Need to go on a pocket diet? The rubber Q Card iPhone 4/4S case from CM4 has a small, leather-like fabric pocket on the back, letting you carry your driver's license, credit card, and a couple of bills. Of course, when NFC technology makes its way to future phone models, you won't need to carry any cards. And a digital wallet has near-unlimited storage space, while the Q Card is too bulky if you carry more than two.
The new iPhoto ’11 looks amazing—and that’s a great thing for software that helps you get the most out of your photos. But it’s more than just a pretty face, letting you actually do some pretty amazing things with all those pixels. Apple built in major enhancements to the full-screen mode, slideshow templates, and online sharing tools. But iPhoto isn’t just about zeroes and ones—’11 boasts improved book-design tools and a new letterpress-card feature for those extra-special anniversaries and events, making it that much easier and more satisfying to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds.
Since "The Red Balloon" was one of the finest films of the 1950's, it stands to reason that a video game centering around a balloon as the protagonist would be just as amazing. This might be the core idea of Flight Doodle, in which your task is to push a balloon higher while avoiding falling pushpins, rocks thrown by infants (yes, les infants), and tempestuous rain and windstorms. To defend yourself, you must collect power-ups along the way to shrink your balloon, shoot missiles at targets and use a temporary force field or activate a bomb that clears all enemies and obstacles from the screen.
Ever wish you drove a sentient, intelligent talking car--like KITT in Knight Rider? Unfortunately, we still don’t have that kind of technology readily available, but at least voice-controlled Bluetooth hands-free car kits, like this one from Moshi, help us keep our eyes on the road while we’re driving.
Tinderbox is billed as a “personal content assistant,” which gave us happy visions of a devoted digital concierge at our beck and call. It’s a tool for recording, organizing, and connecting bits of information called notes--snippets of text about which you can record copious amounts of metadata. Options are vast, but Tinderbox can feel more like a chore than an assistant.
Unison would be perfect if we found ourselves time traveling to the ’80s and needing to look up job listings, download software, or pose questions to an online community. That’s because Unison browses Usenet, the text-based precursor to the modern internet. Once the cutting edge of online interactivity, Usenet is now the domain of niche topics and downloads of varying degrees of legality. Unison makes it easy to grab video files, music, and other media, and its interface lets you smoothly navigate Usenet’s bulletin-board depths. Unfortunately, the web, the iTunes Store, streaming Netflix, email groups, and other, better services now limit Usenet’s appeal. Time travel remains elusive, so there’s little reason for others to get started on Usenet now, but Unison makes a great browser for Usenet regulars.
When Apple revealed the newly redesigned MacBook Air at a press event in Cupertino, Steve skipped the theatrics of pulling one out of a manila envelope or any other “gee whiz, that’s thin!” gimmicks. But once the new machines arrived at the office (one of each size, hooray!), their improvements--both in design and performance--made a bigger impression than any Steve stunts could’ve.
The other day I was working on my laptop at home while my wife was browsing the web from hers. Our son was in the living room chatting with his buddies and listening to something catchy I’d never heard before. When I asked him for a copy, it took him a while to locate a flash drive, search his library for the tune, load the file onto the drive, and hand it to me so I could add it to my iTunes library. A few minutes later, we had to repeat the process for my wife. I thought “Isn’t this 2010? Shouldn’t there be a better solution to this problem?”