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Sep 16 2012

Review: iOS 6

Adam Shear

With the iPhone 5 on the horizon, Apple will also release with it an update to iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Most iOS users will enjoy this free update on September 19 which comes with plenty of new goodies to keep your device feeling fresh and new.  iOS 6 is the sixth major iOS update. Every previous update has had its claim to fame with the App Store in iOS 2.0, copy and paste in iOS 3.0, multitasking in iOS 4.0, and iCloud in iOS 5.0. Each of these features have changed the way iOS devices are used. Does iOS 6 change the way iOS is used, or does it happen to be the least important major iOS update to date?

Like other iOS updates, iOS 6 comes with over 100 new features. Through this review, I will go over many of its major features and put my concluding thoughts in the end. All of the screenshots you see come from my iPhone 4S during the three months I have been testing a beta version of iOS 6. Continue reading

Aug 23 2012

Stay Charged with Powerbag


As someone who uses their smartphone to plan out each day of their life, having my phone’s battery charged and running is extremely important to me. However, it seems that in today’s day and age, while our phones only get better and more powerful, battery life is still the same, and it is not holding up against these newer power hungry smartphones. It’s disappointing how far we have come, in terms of technology, smartphone wise, but our battery technology, well, sucks, for the most part, unless you shell out extra cash for a bigger battery. Many, including myself aren’t fond of bigger capacity batteries for a handful of reasons – they add extra bulk to the device due to the battery size, of course, unless you pay a much higher premium for a battery that fits your device without adding any bulk. However, more often than not, the increase in battery life with those without bulk are almost inconsiderable. Another big issue with shelling out money for a higher capacity battery is they’re made by third party companies! While there are some trusted companies, there’s no guarantee that battery won’t blow up, when going with a third party! After shelling out many Benjamin’s for my Galaxy Nexus, I’d rather not take that risk, and this, is where Powerbag comes in. Continue reading

Mar 20 2012

Review: The New Apple TV

Adam Shear

While Appl

e has many famous product lines, there is one that hasn’t received as much attention. Apple’s device used to bring iTunes content to your HDTV has gone through significant changes from the first generation model to second generation. The second generation relied completely on streaming video in 720p HD and lacked the bulky, expensive hard drive the first version relied on. It also brought Internet streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. The final major feature the second generation Apple TV brought to the world was AirPlay which allows one to play videos from an iOS device on their big screen TV. Aside from The new iPad, Apple also launched the third generation Apple TV on March 16. This new Apple TV finally brings us streaming video in 1080p HD and an all new user interface. Does the Apple TV deliver as a great set top box or is this tiny black box still a hobby product for Apple enthusiasts?

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Jan 19 2012

Apple Changing Education with iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and iTunes U Apps

Adam Shear

The first thing Apple looks to change are textbooks. Textbooks are an old 20th century idea. Students carry around tons of heavy books with them every day. These books are expensive and sometimes come in terrible conditions if used. Textbooks are also not engaging, interactive, or stay up to date. To remedy this, Apple has announced iBooks 2 for the iPad. iBooks 2 will have a specific section for textbooks. These textbooks contain more than just text. Videos, 3D models, slideshows, and more will play a critical part in helping students learn the material. Students can easily highlight important text and take notes right within the textbook. These textbooks are also searchable. If a teacher says “jump to page 34″, this is now as simple as typing the number 34 in a search bar. The books will also contain searchable indexes and glossaries. The books also stay up to date via updates and students keep them forever. Apple is starting with high school textbooks and has gotten support from around 90% of the high school textbook industry. Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will have many of their textbooks available today with more in the future. Unlike their not so interactive hardcover counterparts, textbooks on iBooks 2 will be available for $15 or less. Aside from high school textbooks, DK Publishing is releasing some textbooks today for younger children and Harvard professor E.O. Wilson is releasing his new textbook Life On Earth exclusively on iBooks 2. The first two chapters of Life On Earth are available today for free with more chapters coming for a small fee. iBooks 2 is available now on the App Store. Click here to download it. If you have iBooks installed on your iPad, just check for updates and it should be there.

Sure these textbooks may look great but what if they were incredibly easy to create too? Apple has just announced the iBooks Author app for the Mac. This app allows anyone to create a great book with the same ease of use as Apple’s iWork apps. Everything and anything from photo’s, 3D models, videos, and more can just be dragged and dropped. The app can create any type of book but Apple is hoping that this is an easy solution to get great textbooks from people who are just not good with computers. The iBooks author app is available now on the Mac App Store. Give it a spin by clicking here.

