Waze; The Next Way to Navigate

February 14, 2013 in Electronics

Waze the new way to navigate.

Waze the new way to navigate.

So with Apple dropping the ball on creating their own mapping application I took out in search of the best navigation for iOS. I didn’t want to pay for a mapping solution so I tried only free options. After testing Apple Maps, Google Maps and several others I stumbled across Waze.

Waze is a relatively newcomer in navigation but that may be the best thing for them. They have re-invented navigation as we know it. Waze is built on people, it is a social navigational application. The application itself uses users experience and realtime data to create the most accurate traffic information.

The map is neatly organized, easy to understand and the voice prompt are timely and straight forward. There are many options about how to be more social in the application from sharing your location to adding current road conditions to alert other drivers. As you add information you get points and become a more upgraded avatar. There is a way for the more cautious to be “invisible” and use Waze in a less social manner.

Download Waze from the Apple App Store and let me know what you think.

The Future of TV; Is it the new Netflix?

February 14, 2013 in Electronics

I have had a Netflix account since its inception way back when. I used to be allotted 3 DVDs per month and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then they added streaming, while the original content lacked depth it was an amazing leap in legally being able to obtain content. Then came Hulu, OnDemand and a million other sources of streaming content. Until very recently I only dreamed of a day when fresh new content would be available on all my devices at the same time streaming from the internet. Now with Netflix’s bold move I see that day fast approaching.

Netflix and an Apple TV are a great combo.

Netflix and an Apple TV are a great combo.

Currently I use many mediums to watch the content I desire and it is exhausting to locate the content, if at all and expensive to maintain access. I have a folder on my iPad labelled video and I have 20 applications in it. They include Netlfix, VLC, HBO, NBC and Xfinity. Now these are great applications, they allow me to view content from my iPad anywhere I have a internet connection.(Xfinity even allows you to temporarily download some content) HBO is one of my favorite applications, it contains recent movies, amazing TV series and the application alone has a decent interface. Notably they have recently upgraded the application to allow AirPlay, Apple’s technology that allows you to beam content from your iOS device to your big screen TV should you own an Apple TV or other AirPlay device. The downside to HBO is the only way to get it is by purchasing the upgrade to your cable subscription which means you have to have a cable subscription which makes the free application expensive. The Xfinity application delivers a good selection of content but not all the OnDemand content makes it to the application.

Netflix has for a while been the leader in the online content race/game. Unfortunately while they can get new DVDs rather quick, the streaming library is more bleak. Should Netflix be able to purchase the ability to distribute the content they license online the game will begin to change. Another major change that is needed in the future of TV is the time delay between theater and streaming availability and network cable and streaming. Netflix has taken what I believe to be a huge step towards reducing the delay in TV on cable to TV online. They simply have skipped cable TV.

Netflix’s new series “House of Cards” is a brilliant, well funded, directed, acted, produced, reviewed TV series that Netflix created. Netflix has proved that they are able to create content that we the viewers want and they delivered it to us how we want it. We want it here and now. Netflix released the entire season in one day and it was available to stream from day one. That meant I was able to watch it on my iPad while traveling the same time anyone else had access to it anywhere else.

Should Netflix continue to develop their own content and increase their licensed content, TV as we know it will change. I have been saying for several years that I would pay $80/mo for online access to TV shows and Movies as soon as they are released. That means the same time the average cable viewer could watch the next episode of “The Walking Dead” I could too. Also, when a new DVD hits the shelve at midnight at Walmart I could begin streaming it online.

Netflix's House of Cards

Netflix’s House of Cards

This would reduce my clutter of applications from the above mentioned 20 to 1. I would also only pay for internet and Netflix reducing my monthly expenditures which is always good. What do you think? Do you see the future of TV as I do?

Printing

February 13, 2013 in Electronics, How to

I got to thinking today, outside of work when do I print things anymore. The answer was simple, never. I save everything as a PDF and email it to people. I use Apple’s Preview Application to digitally sign documents and if I received them in paper form I scan them first. I have been scanning all my paper work that I get by mail for sometime and it has made a major difference in clutter and work efficiency. I can find what I want quicker and don’t have to store tons of paper. Do you still print? I will work on a comprehensive article on going paperless next.

Do you need a computer?

February 10, 2013 in Apple, Electronics

The iPad can be a valid replacement to the computer for many people.

The iPad can be a valid replacement to the computer for many people.

It has been a while since I have updated my blog but I was taking with some friends over the weekend and a topic came up about how they couldn’t afford a new computer. I immediately dove into a few questions about what they did with their computer and their budget. I tried to explain that I only recommended Apple products. They quickly explained they liked MacBooks and MacBook Airs but that even at $999 they were more than they wanted to spend. So having eliminated the cheapest options, yes I even talked to them about an iMac, we moved on to iOS devices.

Now this too was ruled out at first by my friends for lack of function. But I dug deeper and asked what they wanted to do with their device. They stated they wanted to upload pictures from they’re camera to there device, back the pictures up on the cloud, and a few other things that I quickly solved by showing them some cool apps. But for the cameras I told them about a little discussed Apple accessory the camera adapter. This accessory is actually two adapters one that allows you to hook up a camera via USB to your ipad and import pictures and movies. The second is a SD card reader for the iPad. This allowed them to import the pictures they wanted, share them with social media and then store them on the cloud with iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox.

