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Editorial and Hands On: Star Wars Card Trader

08/31, 3:55pm

Questioning the value of a $250 digital image

So, the Internet has lost its mind at some point in the past few days. If you haven't heard, there was a JPEG of Han Solo being bought and sold on eBay for upwards of $225. Of course, it's not just any digital image, or so I'm told, but a card from the officially licensed Star Wars: Card Trader digital collectible trading card app from Topps.


Hands On: Zentries 1.6.0 (iOS)

08/31, 10:29am

Slick notepad app offers a great interface but minimal features

If you've got an iPad or an iPhone, you might use it as a notepad while you're on the go. After all, most of us have our phones at all times, so they make the perfect holding tank for all our thoughts, ideas, and feelings. If you're not satisfied with the way Notes is working out for you, we're here to show you an alternative. We checked out Zentries, a simple little notepad app.


Hands On: Sixth-gen iPod touch with Apple A8 SoC

08/31, 4:15am

New Apple iPod touch has the Nintendo DS, and Sony PS Vita in its sights

Once the darling of the Apple product range, the Apple iPod touch has become a sideshow in Apple's product range. Despite this, Apple recently gave its iPod range a small refresh, which included new color options -- but the iPod touch did also get a substantial spec bump up to the Apple's 64-bit A8 processor that powers the iPhone 6. While the upgrade will go unnoticed by most, both Nintendo and Sony will not have missed the significance of its launch.


Hands On: Workflow 1.3 (iOS)

08/28, 8:31am

Small but revolutionary update

Once again, this app has had the tiniest of point number updates from 1.2 to become Workflow 1.3 but what it's added is hugely significant. Previously we've reviewed this and we've tried it out and we have completely understood that it is a marvel of automation for your iPhone and iPad. Intellectually, we understood that it meant you could speed up things, make a single button that launched complicated sequences involving different apps. We understood all this intellectually – but now because of just one of the new features, we get it.


Hands On: Wanted Poster Pro 2.4 (iOS)

08/27, 8:35am

Fun app allows you to make wanted posters out of your friends pictures

So with Halloween on the horizon and convention season being a year-round thing, we've decided to bring you a little gift. What if there was a quick way to create some themed decorations for your haunted house or themed party? Today, we humbly suggest Wanted Poster Pro, an app that allows you to create your own wanted posters right from your iPhone or iPad.


Hands On: Audiofly AF56 In-Ear Headphones

08/25, 5:40pm

High-end headphones offer superior sound at significant cost

Today is the fourth installment in an unplanned series about Audiofly in-ear headphones. We've taken a look at their starter models, the respectable A33 and the bolder version, the Clublife Paradise, but today we get to take a look at the high-end headphones from the company. Only the testing block today is the Audiofly AF56 in-ear headphones.


Hands On: Lytro Light-Field Camera

08/24, 7:25am

Quirky rectangular camera allows you to refocus images on the fly

Photography is a fairly accessible hobby to get into in the digital age, in terms of both cost and starting skill level. With the advent of smartphones, more and more people are seriously looking into digital photography and don't take long to branch out and grab some specialized equipment. If this sounds like you, we're going to give you an option you may have never thought of: the Lytro light-field camera.


Hands On: Flyp-Duo Reversible USB Cable

08/24, 6:30am

Convenient cable boasts two ends: micro USB and Lightning

If yours is a house of multiple devices chances are you leave with at least a couple of different cables in tow. But is it absolutely necessary? Doesn't it become a hassle trying to keep track of all those cords? Lucky for you, Tylt is here to fix that problem with the Flyp-Duo reversible USB charge & sync cable, a cable that lets you charge your iOS and Android products without excess cord clutter.


Hands On: Commander One 1.0.1232 (OS X)

08/21, 9:22am

File management app for keyboard fans

The Commander One website, and all the company's press releases about the product, give a little wink and say that the software should remind people of a certain unnamed application. All we can think of is Norton Commander (NC) and yes, Commander One 1.0.1232 does look an awful lot like that ancient application. Of course "ancient" is relative but, come on, Norton Commander was around in the mid-1980s. Just as Apple was first making us point and click with mice, NC was all about the keyboard, and all about looking like DOS. You may be too young to remember DOS and if so, we hate you. At the time, we were young, and we hated DOS.


