Keeping Your Smartphone Charged on the Go

Mophie PowerStation Duo White

Many people rely on their cell phones, and many are disappointed with the poor battery life currently on offer. It doesn’t seem to matter which brand you go for – Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, etc. – you’re lucky to get a day’s worth of decent use out of these powerful devices. Battery technology is improving and changing all the time, and some of the biggest improvements to Apple’s products in the past few years have been their custom batteries that help drive high-resolution displays and fast graphics processors. But it’s still not enough. Until there is a sea change in the tech, we will be worrying about getting through the day with our smartphones.

So, what are the options?

Continue reading “Keeping Your Smartphone Charged on the Go”

Thoughts on the Canon 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT

If you shoot Canon and want to do wireless off-camera flash, I think Canon has finally sussed it and has provided an excellent (albeit slightly expensive) solution.

Past Struggles
I have struggled with wireless flash with Canon for a while. I have owned the 580EX II and 430EX II flashes. My 60D has a built-in transmitter, but it requires line of sight. It wasn’t great in bright sunlight, and it was terrible when the flashes were in softboxes. I also couldn’t control everything about the flashes from the camera.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Canon 600EX-RT and ST-E3-RT”

Eastlink vs. Aliant, Part One: Local, Bundling, and Contracts

In Halifax, there are two major players when it comes to home internet and television services: EastLink and Bell Aliant. There are a few other options, but this series of posts will concentrate on the two main providers in the area.

Both companies offer packages that include high-speed internet, home telephone, and television services with HD and PVR options. They both offer various packages that contain different internet speeds, channel packages, calling features, and so forth. And, confusingly, both offer packages that are more and less expensive than a similar package offered by the other. So, which one should you choose? Unfortunately, it’s not a simple decision. Over the next four posts, I’ll take a look at all the options and hopefully by the end, it’ll be just a bit easier to make that call.

For perspective, I spoke with several people from the region, as well as representatives from both companies – Jill Laing from EastLink, and Christine Manore from Bell Aliant.

The four parts will be:

  • Part One – Local, Bundling, and Contracts
  • Part Two – Television Service
  • Part Three – Internet Service
  • Part Four – Conclusion

So, let’s get started.

Continue reading “Eastlink vs. Aliant, Part One: Local, Bundling, and Contracts”

BlackBerry PlayBook: First Impressions

My PlayBook arrived this afternoon, and I’ve been fiddling with it nonstop. It feels great in the hands, seems well-built, and is pretty darn snappy for the most part. In this quick post, I’ll talk about what I love, some things that need work, and some things I hope get better very soon. The PlayBook launches this week, and it is well-poised to take a portion of the huge tablet market share. Let’s see what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to change if RIM is to be successful:

Continue reading “BlackBerry PlayBook: First Impressions”

Windows Phone 7 Review

I’ve had the chance to put a a Windows Phone 7 device (an LG Optimus 7) through its paces for the past week, and it’s been a fairly positive experience. Microsoft has done their homework for the most part, and the operating system is a joy to use. For a large number of smartphone users, particularly new users, WP7 will meet their needs and provide a great experience. The OS isn’t perfect, however, and there are a number of issues that prevent it from being 100% usable for me.

Continue reading “Windows Phone 7 Review”

HTC Desire vs. iPhone 4 – Part 1

I have been an iPhone user since the 3G came to Canada in 2008. At that time, there were simply no other mobile phones that could hold a candle to the iPhone. Fast forward to 2010. I stood in line for five hours to pick up an iPhone 4. It is the most amazingly piece of technology I’ve ever used. I was still of the opinion that no one could come close to touching Apple’s stranglehold on making amazing mobile devices.

My opinion is slowly changing. After some failed attempts like the Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm, and the Samsung Instinct, other manufacturers are finally making phones that are nearly worthy of the “iPhone killer” moniker. What has changed? Well, the main reason competitors weren’t able to keep up was because of the rock-solid, innovative iOS that Apple built from the ground up (basing it on OSX). The operating systems still being used in most phones were just too dated and needed an overhaul. So that’s what most companies have done.

Continue reading “HTC Desire vs. iPhone 4 – Part 1”

Calvetica – Gorgeous Calendar for iPhone

As a MobileMe user, I rely heavily on the various calendar apps Apple provides – iCal, Calendar for iPhone, and their web-based offering on All data remains in sync across all of my devices, and I have access to it via the web as well. The only downside to Apple’s offerings are their appearance. They are mostly easy to use and quite functional, but they could all use a facelift.

The MobileMe calendar recently got such a facelift, along the lines of the new iPad calendar app. This is a welcome change, but I use the iPhone app the most, followed by iCal. Using the iPhone app daily has led me to see its faults. Although I am fairly adept at using it, I can’t help but feel the experience could be more pleasant, and faster overall.

Enter Calvetica – a gorgeous app from a company called Mysterious Trousers LLC.  For only $2.99, you get an incredible calendar app replacement that fully syncs with your calendar data.

Continue reading “Calvetica – Gorgeous Calendar for iPhone”