Apple haters love to trot out the fact that the iPhone and iPod touch lack a physical keyboard. And of course, the first feature iPhone users notice about any rival keyboard-equipped smartphone is usually the microscopic keys. 4iThumbs attempts to bridge that gap, offering some of the tactile feedback of a hard keyboard without giving up all the benefits of the iPhone’s virtual keys.
Dr. Dre’s been known for crafting party-starting beats since the mid-1980s when he was part of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru. While the Cru’s break-dance tracks and electro slow-jams would later be eclipsed by his work with N.W.A. and as a solo artist, there’s no doubt that Dre’s been rocking our headphones since the days of the Walkman. And now we get a chance rock his ’phones.
Imagine being put at the helm of a gargantuan Federation ship, zooming from base to base, relying on your allies as you gun down a Romulan fleet before laying siege to their luminescent base. Sounds fun, right? Well, Star Trek D-A-C didn’t get the memo, or at least it didn’t get the budget to pull “fun” off. D-A-C stands for Deathmatch, Assault, and Conquest, the three main modes. And if that name seems weak, just try playing this unimpressive game.
I’ve resisted buying a Bluetooth headset because I’m not down with cyborg fashion. But as the Borg used to say on Star Trek: The Next Generation, resistance is futile--especially now that many states are adopting laws requiring the use of hands-free devices while driving. Sure, you could use a wired headset, but wires are cumbersome--and besides, it’s 2010. In that spirit, we called in three intriguing new Bluetooth headsets and put them through their paces.
Losing data sucks. Your spreadsheets from work are one thing, but the truly heart-wrenching losses are the things you can’t replace: pictures of your kids at Disneyland, the Great American Novel you’ve been working on since college, or your 300GB iTunes Library that you’ve been lovingly curating for the last decade. Luckily, tools like Prosoft’s Data Rescue can help get your data back whether you lost it to file corruption or simply to being overzealous with the Empty Trash command (we’ve all done that at least once).
If you do a lot of diagramming, OmniGraffle is a must-buy. Contrary to it’s whimsical name, OmniGraffle is neither a toy, nor a graphing tool (although OmniGraphSketcher can handle the latter). But what OmniGraffle does do well is charts. Whether it’s organizational charts, flowcharts, interface mockups, or even page layouts, OmniGraffle allows you to quickly sketch out ideas on your iPad.
Your MacBook’s built-in speakers are fine for the odd YouTube clip of dogs jumping in slow motion or for listening to NPR streams. But when it comes to bringing the rock to your desktop, they’re pretty weak sauce. Twelvesouth aims to improve your audio situation with its BassJump, a USB subwoofer built to boost the beats coming out of your MacBook.
Truphone turns your iPad into a (really) big iPhone. The VOIP app offers free voice calls to other TruPhone users, and cheap calls to telephones with a variety of calling plans. Truphone for iPad even lets you IM across AIM, GoogleTalk, and MSN’s instant messaging networks.
If you’ve got a Mac with a Mini DisplayPort, you could connect it to Apple’s gorgeous but super-pricey 24-inch LED Cinema Display ($899, apple.com). Or you could pick up an adapter and connect that puppy to the flat-screen TV or third-party monitor you already own.