Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

The Best Paid Apple iPad Apps of 2010

Image
Article first published as The Best Paid Apple iPad Apps of 2010 on Blogcritics.

With 2010 coming to an end, it's best to reflect on the year in gadgets that was defined by the iPad. As discussed previously, the iPad was largely successful because of the "gold rush" that came with apps flooding the App Store as developers worked hard to be the next "must have app". Of course, unless you go the ad supported route, profits only come when there's income generated. So unlike those featured in our Best Free Apple iPad Apps roundup, here are ten apps I've used extensively throughout the year, but only after I shelled out anywhere from $0.99 to $29.99. What's worth your hard earned iTunes funds? See below for the best of 2010.

The Best Free Apple iPad Apps of 2010

Image
Article first published as Best Free Apple iPad Apps of 2010 on Blogcritics.

It's that time of year - Top 10 Lists galore. So, I will play along and offer a few reflections on the year that was 2010 with a list related to the top gadget of the year, the iPad. The device itself debuted to great success, but as with all hardware and software relationships, you can't have one without the other. Thus, here are ten apps that I've used extensively throughout the year, with the best part of all being that they are free.

Android App Review: Dolphin HD and Mini - Best Web Browser on the Market

Image
Pop quiz, hot shot. What is the number one application I use on my smartphone? If you said web browser, you're a winner (I need to get some prizes out), and I suspect others would agree that despite being called a phone, today's smartphones are used more for mobile browsers than for making calls. With that said, the browser that ships standard with the iPhone and all Android phones tends to be rather dull. Leave it to third party applications to improve the experience, and today, we focus on a set of browsers in particular for the Android: Dolphin Browser HD and the newly released Dolphin Browser Mini.

Three Ways to Fix a Slow Smartphone - Knowing When to Reset

Image
I woke up one morning last week to find my Droid X acting particularly slower than normal. I did what we gadget lovers know unfortunately all too much: reset the device. However, this procedure was not just a power cycle but rather a hard reset, and it involved a completely fresh start for the phone. The good news is that the device is back to its original blazing speed. Today, I thought I would share a few protocols in case you wake up to find your smartphone acting up as well.

Dreaming in 3D - Reliving Top Chicago Sports Moments

Image
Article first published as 3D Experience: Reliving Top Chicago Sports Moments on Blogcritics.

Sony's doing a promotional feature on their new 3D HDTV's, and Blogcritics is running a "Dreaming in 3D" feature. Writers were asked for a wish list of items that we'd like to see in 3D. Here's a chance for me to bring in some sports talk to the blog:

The Superdome. New Orleans, LA. 1985. Handoff to William "Refrigerator" Perry who goes rumbling into the end zone for a touchdown. No, I'm not just reminiscing about the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl XX victory. Instead, I am dreaming of a scenario where viewers can relive famous sports moments, not just on DVD, or on ESPN Classic, but rather in 3D. So, grab your time traveling gear, and let's take a trip down memory lane for some of the most memorable moments in recent Chicago sports history. After all, we're not here to start no trouble, we're just here to do the 3-Dim…

Mobilize your Web Site - Mofuse, Mippin, and Blogger too!

Image
Before I had my newborn, I would often take the train and bus into work, and I would use my Droid X smartphone to surf the web. Despite a speedy 3G connection, I appreciated websites that had a mobile version so I could get right to the content and bypass any irrelevant sidebars, videos, or other navigational tools. I felt the same should be true for this very site, so I began investigating options for mobilizing Chanatown. Just when I thought I had a winner, guess who stepped in with the easiest and best solution of them all? Find out after the jump.

Best iPad Games to Buy during the Electronic Arts 99 Cent Sale

Image
Article first published as Stocking up on iPad Games at the Electronic Arts 99 Cent Sale! on Blogcritics

I first noticed the sale Thursday morning when Madden 2011 for the iPad was listed for $0.99. After a double take, I clicked on "Buy App" before I read anymore in case there was a mistake. Further investigation revealed that not only was Madden reduced from $12.99 to $0.99, but over 70 games from Electronic Arts were on sale with some registering over 90% in savings (Madden's price cut takes the cake here). Let the shopping spree begin.

EdTech @ETHS Vol.1 Issue 3

Image
This issue's applicable to those outside of ETHS as well as you'll find articles about Expanded Google Apps including Blogger, Tech Tips for Final Exams, some holiday tech gift ideas, and more.

Subscribe to all Chanatown Teacher Posts on RSS or via Email here.


