iPad Air in Kuwait

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The iPad air has made it’s way to Kuwait and it is flying off the shelves. Now the iPad Mini 2 is up for sale on Apple as of a few days ago but hasn’t made it to Kuwait yet. As usual there are few stores that have it in stock and Blink is on top of it.

Blink.com.kw – iPad Air

  • 16 GB Wifi – 165 KWD
  • 32 GB Wifi – 219 KWD
  • 64 GB Wifi – 259 KWD
  • 128 GB Wifi – 295 KWD
  • 16 GB 4G – 219 KWD

Pricing in Kuwait ranges from 15% to 30% more then the Apple Store prices but that isn’t too bad considering that 10-15 KWD would be attributed to shipping, and we would still be cheaper then buying it in the UK. I for one am going to wait for the iPad Mini 2 because it has all the specifications and features that I want.

iPad Air & iPad Mini 2

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After so many years Apple has finally upgraded the memory on the iPads, they finally got to 128 GB and with that I will be upgrading my 3 year old iPad 2 which I still love to use and abuse. Now with the latest update from Cupertino a lot of people wanted more like the iWatch or the Apple TV Major update, but it looks like that will be at a later stage, but for me the iPads were the winner and the iPad Mini 2 was the best of the bunch, yes now I have a reason to purchase one.

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Basic Breakdown iPad Air

  • Its Thinner
  • Only 1 lb – Very Light
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – More Power Won’t Hang – Hopefully it will survive my abuse
  • New Design & iOS7 – I’m liking IOS 7 from my Update
  • Up to 128GB of Storage – At Last

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Basic Breakdown iPad Mini 2:

  • New Design
  • A bit heavier then the previous design due the new design
  • A7 Chip 64 Bit – A lot of power packed into a small Design
  • Retina Screen – 7.9inch Display – At Last, everything will look good on it
  • Up to 128 GB – Thank you
  • Twice the Wifi – 2 Antennas that work smoothly together

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I am personally going to be getting the iPad Mini 2 – 128 GB because I want the space and that beautiful screen with the powerful wifi. I don’t care for LTE because I have one of the first 3G versions that I never put a chip in and when I did it was annoying and preferred wifi. Also if you purhcase the iPad LTE the US like most of us will, the 4G won’t work in Kuwait so that would be pointless. Also for the price of the 4G units, they are not worth it at all, serisouly almost 1000 USD for the top end iPad Air, thats just ridiculous, but the iPad Mini 2 is an excellent buy.

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Pricing:

  • iPad Air Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 499/629 USD
  • 32GB – 599/729 USD
  • 64GB – 699/829 USD
  • 128GB – 799/899 USD
  • iPad Mini 2 Wifi/LTE
  • 16GB – 399/529 USD
  • 32GB – 499/629 USD
  • 64GB – 599/729 USD
  • 128GB – 699/829 USD

Pics From Venture Beat

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In-Flight Wifi on Lufthansa Flights

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This turned out to be a surprising feature on Lufthansa, In-Flight wifi that was useable, something I wasn’t expecting. I just flew back form the the US and on the flight back I was supposed to sleep to try to get my sleep in order, but that didn’t work out as I planned.

When I connected to the wireless I had a few emails to shoot and then I was done, I thought the connection was going to be mediocre at best because of previous in-flight wifi experience. I was wrong, to my surprise the connection was good, I was getting speeds from 3 to 5 MB which made surfing decent, I went through all my emails, and started going through my RSS Feeds on Google Reader. Even youtube streaming was working fine to my surprise, not lightning fast but pretty decent.

Pricing:

  • HotSpot Pass Sky 1 hour: €10.95 or 3,500 miles
  • HotSpot Pass Sky 24 hours: €19.95 or 7,000 miles

I went with the 24 hour option because that worked out perfectly for use on my flight back to Kuwait as well.

After using it for a while, I was very impressed, surfing was pretty good and some high bandwidth websites were operating fine. But don’t expect downloads to do much, overall I think Lufthansa did a fantastic job with the system they have setup. But from their website I understood coverage only works over the Atlantic, US, Europe and Middle East but not all the other regions yet. Also it isn’t on every plane, some planes have it and some don’t.

Recent Kickstarter Pledges – Piccolo LED & ORA IPAD SOUND SYSTEM

I have always been a fan of LED lights, but sometimes they are just too bright or not bright enough. Surprisingly the high quality LED desk lamps are a bit more on the expensive side, there are those that are cheaper but not that good quality. The Piccolo peaked my interest so I pledged for it, not just because it produces a warm light which is not meant to over power the ceiling lights, instead its meant to compliment it and the right type of light when you don’t want the lights above switched on. Also one other cool factor for me is that it is power by USB which I think it is a genius feature.