Hands On: Audiofly AF45 In-Ear Headphones

08/21, 8:24am

In-ear headphones that offer great sound but come with a high price tag

If you're like us, in your day-to-day lives you probably prefer listening to music with in-ear headphones -- and chances are you're used to trading off certain things, like great bass and overall clarity, for portability and comfort. Today, we're here to show you that there is a better option, provided you're willing to invest the money. We take a look at our third in Audiofly's in-ear headphone series, the improved AF45s.


Hands On: Misfit Bolt Bluetooth Smartbulb

08/20, 7:13am

Mid-range smartbulb features great app and equally great light

It's turning into a battle of bulbs here, as we're back to check out our third LED smartbulb. It's turning into a bit of a Goldilocks situation, with some bulbs being priced well but feature-starved, with others being feature-packed but far too costly. Today, we check out Bolt, a smartbulb by Misfit, that promises to give you lots features without the high-end price of some of the other smartbulbs.


Hands On: Tile Bluetooth Object Tracker

08/19, 7:52am

Small plastic tag promises to keep you from losing your things

If you're like us, there's probably a time or two (or 10) that you've misplaced an item. Maybe it's been in your house. Maybe it's been at work or in a restaurant. Maybe you've left something on a bus or a plane. What if there was something that had your back? Something small, something that stuck with whatever it is you keep losing, and kept an eye on it for you? Well, released today there is -- and it's called Tile.


Hands on: Deflecto 1.3.1 (iOS)

08/18, 1:46pm

Retro-style arcade game is fun, but features additional pay-to-play mechanics

If you're old enough, chances are you've played at least a few classic arcade games. Games like Asteroids, Centipede, and Space Invaders -- and chances are, there are times you look at those games through rose-colored glasses, and long to return to them. Today, we offer a game that will give you that feeling in spirit: a spunky little arcade title called Deflecto.


Hands On: Evernote Web Client

08/18, 10:26am

Best-looking Evernote version now out of beta

If you go down to today, you're reasonably sure of a big surprise. For the last few months, there has been a beta test of a new Evernote version, and from this week it's out of beta. It's only available on desktop computers: on iPhones and iPads, you have to use the iOS apps. The company says it will take time to roll out to everyone, but the new Evernote Web Client is here and/or coming, and it is far more elegant than its name.


Hands On: Trimaginator 1.8 (iOS)

08/18, 7:39am

Photography app features interesting polygonal filters to give your pictures a new look

We check out a lot of photography apps, from improved cameras to vintage filters and art filter apps. Every so often, we come across photography apps that sort of defy conventional categories. Today, we're adding another app to that list with Trimaginator, a quirky filter app centered around triangles.


Hands On: Misfit Flash Bluetooth Fitness Tracker

08/17, 6:33pm

Cheap and cheerful fitness tracker offers features for new and seasoned gym-goers alike

Fitness tracking is hip right now, which is probably one of the more beneficial things we've done as a species, as far as trends go. If you've not jumped on the bandwagon yet, you might be a little wary about dropping a significant amount of cash on something you're not sure you're going to utilize. But if you're interested in getting started, we'd like to introduce you to Misfit Flash, a budget-friendly, feature-packed fitness tracker.


Hands On: A21 Ilumi Bluetooth LED Bulb

08/17, 10:46am

LED smartbulb features bright, clean light at a steep cost

LED bulbs are in vogue these days, cited as being cheap to run, long lasting, bright, and less annoying than compact fluorescent lights. We couldn't imagine life without them at this point. Smart LEDs are starting to become more popular, and while we weren't sold at first, we're coming around to them. Today, we check out another contender in the smartbulb arena, A21 Ilumi Smartbulb, a feature-heavy Bluetooth lightbulb that works with your iPhone.


