Jumper Card Review

8 02 2014

So recently, I was sent the Jumper Card to review, and was really excited to get my hands on it after reading about it on Indiegogo.

This is a credit card sized device, that can be used to charge your smartphone or tablet, transfer files, or do anything your existing charging cable can do.

This has recently launched on Indiegogo, and you can fund this project using this link – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jumper-card-emergency-battery-charger

The product is around the same size as a credit card although slightly more chunky, and fits extremely well into uour pocket or wallet.Image

It is coated in a really nice rubberised material, and is extremely light despite its thickness. It feels tough, and is made to military spec, so you can be sure that it will last.

The device can be charged using the USB port and has the capacity to hold 480mAh of battery, this is enough to get around an hour of use, and can be re-charged again and again, unlike a lot of other products similar to this which can be limited in this area.

It comes with a micro USB socket, lightning socket, and the older traditional apple fitting. This means you can charge most android phones, digital cameras & other accessories as well as the entire apple range. It doesn’t take long to fully charge the jumper card, and this gives you a decent amount of battery on your device depending on the size of the battery, as obviously this will charge iPhones considerably more than iPads etc due to the size of the internal battery varying massively on device to device.

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Now, on charging my phone specifically (HTC One) I was prompted with a message advising that fast-charge was no longer enabled and that the device would charge considerably slower than by using an HTC official charger. This was the case, but the phone still charged well, and also worked really well on my iPhone and iPad. The product also comes with a built in LED light which indicates when it is finished charging and has inbuilt overcharge protection. The product is activated by a simple slider on the side, which can also be used to turn on a bright LED flashlight which is always handy !

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At $25, it is an extremely cheap emergency charging option, and can also be plugged into a USB Car lighter adapter which is great for keeping it charged on the way to work or anywhere else.I have been using this thoroughly for around 2 weeks now, and the device still feels as good as it originally did, and I haven’t encountered any problems with it at all and would highly recommend this to anybody who uses their phone as much as I do, and constantly encounters problems with the capacity of modern day batteries !





Plague Inc App Review !

13 10 2012

Plague Inc is a great app available on Android and iOS.

Its 69p in ITunes and is strangely free on Android so if your on on Android, your in luck ! Says me after downloading it for my iPad then releasing it was free for my GNex later that day ..

The game is based around Wiping the world out by a range of different means.. bacteria, virus, nano-virus, fungi etc.

I’ve been stuck to it for more or less the past day, and its infuriatingly addictive.

You start of by choosing a country your looking to infect, you then gain DNA points throughout the course of the game by bursting bubbles as they appear, the same way you infect new countries. Using these DNA points you can choose to upgrade your Diseases Transmission, Symptoms or Abilities. Under Transmission you can upgrade things like making the disease airbourne, making it be carried be wildlife including rodents and birds and also through water or blood. Under symptoms, this is where the fun starts, you can choose what effects your disease will have, from a case of the runs or nausea to coma’s and tumours, this seems sick but it is great fun! Under the abilities section we get to give the disease a bacterial coat to help it defend itself in tough environments as well as making it better protected against drugs, the cold, the heat and also other countries efforts to eradicate it !

The above screenshot gives you an idea of what happens mid game, this shows Africa more or less infected and the buttons that pop up for you to infect other countries, as well as the general game UI.

Completing a level can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how much your into it so it does definately give you great value for money if you do have to shell out the 69p! I’ve only completed a few of the levels and it certainly isn’t getting old anytime soon.

I’ve been reviewing and playing a lot of games recently on all of my devices ! For a while the Free’mium market was putting me off of mobile gaming altogether but with some great recent purchases my faith has been restored and this has definately been one of them .. although the option is there to advance to the next level with paid content, the option doesn’t ruin the game or give you a massive unplayable advantage against anyone else.

If your inner Science geek is itching to come out, get this game. The diseases act very true to life, if you infect a poorer country you have to expect the disease will be best spread by insects, poor hygiene and blood where as in richer countries this wouldnt be the case so you have to adopt different methods for different places.. as well as certain symptoms effecting certain people more like pneumonia and coughing and sneezing. The makers of this game deserve massive praise as this is sure to give me endless more hours playing time !

 





Chirp iOS App Review

8 08 2012

Chirp is a free app on the iOS store, specifically for iPhone but can also be downloaded for iPod Touch and iPad with no real effect on the user experience.

Its classed as a ‘social networking’ app by iTunes, but isn’t your usual Twitter or Facebook, although it does include integration with both of these services.

This app uses sound to send data from Phone to Phone. I had this set up with 2 iPad’s in my house and used it to send notes, links, pictures etc. When you open up the interface you can choose what your looking to send, the app then changes this information to a sound wave and plays the ‘chirp’ through the devices speaker, the other device picks this noise up via the microphone and translates it back into what it should be, i.e a picture or a note. For the devices to register and translate the chirp, the app its self must be open, so it will not translate chirps if the app is open in the background.

