‘My Windows Phone’ Launches Ahead of Mango, Adds Web Marketplace

WindowsPhoneLogoIn the eyes of many, including myself, Windows Phone is well overdue an update, and it’s in line to get one pretty soon if Microsoft is to be believed. And it just got a lot more credence given the recent launch of a new site called ‘My Windows Phone’, which aims to collect the bulk of the data stored on your Windows Phone device in one easy-to-use web interface. [Read more…]

Swann DVR-460 Waterproof Mini Video Camera Review

Swann_SportsCamWhether you’re a keen photographer or not, the chances are you’ll take some snaps or some videos once in a while, whether it be on a fully-fledged DSLR, or just the camera in your smartphone, so you can easily relive your memories. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend slipping into the sea or a swimming pool with your smartphone or camera attached to your hip, it could have disastrous consequences.

Fortunately, there are cameras designed for that very purpose, and today I have with me the Swann DVR-460 SportsCam, which claims to be able to do it. So let’s take a look, shall we? [Read more…]

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Router Review

TP_Link_RouterI’ve been in the market for a new router myself recently, and I have to say it’s an increasingly tricky decision to get right in this modern world of dual-band, gigabit and all sorts of other mind-boggling jargon. Anyway, once you’ve figured it out, you might realise that this router from TP-Link, despite being labelled ‘ultimate’, falls short of the competition as it is just a single-band. That means it’ll only operate on the 2.4GHz frequency, neglecting the 5GHz frequency that other rival routers use to gain a clearer path to half of your devices amongst other things.

Interestingly, though, unlike many of the competing entries to the market, the TL-WR1043ND features a trio of antennae fixed along the back of the router, similar to the dual antennae found in the Netgear DGN2000, which are useful for really maximising the range and strength of that single signal. It’s noticeable, too, with the range far outstripping that of my recently procured Belkin PlayMax router. [Read more…]

The Industry That Grew Too Great For Microsoft

microsoft logoIt seems a little ironic to me, that for one of the most valuable companies on this software-dependant planet of ours, it would be the increasing size of an industry in which that it once led the way, that would scupper its progress. But, that does appear to be the case, at least from this cushy position on which no immense pressure rests, in the instance of Microsoft’s apparent ‘demise’. I find it hard to describe it as such, considering the company still turns over $60bn every year, however there is more than an inkling amongst technology pundits that Microsoft’s dominance in the software industry, has at last ceased, at least partially.

But why? What mistakes were made that led to such a seemingly impossible conclusion? Well, consider the changes that have occurred within the consumer technology industry as a whole, and we can find a potential explanation. Where once, there was a battle of who could make the best PC’s, who could make the best software, who could make the best phones, for example, the general mood amongst consumers now, hints that what they’re looking for, is who makes the best ‘ecosystem’. [Read more…]

Magix Rescue Your Data Review

Magix_Rescue_Your_DataBackup, backup, backup. Three words (okay, one word) that is repeatedly drummed into each and every one of our apparently inferior minds whenever we hear a horror story of government officials losing thousands of important documents, or a flood striking an unprepared office full of servers. It’s not just grand offices that need to backup their data though, it turns out. It is in fact each and every one of us that needs to keep our precious documents, however small, stashed somewhere safe and out of sight and reach of children and nasty, malicious people who make nasty, malicious software.

For this reason, there’s no shortage of backup solutions out there, and today I have in front of me the offering from Magix, one of the leading developers of multimedia software such as Website Maker 5, doing something really important for once.

Setting you back £39.99, it’s certainly not the most expensive backup solution out there, nor is it the cheapest. It’s pretty much average, but as history will happily remind us, that need not mean it’s an average piece of kit. [Read more…]

Magix Website Maker 5 Review

Magix_Website_Maker_5This could quite possibly become one of the most perspective-driven reviews I will ever write, and for that reason it’s also one of the most difficult. But stop here if you’re looking for web design software that will allow great flexibility, offer tools to drive traffic to your site or indeed anything that a typically commercial or promotional website might want. Magix Website Maker is not for you.