Hands On: Scosche GoBAT 6000 Powerbank

08/17, 8:11am

Plug-in powerbank saves you the worry of dead batteries without taking up much space

We've all been there -- that moment when you realize that your phone or tablet is dying, and you're barely through your day. And of course, this only ever seems to happen when being near an outlet just isn't an option. For most people, we go into critical battery saving mode, dimming the screen, turning off the vibrate function -- we've all got our own battery conservation strategies. Scosche has got our backs, though, with their portable powerbank, the GoBAT 6000.


Hands On: M4P-to-MP3 Converter 1.30.8 (OS X)

08/13, 10:49am

Fragile utility for tinkerers and music fans

Here's how fragile and delicate this app is: we couldn't get it to work. At all. Not even with the help of its developers. Consequently, this could be a very short review -- but it's an interesting area, and we have a word count so if we can't do a Hands On, at least we can try to put our finger on what's wrong with M4P-to-MP3 Converter 1.30.8. Plus, it is one of those names that tells you what the application does, but if you understand what it does, you likely know how to do it yourself, so there is an issue of whether it's even worth your fiddling with.


Hands On: Prune 1.0.21 (iOS)

08/13, 7:30am

Header: Beautiful puzzle game invites players to relax with nature

Meditative puzzle games are pretty darn awesome. We're big fans of games that encourage us to relax, while giving us some sort of task to work through -- because it seems to help melt our stress away. Today, we checked out a nifty game called Prune, a puzzle game that has you getting in touch with your inner gardener.


Hands On: EcoPebble Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

08/12, 9:15am

Tiny speaker promises to brave whatever you throw at it

Portable speakers are great, but there's still usually some sort of caveat. They're portable with an asterisk -- generally intended for indoor use, or outdoor use in "optimal conditions." If you lead an outdoorsy lifestyle, however, rarely will you be in "optimal conditions." That's why EcoxGear came up with the EcoPebble, a durable little speaker that can go wherever you do.


Hands On: Lux Bluetooth Speaker + Powerbank

08/12, 7:30am

Fashionable speaker doubles as power bank, falls a little short on sound

If you're like us, you like your technology to work well and look good. There's nothing wrong with wanting your devices to be stylish, and there's something to be said for a device that wows you with its appearance and its capabilities. Braven takes that philosophy to heart with Lux, a Bluetooth speaker that's capable of turning heads.


Hands On: Urbanears Plattan ADV Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

08/11, 4:24pm

Sleek headphones offer style and cordless convenience

We check out a lot of headphones here, which you've probably noticed by this point. Most headphones we check out tend to be geared toward a certain type of listener, music enthusiasts, club kids, gamers... You name it, we've reviewed it. But today we take a look at a set of headphones that could suit just about anyone's needs, especially when it comes to being downright convenient. Today, we check out the Plattan ADV Wireless headphones by Urbanears.


Hands On: Bracketron JamSpot Bluetooth Tablet Stand

08/11, 7:10am

Tablet stand offers big sound, but could offer better quality

If you're like us, there are times you find yourself wanting to watch videos or listen to music without headphones. Most tablet speakers are decent, but leave quite a bit to be desired in terms of volume. We were lucky enough to check out Brackertron's JamSpot, a tablet stand with speakers built right into it.


Hands On: Clublife Paradise In-Ear Headphones

08/10, 1:27pm

Glow-in-the-Dark in-ear headphones look and sound good, feel a little strange

For us, our choice of headphones is personal, and we think of them as an extension of our personal style. We like our headphones to look every bit as good as they sound and hold them to a very high standard. We usually only enforce this requirement with on-ear headphones, but thanks to Clublife's Paradise in-ear headphones, we've got earbuds that look great and sound just as good.


Hands On: Documents - Word Processor and Reader for Microsoft Office 5

08/10, 10:26am

Don't buy it: simple as that, really

This gives us no pleasure to say, but you should not buy Documents -- Word Processor and Reader for Microsoft Office 5.4. Nobody should. What it does, it does poorly, and it is intended to be a replacement for other apps that are freely available, and maybe not infinitely better but at least geometrically better. Documents is a throwback to a time when we didn't have Microsoft Word or Excel on iPads.


