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 !





Slickwraps iPhone 5 ‘The Case’

29 09 2013

http://www.slickwraps.com

So, thanks to the guys at Slickwraps I’ve had the opportunity to review their new ‘case’ for the iPhone 5. The guys over at Slickwraps have been making wraps for a barrel load of devices for quite some time to massive success, and this is their most recent wrap that incorporates a hard case as well.

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I’ve tried a lot of different wraps, with varying degrees of success, but this wrap has been by far the easiest to apply of the lot.

Over on the http://www.slickwraps.com website you get a personalised installation video tailored to your device, and in the pack you get an HD screen protector and a great quality microfiber cloth. The HD Screen protector is washable which is great if like me, your terrible at applying them ! This makes installation a lot easier, and personally I find a wet installation easiest with these.

The case obviously eliminates half of the wrap meaning you only need to wrap the front and minimal gaps on the front and side. My wrap was an orange carbon fibre effect which looked really great once the installation was complete. The only point I changed was the home button, as I feel the device looked better with this left off. This is also something that you can buy different variants of, with interchangeable home buttons available on the website. The feel of this is great, and feels stable and not flimsy, which is weird for a wrap, but it feels of a good quality. The colour is also very bright, and although this option won’t suit everybody, it will definitely stand out in comparison to most !

This has only been on for a few days now, so I’m not well placed to speak about its durability or how long it will last but it feels great so far and due to the exact specifications of the wrap and sizes it fits perfect meaning there is no overhang that has the opportunity to catch in your pocket or just from general usage. This was one of the biggest downfalls of all of the other wraps I’ve used, as well as feeling really thin and tacky which this does not.

The wraps also come in wood, leather, metal and glow effects with lots of different available options even including cork and a fantastic design your own case option, the iPhone 5 variants shown on the link below.

http://www.slickwraps.com/iPhone-5-Skins-s/359.html

Below are a number of pictures of the installation both pre and post. Slickwraps are available on their website www.slickwraps.com

Installation of these type of products is usually difficult but the wrap was extremely easy, and feels like it is built to last.

I would definitely recommend this for any number of devices, and will be purchasing another for my HTC One shortly.

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Wireless Touch Speaker Review

23 05 2013

The Wireless Touch Speaker by Thumbs Up is a product sold by The Great Gift Company UK.

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The product retails for £30, and is pretty competitively priced in the market with a great deal of competition seen online, as well as any local music stores/HMV etc.

These sort of devices have came out in barrel loads over the past number of years, with sizes decreasing and more increasingly clever ways of making them portable and wireless.

The thing that interested me most about this speaker was the fact that it did not connect to the device it was amplifying by any cables or Bluetooth. I’ve reviewed an amplifying solution that did this before, but never to the extent of this device. It works by claiming to use ‘Near Field Audio’ technology. This means that the device does not connect to the phone or mp3 player, and simply if the device is placed on top then the music is amplified using the inbuilt speakers with the volume being controlled by your device as you usually would.

There is also an option to plug your device into the speaker with a Headphone jack on the device, and also an option to plug into DC if you don’t want to use the 3 AA batteries required to use on the go.

The amplification is massive, I was astounded as to how loud it was at first. Due to the wireless nature, I had expected to be let down, but I wasn’t in the slightest. The volume can fill a room easily, and for £30 it is a pretty good purchase. The device feels well made, it is simply designed to look at, and includes a rubber band to hold your device to the speaker if you are using this on the move.

Discovering a flaw with the NFA technology, the amplification only works when the speaker is directly on top of a certain place on the device. As you can see in the videos posted, If the iPod is turned 180 degrees, no amplification is achieved. This was discovered completely by accident, but I am assuming this is to do with the technology it uses. This could potentially be an issue with centrally located speakers, and I’d also be curious to see how this would work with devices such as the HTC One with front facing speakers.

Coming up to Father’s Day, www.thegreatgiftcompany.com has lots of great items that anybody would be thankful for and reasonably priced. If your looking for something unusual or unique, I’d recommend giving this website a look, especially if your stuck for ideas as there is a lot of items that will spark anybody’s imagination !





iPhone 5 , is this what you have been waiting for ? Or a massive letdown?

