iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Affinity Designer for Mac Review: The modern graphic design app Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:22:19 +0000 Read More]]> Affinity Designer for Mac is not just a regular vector drawing app, the developers of the application have set themselves on a journey to redefine the tools available for creative professionals. Whenever words like ‘vectors’ , ‘illustration’ or ‘creative professionals’ are used, Adobe’s creative suite of apps are probably one of the first set of tools one refers to. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are unquestionably the most popular applications used for creating web graphics, designing UI and much more. So, how does Affinity Designer stack-up against the most popular applications that have won the trust of so many users over last several years? Can Affinity Designer replace Adobe Illustrator? I will do my best to answer these questions in my review.

This review is not about Illustrator vs Affinity Designer. Neither will I mention every feature of the app. I will cover those features which stood out to me as I used the app over the last few weeks.

It’s not often that we get to see people challenge what has become a ‘norm’ or an ‘industry standard’. A quick search on YouTube or Google for tutorials on learning how to draw vectors, learn web design or UI design will lead you to professionals using Illustrator and Photoshop as their preferred choice of software. If Affinity Designer for Mac needs to make its presence felt in an area dominated by Adobe, it needs to prove to users that it is better at accomplishing tasks related to graphic design.

For any application its UI is crucial to its success or failure. However, if you take a look at Illustrator or Photoshop their user interface isn’t all that comforting for beginners, yet pro users seem to have got accustomed to it. Over the years Adobe’s  software suite has increased the number of features it has however, not much has changed in terms of its UI and UX (user experience).

Affinity Designer Review Pixel Persona

This is exactly where Affinity Designer makes its first big impression. The user interface of Affinity Designer for Mac is everything you’d expect from a modern app. While there is instant familiarity with the workspace from Illustrator, the user interface is more beginner friendly and is very intuitive. The software takes a more visual and gesture based approach rather than features being hidden deep inside menus.

The way we interact with software is increasingly changing. With the advent of touch based interactions on our smartphones and tablets, trackpads on notebooks and desktops, gestures have become a ubiquitous interaction mechanism. It’s great to see Affinity Designer embracing gesture based interactions. The software does this by creating active drop zones in the layer panel.

For example, you can create a clipping mask by simply dragging the object halfway under the main object. You can also mask a vector shape by dragging other vector next to its thumbnail in the layer panel. But, it doesn’t stop there as you drag the object in different drop zones the app shows you live preview of what a clipping mask or layer mask will look like. This feature is fantastic. If you never knew how these features work trying and testing with live previews makes experimenting a lot of fun.

Experimenting can only be fun if you can undo and get back to previous state in case you don’t like the changes. Affinity Designer features a modern take on undo function. You can slide through more than 8000 steps of history so there will never be a moment where you feel that you messed up your file.

Affinity Designer Reviews

It’s worth mentioning that Affinity Designers’ full compatibility with popular file formats such as .psd, .ai, and .pdf will play a critical role in its success. The developers spent almost four years in R&D while developing the software and compatibility with Adobe’s suite of apps is a great achievement.

Affinity Designer for Mac when under development carried a codename ‘Persona’. Although the app was named differently when released, Personas bring a new workflow to the mix. The app features three Personas, Draw, Pixel and Export.

Draw Persona is all about vector drawing however, you are greeted with a pleasant surprise when you click on Pixel Persona. The app geniously brings pixel brushes, selection and effects like smudging, blurring, erasing vector brushes, sharpening and more to a vector drawing app. Want to apply a grunge brush to your vector art? No need to switch the app you are using. Affinity Designer can handle both.

The developers didn’t just stop at adding pixel persona, they added an intelligent assistant to make your tasks easier and enable you to work in an intuitive manner.

If I switch from draw to pixel persona and add a pixel brush stroke to my artwork technically I would need to first add a ‘pixel layer’ however, with the assistant working in the background you don’t have to worry about it as it automatically does the needful. The assistant can also place mask layer inside the vector when erasing. It can rasterise vector layer and then apply other brushes, automatically add adjustment as child layer to selection and rasterise layer and then apply filters.

Even the layer blending modes have received some love and gained live previews. Scrolling through different blend modes such as overlay, multiply, soft-light etc. will show you a live preview of what your design will look like so that you can make better choice quickly. This feature again goes onto show that the developers have paid close attention to the details.

Affinity Designer features dedicated gradient and transparency tools. These allow you to apply multiple gradients in an intuitive manner without the need to open any dialogue boxes.

Once you’re done creating your graphic design you can use the export persona to export your design. You can choose to export your design as 1x, 2x and 3x which is important as you may be creating design for retina displays or even mobile devices.

Another feature I’ve really liked is continuous export, once selected it automatically updates the exported file in the specified format and setting even as you continue to make edits and make alternate design decisions. It’s great to know that your final artwork folder will always contain the latest file no matter how many times you choose to make changes. Since the exported file is always overwritten you won’t have to deal with any duplicates.

Affinity Designer Export Persona

Can Affinity Designer replace Illustrator? The answer to this question will depend on whether you are doing a feature by feature comparison or questioning its capabilities as a graphic design software.

There’s no doubt that Illustrator wins when it comes to the number of features. However, this doesn’t takeaway the fact that Affinity Designer is a very promising and extremely powerful graphic design software for the Mac. If you never knew Illustrator existed and used Affinity Designer for your project, you’d be able to accomplish nearly everything.

Affinity Designer is not fighting a feature vs feature battle rather it sets an example of how keeping usability in the forefront can result in a more productive and intuitive experience. The developers have said no to many features and yes to the ones that don’t sacrifice usability and provide reliable experience without adding any clutter.

If you are a beginner in vector drawing and graphic designing, I would recommend that you start right here with Affinity Designer. If you are a pro user who has been using Illustrator all this while, give Affinity Designer a try (trial available) and you won’t regret it.

Even though the application overall has highly impressed me there are a few concerns. If you’ve been using Illustrator you’ve got accustomed to certain keyboard shortcuts. In Affinity Designer you may need to learn different shortcuts. The software currently lacks any sort of symbols management. You can’t type text on a path. The only way to work is with layers, there’s no support for pages or art-boards.

It’s important to note that Affinity Designer was released on October 02, 2014. With the set of features already available in V 1.x it’s exciting to wait and see how the developers expand the current feature set.

Another point worth mentioning is that Serif Labs has opted to sell the software for a one-time price and not a subscription model. This alone is a very attractive investment for anyone from beginners to professionals.

Affinity Designer for Mac brings a fresh breath of air to the traditional vector drawing applications. Its focus on usability without sacrificing on advanced features is applaudable.

