Archive for the ‘Chucknology’ Category

Chucks App Corner - Cooliris

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

-by yours truly.

I am pleased with iPhoto. It imports, edits and organizes with minimum effort. It’s basically self-acting. And no, not in a Microsoft self-acting errors, repairs and pop-up dialogues kind of way. Just fast, smooth, sleek and intelligent.

You know what they say. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Still. I was curious after a quick tour of Cooliris that my boss gave me. Trying to figure the basics out I realized what you really want from a photo organizing/viewing application: Overview. And speed. (bored already?! Short version at the end…)

How does it work?
Cooliris is up for it, no question. But only conditionally. If you’re slave under integrated graphics in the motherboard; forget it (or upgrade, please!) It will chop it’s way through the wall of images and you’ll feel the epileptic attack closing in on you. Cooliris runs in graphic interface. So you either get used to the the fact that everything your cursor touches moves or again: forget it. For me, this takes some getting used to with the new Macbooks ultra sensitive trackpad because the response is immediate and accurate.

Conclusion
In the end I’m not convinced. It only does one thing iPhoto doesn’t. It loads images directly, from web or computer (no import) and does so swiftly. But that’s just not enough. So I try the iPhone version… Disaster. It will only hook up to a flickr or picasa account. It’s so slow I can make a cuppa tea in between and shrug off the PC vibes I get from the loading icon. The only cool thing is that the photo wall is tilt sensitive. Like everything else on iPhone.

And here’s the short version (of the Mac app, don’t bother with the iPhone)

+ quite stylish, fast (conditionally), good overview, free, both Mac and PC compatible

- interface can get messy and needs getting used to. (And if you already have an app you’re happy with, why?)

Chucks App Corner - Flight Control

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Not what I first thought (when noticing it in the top ten app list).
Not what I thought the second time either. (I thought it was another check-your-flight-status-app, yawn)
The third time I was persuaded and downloaded it and the fourth time I am officially a Flight Control addict.

Direct aircrafts and helicopters by drawing their landing route with your finger on the screen to the strip, remain calm, stay in control and land as many as possible without getting a heart attack. After a while the traffic gets more dense and in order to avoid collisions you must use strategic thinking as different aircraft fly at different speed. It’s simple, neat, cheap and totally addictive.

Chucks App Corner - Skype

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

- by Chuck

Finally. Calling for free has never been easier. Assuming most of you already know the upsides of Skype for your computer no further introduction should be necessary. Here are the ups and downs for iPhone Skype.

+ Portable, chat function, search directory and most other things you have in your regular Skype.

- Calling only works on wi-fi, chat however works pretty smooth on just 3G. You’ll loose your call if you’re on the move and leaving a wi-fi area. Does not run in the background.

Still, being at a hotel with wireless and having access to free calls not being chained to your laptop can be liberating.

Get Skype for iPhone/iPod Touch, for free.

Chucks App Corner - iTalk

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

- by Noelle

Listen to my audio review or visit iTalk.

Chucks App Corner - Rise n’ Shine

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

-by Chuck

Ah..sorry for the a(pp)sence lately. I’ve just been waiting for the right one to come along. It turned out to be a Swedish app that’s not only pretty but also another sleep related app that I’ve been looking for. Remember the sleep enhancers? They do a good job falling alseep but what about waking up? You’ve probably heard of Phillips Wake-Up Light but unfortunately not a very mobile piece of light. Rise n’ shine does the same thing, in iPhone format and for a fraction of the price (0.99 USD/0.78 EU/7 SEK). Set the time, choose wake-up sound and you’re ready to get up.

Obviously it can’t replace neither sunlight or a wake-up light but it must work because N. left 15 minutes earlier the past days and did not reset her alarm clock.

The 5 Worst Mobile Phones

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

- by Chuck

Let’s be frank and admit that we always somehow knew that Motorola was a piece of cr#!* But the actual ‘winner’ (or loser) is…to be found here.

Some not very satisfied customers can back it up if in doubt.

Which was the worst phone you ever owned? Noelle claims hers to be this Sony Ericsson.

Chucks App Corner - Ambiance 2.0

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Normally when you get your free app update it’s mainly bug fixes. It’s seldom to actually see a visible difference. That’s why they are more necessary than fun.

