Review Archive

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.

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

Review of Meteovista HD – A Widget Based iPad Weather App

In the App Store there are quite literally hundreds of weather apps and the vast majority of them start with a North America focus.  I get it.  The biggest app market is the United States and that’s where if you want your app to succeed you aim it.  But as an American living in England, I’ve found that many US-centric weather apps leave much to be desired when it comes to getting information about my locale.  Then I found Meteovista HD for iPad.  Meteovista is written by meteorologist here in Europe and has more detailed weather information for European cities than most other apps out there.  It’s a beautifully simple app with a widget based design that gives you all the basic information you need to plan your day.

Meteovista HD – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Review of Layrs – Simple Yet Sophisticated Photo Layering App for iPhone

Photo editing on iPhone and iPad’s has continued to grow in depth of ability and easy of use.  Nowhere is that more exemplified as it is in Layrs for iPhone.  Layrs brings a simple, easy-to-use interface with dozens of filters that you can layer onto your photos.  While not as sophisticated as other layer editing apps available in the App Store, Layrs will meet the needs for a large portion of iPhone users without requiring a massive investment.  Or like zero investment.  Layrs is one of the best values in the App Store at the price of Free.

layrs – Free – Download Now

Review of WritePad Pro – Note Taking App Taking It To Another Level

There are a wide range of note taking apps available to iPhone and iPad users in the App Store but one of the newest, WritePad Pro, is one that has got our attention.  The app is developed by PhatWare and it brings all of the benefits of the original – and still available – WritePad for iPad – but with improved cloud storage support and dramatically improved handwriting recognition.  WritePad Pro will allow you to modify text, insert pictures, drawings and even maps into your notes and synchronise them with virtually any cloud-based storage.  Recently PhatWare provided AlliOSNews a copy of the app to review and after having used it for a few weeks I can say it is light years ahead of the older app and has quickly become my favourite note taking app on my iPad.

WritePad Pro (Universal App) – $9.99 – Download Now

Review of 2048 – Highly Addictive and Challenging Maths Puzzle Game

There are puzzle games.  There are maths games.  There are puzzle maths games.  Then there is 2048.  2048 is a relative new game to the App Store and it already has a cult-like following.  The premise is simple:  Move tiles on the play board to add them up until you reach the magical 2048 tile.  Sounds easy right?

Good Luck.

2048 (Universal App) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Review of Racing Elements – A Beautiful Racing Themed Weather App

In the world of F1 photography – as with drivers and teams – there are big names. It could be argued that none are bigger than the surname Cahier.  Paul-Henri Cahier and his father Bernard have captured 60 years of F1 moments and personalities and both are legends in the field.  Now you can enjoy that eminence database of photos in a new app, Racing Elements.  Racing Elements however is not just a photographic database, it is a weather app at heart.  It provides you local weather information with the backdrop being the beautiful photographs from the Cahiers but also integrates news and information about Formula One.  For any Grand Prix fan, Racing Elements is a must-have app for their iPhone or iPad.

Racing Elements (Universal App) – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Review of PhotoSweeper for Mac

I have been using a Mac and iPhoto for nearly 4 years now and I’ve been taking digital photos for well over a decade now.  In all my iPhoto library has just shy of 21,000 images in it and I know for some of you reading this review, that’s nothing compared to what you have in your own library.  The challenge with an iPhoto or Aperture library of any size is finding duplicate images or images that are so similar that they are effectively duplicates.  That is where PhotoSweeper for Mac can help save you time and frustration.  Using a variety of mechanisms built into it, PhotoSweeper allows you to find similar or duplicate images in your iPhoto, Aperture or Adobe Lightroom library and safely mark them or delete them from your library.  It is quick and efficient and its simple design makes it a great app.

PhotoSweeper starts by presenting you with a quick, 6-step tutorial that outlines how the app works on your Mac.  Essentially all you do is drag your photo folder or an event from iPhoto, Aperture, Adobe Lightroom or your photo library on your Mac into the app.  It will then, based on the criteria you have selected, search for duplicate or near duplicate files for your to mark for moving or removal from your library file.  It is no more complicated than that to use PhotoSweeper.

PhotoSweeper – $9.99 – Download Now