For when you can't stick a GPS on your windshield
Usually the best car mounts for holding your iPhone up as you drive along, shouting at either Google or Apple Maps, are ones that stick firm to your windshield. Not every state allows that, though, and not every driver likes it anyway, so there are alternatives -- and the OSOMount Arc 2 Extendable Arm and Dash Mount Holder is one of them.
Strong, easy to fit windshield mount for iPhone
Don't get us started on which States let you use a windshield-mounted GPS: it's so complicated, it changes, and anyway by the time we'd listed all the conditions, our UK colleagues will have driven wherever they're going. For the US, we can wait with crossed fingers for a heads-up laser display projected onto the glass. Until then, we're going to argue that having your iPhone mounted up where you can see it is safer than an in-dashboard system you have to keep taking your eyes off the road to see. More, we're going to recommend you use the Montar Universal Car Mount wherever it is safe and legal to do so.
Fast, detailed hard disk monitoring utility
There's nothing better than checking out the state of your hard disk, and we've all spent many happy hours twiddling with a drive instead of getting on with our work. Yet those disks that we forget about will go wrong just about as certainly as they will fill up. Maybe they won't go wrong today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. Usually that's the reason why you should have backups, and it still is, but it's now also a good reason to try out Disk Sensei. It's a quick and thorough utility that reports on the current health of your drives, as well as then taking steps to keep them running well.
Carbon Copy Cloner vs SuperDuper! vs ChronoSync
This is a rubbish smackdown. Where's the drama? Where's the bit where one of these backup utilities gets voted off the island? Here's the thing, though: over the last month or so, we've reviewed three very powerful applications that broadly do the same thing. They all back up your data to external hard disks, and they all create ways that you can startup your Mac again even if your internal drive dies on you. Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper, and ChronoSync are surely the leading applications in this, and they are certainly needed. We just wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't pitch them against each other to help you pick one.
TextExpander Touch adds new keyboard variations, VoiceOver accessibility feature
Productivity applications developer Smile has released an update for TextExpander Touch, a customizable typing shortcut tool for iOS devices. Users can expand custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently-used text, and is able to function in all apps. TextExpander touch v3.1 offers the addition of Portugese and Swedish keyboard variations, as well as QWERTY variants to French, German, and Spanish keyboard via the app's Layout setting. "Play Expansion Sound" and "Key Clicks" are now separate preferences, and abbreviations that contain or end with spaces are supported. VoiceOver accessibility to on-boarding is included, as well as minor bug fixes. Priced at $5, TextExpander Touch 3.1 requires iOS 8.
Speakers compatible with Siri and Voice Commands
Ematic released yesterday its ESB100 Speaker, its first Bluetooth speaker product. The speaker -- comparable to a softball in size -- offers 30 feet of wireless range, as well as a line-in feature to listen directly from a non-Bluetooth device. With 35 hours of playtime per charge, the ESB100's battery is recharged with the included microUSB cable and wall charger. Including customizable foam speaker grills in blue and black, consumers can purchase Ematic's ESB100 for $40 at Wal-Mart.
iPod touch teardown
Following last week's release of a stripped-down iPod touch, iFixit has posted a complete teardown that shows the internal modifications. The 16GB iPod touch lacks the internal post that is used for the Loop on the 32GB and 64GB variants, however features the same curved speaker that was designed to avoid the post in the first place. With the exception of the flash memory, it appears that the other components on the logic board are identical to those found in the 32GB and 64GB models. iFixit also notes that Apple has moved the microphone from the back of the device to the top.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has put forth a set of expectations for Apple's Q3 earnings, due today after the US markets close. Munster believes that upside to Mac and iPod units may drive upside to the June quarter and is reiterating his Buy rating. While the street is expecting Apple to have shipped 2.2 million Macs in the quarter, Munster cites a buyside bias of 2.35 million units. He is also expecting shipemtn of about 10.5 million iPods, vs. the street consensus of 10.3 million.
OWC low cost Superdrives
Other World Computing on Thursday unveiled low-cost Superdrives for almost any Mac released within the last decade, offering 48x CD burning and LightScribe labeling technology. OWC claims the drives are quiet, and do not require any extra software to be installed with the drive. Users can also write to dual-layer DVDs at up to 12x speeds, while single-layer discs can write at up to 20x. OWC is selling the Superdrives starting from $35.
