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Video: Watch a bullfrog play an iPhone game

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Videos

We've seen plenty of videos that feature babies, cats, and dogs playing with iOS devices, and they're all pretty cute. Know what else they all are? Mammals. In the video above, though, we get to see a fricken bulllfrog play Ant Crusher on the iPhone. Enjoy.


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Bleeding Edge TV 407: Canvaspop Review: Turn your Instagram photos into real art

Did you know that you can turn any photo in your Instagram account into a real life, displayable work of art? CanvasPop is a service that makes this super easy. You create an account and choose which Instagram image(s) you want, and CanvasPop turns it into a beautiful canvas that you can hang on a wall and display proudly. We give you a look at the finished result in this episode.

Instagram is an iOS app social network dedicated to taking and sharing images with filters.

Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.


Microsoft releases SkyDrive app for iPhone, Windows Phone

Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a version of its SkyDrive cloud service for Windows Phone and the iPhone.

The move, Microsoft said in a blog post, comes as people increasingly need access to files on-the-go.

"As devices proliferate, having a great experience on the Web is only one piece of a pretty complex puzzle," Microsoft's Mike Torres wrote. "People are choosing where to put their files based on how portable and accessible they are across the various devices they use; therefore, it's critical that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day."

To that end, the most recent version of Windows Phone, known as Mango, included deep integration with SkyDrive via the Pictures and Office hubs, allowing for the sharing of photos via text, email, or IM, for example.

But users wanted more, Torres said. "Many still want the full SkyDrive experience from Windows Phone, including tasks like browsing their entire SkyDrive, sharing links to folders or files, deleting files, and creating folders." As a result, phones running Windows Phone 7.5 can now download the SkyDrive app from the Windows Phone Marketplace and do just that.

For those on iOS, the same app was also released in the App Store. See the video above for more.

Click to continue reading Microsoft releases SkyDrive app for iPhone, Windows Phone


Ask Andru: Apple iMessage Follow-Up

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Features, Handhelds

How does iMessage work?

The first ever Ask Andru column featured a question about Apple's iMessage, a proprietary method the company uses to allow owners of iOS devices to send text messages, pictures, and videos to each other through Apple's servers, bypassing the traditional wireless carrier. This allows users to send as many messages as they want without having to pay a text message fee (or being docked against their texting plan if it isn't unlimited.)

We got a couple of follow-up questions from our readers, and we figured we'd address them here. First, from Rob, who had two questions:

Is there a way to force a message to go via the carrier? I was in a text messaging conversation with a friend, they went to Eastern Washington for the weekend and thus no 3G. iMessage doesn't seem to work on EDGE.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: Apple iMessage Follow-Up


Introducing Ask Andru: Apple’s iMessage, explained

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Features, Handhelds

How does iMessage work?

I'm a big fan of GeekWire, so when one of my Twitter followers suggested that I start a regular Q&A column for the site, focusing on consumer electronics and gadgets, I figured "Why not?" I talked with the crew, and the result is Ask Andru. In case you're curious about what qualifies me to answer your nagging questions about the devices that have become such an integrated part of our lives, well, I've been running Gear Live for over seven years now. If you're unfamiliar, Gear Live is one of the top gadget news and review sites in the world, and I absolutely love what I do. If you've got a question you'd like me to answer, drop me a line at askandru@gmail.com, and I'll throw it in the queue.

Our very first question deals with iMessage, a new feature introduced to iOS devices with the release of iOS 5:

After upgrading to iOS 5, sometimes I see an iMessage reference in my text-messaging app, and sometimes not, and it doesn't seem to be correlated to whether or not I'm on WiFi or 3G. I also see different colors. I know the idea is to be able to send text messages without going over the wireless carrier's network, but how the heck does this work and what's actually going on?

Click to continue reading Introducing Ask Andru: Apple’s iMessage, explained


Apple releases iOS 5.0.1, fixes iPhone battery life issues

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 5.0.1 download

Apple has just released iOS 5.0.1, which is aimed primarily at fixing the battery drain bug introduced in iOS 5. Many iPhone 4S owners have been complaining of extremely poor battery life (here we were seeing the battery drain as much as 10% per hour,) and we can confirm that 5.0.1 fixes that right up. Here are the rest of the release notes:

iOS 5.0.1 Software Update

This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:

  • Fixes bugs affecting battery life
  • Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
  • Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
  • Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 5.0.1, fixes iPhone battery life issues


2011 Holiday Gift Guide: iPod touch 4th generation

iPod touch 4th gen white

Apple's focused on the iPod touch as being the "funnest iPod ever" for a while now, but the introduction of the fourth generation model put it over the top. You've got the Retina display, FaceTime video chat, high definition video capture, and built-in gyroscope all packed into the thinnest iPod touch ever--and now it's available in white. Of course, you need great software running on hardware like this, and the App Store fits the bill with over 200,000 apps available. A great gift for teens who don't need an iPhone, or anyone who wants a mobile iOS device that isn't a phone. Prices start at $199 (or $189 on Amazon, a 5% savings):

Be sure to check out the rest of the stuff in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide, we're adding new suggestions every day!


Apple Store 2.0 app lets you self-checkout at Apple Stores

Apple Store 2.0 App

Apple on Thursday updated its retail iOS app (now Apple Store 2.0) and as rumored last week, it includes an expansion of Apple's in-store pickup program and EasyPay, a self-checkout option for some items.

Now, when you order certain items using the app, it will give you the choice of either picking it up in a nearby store or having it shipped to you. It will also let you know whether or not the item is in stock in stores in your area. Apple has said most store-stocked items can be ready for pickup in about an hour.

Apple debuted the ship to store option a few weeks ago, starting in San Francisco and then adding Apple Stores in New York City. Since the launch of the app, the service has been added to stores in an array of cities and it will launch for additional U.S. stores as the holidays approach.


Apple releases iOS 5.0.1 beta 2 to developers

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 5.0.1 battery fix

Just two days after releasing iOS 5.0.1 beta, aimed primarily at fixing the battery drain bug found in iOS 5, Apple has released iOS 5.0.1 beta 2. This is obviously something it's aggressively trying to fix, and releasing quick beta updates certainly helps in that process. For what it's worth, we installed the original beta yesterday, and noticed an immediate and significant improvement in the battery life on an iPhone 4S. Apple plans on releasing the update publicly within the next two weeks.


Jawbone UP wristband aims to get you exercising, eating, and sleeping better

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, Apple

Jawbone Up

Jawbone, a company best known for making fashionable Bluetooth earpieces, announced today that it will sell an all-in-one smart fitness gadget that aims to help people totally improve their personal health and fitness.

The $99 device, called Jawbone UP, is a simple-looking wristband capable of collecting data about a person's activity throughout the day as well as sleep patterns at night.

Paired with Jawbone apps on Apple mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, Jawbone UP also collects and analyzes the data to help you make better sense of your habits and lifestyles, identifying, for example, the effects of exercise on your ability to sleep deeply. While there are some existing personal health and fitness devices that already track and analyze activity and sleep—one example is Fitbit Ultra ($99.95)—Jawbone UP adds intelligent feedback. It can remind you to move more during the day if it notices long periods of motionlessness, or gently vibrate to wake you at the optimal point in your sleep cycle.

Click to continue reading Jawbone UP wristband aims to get you exercising, eating, and sleeping better


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