So the long answer to the question and the realization I came to it they don’t and many people don’t need a computer. Unless you do major video editing, play certain video games or use the device as a main work device you don’t need a computer. And of course you can edit video, play games and work on an iOS device. I would say that most people looking to escape using a computer and replace it with a iOS device would do best with an iPad, the full size. The bigger screen will help you use the device at home and more full time and yet it still travels easy.

For me someone who uses the device as a primary device but has a computer I plan to get an iPad mini. I also believe the cellphone enabled version adds a benefit that I use frequently on my current iPad. I use an extreme amount of data but most months I can get away with the 1gb plan as the rest of the time I am on wifi. Granted I make sure not to stream video over the cellphone data plan. Not that the cellphone data plan can’t handle it but because of how much data it uses. If you have an unlimited plan you are set but for the rest of us we must find wifi.

What do you guys think? Could you get by without a computer?

Mac OS X Mountain lion is here!

July 26, 2012 in Electronics

So I just installed Mac OS X Mountain lion. I am testing out the new features and I am amazed at some of them. One of them I am testing as I write this article is the new dictation feature. So far this article has been dictated and I am impressed with the accuracy and speed at which the operating system processes my voice. Another feature that I’m excited to test is the new airplane nearing to the Apple TV. Further reviews of the new mountain lion operating system to be posted soon, keep in touch.

Razer Nostromo -Mac Edition

June 6, 2012 in Electronics

So I got into Team Fortress 2 and was smashing the keys on my keyboard. I had already upgraded to a Razer Death Adder mouse and decided I needed a gaming keyboard. But when I went looking I found a better solution. I located the Nostromo.

The Razer Nostromo

I was skeptical at first since I hadn’t ever used a gaming pad before but after using it and configuring it I love it. The software allows full configuration of each button. You can assign multiple keystrokes to a button to preform complicated moves or mundane tasks. The hand rest has two positions allowing for better comfort. You can save multiple game and player profiles if you have several favorite games you play. Each profile can be identified as loaded on the Nostromo with a combination of 3 LED lights.

I now can’t imagine gaming without the Nostromo. Of course there is PC software as well and you can export your settings and load them into other machines.

I highly recommend the controller to all gamers.

47″ LG 240Hz LCD 3D TV + 4 glasses $749

June 1, 2012 in Deals

This seems like a screaming deal. Use the promo code: DPV62674, to take the price from $849 to $749.

Click here to get this deal

 

 

LifeProof iPhone case

June 1, 2012 in Electronics

The case you have to have

Do you like your iPhone? Do you want to protect it?

Look no further. This case is it. Whatever you throw at it, it will deflect it and protect your iPhone. When I went looking for a way to protect my 64GB iPhone 4s I was hoping to find a cost effective solution. I didn’t like the big bulky super cases and I wasn’t sure that the thin plastic ones would protect much at all.

Then I saw an ad on macrumors.com for LifeProof. I checked out there webpage and was impressed. So I ventured out to Best Buy and purchased one, I like the instant gratification. It was very thin and seemed weaker than the videos on the LifeProof site made it out to be. I was nervous. Especially since I just spent $80 on the case.

But I watched the how to video on installing an iPhone into the case and have been using it ever since then. I feel much more secure with my iPhone now. The case has proved itself in rain, impact and scratches. The plastic screen now has a few gashes that no doubt would have marked the glass. The case has prevented utter disaster with several trips from my lap to the floor. And I use my phone regardless of the conditions, this is important for someone like me who lives in the north west. I find that the speakers work well, even with them sealed in the case.

There are two draw backs to the case and for me survivable. One is that the microphone doesn’t pick up on my voice well while using speakerphone. Nobody can ever here me. The second issue is headphone jack. You must either use the Apple earphones or similarly narrow input jack ones or an adapter. This can be a slight bother but I have bluetooth in my vehicle which allows streaming audio so again crisis averted.

LifeProof sells a host of accessories for the case on their website should you need a bike mount, belt clip etc.

Arm band holder

 

 

The big question is would I recommend it. Absolutely. If you are in the market for a case that will protect your iPhone, fit in your pocket and last look no further. And their site states an iPad version is coming soon.

For further information on this case check out http://www.lifeproof.com

 

Scala Rider Q2 Pro Headsets

June 1, 2012 in Auto, Electronics

These making riding long distances music to my ears. Ok so I love to ride but I enjoy it much more with some good music. These bluetooth enabled helmet headsets have changed my riding. While they can act as an intercom and a bluetooth headset for your phone the most awesome part is listening to good clear music while riding. I have tried earbuds and they hurt. This is just plain amazing. The install is easy and totally worth the cost.

what you get in the box

 

GoPro HD Adventure Camera

June 1, 2012 in Electronics

Have you ever wanted to take a video or picture but were afraid of destroying your device? Enter GoPro. For those of us who lead lives that take us outdoors more than we are inside we need devices that can take abuse.

The camera and the indestructible case

I have had my GoPro for a couple years now and thought I should share my experience with the device. First I think it kicks ass. This thing has no fear, it goes anywhere and records amazing videos and pictures.

I have used the GoPro while river rafting, skiing, running and Mt Biking. It always captures amazing video that is fun to watch and edit.

The only issue so far has been battery life. I seem to get it started and never want to turn it off which can really drain the battery. But GoPro does offer an expanded battery kit and swappable batteries for people like me who want to video their whole adventure.

NOT finished