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Jacob Penderworth

Jacob is a freelance writer at his own blog and a few others across the Internet. In his free time, he listens to a lot of music, plays music, and takes photographs of amazing places. You can email him with inquiries, should you have any.

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Last month, I was loafing round the house with my phone wondering how cold it was outside. Being the ridiculously technology-glued person I am, I started searching for a weather station that integrates with the Web, tablets, and smartphones. (Obviously, stepping into the sun was out of the question, because I’m a vampire [they’re real]). After a few clicks, I found the Netatmo, a very slick looking solution to checking the weather when you’re not in a walking mood.

The very idea of this may sound ridiculous, I know. However, there is a purpose for everything and I decided to give Netatmo a try. After all, Wired and Time wouldn’t feature it unless there is something more than the basic weather station. Or so I thought. (more…)

Apple worked very hard on developing iOS 7, the most recent release of its mobile operating system, which effectively transformed the stale user interface to something more colorful. As usual, it received mixed reviews. Some people called it “flat”, while others believed its colors rendered it “childish”.

It’s a fact that people don’t like change, so negative reactions to iOS 7 are not surprising. Apple’s recent update to the Remote app, on the other hand, is quite unexpected. It includes a full redesign to fit snugly with iOS 7. But strangely, it goes beyond the call of duty here, introducing new and foreign UI elements. Usually I would praise experimentation, but in this case, I’m not so sure it’s a good thing. (more…)

Not everyone wants to have their own blog, because that requires too much responsibility. Sometimes a little Posterous or Facebook is the only thing people need to express themselves. Even a Pinterest account is perfect for that daily inspiration that you might need or have to contribute. When it comes to such things as blogging, quoting, linking, photographing, videoing, and, most of all, GIFing, the only place to go is Tumblr.

You’ve always been able to access your Tumblr on an iPad by maximizing the iPhone app or browsing the desktop website, but there hasn’t been a solid way to follow your favorite microblogs on a tablet until now. In December, the developers of Tumblr’s iPhone app introduced a universal version that added full iPad support and a completely different experience for the tablet. Does it make you want to use Tumblr more, though? (more…)

Every time I look at my car’s dashboard, I am reminded that there’s a metric system and not everyone uses miles to measure the distance between here and the local outlets. For that reason, a unit converter comes in handy. Utilities that tell you how loud things in your car are can also be useful — you don’t want to go deaf. If you find yourself craving an app that can do a good many things in a beautiful way, SkyPaw has just the thing.

From the developer you’ve probably never heard of comes an app unlike any other. Its use of skeumorphism throughout makes it the perfect candidate for unit conversion duties on an iPad, and its extra tools, like a metronome and seismometer, give it an even wider potential market. But like I said before, substance is key, so is design all this app has to offer? (more…)

The Internet has brought a new wave of shopping to users. More of my friends prefer to shop at Amazon.com than go to walk down the street to the local outlets. I even bought nearly all my Christmas gifts for friends online, whether it was from the aforementioned superstore or eBay. Since everything is usually in stock when you need it — with the exception of Apple Inc. products — and it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for, there’s no reason to shop places like Wal-Mart anymore. Even pricing is better online, for the most part.

But with this radical movement comes a price: you can’t be drawn in by walking down the street anymore. There are no shelves to browse in the digital world; you just type in what you’re looking for. I’ve found that, on Amazon.com at least, it’s hard to discover things for people. With all the filters, categories, and confusing organizing tactics that the Seattle, Wash.-based company uses, browsing has been redefined, if not lost. Amazon.com has hope, though. It has an app called Windowshop, and it hopes you’ll find a new way to shop from your iPad. Let’s take a look. (more…)

“The eleventh of June this year was just the beginning,” I told my friend as we compared issues with the “new and improved” iOS App Store. Nothing had changed for the many regular users of Apple’s mobile operating system, but there was a major release that day: iOS 6’s first beta. Developers — and users with developer accounts — were excited to test out Apple’s latest offering. It wasn’t exactly what we expected.

First there was the issue of Apple Maps, which had many appearance problems and was overall a disaster. Sadly, that was the main center of slating from the press, and no one paid any attention to the ailing new App Store. It was redesigned and apparently made better, but Apple forgot one big thing: fixing bugs. The beta really was just the start because issues continued to burden users, even to this day. Apple changed only a few things in the App Store, and it all its efforts, there was not a single bug fix issued. Let me explain. (more…)

Tweetbot may have been the best Twitter client in its day, but new times are ahead. Twitter’s own official app may be more popular than the smaller third-party alternatives, yet developers keep releasing new ones every few months. This time the app is the fifth version of a classic client originally on the Mac called Twitterrific.

In version 5.0, the developer redesigned everything and equipped the app with a completely new set of navigation features. It’s much simpler and more intuitive than before, too. To evaluate its potential as a competitor to the great Tweetbot, I downloaded Twitterrific on its release day and have been using it frequently since. Keep reading for a full look at the app.

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His name was John Gruber. Maybe you’ve heard of him as the Apple blogger who knows the system better than them all. Then again, maybe you read his “linkblog” when you’re looking for interesting new things in the technology market. One thing you probably didn’t know is that he created a lightweight markup language named Markdown back in 2004. In its early days, only Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit used it because Gruber was employed there. No one else even bothered with it because the application ecosystem was not like it is today.

Things are a lot different now, though. A lot of people are on constant lookout for a Markdown editor to fit their tastes. Whether it has previewing capabilities, dual-editing functions for HTML and other code alongside Gruber’s, or just iCloud sync with a simple interface, we’ve all come to know distraction-free editors as ones that solely employ Markdown for making things fast and easy. After all, rich text is a thing of the past.

All these new pieces of software have recently been brought to the iPad because it’s a platform fit for such editing tasks. Users enjoy reading on the device, and some thoroughly have a good time writing their thoughts down in something like Day One. Then there are those like the AppStorm team, and most of us really love writing, no matter where it gets done. If you’re looking for something quick and easy for Markdown editing or even a more feature-packed app, we’ve got everything you’ll ever hope for and more in today’s roundup. (more…)

Many of us remember the old times of video games. The days when Mario and Bowser duelled to the death, when Donkey Kong had just began running around the jungle with his companions, and when Pokemon and its cards were the talk of the middle school. If you’re too young for such things, you can always go grab an old Game Boy and cartridges from Amazon to try your luck on some of these titles. They’re definitely worth the time.

But if you already had your fun back in the day, you’re undoubtedly looking for something new. A new device to play things on, perhaps? Or maybe you want a new indie game that’s has such large pixels on the screen you can see the days of old within them. Whatever the case, there are a lot of great games on the App Store that may just fit what you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at some of them. (more…)

The latest big screen adaption of Ian Fleming’s MI6 agent, James Bond, was released this month and  it’s named Skyfall. Along with the usual action-packed story of car chases and many people being shot, there was the beautiful title song from Adele, some good acting from Daniel Craig and guests, and other things you’d expect from a 007 film. It was good, and I am glad I went to see it.

What about living the James Bond life though? Obviously you can’t do so daily, but there are always video games. Consider transporting yourself to the world of espionage and secret codes. Books can only take you so far, as can motion pictures. It’d be more fun to actually feel like you are the character. Sadly, there are no official Bond games available. There are alternatives, however, and I’d like to take a look at some of them after the break. (more…)

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