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Kickstarter, anytime and anyplace… now an iPhone app

When someone has an idea for a electronic gadget, a film, a photo project, a play… just about any great idea, they can post the idea to Kickstarter and ask others to give them money to see their dream come true. Most projects on Kickstarter offer backers something in return for giving them your hard earned dollars. A few dollars can be a thanks or name mention, a bit more will usually result in one of the project end items as a major discount from what the product will be when the public can buy. Sometimes, rewards will be special versions.

A few twists is that the person or group posting their project to Kickstarter has to set an amount that must be met in order for the project to be successful. If they don’t reach the requested amount, no money is exchanged. If they reach or exceed, those that promised the money will have their credit cards automatically charged. The project owner will get the money a few weeks later with a handling charge removed by Kickstarter. Now, it’s up to the project owner to actually create and ship what they promised. Sometimes, there are issues in their best laid plans and the items ship late or not at all. A person never gets any ownership in the project owner’s company or product. By being part of crowd funding via a service like Kickstarter, a person get’s a reward for giving money, while the project owner will carry onward with their product. Hopefully, a lot of people putting a few dollars will impact many others in a positive way.

On services like Kickstarter, there is the fun of looking through the projects. Most have nicely done description videos and images of the proposed finished work. To have a bit of fun looking through projects or track a project a person is backing via the Web site, Kickstarter has released a Free iPhone app!

01 Kickstarter iPhone

Select the the pull down from the top of the page for quick access to the top level groups or tap a titled area to dig deeper into the projects around your interests.

02 Kickstarter iPhone

Continued…

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Posted in Application reviews, Fun, News.

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Fashionable iPhone Cases can be slick – the Grip solution

While my iPhone accessories are all about maximizing it’s use at work and photography, my wife likes to mix functionality and fashion. She works in the technology areas of antiques and fashion. It means she will sometimes have to give up on function for recognized fashion. One of those recent changes was the need to go from the slip resistant and enhanced protection case to a thinner fashionable case.

01 eGrip iPhone

While she was happy to have the logo’d case on her iPhone as she headed out to an event, it didn’t take long for her to notice that the iPhone was harder to manage as the case has a smooth outer edge. Looking around a bit, I found eGrips from Flexible Innovations.

02 eGrip iPhoneThe kits are available for different iPhone models as well as other mobile devices. Each kit is a collection of slightly squish-able materials that have a sticky side, but to match the needs of the particular device.

03 eGrip iPhoneThere are grippy stick on bits for all edges of the iPhone. As well, small squares for the corners of the face and a full cover for the back. The back cover can be seen through but is not completely transparent, which means if you have a skin on the back of the iPhone you want to see, the view will be slightly muted. The corner cut out around the camera/flash is a nice feature, though it has to enlarged a bit if you use a OClip lens pack like I do. I will be using the back sticker myself since I have a tendency to have to sit my iPhone down on surfaces that are not level.

For my wife, we just installed the eGrip edge bits so there is no impact to the visual impact of the case yet now it is very much less slippery.

04 eGrip iPhone

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Posted in Add on hardware, News.

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Water proofing the iPhone 5 with Survivor Protection

You may remember my earlier mentions of the Griffin Technology Survivor case. I did a bit of a drop (bouncing down two flights of stairs) test with my old iPhone 4 when the case first came out. Recently, the case was updated with mix-and-match colors to customize as you like.

01 orig survivor

But, this post isn’t about ‘that’ Survivor. Instead, this is about the new Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case. Griffin Technology now has two super cases for the iPhone 5. The case is not as robust (read: big) as the earlier Survivor. It is also see through and all buttons are usable without having to open protective doors for access.

02 new survivor plus

The case “is submersible down to 10 feet but functional enough to use every day“. I have mine on order to give it the once through, but already like the more ‘fun’ look. Instead of layering like the original Survivor, the Survivor + Catalyst, the front/back snap together with snaps on the side that pull the halves tight against the seals. So far, it looks like the case comes in a black, blue/green and red option.

03 new survivor waterproof

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Posted in Add on hardware, News.

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Missing Google Maps on your iPhone? Now available as a free app!

I wont get in the middle of the whole Apple Maps vs Google Maps. The reality is, Apple Maps does some really cool stuff, but it has had enough problems it would be realistic to say it may have been better to wait a bit before making the ‘built in’ map. Many posts on sites around the world have stated their life could return to normal if they only had their Google Maps back on their iPhone.

Happy days for those Google Map fans, the app is back as a free download on iTunes. While the feature list between the new Google Maps app looks like the features we used when it was a built-in app, the look is more simplified.

01 Google Maps

The graphic slider on the lower right corner of Google Maps will reveal the view options.

02 Google Maps

Choosing what info you wish to see on the map, Traffic is handy as is Public Transit. Satellite gives Google’s famous graphic view of everything around you as you drive.

03 Google Maps

Google Maps offers directions for driving, riding a bus or walking.

04 Google Maps

The feature list from Google:

Search
* Find addresses, places and businesses around the world with Google local search.
* Discover places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and local reviews.
* Sign in to sync your searches, directions, and favorite places between your computer and your phone.

Directions
* Get voice guided, turn-by-turn driving directions.
* Find your way by train, bus, subway or walking directions.
* Access live traffic information in cities across the world.

Street View and imagery
* View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View.
* See inside more than 100,000 businesses worldwide.
* View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.

Simple and easy to use
* An entirely new Google Maps experience on your iPhone.
* Newly designed and streamlined interface for even easier navigation of your world.
* Use gestures to explore the map and browse results.

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Posted in Getting Started, News.

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Quick view of advanced weather information on the iPhone with VyCloud

I have a tendency to gravitate to app that have light ‘clean’ user interfaces. Ones that have thought through just what information is needed so I can get in and out of the app, job done without extra swipes and taps.

A few weeks ago, I noticed I really needed more weather information than just the temps and an icon showing if it was raining on my head or not. Not as much info as the major weather providing company’s apps where you tap-tap-tap to radar and advanced forecasting. There must be a happy middle ground.

Amongst a folder full of installed weather app options, one I seem to be using more than others is VyCloud. Launching the app, I have access in a single colorful view of the current temp, wind, weather, high/low, sunrise/sunset times, hourly graphic of temperatures, and even an animated center area showing sunrise, daytime, sunset, night… and the weather too.

Swipe up on the screen to view more detail about the next few day’s weather. Again, VyCloud has quick-to-understand graphics so you know if the week will be getting warmer or cooler without having to read and analyze numbers.

Swipe to the right for a overview of more info that is handy but not always needed. The filling in of the line shows a percent for a glance rather than having to always read numbers.

Swipe the main screen to the right to choose a city to view. You can choose which cities to have quick access to. VyCloud also offers a list of 100 popular cities around the world via the ‘globe’ icon. You can use this view for a quick look at that city temperature, or tap one to be taken to the overview screen covering the advanced info. Quick in and out… the colorful graphic views make the additional information easy to see and use.

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Posted in Advanced, Using every day.

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