Of course there are numerous advantages as well as disadvantages with this,

This could be used on a large scale e.g played through the speakers at a local supermarket giving shoppers voucher codes or special offers, or it could be used in a room full of people to quickly send and share photos or links with everyone.

On the downside, playing chirps as a way of sending messages in a public place means anyone with the app open can intercept the message and have a nosey into your conversation or steal your images !

This, I see more of an innovative creative kind of new tech. This shouldn’t have holes poked in it due to its lack of security in public places, it should be praised as somebody thinking outside the box and not making another repetitive ‘freemium’ game. This app may be the first of this sort of technology but could become mainstream with numerous applications outside the app world being possible..





Netflix , How to get USA when not in USA !! PC XBox PS3 PS Vita IOS Android

26 07 2012

Having been a member of LoveFilm as opposed to Netflix for a while, this hasn’t been an issue I’ve really came across, but on checking UK Netflix compared to the US, the differences are vast !
The US has a lot more choice, as well as a lot newer programmes than most other services making it an easy choice for such a simple fix. This will also work for other countires such as Canada, as long as the user has a valid Netflix account.

When you register for a Netflix account, you don’t register for a UK account, a US account or any other account.. You register for a universal account, this is why the fix is so easy.
The Netflix website uses your IP address to locate you, then with this information the correct website is displayed for you.

PC
Using a VPN ( virtual private network ) you can easily get access to whatever service you like.
While you are connected to this VPN you take advantage of its IP so if its based in New York, Netflix thinks you are in New York, hence displaying the US Site as opposed to where you really are. The service I use is Spotflux, there are numerous different services you can use to take advantage of different VPN’s but I found this one was pretty simple and is free to use and download at
http://launch.spotflux.com/

Once this is downloaded, you merely open it up and click enable. This will then make your browser connect to the VPN ( this may slow your connection considerably ) Once this is complete go to the Netflix site, sign in and search for your film/show, you will notice there are now more options on many TV Series as well as lots more films.. Taking Breaking Bad for instance, the UK site has up to, and including Season 3 whilst the US has the entirity of Season 4 included on top of this.

From my experience a tip I would give is that once you had chosen what you wanted to watch, once the streaming starts disable Spotflux, this means that your browser will revert back to your normal internet connection and will help the speed and quality of the streaming. Spotflux is a free service, a lot of VPN’s require monthly subscriptions or joining fees. This, may put a lot of sceptics off, thinking it must be free for a reason but it has a lot of positive write ups. As well as giving this benefit for Netflix, it also blocks pop-ups and ads, as well as constantly scanning for Viruses and malware, whilst keeping your IP address secure.

Consoles, XBox, PS3, etc.
For Xbox, PS3 etc ,  if you change your network settings so that your Primary DNS is set to 208.122.23.22 and the Secondary DNS is set to 208.122.23.23 you can access all of Netflix USA’s content. You don’t have to change any router settings, the changes should be made on the console itself. This is useful when using it to watch Netflix, but for gaming id recommend reverting your settings back as this will put you into US servers for games like COD, FIFA, Battlefield etc.

Apple IOS & Android Devices
There are a lot of Apps on these devices that make this really easy, as well as a manual option to input details of a VPN. If you have signed up to a VPN service you can input the details at this point to join your VPN, or as I said, use an App. A lot of the VPN’s are constantly changing at this point so its probably best to google a currently working VPN for the US for IOS and Android devices as these are prone to shutting down with them working great some days and not others.

I hope I’ve helped get a little more for your money if your outside the US !! Feel free to comment on any current Usable US VPN’s as you find them!





Apple iOS 6 Preview ! Nemesis of Jelly Bean

23 07 2012

http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/

A lot of tech geeks have already had a sneaky peak at iOS 6 with Beta’s making the rounds already!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqy1doZ8L1M – this video gives a good look at how to get iOS 6 Beta without an Apple Dev account.

With iOS being updated to full new builds less frequently than Android, the list of new features and modifications is pretty substantial and impressive !

If I was to summarise this in one line, It would be, think of part of the current iOS .. Its now better.

As well as obviously being the OS that will run on the new IPhone, due to Apples better handle on the update process, the IPad 2/3 and IPhone 3GS/4/4S  and the 4th Gen IPod Touch will all benefit too.

Siri

Taking this into account first and foremost, the IPad HD/3 is getting Siri !
Siri has also had some major upgrade work, understanding more questions, giving more information and also being incorporated into some cars steering wheels within the next 12 months with Jaguars, Land Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, Toyotas, Chryslers, Hondas, Audis and GM cars all advising this would be supported.

Facebook Integration

With Twitter already Integrated pretty well into the iOS now its time for Facebook with pretty much the same features being used. This will increase your ability to share different aspects of your phone and also introduces the ability to recommend different apps in the App Store to your friends.

Phone

The most important part of a phone you would think ! This has had an update allowing you to reject calls with set messages, as well as introducing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature basically preventing all notifications and phone calls during a set time with the ability to exclude certain people or numbers from this service also.

