Tag Archives: Handhelds

Night & Day Studios Releases Peekaboo Forest


downloadThe fine folks behind some of my favorite apps for Bug such as Peekaboo Barn and My Very First App have just had their latest approved and released to the App Store: Peekaboo Forest.

Explore beautiful forest scenes looking for signs of life. If you see something moving, tap on it to find out who it is!
This fun, interactive, and educational game includes Charley Harper’s distinctive drawing style and was inspired by his love of nature and symmetry. With this universal version, the famous Peekaboo series comes to the iPad too. Play it in English or Spanish!
Touch the vividly illustrated forest scenes to see charming animations, learn the names of animals, and hear the real sounds these creatures make in the wild. Younger children will love playing peekaboo with animals, as they learn about cause and effect and familiarize themselves with the names and sounds of animals. Older children can try to guess the animals by clues, work on spelling, and can start to learn about the seasons and the interconnected web of life that is a living forest. Adults will love the graphic, mid-century-modern illustrations by Charley Harper.
This is not a videogame or a TV show; it’s an interactive storybook with exceptionally fine art. When you could really use a safe distraction—in airports, restaurants, and waiting rooms—or you’d like to try something new with your budding little genius, Peekaboo Forest is a great alternative to other media options. It’s educational, handheld, ad-free, and inexpensive.
Peekaboo Forest was designed with preschool age children in mind by the award-winning team of educational media developers at Night & Day Studios, creators of My Very First App. It is the third entry in the beloved toddler app series that began with Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild. The graphics, sound effects, and narration are all presented at the highest quality. The illustrations were rendered for all iOS 4 devices including the iPad and the iPhone 4’s Retina display.

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Geekasms 2010 Birthday/Christmas Wish List


Well, since today is my birthday, I thought I’d self indulge and make out my own Birthday/Christmas list, there really isn’t any real purpose to this, but here ya go, really in no particular order:

ipad-LEAD01iPad – Most might find this surprising if you just read and know me from this site, but until my iPhone, I had never owned a product from Apple, but I have slowly fell in love with them, and find the positives in them not only in my life but how I can use them in entertaining and educating my kids.  I already own an iPhone, so of course I want the next thing up!

MacBook Air – Like I said before, I’ve never own an Apple product before my iPhone, but just the thought of having a MacBook makes my mouth water.  I’ve never even played with a Mac in a store, but I still want this, for multiple reasons.

7190Bug to get potty trained –  Okay, this site isn’t totally tech related, I still have to show my Daddy side, and although she’s just 19 months old, she’s starting to tease this and well, its just a nice thought to have, so it’s a definite on my wish list

Google TV – I keep reading good things about the Logitech Revue and Google TV, although its not been embraced across the board yet, I still want it!

AT&T to expand 3G – Okay, I realize this won’t happen, but I still have my iPhone, so I’m putting this in, because well, working in 36 counties and only having 1 that has 3G, well Verizon offers 3G in at least 20 and there’s no reason AT&T shouldn’t.  Right?

41hrqOHCmZL._SL500_AA300_RC Helicopter – Yep, I’m a big kid, and with all the stress and headaches I deal with, I see nothing wrong with wanting a toy once in a while (ignoring me attempting to slowly rebuild a certain Spider-man collection).  Plus my house has high ceilings, so the house itself just screams to have a rc helicopter flying around!  Right?

NOOKColor – So I’ve decided that at 30, I should try and read more, and what better way to get me going and entice the tech geek then with something like this?  Plus with everyone and their mom owning a Kindle, plus B&N is looking to launch its own Android app store in the coming months, so that just adds interest to it.

Kinect – Yeah I might be 30, and I might be a father of 3, but that doesn’t stop me from WANTING to play games, even though I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and play a game in 5 years (unless I sneak to my bro’s place).  So yes, definitely I have this on my list, if only for the stress relief aspects, because no offense to Mario, but he can only go so far sometimes.

Google Nexus S – I’ve been lucky enough to test a few Android powered phones lately, and it has my interest peaked.  The problem is, not actually owning the phone limits what I can and cannot do with the models I get to test.  The Samsung Nexus S comes with Google’s latest version of the Android OS installed right out the box, delivering a sleeker interface and added functionality like multi-tasking, copy & paste, an improved keyboard, and the ability to turn the Nexus S into a Wi-Fi hotspot.  The hardware is beefed up too.  Just makes me itch wanting it.

2350Wrist Watch – Now you might wonder why I’m not specific, well its because I’m not that picky!  I tend to be pretty rough on watches, getting the faces scratched pretty quick, and I haven’t had one in a couple of years, and my wrist feels naked and lonely without one.  Plus I find myself looking at my Power Balance band to check the time once in a while, and I’m worried people are going to start wondering.

Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select – WHAT?!  Yep, Kentucky born and raise, so I’m definitely a bourbon drinker, and nothing is better then bourbon from just up the road in Versailles.  I’m truly a simple man at heart, and Woodford Reserve always makes me happy.