Ambiance, that we talked about before, however got itself a true facelift in 2.0. We’re talking

  • complete re-design
  • new features: favorite button, featured, search
  • detailed interface
  • advan ced sound preview with thumbnails, explanations and reviews for each sound
  • Photo with each sound

and of course, most important, new sounds added. My instant new favorite is “Wind through tall grass”.
More new sounds (and odd) are Supermarket, Server room, Thunderstorm in rainforest, Hotel lobby, Casino and Football Premier League.

Some drawbacks

  • If you’re not on wi-fi, forget the preview listening and downloading as it needs connection.
  • I kind of miss the simplicity. When you go overboard it doesn’t necessarily improve the overall experience.
  • you have to download all the sounds manually. The good thing is that you only get what you want.

More on the developers website.

Chucks App Corner - Currency Converter

Friday, February 20th, 2009

- by Chuck

Some benefit from recessions -Nissin, the Japanese noodle manufacturers sales are just up, up as well as suppliers of…you guessed it: piggy banks. But the Swedish Krona is not in good shape. The Euro is taking off and it’s taking the USD with it on the ride.

Thus keeping track of relevant currencies comes in handy. Just going between Denmark or Germany can give you the reality check you need; from the price of your favorite whisky in the tax-free shop to the taxi ride from the airport.  

Why not try Paolo Grifantinis Currency Converter.
+ Fast, cheap (15 SEK/1,72 USD/1,36 EUR), up-to-date and with the quick interface you expect from an iPhone application
- No the prettiest app in the world

Chucks App Corner - Environment Enhancers

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

To fall or not to fall asleep - For some not even an issue.  For others a stress that feeds more stress. 

Others have the opposite problem - staying awake and focused. 

For a long time I searched for the ultimate goodnight story/sleeping pill without medical dependence. Normally I sleep well but I discovered how to deal with times when I don’t by being aware of what puts me to sleep easily - when it’s not bedtime.

How to transfer this situation in your bedrom, or where ever you are, was the true challenge. Here’s how I met them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first discovery: I fall asleep easy, quick and good on airplanes.  

Ambiance solves this matter. You choose “Airplane” (among 50+ others ), set the timer and press start. I’m asleep within…well, I can’t really know can I?

My second discovery: There a humans out there spending time analyzing brain waves and stuff. Some say that a small side-vibrating noise activates specific receptors to give you whatever signals to feel…whatever. Or as more beautifully expressed on their website” Binaural beats stimulate the natural brain states associated with relaxation, and will help you relax quickly and deeply. ” 

SleepStream deals with these states (with or without the beats, those are optional): falling asleep, staying awake and alert, focusing, relaxing and meditating with a set of 30 different modes. Here you can choose state you wish to undergo instead of just a background sound. Price 15 SEK / 1,36 EUR /1,17 USD

Why have both? Well, the” Oceanic 815″ on SleepStream is insufficient as far airplane humming goes. Instead I use it for energizing in the morning or when reading (”Quiet Woodland” works). Ambiance will provide your environment with specific background sounds in general but its “Airplane” does the right job when in need to sleep.

Chucks App Corner - Cams Ahoy!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

by Chuck - your gadget n’ gear reporter.

Speed cams sure can be tricky. If it’s dark forget about recognizing it before hitting the brakes. Let’s face it. We all drive too fast, too often (not me mind you, don’t have a license) and honestly we want to be able to keep up speed, literally. So how solve the cam dilemma? If your in-car navigator has a head’s-up that works in real-time, good for you. But if you’re a rent-a-car-ist like Noelle it’s just right down super convenient to have it with you at all times.

Cams Ahoy warns for the next camera with both distance, graphics and sound. 

+ Quite accurate and clear graphics
- Separate from the phones GPS app. Messy if you need to switch between them. Calls for a lot of battery and good coverage.

Chucks App Corner - Clinometer

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

by Chuck - Monologuers new gadget/gear anchor.

You thought an iPhone was a phone? Ugh.

Sure it CAN be a phone, if you need it to be. But in fact the iPhone’s main purpose is not to be just a simple-minded telephone machine, anyone can do that. The iPhone is whatever you want it to be. Don’t worry. I’ll talk tou through the magic wonders of it, one post at a time. Today we’ll start by showing you how to leave your tools in the shop and still be confident in taking measures. Literally. Imagine you’re standing there, suddenly needing a fine calibrated grade tool to document specific settings and mountings. You’re out of office and who likes carrying a big, bulky tool box around anyway?

Noelle doesn’t. She puts her phone to work.

Go to your app store or learn more about the Clinometer.