April 3, 2011
If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language but don’t really know where to start, you may want to take a look at Babbel: an online service that teaches users a new language from a large number of options. Accompanying the website is the Babbel iPhone app, which is available for free from the App Store. Putting my language skills to the test, I decided to grab the app and see how I fared with a bit of español! Did the app help? Is it useful for someone looking to learn a new language? Let’s take a look!
Note: This is a review of the Babbel iPhone application, and does not include any of the additional features you can find on the Babbel website.Continue reading »
April 2, 2011
Of all the things that make their way on to the App Store, a new iPad app delivering your daily dose of news is unlikely to catch much attention. After all there’s only so much you can do with the news, but Sky News has managed to come out with something not only capable of giving you the day’s stories, but something that feels refreshingly different.
There are too many companies willing to follow the latest trends without sticking their necks out for something different, something that can change the way you interact with an application. Admittedly, when you first open the Sky News application your first reaction may be one of slight bemusement. Windows Phone 7 users will feel right at home with the modular, tile-like, design of the application, although it took me a little longer to feel truly comfortable in finding my way around, with a completely different layout to the Sky News iPhone app.Continue reading »
March 31, 2011
The long awaited Nintendo 3DS is finally here and it would be a shame not to say something. I’ve held every Nintendo console in my hands and rushed to the store to procure the latest member of my little family.
Upon gently removing the new babe from its container I was quite pleased, the blue (I obtained the Aqua version) varies on different parts of the console and sparkles in the light just enough to distract me in a wonderful way.Continue reading »
March 28, 2011
You might be under the impression, having scoured the web for a set of iPod speakers, that anything that’s designed to be a little more than a rectangular unit of plastic and speaker cloth will cost you the contents of your wallet and maybe your whole bank account as well. However, as I have found in the past with products from Edifier, such as the “Sound To Go” Laptop Speakers and Prisma Speakers , the company provides an excellent anomaly to that sometimes infuriating trend. Put quite simply, the Edifier Luna 5 Encore iPod Dock/Speakers the furthest thing from typical for iPod speakers.Continue reading »
March 26, 2011
The Google Nexus S is here, the second ‘pure’ Android mobile phone, but how will it fare against the latest and greatest mobile handsets? When the Google Nexus One was released just over a year ago, the tech world seemed to stop for a moment to admire. It was a feat of mobile engineering, incorporating the first 1GHz processor into a smartphone, amongst other quite brilliant achievements.
It almost goes without saying that it set the benchmark for what was to come, as for the next year or so, and even now, we have been seeing a multitude of devices with the same 1GHz processors, albeit maybe with some other better technologies in there, hitting the shelves.
Only now, are we hearing of perhaps dual core, or single core with a higher clock speed, processors finding their way into smartphones. However, the world didn’t exactly respond with major demand for the ‘superphone’, and subsequently Google pulled production and adopted it as the official Android developer device.Continue reading »
March 24, 2011
Despite the chancellor’s finest efforts, petrol prices are higher than Charlie Sheen ever was, and people will look for any way possible to save a few pence per litre. Thankfully, some generous Windows Phone 7 developers came up with this: Petrol Price Finder UK App.
The name is outrageously self-explanator, rendering any description of the app entirely unnecessary, so let’s cut to the chase. Exactly how useful is it?
I think the answer to that question would most probably be ‘quite’. As the app delivers on the promises made in the name: it finds you petrol prices, but it is lacking in some key functionality right now, that could make this an extremely handy tool.Continue reading »
March 23, 2011
Looking compact, discreet and not that much different from its CX3 predecessor the Ricoh CX4 is one of Ricoh’s latest offerings in their point-and-shoot compact camera range and from the outside it doesn’t look like anything special – Ricoh themselves have described it as “workmanlike”.
Fortunately for me and you as the reader however “workmanlike” is a pretty big overstatement as this camera has a lot more to offer than the 10-megapixel, back-illuminated and 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor featuring CX4 suggests from the outside and is in fact one of the best cameras I’ve had the pleasure of using.Continue reading »
March 20, 2011
Apple ended last month on a high by not only updating its line of MacBook Pro computers, but also releasing a developer preview of its upcoming operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, for those with a Mac developer account.
