An iPad stylus is like a little umbrella in your piña colada. You don’t need one. But it’s a nice extra.
The Nomad Compose is different from every other stylus I’ve tried in that it doesn’t mimic the feel of a pen or a pencil, but rather a paintbrush--it has real bristles, blending natural and synthetic fibers. I tested the Dual Tip Long version, which has a 0.7-inch brush tip on one end, and a much shorter 0.05-inch “glide bevel tip” on the other. The bevel tip is made of the same brush material, but its beveled shape mimics the feel of classic styluses you may be used to. It works for drawing lines as well as tapping buttons in iOS apps.
Don’t get me wrong. iOS games are great. But sometimes all the tapping and dragging leaves us wanting some old-school gaming--moving stuff around and actually interacting with physical objects. Sifteo’s cubes bridge that gap, bringing tactile sensations back to digital gaming. The cubes have little color screens on top, but gameplay isn’t all virtual. Onboard accelerometers sense motion, and the cubes also register their positions in relation to each other. You’ll be tilting, flipping, and moving these cubes all over to win.
I’ve never received so many compliments until I started donning this backpack around town. Family members, colleagues, and even a few fashionable hipsters threw a “Love your backpack!” my way. This is one of the most stylish, functional backpacks I’ve ever worn, and it’s good at carrying my gear, too. But it’s not exactly one of those bags you want to haul everything in at all times.
With everyone doing work on the iPad these days, a plethora of apps and services has popped up to help turn the tablet into a mobile workspace. The real challenge is in getting all of those physical paper documents to follow suit. Scanning paper into PDFs that can be easily read on the iPad can be a bit of work. That’s where these two mobile scanners come into play.
The original Holga is a 120mm film format plastic toy camera with a lo-fi “lomo” aesthetic and a remarkable cult following. Photos taken by Holga artists often feature bright colors, vignettes, and spur-of-the-moment framing. Thanks to the Holga iPhone Lens Kit, those effects are now available to those of us who don’t want all of our photos to look like hipster art projects. And, considering the price you’d pay for rolls and rolls of film, processing, filters, and an actual Holga camera to get the real deal, the lens filter kit is a steal.
Touchscreen keyboards are great for quick text entry, but don’t offer a tactile experience for long-form writing on the go. Portable Bluetooth keyboards are better, but most are too small for practical use or too large for carrying around. Enter Celluon’s Magic Cube, a pocketable projection keyboard that keeps your fingers off the touchscreen.
You can ramp up a hard drive by hooking it up to your Mac via the Thunderbolt port, but that spinning platter can only go so fast. That’s where LaCie’s Little Big Disk comes into play, which truly takes advantage of Thunderbolt’s power. This setup features two solid-state drives inside, preconfigured as a striped RAID array for a total capacity of 240GB. Although that pales in comparison to the less costly hard disk models, the pairing of Thunderbolt with even faster storage gets us excited just thinking about it!
A MacBook Pro, backup batteries, a water bottle, a tangled nest of cords--these are just a few of the things we carry with us every day, and in order to comfortably do so, we need a bag that can hold all this stuff and keep it protected. The BBP Industries Backpack does this perfectly, so much so that we’ve officially deemed it as the “Bag of all Trade Shows.” Whether you’re schlepping through a show floor or running for the bus, the last thing you need is to feel like there’s a bunch of stuff weighing you down.
If you’ve owned more than one iPod or iPhone, there’s likely a stash of unused white earbuds tucked away somewhere. Apple may have nailed it with their devices but for many, those now-iconic earbuds leave a lot to be desired. But you don’t have to give up style for sound quality. Incase has come to the rescue with a pair of fashionable headphones capable of controlling Apple devices--they sound great, and have sleek good looks that will turn heads.
How many chargers do you use for your iOS device? Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I’ve got chargers in every room of the house, and a charging cable permanently plugged in at my desk at Mac|Life. With all the use my iPhone gets, it’s no wonder. And now that my music beams in via iCloud and Rdio, the demands on my phone’s battery keep going up.