Category: Technology

Tech21 Impact Snap Case with Cover for iPad Mini

Tech21 Impact Snap Case with Cover

Ever since I got the iPad Mini, I have been researching the best accessory for it.  Protection is the main driver for me to choose which brand or model to get.  Tech21 launched in the Philippines that time.  I read several write-ups about it.  The impact technology caught my attention and I was really curious about Tech21 products.

I ended up with Tech21 for my iPad Mini.  I chose the Impact Snap Case from among all the cases that they have .  I specifically like its elegance, minimalistic look and functionality.

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Packaging

The best way for me to share my experience and my thoughts about Tech21 Impact Snap Case for iPad Mini is to make a list.

So here it goes….

7 reasons why I like the Tech21 Impact Snap Case with Cover for iPad Mini

  1. D30 Impact Protection – this feature is why Tech21 is so unique and quite popular.  The orange lining on the case includes the D30 impact material.  It is made of non-Newtonian polymer with an intelligent molecular structure.  Those molecules usually flows freely, but upon shock or big impact, it would lock together absorbing all the force and spreading the shock across the material.  In short, the Tech21 case would take the impact away from the device making it shock proof and impact resistant.  It’s that cool that the material is being used by military worldwide!
  2. Ultra Slim Snap Fit – the important thing about a case is its capability to provide a perfect fit to the gadget.  The Impact Snap Case by Tech21 did just that.  The polycarbonate material securely holds the iPad Mini via the side clips.  While it fits tightly, it’s also easy to get the case on and off the iPad Mini.  Now, that’s awesome!

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Polycarbonate

  1. Overall Look & Feel – Tech21 Impact Snap Case is classy, minimalistic, and obviously a premium case.  The cover is composed of genuine leather on the outside and velvet on the inside.  The cover not only protects the iPad Mini but it also keeps it clean due to the soft touch material used in the case.  The other side of the case is made of reinforced polycarbonate.  I just love how the iPad Mini looks with the case and I love how thin it is and how it feels when I hold it.

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Leather

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Interior

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Back

  1. Access to all Ports & Controls – The Impact Snap Case has cutouts for all ports & controls of the iPad Mini.  The cutouts were done perfectly at the right size resulting to optimal protection for the gadget.  The volume controls, power, stereo speakers, mute switch, camera, headphone jack and the lightning port are easily accessible.

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Opening

  1. Protective Flip Cover – the leather flip cover protects the iPad Mini’s screen.  Apart from that, the cover can be folded back completely at the back because of the way it was created.  The folio style makes it light to carry around and elegant to look at.  I love it!

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Velvet

  1. iPad Mini Stand Functionality – The Tech21 Impact Snap On Case allows us to use it as a stand thanks to the rubbery grips located on the side near the volume controls.  The rubber grips are pretty sturdy that I never have to worry about my iPad Mini from sliding.  Pretty neat & slick!

Tech 21 Impact Snap Case Rubber

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Stand

  1. Smart Cover functionality – while I like this functionality of the Tech21 Impact Snap Case, it’s also my only gripe with the product.  I love that the cover has magnetic closure and automatically activates/deactivates the sleep function of the iPad Mini.  However, it doesn’t always work.  You have to make sure that the cover closes at the right part of the iPad screen.  Other than that, I’m really very happy with the accessory 🙂

Tech21 Impact Snap Case Sleep

Tech21 Impact Snap Case with Cover for iPad Mini is available in the Philippines at Php 1,650.  It comes in 2 colors: Black and White.

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Case-Mate is now in the Philippines!

Case-Mate Philippines

You might have noticed that I make it a point to get myself a case for every gadget that I purchase.  Considering the cost of those electronic gadgets, it makes a lot of sense to buy a case that would protect them for normal wear and tear.  It would prolong the life of the gadget and of course, gives us a sense of security that our beloved gadget is protected.

There a lot of well known brands that makes good cases.  One of them is Case-Mate.  And you know what?  The best news?  Case-Mate is now in the Philippines!

Case-Mate will have a grand launch of the brand, as well as the opening of its first kiosk!  The big celebration will be between July 19-21, 2013.

So you don’t need to order overseas anymore if you love Case-Mate!  You can go ahead and visit its first concept kiosk located at the 4th floor Cyberzone, SM Annex, SM City North Edsa in Quezon City.

