You know you should be backing up, right? And still, the dirty little secret of modern computing is that most of us--Mac|Life staff included--don’t back up as much as we should, and in some cases, not at all. And even if you do back up, using that old drive you purchased in a fit of Y2K preparations isn’t much protection. Drives fail, and it’s always a question of when, not if. Data Robotics, the makers of the Drobo, hope to make rock-solid backup simple and foolproof with their line of external drive enclosures.
Ever since E.T. and Elliott bonded over a cut finger, we’ve understood the power of touch. Decades later, the electronics industry is starting to catch up. The Squeezebox Touch packs one of Logitech’s network music players into a slim, touch-sensitive device. The underlying player is practically the same as previous models--with the many benefits and several drawbacks--but the touch interface easily beats traditional button-based controls. We only wish that the 4.3-inch screen separated from the base--the device is a single unit, so you can’t leave it connected and tap the controller from the couch.
The BBC has long been trusted as an excellent source for worldwide and European news, and the BBC News app for iPad happily matches that journalistic prowess with a well-designed and info-packed free offering.
Many people are queuing up around the country for the launch of the iPhone 4 (or have already received their device), but Engadget is reporting some saddening news. The tech blog, which got an iPhone 4 review unit, said today that the device has developed scratches on the back panel. Of course, the new iPhone does have glass on both the front and the back of the device, but is it as strong as Steve promised in the keynote?
Golf games require a finesse, a certain je ne sais quoi that encourages patience and foresight. Gamers predisposed to mashing buttons to chainsaw zombies in half may get teed off by the tender golf-clap moments of Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. But if they manage to learn the ropes, there’s a rich and rewarding experience to be found.
iHome’s new iA5 is billed as an “app-enhanced” alarm clock. In plain English, that means you can augment this standalone clock and speaker dock by downloading the free iHome+Sleep app for your iPhone or iPod touch to unlock additional functionality.
With Nike+ included with the latest iPhones and iPods, it’s hard for an outsider to compete in the gadget-aided exercise race. But Adidas leaps past Nike’s and Apple’s home-court offering in one big way: heart rate tracking. The miCoach requires more hardware--annoying, especially for runners--but heart rate data allows for more specific workout instructions. That level of detail and the comprehensive online training tools win in a sprint, but some visual feedback would help miCoach to go the distance.
Though we may be waiting some time for an official Twitter option for iPad, fans of Twitterrific for iPhone and Mac will be pleased to hear that the iPad version leads the current pack of third-party options. Twitterrific's grey-heavy interface is simple and clean-looking, letting you clearly scroll through the tweets of those you follow and take in Twitter's trending topics all on the same page (in landscape orientation).
USA TODAY for iPad isn't the most attractive digital newspaper on the device, emphasizing function over a print-like aesthetic, but what it does deliver is a lot of different content, currently without charge. Each of the paper's four familiar sections is packed with news stories and features, plus you can access stunning photo galleries, interactive polls, and section-specific bonus features like sports scores. USA TODAY is still something of a work in progress, though, as placeholders for stock quotes and a daily crossword puzzle have yet to replace their "coming soon" notices with actual content.