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Sago Mini Toolbox Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 21st, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CHARMING BUILDING
Sago Mini Toolbox is a fun way for preschoolers to build things and complete projects.
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TapPainter Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on April 8th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CONVENIENT DECORATING
Plan out the paint colors of your home with this easy to use home decoration tool.
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How To: Add a Lanyard or Wrist Strap to the iPhone Case

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 19th, 2014

Not so many years ago, every phone came with a built-in loop for attaching a wrist strap. Not so much any more. While there are a few cases that support a lanyard loop, not many still do. And there's the Netsuke from Poddities that adds a loop to the Lightning connector.

A lanyard or wrist strap can be a great feature for safety, especially in high "Apple Picking" crime areas like San Francisco, New York City, or just about any tourist destination worldwide. Not to mention it can help keep a phone from hitting the concrete when pulling it from a pocket.

Here's a quick and easy way to add a simple lanyard to the new iPhone case. I've done this with a few different cases now, and even look for cases to use that fit what is needed to do this. The main feature to look for in a case that this technique will work with is a very sturdy sidewall, made of hard plastic. It needs to be a sturdy build to keep the lanyard from cracking or tearing the case. A soft silicone type case won't work for this.

Choose a lanyard or wrist strap. A variety of them will work. There are probably a couple in the junk drawer left over from an old camera or maybe even an ancient cell phone. Make sure the loop part of the lanyard is at least an inch long to allow space to connect it. If there are none around, I'm a big fan of these from Rokform. Sturdy and just the right size for a wrist strap.

Next, I choose the side - either left or right. Both work. Choose the side that matches the hand the phone is usually held in. I usually hold my phone in my left hand, so I chose left.

Make two small holes about 1/2 inch apart on the side of the case using a 3/32" drill bit. This will leave enough space so that the case left between the holes won't easily break with a little tension. The spacing also needs to be small enough so that the loop part of the lanyard can go from one hole to the other and back.

When drilling, make sure to let the drill do the work; no need to push it through with force. Also, be careful to keep your fingers away from the drill bit and away from the back where the bit will emerge.

Next, loop the lanyard through the holes from the bottom outside through the back of the top hole. If the lanyard string is thicker, something like a paperclip will be needed to push the string through. Slide the lanyard through the loop and then insert the phone and ta-da, a lanyard on your iPhone! Simple and easy.

I have also successfully tried this on the Mophie Juice Pack Air Case, the Olloclip Flip Case, and the official Apple iPhone 5s case. As mentioned above, rubber or silicon cases don't work as they tear easily. If you chose to do this, make sure all common safety rules are followed and it's not our fault if you destroy your case, drill through your hand, or burn down your home.

Favorite Four: Home Improvement Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 31st, 2013

Had one of those winters where bits have fallen off your house, or you've simply got bored of how one room looks and fancy a change? I've managed both of those, but I've found a silver lining in terms of delving into the world of home improvement apps on the App Store. Here are my favorite four apps that will both inspire and help those with DIY projects planned for the coming Spring.

Handy Man DIY
The Swiss Army Knife of home improvement apps, Handy Man DIY does a bit of everything. It offers a tool to help users calculate how much paint, flooring or trim they need to cover a room. It also offers some great tutorials on completing various bits and pieces of a project, along with lists detailing commonly used items and materials, to ensure there's no way that you'll forget what you need to finish the job. It rounds things off with a price calculation tool, and some seasonal reminders of when things should be done.

iHandy Level Free
A free app, iHandy Level Free provides a virtual spirit level, allowing users to align pictures correctly, measure angles and slopes accurately, and calculate the pitch of the roof. Much like a flashlight app, this won't be a tool that's used on a daily basis but it will be handy at regular points while undertaking home improvement.

Dream House
It's not all about struggling to patch up roofs or completing plumbing tasks, it's also about turning a house into a home. Dream House offers the inspiration that many need when it comes to figuring out how they want their place to look. Similar to walking around Ikea and taking in the ambience and feel, Dream House offers a virtual tour of rooms to give users a glance at how their house or apartment could look.

Handy with power tools and love carpentry? You're a better person than me. Also, Woodcraft is an ideal app to try out. Part design tool, part 3d modelling app and part woodworking aid, the app helps budding and professional carpenters alike figure out everything they need to know about a woodworking project, all through its design interface leading to some very accurate measurements. It'll take some practice but the completed designs will be very rewarding.

New App: Build A Mobile Website While Mobile With M.dot

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 19th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Need to get a quick mobile website up? M.dot aims to be your go-to source, letting you do just that from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. If you want to see if they know what they're doing, check out their amazingly cool scrolling main site, too.

M.dot app lets you create a mobile-optimized website for you and your business. On your own domain, in 5 minutes.

- Choose a template, enable features and pages, fill the information and you're done.
- Includes galleries, blog, custom pages, rich text editing, statistics and much more.
- Comes with features such as "Call me" button and map directions.
- Already have an existing website? Scrape the images and text and create a mobile-optimized version.
- Set it up as "m.yoursite.com" and redirect mobile visitors to a mobile-optimized site.

Inspire Your Kids To Make & Create With DIY.org

Posted by Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The summer break might be over but the quest to find new and exciting ways to entertain the kids continues on. We all want to make sure the kids near to us, whether they be our own kids or nieces and nephews, are suitably entertained while also instilling useful knowledge within them. DIY.org wants to do both and succeeds with aplomb.

The app helps kids build a portfolio of all the different things they make, whether they be fun drawings, technological creations or simply garden based projects. The app and accompanying website gives them a place to show off their talents as well as gain skill badges depending on what they've made. As a form of achievement, these badges focus the kids' aim while also giving them a sense that they've gained something. We checked in with CEO, Zach Klein, to learn more about the site/app that has garnered around 20,000 users so far.

Zach explained to us that their main source of inspiration has come from the kids themselves and the "unique qualities" that the youngsters offer. "They're simple people who are often passionate and capable of complex creativity," he explains. "There aren't many options for kids to contribute this special power to world. That's what motivates us."

Summing up what some of the best creations out there are, Zach demonstrated the sheer breadth of imagination from the kids using the service. Kids through DIY.org have made their own version of the popular game, Operation, a Stomp Rocket and a stop motion Nascar crash film. It's great to see such variation, right down to the sweet tooth fairy pillow created for someone's sister.

Each project can be assigned a positive comment or sticker with categories such as Awesome, Beautiful, Favorite and Genius ensuring that kids feel good about what they do. Zach explained that there are future plans afoot: "We plan to add social features to DIY so our members can make friends more easily. This will make it easier for them to share feedback and hopefully collaborate to make together."

It all sounds quite exceptional and a great idea to keep the kids happy and stimulated. Why not try it out for yourself? The app is available now and it's free.

HGTV Releases Magazine-Like App, SHELF

Posted by Kevin Stout on July 10th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

HGTV (Home & Garden Television) has just released a new app called HGTV SHELF. The app will provide users with information from the HGTV and DIY Networks in the form of interactive magazine issues.

The app contains a mix of both free and paid content for users to access on popular topics from the websites. Sites associated with the app include HGTV.com, HGTVRemodels.com, DIYNetwork.com, and FrontDoor.com. The app currently contains three issues, two free and one paid. The free issues include Closet Cases (dealing with home organization) and HGTV Color Guide (dealing with picking the perfect colors). The paid issue is Fast Fixes Outdoors (packed with DIYs for outdoor projects).

The issues are built specifically with a tablet in mind and look great with Retina display graphics on the third-gen iPad. HGTV SHELF itself is free and, therefore, it's free to obtain the free issues within the app. The only available paid issue is currently set at $0.99.