However, if you’re someone merely wanting to make an imprint on the inexhaustible platform of resources that is the Internet, and are fearful of over complex web design software and methods, then you might want to give this review a read. It might well be what you’ve been craving.

You see, the big ‘problem’ with this software is that it exists entirely around Adobe Flash. Which, as well publicised, won’t work on your iPad (without jailbreaking) and many other tablets, or if you don’t have it installed on your PC. Now there are a number of reasons why Flash is a no go if you want a commercial website, or something that will attract large quantities of traffic for whatever reason.
[Read more…]

GeekTool Review (Mac OS X Desktop Customisation Tool)

geektool-logoDo you consider yourself a geek? A nerd? Do you live, breathe, sweat and bleed technology? Well if you do, then theres a fair chance you’ve spent hours tinkering. With any piece of tech, wanted or unwanted, to make it do something magical. Hardware-wise, you may have spent many an hour spent alone, tool in hand getting all dirty and sweaty over a few screws, and many of us crave that satisfactory feeling of a job well done with our software, too.

Linux, I’ve found, in its many forms is the ultimate platform to tinker and play with the UI and basically customise it to your own personal pleasure. Android, in the mobile arena, has adopted a very similar approach whilst iOS is pretty much restricted to what you see is what you get. Similarly, Mac OS X is pretty limited in terms of desktop enhancements. Sure, it has the basics: changing wallpapers, arranging icons, folders and what have you, but in terms of actual productive and attractive enhancements, it’s way, way behind Linux and though not as far, it lays in the wake of Windows thanks to a host of third parties creating their own tools for Microsoft’s OS-in-chief.

Enter GeekTool. An application for Mac OS X, predictably aimed almost exclusively at geeks, to aid in the customisation and personalisation of your Mac OS X desktop. [Read more…]

Pulp For Mac OS X Review

Pulp_AppIf there’s one thing that the software world, be it desktop or mobile applications, is not short of, it’s RSS readers, in fact we recently posted a list of our top 5 news reader apps for the iPad. The various app stores around are bursting at the seams with the things, and they all serve a very similar purpose: to deliver an aggregated feed of news to your desktop, from your favourite sites. For this reason, there is very little room to differentiate in such a crowded market, but for factors such as price and ease of use. Enter Pulp, a recent discovery of mine thanks to the Mac App Store.

As you may have guessed, Pulp is an RSS reader for the Mac. But before we begin taking a closer look at some of the features, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Pulp costs £6.99 as an app store exclusive, although you can download a trial from the developer’s website. Regardless, I saw the screenshots and splashed the cash. Clearly love at first sight is beyond a myth when it comes to good software. Having said that, if you’re someone who prefers not to pay for software when there are perfectly acceptable freebies available that provide the same service, then stop right here. It’s not for you. [Read more…]

TunesArt For Mac OS X Review

TunesArt_LogoNot so long ago at Zath, we looked at CoverSutra, a minimalist iTunes interface that slaps some album artwork on your desktop and adds a host of convenient features for controlling your music. Well here we are again, but this time we’re looking at a rival application called TunesArt, which whilst largely based on the same principle, does have a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

It’s worth mentioning that when I bought the app, it was a great deal cheaper than CoverSutra on the App Store, costing me just 99-pence. However I believe that was a sale price, and it has now been restored to a slightly more thought provoking £4.99, and a few pounds more than Coversutra which is now on the App Store at a reasonable £2.99. [Read more…]

Windows Phone 7 Tango Update Confirmed As A Minor Update For Minor Handsets

Windows_Phone_7Despite Mango still teasing Windows Phone users with its enormous array of new features, without making its way onto any consumers’ handsets, there is already talk of the next updates to the still relatively new OS. ‘Tango’, it’s been dubbed, but up until now there hasn’t been such clarity about exactly what Tango will be, as there has been about the name.

Well it turns out, as some predicted, that Tango will indeed be a minor update to the platform, making the OS more suitable for low-end handsets to be made available in the developing countries seeking where budget is a huge problem. [Read more…]