Watch Affinity Designer Features Overview Video

]]> 0 iOS 7 to Feature ‘Flat Design’ Under Jony Ive’s Leadership Wed, 01 May 2013 13:22:00 +0000 Read More]]> iOS 7

Apple’s next major mobile software release, iOS 7, will feature a flatter design losing artificial textures and skeuomorphism. According to a new report published by 9to5 Mac, iOS 7 is expected to introduce a complete redesign of the operating system but will continue to keep the basic functions and behaviour of the OS.

Last October, Apple fired Scott Forstall and made Jony Ive the head of human interface design. It has been widely reported that Ive was never a fan of the skeuomorphism used in iOS and actually leans more towards a flatter and clean design.


While the look of the updated system may be surprising to some, iOS 7 is reportedly not more difficult to use than earlier versions of software platform. There is apparently no new learning curve in the same way there was no learning curve when the iPods went color. While iOS 7 does look different, its core apps and system fundamentals (like the Lock and Home screens) mostly operate in a similar fashion to how they do today.

iOS 7 is codenamed “Innsbruck,” according to three people familiar with the OS. The interface changes include an all-new icon set for Apple’s native apps in addition to newly designed tool bars, tab bars, and other fundamental interface features across the system.

A recent update to the Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad could give us some clue to what we could expect in iOS 7. When Forstall was heading the iOS team the app featured design of an old tape recorder and later when the app was updated under Ive’s leadership the skeomorphism was replaced with flatter design elements and focused more on ease of use.

The report on new features in iOS 7 points us to new gestures being investigated by Apple that could reveal more information to the user by just swiping left or right of the screen, just like how Notification Center can be accessed by swiping the screen downwards.

Since Jony Ive now leads both hardware and human interface design teams, the software design teams now get early access to the prototype designs so that the software and hardware look even more similar. Apple feels that this move will “increase collaboration across hardware, software & services”.

]]> 3 ‘iPhone 5S’ Initial Builds in March in Time for June / July Release Date Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:29:41 +0000 Read More]]> Cheaper iPhone to offer plastic chassis

Apple is rumored to be working on the next generation iPhone, currently being called the “iPhone 5S”. According to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, Apple is now testing two prototypes of the next gen iPhone, and will start initial builds in March in order for a early release date in June or July. Since the iPhone 4S, Apple has been releasing iPhones in the Fall, alongside or close to the iPod refresh. Now, with rumors that the Cupertino company is creating a ‘cheaper’ iPhone for emerging markets, Apple is expected to move up the iPhone debut to the June/July timeframe in order to release the new device in the Fall.

Misek claims that the iPhone to be released in June will be only an incremental upgrade, likely internal changes such as a faster A6X chip, and better cameras and that an entirely new design with a larger 4.8” screen will be seen with the next generation iPhone 6. As noted, the cheaper iPhone will likely be a more concentrated device, such as the iPad mini, which isn’t built of cheaper materials, but rather of a smaller size.

As expected, Misek believes that with reports of a “iPhone 5S” on the horizon, sales of the current iPhone 5 would slow, although he also predicts that Apple will sell 44 million iPhones in the March quarter. He also pinpointed some reasons as to why a decrease in iPhone 5 part orders does not necessarily mean a decline in demand for the product.

– An assembly bottleneck that caused component inventories to rise in the holiday quarter.
– Planning for preliminary production of the next iPhone in March.
– Demand may be either in line or “slightly below optimistic expectations

It seems that Apple will likely keep its iPhone line consistent and in line with Misek’s claims. Since the iPhone 3G, the company has always followed with an ‘S’ version, with the letter signifying a new feature. In the iPhone 3GS, it was Speed; the iPhone 4S was Siri, and the 5S will likely signify a newer feature.

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 2 Apple’s “Cheaper” iPhone to Offer a Plastic Chassis? Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:00:16 +0000 Read More]]> Cheaper iPhone to offer plastic chassis

The web has been abuzz lately with reports that Apple is looking to introduce a “cheaper” iPhone for emerging markets around the world. New details have now emerged about what materials the low cost iPhone will be using. According to Digitimes, Apple will be using plastic for the chassis low cost iPhone as opposed to the blend of both metal and plastic used in the previous generations. The report also notes that the iPhone’s chassis will be “mixed with plastic and metal, with the internal metal parts being able to be seen from outside through special design”.

It is unclear how Apple plans to do this and if they will use these materials in a different way, other than the designs they have already implemented. However, the report goes on to mention that the plastic and metal materials are already being tested and will likely be released in the second half of 2013. It is possible that if Apple were to release the cheaper iPhone in the Fall, it would be able to move up release of the rumored ‘iPhone 5S’ to June.

Apple’s SVP of WorldWide Marketing, Phil Schiller commented on a report from WSJ about the possibility of a ‘cheaper’ iPhone and dismissed the claims. Both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, and other sites that have reiterated the claims made in the reports suggest that Apple is likely to price the cheaper iPhone around $99-$149. It is unclear what Apple would call the cheaper iPhone, as the refresh rumored for June is simply being called the ‘iPhone 5S’.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 2 Sponsored Feature: Ensight Media on waking up with Radio Alarm Clock Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:24:24 +0000 Read More]]> Radio Alarm Clock

Waking up on time is so important – you don’t need me to tell you that, though. 

It’s likely you use a set tone or a panicky spouse to help you rouse from your slumber, mind, rather than a sound you actually want to hear.

EnSight Media’s latest app Radio Alarm Clock helps to make waking up as enjoyable or bearable as possible, though, offering several radio stations and tones to choose from. 

Manchul Ko, CMO of Ensight Media, spoke to us about how his company’s app stands out in a crowded market, how easy it is to use, and why it shows how the sound of smooth jazz is popular (almost) worldwide.

Accessibility is essential in an app like Radio Alarm Clock, but fortunately it’s as simple to use as you might hope.

“You can listen to just the radio function if you like, but if you want to use the app’s other features, just tap on the alarm feature and Sleep timer,” Ko says.


Simply touch ‘CH+’ and choose your favourite channel – you can either select the channel by country, pick from SHOUTcast channels, or search for channels directly and save them as Favourites.” According to Ko, not only is Radio Alarm Clock easy to use, but it’s also one of the more enjoyable alarm clock apps you can download.

“For heavy sleepers, it’s great that they can wake up with a smile using our app. I mean, the iPhone’s default alarm sounds are not friendly, at all,” he explains.

” For light sleepers, it’s good that our sleep timer feature will put them to sleep easily by their listening to nature sounds or radio stations or MP3s.”

