Nike+ Fuelband Review

We all have those gadgets we don’t “need” but we feel that they encourage us to do better or they give us a sense of security. The Nike+ FuelBand was given to me for my birthday this year and it’s a really neat device. It shows; fuel points earned, calories burned, current time, steps made, and displays a message when you reach your goal of fuel points for the day.

The device allows you to set a goal via mobile device [Bluetooth] or computer [USB cable] which will come into effect the next calendar day. Once the day begins your Nike Fuel points will reset to 0. Here’s where some trouble may occur. Even though the Fuel Band gives you points for being active and moving around it gives you points for just waving your arm in the air. Though this is a small issue, as long as the user doesn’t intentionally wave his arm around to get more points it should still be an accurate result.

As you obtain more points the lights on the top of the band will increase from left to right showing you a scale model of your goal. [The more lights the closest you are to reaching your goal] Once you reach your goal a message will appear on the device that says “GOAL” and you can enjoy a celebration with the Nike guy [who resembles the old Cingular Wireless person in the logo]. Throughout the day or once every few days you can sync your Fuel Band with your mobile device to view your progress from the time you begin using your device. The battery has lasted me a week at times, which is really convenient. The charger that comes with it [pictured below] is a USB Cable. It has the ability to charge by being connected to a computer or a wall plugin.

Though the design of the product is innovative it’s price is a drawback. Listed at $149.95 on the Apple Store it will put a dent in your wallet. The Nike+ Fuel Band is a great gift for any active person from the age of 13 and up. If you’re trying to improve your daily activity and continuously improve it can be a great encouragement to Just Do It™.

NikeFuelBand-Unboxed-view
Shown Above: Fuel Band Extension, Fuel Band Extension Device, Charging cord, Nike Fuel Band
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Foursquare Updates Privacy Policy, Hints To Using Full Names & Other Changes

It seems like everyone is updating their policies and TOS’s this holiday season. Now Foursquare has joined the fray. According to an email sent by the check-in giant, there are some changes in store for users.

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Snapchat: Does it Really Disappear?

snapchat

If you’ve ever used Snapchat before you’ve most likely known that all media sent and received disappears after the alloted time set by the sender, right? Well, Buzzfeed has found out a hack that allows those recieving to view the videos forever. So how’s this happening? Continue reading

Instagram “reverting” T.O.S.

Instagram is now owned by Facebook.
Instagram is now owned by Facebook.

Instagram received a lot of feedback from their users and independent news groups disagreeing with the new changes that were to be made to their Terms of Service [TOS]. After receiving this heat from their users, Instagram reconsidered the change and released this statement: [quote type="medium" align="left"] “Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010″ [/quote] Continue reading

Snapchat [App Review]

Everyone’s heard of Snapchat, right? Well, it’s currently in the top 25 running of Apple’s Most Popular Apps list and it’s a huge sensation in teenagers as of late. Snapchat allows you to take a picture, draw on it &/or place text on it, select an amount of time (1-10 seconds) that the receiver can view the picture and then send your picture!

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The Radio Has Competition?

The 8tracks Slogan.

The history of anything is important, even technology, and innovations are always overthrown. The radio has seen it’s fair share of competition, and now it has even more. A new app for Android, iOS, PC and Mac called 8tracks is trying to get up there, and proclaims itself as “the best internet radio.” You may ask why it’s so much different than any other radio stations, or the radio itself? Well think like this, why do we listen to the radio?

The 8tacks icon.

The radio gives us great music, but we can get that on sites like Youtube or Vevo, why should we switch to 8tracks when their are so many great music sites. Well see in sites like youtube you have to search the specific song, not really anything new, but in 8tracks you search genre and there are plenty of user-made mixes, for example you may stumble upon a Dubstep mix, and it will play a dubstep song one after another, and you just might find a new song to add to your personal list of favorites. That’s what the radio did for us, but it was contaminated with numerous ads in between songs, and unnecessary pauses. In 8tracks there is none of that, you make an account and go, it’s as simple as that. Another thing is that you can save a mix onto your phone, or iPod and you won’t need internet connection later on to go through that mix on the streets or alone at some party with nothing better to do.

