to physical stores, see if a specific item is available – the list goes on. It also features a “Gift Shaker” that will provide random gift suggestions.
Welcome to Day Two of our 2013 shopping extravaganza! 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 centers around highly social iOS users. I’m talking about the people who practically live on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and all that. It can be tough to come up with something for such diehard (virtual) social butterflies, and even more tricky to surprise them, but we’re certainly going to give it a shot! Check out our list below for some hopefully useful ideas.
iKit NuCharge Battery Case for iPhone 5
When people check Twitter, Facebook, and so on all the time, it stands to reason that they might need something to supplement their battery usage. Enter the iKit NuCharge Battery Case ($89 – iPhone). It’s light, slim, and great for on-the-go charging. Which in itself is great for people who use their phone once every ten seconds to update their status or share photos of their lunch. [Our Review]
Feed reading is a big part of most social media users’ day-to-day habits, which is why including an app like Ziner ($4.99 – iPad) and Reeder 2 ($4.99 – Universal). With so much news and information just a few taps away, having an extended battery would be very important indeed. And if the need arises to settle an argument about any number of topics at a get-together, massive cross-referencing search engine Phlo ($1.99 – Universal) is also available.
The Netsuke from Poddities (~$20 – iPhone/iPod Touch) is another worthwhie consideration. It’s such a simple little piece of hardware: just a metal loop that screws into the bottom of the iPhone. And yet it can be quite handy for someone who’s constantly checking their screen. Installation is easy and it allows users to attach their own lanyard or other form of loop so that their phone is always within easy reach withouth the danger of falling out of a pocket. Once attached they’ll be able to wear their iPhone or iPod Touch around like a necklace or strap it to their wrist for easy Tweeting – or really any other sort of rope/nylon-based attachement they can think of. [Our Review]
The most significant purpose of the Netsuke is the way in which it makes one’s iPhone or iPod Touch so easy to have on-hand. For this reason, it’s ideal for messaging apps such as the new Tweetbot 3 ($2.99 – iPhone) and IM+ Pro7 ($4.99 – Universal), as well as for camera apps like PureShot ($1.99 – Universal). If a random thought occurs that must be shared, friends must immediately be informed of a change of plans, or something really cool is happening and photographic evidence is needed, your Netsuke recipient will be covered.
Sonos Wireless Music Systems
Another thing social folks like to do is share their music with others. Either by mentioning what they’re listening to in a post, linking YouTube videos, quoting lyrics, or flat-out playing their music for anyone within range to hear. It’s for the latter reason that we recommend the Sonos Play:1 ($199 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Sonos Play:3 ($299 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), and Sonos Play:5 ($399 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch). These are some seriously high-quality speakers that work incredibly well solo or grouped together. They even feature humidity protection, so you can place them in the bathroom without having to worry about damage from the steam. Even if someone on your list already has a Sonos speaker, they could easily add another one to their system for even more expansive sound. [Our Sonos Play:1 Review]
If the person you’re getting a Sonos speaker for also happens to enjoy amateur videography, you might want to consider gifting them a copy of Vidstitch Pro ($0.99 – Universal). It’s a great way for them to combine multiple videos and still images into a sort of moving collage, and could certainly benefit from the addition of some high-quality sound. Conversely, if they prefer to listen rather than create there’s always Pocket Casts ($3.99 – Universal). This unassuming little app is a fantastic tool for downloading, managing, and listening to one’s favorite podcasts regardless of whether or not they’re available on iTunes.
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated social app ideas.
The turkey leftovers have been finished off, distant relatives have made it back to their homes, and the holiday shopping season has officially begun! Knowing what to get for someone, regardless of how familiar you may be with their tastes, can often be a challenge. 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.
The earHero Headphones ($149 – iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are definitely something to think about for the people on your list who go jogging or biking in busy urban areas. These earbuds are all about safety. They actually allow outside sounds to reach the listener even while in-use, which may sound silly but can make a big difference to someone riding their bike through the streets of a major metropolitan area. Car horns, truck engines, etc, won’t be drowned out – which will theoretically make running and biking around town significantly safer. At least from an “almost getting blindsided by an SUV while crossing the street” point of view. Admittedly the sound quality isn’t ideal for listening to music, but when safety is a concern I think it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. [Our Review]
While the sound quality may not be ideal for music, that’s no reason to think that there aren’t some worthwhile apps that would pair well with earHero headphones. Take Zombies, Run! ($3.99 – iPhone) for example: it’s not about music but about listening for the approaching zombie hordes and running like mad to keep from getting eaten. Then there’s TempoRun ($2.99 – iPhone), which is admittedly music-focused but it’s more about the tempo than the actual tunes. It allows users to set their own pace by way of adjusting the speed of their music, and even offers streaming radio if they get tired of their own playlist.