What really helps separate Radio Alarm Clock from the many similar apps out there on the App Store, though, is its presentation – its design charmingly harks back to the early 20th century.

Radio Alarm

“Users of the app are touched by its unique retro UI & UX design, since nowadays everyone is really focused on a purely digitalized world,” Ko explains.

” One example of this retro design is visible when the app streams the radio channel, for the app displays a ‘Channel Streaming’ animation – the user might really think that it actually searches the channel by itself.”

Intriguing presentation and ease of use are present and correct, then, but there are also tons of different stations to explore. Ko says a few favourite stations have emerged.

“Through the SHOUTcast channels, French Kiss FM and Absolutely Smooth Jazz are popular,” he says. “In their respective regions, the BBC, Europe 1, France Info, Japan-A-Radio, and K-Pop channels are also widely used.”

Developing Radio Alarm Clock was harder than you might expect, however, and integrating the radio channels into the app was certainly being the biggest challenge.

“Our biggest difficulty was supporting the various streaming formats and overcoming the technical issues and guidelines,” Ko says.

In terms of updates, Ko tells us there are no concrete plans in place.

 “It is hard to guarantee specific features at this moment, but we will try to focus on social options that will help you interact with other Radio Alarm Clock users who listen to the same radio channels.”

You can download Radio Alarm Clock for iPhone now – it is currently free to download [iTunes link].

]]> 0 9 of the Best iPad Stylus for Professionals Fri, 05 Oct 2012 16:08:35 +0000 Read More]]> Stylus Review – Professionals

As we have previously seen with our stylus reviews for Artists and Children, Styli come in all shapes and sizes. They are also used by a variety of people and in this article we review styli that are aimed at the professional end of the market, for business people to use from the desktop to the board room.

LOGiiX – Stylus Presenter – $39.95 – TOP PICK

Stylus Presenter

The Stylus Presenter by LOGiiX is one of their high end styli and it shows. A beautifully crafted pen, stylus and laser pointer combined into a single device that would look great in the boardroom to take notes on paper, scribble on your iPad or use the laser pointer to highlight something on the projector.

The fact that all three features are combined in a single device means that you not going to lose one part or the other. The pen and the stylus are combined in a unit which can be flipped around to whichever you need to use at the time, while the laser pointer is located in the top of the pen, activated via a button on the side.

The Stylus Presenter feels solid in design, comes with replacements pens and batteries to get you up and running straight out of the box.

LOGiiX – Stylus Platinum – $29.95

LOGiiX - Stylus Platinum

The Stylus Platinum is the little sibling to the previously discussed Presenter both in size, features and price. The device provides both a stylus and a pen on opposite ends of the stylus.

It’s a thinner shaft than the Presenter which will appeal to some and the pen can be retracted by twisting the barrel.

The addition of two pen refills is a good addition but the $10 price differential certainly shows itself in the inferior build quality

Arctic – Emote – $23.95

Arctic - Emote iPad Stylus

Four distinctive designs make the Emote stylus from Arctic certainly stand out from the crowd and will certainly appeal to a user who wants their stylus to stand out and be noticed.

This extra dose of style compared to some of the other styli in this category is not at the expense of features and functionality though as it offers both a pen and a stylus with a cap which will cover either when not in use.

The metal shaft feels good in the hand and it’s nicely weighted too, not too heavy and not too light. While the ink can be re-filled it doesn’t come with a replacement, instead a replacement stylus is provided.

It’s great value at just $23.95 and writes well on both paper and on your tablet device. Which design would you like? You can check out the different options here.

Arctic – Architect Stylus – $22.95 – HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Arctic - Architect Stylus

For a dollar less than the Arctic Emote Stylus you can get you hands on the equally distinctive and yet more understated Architect stylus.

While it may not have the glitz and glamor of its stablemate it’s modern design is not going to go unnoticed when in use. It does lack a pen but the design alone earns it a place in the boardroom or on your desk.

While I’m not sure how practical a stylus case is the Architect Stylus does provide one and it’s indicative of the quality of the stylus that the case is equally high quality. Use of the case would be reduced further if you use the cap that can be screwed to cover the stylus nib or onto the opposite end to provide extra length.

The Arctic stylus puts the style into stylus!

Elago – Stylus Ball – $25.99

Elago - Stylus Ball for iPad

The Stylus Ball from Elago provides both a stylus and a ball point pen in a sleek, compact design that is available in multiple colors which should provide enough options for everyone.

A replacement stylus nib is provided, as is a cap for the pen but no replacement ink refill is included although it can be replaced . It’s also disappointing that the cap for the pen will not fit onto the stylus end when the pen is in use and could increase the chances of being lost.

The compact design fits nicely in the hand when using it as both a stylus and a pen and the aluminum shaft feels solid and if a little slick.

iChic Gear – Calligrapher – $25.00

iChic Gear - Calligrapher for iPad

The Calligrapher is another dual function stylus and provides a stylish, ink pen looking pen that doubles as a stylus.

The default use of the Calligrapher is the pen which uses the barrel rotation method to be retracted. Unfortunately it only uses the tip of the pen to activate the pen and this is not as comfortable as being able to use the whole barrel.

To access the stylus the cap can be removed, unfortunately the cap can’t then be put on to cover the pen which changes the centre of balance between the two uses, it’s not a big problem but it would be nice.

At just $25 you get a great stylus both in term of style and functionality, add in the two spare pen refills and you’ve got even more of a bargain.

adonit – Jot Pro/Classic – $29.99/$19.99

adonit - Jot Pro Classic for iPad

We discussed the Jot stylus from adonit in our review of styli for artists and you can read more about them here. However, they deserve another mention as a potential stylus for the professional who wants a high level of precision in their tablet writing and drawing.

The Jot Pro and Jot Classic doesn’t include a standard pen, although it certainly looks like one, instead it provides a precision disc for writing on your tablet, which while it takes some getting used to provides a level of precision that the other styli can’t provide.

While the two devices are predominantly the same the additional $10 of the Jot Pro will get you a rubber grip on the shaft for comfort and a magnetized barrel which enables the stylus to be secured to your iPad.

Lunatik – Touch Pen – $19.95

Lunatik - Touch Pen for iPad

The unique selling point of the Touch Pen from Lunatik is the fact the while it includes both a pen and a stylus there’s no need to swap things out or turn the pen around as the nib of the pen comes out of the end of the stylus. This feature certainly makes it quicker to jump between the two so if this is a requirement then this could be the device for you.

