Tag Archive: tablets


iPad mini

(Credit: Apple)

If the only thing holding you back from buying an iPad was the price or size, the iPad Mini is for you.  All the features and sleekness of an iPad with less price and bulk (7.2mm thick and only .68lb), make this a must-have for you.  Hurry, go get one now.

But if you are budget conscious, know that there several 7 inch alternatives to the iPad Mini.  Google has the Nexus with great features and reviews, Samsung has the Galaxy Tab 7.0 and of course, Amazon has the Kindle Fire.  Of this group, only the Galaxy Tab approaches the price of the iPad Mini.

Specs and usage for these products are similar so the decision comes down to what is the most important feature to you.  Personally, Techsnoop loves many Apple products, but has an aversion to being held hostage to software.  When you purchase a product, it should be yours to use as you wish without restrictions on where and how you get your software.

The maximum amount of price, features and software flexibility comes from the Nexus.

Cintiq Touch HD - WacomIf you are a graphic designer you know tools are the killer difference.  Talent is great, but without the proper tools your productivity sucks.  Techsnoop can’t even get things done without her wireless mouse.

So, start saving your pennies because the folks at Wacom have done it again with this killer graphics tablet.  The only thing more you could ask for in a piece of equipment is for it to read your mind… come to think of it, they’re working on that.

So everyone sing with me “All I want For Christmas….” while watching this video.

TechsnoopToday’s post is from one of my favorites, iGameMom who keeps up with the latest in electronic learning for the height-challened, super tech generation.  If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, of a kid up to grade 12, check out these apps and her blog.

It is hard to believe the school is starting soon.  Are you ready for the kids going back to school?  Are the kids ready?   I hope these back-to-school apps will help the kids to achieve straight A’s and stay happy!

First, here are some apps that will help the kids transition into the learning mood from a relaxed summer:

Brain Quest (free): curriculum based trivia games for grade1 to 5.  Each grade has 80 questions.  With In-App purchase ($2.99 for each grade), you can buy the whole pack, which has over 600 questions for each grade.  Kids learn while playing games.

BrainPop Featured Movie (free): Kids get to see a new animated documentary every day. The range of topics is amazingly broad: science, history, Engineering & technology, Social Studies, English, Arts & Music, and Health subjects.

TeachMe ($1.99 for each grade level): An app series covers Toddler, Kindergarten, Grade1, and Grade2. Each grade has spelling and basic math.

Khan Academy (free): Free classes on various subjects.  The topics include: K-12 math, science (such as biology, chemistry, and physics), finance, history, test prep (GMAT, CAHSEE, SAT math, etc). The level of the courses ranges from elementary school to college.  Any student will be able to find something

After they get into the learning mood, here are some apps that can help them get A’s on the specific subjects

Stack the States ($0.99): Learn US states via interactive games

Stack the Countries ($1.99): Learn world geography while playing games

NOVA Elements (free): Learn periodic table with multi-media materials, such as short videos, pictures, 3D models, and games.

SplashMath ($9.99): comprehensive math app that is linked to US standard curriculum.

Mathemagics – Mental math tricks ($0.99): teaches little tricks on how to do math quickly

Mindsnacks Spanish (initial download is free with one level, $4.99 for the whole package with 50 levels): Learn Spanish with fun.

Now Some Good Reads:

Ice is Nice – Cat in the Hat Learning Library ($5.99): Learn animals and geography of North and South Poles. It is for kids aged 5-10.

ABCmouse.com: Grand Canyon (free): Kids 4 and up will learn everything about Grand Canyon, following ABCmouse.

Horton Hatches the Egg ($4.99): Another Dr.Seuss’s book app designed for pre-school and kindergarteners.

Biography Comics (free for the first 3 books, $29.99 for all 29 books): 29 biographies in comics, including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, … It is for kids 8 and older.

Cool to be Clever (free): kids 6 and up who can read chapter-books will learn the story of Edson Hendricks and how he invented “connectionless” network design that is used in today’s Internet.

Brush of Truth ($1.99): A book app written for children age 8-12.  It is a book app that the readers get to decide how the story unfolds… NOTE: will be $0.99 on Aug.17!

While at school, there will be issues about bullies and interactions between peers, these apps will help:

FeelElectric (free): designed for kids 6 and older, this app teaches kids recognize different emotions and express emotions with words

Be Confident in Who You Are ($2.99): a graphic novel targeted at kids 8-14 years old. It addresses topics such as self-consciousness, stress, bullying, fitting in, body image, and sticky issues in friendships. All these issues are presented in an age appropriate manner.

Enjoy a new school year with these cool apps!

Friday Fun!

There has been a long standing tradition of comparing Star Trek to Star Wars and asking which is best.  Now Best Engineering Online brings us a great infographic comparing the two universes point by point.  Look it over and decide which you like best.

Personally, Techsnoop is firmly in the Star Trek universe due to the tendency of humans to try to be the best they can.  Not to mention all the great tech we have filched from them (smartphone, tablet, diagnostic bed) and the great gardens.  However, I like Star Wars also and no one can tell me Yoda isn’t the best Jedi ever.  But the drinking, drug problems and over manufacturing of many planets is not a healthy universe.