Dodo Hardcover Case for iPhone 5 and 5s
Why the Dodo Hardcover iPhone Case ($34.95 to $54.90 – iPhone 5/5s)? Because it’s a good-looking and sturdy iPhone case, that’s why. It may not be ideal for clipping to a waistband or strapping to a limb, but it offers great protection when tossed in a pocket. And sometimes people prefer to put their iPhone in a pocket (presumably a zippered or buttoned one) when they go running or biking. So the Dodo case will protect their phone, and look good when they take it out for a moment or two during a breather at that little cafe on the corner they like to stop at sometimes. [Our Review]
With such a durable and good-looking case, there’s no harm in taking a look at some rather movement-intensive apps. For example, if your recipient were to load up Performance Stretching ($2.99 – iPhone) or Pocket Yoga ($2.99 – Universal) before going for a run or otherwise working out, they wouldn’t have to worry much about their iPhone falling out of a pocket and bouncing off the floor. The same goes for Pedometer Pro ($1.99 – iPhone), which will keep track of the user’s running information whether they’re out on the street or on a treadmill. If the phone happens to fall out of their pocket while in mid-run, the Dodo case will be there to protect it.
Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL
On the more literal side of things, we have the Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL ($70 – iPhone). It’s a tiny stat-tracking gizmo that measures speed, distance, steps, stride rates, and more, and clips right on to a shoe’s laces or can be placed into a special cavity found in specific brands. Just sync it up with an iPhone and start running! [Our Review]
Then there’s the RFLKT+ ($129 – iPhone); an iPhone-powered bike computer. The RFLKT+ clips on to a bike’s handlebars and displays app data (and controls music playback) straight from the iPhone – transmitted wirelessly over bluetooth, of course. In other words, users can clip their iPhone somewhere or stuff it in a secure pocket or something, then control everything from this tiny display mounted in front of them. Yes please!
The FitBit Force ($129 – iPhone) is another worthwhile stat-tracker to consider. This little watch-like thing can be worn all day and night – keeping an eye on calories burned, steps taken, sleep, and more. Those stats can then be wirelessly synced to an iPhone, where users can monitor their progress in real time and even set personal goals to try and beat. It also supports a sizable number of third-party fitness apps. Oh, and it tells time.
Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack
For the very active bike riders who tend to stay out for hours at a time, there’s also the Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack ($59 – iPhone). This durable all-weather battery backup attaches to the user’s bike and can be hooked up to a number of iOS devices (yes, even an iPad) when needed. If they’re out for a while and need more juice for music on the ride back, they’re covered. If the forgot to charge their iPhone and need to call for a pickup due to inclement weather or exhaustion, no problem. Of course if they stay out even longer after recharging their stuff, that’s another matter entirely.
With that in mind, how about an app like gMusic 2 ($1.99 – Universal) for all their audio entertainment needs? It allows users to stream their entire Google music collection, and if they burn out their phone’s battery in the process of listening to Queen on repeat they can easily charge it back up again with the Bike2Power. Anything they’d be using while out on the road would be a good fit really; from Cyclemeter GPS ($4.99 – Universal) to MotionX 24/7 – formerly MotionX Sleep ($0.99 – iPhone).
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated fitness app ideas.
PBS Kids recently ran a survey on parents and posted results that show that 54% of them plan on purchasing a tech item for their child this holiday season. And that number increases to 59% for the more tech-savvy parents ages 18-34. Tablets are listed as the hot item at the top of the list and they beat-out video game consoles 28% to 18%. The study of over 1,000 surveyed parents with kids between the ages of 2 and 10 also lists that 36% of parents plan to purchase either a tablet or smartphone.
The survey also shows that 77% of parents plan to purchase educational apps for their children as 90% of them stat that educational apps will play an important role in their child’s education.
“There’s a vast and ever-growing population of young children who have ready access to mobile media and, as many parents recognize, that presents an important opportunity to utilize tablets and smartphones to advance children’s learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, GM of Children’s Programming at PBS, in a press release. “It’s essential that parents think through what kind of apps, online games and video content they make available to their kids. This is one important reason why PBS KIDS has been so innovative in making sure our high-quality, research-based educational content is available across digital platforms to provide a deeper learning experience for today’s learners.”