The pen is activated as most retractable pens are with a click of the pen top and is retracted in the same way. While the pen retracts far enough to eliminate the risk of it touching the screen while the stylus is being used this won’t help you if you forget to make the switch as you change between paper and tablet.

For $19.95 you will get the entry level version which is made from plastic and is light, if you are willing to produce an additional $20 you can upgrade to an alloy build, which while not reviewed, may offer better quality. Both options come in a variety of colors.

PenGo Creative – Touchpen – $24.99

PenGo Creative - Touchpen

The Touchpen from PenGo Creative provides a more modern style on the stylus pen. It contains a non-retractable rollerball pen at one end and a stylus at the other, both of these can be covered with the lid.

The build quality of the device is excellent and feels well balanced in the hand. It also comes with replacement stylus nib which is nice.

However, getting a replacement stylus nib over replacement ink refills is an odd decision in my book as it suggests that they envisage that the nib will become unusable before the ink runs out.

$24.99 is another great price for a pen/stylus combo and the white, modern design looks great too.

Best iPad Stylus for Professionals – Gallery

LOGiiX - Stylus Platinum Arctic - Emote iPad Stylus Arctic - Architect Stylus Stylus Presenter Elago - Stylus Ball for iPad iChic Gear - Calligrapher for iPad adonit - Jot Pro Classic for iPad Lunatik - Touch Pen for iPad PenGo Creative - Touchpen ]]> 2 Minnie Bow Maker Review – Minnie Mouse Provides Fun with her Bow Maker Mon, 20 Aug 2012 16:42:44 +0000 Read More]]> Minnie Bow Maker Review

A morning does not start off well without my daughter starting the day with 20 minutes of Mickey Mouse Club House so when I received Minnie Bow Maker to review I knew that I had the perfect person to help me review it.

The premise of Minnie Bow Maker was ideal too, my daughter already enjoys building cookies, cupcakes, popsicle and many other items on her iPod touch so making bows should be just what mouse ordered!

The first thing to be noted is that Minnie Bow Maker is much more than just a bow making app, it’s also a storybook, fashion show and photography app and they all compliment each other beautifully.

Minnie Bow Maker

Beautiful is how the app looks too, the full Disney polish has been applied to this app with high quality graphics, all the appropriate voice acting and music that children know and love. They will feel perfectly at home in Minnie Bow Maker and that’s even before they’ve started!

The first of three options is Story Mode where you can join either Daisy, Millie and Melody or Cuckoo-Loca along with Minnie and help design a bow for the disney characters. You can read along with the sub-titles or just listened to the voice acted dialog as you have to make a bow for the different characters for a special event.

The story mode doesn’t take long to play though but it’s a nice compliment to the main bow making part of the game and it also lends itself to the Big Bow Show part of the game as its the creations that you’ve created during story mode that can be viewed during the Bow Show.

Making the bows themselves is a three step process, first you choose your material, then the color and then a pattern before finally choosing the style of bow that you wish to make. At that point you get to drag the material to the bow making machine before turning the handle to see your creation drop out.

Minnie Bow Maker iPhone

You then get a chance to select who should wear your bow, you can choose Minnie of course and place the bow atop her head which is cute, however it’s more fun to add the bow to a photo of someone by either selecting a picture from your camera roll or by taking a picture. You can then resize and position the bow to display on the picture. Both options allow you to output the results to either your camera roll or out via email for all to see!

The only downside to the app, although only noticed by me and not my children, was the sluggishness of the app which was running on my iPhone 4S.

If you’ve got a young daughter who’s into her cartoon Disney characters then she’ll certainly enjoy this, although even though it’s a universal app the $3.99 price tag puts it on the expensive side compared to other iOS apps that could entertain your children.

[rating: 4/5]

What we like

What to know

]]> 0 Apple Smart Cover Patent Suggests Built-in Multi-Touch Flexible Display, Solar Panel, Keyboard Tue, 07 Aug 2012 19:14:20 +0000 Read More]]> Smart Cover Patent Apple iPad

Apple released the Smart Cover with the iPad 2 early last year and since then the cover has become a model for numerous third party accessory makers who have developed their own versions. However, according to a patent application put out by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, it appears that Apple is looking to take the technology in the Smart Cover one step further.

Since then publicizing of the patent, speculation on the web suggests that a new Smart Cover with a flexible AMOLED display, and even solar panels and a keyboard may be part of Apple’s upgrade to the cover. The touchscreen display on the cover is expected to display information such as emails, messages, and calendar events.The patent suggests that the inner cover would double as a keyboard and could house other technology such as a solar panel and the outer edge would have the ability to control other media such as music with pause and play controls.

According to Apple’s explanation in the patent, the Multi-Touch display in the cover “greatly enhances the overall functionality of the tablet device”. Considering that the current Smart Cover connects to the iPad via magnets, the Smart Cover in the patent would likely have to have some form of inductive charging to power the display and pull up information.

The patent lists the inventor of the tech as Fletcher Rothkopf, currently a product manager at Apple but has also dealt with design and iPod engineering. With this new Smart Cover, Apple can very well revolutionize what cases can do on a device and instead of being just a protective covering and an afterthought, can actually assist in the functionality of the device itself.

{via 9to5Mac}

]]> 2 Apple to Debut Tweaked iPad and New “iPad Mini” After iPhone 5 Launch? Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:40:08 +0000 Read More]]> iPad Mini Mockup

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported on upcoming 5th gen iPod touch and iPod nano models, and revealed details on the design and internals of the devices. Earlier this week, Kuo also revealed details about the iPad Mini, mentioning that this smaller iPad, along with a tweaked full sized iPad would be released following the announcement of the iPhone 5.

Kuo claims that Apple will likely release the iPhone 5 sometime early on in the September-October timeframe, leaving time for the company to release a tweaked iPad, and the smaller “iPad Mini”. With component shortages and a short sale time, Kuo believes that the unit sales will only be slightly higher than the second quarter.

iPhone 5 to debut in September. But due to in-cell touch panel and casing yield rate limits, ability to offset older models’ shipments decrease will be moderate.

In his report, Kuo went on to estimate that Apple will sell 1.8 million units during the period of its introduction, and will surpass the estimated 13 million units of the full sized iPad in the fourth quarter. The iPad Mini is reportedly going to debut in late September, following an increase in production in August.

Aside from the iPad Mini, Kuo also notes that the full sized iPad will be tweaked, most likely on the internals to reduce cost and adjust thermal issues. Kuo’s claims confirm a report earlier in the year from Digitimes, which suggested that an upcoming iPad refresh would include a thinner enclosure, IGZO display, and technology to address heat dissipation.

