The Best iPhone Music Production Apps

If you’ve got an ear for making music and wish that you didn’t have to hum tunes to yourself until you got home to record them, you can grab one of these many awesome applications for your iPhone to write while you’re on the go. With everything from guitar amp simulators, to pianos, to drum machines, you could even go as far as produce an entire album straight from your iPhone. Here are some of the best apps you can grab for the iPhone that can help you crank out tunes wherever you are during the day.

iSyn:

iSyn incorporates a drum machine and two fully functional and programmable synthesizers in one app. Our favorite feature of the app is its ability to play a backing track complete with drums and a pre recorded synth part as you jam over the top of it with your guitar, or with another one of the available pianos or synths on the phone. You can create an entire one man band effect as you write and record whatever comes to mind during your miniature jam session.

Intua Beatmaker:

If you’ve dabbled with drum machines in the past, this app should be a breeze to make your way through. However, if the terms velocity, effects busses, and sequencers are foreign to you, you may want to take a look at the massive 41 page manual this app comes with. If you’re serious about making beats, Intua Beatmaker is for you. However, if you’re just looking for something to make some simple rock beats with, everything in this application may be far too much for you to handle.

PianoStudio:

For all of the piano players out there, this app is for you. Unlike other apps that limit your ability to play things like chords and multiple finger positions like you can in real life, PianoStudio lets you do all of that and more. By using pre-programmed chords that are linked to buttons, you can sequence out different chords and melody parts to simulate actual piano play, rather than trying to write entire songs with just one octave of notes.

Amplitube:

If you’ve got the right connections for your iPhone, you can hook your guitar straight up to the phone and use the Amplitube app. Amplitube is a guitar amp simulator and has a huge range of amps and effects to choose from. The amps aren’t licensed by the official amp makers, so you won’t find amps made by Fender or Marshall on Amplitube, but it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which amps are designed to mimic the real life ones.

5 useful productivity and task management apps for the iPad and iPhone

The iPad and iPhone 4 are the most popular mobile devices on the market – there’s no doubt about it, and it’s actually impressive how they still hold their own against the hordes of new Android devices that outdo them in the specs department.

But the secret is simple, really: iOS 4, the operating system powering them, is very effective at using resources, and not only is it very flexible and functional, but also extremely easy to use – if you’ve tried to use an iPhone 4 and an Android or even Windows Phone 7 smartphone the first time, you’ll know what I’m talking about – iOS is so intuitive that you can start working the exact moment you get it in your hands.

While at first, the first iPhone and iPad was meant more for the consumer market, the apps revolution has made it possible to use it for business tasks as well, without any issues or problems. Business users, professionals and productive individuals alike can easily use it to manage their work, time and life, replacing the usual bunch of notebooks and computer software meant for the purpose.

So, here are just a few of the best productivity and task management apps for the iPhone and iPad devices:

Documents to Go:

If you need to view and/or edit documents on the go, you should know that it’s very easy to do it on the iPad or iPhone – all you need is the right app! Documents to Go is one of the best office apps for iOS, and you can use it to view PDF, DOC, XLS, TXT, PPT and many other file formats that are usually used everywhere. You can even open unrecognized files, if they contain text or images!

Skype:

Skype has had their application approved on the iTunes market after a pretty long waiting period, during which Apple declined it for various reasons, that’s why iPhone and iPad users started to enjoy it only recently. Of course, you must be familiar with it – it’s the best app for VoIP calls and messages – all securely encrypted and cheaper than any other landline or cellphone company offer around. I hope that Microsoft acquiring Skype will not stop them from updating and improving the iOS (and Android) versions and Apple will not remove it from the market.

Evernote:

Taking notes is one of the best ways to save ideas and thoughts when you have them for later review. Evernote is the best app for this purpose: it allows you to save text, images, photos, site bookmarks, video and audio recordings as notes and view or edit them later (with reminders and all). The best thing about it is that you get an online account that stores a copy of everything, so you never lose your information even if you lose your phone, and can easily access it from your Mac, PC or Android phone.

ReQall

ReQall is a great To Do list and task manager, which allows you to manage your daily/weekly/monthly schedule with ease and never lose a meeting or important task, thanks to the extensive reminders system. Just enter the task and description, attach any important files or bookmarks, and let ReQall take care of reminding you when things need to get done.