Other Key PBS KIDS Parent Survey Findings
•Six in 10 parents collaborate with their child to select apps, while a third of parents say they make the choice themselves.
•When selecting games and apps for their children, over half of parents (56%) base their decisions on age recommendations.
•In addition to educational content, 56% of parents pointed to price and 45% cited characters their kids know and love as important factors when choosing apps.
The App Store can be a wonderful place full of far too many games to count spread across every genre imaginable. However, despite all the rules and regulations for submissions, a few shady characters will inevitably fall through the cracks. In my numerous App Store searches I’ve seen my fair share of cash-grabs, some obvious and some not so much, but I’ve also begun to notice a few telltale signs that can be a good indication of a developer’s intentions.
This guide is not written in stone, and there are always exceptions to every rule. And I in no way mean to imply that the majority of App Store developers are simply out to con the unwary out of their money. Quite the contrary. Most of them are great folks who are just trying to make an honest dollar doing what they love and making other people happy. I only wish to pass a few tips along in the hopes that it may give you all a better idea of some of the things to look out for.
Tip #1 – Judging a game by its icon
Not all icons can be winners. That being said, if you see an icon featuring a recognizable character or a recognizable character who’s been slightly tweaked so they look a little different, proceed with caution. Using an icon that looks incredibly similar to a top selling iOS (even PC or console) game is a tactic often used to trick potential buyers.
Tip #2 – Check the screen shots
Screen shots are another good indication of legitimacy. They won’t all feature showpiece visuals but they still need to be there. If a game only has one or two screens available for viewing in the store, and those screens don’t actually show any in-game content, tread very carefully. Another “tell” of sorts is the actual content of the game screens. If the visuals look exactly like another game, or if (and I’ve seen this before) it looks like someone pasted some virtual buttons on top of a screencap, you might want to think twice before buying.
Tip #3 – File size
You see a game that looks awesome and the description makes it sound like the best thing since, well, the iPhone and it has a dozen glowing reviews. Before you hit “Purchase,” just take a quick peek at its file size. If this jaw-dropping showcase of iOS visual prowess takes up 5 MB (or even 50), it’s highly unlikely those screens or reviews are for real. Which brings me to my final tip.
Tip #4 – Check those reviews
User are largely subjective, but they can still be quite telling. If a game has a dozen five-star reviews and three or four with one-star, take the time to read the one-stars. Not liking a game is one thing, but when a buyer claims the game in question is totally different than what’s advertised you might want to pay attention. Also look out for reviews that are way too positive. It might be a trap.
Posted by Jeff Scott on December 4th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
RetailMeNot is an app that’s great for helping you save a few bucks this holiday season. It catalogs and keeps track of loads of coupons for major chains and small stores. It then gives you mobile access to those coupons (just have the cashier scan the barcode on your phone screen) and you are good to go.
Socialvest is the latest app that hopes to give something back to worthy causes.
Previously a desktop based product, the app lets users shop with their iPhones, before receiving money back from each purchase that can be used to donate to over 1.5M different non-profit organisations.
Hundreds of different stores are available through the app, covering a wide range of different wants and needs. Major stores such as Amazon and Best Buy are available, as well as other more niche examples.
Each store offers a different percentage of spend that will go to a charity, making it clear to see what money is going where. It’s then similarly easy to decide on a charity or cause and watch the money go towards helping someone or something less fortunate.
It’s a neat idea and it’ll be fascinating to see how much Socialvest raises for good causes in the long term.
Socialvest is available now for the iPhone, and it’s free to download.
Jackthread, the members-only men’s online shopping club, is launching an app developed by Fueled Mobile Design and Development on Tuesday to make it a bit easier for its members and the 20 percent of them who already come through their mobile devices to shop. The online and now mobile shopping club features top-tier street, skate, surf and contemporary men’s fashion brands as well as offer daily sales of up to 80 percent off. The Jackthread app will be available as a free download in the iTunes App Store as well as the Android Marketplace.
The site had yet to be optimized for mobile device users despite their 8 million page views per month, but with the new apps the company anticipates a drastic increase in the number of mobile shoppers. The users who download the app are given the option to sing up for daily reminders for exclusive announcements about curated sales as soon as they go live as well as special sales available only for mobile users. New users will also be given instant access to the daily deals and will not have to wait for an invitation.