Let us know in the comments which universe you like best.
Star Wars vs. Star Trek
Source: Best Online Engineering Degree

Multi-ScreenThe latest trend in marketing and social media is the rise of user multi-screening.   Tech Crunch says more customers are using several screens together for a richer information experience.  For instance, a customer may start looking up a product on their smartphone and continue the purchase on a PC or laptop.  Or they may begin watching a movie on TV and finish up on a tablet as they have to become mobile.  Small business must transition to make this experience as seamless as possible.  Failure to account for user changing metrics will spell failure for your business.

What does this mean to you?  Well, when contracting for digital services, more money will need to be budgeted to get a service or professional that offers responsive web services.  Also, all platforms will need to be integrated for seamless movement from one to the other.  This means SSL will become necessary to collect user information so they can keep connected.

The presentation below shows how Google thinks this trend is important.  And if Google thinks it is important, we had all better take note.
Multiscreenworld Final

In the ever more crowded tablet market, Samsung has shoved another offering, the Galaxy Note 10.1.  Why, you may ask is this news?  Because they have added a split screen app to view content and take notes at the same time.  It also has an option to watch video and use apps at once.

Epic.  The ultimate work and play device.

Face it, other than entertainment, the purpuse of a tablet is to gather information on the go for later review or use.  The new note taking, and look-at capability makes the tablet into the Star Trek road warrior tool we have been waiting for.

CNET says this tablet will be available soon with a date to be announced in the next week.  While Samsung is aiming this tablet at the education market, the business users may want to take notice of the multitasking possibilities.

Let us know in the comments if this is the tablet you have been waiting for.

This is a tale of hubris run amok.  Apple has lost some of their glamour.

Massive patent lawsuits, manufacturing woes, public image hits, actual customer dissatisfaction and loss of focus have left the giant stumbling.  And now, their advertising is lame.  These commercials are not bad per se, but they lack the focus that creates genuine desire for a product.  They fail on selling the service aspect by depicting the potential customer as idiots.  But you judge.  Let us know what you think in the comments.

Freelancers need all the help they can get to be as productive as possible.  Tablets are a great tool to keep track of ideas on the fly or impromptu meetings with potential clients.  Here are a couple of items to maximize your tablet investment.

Adobe Photoshop Touch, available for Android and iPad is a great way to mock up ideas with teams or clients on the go, without breaking out the lumbering laptop.  At only $9.99, its also affordable for even budget freelancers.

Highlights include;

  • Available for iPad 2 or later and Android.
  • Work with core Photoshop tools designed for tablets.
  • Use your tablet camera to fill area on a layer.
  • Select part of image to extract by scribbling.
  • Perform Google searches and share images on Facebook right in the app.
  • Sync files to Adobe Creative Cloud and open in Photoshop.

Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro app is for creating original images on the fly and makes your tablet into a digital sketch book.  Best of all, it comes in a free version (without the full set of features).  Check out the video;

Happy Designing!  DKemp Designs

Galaxy NoteTechsnoop loves the new Galaxy Note.  The 5.3″ crystal clear screen is a thing of beauty.  While many are split over the size being too large for a phone, I have long become used to using either my bluetooth or speaker so holding the phone to my ear is a thing of the past.

Instead, why not get a gadget that can truly be an all purpose – tablet, pc and phone in one compact device.  And even though the screen is large, the Galaxy Note is slim enough and light enough that it is not cumbersome.

And it has some great apps and features.  The pen gives real usefulness for business functions and it creates handwriting to text and lets you capture screen images and make notes on them to send to friends and business contacts.

Bottom line; the way you use your phone should direct if you will find this device useful.  For those who are “ear chatters”, this will not work out.  But if you use your phone hands-free and need access to productivity apps, this might be your next big thing.

LG-Thin-Skype-TVAndroid powered TVs, wireless streaming of your personal media content and super-cheap tablets for education are some of the big stars at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

TV of the future has arrived (where’s my hovercar?).  The TVs at CES this year were packed with features for connectivity, streaming, 3D and super-thin.  They nearly disappear when viewed from the side.  Clearly these are meant to be wall mounted works of art integrated into your decor.  No longer will the TV be a necessary floor-hogging monster.  These are sleek and beautiful even when off.  They encourage being left on with a screen saver picture.

Save your pennies, the must-have item on this year’s Christmas list will be TV.

If you got an upgraded snazzy new smartphone or tablet for Christmas, here are the next great free apps; Shazam Player, Path and NBA Game.  Path is the new Social Media app that is intended for only those in your closest inner circle.  Path logs where you go, what you do, what you listen to, when you sleep and wake (I hope without pics) and generally can reconstruct your entire life day by day.  Clearly not information you want to share casually.  In fact, if you use this app, be sure to download and use a strong antivirus and wipe/recover software in case you lose your phone or it is stolen.

If you aren’t tech-savvy, make friends with a geek.  Your home is going connected soon.