Analysts & Reviewers NOT using products before commenting!

It goes without saying, that everyone is a reviewer nowadays. However, more & more often many companies publish reviews, or analysts pass judgement on products with very little hands-on time with them. If you are interested in follow the topic that really needs addressing, you can see the conversation below.

Fresh Videos Coming in 2013

Geekanoids has now been publishing videos for over six years, bringing you the latest tech news & reviews. It is a pleasure sharing this content and all our viewer feedback is appreciated, helping to mould how The Geekanoids Channel has changed & grown.
Certainly for the past 2-3 years the schedule has been hectic, with 1-3 videos published every day (on occasion even more). In meetings and discussions, it has been decided that now is the time to change things & re-focus on production value.

You will find that the channel now publishes fewer videos, between 3-4 per week, with the same great information and opinion on the very latest products. In addition to this, come the New Year, you will see some different type of coverage. Switching up a gear to deliver you, the viewer, something different.

"I feel these changes are necessary", says Dave (owner & video guru). "Pushing out videos is all well and good, but when it comes down to trying to rush reviews just to keep up with the competition, I decided it was time to stop. I find it amazing when, for example, reviews of a mobile phone get published after on one or two days of use. It is impossible to test a product that quickly. Rather than fall into that trap and de-value The Geekanoids Channel content, I decided to take a break away from the norm, recharge my personal thoughts and publish only videos that I am happy to be released. This includes approval of our own productions and the popular guest reviews. From 2013, the quality HAS to be the VERY BEST."

So, to recap, you will see some of the currently recorded & planned videos play out for 2012, followed by a refreshing change in 2013. Keep smiling & enjoy your technology. 

Innova innovate with FibaPrint Ultra Smooth Gloss

When someone buys an inkjet printer (in my case the Epson R2880), you often get a sample pack of paper with the device. This is not just out of kindness, it is marketing. Papers are normally developed especially for the manufacturers inks and when you see the results, it is more than likely you will continue to buy their own brand papers. Unless you are in the graphic design industry, it is unlikely that you would even research any other papers, so I have done a little bit of that work for you.
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Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D for iPhone

When the App Store first went online a few days ago, I rushed to download all the free apps that caught my attention. Then I came across some users reporting that Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D was only available in the UK store and that it was pretty good. So I splashed out the £5.99 for it... and was it worth the money? Well, I have to say a resounding YES.

The graphics are amazing, on par if not a little punchier than the games dedicated Nintendo DS. The game play is very smooth, with good animations and special effects. There is a little bit of slow redraw in the distance, but it is not distracting. The controls are superb too. You tilt forwards to speed up, backwards to slow down and left/right to steer. Skids are performed by touching the screen whilsts turning and power-ups are planted onto your opponents by tapping the appropriate icon. On the sound front it is amazing, very cool music and in-game sound. It also shows that the iPhone 3G has greatly improved speakers, having played this on both the new unit and the first generation.

If you want to give a paid for App Store offering a go, make this one of your first choices.

My Switch from Boot Camp to VMWare Fusion

My platform of choice is a MacBook Pro (or Mac of some description) running Mac OS X Leopard. I just love the way Leopard is so stable and let's me get on with being creative. In some circumstances I just need to delve into Windows XP. Mainly to run my accounting software, but also my kids ask me to run little utilities and exe files they download (from trusted sites). I used to use Apple's Boot Camp, but I got really fed up of rebooting my Mac every time I needed to run Windows XP. This is where VMWare Fusion is so powerful, I can run virtual machines right within OS X Leopard, without needing to restart. It really does make life a lot simpler.
I switched to VMWare Fusion because I wanted the Best of Both Worlds.

Please check out my video and feel free to leave your comments.

Leopard - First Few Hours

I stood in line today for Leopard and was amongst the first in the Western Hemisphere to get my hands on this predator. Quite aside from the fun I had actually spending my hard-earned cash on this upgrade, installation was a breeze and the feeling overall is very positive.