I’ve been using the developer preview of Lion on and off since it was released last month, and it has some really great new features, many of which are inspired by iOS and the iPad in particular. Many see this as the first step of iOS and Mac OS X merging together, so is it a successful integration, or are the two operating systems best kept apart? Let’s take a closer look to find out!Continue reading »
March 18, 2011
NAS storage isn’t hard to come by, but it usually comes at a pretty hefty price. However, combining it with a router is something seldom scene, apart from the obvious Apple Time Capsule. LaCie, though, a company often praised for its aesthetic prowess here on Zath, has come up with the Wireless Space, probably the most direct competition for the Time Capsule on the market.
As with any LaCie product, one of the first thing that strikes you about the product is the design. And true to form, the LaCie Wireless Space is not a bad looker, considering it’s a router, hardly a glamorous piece of gadgetry. The smooth black plastic finish is typical of the Neil Poulten design for LaCie, as is the down-facing LED indicator which is either blue, green or red depending on the state of the power and connectivity.Continue reading »
March 17, 2011
There are no shortage of pocket projectors out there, just check Firebox.com or IWOOT for proof of that, and as is usually the case, such saturation makes it difficult to stand out. So, it does take something pretty special to compete, and taking a look at the Adapt Pico Play LED Pocket Projector at first gave very little indication of possessing such a spark. However, here is the in-depth review after having a play with the device.
To look at, the device is neither especially pleasurable, nor the opposite. It’s pretty modest in its design, aesthetically speaking anyway, using a contrasting black and metallic silver case. The emphasis being on the aesthetic design there, because design incorporates more than just looks, and the curvaceous design, diminutive size and weight of the handheld projected make it great to hold, perfect to carry around. On the other hand, the plastic material it’s crafted from doesn’t feel particularly substantial, and the quality of the build is entirely questionable. That’s not to say that it feels like it will fall apart in your hand, I just wouldn’t feel save in throwing it around, is all.Continue reading »
March 13, 2011
In the school playground of shooters, Bulletstorm is the sailor tongued big kid whose motivation for the next wedgie lies more in the prospect of beating his personal record, than in any angsty hatred. People Can Fly’s new shooter is brazen and unabashedly brutal, but does the sci-fi butcher-fest successfully make its retaliation to the ubiquitous Call of Duty and its wannabes, and more importantly, is it the romp one hopes it to be?
Bulletstorm follows the exploits of space pirate Grayson Hunt and the, well, storm of bullets that ensues when a bid for a revenge against his former general lands him and his friend Ishi, in a giant, vicious-alien-filled, torn and ruined resort on a strange planet.
Development and marketing (see Duty Calls) has been keen to show the world that this is no run of the mill, stale first person shooter and perhaps the most prominent feature is the points system, which overtly awards the player for “skillshots”, flares of creative execution, in big flashy letters. This arcade-inspired reward system essentially underpins the main premise of the game, which is expertly calculated hyperbolic violence.Continue reading »
March 8, 2011
If you’re ever away from home for a prolonged period of time, one of your first concerns is the security of your possessions. The last thing you need is the neighbourhood crook taking your TV while you’re soaking up the sun on the other side of the world.
You can always ask the folks next door to keep an eye out for you, but let’s face it, the lovely retired man on the other side of the street won’t be able to keep a constant eye on your house will he? If you’re looking for another option to keep an eye on your house, whether you’re out at work or gone for the month, then you may want to give Jabakkam a look.Continue reading »
March 8, 2011
I recently got the chance to try out the Maddie Powers range of laptop bags especially made for us ladies by Mobile Edge. The entire range is gorgeous and retro, and features original covers from the pulp fiction novels of the 1940s and 50s. The bags themselves come in a few different shapes and sizes: Sheba is slightly smaller, the messenger bags are bigger.
