It was a busy week in tech with lots of new announcements and gear showing up during the week. Early in the week Android App Inventor launched to turn anyone into a developer of apps for Android smartphones. The software uses drag and drop goodness to make developing simple apps easy.
Consumer Reports got a few name-checks at yesterday's Apple conference, in fact the independent reviewers even managed to get onto Steve's big screen with their "The Bumper solves the signal-strength problem" quote. Unfortunately, if Apple thought that giving all customers a free Bumper would placate the reviewers, they'll be disappointed; Consumer Reports say that it's good but not good enough, and they're still withholding their "Recommended" award from the iPhone 4.
Apple's decision to omit a webcam from the iPad is even more frustrating when you consider the number of people playing with FaceTime on their iPhone 4 smartphones, and so Chet Rosales' Cam-Case concept seems mighty topical. Intended to not only protect the Apple tablet but add a rotating webcam for front- and rear-facing video use, it would also make the iPad easier to hold by virtue of its rubberized edges.
When it comes to cases, there's plenty of options. And Thermaltake is definitely no stranger to the market. But with this latest piece of hardware, the company can put a notch on their belt of "firsts." This particular model, called the Element V, is actually the very first full tower chassis to be completely certified by NVIDIA. And for good reason -- it has plenty of features tucked away in here that anyone interested would probably love to get their hands on one.
GPS specialists Magellan have launched a new combination ruggedized battery case and signal-enhancing GPS cradle for the iPhone and iPod touch, promising increased accuracy as well as the freedom to take your Apple device out into the rougher elements. The Magellan ToughCase is waterproof to up to a meter for 30 minutes, together with being resistant to dust, rain, mud, water and snow.
There's also a 1,840mAh battery in there too, which Magellan reckon is sufficient to double your iPhone's runtimes, while the SiRFstar III GPS chipset is accurate down to three meters. It's not just usable with the company's own RoadMate software, either; just about any GPS app in the App Store should get the positioning boost.
While telling customers "you're not holding your iPhone 4 properly" doesn't exactly seem the best way to endear yourself, with hundreds of thousands of handsets in the wild Apple look unlikely to do anything more constructive than tell us where to grip. One solution users have discovered is Apple's Bumper case, but Fusion of Ideas have an alternative if you're more interested in keeping your smartphone's clean, rubber-free lines. They've sent us some shots of their StealthArmor for iPhone 4 edge protection strips, which not only protect the stainless steel from scratches but have the neat side-effect of bypassing the antenna issue.
Update: We've now tested the strips, and things aren't as clear cut as Fusion of Ideas might suggest. More after the cut.
When is a case not a case? When it's a shell, and with Speck's Fitted Case for iPad that's just what you're getting: a hard shell that protects the back and edges of your tablet, but does little to impede use. Are the anti-bulk benefits worth the risk of leaving so much of the iPad exposed? Check out our review after the cut.
At one time or another, there are two things that most iPhone users will need. We will need protection for our device from drops and we will need more battery life. A new product from a company called MiLi offers both.
GelaSkins aren't new - the company have been cladding scratch-prone mobile gadgets for years now - but their iPad range certainly is. Promising the same balance of distinctive designs, scuff protection and easy application, we've been testing out the adhesive skins on the iPad this week. Read on for the full SlashGear review.
Typically, as soon as I buy a new gadget I stat looking for things to keep it safe and scratch free. I have used scratch-resistant films on my iPhone since I got it. A new scratch resistant film called Wrapsol Ultra has been announced that claims to not only protect your iPhone from scratches, but from falls as well.