Category Archives: Review

Mobee Magic Charger

mobee_batteryPack_magicCharger_120730_BATThe Mobee Magic Charger for Apple Magic Mouse is something I’ve been wanting for quite sometime without actually realising it. I accidentally saw it while browsing at a electronics store in Helsinki while waiting for my actual order to be ready and once I saw it I knew I had to have it. I really love the Magic Mouse but I’m so done with rechargeable batteries. The Magic Charger comes with it’s own custom battery pack for Magic Mouse and inductive charger.

They promise to get up to 8 days of use out of the battery without charging and with my 20 days test I can say that is pretty accurate. I’ve been leaving my mouse on 24/7 and only charge it once it’s completely depleted but from now on as my test is concluded I’ll probably put it on the charging station over night so I never have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of work. The design is very sleek and the charger fits nicely on my table or to be more exact under my rain design mstand. The charger gets it’s power from USB and I have it connected on my USB hub so I only need to connect one USB cable to my Macbook Pro.

Only time will tell how well the battery will hold it’s charge but for now I’d say it’s a buy for anyone with a Magic Mouse.

Escort Passport 9500ix Radar and Laser Detector

Escort 9500ix blueSo I finally bought a radar/laser detector. I wanted to buy one after my first ticket but never got around to doing the research on which ones are actually effective. Well now I really wish I had since I’d probably had already saved it’s price and I would have avoided the trouble of fighting a ticket. A LIDAR detector doesn’t really help you beat a ticket if you were really speeding because it’s really fast and by the time your detector alerts you your speed was already clocked but what it does is to be more aware what speed you were going. The reason I’m fighting my last ticket is because I honestly thought I wasn’t speeding. Ever since I got my first ticket I’ve been paying attention to my speed and I use cruise control when ever possible. And when I was pulled over by CHP I was really surprised because I was certain I wasn’t going over the limit.

I think now a days most law enforcement uses laser radar or LIDAR or at least that’s what I’ve always been caught with. LIDAR uses light instead of microwaves or radio waves so it’s not really a radar in conventional sense.  LIDAR sends a laser beam to it’s target where it’s reflected back and then it uses time of flight principal to determine the speed. LIDAR allows speed enforcement in traffic also where as a regular radar can’t reliably measure your speed if there’s other cars around but they are still not infallible so getting pulled over by officer using one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight it. If the maintenance is neglected or the office using the LIDAR gun isn’t properly trained you might be able to show reasonable doubt for a judge to dismiss the case.

Laser veilThe Escort Passport 9500ix is a top of the line detector that can detect not only all the conventional radars but also LIDAR. It also has a built-in GPS and it can warn you of any known speed traps, speed cameras and red light cameras. It will also announce your speed at every alert. One of the annoying things about radar detectors is all the false alerts. That’s where 9500ix shines as it can auto learn and eliminate them. False alerts are especially bad when driving in city. So now that I have a detector to alert me but like I said before it’s usually too late with LIDAR to slow down. There’s few solutions to that one is laser jammer but those are illegal in California so that’s out. The second solution is VEIL. VEIL is a coating that you put in your primary targeting areas like head lamps and license plate. It makes it slightly more difficult for the LIDAR gun to get a reading giving you few extra seconds to react. VEIL is perfectly legal in California and in conjunction with a high end LIDAR detector it maximizes your changes of slowing down before the LIDAR gun gets a reading.

I’ve been now testing it for just over two weeks and pretty satisfied with it. It doesn’t give too many false alerts  and it learns false alerts after detecting the same signal at same location for 3 times and that has been working very well. I’ve gotten laser alert only 3 times once the cop was on the opposite side of the fwy, once on the airport and the last time I didn’t even see the cop at all. Each time it was very short alert so I really don’t know yet how effective VEIL is. The only huge annoyance is the red light camera alerts that I get on fwy even thought they are not even on my path but rather at some intersection close to the fwy. I’m sure I can turn it off completely since I’m not in the habit of running red lights and the cameras in Los Angeles are usually pretty visible. The alerts are really clear and I really like the fact that it almost instantly lowers the volume so that it doesn’t become irritating. This is so much better than the cheap detector I had when I was in college. It used to drive me nuts with the false alerts to the point that I kept ignoring it and when I got busted for speeding it was with LIDAR which the detector didn’t even support.

I scored both for under $500 with shipping with a coupon from Radar Detector Buyer’s Guide. If this saves me from even one accidental speeding it’s paid itself off.

Here’s a video to show off how VEIL affects LIDAR guns ability to get your speed.

First impressions on Google Maps for iOS

google maps iconGoogle maps for iOS is finally available in Apple App Store. It has turn by turn navigation, live traffic information and public transit directions. The UI is very responsive and easy to use as always. I must say that I’m very impressed with it. The directions seem to account for current traffic conditions in calculating the route.

google maps for ios screenshot

Nokia’s HERE maps for iOS review

Nokia here iconNokia released it’s HERE maps for iOS recently so decided to give it go since it’s free. There’s not much good I can say about that application. The UI felt weird compared to Apple Maps or Google Maps. The map graphics are really ugly and the first route instructions I tried would have directed me close but still totally wrong place as the destination is not accessible from that street which is not even the street I used to look for the route. For voice instructions I had to wait it to load a audio file which I found weird. I didn’t try driving with the instructions and see if you could adapt to changes in route. To sign in it swiched to Safari to do it instead of doing it embedded in the app.