The iWork Suite

Although it’s only for the iPad, the iWork suite from Apple is totally worth the asking price. It is Apple’s own collection of apps for document editing, and contains Pages, Numbers and Keynote, all of which are simply amazing – you can see from the start that these apps were made by professionals. You can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations quickly and easily with these apps, and then output them to a printer, projector or simply save them wherever you want. The suite is a must have if you can afford it!

Sure enough, the iTunes market has a lot of other great apps, but if you’re new to Apple products, I recommend starting with the above apps, and then browsing the market for others if they don’t fit your needs.

5 beautiful 3D games for the iPad 2

The iPad 2 is finally out and it’s selling even better than its predecessor – in its debut weekend, over 1 million units were sold, with a pretty amazing total of 2.5 million units in March – if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.

But the owners of the new iPad quickly realized that despite it looking great with the slim design and having a ton of processing power, there wasn’t much they could do to actually use its full potential. Thankfully, most developers reacted quickly and have already updated their apps to take advantage of the new hardware. And what better way to test a computer (be it a laptop or tablet) than a few 3D games that will fully load the processor and graphics adapter?

With that in mind, here are some of the best 3D games for the iPad 2 with beautiful graphics that rival those of dedicated console games:

Prince of Persia:

Warrior Within HD. The Prince of Persia series is one of the most popular for gaming consoles and PCs, and now you can also have the full experience on the move, right on your iPad, as well! The game is great – gameplay, story, in-game physics, sound and video quality are all excellent, and you can play the 12 chapters for hours at end – it just immerses you into the ancient world of Persia, its warriors and environments.

Need for Speed Shift:

Need for Speed Shift is one of the best looking games for the iPad. It also has pretty good in-game physics for a race simulator, and the number of cars and tracks makes it very enjoyable to play. If you’re a racing games fan or have been playing the Need for Speed series for PC and consoles, this is simply a must have both on your iPad 2 and iPhone 4!

Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance (NOVA):

NOVA is an amazing game, especially when you take into consideration that First Person Shooters were not available at all on touch screen devices just a year ago. The graphics quality, story, gameplay and sound are all at a very high level – this game can easily be used as a model for any other FPS that come out, it’s just that good!

Tom Clancy’s HAWX:

If you like planes more than cars and always wanted to have a decent flight simulator on your iPad, this is the game for you! HAWX is excellent in every important area: it has great graphics, excellent simulation physics, superb controls using the accelerometer and on screen buttons to control the plane and most importantly, it features realistic 3D models of the most popular planes and gives you a wide number of missions to accomplish.

FIFA 11:

Just like Madden NFL is the best game out there for American football fans, so is FIFA (made by the same company, EA) the best soccer game for PCs, dedicated consoles and of course, the iPhone and iPad devices. The latest version has been optimized to take full advantage of the dual core power in the iPad 2, so now you have better graphics, sound and physics than before. Run simulations and see how soccer matches could’ve gone differently if players made different decisions – anywhere, anytime on your iPad 2. Obviously, all these capabilities come at a cost: FIFA 11 uses a whopping 1.24 GB on your iPad, but you should still be able to install it without problems even on the cheapest version.

There are a lot of other great games for the new iPad 2 on the marketplace, and if you’re the lucky owner of one of these devices, you should definitely head over to the iTunes store and take a look at the offers – of course, you should try the above games, as well!

Determining the Real Cost of the iPhone

Everyone and their mother seems to have an iPhone these days, but a lot of people just don’t realize the cost of the phone when going into the store to pick one up for the first time. Things like accessories and plan upgrades all play a factor in your plan’s pricing and yearly cost. If you’re wondering how much that iPhone will really cost you, consider these things.

Existing Customer

If you’re already an AT&T or Verizon customer, you can head into the store or look online at what’s involved with upgrading your phone. Phone upgrades are common, but prices for phones are different depending on the line you’re talking about. With AT&T, you could have one phone on a plan that has a better upgrade deal than another. It’s quite common to switch upgrade options and discounts around different numbers to get the best bang for the buck. Discounts and upgrade bonuses are given based on how much money you’ve spent with your provider before. You can spend some time on the AT&T website to see exactly what they’re willing to offer you depending on which line you decide to use to upgrade or purchase a new iPhone.

