App Review Archive

Review of Camu for iPhone

One of the newest and brightest photo taking and editing apps in the App Store is Camu for iPhone.  Camu is a real time editing app that allows you to apply photo filters on-the-fly to the photos you are taking at the moment or add those effect to photos later.  It then allows you to post those creations to a wide range of social networks for sharing.  The beauty of Camu for iPhone is in its simplicity but don’t let that fool you:  This is a powerful photo editing application.

I’ve been using Camu now for a couple of weeks and I have to say I’m nothing short of impressed.  It has a nice selection of filters that you can apply to your photos (and not you don’t get nickel & dime’d to death with having to buy filters) but it is also completely gesture driven in using so there is virtually no learning curve.  This is one of those apps that truly anyone could pick up and figure out in about 5 minutes.  In fact my only real disappointment with the app is that there isn’t a native iPad version.

It is well worth your time and iPhone storage to take a look at Camu for iPhone.

Camu for iPhone – Free – Download Now

Star Wars Commander for iOS Review

Star Wars Commander is the latest in the Star Wars franchise of apps from Lucas Arts that brings a tower defence style game to the Rebellion versus Empire universe.  Like many such games, the object is to keep your own base safe and secure while also leading attacks on your enemy bases to collect currency and materials to further upgrade and build your own base.

This is where the game takes a twist.  In Star Wars Commander you can choose if you want to fight for the Rebel Alliance or if you want to take up arms for the Galactic Empire.  Depending on the site you select will determine the weapons at hand and your mission objectives.

I have to say that personally I’ve grown a bit tired of the tower defence style games as there are so many of them.  But Star Wars Commander, while certainly in the genre, has been a great amount of fun to play partly because it is in the Star Wars universe (and really, what’s not to love about that?) and the fact I can pick my side in the game.  It’s kinda nice being on the Empire side and commanding TIE Fighters. :-)

Star Wars: Commander (Universal App) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Vivino Wine Scanner App for iPhone Review

I love wine but I fully admit that I’m a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to being able to pick a good wine from a not-so-good wine.  As I have discovered, price isn’t necessarily a reflection of a wine that is good and there is certainly an element of personal tastes that come into the picture.  Compounding my problem is when I go to my local grocer or “bottle store” (AKA Liquor Store), there is a dizzying number of wines of all times and all price ranges.  Regardless of your wine selecting skills, there is a great app that can help you find that perfect wine as you stand there looking at a wall of bottles.  The Vivino Wine Scanner app allows you to scan the label of any wine and instantly get peer ratings, price ranges and reviews of that wine.  It helps eliminate the guess work so you can find wines you like at a price that is right.

The Vivino Wine Scanner app is one of those apps that just makes life easier.  It works amazingly well and I’ve yet to find a bottle of wine that it didn’t recognise.  Literally all you do is snap a photo of the label of the wine bottle and it does all the work of giving you information about that wine.  It has become my favourite app to use while I’m stood in my grocer trying to find that bottle of wine that goes with that meal.

Vivino Wine Scanner – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Vivino Wine Scanner Pro – $4.99 – Download Now

My Data Manager for iOS App Review

There was a point not so many years ago that there were data plans from mobile providers that were unlimited data consumption.  Then the Internet got big and apps came into being and suddenly the mobile providers were having their networks crushed under the onslaught of data being pushed to mobile devices.  The solution was to limit the amount of included data or, in some cases, cap at a certain level.  That is where an app like My Data Manager for iOS comes in handy for iPhone or iPad users.

My Data Manager is an app that allows you to set your weekly or monthly thresholds on your data plan and keeps track of how much data you are using.  But it even smart enough to monitor how much WiFi you are using (because there are places you still have to pay for that for some reason – you reading this airports and hotels of the world?) and even your roaming amounts which can be really expensive if you over use while abroad.  It’s an impressive little app that is easy to use and configure and gives you alerts when you are getting close to your data limit.  If you have a limited amount of data you can use each month, My Data Manager for iOS should be an app on your iPhone.