The over all experience was what I’m come to except from Nokia which was disappointing. I really hoped they had stepped up to deliver better quality and more intuitive products but I see that nothing has changed. I really can’t recommend this app to anyone.

nokia maps here ios screenshot

TriggerTrap Mobile

I got a TriggerTrap Mobile for me and my wife some time ago from Jan at TriggerTrap and this review has been pending ever since. We were going to do a field test and see how TriggerTrap mobile stacks up against Trigger Happy. That how ever got didn’t happen because weather was against us on our camping trip to Big Sur and we also had technical difficulties because of iOS 6 with both devices. So instead of doing a indepth review I’m going to write my initial thoughts on this product.

TriggerTrap Mobile consists of the dongle, camera spefic cable and the app. There’s two versions of the app: free and paid. I’ve tried them both. The paid version has much more functions than the free version. You can use the app also with iPhones built-in camera but pointing it is little hard because the app doesn’t show a preview like the regular camera app and there’s of course no view finder in iPhone. My only gripe about the app really is that it’s really hard to make out anything in bright daylight and some of the adjustments are too sensitive and hard to get the exact number you want.

I personally like this product more than Trigger Happy Remote. It’s more polished product and there’s much more documentation on triggertrap website. Also if you ever switch cameras or have multiple cameras you only need to get a new camera cable and can use the same dongle. Another great thing is that you can order your dongle and cable from Amazon. Lastly big thanks to TriggerTrap for providing us review copies. We are going to continue to play with them as time allows. Check out also my wife’s blog Great use of Pixels.

Introducing Triggertrap Mobile from Triggertrap on Vimeo

Bose MIE2i mobile headset

bose mi2i packageHad some frequent flier miles expiring and I am anyways stopping using Lufthansa completely but more on that on a later post so I spent my miles on something less exiting (Cusinart cookware) but my wife in turn spent her points to get me a Bose MIE2i mobile headset.

I just love my Bose QC 15 noise cancelling headphones so I was already pretty sure that these are going to be great.  The problem with regular Apple headphones is that they are pretty unconfortable and during any activity they often pop out of my ear. I have both the standard ones that came with my iPhone and the more expensive in-ear ones.

These Bose headphones fit very nicely in my ear and with the silicone tips they actually stay in my ear very confortably. It comes with three different sizes of those tips so they fit in anyones ear. The package also comes with a protective carrying case for the headphones just like my QC15 did. It’s pretty clear why Bose headphones are so expensive. They’ve thought of everything and everything is really high quality.

bose mie2iI tested them against my old Apple headphones and the sound quality is amazing. It’s rich and crisp. You can hear the smooth low frequences as well as the crisp high frequences well as well as my ears can hear them. I’m no audio snob that claims to hear the subtle differences but with these headphones you can clearly hear the difference.

Amazon and Apple are both selling these headphones for $129.95 USD. That’s $50 more than the Apple in-ear headphones and I must say that they are worth every cent.

The new 1080p HD Apple TV

The new 1080p HD Apple TV package from Amazon was waiting for me yesterday when I came from work to home.

apple_tv_hd

The package looks the same as previous version and contains the same things: the sleek black apple tv, aluminium IR remote and power cord. When you put the old and new side by side you can’t really tell which one is the new one though my old one was a bit dusty. The only other difference I noticed is the model number.

apple_tv_side_by_side

I really love Apple TV. I rent movies through it, stream music to my Harman Kardon home theater system and stream Finnish TV using TVKaista iPad app which also support AirPlay. I was going to buy a second Apple TV to my bedroom to connect to my 32″ LG LED TV along with DirecTV HD DVR but since I heard there was a new version of Apple TV coming so I waited awhile for it. Now the 1080p gets it’s home in my living room next to my second DirecTV HD DVR and 55″ Samsung 1080p LED TV.

LifeProof case for iPhone

lifeproof-whiteMy old iPhone case broke sometime ago and I need to protect my iPhone 4 so I thought I’d give LifeProof a try since it  is supposed to make it water, dirt, snow and shock resistant.

Check out the video where the guy demonstrating it goes snorkling with his iPhone and even uses it to film underwater.

Before putting your iPhone in the case you need to do a 1 hour long water test to make sure there’s no defects in the case and you know how to properly seal it. After that’s done you need to clean your iPhone with the included microfiber cloth and make sure there not dust, hairs or anything extra in your iPhone or the case and then you can seal it.

After using it for a while it seems pretty responsive and sound quality seems okay. The only immediate downside I could detect is that it is quite a bit bulkier than my previous case but it does provide a lot of extra protection. I will post an update once I’ve actually used it for a while.