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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

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

ayeris_hero

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.

Read more

Review: Anker IQ 40W 5-port smart USB adapter is the last power source you’ll ever need

As our families grow, so do our device charging needs. Where we just used to need 2 USB ports to charge our iPhones, we now have iPads, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, portable flashlight/batteries and even a few Android devices laying around that constantly need to be chargers. Our excellent 2-port ZaggSparq just couldn’t handle all of the stuff anymore. Time to step up to something more substantial.

Anker-reviewsWe’d heard great things about the new Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply. In fact, at Amazon where it can be nabbed on sale for $26, it gets almost exclusive 4 and 5 star ratings.

Anker hooked me up with a unit to test out at CES and I’ve relied on it since to keep our house full of devices charged. What’s particularly impressive about this one is that it has 40W of power to distribute through the 5 USB ports (a 25W one is a few bucks less). Anker’s new IQ does one better by recognizing high power requirements in devices like iPads, other tablets and even HPs new Chromebook and giving those devices the full 2-3 Amps of power they need to get charged quickly. Anker explains it thusly:

Not all USB ports are equal. Where past USB ports were hard-wired to exclusively charge iOS OR Android, we’re introducing Smart Port technology to create a truly universal charger. Dynamically adjusting to any device’s unique maximum charging speed, the Smart Port takes the brainwork out of compatibility.Just plug in and it’ll do the rest.

Were the reviews right? Was this the end to my USB charging woes?

Read more

Review: Mujjo’s leather and double-layered knitted touchscreen gloves for iPhone & iPad

Despite smartphones and tablets being commonplace these days for just about everybody and their grandmother, most non-techies that you run into probably don’t own a pair of touchscreen gloves. That is, winter gloves that don’t require you to take them off to use your iPhone, iPod or iPad. I’ve tried out a couple cheap pairs in recent years from Amazon and elsewhere, but they’ve never really been warm and/or well-made enough to use on a daily basis.

This year I’ve been trying out a few of the more expensive pairs available from one of the original companies making touchscreen gloves, Mujjo. I’ve put a couple different pairs from Mujjo to the test over the past month during a cold Canadian winter to see if they’re really worth the extra cash. Read more