Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Review: Hyper’s iStick, the first USB drive w/ integrated Lightning connector

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While most of my content goes straight to the cloud these days and is usually easily accessible to move around, download or stream from any of my devices, I still found myself getting a lot of use out of Hyper’s new iStick. It’s one of the first made-for-iPhone USB flash drives that also includes an integrated Lightning connector to easily transfer content to and from the device to others. Hyper’s companion app is what makes the experience more than just storage, however… Read more

Review: Two weeks with Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (Video)

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What can I say about the iPhone 6 that you don’t know or haven’t already assumed? Not much, actually. It’s running iOS 8, has a great camera, thinner design, and a handful of features that make it different from last year’s iPhone.

This year, Apple has bumped up the display size and released two models. We have the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Plus, but if you were paying attention to the rumor mill leading up to the launch, these two models probably weren’t a surprise. That being said, there are still some points I’d like to make about both devices, but instead of creating two reviews, I think it’s safe to combine them so that you can find out which one is right for you…

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Review roundup: Everyone loves the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will finally be available to the public this Friday, September 19th, but early reviews of the two new devices have gone live this evening from several publications. The iPhone 6 is the biggest iPhone yet, coming in with a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus packs an even larger 5.5-inch panel. Both of the models feature “Retina HD” displays. The internals of the devices have also been upgraded to include a new second generation 64-bit A8 chip that Apple claims is 25% faster CPU-wise than ever before and 50% faster graphically.

Both models of the new iPhone went up for pre-order this past Friday and Apple says the devices set an all-time pre-order sales record. You can read our round-up of all the product reviews below:

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Apple highlighting top ten reasons apps get rejected on new developer page

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As noticed by Apfelpage, Apple has published a new page to be more open about why it rejects apps. A chart at the bottom of the page shows the top ten reasons for app rejection in the last seven days; such as lack of information, crashes or bugs encountered, complicated user interfaces. Around 60% of rejections come from violation of just ten guidelines of the App Store rules. Some of these, like the existence of placeholder text in applications, seem rather trivial issues and it’s interesting that it arises so frequently as a cause of rejection.

The page goes into more detail on some of these points. In one instance, Apple highlights what it deems to be a ‘substandard user interface’, which apparently is responsible for 6% of all rejections. In the example, Apple advises use of a tableview to cleanly lay out information.

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Review: Blue’s Mikey Digital now has Lightning support, but is it worth the money? (Video)

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Blue Microphones is known for its high-end studio mics and, in recent years, iOS recording accessories. Not too long ago, I had a chance to check out Blue’s Spark Digital which is a USB/Lightning/30-pin microphone compatible with a wide range of devices. Today we’re looking at something a bit more portable.

Blue’s Mikey Digital is a stereo condenser microphone. It’s now available with a Lightning connection and will provide on-the-go high quality audio for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So what makes Mikey Digital so special? Well, let’s find out…

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No service? goTenna hardware and iOS app let you text off-the-grid

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If you’ve ever been on a hike, out of the country, or at a crowded concert with no service, goTenna is aiming to be your connectivity solution. The hardware accessory combined with an application for both iOS and Android says it will allow you to create a local network that works reliably. The network is based on a group of people each having a goTenna stick connected to the iPhone. The video from the company, below, explains it well:

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Review: Kickflip is a cool, simple, and affordable stand for your MacBook

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been testing a new MacBook stand called the Kickflip. I’ve used some of the more high-end stands for my laptop in the past as it improves the ergonomics involved with keyboard typing and because it improves the cooling of the computer. This new Kickflip is not stationary like some other stands on the market, but it is an accessory that sticks to the bottom of your laptop. The stand can be closed for when you want to keep the laptop in a bag or carry it around, and you flip out the kickstand when you want to raise up your laptop. The experience is nice, the stand is sturdy, and I very much have enjoyed using the Kickflip…

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Review: Is Logitech’s iPhone Case+ system really ‘the only case you’ll ever need’?

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We were eager to get our hands on Logitech’s iPhone transforming Case+ system immediately following its announcement. The idea is that this system is so versatile that it’s up to nearly any task you could ask of an iPhone case. It allows you to switch between rugged protection, wallet functionality, a windshield/dashboard mount, and a battery pack without having to remove anything.

Without the Case+, you would need to buy at least five different iPhone accessories to perform all of the same core functions that the Case+ offers: rugged protection, multi-angle stand, ID/credit card carrier, car dashboard/windshield mount, extended battery. It’s certainly a novel idea and an ambitious product from Logitech so head below to find out if we think the Case+ is worth investing in…
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Mini-review: Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer, the simple iPhone app for creating prettier lockscreens

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You’d think choosing a photo to use on your iPhone lockscreen would be a pretty simple task. Scroll through your Camera Roll, choose a photo you like, hit Set and you’re done.

The reality is a little different. Half the time the photo you really want to use is landscape format (horizontal) and you need a vertical image. The iPhone will automatically crop it, and allow you to slide the image around to get a crop you like, but the result rarely does justice to the original shot.

The other half of the time, you find a portrait (vertical) photo which looks great on its own but then clashes with the clock and slide to unlock text when you set it as your lockscreen. Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer is a very simple app that aims to solve these problems …  Read more

Review: JBL Pulse portable Bluetooth speaker with LED light show

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We’ve taken a look at a vast array of portable Bluetooth speakers and have found that most include similar features but sound quality and reliability can vary greatly. That’s why we eagerly awaited the arrival of our JBL Pulse, because it dares to be unique in a sea of familiarity. A dazzling display of LEDs encompasses the entire unit, bringing your music to life by dancing along with the beat. We put this new speaker to the test to see if this LED-studded speaker is just a novelty or if it has a lasting impact on the way we enjoy our music…

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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