The community is already huge, and is growing at a very rapid pace, why not join it. Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention is that it’s all free, making a mix is free, listening is free, and downloading is free! The developers of 8tracks can keep this because I am pretty sure they have made a deal with big music companies, to make money 8tracks won’t let you skip more than 3 songs per hour. It’s a small drawback but it adds a more “radio effect” to the app, and allows to keep everything running.

This app is rising to the top, and soon maybe another must-have app on your computer, or device, like Angry Birds.  Oh and the very best thing, it’s all free. Go check it out, it’s a unique idea, and is worth the few seconds to sign up and listen to some of your favorite genres of music.

The opinions in this article are solely those of Mughda Khondker.

 

Game Center: Apple’s Most Undeveloped iOS Resource?

Apple’s App Store caters to many different crowds, from the businessman giving a presentation at the office to a mother teaching her child to read. No matter who you are, it seems there is something for everyone. As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that.”

Perhaps one of the biggest industries on the App Store is the infamous game section. The mobile game industry is a growing one, and app producers are continuing to set their sights on them for many reasons: they can be fun to design and produce, they frequently climb high in the Top 100 list, and they make up some of the most enjoyable apps on the market. Apple took notice of this, and in September of 2010 released Game Center, a built-in app focused on creating a social network of sorts with the focus on making gaming on iOS a multiplayer and social experience.

Even with a significant update in October of last year, I am still unimpressed with the service as a whole. Among my friends with iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, hardly any of them have ever touched the service, much less made use of its (lacking) features.

As what many would consider a hardcore gamer, I’ve had plenty of experience with gaming networks, whether it is Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, or even Nintendo’s often-criticized friend code system. As such, I approach Apple’s Game Center network with an expectant attitude, seeing all the potential that lies within, much of which is inspired by its fellow systems. This wonderful network could be achieved, I believe, with a few simple regulations and changes.

Regulation of achievements. Apple’s approach to achievements is comparable to Microsoft’s with their Gamerscore system. Each game comes with a collection of achievements which, when “unlocked,” yield a certain number of points. The points across all games are added up and reflect the player’s overall score. However, in Microsoft’s system, there are requirements for the achievements within a game: each retail game must have at least 1000 points in achievements, and each arcade game 200 points. Within Game Center’s system, no such requirement exists. Any game, regardless of cost or length, could have anywhere between zero and a hundred achievements, possibly more if the system allows. The guideline for points is just as crazy, with some games awarding extreme amounts, while some give hardly any. Perhaps a player’s overall score would be more impressive and easily comparable to another’s if the games they played existed on an equal field. I know from personal experience that achievements can be an excellent motivation for gamers interested in completing games 100% and improve replay value.

More involved presence. While Game Center links every game, its presence within these games is often kept to a bare minimum, if anything at all. Once again, I’d like to make connections to Xbox Live and PlayStation network, which alert the player with a simple notification that they have unlocked an achievement or trophy. With games on iOS, there is no such thing unless otherwise created by the designer, which may or may not align with Game Center’s achievements to begin with. What I would like to see is a more dominant role within games. Currently, the only sign of it is when you open an app and receive a simple little message welcoming you back to Game Center. This same little appearing bar could easily appear at other times to say something as simple as “Achievement Unlocked – Achievement Name – 15 Points” before disappearing once more. This not only alerts the player of their achievement, but also encourages them to take another peek at Game Center and see what else has happened.

 

Player-to-Player Interaction. Game Center has been described as a social network for iOS gamers. However, the system is lacking in many ways. Friends can be added using their Apple ID or nickname, which then sends a request that must be approved. Once approved, one another’s profiles will become visible, showing what games you’ve played and/or have in common, which achievements you’ve unlocked, your high scores, and who your friends are. A profile picture and short “status” are visible as well. Aside from this, contact is kept to a bare minimum. Some possible suggestions to improve this interaction include community chatrooms for discussions and socializing, chat integration and game invites through iMessage, and possibly some kind of voice chat overlay. Some games have integrated such things, but the vast majority of them have not at all. Player activity would be interesting as well, such as a separate status within Game Center saying which game you’re playing or which games you’ve played recently. This extra spark of human life could bring players back to Game Center time and time again.