Case-Mate Kiosk

Case-mate crafted (take note of the word craft, Case-mate consider themselves crafting cases and not making cases) different lines of cases that caters to a specific lifestyle.  Apart from that, Case-mate has partnered with popular gadget manufacturers to ensure that Case-mate products are fit for each device.  Those brands include HTC, Apple, Samsung, Sony & Blackberry.

  • Glam series for the female fashionistas that can dazzle and sparkle day or night.
  • Creatures collection for the young and playful, nothing looks more cute and adorable.
  • Men’s collection evoke a look of modern and natural sophistication.
  • Brushed Aluminum series impress with a blend of metallic, sporty look and sleek luxurious feel.
  • Woods series to be as exotic and distinct as the premium hardwood which goes into every Case-mate cases.
  • Carbon Fiber series to create handsome aesthetics and complement your high-performance automobiles with the technologically advanced lightweight fibers used by Formula One race cars and luxury automobiles.
  • Tough series collection for the ones that live in an active lifestyle.

Starting July 19, consumers can now see and try the vast selection of Cast-Mate cases for their gadgets.  There will be promos from Case-mate from time to time.  In fact, to celebrate the opening of Case-Mate in the Philippines, selected cases will be at 80% off from July 19-21, 2013!

Case Mate Sale

Cool news, right? 🙂

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Urbanears Slussen

Urbanears Slussen

I discovered Slussen via Facebook when someone posted a photo of it.  I immediately said to myself that I want one!  It is a unique accessory and I must say a needed one for a gadget freak like me.

This small gadget accessory is as simple as you get.  It is a 2-piece item.  There’s a keyring, and an adapter that you plug into your iOS device.  But don’t let its size diminish its functionality.  The Urbanears Slussen is fierce, super fierce!  This little thing coupled with its free iOS companion software can transform any place into a fun party!

How? Read on.

Headphone Splitter

Urbanears Slussen 5

Urbanears Slussen 3

I initially got myself the Slussen because I felt the need to have this accessory so that when I go on a trip with a friend, I will be able to share the music I’m listening to.

You know being able to listen to music with both earphones on really makes a difference versus listening with just one ear.  Having both me and a friend making the most out of our headphones or earphones is really the reason why we have those accessories.  The Slussen by Urbanears made it possible and I love it!

This functionality alone made me think that purchasing Urbanears Slussen is worth it.  However, upon reading the manual, I was totally shocked that Slussen was actually made for the DJ in us…

Pocket-sized DJ Kit

I’ve always thought that I have ZERO talent for DJing.  Whenever I’m in a party, I would just look at the DJ from afar thinking that I would never ever be able to try out how to mix sounds and especially, scratching them.  Besides, I don’t have the equipment.  This year, that impossibility became a possibility!  How did that ever happen?

Technology really advances fast that even DJing is a possibility now for newbie like me.  Thanks to Urbanears Slussen, my headphones and speaker, I now spent a couple of days mixing and experimenting music.  I’m enjoying it sooo much!

So here’s how it works:

  1. Download the Slussen iOS application from the app store.
  2. Connect the slussen adapter to your iPhone.
  3. Plug your speaker and headphones to your slussen adapter.
  4. Launch the Slussen iOS application and you’re on your way to DJ awesomeness!
Slussen iOS
Slussen app

In just one glance of the Slussen iOS application, you can already see the different controls.  The first thing I did was load the tracks in each of the deck. I chose two of my favorite songs today.  When I played the songs, they really didn’t match.  I had to read some tutorials on how I can mix music.  It’s definitely not easy. I’m just glad that Urbanears had thought about this great app and accessory so that at least I can experience DJing (even just for my own enjoyment, hehe!).

Slussen’s Controls

  • kill all – kill the EQ effects on the respective side
  • 125 BPM – increase the BPM of a track or change the pitch by tapping the BPM button
  • sync button – press this button to make sure that 2 different tracks are played in perfect sync
  • equalizer – press and hold the EQ button to adjust the equalizer or gain.
  • scratch function – press and move any of the decks while they are playing to scratch
  • crossfader – slide from right to left to choose which side should be heard in your speakers
  • headphone crossfader – lets you choose which deck you will hear in your headphones
  • cue feature – cue instantly, or set a new cute-point by tapping the cue button

What I appreciate in this application is how you can mix two different tracks and control where the music will come out.  You use the crossfaders to control the music that will come out in your speaker or headphones.  There’s the sync button to make the two tracks in sync (this is especially helpful if I suddenly got tired of harmonizing them).  Of course, the scratch function is a joy to play with!