Initial Impression
To label this a minor release would be preposterous. It is a major release in every way and well worth checking out the list of 300 new features of Leopard on the Apple website. The main thing with all the new gizmos I've been using on Leopard is that yet again Apple has come up with something where everything 'just works'. Exactly the way it should and without further fuss. I've not had ANY issues after using 10.5 for about 3 hours, editing video etc, everything has been a breeze. If there are major bugs, I haven't come across any.

Notable points

  • The system runs faster. This is apparently a speedup specifically with Core 2 Duo systems (like mine)
  • Spaces works as advertised. It could be a little bit confusing for someone who's not familiar with the mac and it's also not turned on by default. After using it for a couple of hours now, it really is a great productivity tool. It is one of those things you just end up using naturally which proves its usefulness.
  • FrontRow has finally adopted the Apple TV Interface which is nice. It doesn't have YouTube though which I feel should have been included as it's a useful option. With the lack of fancy integrations from the desktop, Apple has given Frontrow its pride of place in the home entertainment arena. It feels more like a mode of the computer rather than an app that is depending on there being enough RAM to play a song. You can now also specify the sources like you can on the Apple TV.
  • The new improved Dock is an evolution of the familiar tool we've come to know and love. It now features reflective 3D effects which work well. 'Stacks' is a neat feature which is fast and enables clutter free access to your files.
  • Spotlight has been improved and seems faster. It launches apps by just selecting the item and tapping the space bar. That's nice because you end up not having to use the mouse to open applications.
  • The main thing I like in the new Finder is Coverflow. It works fantastically and until you use it in the Finder, it's hard to describe how useful it is. I would have said that finder had its limitations when compared to Windows Explorer. But with Leopard in Coverflow, it really makes it easier to go through your files and find what you are looking for. Coupled with Quicklook, you end up being able to go through your files and find what you like without launching a bunch of applications. The smart folder and networking capabilities work fantastically and if smartly set up, negate any need to rumble through your computer for hours, trying to find "that one file".
  • Time Machine: I don't have an external hard drive (yet) so wasn't able to test this one.
  • The only issue I found is that Quicklook should include previews of folder contents. Its such an obvious omission that it will surely be included in a future software update.
I would highly recommend this upgrade to any Mac User. If you are looking for a renewed computing experience, get your hands on Leopard and see for yourself. I have already been using the new features a lot. They prove themselves in the way they work so well and how effortless their implementation seems to be. Productivity is obviously one of Apple's key focuses and their ability to tie entertainment and productivity into one easy to use package deserves praise at the least. Kudos to Apple for another great product and for pushing computing forward. –Felix Kunze.

iPhone Update - Day 2 usage

After having had and heavily used the iPhone for over 24 hours now, I wanted to bring you a small gallery of images below and an update.

Throughout day one I played with the device off and on, pretty much all day, and this morning still had about two or three hours left. Because I was due to go out, I had to charge the battery for an hour. I did this off the mains charger, rather than my Macs USB port and for the first time I got a full charge. The iPhone can display the usage of your device and lets you know how long the battery has lasted since its last full charge. Strange this was that I had it plugged into my Mac for about six hours, and although the battery icon showed full, it did not register as full.

Anyway, that small discovery out of the way I headed out. During today I took a few calls and at lunchtime logged onto a wi-fi hotspot with no problem at all. As I mentioned in my last iPhone related post, EDGE is very slow, but my outside wi-fi experience was superb, nice and fast, just how it should be. I also used Meebo for the first time properly today. This is a web based chat client that uses your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google, ICQ or Jabber account, to enable you to do instant messaging. Nice thing is that you can use it on any computer, but it also has a really nice iPhone interface. You can see an image of how a chat looks below (with names private bits deleted). It works very well, and you can easily flick between various conversations.

Using Meebo also showed me just how good the on-screen iPhone keyboard is. Yes, you can hit the wrong keys every now and again, but you have to just trust it and every time (in my experience) it auto-corrected every time with the right word. It took me until today to get used to the keyboard, but trust me you will love it.