WANT! is an app for essentially irrationally exuberant window shopping in a digital world where the windows are our LCD screens. Users look through the various categories of items in the app, searchable by name, or through the most popular categories. Photographs can then be swiped through, and users can indicate which items they want, by “wanting” it, similar to “liking” a post on Facebook. Items can be viewed on the web for purchasing, in case “wanting” turns into really wanting. Items can also be commented on, shared to Facebook, Twitter, or email. Users can be asynchronously followed in order to see their list of wants, and favorite WANT! categories can be saved. Of course, users can easily share their own items to the service, by either taking a photo of it with their device’s camera, or by uploading a photo from their Camera Roll. Sure, it’s social window shopping, but it means the whole practice of window shopping can be done in the privacy of one’s own home, without wearing pants. That’s usually frowned upon in public. Usually.
It’s four days until Christmas and if you are like many of us, you likely have some last minute holiday shopping to do. Inside stores lines are long and prices change daily, and at this point if you order online you might want to upgrade shipping, but if you still have some people on your “nice” list here are our four favorite apps to help you find a great gift at a great price even at this late date.
What’s there to say. If you want to find anything, and get last minute shipping the best place online is amazon.com. Amazon Mobile allows iPhone shoppers to navigate Amazon’s labyrinthian site quickly, compare prices, read reviews and purchase directly through the app. Search options include keyword searches, as well as barcode scanning or even upload a picture.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2008-12-03 :: Category: Lifestyle
With Bakodo on their iPhones shoppers can scan barcodes for in-store price checking , but there that’s not all. Bakado includes product reviews, and can search by keywords too. The app makes shopping social allowing the indecisive to post what they are looking for on Facebook and get feedback from their friends.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-06-11 :: Category: Utilities
Gilt on the Go
Have a taste for the finer things in life, but not necessarily the budget? Gilt has been providing a service that offers deep discounts on highly sought after items for some time, and they also have several apps. To use Gilt, you need to be a member and have an account on their site, but in-app shoppers can browse before they decide to sign up. For the brand name bargain hunter, Gilt is a guilt-light shopping experience.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-24 :: Category: Lifestyle
Target is not only considered upscale compared to Wal-Mart, while still offering deep discounts, their app is preferred too. The Target app allow seasonal spenders on a budget to shop at any Target store. The app sends daily deals straight to the iPhone, locates the nearest store and keeps track of gift lists with TargetLists. This app also includes a bar code scanner to make extra sure Target’s deals are the best.
Since the summer, Milo: Local Shopping has done an excellent job of ensuring that its users can search nearby stores for items all from the comfort of their sofa.
It keeps track of what items are in stock across over 50,000 stores while also enabling users to check up on which store has the best price for each item. For those already in the store, RedLaser barcode-scanning technology ensures that they can just scan a barcode and immediately see price comparisons. In one simple double whammy, Milo: Local Shopping saves people time and money.
In its latest update, it goes one step further with users able to buy an item through the app and simply go to the store to pick it up.
A free app, it’d be silly not to try Milo: Local Shopping really. Odds are it’s going to save plenty of time and money in no time at all. Milo: Local Shopping is out now.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Families gather, feast, celebrate and then get ready for a Black Friday shopping bonanza. The hottest deals mean the biggest crowds will be mobbing stores. With this celebration of conspicuous consumption putting huge pressure on holiday shoppers in a tough economy, how does one find the very best deals? Well, an iPhone loaded with the right apps can make things a lot easier. This week we look at our four favorites for saving time and money.
TGI Black Friday
Powered by two major shopping resources, TGIblackfriday.com and DealCatcher.com, TGI Black Friday is the go-to app for finding the best bargains from the biggest chains like Walmart, Kohls, Best Buy, Target, Old Navy and far too many more to list. The updates come fast and furious and users can see all the Black Friday deals well before they bulk up the morning paper. Push notifications alert shoppers to new deals, users can compare prices and share finds on Facebook and Twitter.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-11-19 :: Category: Lifestyle
Finding good deals is awesome. Finding great ones is even better. One thing brick and mortar retailers are worried most about this year is what impact mobile devices will have, even in the check out line. Price-matching offers used to be taken up by only a few, but now with bar code scanners, shoppers can quickly scan the items unique product number and Red Laser will find them all the competing offers, many of which are online. That means while standing in a three-hour check-out queue one can just pop out an iPhone, find a better deal online and have it paid for and on its way before they move forward a single inch.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-11-02 :: Category: Utilities
Black Friday App
Black Friday App provides the same basic features as TGI Black Friday, and many of the stores and deals are the same, but there are retailers one app carries that the other doesn’t. This app doesn’t just look for deals in physical stores, but online-only bargains, too, so consider it another tool in the arsenal.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-09-09 :: Category: News
TGI Cyber Monday
Just as in-store bargains are selling out, online retailers pick up the slack. The new mega-shopping day has become known as Cyber Monday. TGI Cyber Monday, from the same folks as TGI Black Friday, again helps consumers sort through the best deals – this time from all the major online retailers.