Hands On: Scosche FreeKEY Bluetooth Keyboard

08/10, 7:34am

Flexible silicone keyboard is lightweight, portable, and damage resistant

There's no denying that we love our tablets and smartphones, but we find that extended typing on them isn't nearly as comfortable as one would hope, especially in the case of smaller tablets. Our iPad Mini is too big to thumb-text, but too small to home-row, touch-type. Having a full-sized keyboard on hand to make extended typing easier is nice. Having a full-sized keyboard that is light, portable, and damage-resistant? Even better. That's where Scosche's FreeKEY roll-up Bluetooth keyboard comes in, offering both convenience and portability.


Hands On: Microsoft Outlook (Apple Watch)

08/09, 8:13pm

Great email app that needed more testing

There's no question Microsoft is doing some superb work on Apple's iOS, Macs, and now also Apple Watch. There's also no question it's still Microsoft. The new version of Microsoft Outlook 1.3.5 for iOS includes a tremendous Apple Watch app, with a feature list that is greatly superior to Apple's own Mail on the Watch. Since you don't have to have an Outlook email account to use this app, and since you can connect your regular iCloud one to it, it should be great. Except that, yet again, Microsoft has a long list of features -- and while this time they kind of work, they also kind of don't. If you went through a bullet point presentation about the features, you'd say they work, but if you actually go to use them, you wouldn't.


Hands On: Lost Echo 1.5 (iOS)

08/07, 7:31am

Point-and-click adventure lacking on story, makes up for it with puzzles

If you grew up through the 1980s and 1990s, chances are you played a lot of adventure games. You probably also had at least a few brushes with point-and-click adventures, such as the Monkey Island series. We think that the mobile platforms, especially the iPad, would be a great way to revive the genre back to its glory days. Thats why we were so excited to take a look at KickBack's Lost Echo, a point-and-click adventure game that reminds us of our childhood.


Hands On: Sena Antorini Leather Wallet Book for iPhone 6

08/06, 7:48pm

Sena Antorini case does a good job of combing a case with a wallet

Sena is one of the select brands that Apple chooses to carry in its flagship Apple stores around the globe. Senna's preferred material is leather, with most of the products in its popular lineup utilizing it in one way or another. The Antorini Leather Wallet Book , as its name indicates, doubles as a both a protective case for your iPhone 6 as well as a wallet for your essentials, and is worth a look for its versatility.


Hands On: Bluetooth-controlled Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb

08/06, 9:48am

Bluetooth enabled LED bulbs create fantastic scenes in your home

If you're like most people, you don't think too much about the light bulbs that hang out in the sockets in your house. Maybe you've got a preference, but most of us are happy as long as they work and illuminate the area adequately. Still, innovation is generally a good thing, which is why we were so excited to try out the Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb, an LED bulb that utilizes Bluetooth to give users nearly-endless lighting options.


Hands On: Keyboard Maestro 7.0 (OS X)

08/06, 8:31am

Fine update to a hidden gem

Keyboard Maestro 7.0 is not a showy app. Like every version before it, this new one has ever more power, ever more useful features, but exactly the same problem: it is genuinely so good you forget you're using it. This is a tool for making certain tasks easier to do on your Mac, to make a long chain of jobs be done with just a keystroke or two. It does that, it does that very well, but whatever keystrokes you added immediately seem to be what the Mac should always have done.


Hands On: Photokeys 1.0 (iOS)

08/05, 7:34pm

This colorful keyboard utility hits the crowded iOS stage

Since Apple allowed other companies to create keyboards for use on the iPhone, we've had a lot. Not so many or so great that we agree Android users were right to lord this feature over us. Not so many that we look every day for exciting new ones. Yet you may well find that Photokeys 1.0 is that keyboard you've always wanted.


Hands On: Griffin Survivor Crossgrip iPad mini Case

08/05, 10:30am

Durable case offers multiple ways to protect your iPad Mini

We love our iPad mini around here. They're the perfect combination of portable and functional, giving us the extra screen space without becoming too unwieldy to manage when we're out and about. The iPad mini, however, poses a problem. With being so portable, we've come to realize that it's prone to experiencing just as much as we are, including nasty bumps, bruises, and even the occasional fall. Griffin seeks to make life a little less harsh on the iPad mini with the super sturdy Survivor CrossGrip iPad mini case.