Many of the claims addressed by Kuo about the iPad Mini, iPad, iPhone and iPods appear to confirm previous rumors on the web for several weeks. It is very likely that Apple will release an iPhone 5 this fall, followed by a tweaked full sized iPad and even an iPad Mini. However, the finite details about the release remain unknown, such as the IGZO display and thinner profile. The iPad Mini and tweaked iPad are expected during the September/October timeframe, the same time frame for the next generation iPhone and the public release of iOS 6.

{via MacRumors — Image Credit: CiccareseDesign}

]]> 6 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Withdraws Its Products from EPEAT Certification Mon, 09 Jul 2012 18:48:20 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple Inc. (AAPL) products have been evaluated by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) for many years now, and a number of their products introduced were rated EPEAT Gold for staying in accordance with green practices. On Friday, AAPL notified EPEAT that they will be withdrawing their products from environmental rating because of design constraints. In an interview with CIO Journal, EPEAT CEO, Robert Frisbee explained Apple’s reasons for pulling their products from being rated.

They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee said. The company did not elaborate, Frisbee said. “They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore.”

EPEAT requires the products they rate to meet certain criteria, such as being able to recycle parts of the product as well as being able to disassemble the product. Apple’s recent design changes on the Retina MacBook prevent users and other 3rd party handlers from tampering with the battery. Apple replaced the previously accessible battery door with a solid piece of aluminum and customized screws.

As a result, Apple’s MacBooks no longer qualify for EPEAT’s evaluations. The “design direction” referred to in the report may also be shed light on Apple’s next generation of Mac computers, which may or may not use products that would meet EPEAT’s criteria. iFixit explained some of the criteria in a response to Apple’s decision to withdraw from EPEAT’s rating.

“According to my EPEAT contacts, Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.”

Currently, Apple’s iPhone and iPad are not certified by EPEAT and as a result are not affected by Apple’s decision to withdraw its Mac products. There is speculation that this decision may affect Apple financially. At this point, it is unclear if Apple will run into any issues, however, it is interesting to note that the U.S government does require 95% of all electronic purchases to be EPEAT certified.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 2 Best Buy’s ‘Solution Central’ to Mirror Apple’s Genius Bar Design Mon, 09 Jul 2012 13:53:47 +0000 Read More]]> bestbuy

Apple’s Retail stores are a window of the company to its customers, and a large part of the store’s atmosphere are the Genius’ and the Genius Bar. The efficient setup allows employees to easily help customers and form an orderly process to address issues that customers face with their products.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy is now changing the design of their Geek Squad Solutions Center to operate similarly to a Genius Bar, with customers sitting in front of a wood table and employees addressing their issues face to face as opposed to taking the device and repairing it behind closed doors.

The company is currently testing a prototype store in Richfield, Minn., with the new Solutions Central table. The prototype stores also allow customers to buy products from employees walking around the store with a device to ring up the sale, similar to Apple’s current checkout process.

Best Buy interim chief executive, Mike Mikan called the newly designed stores, “Best Buy 2.0”. Best Buy, with this new design is attempting to make customers the focal point of the store which it hasn’t really enforced in the past as opposed to stocking as many products as possible.

Best Buy stocks numerous Apple products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad as well as MacBooks and sells almost as many devices as Apple does in their own stores. Best Buy’s Apple-like design will attract more customers and surround them with enough knowledge to make a purchase in-store, and not just use the brick and mortar location to test the product and then purchase online. Best Buy has not yet announced when the design will begin to be implemented, but will likely do it if it receives a positive response from the prototype stores.

{via AppleInsider}

]]> 0 CalypsoPad Review – Unique iPhone Accessory You Didn’t Know You Needed! Mon, 26 Mar 2012 21:00:24 +0000 Read More]]>

CalypsoPad Review

Some companies get the Apple ethos, some don’t, in the case of Calypso Crystal they definitely get it, simplicity, quality, beauty is everything you get when you buy a CalypsoPad  for iPhone from them.

So what is a CalypsoPad I hear you ask, and that would be a valid question as it’s not an accessory that I, or you, have seen before. The CalypsoPad is part dock, part carpet for your iPhone and it’s purpose is to be a safe place for your iPhone to lay down on your desk, table, cabinet or any other place that your iPhone lives when it’s not in your hand or pocket.

The CalypsoPad in reality is a piece of premium Italian leather slightly larger than the iPhone itself with a magnetic clip at the bottom to hold the charging cable securely in place and prevents it from falling down the back of the cabinet/desk/table when you disconnect your phone.

Designed to lay flush on the piece of furniture that you place it on it’s not going to be practical if you need your device to be standing up to view it.

The quality of the accessory is immaculate with beautiful detail in the stitching which highlights the design perfectly, and if you love the smell of leather you won’t be disappointed either as it smells great!

CalypsoPad is not going to be for everyone as if you have a case on your iPhone why would you need a pad to lay it on, however it is beautifully designed and crafted and will look good on your desk.

If you are interested in taking a look or even purchasing a CalypsoPad it’s available in two colors and costs just $39 direct from their website.

Would you purchase a product like this? Let us know in the comments below or tweet me @4forkssake.

[rating: 4/5]

What we like:

What to know:

]]> 0 iPhone 5 to Use Gorilla Glass 2. “Smart Case” for iPad 3? Tue, 06 Mar 2012 19:35:13 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple’s new iPad 3 is only one day away from being announced to the public and new details about what to expect tomorrow are still being leaked. On Monday, iLounge editor, Jeremy Horowitz published a report on two Apple products that he believes that Apple will change or retain. Horowitz reported that Apple is working on a new iPad 3 “Smart Case” and new “glass back” iPhone 5.

The report claims that Apple is experimenting with “Glass and ceramic rear shells” for a future iPhone, probably iPhone 5. Although rumors of a aluminum back iPhone 5 have been floating around on the web, sources of the publication indicated that Apple is planning to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2, unveiled at CES 2012. The Gorilla Glass 2 will allow the iPhone 5 to be thinner and stronger than previous models and may even arrive without the addition of the 30 pin dock connector.

The report also pointed at the possibility of a larger screen display. Recently, Apple identified Corning as a supplier of screens for previous generations of iPhone, saying that “Corning employees in Kentucky and New York…create the majority of the glass for iPhone.”

iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S all glass design has been a huge success for Apple. Stronger glass could address issues of the device being very fragile. It will be interesting to see if Apple introduces yet another glass based design or goes with aluminum for the fifth-gen iPhone.