Game Center is quite possibly one of Apple’s most underdeveloped presences on the iOS collection. Very few companies such as Apple with devices such as the iPad and iPhone can claim to have established such a unifying system across different platforms. The least they could do with it is develop it more fully. While many of these suggested changes and additions would reasonably be dictated by the player and the developer, they could easily draw much more attention to Apple’s gaming apps and network, increasing both revenue and pleasure for all.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Colin Halbmaier.

Run Windows and Office on Your iPad for FREE and Without Jailbreaking!


At the 2012 CES, Onlive introduced the Onlive Desktop. Onlive is a service that allows anyone to play Windows Games on any device by using cloud gaming technology. Users are able to buy games and then play it anywhere, anytime, and on any device by using the Onlive service. This works because the games are stored in the cloud, and the games are streamed, like video, on the device the user is playing on. This allows users to play games on devices it wasn’t meant to be compatible on, like the iPad, android, TV, and unsupported PC OS. Another advantage of Onlive is that because games run in the cloud, the PC’s specs do not need to match the game’s minimum requirements for the game to run. With a fast internet connection, one is good to go!

Onlive is now beginning to extend its service beyond games. At CES, Onlive announced the Onlive Desktop, an app that allows users to run a Windows 7 desktop and Microsoft Office on the iPad. This service will be free and will be available in the Apple App Store soon. With this app, as long as you are connected to the internet, you can use Windows 7 and Office 2010 for free on your iPad.

Onlive plans to extend the service by providing this app on PCs, Macs, Android tablets, and smartphones. You can sign up now by going here: desktop.onlive.com. It will be interesting to see how this plays out!

Hudl [App & Software Review]

 

One of the many things I love covering here at Techtronica is sports. For a long time know I’ve been wanting to do a review not only on Hudl itself but I’ve been waiting for Hudl to release their App to the public on the Apple App Store. The time opened up for me to do this on November 15th, 2011. I’ve given the app some time to fix the starting flaws and now I’m starting the review:

Hudl has involved not only football, but basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling and many other sports. So what exactly does Hudl do? Hudl stores a team’s film online for only coaches and players to view with an account login. Coaches have the ability to give other coaches accounts, give players accounts and give parents access to their athlete’s account if wanted. Hudl just doesn’t store your film either. Coaches have the ability to break down film into plays by down, yards gained, type of play, result of play, play name, and defensive formations. Players also have some major benefits by using the software as well. Once coaches register their players into their roster they can enter in tons of valuable information about the player including Height, Weight, Awards, Other Activties, Academic Info, Weight Room stats and much more. Not only does Hudl allow for the players to be recognized by their coaches, it allows for major colleges and recruiters to see their stats and all the information that I already listed above. Coaches can choose whether or not to share highlights with the public or only allow coaches and registered recruiters to do so. Another huge thing for football teams is not only just one angle of film but multiple. Hudl allows you to upload film instantly, Replay off camcorder, Import from DVD and about any other way you can think of.

One of the things I absolutley love about Hudl is the way the stats are set up. Once you enter in stats like Down, Distance, Yard Line, yards to go, yards gained, who carried the ball, who threw the ball, who caught the ball, [general stuff like that] it will also appear on “reports”. Reports are coach-created documents that show general stats that look just as professional as somethign you’d see on ESPN. Once these reports are finalized they can be shared with the players if the coaches choose to do so. Once this is done players can go straight to the report and click on a ceratin stat and it will show all the plays related to that stat. Don’t understand that? Will here’s an example:

*Say Kevin Ellison has 2,123 rushing yards on the season, 235 of 403 passes completed, 3 INT’s and 28 TD’s. If you were to go to the report page and click on that 28 under TD’s you would be lead to every play Ellison has scored on. Sweet right?