Link: Kickstarter

I use my iPad to watch a lot of shows and anime, the one thing about it that is annoying is the speakers, most of the time I’m using headphones which work fine but the iPad speakers are good enough for music and not watching media when you want it a bit louder then what its capable of. It looks like I wasn’t the only one thinking that, and that is the idea behind the ORA iPad Sound System. These people are passionate about sound and this Kickstarter project is an ambitious one, they are really aiming high with it. A perfectly fit case to make a great watching experience on your iPad.

Designed by a team that has created products for the likes of TDK, Intel, Vizio, and Nike, the aluminum case/stand packs eight front-spacing speakers (tuned by the former engineer lead of Bose) into the space surrounding the screen, giving you a far more immersive sound experience than you’re used to from your tablet.

Links: KickStarter

The Magazine Pile Up

With the Nexus 7 and the spread of the iPad it got me thinking a lot about the digital magazine format. In general, I love the entire idea of digital magazines. Carrying a year’s worth of magazines all at once, the new touch interface, interactive components, downloads at your finger tips, and the lack of a paper mountain in your room that makes you look like a crazy hoarder because I don’t want to throw them away. For comic books it worked out this way for me, I read them constantly have hundreds of them on my Galaxy Nexus, iPad, and any other device that Comixology downloads to. I want this to be the future of magazines, well I think.

I say “I think” because I have a secret. Aside from a few magazines that I have to read the day they arrive, I tend to forget about the other magazines because they’re not piling up in my face, filling me with guilt for buying these things and not reading them. And for all the conveniences tablets provide, casually thumbing through a magazine on your iPad still isn’t quite as casual as it is with a paper copy. Am I the only one who has an even bigger backlog of magazine reading thanks to the advent of the Apple & Android Devices? Anyone else feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of Next Issue?

Review: Google Nexus 7

AFter a long 3 to 4 week wait I got notification that my Nexus 7 has shipped and its on its way, as soon as I got it I even went out of my way to get it on Friday afternoon on a hot day the first day of Ramathan to start tinkering with it. I had my hunting knife ready to rip the box apart since those youtube video’s showed how impossible it was to open the box, and in this case it was so with the knife I made short work of the box, pretty much impossible to use the box again.

As soon as I took it out and started it up, they already had my email programmed into the Nexus 7, just had to sign in and everything is pretty much the same compared to any Android device. I have also been using Jellybean version of Android on my Samsung Nexus Galaxy, and I’m loving the interface so it wasn’t new to me when I was trying out the Nexus 7, Google did a great job with this software. When your handling it, it feels solid, the screen is fantastic, I didn’t try the camera yet but it isn’t a priority for me.

Just for people who are going to wonder, my home network runs on a US VPN when I switch on from the router so when I was using the Google Nexus 7 the IP was a US Based Address so I was able to play movies, magazines, and books right away. First thing I watched was Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen, very quick playback, excellent video quality, the Nexus 7 handled the action scenes flawlessly and the sound is pretty good too. For a tablet that size the speaker packs a punch, louder then I thought it would be. This is also one of the more annoying things, I took the Nexus 7 with me to another location and hooked up to the wireless, at that moment, Google Movies, Magazines, and Books disappeared so they are forever gone. I don’t understand why Google can’t sort out the media issue so everyone can access the content like Apple in this case.

Pros:

  • Screen Size is Perfect, you can really watch stuff on it without feeling that its too small or too big. You can take it around with you without feeling that its big as the iPad.
  • Battery life lasted about 2 days of extensive use with gaming, shows, instagram, surfing the web and all other sorts of utilities
  • The Price is really cheap compared to any iPad and yet its a powerful device with a great graphics.
  • Great for reading and writing emails, they have perfect the Gmail interface for the Nexus 7, its just so smooth and has all the Gmail features integrated into it.
  • It doesn’t feel like an oversized phone, it feels like a genuine tablet, and I have tried the Galaxy Note, and it feels very different.
  • It’s relatively light, and Asus have done a fantastic design with the design

Cons:

  • Content is still somewhat lacking in comparison to Apple.
  • There is a white screen problem that I am having, I can’t adjust the contrast on it so its a bit too white and it starts off too white then 15 mins later it adjust. I contacted Google Play Support and they are sending out a replacement unit right away, so it isn’t necessarily a con in this case since they didn’t even take 10 mins to say they would send out a replacement, I was just hoping for some sort of software fix for it. But I don’t mind getting a new unit.