Said to be similar to Incase’s Magazine Jacket (and a host of subsequent alternatives that have appeared for the iPad 2), this new case has a folding magnetized Smart Cover on the front, and a rear shell made from fiberglass covered with PU/bicast leather. It’s unclear whether this case will be solely for the thicker new iPad or include backwards compatibility for the iPad 2.

The “Smart Case” for iPad 3 was described to be something similar to Incase’s Magazine Jacket because it will now feature a back cover. The iPad 2 Smart Cover only protected the from screen from scratches and scuffs and will now work in tandem with the back cover in a folio style encasement.

{via 9to5 Mac}

]]> 10 iPad 3 Keynote Event Invite Reveals Details Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:56:36 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple recently sent out media invitations for iPad 3 keynote event scheduled for March 7th. The invite was an image of an iPad in use, with the line, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Much speculation has now developed off the invite, with a number of reports suggesting that the iPad depicted on the invitation is the iPad 3 itself. The iPad screen on the invitation appears to be of much higher resolution than other invites and press images in the past.

A number of blogs, including Gizmodo, put the invitation side by side to an image of the iPad 2 and zoomed in to view pixels on both. The iPad 3 invite appeared to be more vibrant, contain more pixels, and look very similar to a Retina Display. Apple’s use of the words, “we have something you really have to see”, may hint at the fact the the screen is of higher resolution.

The report also speculated on the possibility of Apple scrapping the home button, in an effort to make the iPad screen virtually free of buttons, and to highlight the pinch to close app feature introduced with iOS 4.3. Rumors of a home-button free iPad came after many users noticed that the iPad being used in the invitation appeared to be clean, with no home button present.

With rough measurements of photos, it was determined that the iPad may in fact arrive with no home button. Apple has a record of releasing hints about an upcoming product or event through its invitations, with details ranging from an app icon, or even the design of the invitation. Apple’s iPad 3 event is scheduled to be held on March 7th at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco. The event will kick off at 10:00AM PT/1:00PM ET. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.

Are you excited about the iPad 3? Is the Retina Display or lack of home button reason for you to upgrade? Sound off in the comments below.

]]> 7 iPad 3 Rear Panel Measures 0.81mm Thicker Than iPad 2? Wed, 29 Feb 2012 16:01:41 +0000 Read More]]>

Rumors of Apple announcing the iPad 3 were put to rest on Tuesday, after the company issued invite for a special media event on March 7th. The event is clearly intended to unveil iPad 3 and announce its release date. The invite shows an iPad in use, and a line reading, “We have something you really have to see. And touch”.

Now, with the third-gen iPad announcement confirmed, previous rumors about the iPad 3 being thicker than the 2 have re-emerged. Rumors of the iPad 3 being thicker spread after the back shell of the iPad 3 was found and measured.

The iPad 3 shell was measured with a digital vernier caliper, showing that it is 9.50mm thick. That is exactly 0.81mm thicker than the current iPad 2 which comes in at about 8.69mm, revealed from an image posted by

The measurements confirm claims from late last year that the third generation iPad would carry the same 9.7” screen size with a thicker shell. The thicker shell would allow Apple to possibly house a larger battery and more improvements.

Other reports suggest that Apple is looking to use dual-LED light bars in the iPad 3 to accomodate and light more pixels, possibly a Retina display. Apple’s invitiation usually hints at what might be introduced at the event, it is likely that by saying “we have something you really have to see”, they are referring to a higher resolution screen. The iPad 3 is going to be announced on March 7th at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco. The event will be held at 10AM Pacific, and 1PM ET.

]]> 1 Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad 2 Now Available in App Store Tue, 28 Feb 2012 20:12:26 +0000 Read More]]>

On Sunday, Adobe prematurely released the Adobe Photoshop Touch for iPad 2 app in the App Store, but soon pulled it, caliming that the app was scheduled for release on Monday, February 27th. On Monday, Adobe officially released the Photoshop app tailored for tablets, which is now available in the App Store for $9.99USD.

Transform images with core Adobe Photoshop features in an app designed for tablets.

Combine images, apply professional effects, share results with friends and family through sites like Facebook, and more – all from the convenience of your iPad.

As dominance of iPad 2 continues to rise, it is continuing to gain support for more desktop based applications, including the rumored Microsoft Office application. Adobe Photoshop Touch is one of the apps introduced by Adobe in a group of six which were announced last October.

The company has slowly been transitioning onto the iPad and other tablets, tapping into the mobile market. As tablets such as the iPad become more portable and more powerful, it is reasonable for Adobe to introduce apps to support it. The apps are not full desktop class, however, will likely build as time progresses and the iPad gains more processing power.

Adobe’s initial plans for the iPad app was to run a full desktop version, but the company scaled back to include only a handful of image editing features. This is only the beginning of the high powered apps on the iPad, and Adobe will likely add more features over the coming months. The Adobe Photoshop Touch app is currently available in the App Store but only for the iPad 2 running iOS 5.

]]> 0 Tweetbot Updated and Finally Comes to the iPad Tue, 14 Feb 2012 20:25:37 +0000 Read More]]>

There’s been a double dose of great news for Twitter, and more specifically, Tweetbot fans today as not only were Tweetbot users rewarded with a huge update but also got the news that many of them were waiting for in the form of the release of Tweetbot for iPad.

Tweetbot 2.0 for the iPhone list of updates include in-line thumbnails of images, 5 minute auto-refresh of your timeline and much more. A full list of the new features can be read here and are included as a free update to those who have already purchased Tweetbot.

This version comes with many significant improvements to the Timeline and Direct Messages. Here are the major changes in more detail:

The even bigger news is the immediate release of Tweetbot for iPad which brings all of the wonderful personality of the iPhone version to the big screen. It’s not a universal app so if you already have the iPhone version you’ll need to pay out another $3 for the iPad version but after just a few hours use I can definitely say that it’s worth it.

]]> 1 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Starting Operations in Israel with Anobit Thu, 26 Jan 2012 21:07:58 +0000 Read More]]>

In a report from Israeli business newspaper Calcalist, it was revealed that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is ramping up its operations in Israel post acquisition of Anobit. The report also mentioned that AAPL has begun looking over resumes to hire for its new research and development center in Haifa, Israel and has looked over “several hundred resumes” from engineers looking to work in the new center.

The new research center is expected to be run by Apple’s new hire, an Israeli high-tech executive Aharon Aharon. The report also notes that Apple is opening up its new research center in a location where companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Phillips currently call home.

Apple is seeking expertise in chip development, more specifically in the electrical circuits and hardware testing and verification departments, many of which the companies mentioned above can provide. Apple’s research center is separate from its acquisition of Israeli flash memory firm Anobit, which, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, is currently being integrated into Apple’s ecosystem and will be headed by hardware engineering chief Bob Mansfield.