As Hudl likes to say, “You’re in good company” and guess what? They’re not lying. Teams like Boise State, Oregon, Michigan, Nebreska and NFL tems like the New York Jets. They’ve been talked about by about everyone, this is including; The New York Times, ESPN, and The Washington Post.

As a videographer and film manager for our local high school I can personally say Hudl has not only saved us time but saved as the pain of video editing. [Another one of Hudl’s catch phrases; “Video Editing Sucks”. I say Amen to that now. One thing that really stuck out to me about Hudl was the support team’s quick response time. It was my first year doing videography for the football team and we had some simple problem. I called Hudl’s support line number and was answered within about 20 seconds of making the call. When the guy answered me my first reaction was like, “Holy cow! I’m talking to a real person!”. That’s just another reason Hudl is on top of the food chain. Hudl is among the top ranks of the most inovative software in this current century. Prices are low for the software and can range anywhere from a price range for a youth football team to an NFL team budget. If they keep it up they’ll have everyone else out of business.

Below is the actual App Review that I decided to do on Hudl’s new iOS App. Keep in mind that not only do they have an App on the Apple App Store but also on the Android Market also. Like I said. They’re taking over. I’d like to end on this note: Video editing sucks. Buy Hudl and you’ll not only be supported by the best but you’re always going to feel like the best.

[review pros="Free on the App Store, Low price of actual software,Ability to download playlists directly to your device, Immediate access through logging in using your email & password, Mutliple Angles Allowed, Ability to sort by categories, Devices- iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android " cons="Cannot Play or Create Highlights, Cannot edit player profiles, No support information within App " score=90]

42 iOS Games On Sale That’ll Knock Your Socks Off

Hey gang. I’m sure you all like to know when apps go on sale, right! So the good people over at iDownloadBlog put together a list of games that will certainly nip at your curiosity (and your wallet.) So peruse down below to take a look at the goods!

 

 

VPN One Click Pro: Finally Useful Functionality For Your iOS Device

One of the many evolving apps in Apple’s App Store is the “VPN Once Click Professional”. When you first download the App from the App Store it prompts you with a request to subscribe for a cheap 1-Month pay of services for $0.99. So what exactly does this app do?

Well, VPN (short for what I call Very-Private-Network) allows you to bypass any and all blocked websites and content like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube on any network you’re connected to that might have a Burracuda or some other Web Filter. To start off with, this app is one of the easiest and most accessible “proxy” apps that are currently on the market. For the regular “VPN” App you must set up yourself and go through a very lengthy process just to get the App to actually work, on top of having to create an account and more. Well this app does about everything for you. The only task you must complete is to click the “Subscribe one month for $0.99″ Button and click “Install” for the app to; change your settings for the app to become active, and take the 99 cents from your Apple Account.

So far I’ve tested it on my own network at home in which I blocked Facebook for 5 minutes. During that entire time I was able to access Facebook on my phone (with the app installed) but not on my computer (without the app). So far I have no “cons” to report from this useful app and look forward to start using it Monday at school. Last comment on this app would have to be it’s “Subscription Code” feature. This allows you to download the App to any Apple Device and not have to pay another $0.99 but instead adding your ID Code into the “Downloads” section.

What such a great and useful app I’ve to review. I’ll be excited to let everyone know how well it holds up Monday and the flaws that may appear throughout it’s use. I suggest you hurry up and buy it now before too many people get there hands on it! Click the logo to go straight to the App on your computer on other mobile device!

[review pros=”Cheap $0.99 Price

Quick Installation

One price for unlimited devices

Automatic Settings Change” cons=”TBD” score=100]

 

HeyTell [App Review]

Monday, I was helping my Youth Pastor with some work around our church when his iPhone 4 made this alert noise and was soon after followed by a message. I asked him why there were random voices coming from his iPhone and he said it came from the HeyTell App. I had been looking for an app similar to this one but could only find ones with less capability. After examining the speed and capability of the App on my YP’s iPhone to my friend’s iPad I was set on purchasing one from the App Store. So, I bought the App and I’ve carried on many conversations with people from 5 ft away, and all the way from Georgia to Texas.