OneFootball for iOS Review

This weekend here in England has been the start of the 2014-2015 football season.  All the leagues, most notably the Premier League and the Champions League, start in earnest as do many of the European leagues across the continent.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a good app for my iPhone and iPad to follow my favourite teams along with keeping up with news from around the various leagues.  I think I’ve found it in OneFootball for iOS.

OneFootball for iOS allows you to select your favourite team and follow them in detail as well as get push notifications during matches (when you can’t find your way to the pub to watch for some reason) and detailed information on each match and the season.  Further, you get a great news feed of all the information from across all the various national leagues and can even go into another league and setup notifications for a particular team.  All this in an app that is free.

Nifty MiniDrive Pro Review

I love my 13″ MacBook Pro.  It is great for travel – which I do a fair amount of – yet is powerful enough to do everything I need to do on a day-to-day basis.  But there are two things that are highly under-utilised on my Mac:  The DVD Drive and the SD Card Reader. I can easily solve this problem.  In the case of the DVD drive, I can crack the case, rip out the drive and replace it with a SSD Drive.  Easy but expensive and absolutely a warranty voiding exercise.

Then there is the SD slot.  I can stick a SD Card in it and use it as extra storage but it sticks out.  Which means it can get caught

Nifty MiniDrive Pro

Nifty MiniDrive Pro

shoving it into my case and potentially broken.  Now I know that Apple never intended the SD slot to be used for full time storage needs but someone has turned this rarely used part of my Mac into something useful.  That is Nifty and the Nifty MiniDrive Pro.

The Nifty MiniDrive Pro is a SD sized Micro SD card reader that slides perfectly into the SD slot on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.  It sits flush with the chassis meaning that it doesn’t stick out.  At. All.  And your Mac simply sees that Micro SD card as just another drive in Finder.  Brilliantly simple and stunningly powerful.  For less than $50 I added 64GB of storage to My MacBook Pro all without ever turning a screwdriver.  I’ve reviewed a lot of great things here at AlliOSNews but this may be one of the simplest, coolest things ever.

TechMom Tuesday: OneDay at a Time

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

I used to be a scrapbooker. Creative Memories all the way, with approximately 57,000 stickers for every adventure.

I was known for stealing piles of brochures from hotel lobbies. I’d squirrel away a menu from a fancy restaurant and save every ticket. Every vacation or milestone moment in time became a stack of memories carefully curated into an 11×14 amalgamation of arranged art.

When I became TechMom, I had the best of intentions of continuing with my hobby, documenting those fleeting moments of childhood. I even started both TechTots books during the months my family lived apart – tiny twin TechTots in Chez NICU and me wishing them home already.

Review of Blacksmith-Labs Barrett Leather Holster Case for iPhone

I’ve always been a sucker for a great iPhone case and having had the pleasure to review many over the years, there are a few that stick out in my mind with fond memories.  I think that the Blacksmith-Labs Barrett case could be one of those in the future.  With its simple but elegant style, the case provides protection for your iPhone 5/5s/5c and makes sure that it is always on your hip thanks to a stylish and virtually indestructible metal belt clip.

Review of Evernote Jot Script Stylus – The Ultimate Stylus

Looking back over the last 16 years that I have been writing reviews of mobile products and solutions, I’ve reviewed dozens of stylus’ in that time.  Most have been pretty good.  Some have been great.  Then comes along the Evernote Jot Script.  This Evernote-branded-built-by-Adonit is simply the best, most accurate stylus I’ve ever reviewed.  While the price will put some readers off to trying it, if you are looking for the ultimate performance for handwriting or drawing on your iPad or iPhone look no further than the Jot Script.

Review of Findery for iPhone – The Social Local Knowledge Sharing App

I’ve been fortunate in my life and career to be able to travel a lot of the world.  If there is one thing that is always the challenge though it is finding the local knowledge about a particular place.  There are plenty of apps out there to help you plan your travel and give you the highlights but what about the local knowledge of a place?  What are the secrets that a city holds?  That’s where Findery for iPhone can help.  It is a social, local and crowdsourced app that allows you to leave notes – text and photos – as you travel so others can find out about little discoveries and in return, you get to see others notes and discoveries.  It is a great app for finding out about a place – the real place, not just the touristy stuff – in a beautifully designed and easy-to-use app.

Findery – Free – Download Now