Hands On: Intellie Notes 1.0.5 (OS X)

08/05, 9:24am

Minimalist but colorful note taker

There is definitely a case of just having someplace you can scribble down a thought, a phone message, a shopping list. There is also definitely an entire industry devoted to creating such note taking apps and it's a mightily productive one. Search on the word 'note' in the Mac App Store and you get nearly 600 results. Do it on an iPhone and you get just under 9,000. This is the world Intellie Notes 1.0.5 is stepping in, and it's no criticism to say that it has about as much reason to buy it as most of the others do.


Hands On: Swipes 1.0 (OS X, iOS)

08/04, 10:43am

Minimalist, attractive To Do manager

You do need a To Do manager but does the world need another one? Swipes has been around longer than it seems from its name: alongside the new Swipes 1.0 for OS X there is Swipes 2.4 for iOS and it's been progressively developed over the last couple of years. Now it's come to the Mac and brings with it the same minimalist, visual, attractive system for entering tasks and staying on top of them.


Hands On: Firo 3.0 (iPad)

08/04, 8:30am

Feature packed app still remains accessable, even to beginners

We've written about the validity of the iPad as a musical outlet before, but quite a few of the music production apps available for the iPad tend to fall into one of two groups: they're either so simple they're more like toys, or so complicated that they're only for professionals. The app that we're going to talk about today, however, is a nice middle-ground -- a feature-packed, yet user-friendly app called Firo.


Hands On: Griffin Premium Braided Lightning Cable

08/04, 7:22am

Durable Lightning Cable stands up to abuse with multiple reinforcements

We're the first to admit that we are not easy on cables. It's not unheard of them to end up in the bottom of our laptop bag, bunched up and crushed together. We also might have a slight problem with being able to put our iPhones and iPads down long enough for them to charge fully, which often leads to the ends becoming crimped, which eventually leads to wire breakage, which eventually leads to the death of a poor, defenseless cable. Sound familiar? That's why Griffin decided to make their Premium Braided Lightning Cable, to give us serial cable-breakers something that can live up to the abuse.


Hands On: Vox 2.5.1 (OS X, iOS)

08/03, 9:57am

Vox straddles the thin line between brilliant and unusable

This is the most beautiful, even mesmerising app and where you always want to shout loudly about great software, we wanted to stand on desks and bellow that Vox 2.5.1 is a gorgeous music player and service. Unfortunately, we more stood by desks arguing over it. It was 50/50 between one side of MacNN saying it is stunning with some problems and the other half saying those problems were just too much. Both sides are right: we long to recommend this to you but if we do, we have to prepare you for frustrations.


Hands On: Bee 1.0 (iOS)

07/31, 2:50pm

Snappy, fast email for casual users

The world seems to hate email, but it isn't going anywhere -- and those of us who like it are bemused at attempts to replace it. Microsoft Send didn't strike a chord with us but actually, maybe Bee 1.0 does. It's definitely got a place in adding convenience and speed to emails, though probably not if you're a heavy user of Apple's Mail, and definitely not if you're wedded to Gmail or Outlook.


Hands On: Vellum 1.2.5 (OS X)

07/31, 10:18am

It's about time we actually reviewed this

There's reviewing and there's reviewing. You know that the tiniest single-function utility gets examined, turned upside down, poked about with and possibly even shaken a bit. You also know that doesn't take long. There are things like Microsoft Word which take a month or more of serious use with betas and previews before more serious use with the final release. Then there's Vellum 1.2.5. We've had this software for about six months, maybe seven. You can't say we're quick with the news on this one, but complete, we are.


Hands On: Gif Me! Camera 1.11 (iPhone)

07/31, 8:25am

Quickly make GIFs straight from your iPhone with this user-friendly app

The Internet is obsessed with GIFs, if you haven't noticed, but we're pretty sure you have: and for good reason -- they're small, they're animated, and usually contain some of the funniest bits of things you'll see all day. If you've ever wanted to make your own GIFs, we've got a just the app for you to check out: Gif Me! Camera.


