UpTo calendar app relaunches with a renewed, balanced focus on what matters

When UpTo originally launched, it focused on being what it described as “half-social, half-calendar.” Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well as the social side and the calendar side fought for dominance, resulting in an app that felt like it didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up.

Today the company behind UpTo is re-launching the app with a new design and a new focus: rather than trying to turn calendars into a social network, the app is now focused entirely on being the best calendar app it can be. That being said, the new version of the app is not entirely devoid of social features.

Keep reading to find out how the developers finally figured out how to balance these two sides to the software.

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Review: $90 Kanex SimpleDock is a beautiful USB 3/Gigabit Ethernet Mac dock, without expensive Thunderbolt

kanex-simpledock

We’ve reviewed a fair bit of Thunderbolt docks for Mac here and one thing remains constant: The starting prices range well over $200 (Belkin’s a deal at $150) and that’s before you buy an expensive $30 Thunderbolt cable. The question is: Do you really need Thunderbolt to have a quality/usable dock for your MacBook? Can you get almost all of what you need just from USB 3?

Kanex sent me their $90 USB 3 SimpleDock a few months ago and I’ve put it through its paces ever since.  The first thing you’ll notice out of the box is that it is made extremely well, looks very ‘Apple’ and is substantial in weight. It doesn’t move when you plug in devices because of that weight and a rubberized bottom. On top, all you’ll see is a space that coincidentally fits an iPhone perfectly with a charger cable hole through the bottom. Around back, you’ll find 3 USB 3 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port as well as a 10W high powered ‘Charge-only’ port.

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So you are getting 3 products in one here: An iOS device quick charger, a USB3->Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 3 port USB 3 hub. The question is: Is the SimpleDock worth the $90?

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Review: ProWidgets is the ultimate widget platform for jailbroken iOS devices

ProWidgets is a brand new tweak for jailbroken iPhones and iPads that builds on the foundation of a previous tweak called Tap to Widgets (both by developer Alan Yip) to provide the most solid and complete widget platform on iOS. With nine built-in, fully-featured widgets and an architecture that allows third-party developers to add their own, ProWidgets is one of the best tweaks you can get right now.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of everything this tweak can do for you.

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Synology gets even better w/ version 5.0: Why every Mac & iOS user should have a DiskStation

I’ll admit, I’ve never felt the need to purchase network-attached-storage (NAS) hardware for storing and accessing my media or backing up my files. These days most of my content, from photos and movies to back ups of important files for work, are already stored in the cloud. My photos are (supposed to) auto backup to Photostream in iCloud, iTunes has all of my music downloadable from all my devices from the cloud, and any important files and everything else go directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. Around 90% of my content is already stored and accessible from anywhere in the cloud.

That being said, for the last year or so I’ve been hearing more and more about Synology DiskStation products. Coworkers can’t stop talking about them, and the products have received a lot of praise from many other reviewers as well.

I’ve been putting the Synology DiskStation hardware and brand new DiskStation Manager 5.0 software to the test in recent months to see if I could really benefit from a NAS solution despite all my content already being on the cloud and backed up. With today marking the release of 5.0, the company’s biggest software update yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my experience.  Read more

Review: Mophie’s new ‘Space Pack’ battery case is like Dropbox without the cloud and twice the power

mophie space pack

For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out Mophie’s new ‘Space Pack’ battery case with included storage that it showed off earlier this year at CES. While I’ve never used a case on my iPhone for longer than a few days, I do run out of battery more often than I’d like, and Mophie’s promise of extra storage built into the hardware sparked my interest. (Oh, and I do think the name is cool and clever…) I really wanted to try out the Space Pack just to prove what I expected: You can’t possibly add more storage to an iPhone in a way that isn’t gimmicky and a poor experience. Admittedly, my expectations were far from what Mophie has been able to accomplish; considering the limitations designed into iOS software and iPhone hardware, the Mophie Space Pack is a very interesting and useful accessory… Read more

Review: Font Studio provides affordable custom fonts for all of your creative needs

font title final

Font Studio from Paolo Quadrani is a Mac app that allows you to modify and customize fonts. It provides you with the ability to create a range of font styles. It also includes in impressive collection of fonts that can be customized, saved and organized. In this article we will discuss scenarios in which this app can be useful, how the app works, and what you should expect if you purchase it.