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Looking for suggestions


I’m putting together a new “For infants” app list, along with a “wish list” for iPhone apps. If anyone has any suggestions or favorites for either, please throw me a line and let me know.
If you’re a company with an app you’d like to have highlighted in either list or simply highlighted on the site at some point, please you the contact page, link is at the top of the page.
Thanks to everyone in advance!

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Withings Wi-Fi Scale – Reviewed


Okay, for anyone that hasn’t figured it out by the name of the site, I consider myself a geek, and in that, any new, or unique technical gadget just seems to call my name!  So, when I came across a scale that not only was Wi-Fi enabled, but also had a free iPhone app you could download, I was all of it!  (My desire to lose some weight at the somewhat direct suggestion of my doctor was also a helpful push towards this bad boy!)

Features

  • Wi-Fi enabledScreen-shot-2010-02-09-at-9_13_24-AM
  • Backlit screen
  • Battery powered
  • Body mass sensor

Pros

  • Multiple users with automatic user detection based on weight
  • Attractive/Slim design
  • Quick readings
  • Lots of reporting options

Cons

  • Seemingly low battery life
  • Some might argue about the price; $159

So, you might be asking yourself “why does a scale need Wi-Fi?”  Well, I’m here to tell ya, and rest assured, you’ll not wonder “why” anymore after I’m done with ya!

To start off, yes, the scale has Wi-Fi built in,, but that allows it to transmit your data to you Withings site, to your personal, password protect account.  You are also able to post your progress and the data the scale collects on sites like Google Health, Twitter, and others.  The data mentioned that the scale collects is your weight (obviously) but it also collects your fat percentage and your BMI, all of which is transferred over to your account, viewable on the Withings site, and allowing you to keep continual track of your progress nearly effortlessly.  (Well you still have to get yourself up on the scale, so there is SOME effort).

The scale itself looks rather sexy for a scale.  It has a nice contemporary look, with a shiny glass top, and a nice, bright, easy to read LCD display.  Getting the scale set up to use is really rather simple.  After installing the batteries (4 AA) you connect it to your PC or Mac with the included USB cable.  Point your web browser to http://start.withings.com where you can pair you scale with the site, and you’re ready to roll in about 5 minutes!  Its pretty sweet, and simple, rather more simple then I had expected.

Once you setup your account on the Withings website, you can start weighing yourself and have your data uploaded to the site.  Another cool thing about the scale?  I can recognize up to 8 people!  That should be plenty for a normal household with a couple of extras for random guests.  The site itself has some added functions beyond what some might be used to, basically a spreadsheet of data.  You can have graphs showing your progress over time as you weigh yourself, and you can have separate graphs for weight, fat percentage, and BMI.  You can also set goals that you can mark on these graphs, so you can have a visual of how close you’re getting to your goal.

Remember that iPhone app I mentioned before?  You can go out to the App Store, find the Withings app, download it, and you’ll be able to check your stats and progress anytime you like, while on the go!suiviImageTop

BOTTOM LINE

Overall I have been very impressed with e scale itself.  The only issues I’ve had with it has been how quickly it drains the batteries, or seemed to drain the batteries, short of that, I have nothing buy high praises for this scale and feels its worth a look by everyone.  If you’re looking to drop some pounds and want to keep track of your progress, the Withings Wi-Fi Scale is the definite way to go!  I definitely feel it is worth the price tag for what it offers, and is a “must have” product for this years holiday season.

**For more information, checking out Withings at their website, their blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE

android%20 %20scaleWithings has just announced, you can now get their Wiscale app for your Android Smartphone!  Now even more people can enjoy the brilliance of this scale!

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Motorola Droid X & Verizon Wireless service–Reviewed by an iPhone and AT&T user


Okay, up front, I have been an AT&T customer for the past 6 years, and have been an iPhone user for the past 2.  With that said, this review is meant more towards the overall experience with the Droid X and Verizon’s service rather then with the technical specifics, you can get those anywhere.

BACKGROUND

I live in a small town in Kentucky, off of I75, and my job has me travelling across at least 36 counties in the southeastern section of the state, through the Daniel Boone forest and the Appalachian Mountains.  The general range I have to travel allowed me an opportunity to not only test a device, but I wanted to test a different service then just AT&T which I have been accustom to.  Verizon Wireless was gracious enough to give me an opportunity to not only demo their service, but also the Motorola Droid X for a couple of weeks.  My first venture with an Android based phone and Verizon.

THE PHONE

droidxThe first and initial impressions I had of the phone was not only its screen size, but the phone’s overall size.  When looking at the side by side, the Droid is noticeably larger then the iPhone, and to some this might be a negative, but after using it, I’d being willing to argue that it is a plus.  Not only was the screen very sharp, maybe not as sharp as the iPhone 4, but sharp none the less, and the larger screen made it nicer to watch videos, look at photos and play, yes; Angry Birds!

The phone comes with four basic function buttons at the bottom of the screen;  Menu, Home, Search, and Back.  As a constant iPhone user, this took a little adjusting to, I found myself having to remember to hit the Menu button for certain options to appear in apps that I was used to bring up with the swipe of a finger.  Nothing really to complain or fuss about, just the nature of the beast and difference between devices.  Call quality was fine for me, and I have no complaints in regards to the quality of the calls.