OWC drops Mercury pricing
Other World Computing today announced lower pricing for its Mercury Elite-AL Pro quad interface drive line, offering sizes up to 1TB, which the company claims are among the best values on the market. The drives feature Firewire 400 and 800, as well as USB 2.0 and eSATA, allowing the drives to be connected to almost any computer system. Pricing for the drive line starts at $160, and offers up to 150MB per second over eSATA.
LaCie desktop drives
LaCie has introduced the Desktop hard disk available in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB and 1TB configurations. The 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB models are available in a stackable form-factor. All of the drives include a single USB 2.0 port and spin at 7200 RPM. The 1TB drive features 16MB (2 x 8MB) or greater or cache, while the smaller capacities feature 8MB of cache. The drives start at around $125 and should be available immediately.
Iomega 120GB REV at CeBIT
Iomega today announced the REV 120GB Backup Drive, as well as the accompanying disks, and it will show the offerings at CeBIT 2008 in Hanover, Germany. The third-generation offering adds to a current user base of over 350,000 drives, with over 2 million disks in circulation. The drive will be available with a USB 2.0 connection in April, while Iomega expects to release an ATAPI version later in the summer. Pricing was not immediately available.
First Look at DiskWarrior
Operating systems have many file- and directory-level settings that are invisible to the typical users. There are files that govern the location of data, invisible files that relate to the trash or other system-essential files, permissions, and so on. Even though these files are unseen, they are none-the-less important, and a minor corruption in these files could potentially lead to a disastrous experience. DiskWarrior 4.1 brings its renowned volume repair methods to Leopard, which helps users keep their drives healthy.
OWC Mac DVD/CD burners
Other World Computing (OWC) today unveiled new Superdrives and CD burners for all Mac computer models. The company's drive upgrade -- the 20X DL SuperDrive DVR-115D -- reads as well as writes DVDs, CDs, and dual-layer DVDs. Capacity for dual layer DVDs is 8.5GB at speeds of 10X; regular DVDs for 4.7GB capacity at 20X; and CDs for 700MB at 40X. "For most Macs, this is an incredibly easy upgrade and one of great return for anyone who's currently making or planning to make their own DVDs or CDs," OWC said. The new drives are priced from $30 and up.
8x SuperDrive upgrade
MCE Technologies today debuted a new slim slot-loading 8X SuperDrive upgrade (site not updated) for Apple's MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. The drives write to DVD+R DL (Double Layer) as well as DVD-R DL, and are designed to replace the original 4X and 6X SuperDrives in Apple's stock systems. Built to accommodate the slender form factor of Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro, the drive upgrade ships for $200 with all required tools and instructions to perform the upgrade at home.
320GB drive upgrade
MCE Technologies has announced the 320GB MobileStor Performance hard drive, an upgrade solution for all MacBook Pro and MacBook systems. Utilizing a 320GB 2.5" internal SATA hard drive upgrade includes an external, portable enclosure which has both FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces for use with the original 2.5" SATA hard drive, facilitating data transfer. Also bundled are the SuperDuper! cloning/backup software, all tools required for installation, and an illustrated installation manual. The drive features a rotational speed of 5400RPM, a maximum sustained data transfer rate of over 75MB/sec and burst transfer rates of 150MB/sec.
New LaCie drives, display
LaCie today announced five new devices at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company's latest offerings include the newly redesigned d2 Quadra, Little Big Disk Quadra, LaCinema Premier, and the Big Disk Extreme+ eSATA/USB. LaCie also unveiled a new 24-inch monitor designed for creative professionals, which is scheduled to ship later this month starting at $1,050.
Buffalo's Blu-Ray, HD DVD
Buffalo Technology today unveiled three new external drive solutions, as well as a new combination HD DVD and Blu-Ray reader-writer, at CES 2008 in Las Vegas. The company says its MediaStation Blu-Ray HD DVD drive is the first device of its kind to allow users to both read and write Blu-Ray content. While the drive can write to Blu-Ray optical media, it is only able to read HD DVD formatted discs. Using a USB cable, users can connect the drive up to a laptop or other mobile device to watch movies. The drive includes a full version of Nero, and will ship during the first quarter of 2008 for $650.