Accessories

Another thing to consider are the accessories you’ll inevitably buy for your new iPhone. Most people buy cases and headsets, so remember to account for an extra $50 worth of stuff for your new phone before ever leaving the store.

Apps

Face it, there are a lot of cool apps and features you’ll want to take advantage of with your new smartphone. While there are a lot of free applications available for the phone, some of them just don’t quite match the performance and capabilities of paid apps. Remember that you’ll probably be buying a few apps throughout the year and that they’ll set you back about $50.

And if you’re a big app user and don’t already have an unlimited data plan, it’s a good idea to try and plan for overages that may cost a few cents or a hefty chunk of change.

Remember, it’s easy to get sucked into the allure of a new phone, but unless you know how much it will cost you in the long run, it may be best to hold off a few months until you know that you can actually afford all of the extras involved.

iPhone App Review: Angry Birds

Multi-coloured exploding birds and pigs that are set to destroy the word, what’s not to like? Angry Birds has captured the imaginations of gamers all over the world, and the fact that it is one of the most popular iPhone applications ever is just a bonus. If you haven’t experienced the thrill of launching those angry little creatures at the pigs (which let’s face it, look a lot angrier than the birds), then you really haven’t lived yet. Well, that or you don’t have an iPhone. Either way, you are definitely missing out. So, what’s it all about?

Well, we start off this crazy adventure as an angry bird, obviously. The aim of the game is to destroy the pigs that are set on their path to world domination. Of course, it is not as simple as it sounds. These pigs are jammed in between, on top of, and next to different structures. These structures are made out of glass, wood and bricks. However, you have to correctly angle your bird in the catapult in order to make the structures collapse, thus destroying the pigs that are eager to stick around.

So, we’ve established that this is a good game to play, especially whilst on the move, but what are the things that really make this game excel in terms of portable gaming?  Well, first of all there is the fact that there are over two hundred frustratingly brilliant levels. With that amount of levels there is no way that you can ever get bored of this addictive game. Physics are incredibly boring, we all know that, so what better way to enjoy physics than to fling explosive poultry at things? Both educational and good for anger management!

Considering this is a review and all, it would only be fair to put in some of the negative things about the game. However, this is hard because there really aren’t any. OK, that’s probably not true. The game can often be very frustrating. If you lack patience then you don’t want to play Angry Birds because you will probably blow a fuse. The only other negative aspect of the game is the fact that the strategy is fairly limited and oftentimes it is a case of luck as opposed to skill, although the majority of us will claim to be some kind of Angry Birds Jedi. Well, I am, you’re not.

In all seriousness, Rovio Mobile truly has outdone themselves with this fantastic game. For those of you who are still having some doubts, just download Angry Birds Light, the free taster, and see for yourself. Once you have realised that this is a game that you absolutely have to have in your life then you can pay for the full version. With that, I will leave you with this. Angry Birds is a game that every single iPhone user all over the world absolutely has to own.

What to Expect from the highly Touted iPhone 5

Everything is at the moment mere speculation when it comes to the highly touted iPhone 5. Consumers are yet to get official communication from Apple Inc. regarding the features to expect. For all consumers know at the moment, the iPhone 5 could just be an upgraded version of the iPhone 4. This device is slated for release either in late April or Early May of 2011. As is expected of anxious consumers, they have started doing their digging up in an effort to find out the features that they should expect. Although not substantiated, here are the most probable changes you should expect of the iPhone 5.

1.    Several carriers/ providers

For several years now, AT&T has enjoyed being the sole carrier in all iPhones, but things are expected to change with the expected new release. Verizon has secured a joint venture with Apple. What this therefore means is that being able to use your favorite carrier would be a huge relief to many consumers and will definitely improve Apple’s ratings. The company is however still hesitant to include more carriers but at least 2 are better than 1.

2.    Larger screen

The other expected improvement is on the screen size. This seems to be a wakeup call from others mart phone manufacturers as they seem to have already implemented this much needed change. Because of the growing demands of consumers today, Apple has been led to believe that consumers are in dire need of a larger screen that would facilitate multimedia viewing and what-a-view. One concern though is the rate at which the battery will be consumed should the screen size be changed.