Open publication - Free publishing - More eths

Getting Things Done: Using Gmail, Toodledo, and Evernote to Achieve Inbox Zero

Image
Many people often ask how I manage to juggle so many different responsibilities and still be able to stay on top of it all.  I'll admit that since the little one came along in mid-November, things may not be quite as tidy and organized (especially around the house).  However, I'm hoping that the systems and routines that I have worked so hard to start and maintain will continue to exist during fatherhood.  I've been meaning to read up on David Allen as he seems to be the guru on Getting Things Done (GTD), but in the meantime, I've managed to develop some processes that help me out.  Here are a few examples of what I do and how I use technology to keep everything straight:

Holiday Tech Gadgets Gift Guide - 5 Not So Obvious Suggestions

Image
Article first published as Holiday Tech Gadgets Gift Guide — Five Not So Obvious Suggestions on Blogcritics.

Everyone wants an iPad. And Apple is not shy about encouraging its "magical device" as a great stocking stuffer. But in case your favorite gadget aficionado already has one, or you're not willing to pony up over $500 on someone you love or just like, I'd like to offer some not so obvious suggestions on what to purchase for your technophile. By "not so obvious", I mean that I'm not going to include your typical digital camera, GPS, Flip Video camera, laptop, netbook, or tablet. Those are all great ideas, but you'll find them on every holiday tech gift list around this time. Instead, I'll focus on a few items that might be flying under the radar, and just might not already be in the hands of your typical gadget geek.

3D Movie Wish List: Top Gun - Best of the Best Edition

Image
Article first published as 3D Movie Wish List: Top Gun - Best of the Best Edition on Blogcritics.

Sony's doing a promotional feature on their new 3D HDTV's, and Blogcritics is running a "Dreaming in 3D" feature. Writers were asked for a wish list of movies that we'd like to see in 3D. Here's one of my picks:

I'm going to go old school for my 3D movie wish list pick. Let's take a trip back to 1986. That year, I went to the World's Fair, my beloved Chicago Bears had just won the Super Bowl, and the classic,Top Gunwas to be released. Nearly 25 years later, I still find myself rooting for Maverick over Iceman, yet hope that together, they can successfully take down those pesky Russians. But, wouldn't it be something if I was somehow more immersed in the action? Say "hello" toTop Gun, 3D style. 

Google Chrome OS Notebooks and Education: What Cr-48 Means for Classrooms

Image
To think, I was excited just over the release of a native Google Reader app to the Android Market last week. This week, we get an entire bookstore, a preview of the new Google operating system, and a sneak peek at the notebook that will be the first to demonstrate the capabilities of the new OS. Thoughts on the those other items will have to wait, as I am most excited about the possibilities of Cr-48 (the cool code name for the notebooks) and education.

Droid X Update: An Initial Review of 2.2.1, including Madden 2011?

Image
It has been a whirlwind of a week for all things Google with its eBookstore, Chrome OS, and Cr-48 notebook announcements. Android saw a Google Reader app appear last week (review coming soon), and Droid X users were not to be left out as a quick check of "Settings, About, System Update", and this user found an update waiting for download. Check out the initial thoughts after the jump.

Google FadeIn - A Silent Death to a Loudly Protested Feature

Image
Remember when the top link bar featuring Google Apps would slowly fade in upon mouse movement on  Google's search page? Well, it occurred to me that it has gone MIA for the past few weeks (and possibly more). This morning, I tried to track down the fade out departure of the not so popular feature. As now customary with Google, when a product goes down, it does go quietly.

25th Anniversary of the ICE Conference - Save the date

Image
Last year, I made my first foray into the presentation circuit by delivering a poster session on Google Apps at the Illinois Computing Educators conference in February. Over the course of the two day conference plus a pre-conference workshop on Garageband, I enjoyed picking up new ideas to integrate technology in the classroom as well as having the opportunity to network with others in the field. This year, the conference is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and I'm sure the lineup of presenters will be outstanding. However, after seeing this year's schedule and speakers, I'm particularly excited for the event. Find out more after the jump.

Android App Review: doubleTwist AirSync - Wirelessly Sync Your Music

Image
I suspect that I am in a large majority that wondered when wireless syncing of data between computer and phone would finally make its way to the mainstream user. I figured Apple would make some grandiose announcement and hold a huge event broadcasting to the world about "one more thing..." Instead, I read a short blurb on my Flipboard about how doubleTwist, an app that I already had on my Droid X phone, had quietly released a new application called AirSync. The app claims to let you wirelessly sync your iTunes playlists, photos, and videos using your home Wi-Fi network. So, what's the real story behind the experience? Find out after the jump.

Creating and Editing Google Docs on the iPad

Image
Article first published as Creating and Editing Google Docs on the iPad on Blogcritics.

I'm sure this one's been in the back of Google's mind for awhile now, and two weeks ago, it become a reality. Splattered across its multiple blogs was Google's announcement that Google Docs were now editable on mobile devices such as the iPad, iPod Touch, and Android 2.2 devices. Since I would much rather use a large screen to do any meaningful document editing, I'll offer a brief review of how the iPad experience compares to the standard browser. Together, we'll see how the Google engineers did, and whether the mobile experience will be a pleasant one.