The final app Apple talked about today is their new iTunes U app. The app, which just launched today for all iOS devices, will allow students to take full online courses from the comfort of their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It’s not just lectures anymore. Students can also have full access to a course syllabus, presentations, and all other course documents. It operates very similarly to a management program such as Blackboard. Students can take notes within the app as well and can purchase course materials straight from the app. If a teachers sends students a message, it will come up as a push notification. The iTunes U app makes taking online courses simpler and easier than ever (until you start counting the actual course work). And now for the first time, there will be iTunes U courses available for K-12 students. Teachers teaching these grades can create online courses for not just their students, but the world. The iTunes U app is available now. Grab it here.

Apple seems to have brought the public education system into the 21st century and is making it easier for anyone to take online courses. The one problem I see is whether or not students and whole schools can even afford iPads for every student. This may take a few years to get off the ground but when it does, students will be learning more and hopefully since students are actually using technology in the classroom, the willingness to learn will increase as well. The future for Apple and education looks brighter than ever before.

Jan 9 2012

CES Unveiled Preview: Kivic One- AirPlay in Your Car

Adam Shear


Car connected products will surely be a huge trend at CES. Kivic is a new company which hopes to take advantage of iOS products to bring top notch entertainment to your car. The Kivic One is a little box which creates the Wi-Fi connection needed for AirPlay. Connect it to any display in your car via HDMI, VGA, or any other supported input cables and enjoy it right in your car. I was shown a quick demo and it seemed to work perfectly. It cannot do AirPlay mirroring but Kivic is hoping to have mirroring in future versions. There’s also a version for Android but instead of AirPlay, it uses an app which the user pre loads their media on. This can be a pain but when done, it offers the same wireless playback experience. The Kivic One comes out in March for $200. Those looking to use their iOS device for supreme in car entertainment should definitely check it out.

Dec 2 2011

Editorial: The iPad and Education, A Truly Revolutionary Concept

Adam Shear

The times are a changing and while technology advances, education for the most part remains the same.  Technology has always helped students learn in new ways and expand what can actually be done in the classroom.  Computers have been a revolution for the classroom in so many ways but there is one product that can do so much more than a stationary desktop.  The tablet PC is very new and leaders in education are only starting to tap into what this powerful device can do.  As a pilot program or as a device specifically assigned to each student, the tablet might be the most significant revolution to the classroom ever.

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Nov 27 2011

Documents to Go: Productivity in Your Pocket

Eric Engoron

With smartphones becoming more and more popular among teenagers, they have begun to lose their true meaning, productivity on the go. In an attempt to bring back the productive side of smartphones, DataViz inc. has released Documents to Go, an app that aims to be Microsoft office in your pocket, and succeeds in being so.

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Nov 15 2011

Want An E-Reader But Can’t Afford The Price Tags? Hopefully The $100 Kobo Appeals To You


We’ve got some nice tablets and e-Readers today, ranging from the Kindle series to the more premium Apple iPads, but there are many people that want none of the gimmicks and nothing super fancy, just your average e-Reader. Well, hopefully you didn’t forget about the company Kobo. In case you’re interested, they have something called the “Kobo Touch,” which is pictured above, and it’s your run of the mill E-Ink, e-Reader. There’s a built in 1 GB of memory, which can be expanded, for you avid readers, up to 32 GB – that’s a lot of books. What makes the Kobo Touch cheap is, it’ll be ad supported; on occasion you’ll see some kind of sponsored ad or some kind of great offer, but it shouldn’t be too intrusive. It will be released within 2-3 weeks, and you should have no shortage of books with Kobo’s library offering of over 2.2 million. If you’re on a budget and looking to get an e-Reader, this is a great option.


Nov 15 2011

Review: The Dazzling iPad 2


When Apple released it’s predecessor in early 2010, the tablet world had exploded. Apple made their first impression in the field, and shortly, the iPad became the largest selling tablet in the world. In April this year, Apple released the iPad 2. This is a one of a kind mammoth packs features like a dual-core processor, a front and rear-facing camera, just to name a few. So is this device any different than the rest of the tablets on the market, is it a real step up from the iPad, and is it really a “Revolutionary device?” Continue reading

Nov 14 2011

iTunes Match: The Software That Fuels The Cloud-Computing Fire

Eric Engoron

Originally intended for release in October, Apple’s long awaited iTunes Match service is finally here, and it definitely takes cloud computing to a new level of amazing.

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