Reports from 9to5Mac also suggest that Apple has sent vice president Johny Srouji, who has had experience at other companies such as IBM and Intel, to oversee Anobit’s operations in Israel. Srouji joined Apple in 2008 and is now overseeing VLSI operations at Anobit, which focuses on chip design and implementation.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple Pushing Environmental Friendliness With New Halogen-Free Cables Mon, 16 Jan 2012 16:15:13 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple’s cables and wires for its iOS devices and Macs are all supplied by one company that manufactures them and ships them in large volumes. On Friday, in a report from The London Evening Standard, it was revealed that Apple is now requiring cable supplier Volex to spend an extra $6 million dollars in order to change its manufacturing process in order to eliminate halogens from the power and USB cables.

This change will positively affect the dangerous chemicals found in wires and cables in many computers and electronic products, and also allows Apple to reduce its carbon footprint.

Apple is the biggest customer of Volex, 23%-owned by billionaire financier Nat Rothschild, which makes the power cables and USB leads used in everything from laptops to iPhones and iPads.

But the US firm is on a drive to move its products towards halogen-free power cables, which are less harmful to the environment when disposed of.

The start-up costs in designing and making the new cables will cost it up to $6 million in the current financial year, Volex said today, although, stripping out these one-off costs, profits will be in line with market expectation.

Apple has been criticized in the past by many environmental groups such as Greenpeace, who claim that many companies are not doing their part to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in electronics.

However, Apple has been doing very well in recent years, opting for greener practices and safer options for materials used in their products. Apple launched an environmental footprint section on their main web site, showing customers their involvement in the clean up of chemicals in Apple devices.

With this new push for more environmental friendly cables and wires, Apple is slowly spreading eco-friendliness through all of their devices, including the iPhone an iPad, which currently use BFR free glass and a number of other eco-friendly materials.

{via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple’s iPhone Turns 5 Years Old, Leading Smartphone Market Since 2007 Tue, 10 Jan 2012 18:14:56 +0000 Read More]]>

On Monday, Apple’s iPhone officially turned 5 years old, marking a historic moment, when Steve Jobs took introduced Apple’s revolutionary mobile phone.

On January, 9, 2007, Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs came on stage with a huge presence, ready to introduce the product that would change the smartphone market forever. About 20 minutes into the presentation, Mr. Jobs introduced the iPhone, with a 3.5” multitouch display, extraordinary metal design, and a combination of Mac OS X and Apple’s own brew of a mobile operating system, later renamed iOS.

In 2007, the tech industry had never seen such a device, with customers lining up at every Apple Store in the United States to get their hands on one. In 2008, Apple followed up with its success of the iPhone with the iPhone 3G, followed by the 3GS in 2009, and the iPhone 4 in 2010. The most recent, the iPhone 4S outsold every model introduced in Apple’s history.

Apple has experienced a drastic increase in sales each year, leading to a record one million iPhone 4S sales on the first day of release. The iPhone was introduced at the MacWorld 2007 conference, with an excellent salesman strategy by Steve Jobs, announcing that Apple would be introducing three products a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator. Jobs later revealed that all three were included on one device.

Apple changed the the technology market as we know it, and it all started with the iPhone, which led to the iPad and iPod touch and even innovation in Apple’s desktop software. On January, 9, 2007, Apple made history, and made us all realize how a combination of design, technology, and a little customer appreciation could have such a powerful effect.

]]> 3 My Little Garden Review Wed, 04 Jan 2012 21:32:53 +0000 Read More]]>

Create your own magical garden with My Little Garden for iPhone.

Brought to you by Qubic Games My Little Garden is a fun garden simulator for your iPhone. Plant and grow flowers in your magical garden completing tasks and achievements along the way.

You are in control of the little garden fairy. Help her plant flowers and vegetables that she can sell or use in tasks to earn coins. To start with you are given a small piece of the garden. In this area start planting flowers to sell.

When you have a flower starting to grow then you have to start looking after it. You do this by giving it water, light and fertilizer. When you tap on the plant you are growing it will display icons for you to choose what action you want to do. Tap on the one you need and the little fairy will help.

You then look after the plant keeping it happy until it is fully grown. When it is ready you then have the option to sell the plant or if you have accepted a task, use it for that. You do not have to do tasks but they will earn you coins which you can use to expnad your garden and buy more items. So for example one of the tasks I had was from a visiting hamster who needed some carrots to be delivered. So once you have accepted this task you then need to start growing that product and be ready to give him his order. Once you do you will be rewarded for it and also unlock more plants.

The coins you earn can be used to buy from the range of 18 different plants. You can also choose to decorate your garden with stones and ornaments like gnomes and a magic bench. There are many to select and all costing different amounts. There are also pets that you can purchase. These are all very friendly and helpful in their own unique way. The cat helps increase the water, light and fertilizer a plant has and then there are other pets like frogs who will sprinkle the plants with water for you. You can also use magic on your plants which speeds up the growing process. Magic rain, Magic sun and Murky mist.

All the meus for each section are kept on a side bar to the right and it is very easy to use and follow. If you do need some help or forget a task then there is a diary. There you will find a help section and a reminder of the current task you are doing. You can also use this menu section to purchase more coins, gold or hearts via in-app purchases.

The game is suitable for all ages. The animals and plants are animated and make great cheery, happy noises. It would definitely appeal to a young person. You can design the garden as big or as small as you like. So how challenging you make it is up to you. It is a great game to play that is a refreshing change from the usual farmville type of games currently available. There is no need to be popping in and out of the game constantly to see if your plant is growing. You can play it at your own pace.

The only thing that I could see players requesting is the ability to visit friends and their gardens. This could be done by adding Game Center integration and then tasks and achievements could be added in there to compete with your friends.

Touch Reviews [rating: 4/5]
What we like:

What to know:

]]> 0 Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Head of Design, Awarded Knighthood Sun, 01 Jan 2012 20:47:26 +0000 Read More]]>

Apple’s senior vice president of Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive, was awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list. BBC on Saturday reported that Ive can now style himself as Sir Jonathan as he has been made a Knight Commander of the British Empire.

Jonathan Ive expressed his feelings by saying that it was “absolutely thrilling” and was “both humbled and sincerely grateful”. Ive joined Apple in 1992 and reports directly to the CEO. In Steve Jobs biography it was revealed that Ive had complete operational freedom and Jobs considered him to be his “spiritual partner”.