3.    Biometric scanning

Thanks to advancement in technology, today the quickest and most secured way to authenticate someone is by scanning their fingerprints. This technology has become a huge success in automated building doors and some laptops, and is therefore expected that it will be successfully implemented in the iPhone 5. This feature could be utilized when locking and unlocking the iPhone, or alongside the other security features on the iPhone as a way of double verifying should one lose the device, considering it doubles up as an e-wallet.

4.    Use of NFC or RF

There are also rumors that the iPhone 5 could also facilitate communication via radio frequency or NFC (near field communication). This however is still a rumor and is in the tentative stage as the company is still weighing the options of having and not having the feature. This will make the smartphone very versatile, facilitating functioning as a car key, an RFID, or an e-wallet.

Protecting Your Apple iPhone 5G

Every man-made thing is prone to wear and tear at some point. Pretty much any form of matter will break, wear out, or change point as it ages. Although with the advancement in technology it is expected that devices and electronics will be more durable as the latest techniques will be utilized, it is not to say that all devices are not prone to damage. However, by taking good care of your electronics and devices, you can be assured that your devices will give you a long and loyal service and will work efficiently as expected for the longest time possible.

Despite the fact that the Apple iPhone 5 is yet to be released to consumers, it is important to know how to take good care of it. This is one of the most expensive yet versatile devices ever made by man, because of its functionality, its features that make life so easy, and the not-so-cheap price tag it is expected to come with, it wouldn’t be something you can dispose off easily the way you dispose off a toy because it has broken down because of bad care. In order to increase the longevity of your iPhone 5 and keep it in good working condition for the longest time possible, here are some caring tips you will find indispensable.

1.    Never abuse the iPhone Glass – if you have ever come across an iPhone, you know that it is made of helicopter glass. The mere fact that it is made of one of the most durable glasses in the world makes some consumers careless with it. However, for you to get the most dedicated service from the iPhone 5, you should take good care of it. While it is OK to put your iPhone in the back or pocket, avoid mixing it with other stuff such as keys as they can dent or scratch the glass with time.

2.    Avoid overcharging your iPhone 5 – this is true of all devices and not the iPhone 5 alone. The iPhone 5 is expected to come with an un detachable internal battery. If overcharged, the battery life will be compromised and so will be its functionality. What this will mean is that you will need to detach and replace the battery as you take it to repair. To avoid all this, avoid overcharging your iPhone 5.

3.    Avoid misusing the games functionality

Although many people buy devices because of the entertainment functionality, you should avoid over-playing games as they too are known to compromise on the life of your battery as well as the touch mechanism.

Justifying the Huge Popularity of the iPhone 5

There are so many smart phones in the current digital market today but none can rival the iPhone 5G. Most manufacturers today have come out in large numbers to satisfy the growing demand for smartphone devices, and are continuously upgrading to meet the changing needs of the growing demands of the consumers. Some notable companies with notable Smartphones are Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, HTC, and the unrivaled industry giants Apple.

The reason why Apple Inc. deserves the giant title is because of the significant role it keeps playing in the technological world. Were it not for the Mac, today Windows would be the dominant OS in the market because UNIX is as good as non-existent owing to the fact that it is the most un-user friendly platform today. By the same token, Apple Inc. has made noteworthy contributions in the entertainment industry, starting with the much celebrated iPod and gradually evolving into what is today known as the iPad.

So what justifies this huge popularity of the iPhone 5G? Why is it thought to be the smartest phone yet in the market?

The first reason that justifies the huge popularity of the iPhone 5 is because Apple is very generous to work with other consumer-friendly companies. Apple has connections with Starbucks, Sony, Walmart, Visa among many others. It therefore goes without saying that it combines the best of all worlds to come up with a distinctive piece of device that will cater to consumers in all levels of operation. A good example is the integration of a Sony digital camera in the iPhone 5. This simple innovation is one of the many things that set the iPhone 5 apart.

The second reason why the iPhone 5 is recording such huge success is because of the technology behind it. Apple is known to utilize the latest unrivaled technical design; a good example is the Macbook Air. Apple is known for making featherweight devices that do not compromise on their efficiency. Actually, some of them are as competent, if not better than their heavier counterparts. It is therefore expected that the iPhone 5 will not disappoint when it comes to showcasing this sphere of Apple.