To finish off my day I took in a quick cartoon. Wow, the screen really does rock. Colours are bright and vivid, with nice crisp lines. As I headed back to the office to take the photos for the gallery below, I realised that I had used my iPhone for eight hours without the need to use headphones. The big satisfaction was that it had not let me down once, the only sad thing was that not one passer-by had asked me about it, even when I was laughing at a cartoon in the coffee shop.

iPhone Review - UK get ready, this is the dogs danglies

So I managed to get my hands on an iPhone, and in true Geek style wanted to bring you my first thoughts on the must-have-phone from Apple. Being so keen to bring you the details, you are getting this even before I have had time to take photos of the iPhone. This is the first Apple product that I have ever had that hasn't had photos taken first in its virgin, fingerprint free state. That should give you some idea of how excited I was after opening it.

The iPhone form factor is superb, in fact a lot slimmer than I had expected. The actual screen real estate makes it comparable to the sleeker PDA's available today. The rounded corners make it feel smaller than it actually is. In the hand, it is weighted just right and feels (as Apple products normally do) like a really high quality product. The touch screen definitely needs a screen protector on, so if you are getting an iPhone on November 9th, be prepared and order some protection in plenty of time. The majority of the back is brushed silver aluminium, with a small portion at the base being black. This gives a very luxurious, yet slippery feel, but at least not a fingerprint magnet. The camera, also located on the back is tiny and recessed back into the unit, so again you would struggle to get a greasy finger on it.

Now, when you switch the iPhone on for the first time, make sure you are seated. The screen is just awesome, pin sharp, bright, vibrant, spot on. Only when I had dug a little deeper into the settings did I find it was set to half brightness, so bumping it up a couple of notches had those colours popping. On playback of some video podcasts and a few cartoon videos, I was wowed, for this alone, the device is worth its asking price. If the iPod Touch is anything like this, it will also be just as popular.

The internet worked just as I expected, but doing the double-tap to zoom in, as I had seen in the demo videos, was all the more satisfying. Email was also a very smooth experience, just like a mini with all my account settings taken from my Mac and transferred onto the iPhone. Hopping into my car I tested making a few calls and the voice quality was again very good. Back onto Safari and the main let down was the speed on surfing the internet over EDGE. Not entirely Apples fault, but the network does not support lightning fast speeds, far from it. So, I hopped back on the road and headed to a local restaurant that has a Wi-Fi hotspot run by The Cloud. Logging on was really easy and made the internet, email and YouTube a joy to use. So my advice is that you will need to use Wi-Fi if you are a heavy data user, otherwise you will get frustrated. EDGE should be treated as a backup solution.

I have only really covered here my early experiences. My opinion of the iPhone so far is that it is superb. Most certainly one of the most exciting Apple products I have had the pleasure of using to date. When launched on November 9th, it will make a lot of people really happy. If you were having second thoughts, then don't, you will not be disappointed.

Apple MacBook Pro Core2Duo Full Review

My recently completed full review of the Apple MacBook Pro Core2Duo has been published over at MacNN. This was a very important review for me, because on a personal note, I have had my fair share of problems with the first batch of MacBook Pros, so I was eager to see if Apple had put right some of the early problems.

Excerpt from the review, courtesy of MacNN... "There are some distinct differences in the upgraded MacBook Pro. The built in iSight camera is the same, but the indicator LED has changed. There is no longer a pinhole in the bezel surrounding the LCD screen. The LED lights up behind the bezel, which is very finely machined with tiny wholes that make this part of the bezel thinner. When the LED is off, it blends into the finish of the rest of the MacBook Pro casing."

Read the full review here.

Slim Devices Squeezebox Review

Head on over to read my review of Slim Devices Squeezebox at MacNN. I really enjoyed reviewing this product, it offers a great way of streaming music from your Mac or PC, whilst delivering the very best in audio quality.

Excerpt courtesy of MacNN... "The nicely designed Squeezebox hardware is a mix of brushed aluminum and high gloss smoked plastic. You can choose a model with a white or black finish on the back. The unit comes supplied with a power adapter, analogue RCA audio cables, a remote control complete with batteries, and a printed user manual."

I hope you enjoy the full review here.
Link to product here.