Hands On: Angry Birds 2 2.0.1(iOS)

07/31, 7:45am

Angry Birds gets a proper sequel, but it falls short

At this point, we're sure that almost everyone who owns an iPhone or iPad has at least tried out an Angry Birds game, be it the original or one of the many sequels. It's hard to go a public place without coming across some sort of Angry Birds merchandise. Billionaire developers Rovio have finally made a proper sequel, Angry Birds 2, and we sat down and took a look at it to see how it holds up to the original.


Hands On: Microsoft Excel 2016 v15.11.2 (OS X)

07/29, 2:20pm

Hugely-recommended overhaul, but few new features

It's no longer enough for Microsoft to add the odd new feature and scrub up the appearance of an app: the world has moved on, not least in that we now call them all "apps" instead of "applications." With Office 2016 now available to Office 365 users (if their companies have enabled it, or if they sign up themselves), our attention did go first to the new version of Microsoft Word. Office for Mac really contains four major applications (and OneNote, which we'll call a minor one) though, and while we personally might lump PowerPoint and Outlook together into the guest-cast category, Microsoft Excel 2016 15.11.2 is definitely a star of the show.


Hands On: Learn Spanish with MosaLingua 7.0 (iOS)

07/29, 7:54am

Give yourself a refresher course with this simple Spanish language course

Language is one of those things that needs to be maintained and routinely brushed up on, and is especially true of a second language. How many of us took Spanish or French in high school, but haven't spoke a lick of it since then? If you're looking for a great way to refresh your memory, we suggest checking out something like Learn Spanish with MosaLingua.


Hands On: NC Twitter Widget for Notification Center 1.1 (iOS)

07/28, 3:06pm

Just swipe to read the latest tweets

Twitter is a never-ending waterfall of news, totally random information and totally spurious comments: you can't keep up with everything, and everything changes from moment to moment too. NC Twitter Widget for Notification Center 1.1 can't stop the flow, but it can let you quickly see the latest few tweets before, just as quickly, letting you back into real life. It's an iOS 8 Notification Center item, which means you can see Twitter at any time by just swiping down from the top of your screen.


Hands On: This is My Food 1.0.0 (iOS)

07/28, 2:01pm

Easy-to-use biology and nutrition app makes learning about food fun

Educational apps for kids over the age of five are often entirely centered around reading comprehension or mathematics, and often tend to gloss over the sciences. We think that is a real shame, because kids are naturally curious about the world around them and how it works. Urbn Pockets, however, saw this opportunity and decided they'd step in, with a biology- and nutrition-themed app called This is My Food.


Hands On: Dashlane 3.0.3 (OS X, iOS)

07/28, 10:49am

Good, strong password manager

Ask anyone who uses a password manager app, and they will evangelize about it -- but they'll also make it sound as if there's only one. We're a little guilty of this ourselves: we've regarded 1Password as synonymous with password management. Yet there are really a handful of them, and Dashlane 3.0.3 has fans who will never look at anything else. They probably don't need to.


Hands On: Lumo Deliveries 1.4.2 (iOS)

07/28, 7:49am

Manage your shipping empire and attempt to take over the world

Resource management games are a fairly broad genre. You've got the base builders and the simulation games, but every so often you've got games that are almost entirely about one single thing: aquiriing and reallocating resources. The most famous title we can think of is Cookie Clicker, but there are several other games in the genre. Today, we check out another game that fits this mold, Lumo Deliveries, to see how it stands against other more well known titles.


Hands On: Stray Dog Simulator 1.1 (iOS)

07/28, 7:37am

Eat trash, get in fights, live the life of a stray dog in this strange but fun game

If you've never experienced the joy of playing a game that is utterly ridiculous, we're not sure if you have even really begun living. We've checked out a lot of silly games here, and they've earned a spot in our heart. Today we add another to our growing list, Gluten Free Games' Stray Dog Simulator, a game in which you live the life of a stray dog.



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