Archive | April, 2013

Small talk in the lift ?

29 Apr

Small talk in the lift ? Let’s prep you with the good infos about the weather.
What do you talk about with your colleagues when enter the lift the morning when you arrive at the office ? You talk about the weather of course !
But you don’t have all the informations, so let’s browse the apps that are out there giving you the best weather forecast.

1. The built-in Weather widget
Advantages: free, built-in, hour by hour and weekly forecasts, low/high temperatures, you can add as many favourite countries as you like, part of the notification center.
Disadvantages: not as completed as could be (no UV, precipitation chances, …).

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2. The weather channel
Advantages: free and paid-app, all is in, UV index, dew point, sunrise and sunset, humidity, visibility and pressure.
Disadvantages: adds in the free apps, paid-app for 3,99$.

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3. Solar, free
Graphical and beautiful app, pull down to see the next 3 days low/hights forecasted temperatures.
Double-tap the main screen for a split screen with the temp of your favorite cities.
Advantages: free and beautiful, as many bookmarked places as you wish but then you have to slide to switch from one page to another.
Disadvantages: only the temp and forecast for next 3 days.

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4. Haze, 2,69euros
This is a great and beautiful app, full of infos. 3 main screens present the 3 key infos (hours of sun, temperature and chance of rain).
. Hours of sun: sunrise/sunset, % clouds, UV.
. Temperature: high/low, wind speed, feels like temperature.
. Chance of rains: humidity, inch of water expected, pressure, humidity.
Advantages: beautiful interface, one tap on the central number and it reveals additional informations.
Disadvantages: none.

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5. NOAA Radar Pro, 0,89$
The reference when it comes to weather and forecast. It is a great and beautiful app full of infos.
Advantages: all you dream about weather is here (feels like temperature, pressure, humidity, wind, visibility, dew point, 7 days forecast, hour by hour forecast). Bookmarks for your favorite cities.
Disadvantages: none.

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6. Ultraviolet

An ultraviolet index viewer. Geolocalisation an possibility to check the UV index wherever in the world.
Advantages: easy and simple.
Disadvantages: none.

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If you only need one, I would go for the Haze and the NOAA app which bring me all what I need (I know it’s 2 … ;-). Those are complementary to the use of my portable solar panel 😉

Cover up!

26 Apr

Photo 25-04-13 10 42 36 PMImpact and liquid are the silent killers of any cell phone.

Check the top5 of accidental damages to cell phones

  • Fell out of my hand
  • Fell into liquid (toilet, pool, sink, …)
  • Fell out of my lap
  • Fell off a table
  • Liquid spilled on it (I still remember my friend who tried to drown my iPhone with red wine during a diner…)

1st thing to protect is the screen. Mine is now protected (with Zagg EXTREME).

Let’s move to the next mission: to find the best case matching my style and protecting my beloved iPhone 5.

I decided to go for
1/ The Griffin Reveal case I found in the Apple store (I was desperate and was scared to drop my phone, I needed a protection but didn’t have many choices). Photo 24-02-13 6 59 38 PM (HDR)I picked the white one (prices at 19,99$), it’s a temporary one until I get my cases below.
After 3 weeks of intense usage, I’m disappointed by the quality of this cover. It’s a light, sleek cover that fits in my pocket (and that’s a plus) but the white of the bumper turned grey (I don’t work in the mine and I wash my hands …) and the see-trough back is scratched … It looks bad and doesn’t match the style of the iPhone 5. You have been warned.
Also if you use the “lightning to 30-pin adapter”, you will have to take the cover off the case to charge, I don’t like it.

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2/ The Otterbox Prefix series, easy and simple single silicon shell (24,99$). The Prefix is a simple silicone case with an interiorpolycarbonate skeleton. The case comes with a screen protection (thank you Otterbox). I would have liked more colour choices but I’m happy with the green and there’s black if you are more into conventional colours;-)

Regarding the “lightning to 30-pin adapter”, no problem to charge with the Prefix on.
It’s a good strong case which will support heavy usage of your phone. Only downside is the fact that the polycarbonate skeleton makes it quite tricky to put it on and off, but that’s why I bought it … to protect my phone, and when you are used to handle the cover, it’s no issue.

