Quick Bytes

Edition: July 2012 - Vol 20 Number 07
Article#: 4022
Author: Repertoire

Simplicity above all

What people want most from their smartphones, tablets, home theater and home appliances is simplicity, according to a survey conducted by communications firm Ketchum. The study showed that 76 percent of consumers said they are not very satisfied with technology’s ability to make their lives simpler. Responses from 6,000 consumers in six countries revealed more prefer technology to be easy to use (54 percent) and simplify their life (46 percent) than entertain them (35 percent) or signal who they are to the world (11 percent). Passion for electronics varies widely by country; the percentage of Chinese who said they love smartphones (44 percent) was nearly double that in France (24 percent).

Screen protector

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Moshi said it launched a re-engineered version of its iVisorXT screen protector for Apple’s new iPad and the iPhone 4 and 4S. The new iVisor XT is said to feature a completely clear screen, for better viewing of the new iPad’s Retina display. It also is said to serve iPad and iPhone users most interested in a glossier screen finish, vs. the less reflective surface of anti-glare screen protectors.

A case for the Air

San Francisco-based WaterField Designs says it has introduced a case for the MacBook Air that affords protection while maintaining the ultrathin computer’s compact design. The “CitySlicker” case is said to combine three layers of protection using impact-resistant plastic, neoprene and a padded liner. The company says it gave the case an “old world” look by adding a distressed leather flap.

Help for carpoolers

KarPooler is a free utility app for the iPhone that is said to enable carpoolers to communicate with other adults and/or kids more quickly and efficiently. The app is said to have three main functionalities: 1) Adults can simultaneously contact via text all the other adults linked to the children in a specific carpool (a feature said to be useful for last-minute changes or organizing a schedule); 2) Carpoolers can send texts to all the children in the carpool in case of change (and all messages are automatically copied to their guardians); and 3) Drivers can notify individual adults via personalized text that their child has been dropped off safely at their predetermined location. Said to be a good communication tool for anyone who belongs to groups or organizations, such as Little League, PTA, book clubs, etc.

Fitness videos…lots of them

PumpOne, a provider of digital personal training products, launched FitnessBuilder.com, a collect of on-demand, streaming fitness videos, available on any Mac or PC. In addition, the company announced ClassPass, a monthly or yearly subscription that provides users with access to 370 full-length video works across iPad and FitnessBuilder.com. ClassPass is now available for users of the FitnessClass app on iPad via the new update.

Beyond wireless areas

Users of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch can access an array of two-way satellite communications capabilities with the inReach and DeLorme Earthmate app from DeLorme. inReach is said to turn the iPhone, etc., into a global two-way satellite communicator for use outside the traditional wireless coverage areas. Users can send and receive messages to and from cell phones, e-mail contacts and other inReach users, anywhere in the world, according to the company.

App for cholesterol-watchers

Pfizer Inc. and EatingWell Media Group launched Pfizer’s Lipitor For You “Recipes 2 Go” app, marking the first time Pfizer has released a consumer mobile app for a prescription product in the United States. The app is said to offer consumers a variety of resources that can help to manage heart health, including access to 200 healthy recipes, a shopping list feature, and tips on portion sizes and exercise. The app is intended to extend the newly launched Lipitor for You and Smart Living website, at www.lipitorsmartliving.com.

Easy charging

Keeping your iPhone, Android and other smartphones and micro-USB electronics charged is said to be easier with the Booster 2.0, a 2000 mAh Li-Polymer portable battery pack from Concord Keystone Trading LLC. The pack is a half-inch thick and weighs only 2 1/2-ounces, according to the company. Blue LED indicator lights let the user know that charging is taking place, and they also display the power level in the battery pack. The unit has a removable cover that can be placed on the back of the phone to act as a horizontal or vertical viewing stand, so the user can watch videos while the device charges.

Golf swing analyzer

Two-time LPGA champion and golf teacher Penny Pulz is reported to be using swing analyzer 3BaysGSA™ Golf Swing Analyzer, said to be the first product available that enables golfers to instantly learn about their golf swings, according to Perception Digital. The device is placed at the end of the grip; when the golfer hits the ball, it instantly presents such information as club head speed, tempo, impact force, etc. The captured data can then be shared with friends on Facebook.

LinkedIn on the iPad

LinkedIn now offers users the chance to make connections on the iPad, according to a report in the New York Times. The app has been divided into three main sections: All Updates, Profile (You) and Inbox. All Updates allows users to view their professional updates along with relevant news their contacts have shared. The Profile section brings up the user’s Profile and LinkedIn connections as well as an activity dashboard. The Inbox section lets LinkedIn users network by sending and receiving invites and messages.