Buying online has always been something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s convenient. On the other, there’s lots of potential for thievery. Of course, nowadays there are all manner of anti-theft measures in place and purchases have been made even simpler with payment info storage and the like. But what about those spontaneous instances of shopping need where there’s no computer present? Well that’s what TapBuy Deals is for of course.
TapBuy Deals is something of a dream come true for super-saving shopaholics. The app stores billing and shipping information using “bank-grade encryption,” so once the desired item is found it only takes a tap or two and the order is completed within seconds. For added security, it requires a PIN for each purchase so if the iPhone is lost or stolen no one else will be able to run up unwanted charges. But this ease of use coupled with security is only a part of the draw.
In addition to all that, TapBuy Deals will group purchases (from the same vendor, of course) together to reduce shipping costs. Sometimes this even leads to zero cost. On top of all that it also automatically finds coupons and applies them as needed, saving users the most money it can. Of course, they can also add their own if they’d like.
TapBuy Deals is sitting in the App Store right now for free. And my apologies for the phrase “lickety-split.” It’s just that the opportunity to use it comes along so infrequently I couldn’t resist.
In an ever frugal world, being able to save the pennies while not sacrificing enjoyment is a big thing. Along comes BiteHunter, an app that searches thousands of sources to bring its users the best dining deals all through a real-time interface.
Through the GPS functionality, users can view nearby deals on a map or via a list, then filter the results by price, rating, type of food and numerous other options.
BiteHunter promises more than 50,000 local deals in all covering the entire of the country. Daily deals such as those from Groupon and LivingSocial are implemented here as well as restaurants’ tweets. Then the deals are divided up according to whether it’s a deal for a specific day, a certain percent or amount off or simply if it’s happy hour.
Food connoisseurs can always search for a specific restaurant too and then read reviews from multiple sources and see a menu. In some cases it’s even possible to reserve a table right from the app.
BiteHunter looks like a great way of saving some precious pennies and it’s a free download available now for all iOS devices.
Barcode reading is really rather useful. In the case of Barcode Reader and Barcode Reader Pro, it enables users to find the lowest price for an item within the US simply by taking a photo of the relevant barcode.
Barcode Reader has also now become the first and only barcode scanning app that works with the iPad 2 as well as all other iOS devices.
The app enables users to search through a whole wealth of places in the quest to find the best price. It searches eBay, Amazon, Target, Google Product Search, Walmart.com and many others offering a comprehensive price comparison service.
There’s also a built-in browser to help users read more about a product and it’s possible to use the current location to find prices in nearby stores.
All in all, Barcode Reader could be a great way of saving money for the savvy shopper.
It’s available now in free and paid ($0.99) forms and as previously mentioned, it’s currently the only barcode scanning app out there for the iPad 2.
Everybody loves to save money wherever possible. Even more so in the current global financial climate. So what better way of doing so than through a free app by the name of Shopkick?
Shopkick offers users all manners of new and exclusive shopping deals from the likes of Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Crate & Barrel and more. Perhaps even better, it also offers a rewards package in which users can simply and quickly gain gift cards, free movie tickets or help a good cause just by shopping. Shopkick ensures there’s hardly anything people need to do to gain such rewards. They can do this by simply walking into one of the many partner stores, scanning products, making purchases or simply by checking in to the store. Walk in rewards are available in 80 different places across the US, including NYC, LA, SF, Dallas, Chicago, BOS, ATL, Houston, D.C., Miami, Seattle and St. Louis.
Shopkick also provides users with the ability to personalize their deal feed by picking out their favourite stores from over 50 different national chains, so it’s easy to pick out the best deals. There’s also top ten deals listed regularly to consult at a quick glance. Users can easily check out what stores are nearby and what deals are offered simply by tapping on the nearby menu option.
Users can quickly check how near they are to acquiring a reward by checking their total at the top of each screen within ShopKick. The rewards are suitably varied with the likes of charitable donations, gift certificates or simply Facebook credits ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste. Plus they’re relatively easily acquired too by checking what products provide what deals.