3/ The Rokform, 2 protections in one (with or without the silicon bumper), and it’s coloured grips. I like the silicon grip that “sticks” naturally to whatever surface and can match the colour of your polo … Priced at 39$, you don’t have the choice between lots of colors yet but the case protects your phone with a different more open style.
If you don’t put the silicone bumper, you’ll be able to charge with the lightning to 30-pin adapter. With the bumper on, you have to use the lightning pin.
Lots of accessories are in option and will allow you to customize your experience (that’s a plus)
. a magnet hidden behind the grip to stick your phone on a fridge or on a metal board
. a “remote mounting system” to glue your iPhone on the dashboard of your car (when you use GoogleMaps as a GPS f.e.)
… Handy and clever.

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4/ The Lifeproof, ready for vacation involving sand and pool games or just heavy duty !
Photo 15-03-13 3 37 11 PM (HDR)The case comes in 2 parts: the recto and the verso + the headphone jack cover.
To put the case on your iPhone, clip together the 2 faces and close well the charge port door and off you go!
The case keeps the slick aspect of the iPhone 5, and I like it.
The plastic of the cover is light.
The screen is protected by a plastic screen so no need for a screen shield on top of the cover.

To remove the cover just insert a coin in the bottom slid to pop it open (don’t forget to open the c

lifeproof in a fish tank

harge door as well as to unscrew the headphone jack cover).

I tested it under the shower but it’s difficult to type with water on the screen … I need to practice maybe. I also drown my iPhone in the fish tank and and took picture of our office fish  and all was fine.

The Lifeproof case comes now in 5 different colors (so far only available in the US). Priced at 79,99$, it’s the most expensive case tested but it’s really worth it if you are in a dirty, dusty, sandy, wet environment and want to keep using your phone.

I like and recommend the Otterbox (plain and simple protection), Rokform (great protection with accessories) and Lifeproof (great in heavy conditions, and cool to be able to take pictures in the pool).

In brief, when you want to choose a cover, consider the following before hunting down the right one for your needs.
. How do you use your phone ?
. What do you link it to ? Speakers, headphones, 30-pin adaptor …
. The size of the jack of your headphones. It’s thicker from one brand to another and sometimes doesn’t fit the hole in your cover.
. The thickness of the cover is important too, it must be thicker than the phone to protect it’s screen. Seems logic but lots of cases are slimmer, looking good but not really effective.

And if like my mom you dropped your phone in the toilet and you didn’t had your Lifeproof on, you can still save it with the Thirsty bag.

And if you really don’t like the idea of a cover for your cell. Then get an insurance

More infos
. follow @griffintech
. follow @otterbox
. follow @rokform
. follow @lifeproof

Home button gone AWOL?

23 Apr

Brocken or non-responsive home iPhones/iPads/iPods button happens a lot but when it happens to you, it’s a pain!

Not anymore, because now you will have a solution.
. Solution 1, go to Apple to have it fixed. Gonna cost you …
. Solution 2, buy a new iPhone … not cheap either or
. Solution 3, turn on the “assistive touch” … Cheap and you’ll survive until iPhone5s will be released …

The “assistive touch” is a function that has been designed to operate gestures with only one finger or a stylus instead of using 2-3-4 or 5 fingers gesture.

Among the advantages and shortcuts it brings you, it will offer you a brand new fully working virtual home button that you will be able to place wherever you want on your screen.

To set up it, go to “settings“, “general“, “accessibility” then scroll down to “assertive touch” and toggle it on.