It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to my previous laptop bag review of the Brenthaven Elite Sleeve – another very stylish bag.Continue reading »
March 6, 2011
I’m a pretty big fan of Things. I’ve already taken a look at the Things application for both Mac OS X and the iPhone, so I felt it was time that we completed our mini tour around the eco system and finished off with Things for the iPad.
When going from Things for Mac to the iPhone client, you realise how much information you actually lose. The iPhone client is great, especially for the £5.99 price point, but you lose a lot of the flexibility that’s offered inside a desktop window, such as switching between lists and areas with one click rather than tapping to see the lists again before tapping through to the specfic list or area you wish to see.Continue reading »
March 6, 2011
When I took a look at Things for Mac earlier this month, I thought it was the best to-do management application I’d ever used. It’s simple, looks good and makes me more productive. What more could you want? Well, actually there is one more thing: a mobile client for iPhone and iPad! As it just so happens, the team behind Things has given us just that. You can get the Things app for both iPhone and iPad separately from the App Store, so let’s take a closer look at Things for the iPhone!
Things for iPhone maintains all of the to-do functionality of the Mac application, making it simple to see what needs doing today and what to-dos you have planned for the future. From the main screen of the app, you can see all of your lists such as Today, Next, Scheduled and Someday, as well as all the groups that you have set up.Continue reading »
March 3, 2011
If there’s one good thing about the Mac OS X App Store, it’s the temptation that it offers to developers to port their existing iPhone and iPad applications over to Mac OS X. In the case of games, this is fantastic for Mac users who have typically had less choice than Windows users when it comes to titles on the operating system.
With the release of Asphalt 6 for Mac, it seems as though Gameloft is looking to expand to the Mac App Store with the driving game as one of its first titles on the desktop alongside Let’s Golf! 2. Gameloft has developed many of my favourite iPad games, such as Asphalt 5 HD, Real Tennis HD and Let’s Golf! HD, so I was looking forward to checking out what the development company had to offer on the desktop operating system.Continue reading »
February 27, 2011
The good thing about this is that games don’t have to be the best looking title, or give you endless customisation, just as long as they’re fun and easy to play. I’ve always wanted to make my own game and with this is definitely a step in the right direction.
The Gamer Maker’s Companion is the second book, with the first one being The Game Maker’s Apprentice. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the first book, so sinking my teeth into the second book was a bit tricky as it assumes you’ve already read the first.Continue reading »
February 25, 2011
Star Walk is an app for the iPhone and iPad, created by the same company who brought us Solar Walk. It acts as an interactive astronomy guide, allowing you to hold up your device towards the sky and see where all the stars are in real time on the screen, thanks to the built in GPS and accelerometer of your phone or tablet.
When you first open the Star Walk iPhone & iPad App, you’re presented with a bundle of information regarding when each planet will rise and set in the sky, as well as where the sun will rise and set at your current location.Continue reading »
February 24, 2011
Every now and again, an iPhone or iPad application comes along on the App Store and just blows your mind. The app will be unique, it will have some seriously cool graphics and it will make you want to show it off to as many people as you possibly can. Solar Walk is undoubtedly one of those applications.
The Solar Walk iPhone & iPad App is fairly self explanatory: it takes you on a guided tour of our solar system, allowing you to zoom between the planets (and Pluto), and take a look at detailed information on any planet that you choose, either on the small screen of your iPhone or the larger screen of the iPad tablet.Continue reading »
February 24, 2011
Sports games seem to be the generic release game for motion controllers. The Nintendo Wii had Wii Sports, Sony had Sports Champions for the Playstation Move, and now Microsoft have Kinect Sports for Xbox Kinect.
Because of that very fact, I wasn’t really expecting a great deal from what Kinect Sports could deliver and although it’s a fun game, it still an average one at best. A few years ago, I would have found a game like this to be well worth the money and it would rarely leave my console as I’d always be playing it. But because of the way games have progressed over the years I need more of a story.
Maybe I’m just becoming a moaning old bugger in my late twenties, or just lazy. This is definitely a party game which is where the majority of the fun is. But as you may have already read in my review of Xbox Kinect, my living room doesn’t have the space to allow 2 or more players unless I do some major shifting of furniture.Continue reading »