The best feature of it all is pre-listening!  You can prepare your next music mix on your headphone without affecting the sounds coming out of the speaker.  Then when ready, you load the next track to mix for everyone to listen.

In the future, I hope that Urbanears would add a feature wherein we can record our own music mixes.

Keychain

Lastly, how else can we bring Urbanears Slussen with us but hanging on our keychain?  It’s easy to pull it up when we need the Slussen, whenever, wherever, and always 🙂

More Information?

Still want to know more about Urbanears Slussen?  Then watch the video from Urbanears below.

Availability

Urbanears Slussen 4

Urbanears Slussen 1

Urbanears Slussen is available in four colors [Tomato (red), Grape (purple), Petrol (blue) & Pumpkin (orange)] and is priced at Php 795 in the Philippines.

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20 Things I Love about iOS 7

20 Things I Love about iOS 7

I’ve been dying to experience iOS 7 ever since it was announced early this week.  Apple completely did an overhaul and made a lot of improvements to iOS 6.  As expected, iOS 7 will only be available for developers as of now and will be released to the public this fall (around September timing).

Considering how I adore Apple, I couldn’t take it any longer that I got myself a developer account.  I downloaded the beta version of iOS and started checking out the features of the upcoming iOS.

Here are 20 things that I love about iOS 7:
I know there are hundreds of features which I still have yet to try out.  However, for now, these are the things that I immediately noticed upon exploring my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.  One word to describe the experience: WOW! 🙂

  1. New Design

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With Jonathan Ive on board, I knew that the design of iOS will change drastically… for the better!  I knew that finally the design will complement both the operating system and hardware.  Everything was changed: the icons, the home screen, the screen space, the dock and even the signal bar (from bars to dots).

Skeumorphism is definitely out and flatness is in.  Skeumorphism is where things resembles an actual product.  If you loved the yellow notepad and leather bound calendar, you won’t see it in iOS7 anymore.  I do not miss them one bit because I love the cleanliness and the simplicity of the new icons!  There’s not much noise anymore.

The new look makes the iPhone look more elegant.  Just the way it’s supposed to be 🙂

  1. iMessage

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The Messages app also had a makeover and boy, I do love it to bits!  Just like the home screen, this is definitely a lot cleaner!  Jonathan Ive removed clutter in the app.  I immediately noticed this.  The profile image of the individual isn’t visible anymore inside the message window.

  1. Lockscreen

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I tend to choose the shortest time possible to auto-lock my iPhone.  The reason is that I want to save battery.  Sometimes, I find it irritating if I only want to open the flashlight app or to take a quick picture because I have to click several tabs before I can access them.

Luckily, with iOS7, we now have the ability to access control center from the lock screen.  Net, it’s easier to access flashlight, clock app, music, airdrop, calculator, brightness option and several other features!  Sooooooo awesome!

  1. Game Center

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No more green felt in the Game Center because it’s now a sleek white screen with colorful bubbles!  It’s interactive too!

  1. Camera App

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The Camera application was redesigned completely.  It’s now easier to access the different modes: Video, Photo, Square (new) & Panorama by a swipe of a finger.  The Square mode is there for people who prefers square pictures over portrait.

  1. Filters

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It’s time to say goodbye to some filtering applications because iOS 7 now has built-in camera filters!  There are eight filters to choose from, just enough for us to have cutesy creative photos.

  1. Photo Gallery

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One improvement area of iOS6 is the way photos are organized.  If I have thousands of pictures on my iPhone, I need to scroll through a very very long page in order to view them.  With iOS 7, our photos are now organized into a timeline – years, months, weeks, and days.  No need to manually arrange our photos!

  1. Siri

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It’s easier to tell if Siri is listening as audio waves are now shown when Siri is listening and analyzing what we are saying.

In iOS7, Siri works with Bing (no surprise there as Google is clearly a competitor)!  Apart from that, Siri also gets information from Twitter and Wikipedia to answer our queries.

  1. Apps Near Me

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In app store, we can find applications that are popular near our current location.  So when we travel, this little feature would help guide us on what to download right at that moment.  In my case, when I did a search earlier, I discovered the XE currency app which is totally new to me!  Very useful!

  1. Weather

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Animation just made the Weather app ten times cooler!  I was driving earlier going to work and I was impressed with how the sky and the weather app looked the same!  It was like a carbon copy of sorts and that made me want to use the application more because of this new change!

  1. Notification Center

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The notification center have been redesigned in a way that it now has 3 tabs (today, all & missed).