Shopkick is available now for North American users and is a free app so it’s well worth a try. Here’s hoping something similar comes over to Europe in the near future.
Right about now it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of all the various gifts which must be purchased for loved ones for the holidays. Which version of Pokemon did little Timmy want? Is Sally a size 3 or a size 4? Did Frank say that drill he wanted is on sale at Sears or Lowes? It can all be a bit overwhelming but, thanks to the new Gift Plan app, you might just manage to keep your sanity after all.
Gift Plan allows you to easily create and organize shopping lists which you can use as handy references while you’re running about town. Users can put together exhaustive lists sorted in various manners such as individuals or occasions. The app also tracks spending so you can easily keep track of where you are within your shopping budget and make changes as necessary.
Beyond the holidays Gift Plan will also prove itself useful in the future, as you can easily save upcoming birthdays, anniversaries or other special gift-giving events. The app even supports importing birthdays from your contact list or Facebook, taking pretty much all the onus off of you to remember all those pesky dates. On top of all that, Gift Plan also lets you set alerts for upcoming events so you can be sure and get all your shopping done on time.
This seems to be quite an ingenious little app as it manages to merge both calendars and time management with budgeting and shopping. This is the perfect little helper for all those with long shopping lists, short memories or both. Also, it’s just a great organization app in general as it lets you put all the important details about anyone on your holiday list all in one place. It’s one of those apps which just seems too good to be true, but it’s totally real and it’s fabulous.
Ever since scanning our very first barcode with RedLaser, the iOS consumer base has been hooked on barcode scanning. So hooked in fact that ShopSavvy, with its 6.6 million users, are projected to scan more than 100 million different barcodes between now and Christmas. To be a bit more sexy to its user base, ShopSavvy is adding a slew of new features in its latest update.
”ShopSavvy began as a barcode-scanning app that helped consumers compare prices at the point of purchase,” said Alexander Muse, ShopSavvy co-creator. “Now, with ShopSavvy 4 for iPhone, we’ve taken the app to an entirely new level – enabling consumers not only to see information from our extensive price comparison engine, but to add their own deals, discoveries, ratings and reviews to our database. We’ve brought the power of Wikipedia-style crowdsourcing to shoppers.”
ShopSavvy 4 update mainly involves user feedback (but also includes 5x faster scanning!) to the already popular scanning app. Instead of just scanning items, users will be able to add and share photos and prices from places that aren’t already in the ShopSavvy system and can submit reviews of items to create a savvy review system that will go alongside the standard 3rd party reviews. The new update also uses targeted advertising, called AdOns, that will send you coupons and suggestions based on your location and what you are looking at. The best feature of all though, and possibly the most simple, is the inclusion of different stores price matching policies. Knowing whether or not the store you are at will match the prices you find within the app could be a huge time saver.
ShopSavvy 4 is available today as a free update or download in iTunes. While it won’t necessarily make the gift selection process any easier, it will certainly save you some time and money while you are making your purchases.
A friend (who happens to be an app developer) and I were discussing the other day the feasibility of a grocery store app that would help users find what they were looking for. The general thought was that it would be a neat app, but the time spent to money earned ratio didn’t really seem to make the app worth it, at least in our eyes.
Aisle411 doesn’t think so, however, as they are releasing “the first comprehensive mobile shopping platform for (the) iPhone.” The app lets users find specific items in stores, and even guides them to the specific section of the aisle. In addition, the app provides product reviews, a shopping list generator, social network integration, and provides reward points and coupons for specific items.
“According to National Consumer Research, 83 percent of shoppers have trouble finding what they are looking for in stores,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, CEO, aisle411. “The launch of our iPhone App and mobile website will dramatically transform the way customers find what they are looking for and make purchase decisions. As more shoppers engage with mobile technology to enhance everything from building shopping lists and finding product reviews, to navigating retail environments and sharing their shopping experiences with friends, aisle411′s groundbreaking solution is evolving the way consumers interact with retailers, advertisers and brands.”
The Aisle411 iPhone app is looking to launch this fall and will be available in over 1,400 retail stores in the US. There’s been no mention of social achievements or status rankings yet, but I’m absolutely dying to be the mayor of Safeway, aisle 5.
Note: The video below further explains the benefits of the Aisle411 system to retailers, but it only describes the current service that is available for free by dialing 1-877-AISLE-411.