 

Now let’s get onto the review:

HeyTell is built with many concepts for user enjoyment based communication so the Pros-Cons rating is about 50-1. The app is pretty much your mobile device “walkie talkie” so there is no more of a need to go out and by 2 way radios anymore. One of the greatest things I have encountered while using the app is its speed. My friend and I were connected to the same Wifi modem and within 2 seconds of him sending the message it was already being played on my iPhone. Another note about the time in between sending and receiving the message depends on whether or not you are using your carrier’s internet or a wifi connection. One of the thing’s I’ve personally noticed is that the speed is much greater when you are connected to wifi instead of your carrier’s internet (even when you aren’t both connected to the same wifi connection).

Quality is another excellent feature in this innovative product. Earlier, I compared the app with “walkie talkies” (2 way radios) and here is another great feature to once compare this with. Quality in your 2 way radios usually ranges from Okay-Awful. I have only experienced one type of quality with this app and that is excellent. Security wise you have 3 options which is along the lines of open, secure and closed. With open anyone can talk directly to you without a friend request. Secure (what I mostly recommend) prompts users to add you as a friend before any contact can be made.

As with most voice apps there are also “add-ons” which can do anything from say what you type to another person or change your voice. These apps price range on average are about from Free-$3.00. One of these add-ons allows you to “HeyTell” with up to 25 people in one group. This is great for small event staff that have quick internet access and can get messages to each other quickly.

Overall this is a great app for any quick message you would like to get to your friends, family, colleagues or whatever the case may be. I believe that HeyTell has went beyond and above with this communication app and I rate them a 9.5 of 10 for an overall rating.

[review pros="Great app for any quick messages." cons="None" score=95]

Top 10 Apps you need to get [Week of July 4th]

Whats up Techtronica and happy 4th of July!

This weeks Top 10 apps you need to get is all free apps, that means no spending money!

FYI: Some apps are not games :( but are really good apps!

  1. Line Birds – FREE – http://bit.ly/iUhRSw
  2. Coffee World – FREE – http://bit.ly/j4nnH7
  3. Talking Carl+ – FREE - http://bit.ly/l3BQ0q
  4. Doodle Grub – FREE – http://bit.ly/fomGMQ
  5. Run, Run Chicken – FREE – http://bit.ly/iEOFV1
  6. ICEE Maker – FREE – http://bit.ly/lu3pLE
  7. Bump – FREE – http://bit.ly/2dsdup
  8. Smurf’s Village – FREE – http://bit.ly/duoQW6
  9. I’m Destroyer 2 – FREE – http://bit.ly/jb7ou2
  10. I Heart Radio – FREE – http://bit.ly/hY5Hi3

So thats the list!

Tune in next week!!

VPN Express Gives Your Fingers A Workout

Who doesn’t hate having to use “https” or some other way of getting around a website blocker? Well, I can now say I have found the perfect solution. VPN (on Apple’s App Store) will escort you around any blocker. Once you have obtained internet access you can use VPN. By using it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch you can set it up instantly if you know anything about what you are doing.

Out of 10 stars I would probably give it an 8. Why an 8? Simply because it takes some traveling (not literally, but going back and forth to settings and VPN) to get it set up to work. Once you have it set up though, it is fairly easy to use. Just go Settings>VPN>On and once it has connected you are good to go!

 

 

 

[review pros="Once you have it set up, it is easy to use." cons="it takes some traveling back and forth to settings and VPN to get it set up to work" score=80]

TWC Gives Into Network’s Demands, Cuts Some Loose From iPad App

Well Time Warner Cable has finally done it. After weeks of cease and desist letters along with urgings from several networks, TWC has finally cut some loose from the fold. The story basically goes that some of the networks weren’t happy that their content was being shown via mobile streaming on WiFi networks.Many claimed that that wasn’t in the terms they came to when they first signed on with Time Warner. All I can do right now is shake my head in disbelief when I received the email a few hours ago. Take a look for yourself to see what it said.

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