Today tab – gives us a rundown of our events & stock prices for the day.
All tab – a combination of everything (messages, twitter, facebook, emails, etc) that are activated in your notification settings.
Missed tab – where we can find a list of our missed calls.

  1. Multi-tasking

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Vast improvement on multi-tasking.

I believe that this time Apple fixed this feature right.  Finally, when we double tap the home button, we can now see a preview of all our running applications.  It’s easy to browse through them now and we can quickly close an application by swiping it up.  The best improvement on this is that we don’t have to wait for the applications to be updated when we switch to them as iOS automatically updates them on the background.  Super cool, isn’t it?

  1. Mail

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iOS 7 is definitely about simplicity and elegance.  We can see that clearly through the new email application.  It’s as simple as swiping to the right to access mailboxes and folders then swiping to the left to archive an email.  Simple but it works!

  1. iTunes Radio

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We can now listen to music for free with iTunes Radio!  All we have to do is open the music app, click Radio and choose the stations we like.  We can them stream the music from the internet!  If we like the track we’re listening to, we can buy it right there and there!

  1. Full Screen Safari

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Another welcome improvement to iOS is the full screen Safari.  The elements will be automatically hidden/minimized until we need them.  With that, we can maximize the use of the beautiful retina display of iPhone 5.  Very well thought of Apple!

  1. Safari Tabbed Browsing

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Tabbed browsing is a great improvement to the overall look of Safari.  It’s easier to browse from page to page with this format.  Five tabs can be shown on iPhone screen at once glance.

  1. Shared Links

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Another Safari on iOS 7 feature that I love is the addition of shared links from Twitter.  I follow a lot of technology, NBA, and news journalists on Twitter thus I read a lot of articles from there.  I’m glad it’s now way easier to access those shared links.

  1. AirDrop

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I was laughing when the Apple keynote speaker said that we don’t have to run around bumping phones anymore.  He was talking about AirDrop and I must say, FINALLY!

I wasn’t able to test this as I do not know anyone with iOS7.  AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to share files (photos, contacts, videos) with anyone who is nearby.  With AirDrop, transferring data is now much easier!

  1. Search Anywhere

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In the past, whenever we need to search something on our iPhone, we have to press the home button then swipe to the right.  Considering that I use this feature a lot, I would wish that I can do this in a faster way.

My wish has been answered because iOS 7 has brought a new way to access spotlight search!  We just need to swipe down from anywhere on the screen to bring up spotlight search!  One watchout is that we can’t do this at the absolute top because it is where the notification center is.

  1. Control Center

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The control center has got to be my favorite among all the new features of iOS7.  It’s extremely useful!  The control center gives us control over airplane mode, wifi, bluetooth, DND mode, lock screen, screen brightness, systems volume, music playback controls, airdrop, flashlight, clock, calculator and camera!  Whew, that’s a lot!

All those features used to be inside the settings app or a separate application thus we have to enter the home screen and click a few times on the screen in order to access them.  But now, we can access all those features simply by swiping up on the screen!

This is probably something that would stop people from jailbreaking their iPhone.  Most of the features that they gravely find on iOS are now coming with iOS7!

The iOS 7 that I have on my iPhone 5 is still beta 1 version so I expect a lot of bugs.  I can’t wait for September so that everyone can experience the brilliantness of the revamped mobile operating system of Apple.  Great Job Ive and team!

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Adonit Writer Plus for iPad

Adonit Writer Plus for iPad

Glass is not for typing.

That’s the tagline of my newest iPad accessory, Adonit Writer Plus.  And yes, I do agree with the tagline.  While we can type in glass, it’ll take much effort especially if we are trying to type long articles on our iPad.  That’s why Adonit Writer Plus is now something that I bring everyday.

The Writer Plus consists of a Folio case and a Bluetooth Keyboard.  In fact, I blogged about this review on my iPad.  With Writer plus, I can now make more use of my iPad!

WHAT IS IN THE BOX OF THE WRITER?

Oh yes, the beauty of opening the box and the eagerness to take out each component. The excitement to be able to assemble everything and use the accessory ASAP. I just love it!

So here are what’s inside: the Writer (Folio + Bluetooth keyboard), Instruction Manual & USB Charging cable.

Adonit Writer Plus 12

ANATOMY of the Adonit Writer Plus a.k.a. Writer

The next thing I did was to inspect the Writer.  There are 2 main functions: to protect the iPad through the Folio and to be able to type on a keyboard through the bluetooth keyboard.

When I checked it out, I realised that while the Writer looked simple, each and every little part has a function that made the whole accessory useful.