Maps

A lot has been said recently about the new Maps software with Google also bringing out their own equivalent new version. The new iOS Maps has integrated Sat-Nav as well as traffic information and an incredible looking fly-over map showing a lot of the big cities in stunning fashion.

Passbook

Passbook is an entirely new App/Service entirely for iOS but may remind some of Google Wallet. This essentially is as the name suggests, an app that keeps all of your passes in one place e.g Plane Tickets, Gift Cards, Coupons, Cinema Tickets etc. This, like many features may be location specific originally and may only be featured by specific retailers but it looks like a step in the right direction!

Conclusion

I had to put in a conclusion section so you dont think im still blabbing about Passbook! The list of changes is substantial, and to cover all of these in one blog post would make some pretty lengthy reading. If your looking for any more info I’d recommend checking out the Apple link at the top of the page or http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/ios-6-everything-you-need-to-know-1083928 These are both incredible resources with a huge amount of info on the new OS.

With Android now claiming a larger proportion of the mobile market in many countries now, this update could be a major player ! Only time will tell..





Official Apple Ipad Smart Cover Review

7 07 2012

When a new device is released the manufacturer usually goes to town on accessories for it, in attempt to make the experience for the device even better, and to obviously maximise sales as much as possible !

When the Ipad was released so was the smart cover, this is referred to as a “smart” cover due to its clever ‘open to wake’ function. Basically when the cover is placed over the screen the device sleeps, it doesnt lock or turn off, simply sleeps. When the cover is removed from the screen, the device wakes again without delay.

As you can see from the second picture above, the metal strip design comes in useful as this can be folded up into a triangular shape to act as a stand to prop the device up, this helps ergonomically with typing and can also be arranged in a slightly different way, almost upside down, to make watching movies and films far better and easier without the need to hold the device up. This arrangement is shown below.

The cover protects the screen well, it attaches to the screen via magnets in the long strips of the design and clips on to the iPad at its side via a hinge like magnet.

One of the downfalls of this product is its lack of protection to the back of the device, although the back of the device is metal and usually wouldn’t receive much damage, many people would like the back of the device to be covered, although an additional back only cover could be purchased if this was the case.

Another downfall, and possibly the biggest in my eyes is the price. There is no way of sugar coating it, the cheapest Official version of this cover is approximately £35, an extravagant fee for what you receive in return. The leather option of this case is more expensive again coming in at almost £60.

When I first got my Ipad, I refused point blank to pay the price so went for a cheaper alternative from Ebay, this looked and functioned exactly the same, but the magnets weren’t as strong and the overall build quality was far inferior, bearing in mind the product was only £7, it wasnt that bad a purchase.

One major point to bear in mind if the cheaper option is one you would consider, buy the correct Ipad models product, at first glance the version of the cover for the Ipad2 and Ipad3 are identical.. but the difference is in the magnets, the way they are polarised effects the ability of the “open to wake” function to work correctly. I bought an Ipad2 cover expecting this to work fine with my Ipad3, but this function doesnt work at all, but works perfectly fine with the Ipad2 my mum has. Generally, an Ipad3 case will work with an Ipad2 but not always vice versa, the Ipad2 needs the magnets to effectively be magnets, whilst the Ipad3 version needs them to be polarised in a specific direction.

To summarise, the product does what it is intended for well, but a bit of market research will bring many more options to your eyes, some of which have incorporated the same “smart” features and aren’t as painful on the bank balance.





Apple Ipad HD

29 06 2012

The Ipad HD or the Ipad 3 whatever you would rather call it, is Apples most recent offering on the Ipad front. Its available in Wifi Only or Wifi + 3/4G Models with a few memory capacitys, from 16GB to 32GB to 64GB. With a hefty jump inbetween each of these models its imporant to choose wisely if you are going to opt for the Ipad!

The 4G model is available in the UK but with no 4G network to operate on, it will only be a 3G signal it will truly receive. The 3G model is ideal if the Ipad is going to be used on the go when you know you wont be passing through Wifi Hotspots with the Wifi only option being ideal for at home or somewhere you know has Wifi, or a day planned travelling via these Hotspots to stay connected !

Most people saw the Ipad HD as an Ipad 2 with a fancy new HD screen, this is correct to an extent as superficially there isnt much difference between the two.

The Ipad 3 is a bit thicker, a bit heavier and has a faster processor with an improved camera. It also has an enlarged battery increased by 17.5 Watts to give a far longer battery life, accounting for some of the additional weight. On reading the facts the more pocket friendly option is clearly the Ipad 2 with the prices being drastically cut following the new release but the proof is in the pudding with testing, with a side by side comparison of both clearly favouring the Ipad 3 as the undisputed winner with its improved A5 processor making actions seamless and a far better experience overall as well as the crisp clarity of the new HD screen.

Experience wise, the Ipad is on a par of its own. Only now are we starting to see serious competitors for this devices crown in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Nexus 7 Tab, or the Asus Transformer. Its rather large price tag is offputting to most with some of the above options proving a more cost effective route to tablet heaven !








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