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Review: Corning’s 33-foot Optical Thunderbolt cable allows you to move your Thunderbolt devices (or Mac) far away from your desk

Corning-thunderbolt-optical-cable-reviewThe promise of the Thunderbolt standard is that it can deliver a lot of data over long distances very quickly for many types of devices. Unfortunately, that promise has been pretty slow to materialize, and the long distance piece of the equation has been particularly painful.

Corning is hoping to turn that around this year with the consumer launch of its Thunderbolt Optical Cables in 10 meter (33 foot), 30 meter (99 foot), and 60 meter (198 foot) sizes. With these lengths, you can put your Thunderbolt hard disk and arrays far away from your desk. If you have a Thunderbolt Display or a Thunderbolt dock, you can even move your Mac to the utility closet or basement and really clean up your desk space.

I’ve been using the 33-foot version for a few weeks and here’s my take: Read more

Review: Onkyo ES-CTI300(SS) On-Ear Headphones with Control Talk for iOS Devices

Onkyo ES-CTI300-review

I’ve been on the search for the perfect headphones for my whole life.

Apple’s fall out of my ears if I think too hard and I even have problems keeping typical in-ear headphones in my ears when working out. Getting those weird things that go around my ears to hold them isn’t a great general purpose solution.  In-ear headphones also typically lack the depth of sound of over the ear headphones.

Unfortunately, over the ear headphones often lack the mic and iOS controls that you can easily get with in-ear headphones. Add that they are usually bulky and heavy and are too hot on the ears and you usually have a non-starter as a general purpose headset.

The Onkyo ES-CTI300(SS) On-Ear Headphones with Control Talk for iOS Devices aim to be the best of both worlds…

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Review: Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is designed for those who like nice things

The Field Bag | Zac Hall

For every bit that Apple gave pixel-drawn leather a bad reputation with apps like Find My Friends and the Lion-era OS X calendar, Pad & Quill restores your faith in the actual material. I’ve recently been using Pad & Quill’s Field Bag, a classy, vertically designed version of its leather Messenger Bag. Let’s cut to the chase: it’s a very, very nice bag. The kind of bag that makes you want to be a better person… or at least a better dresser. As the headline reads, Pad & Quill’s Field Bag is designed for those who like nice things. As a MacBook and iPhone user, like you I’m sure, I have an appreciation for quality products. Read on to see why this fits into that category…

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Review: Documents 5.0 for iOS is an even more powerful solution for managing your files on the go

Readdle’s app Documents has long been one of the most complete solutions for managing your files on the go. With an intuitive interface and powerful download management features, it has been a solid contender in the file management app arena for some time.

Today, the company has launched version 5.0 of the software, introducing a host of new features and a colorful design refresh for iOS 7. Keep reading for a full review of the new look and features available in the latest update.

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Review: Bose Soundlink III portable Bluetooth speaker — is bigger best?

Bose-SoundlinkIII

I was a huge gushing fan of the Bose Soundlink Mini when I reviewed it this summer, calling it the “Best Sounding portable Bluetooth speaker ever”. For $199 you’d get bookshelf type of power and clarity with 6 hour battery in a portable package that you could throw in a coat pocket, bag, or purse.

This week, Bose started shipping a bigger version, the $299 Soundlink 3 which is officially the successor to the Soundlink 2 but it grabs a lot more technology, features and appearance from the very successful Mini.  The big bro ‘III’ boasts an impressive 14-hour battery, 6 Bluetooth device memory, and doubles the Mini with four drivers and two passive radiators. In the process it doubles in size to a 3-pound package that isn’t nearly as portable as the Mini at 5 inches high, 10 inches wide, and 2 inches deep.

But does that $100 and double size give you appreciably better sound?

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Say hello to Ayeris — Ayecon designer Surenix’s newest theme hits Cydia

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Ayecon (that’s pronounced Icon) has long been hailed as one of the most amazing, most complete themes available for jailbroken iOS devices. Today, Surenix, the designer behind that theme, has released the iOS 7-inspired Ayeris (pronounced Iris). The theme features colorful app icons, redesigned interface elements, and more.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of what the theme includes and even more screenshots of it in action.

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