The device itself runs fast and responds quickly to commands and opening of apps.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of performance, but was impressed by the phone.  The interface took a little getting used to, but it didn’t take very long to grow accustomed to it.  I realize it’s a custom UI for the phone, and differs from other Android based phones, but as this is my first, I have no basis to compare, and won’t attempt to.  I found the IU extremely reasonable on how it functioned, and really have no ill regards towards it in anyway.

Another feature, which I was impressed by somewhat, was the camera.  Pretty much standard for any smartphone anymore, the camera worked well for the shots I took with it, including the built in flash, which was nice being that I’m still in the dark ages with my old school iPhone 3G and am not used to having a flash available on my phone.  One thing that truly impressed me was the video taking capabilities of the phone, as I recorded a few minutes of a basketball game, and had no problem with the video quality and fast movements that came with that recording.

The one draw back, which is something you will see mentioned on nearly all reviews, is the battery life of the phone.  I do a lot of texting, internet, and heavy emailing during the day, and my iPhone has been through the paces.  I have to charge it at least every night, if not plug it up at some point while travelling on the road to ensure I get through the day, so poor battery life is something I’ve just learned to live with currently.  That is one thing I did notice with the Droid X.  I didn’t use it near as heavy as I would my normal phone, and the battery would need to be charged by the evenings, especially if I did any heavy net surfing.  I would say its equivalent to the battery life I currently have on my iPhone 3G, which, isn’t that great, to say the least, but considering some of the aspects of the phone itself, I can see where it would get into having battery life issues.

Technical Specs

  • Verizon Motorola Droid X
  • Android 2.1
  • 4.3” LCD 854×480
  • TI OMAP 3630 1Ghz
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB Internal, 16BG/32GB (microSD)
  • 8 Megapixel camera
  • 3G, Wifi b/g, BT
  • FM Radio
  • TV Out (HDMI)
  • 4.6 x 2.3 x .047”, 4.6oz
  • 1540mAh battery

THE SERVICE

This is the nuts and bolts of why I truly wanted a chance to do this.  I’m going to be very candid and say I’m accustomed to AT&T’s service.  I only have 3G speed available in one small area of my entire 36 county region, and that is in Somerset, KY.  I have grown accustomed to not only random quick dead spots that will cause dropped called, but full blown dead areas, not only in Rockcastle County, but throughout Eastern Kentucky.  Its something I’ve just learned to live around and know.  I’ve traveled the same roads so much the past few years, I know when and where I can make a call or need to end a call early, and the worst part?  In 6 years, nothing has been done to improve the signal quality.

When I received the Verizon phone, I wasn’t only surprised, but I was amazed.  The data speed in which the phone had, sitting in my living room was above and beyond what I received with my iPhone.  Even in the only AT&T 3G area I’m typically in, the Droid X moved faster on data then my iPhone.  Most dead spots that I had grown accustomed to, were none existent with the Verizon phone.  No dropped calls either.

One hiccup I did have, was while attending a college football game in Lexington, the Verizon service did seem to have a few hiccups while I tried to use it in the stadium, but so does my iPhone unless I turn off 3G, so there isn’t a big surprise there which the crowds at Commonwealth Stadium, I just felt it was something to note.

One other candid comment I’d like to make.  I sent the same request to all major Wireless providers in the area, including a few smaller ones.  I only had 2 respond to my request (One where I voiced desire to not only test a device, but their service in the region).  Verizon was the first to respond and have been very gracious in their support, I hope to work out another deal with the other company (Appalachian Wireless) to demo a product and give a similar report to their service soon.

BOTTOM LINE

As a iPhone user for the past few years, I was impressed with the Droid X’s design and functioning, not only as a phone but as an overall device, as I’m the type that expects a lot out of his device, and will milk it for everything it has.  For now, I’m personally going to stick with my iPhone, mainly because I have a few apps that I rely on, that are not currently available on the Android market.  Although with that said, let me also point out that I found some of the apps available on the Android market, very desirable, and unavailable to myself on my iPhone (NFL anyone).

As for the service.  I came in expecting it to be a little more reliable then AT&T, simply by word of mouth, but I was blown away by the difference between Verizon and AT&T’s signal strength and cell reception in what are typically weak and dead zones, not to mention the data speeds I was able to get around my test area.  When it comes to the iPhone being available on Verizon, I very well could be one of the first in line when it becomes available.

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The Sneetches Arrive!!


Icon_Small_WhiteCornersYet again, Oceanhouse Media brightens my week!  A Dr. Seuss favorite “The Sneetches” is now available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch as an eBook!

Features available include professional narration, background audio a digital artwork, bringing each scene from the classic book into a new age.  To help promote early reading, each word is highlighted as the story is read, along with words that zoom up when the pictures are touched.  Highlighted by 3 ways to enjoy the book; Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Auto Play, this eBook appeals to readers of all ages!

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