FOLIO

  • cover – I think there could be a better way to design the outer covering of the writer but it works just fine.
  • protective fabric – inner surface of the writer which means that the iPad is protected inside and out 🙂
  • magnetic closure – the Writer uses the same type of closing mechanism as Apple’s smart cover, a magnetic one!
  • frame – this is where the iPad sits.  It basically holds the iPad together with the Writer.
  • frame cutouts – parts of the frame which have been cut out to give access to the iPad ports and buttons.
  • magnetic plate – I love how the magnet inside the writer can hold the keyboard and iPad to the position that we want them to.

KEYBOARD

  • keyboard – the keyboard and basically why I wanted this accessory in the first place.  And oh, it’s detachable from the Writer!
  • indicator LED – the LED at the top right corner of the keyboard which shows if it’s ready for bluetooth pairing.  It’s also a power indicator, reminding us if we need to recharge the accessory.
  • micro-usb port – located at the top right side of the keyboard, used for charging.
  • pairing button – button at the top right corner of the keyboard which we press to activate the pairing of the keyboard and iPad.
  • on/off switch – located at the back of the keyboard.  It takes a bit of effort to turn it on using my finger so I ended up just leaving it on.  the battery life works great anyway.
  • rubber bumpers – I do not remove the keyboard from the Writer when I put the iPad on my bag.  That’s why I’m just glad that rubber bumpers on the keyboard protects my iPad screen from any damages.  Super love this part!

Adonit Writer Plus 2

Adonit Writer Plus 3

Adonit Writer Plus 6

INSTALLING THE WRITER

The trick to properly place the iPad to the writer is by inserting the iPad while the accessory is playing flat on a surface.  Next is to ensure that the iPad is aligned with the frame cutouts.

Adonit Writer Plus 9

CONNECTING THE WRITER

Connect the Writer to the iPad by turning on Bluetooth on your device.

Adonit Writer 1

Once activated on the iPad, you just have to press and hold the pairing button on top right of the keyboard for several seconds. The indicator LED will show a green blinking light and you’re ready to go.

Adonit Writer Plus 7

CHARGING THE WRITER

Once the LED indicator light shows red color, it’s time to recharge the accessory.  You just need to connect the included micro-USB cable into the micro-USB port at the top right side of the Writer.

The battery lasts for 2 weeks with normal use.

Adonit Writer Plus 11

USING THE WRITER

Now, here’s the enjoyable part whenever I get an accessory – to be able to experience its functionalities and features.  I’m really glad that I found this case because I ended up being more productive because I can type on a keyboard! 🙂

Here are some of the features of Adonit Writer Plus for the iPad:

  • Both the keyboard (from a simple pull) and the iPad (through the quick eject) are easy to remove from the Writer.
  • The Magnetic Seal enables the iPad to go to sleep whenever the folio latches on to it.
  • The auto wake & sleep function works not only for the iPad but also for the Writer’s keyboard.  This explains why the keyboard works for a long time without charging.
  • The keyboard wirelessly connect to the iPad via bluetooth.
  • You can put your iPad in any angle because of the magnetic plate that securely places it wherever you want.
  • The protective fabric inside the writer serves as a cushion between the iPad and keyboard.  Other than that, it’s scratch resistant!
  • Adonit Writer Plus doubles as a case just in case you don’t need a keyboard.
  • keyboard – apart from being able to type numbers and letters through the writer, you can also do certain things via special keys at the top part of the keyboard.  Things like going to the Home screen, search window, image gallery, bringing up virtual keyboard, cut/copy/paste functions, control music and sounds and locking the iPad screen.

Apart from all those nifty features, what I ended up with is that I started writing more using my iPad.  I blog more and I use Pages, Numbers and Keynote iOS apps more often.  I tend to start writing my thoughts on my iPad and I’m already contemplating on starting a diary.  In the end, Adonit Writer Plus boosted my productivity.

Adonit Writer Plus 10

Adonit Writer Plus 4

Adonit Writer Plus 5

IN SUMMARY

I super love the Adonit Writer Plus!  It makes writing easier!  With the accessory, I can actually transform my iPad into a full-pledged laptop.  Some of my friends even thought that I was using a compact laptop 😛

PROS:

  • functional detachable keyboard
  • slim & portable
  • rechargeable batteries
  • can double as a case

CONS:

  • folio design could be better
  • on/off switch is difficult to use

The Adonit Writer Plus for iPad is available for Php 4,990.00 in the Philippines.

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