The great touch mechanism utilized in the iPhone 5 is the other great reason why this smartphone has gained such a huge competitive edge over the competition. According to studies done on touch screen phones, the 4G smartphone had a very sensitive and accurate ability to read a user’s finger. It is therefore expected that the iPhone 5G will be the most advanced and superior smartphone yet in the market.

Expected Improvements on the Apple iPhone 5G

It is now official, the iPhone 5 is about to hit the markets. It is one of the most awesome devices in the market, which is the least that can be said for now. This is because it doubles up as more than just a smartphone, if the current rumors are anything to go by, the iPhone 5G from Apple Inc. is expected to double up as an e-wallet, car keys, an RFID and many more. Just the mere rumor of it hitting the market in a yet-to-be-announced date is reason enough to have most consumers push it up their must-have list, but it is understandable why considering the many features and changes it is rumored to bring to the table.

It is to be mentioned that while the iPhone 5G is slated for release anytime in 2011, there is no official communication as to the specific date or the official features the phone will have. The following therefore are simply rumors of the expected improvements and changes on the iPhone 5G.

1.    Improved home screen

At the moment, the iPhone 4G does not have a customizable dashboard. Being a company that heeds to consumer requests, chances are quite high that Apple will improve this all-important aspect by upgrading the iOS. It is the hope of consumers that if this feature is implemented, they can be able to customize their home screen with what they want and when they want it. Such things as calendar, inbox, reminders, notes, call log etc can come in handy when on the home screen.

2.    Improved Camera

Although the iPhone 4 camera had a much upgraded camera from that of its predecessor the iPhone 3, there are rumors that Apple Inc believes that consumers deserve much more in terms of the camera. There is reason to believe that Apple has partnered with Sony to offer an 8 Megapixel superior quality camera on the iPhone 5. The company is capitalizing on the simple fact that today’s electronic consumers are migrating from digital cameras to devices with multi-function abilities like iPhones.

3.    Improved Memory

The current iPhone in the market, the iPhone 4 has 16GB and 32GB models. Some consumers found this a huge disappointment considering the fact that being a multi-functional device, storage space is of much essence. The company is looking to address this issue on the upcoming device. Rumors are rife that it might come with 64GB and 128GB versions.

These are few of the many features to expect of the upcoming iPhone 5. It is the hope of all consumers that Apple will not disappoint because these are certainly features which consumers will take with both hands.

Apple iPhone 5 – The Next Generation Gadget

By the time of writing this article, Apple would have probably completed the last specifications of the rumored iPhone 5 that is expected to hit the markets any time soon. Although the company is very silent on the expected features of the device, consumers can only wait in bated breaths but expect the best that Apple has to offer. Being the industry giants when it comes to electronics, there is no reason why consumers should doubt the capability of this new device.

While debate is rife as to the additional features that the Apple iPhone 5 is expected to come with, there can be no mistaking that there are some notable features which, despite being much anticipated by consumers, they have been left out. There are some features that are simply out of the way for the standards of Apple while other features are simply ridiculous.

The first notable missing feature is the Micro HDMI port. In March of 2011, the company announced that the iPhone 5 will support 720p and 1080p video outputs. While this is OK, the only problem is that consumers will need to incur an additional cost of $40 in order to purchase Apple’s Digital AV, as that is the only converter that can work on the iPhone 5. Not only is this converter bulky, when compared to a micro HDMI port that will use an affordable and very efficient cable that goes for only $5, it is a huge turn-off to consumers. If you are still hoping that the company will hear the plea of consumers and make changes, you might want to scrub the feature off your list because there seem to be no signs of any adjustments at the moment.

The second thing is the availability of removable batteries, yes you heard that right. Although other companies are addressing this all-important issue, Apple seems to pay less attention to it. The company is sticking to its initial plan which, according to the company, it makes the devices featherweight hence portable. It is to be mentioned that this is not a serious issue for most consumers, save for the only reason that there would be a problem powering the smart phone. As such, the best course of action would be to take the phone for repair when things go wrong unlike in other similar devices that would do with a simple battery replacement. Continue reading

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