13 09 2012

So as expected,  Apple have unveiled the new iPhone but not the iPad Mini as was widely expected!

The iPhone 5 has been hyped up to its eyeballs, mostly due to the monstrous success of all of its predecessors so has pretty big boots to fill going head to head with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III & the Nokia Lumia 920.

The new iPhone is bigger and thinner than previous models, and if you have been on the internet in recent weeks, the official design looks almost exactly like the concepts and leaked images that have been doing the rounds of the web. The larger screen has allowed it to have an additional line of apps/folders in comparison with previous models.

If you are looking for completely new groundbreaking innovation, I’d say that the iPhone 5 is slightly underwhelming. Apple have done what they do well, refining and perfecting, but there aren’t many steps outside the box in comparison with perhaps the first iPhone or features like Siri.

The new model boasts a new A6 chip , this is touted as being almost twice as fast as the previous A5 chip and provides better graphics and even better battery life, a major issue for almost all previous iPhone models with 10 hours video playback being claimed on Apples website.

One of the massive talking points of this release was of the new connector. This is different to all previous models and make far more sense being far smaller, more durable and reversible however if you want to use existing peripherals you are going to require an adapter. The adapters are shown below and are available for a price of between $30 and $40 from the good folks at Apple and in some cases this will still render your peripherals and accessories useless.

The new phone also comes with a redesigned set of ear buds , so the iconic iPod earphones have finally changed and this should supposedly stop them from falling out of ears all over the world with a redesigned shape!

The new phone will also come with a nano sim allowing the phone to be thinner than before, and will be capable of handling a 4G network. This will be big news for residents of countries with a capable 4G network, but with this in the early stages in the UK, won’t mean as much till the 4G spectrum is more widely available.

The new OS will vastly improve this as a device, whilst also keeping the rest of the iPhone family in line with updates as far back to the iPhone 4. If you are looking for more information regarding  iOS 6, We have an article previously posted regarding this massively improved OS @ https://techfilledfantasy.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/apple-ios-6-preview-nemesis-of-jelly-bean/

When the iPhone 5 is released, it will no doubt sell by the truck load! I think that also this will happen, it will be interesting to see how this device effects its market share. Many Apple fanboys have claimed instant love for the device but many have also turned their backs being entirely underwhelmed by the lack of change between the 4S and the 5. The iPhone 5 seems to be like JellyBean was to Androids Ice Cream Sandwich, this is an improved version giving better performance and functionality but doesn’t have the same amount of new features many were expecting.

Only time will tell of its success!





The Cloud, bye bye hard drive !

24 08 2012

Ok so, for quite some time now there has been a lot of chat about “The Cloud”.

By “The Cloud” we mean Cloud based computing and storage, but this can take many forms, some of which shown below in the image i exquisitely stole from Wikipedia.

Some people practically live on the Cloud, whilst others are sceptical, prefering storage on USB sticks, hard drives etc.

The new Google Chromebook is a great example of Cloud computing. This sits on the border between being a pure cloud client and a laptop. The Chromebook only has a 16GB hard drive. This, still could function as a computer but considering the standard iPhone is 16 GB, it doesnt give much room to play with presuming that some of this internal storage is also used for the Chrome OS data. There are limited offline capabilities but when connected to the internet , you essentially have unlimited storage and capabilities with access to the web store to purchase web apps to use programs such as Word and Excel and taking 8 seconds according to Google to boot up with a pretty instantaneous set up from the box.

There are a lot of Cloud applications floating about now (excuse the pun), with services such as Google Drive and Dropbox aswell as Apple’s iCloud service. I am registered for all of these and each have their own great features. My iPad is backed up to iCloud meaning that if the preverbial hits the fan on my laptop or the iPad, I can simply restore my settings from the cloud. Being an Android geek I also have Titanium Backup linked to my Dropbox and Google Drive account, this means all of my phone backups are stored on the cloud and even if my phone is completely wiped I can restore these apps from thin air!

