Tech

iPhone 5s Review: 3 Months Later

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If you’ve been reading MBT for a while, you know that I use an iPhone as my primary device. I switched over from a Blackberry (what was I thinking?) in October 2011. I loved my iPhone 4S for the 11 months that I had it but I convinced myself I needed to upgrade to the iPhone 5 in September 2012. I bought it unsubsidized (ouch!) in order to keep my unlimited data with Verizon. I was truly happy with the iPhone 5. The screen was bigger and brighter, it was unbelievably light compared to previous smartphones, and the processor was incredibly ‘snappy’. Flash forward another 12 months and I was sure I was going to sit the iPhone 5s out. That is until I was offered a family member’s own upgrade which wouldn’t affect my unlimited data. Now after using the 5s everyday for the past 3 months am I still happy I upgraded?

First let’s start off by saying that if you have an iPhone 4S or older, you want to switch over to iOS from Android, or are in the market for your first smartphone, I highly recommend the 5s. It’s a beautifully made phone with incredible processing power that only a handful of other handsets can even compete with. Here are my observations after using the iPhone 5s for 3 months: Read the rest of this entry »

Five Must Have Apps For Your iPhone 5s

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One of the best reasons to own an iPhone is the App store. Apple now boasts over 1 million apps, up from 900,000 in June. Not only are these apps useful but many iOS apps are designed beautifully. While Android and their Google Play store have caught up in terms of number of apps, Apple’s App Store is still where developers take their product first.

Whether you just got your first iPhone or are just looking for new apps to bring excitement to your iOS experience, here are my 5 favorite apps for the iPhone 5s.

Tweetbot 3 ($2.99)

Tweetbot 3 is far and away my favorite 3rd party Twitter client. While the official Twitter for iPhone app received a fresh coat of paint when iOS 7 was released, it still doesn’t hold a candle to Tweetbot. Tweetbot allows for easy switching between multiple accounts by tapping on your avatar in the upper left hand corner. This works well for those that want to monitor a business’s account along with a personal account. When Tweetbot 3 was released its primarily white background bothered some users. It did bother me a bit when I would check my feed in bed with the lights off. Enter update 3.2 and Night Theme. This theme allows for optimized reading in dark situations. You can quickly change between Night Theme and the Default White theme by swiping up and down the screen with two fingers like a light switch. This is the Twitter app made for the power user but can still be enjoyed by those who just want to scroll their feed. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Holiday Gifts-Tech Edition

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It’s not easy being a geek. Every year we salivate over the latest technology and we need want to have it all. But unless you rob a bank or take a second mortgage out on your home it’s just not possible. We have to pick and choose what we want the most. Here’s a list of some of the best products out there and how you can get the best deals this holiday season.

Streaming Player

By now we all have HD televisions. Many of us don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars a month on cable bills. That’s where Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast come in. All of these products allow users to watch a wide array of programming on their TVs. The Roku and Apple TV are very similar as you plug a HDMI chord into them and connect them to your television. Chromecast works a little differently. It’s basically an HDMI dongle that you plug into your TV that allows you to stream content from your smartphone or tablet.

So which one should you buy? If we’re going by price the Chromecast is the clear cut winner at only $35. If you’re lucky you can find a retailer or two that is offering it for $30 this holiday season. The Roku is the option with the most content to offer. You can get hundreds of channels and even play games like Angry Birds if you are so inclined. You can get the Roku 3 for $99 or if you don’t mind last year’s model the Roku 2 can be had for $79.99. Last but not least is the Apple TV. If you are tied into the Apple ecosystem in any way look no further. Being able to Airplay your iPhone or iPad’s screen straight to your TV is fantastic. Apple TV is also $99 but I recommend picking up an Apple certified refurbished model for $75. It comes with the same 1 year warranty and you save 24% to boot. Read the rest of this entry »

Nexus 7 (2013) Review

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Last year Google, with some help from Asus, released its first generation Nexus 7 tablet. It was an inexpensive ($199) way to get into the Android eco-system. Quickly it became the most popular tablet not named iPad. It was small and portable, fitting in most pockets, while still packing a punch with a quad core processing chip. A big selling point of the Nexus brand of devices is that they are the first to receive Android software updates. The Nexus 7 (2012) was indeed the first device to ship with Android 4.1. It was a solid device which received much acclaim, but some improvements were needed to its 2013 offering in order to become a more well rounded tablet.

This past July Google released the updated Nexus 7 (2013) in 16GB ($229), 32GB ($269), and 32GB LTE ($349) variations.. This tablet would prove to be one of the most sought after tech products of 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

iPad Air Review

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Originally released in 2010, Apple’s full sized 9.7″ iPad has largely looked the same for the past 2.5 years. It actually got ever so slightly heavier and thicker in 2012 when the first iPad with Retina display came along. Couple that with an impending iPad Mini with Retina display and many wondered if the iPad would remain a must have tablet. Luckily for us, Apple raised the bar again and announced the iPad Air at their event last month.

The iPad Air is available in Space Gray or Silver, Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular, and storage capacities of 16, 32, 64, or 128GB. The 16GB Wi-Fi model starts at $499 while the 16GB Wi-Fi +Cellular model is $629. Each increase in storage will cost you an additional $100, topping out at a whopping $929 for the 128GB Wi-Fi +Cellular model.

I’ve had the iPad Air for almost a week now and here are my impressions: Read the rest of this entry »

Coin, The New Age Credit Card, Reaches Its Preorder Goal Within An Hour

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If you carry several credit and debit cards in your wallet then you know how much of a pain in the ass (literally) it can be. Coin is looking to change the way you carry your cards. Read the rest of this entry »

iPad Mini With Retina Display Review

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Like everyone else, I was surprised to find Apple had put their iPad mini with Retina display on sale via their website when I awoke Tuesday morning. Reviews had yet to hit the web and the smart money had pegged a likely November 22nd launch. I had a 3rd generation iPad (iPad 3) that I was generally happy with but at the last minute I received an offer I couldn’t refuse. For a very small out of pocket price I could pick up Apple’s new iPad mini. I found a store in my area that had the model I wanted (16GB Space Gray) and never looked back.

If you want an iPad mini today, your only option is to order it online and choose personal pickup. Otherwise you are left to wait the 1-3 or 5-10 days until the configuration you desire is ready to ship.

Here are some observations from my first 24 hours with the iPad mini with Retina display: Read the rest of this entry »