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Now when you tap the white button, it opens a 4 icons-menu
. Siri, to start discussing with Siri
. Device, to select the following options: lock screen, rotate screen, volume up/down/mute and more
. Favourites, the favourite gestures you created
. Home, the famous home button you have issue with

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But let’s dig a little bit deeper to see what else the “assistive touch” can bring you.
. You can create customised gestures that you will trigger with only one finger (great when you wear gloves and only have the index available to touch the screen …)
. Here are some examples, “SwipeRight” to use to browse your pictures for example

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Extra tips if you want to go further with the “assertive touch” menu
. Tap 3 secs the “Lock screen” and the “power off” screen will appear with its slide
. When I use it with my lifeproof case, the home button is a little bit hard to push and I prefer to spare it by using the virtual home button. Because I’m lazy and don’t want to go throught the “settings” menu I customized the “triple-click Home” to toggle on and off the “assistive touch“.
To do so, go to “settings”, “General”, “Accessibility”, scroll down to “Triple-click Home” and select “assistive touch”.

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A problem, a question about your iPhone, iPad, don’t hesitate to write me, I’ll try to find a solution 😉

My 10 favorite japanese food 1/10, Tororo Kombu

20 Apr

Photo 17-04-13 2 59 46 PM (HDR)
I must admit that I loooove Japanese food, if you follow me on twitter you should know by now. Loving it and eating it every lunch, I discovered food I’ve never tasted before and I would like to share my favourite japanese food with you. My mission will be to post 10 articles about each of those. I’ll start with the Tororo Kombu.

The Tororo Kombu
Photo 17-04-13 8 27 34 PM (HDR)I discovered the tororo kombu sprinkled on the top of my favourite soba noodles soup. It looks weird at first I must admit kind of thin hair when it’s used dry  or like a sticky substance when used in the soup.
In the soup it doesn’t taste much but dry it tastes a little bit like nuts.

What is it ?
The tororo is made of scrapped kombu. The kombu is a seaweed. Before the scrapping, it’s softened with vinegar.

How to use it ?
In a soup or sprinkled on rice or as a snack.

The tororo kombu will bring you calcium, iron, dietary fibers and minerals for few calories.
You won’t eat much because it has the property to fill up your stomach pretty fast (it can even be used as hunger-killer).

Don’t eat too much because it is very hight in iodine which may affect your thyroid gland.

So like hubby often says, “I eat everything, but in small amounts“.
Recommendation: 3cm/1,18inch daily stripe.

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A bottle with a twist

16 Apr

Photo 1-04-13 1 29 13 AM I was in Palm Springs, home of the desert by 90 degrees and guess what ? I forgot my Klean Kanteen bottle home (more than 9K km away). I had to take action and buy another one. So I decided to pay a visit to the Fresh & Easy food store next door to study the “bottles” market.
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After lots of hesitation, I picked the soft squeeze bottle aqua by Brita, a soft BPA-free plastic bottle that comes with a coal filter. The coal filter reduces the chlorine taste and odor so you can fill it in with tap water.
You can also use the bottle without the filter, drink from the cap or the push-pull cap. It’s great to have 2 caps in one.
On the top of it, it comes with a handy handle, all this for 9,99$.

The filter change lasts 2 months or 40 gallons or 151 liters or 150 plastic bottles.

You can set a reminder on so you don’t forget to replace the filter when it’s time.
The 2 filters pack comes at 7,99$.

I also have 2 Klean Kanteen bottles in my collection.
Photo 5-04-13 5 17 45 PMThe “original” stainless steel bottle.
. BPA-free dishwasher safe
. Price: 19,95$ for the 27oz

The double wall insulated Klean Kanteen, great for hot and cold beverages.
But don’t forget your gloves in the winter because stainless steel is cold for your little fingers…
Your hot chocolate will be stay warm for 6 hours and cold beverage cold for 24 hours.
. Klean Kanteen is BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
. Price: 27,95$ for the 16oz

The Klean Kanteen comes with different caps depending what you like (regulat cap, loop cap (great with Biner to hang them), push-pull cap and sippy cap).
I use my insulated Klean Kanteen while in hot climate and I need to keep the liquid cold for a long period of time. The regular aluminum Keam Kanteen is for everyday at work as well as the Brita.
I like to combine my Brita and Original Klean Kanteen with a neoprene sleeve to keep it cold.

More infos on
. Brita official website
. Follow @FilterForGood
.Klean Kanteen official website
. Follow @kleankanteen

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