Articles By edRwc
edrwc has written 11 awesome app reviews.
Ever feel like you have too many devices that need charging and too few plugs in one place to get everything charged up at the same time? I mean its not like I mind putting my iPhone on one wall plug, and my wife’s on the other. Then walking across the room to plug my iPad in the wall charger next to my Verizon palm (yes, the AT&T signal is that bad in my area). Or how about those iTouches, or any number of other devices that have taken their place in our daily lives.
Enter the iB969, a charging station that can charge up to 4 devices at the same time. iHome has not only included 2 docking ports for iPhones, they also included cables for charging BlackBerry phones, e-Readers, iPads, iPods, and even my Palm device. The fact that all of my devices can sit in one place and get charged at the same time make this one of the easiest ways to avoid the inevitable "where did I put that device" feeling you get rushing out in the morning.
With a retail price for the iB969 of $50, we think its a reasonable price to ask for a multi-purpose dock.
We tested station with an iPhone, a Palm, and an iPad. All 3 devices charged successfully while we synced the iPhone.
The iB969 has 2 Apple device docks, one provides a quick charge, and the other for full charge.
Underneath the dock, there are switches that can change the ports between quick charge and full charge. In addition, there are 2 USB ports and some very nice cable management hardware which will let you wrap your cables before snaking it out the back. This keeps things very neat and makes the station look like it was custom made for the devices you decide to use it on. The other nice feature we liked was that the front half of the station can be extended to provide a larger area for larger devices like your e-Reader.
For anyone with multiple devices who want a neat flexible solution for keeping all devices in one area, the iB969 can’t be beat.
Recently, we got our hands on a few Otterbox cases for our iPads, the Defender and Commuter cases. The first of our tests were done on the Otterbox Defender case for the iPad.
Otterbox is known for building some of the worlds most protective cases, and the Defender case is no exception. What makes the Otterbox design unique from others is that their cases almost always involve having 2 different ‘skins’ wrapping around your device, and this is how the Defender case is designed.
The first thing we noticed was that the hardshell case (the one fitting around the iPad first) had a nice snug fit. It took us a minute or so to get it on completely, but once it was on, we had no doubt this case would not be moving around at all. The hardshell case comes with a detachable bottom plate which can be removed to dock the iPad with the Apple dock. This feature makes it very easy to charge and stand the iPad upright without having to remove it from the case. A definite feature that we miss in a lot of other competitive cases. The other thing we noticed right away was the hardshell snap on screen protector which covers the entire front of the iPads screen and provides protection in case you drop the iPad screen first.
The second skin made from a silicon material is then stretched over the hardshell case providing a "cushion" protection to the iPad, and adds a nice grip and ease of holding the iPad without worrying it will slip out of your hands. The added texture to the skin makes it that much easier to get an easy grip around the bottom and edges, and makes the exterior look good.
We also liked the plastic ‘window’ on the back of the case so that you could not scratch that part of your iPad but still see Apple’s logo.
At first, we thought that the large silicon skin would get in the way of pressing all of the buttons easily on the iPad, and at first we had to get used to pressing a little harder than usual. After a while though, we got used to the required pressure and using all of the button controls became easier and never required a second thought.
The case travelled with us over 2 weeks on planes, in cars, and one time on a boat (we took a vacation with it), and even though it was handled by 2 young kids a few times, its extra bulk never really got in the way and made us feel a lot better about being "rough" with the iPad. The one thing we did notice though was that the case adds some weight to the iPad, not enough to make it less portable, but enough to notice the difference and want us to put the iPad down more often.
The other thing we tried a few times was the built in stand that is attached to the front screen protector. This stand allows you to prop up the iPad so that you could use it horizontally. Although it worked well for watching video on the plane and surfing the web at the hotel, it didn’t feel as comfortable typing as the built in incline that Apple builds into their slip in folio case.
We thought that was a small price to pay for such great protection and if your looking for the case to protect your iPad when your taking it out on the road, letting the kids play on it, or rough housing with it, the Otterbox Defender is the only choice for such serious protection.
By: W3 Innovations, LLC
By: American Automobile Association
I’ve got a 3G iPhone—I know it isn’t the latest, greatest or fastest, but what it does it seems to do well. Until I installed iOS 4.0. Let me back up a little here…over the past several months, the performance was getting worse and worse. Blame it on bad apps, or AT&T or the moon lining up with Jupiter, it doesn’t matter. The phone was running slow.
So I did what every geeky person would do, I installed iOS 4.0 on it. Sure the footprint for the OS is larger, and it was designed for a phone that had over 2 times the RAM and 2 times the processor speed, but hey, it COULD run on my 3G, so why not? How bad could it be?
Well, I found out. After the over 2 hours to get all the software downloaded and installed and running, the phone was pretty darn slow. Sending a text message took over 30 seconds from the time I tapped on the icon to when I could actually TYPE something. It was that bad.
I was told that just powering it off and on would fix it, so I tried that—and it worked for a little bit but not long enough. The last straw came when the performance was so bad that I could be having a phone conversation and the screen that displays who is calling and the ‘Slide To Answer’ prompt would still be up. I never knew if and when I was even on the phone! That was the last straw—the phone was officially unusable.
Power cycling didn’t seem to help any more, I needed to do something else. After searching, and reading, and investigating I found a series of steps that claim to fix the problem. Your results may vary, and use at your own risk, but this helped me fix my problem. If you try this, please post your comments and let us know!
- First, do a ‘hard’ reboot. To do this, hold down the 2 buttons (like you are powering it down) and keep holding. The phone will go black, then the apple logo will show, and then it will go black again. The phone is now completely off. Then, turn it back on.
- Clean up your settings and optimize them as much as possible. The simple rule is that if you don’t need it, turn it off. For myself I disabled Bluetooth, push notifications, an old email account that was disabled, and changed my ‘fetching’ from every 15 minutes to manual. Remember, you’re trying to squeeze out every CPU cycle you can.
- While still in ‘Settings’, Clear your History and your Cache—this seems to save RAM which (with a 3G) is VERY important.
- Remove old apps that you don’t use. For example, Skype–which currently doesn’t support 4.0–was on my phone. Removing it freed up several resources and less clutter on my spring board.
- Do another ‘hard’ reboot.
After doing this, my iPhone seems MUCH faster, and much more responsive. Answering phone calls works like it should; sending a text message (from tapping on the icon to typing) is now 9 seconds, definitely an improvement.
Hopefully these tips will help you too. Let us know!
By: Outfit7 Ltd.
Version: 1.0 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)