Cloud applications are incredibly useful and are basically the future of University. The amount of times a student will walk into College or University only to be met with the fear after discovering their USB Stick with all of their work is still at home will be uncountable. Using Dropbox for example, files are uploading to this service at home using a mobile, laptop, iPad etc.. and when you are using any other computer,laptop etc you simply access Dropbox and then have access to your previously uploaded files, meaning files you uploaded at home are on the computer you are using in University with a simple log in to each of the Servers.

Now, getting to the sceptics.
A lot of folk will be sceptical purely due to their lack of control of their files. Of course files can be uploaded, downloaded and deleted at your request, but in the meantime.. What is happening with your files and where abouts are they? The answer to this question is fairly simple.. instead of using your own small DVD Sized Hard-Drive, you are probably using a Corridor filled with massive servers and hard drives in an industrial estate.

Now, although you may think your data may be easily compromised. These establishments are pretty well secured (most of them anyway) and have complete sevurity teams with access documented to the rooms and some of them are even pretty green and environmentally friendly in comparison with these types of centres of old.

Another reason most people seem to be sceptical is the reliability of these sort of services. Facebook rarely goes down, Twitter rarely goes down but it does happen and when it does the whole world knows about it. Although this wouldnt happen much, If it happens on an occasion where your stored data is integral to what you do, you would be pretty much screwed if you don’t have it there and then or when the service resumes crucial files may have became corrupt or deleted.

I sit very uncomfortably on the fence on this matter. I use Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and probably other services that aren’t at the forefront of my mind. I use these in addition to Solid Storage. I still have many USB sticks, a portable Hard Drive and a laptop with a substantial Hard Drive. These services, as far as I can see compliment each other. Having a plan B is never a bad thing so if you have the time or the resources to implement both I still see this is as the way forward in the near future.





Windows 8 Phone, Next big thing ?

11 08 2012

Apple and Android are completely dominating the Mobile market at the minute with a pretty large proportion of phones running each of their OS.

Their next challenger, with the pretty imminent downfall of Blackberry is Windows in my opinion. This is backed up by figures in most parts of the world. The Nokia Lumia range run the most recent Windows operating system pretty successfully and this has been the most success the range has had in quite some time with most people not considering Windows an option up until now.

Windows 8 is said to be being released around the end of the year with October and November being heard in amongst the whispers. This, you would assume to be after the launch of the IPhone 5 with most sources saying this will be released before October. A disadvantage in my eyes but I suppose it could be an advantage depending on the success of the new flagship Apple device.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview

The above shows the new Windows 8 interface. A complete overhaul in comparison with the current Windows 7, and previous Windows OS. This, is more closely related to the most recent Windows 7 phone and operates in a smart-tile UI. This changes as new information is received, with each block acting as a resizable, movable widget, bringing you the most up to date texts, facebook updates and things of this sort.

The above video gives an idea about how this works.

Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Nokia are all confirmed to be making a phone to run Windows 8.

Windows 8 will be NFC compatible and have its own version of Google Wallet and Passbook named Microsoft Wallet ( how creative !?)  and will also run Internet Explorer 10 with the capacity to run numerous core processors and HD quality graphics. The phones will also have expandable storage and a great Maps system, something Nokia as a company have had some considerable success in before now.

Above, again are some images that give an idea of how the UI will look, with some different variations.

Windows 8 Phones are also going to be far more integrated into the Windows 8 OS which will be available for PC’s and Laptops. This will make sharing files and settings far easier and should hopefully make the whole experience far better than previous and rival the current set up of Apple and I tunes.

Phones are also going to be supported for a minimum of 18  months after launch, this will be useful to some Tech geeks who get the phones at their release with the phone being supported for Updates for the vast majority of their contract with this not necessarily being the case with some devices!

Not being an expert on the subject, far more information can be obtained at

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/windows-phone-8-release-date-and-latest-details-1065086

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2012/06/20/announcing-windows-phone-8.aspx

If you are interested, or just want to learn a little more on what else is out there !!





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..








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