Ive has been leading the design team responsible for Apple’s iconic products ranging from iPod, iPhone, iPad to the Mac. He is known to care for the smallest of the details concerning the product design, from production process down to packaging, he has repeatedly set new standards in industrial design.

This isn’t the first time Ive has been recognized in the honours list, in 2005 he was made a Commander of the British Empire. In a statement to the press Ive said:

I discovered at an early age that all I’ve ever wanted to do is design. I feel enormously fortunate that I continue to be able to design and make products with a truly remarkable group of people here at Apple.

Apple’s products have been featured in the permanent collections of museums worldwide and the honour awarded to Ive only adds to the anticipation building around the rumored all-new design for iPhone 5.

]]> 2 A Snappy Christmas 3D for iPad: Fun Idea, But Needs Work Mon, 26 Dec 2011 21:30:37 +0000 Read More]]>

[rating: 2/5]

A Snappy Christmas 3D Review: A storybook for kids based on the Snappy Dragons character. While the character is cute, the book is lacking in many areas.

The app is a reading book for children and offers options between English and French, and between Read By Myself or Read To Me. There are also three games included that give you a bit more to do than just the short story.

First the story itself, the plot felt a little weak and the characters were distant. Snappy and his friend Meline build a snowman in the woods but are missing a key piece until they get some help from Santa. Good enough for kids, I suppose, but there’s no real connection built with the characters.

The design itself has issues. First, the cursive font that was chosen is not suited for young children. It was difficult to read from time to time and would be hard for kids to identify some of the letters. And some words were highlighted in different colors, which might lead you to believe they were emphasized or interactive. They weren’t. Also, the narrator made an error and spoke an extra word that wasn’t printed. That is a critical error in a reading book for children.

Then there’s the technical side. The 3D layers effect was best thing about this app. And some of the animations were also good. But I had continual problems with the app crashing, even after an update was released. And it only works in one orientation that was upside down for most iPads with cases.

On the positive side, the app had a classic appeal and characters with potential. The UK English accent was engaging and clear. The sound effects added to the story. And adding a few simple games to the app gave it a bit more bang for the buck. There’s actually some good potential here. Potential.

A Snappy Christmas 3D disappoints in its execution, but leaves room for improvement. With a few tweaks and maybe some additional background on these two characters’ relationship (I mean how does a little girl come to have a dragon as a best friend?), there’s an opportunity for a successful series of books. While I might pass on this title, I’d be interested to see what they do with it in the future.

What we like:

What to know:

]]> 0 Gelaskins for iPhone 4S Review: Effective Way to Spice up you Phone Fri, 23 Dec 2011 19:13:54 +0000 Read More]]>  

[rating: 4/5]

Gelaskins for iPhone 4S Review: If you like changing your iPhone 4S cases on a regular basis but find that too expensive, or you want protection without the bulk of a case then a skin from Gelaskins for iPhone and iPad may be just the solution for you.

Gelaskins offer hundreds of adhessive covers for all your devices but on this occasion I was looking for something to protect the iPhone 4S of my wife and I. The buying process was easy and seamless via, you can either browse through the 100’s of designs or design you own. While I messed around with the design tools I ended up choosing a couple of pre-designed covers and quickly went through the check-out process.

As I’m pretty impatient I paid a little extra for for fast delivery and a few days later the package was delivered in a flat cardboard envelope with my Gelaskins safe and undamaged inside. Needless to say I didn’t wait too long to get them adhered to the two devices.

The brief documentation that comes in the package recommends that you watch a video showing how to apply the skin and so that’s what I did. I watched the video on my iPhone 4S and 3 mins later I was ready to go. The video confirms most things that you probably already know, especially if you have applied something like this before but the 3 minutes is not wasted.

As recommended I gave my iPhone 4S a thorough cleaning before I started to ensure a strong fix to my device and then went about peeling the back piece from it’s backing paper. The skin has raised ridges across its sticky side to allow any trapped air to escape and to allow for repositioning. Only limited repositioning was needed on both the back and side pieces and I was able to firmly push them down and lock them in place pretty quickly. There are cut outs for the camera and side buttons and the all matched up perfectly.

Moving to the front of the iPhone 4S I was a little surprised, and dissapointed, to find that there were just pieces for the top and bottom of the screen instead of one whole piece including pieces down each side of the screen as I don’t feel this gives 100% protection and depending on the design leaves two blank areas.

The two pieces provide cut outs for the Home Button, Camera, Light Sensor and Speaker and while some of the pieces can seem tricky to pull out a trick that is shown on the video is to push down onto the iPhone the piece that you are try to remove and let it stick to the phone and then pick it off afterwards.

Getting the front pieces lined up was a little trickier but it wasn’t difficult and the whole process from beginning to end took no longer that 5 minutes and I was really happy with the results. The final piece of the process was to download the Gelaskins iPhone App from the App Store and get the wallpaper to accompany the given skin. This was easily done and also enabled you to customize the brightness of the wallpaper so that you could have different wallpapers for both your Home and Lock Screens.

The overall appearance is very nice especially with the matching wallpaper and with a few days of heavy use already there is no noticeable wear or tear on the skin. The skin provides a little more grip than the iPhone without a case but not as much as some cases can provide and doesn’t include a screen protector either.

At around just $15 per skin Gelaskins provide a great way to spice up you iPhone and any electronic device that you may have.

What we like:

What to know:

]]> 1 Three Foxconn Employees Arrested for Leaking iPad 2 Design Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:42:27 +0000 Read More]]> iPad 2 Second Gen Case

DigiTimes has revealed that 3 Foxconn employees accused of leaking iPad 2 designs have now been arrested by local police, according to a Chinese-language report. The trio are being held responsible for the leaks that saw third-party companies release protective cases for the second-generation tablet before it was even announced by Apple.

As you may remember, the cases were big news for tech blogs when they were discovered, as they revealed several of the iPad 2’s new features. Touch Reviews brought you several reports on cases that revealed numerous features such as its shape, redesigned speaker, front- and rear-facing cameras, and more. Foxconn suspected that case manufacturers were privy to information from its factory, and as a result reported its concerns to the local police.

On December 26th, 2010, three employees with the Foxconn factory based in Shenzhen, China, were suspected of leaking the design, and were subsequently charged for violating the company’s trade secrets on March 23rd, 2011. Though the report makes no mention of Apple, I’m sure the Cupertino company were pushing for Foxconn to investigate the design leaks for its then unreleased product.

These arrests will be come as a warning to other Foxconn factory workers who may be tempted to leak secret information for monetary bribes. While it may be a tempting prospect for a Chinese factory worker on a less than modest wage, it won’t be taken lightly.

]]> 0