Overall:

I love the device even though it’s lacking in content, its quick and presents all the information I want. If I’m somewhere with a wifi connection I don’t have to abuse my phone to keep me entertained, these days the amount of battery a phone has is important so I have started to abuse the Nexus 7. A lot of application work perfectly on this screen, and the Chrome Browser, Gmail and pretty much all Google Applications work better on the Nexus 7. I would recommend this tablet to anyone who is looking for something smaller then an iPad, and it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. The Kindle Fire was my first experience with an Android Tablet, and it was good since it had the content to back it up, but it was majorly lacking in firepower but this machine is another story its the best hardware you can pack into it. I took a few screen shots so you can see how good the screen is, and a few of the applications.

Price: $280
Rating:


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Spotify On iPad

If you love music and your not on Spotify yet you are honestly missing out, this is what iTunes should be like. I’m making music on the fly, listening to it on my car, and I’m also paying for the premium services so I can even download straight to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X, iPad, and PC without any issues. I have it integrated into my Sonos system, literally the reasons to have it are endless.

And at last they have come up with the iPad App and its worth the wait, they really did a fantastic job of making it seamlessly work with the iPad. I love that they took the time to design it in a way that makes use of every square inch of screen real estate that you have. This app does a lot, but it doesn’t rub the extra features in your face. The design is fairly clean. Playlists can be grouped neatly into folders, In addition, a tap-and-hold feature bring up additional options such as the ability to add something to a playlist or star it, and a new search autofill feature lets you find artists by typing in the first few letters. You can hunt down songs, albums, and playlists from the same box. But one main note, to use this App you need a Premium account, to use Spotify for free you can use the Desktop App, but its really worth paying for the Premium Service.

Logitech Harmony Link

I have always wanted to control my media devices from my Android device or my iPad, and usually for my universal remote needs I use the Logitech Harmony One. This time around they have come up with the perfect little device and you don’t have to attach anything to your Android or Apple device to make it work, The Logitech Harmony Link ($100) is the solution. This sleek system consists of a small black transmitter that connects to your home network via Wi-Fi, letting you control your entire system from your Android or iOS device without the need for any dongles or other attachments. The hardware can be hidden in the cabinet and you can still control it, in my case I don’t have any TV guides to use but I do have all my different Activities that I have. If you have use any Logitech device before then this is very familiar to setup. There seems to be some negative reviews regarding its limitations but still its pretty good to get some activities going, I might get it to try it out.

Link: Logitech

Trent – IMP1000 Mobile Charger

This is the 4th Generation USB power bank for the latest iPad 3 “the new ipad” and iPad 2. It will never let your smart phones and Tablet PCs run out of battery. This compact and ultra long-lasting backup battery will be your perfect power solution on the go. When you travel, there’s no need to charge your devices through an electrical outlet, the iCruiser IMP1000 is the ultimate power source!

These days these amazing phones barely last 10 hours in a day, previously the Nokias and Ericssons would last a good 3 to 4 days before need a charge, I remember I would have just one charger but now I have to have a charger in the office, in the car, in the hallway, in every room, its ridiculous. Phone technology has advanced so much yet batteries haven’t changed much in the last two decades. Since I tend to travel a lot for work one of the things I get annoyed with is my phone running out of battery half way through a full day, and so after doing a bit of research the Trent 11000 was my choice and a great one at that. I charge the phones usually on the plane when I’m not using them, and that hour or two of charging brings it back to 100%. The Trent IMP1000 is like redbull but for electronics, it keeps giving it that kick. There are smaller versions but I opted for the larger one to charge my Kindle or iPad as well as my phones.

Pros:

  • USB connection, so you can connect any type of wire to it, MicroUSD, MacroUSB, Apple, anything really
  • Can charge your phone several times over
  • I charged it 3 months ago and it still has a very large amount of charge, doesn’t dissipate battery when not used
  • Charges Phones very quickly (iPhone & Android)
  • Charges iPads relatively quickly

Cons:

  • Its Bulky
  • Slow to Charge Itself
  • Its a Bit Heavy

Link: Amazon

Rating:


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Mounting The iPad To Your Machine

There are always different ways of using your iPad, I try and use it any situation, I usually have it sitting next to my desk on the right side of the screen. The way this HoverBar works is that it mounts on the back of the The HoverBar fits all iPad 2 models and attaches to all iMacs and Apple Displays with an L-shaped desk stand, priced at $79.99 its a bit on the high side but has a solid build.

Link: TwelveSouth