Star Trek PADD for iPad – To boldly go where no iPad has gone before!

Star Trek PADD
Star Trek PADD

As a Star Trek fan, when I first saw the Apple iPad, I immediately thought of the PADD (Personal Access Display Device) which was used by Starfleet as a tablet computer.  So I was delighted when I saw CBS had brought this to life with PADD for iPad. The iPad app emulates the Star Trek PADD interface has various Star Trek sound effects and computer voices that react to your touch.

How here’s the thing, while the app does have a built-in database of various Star Trek characters, ships and so on, it is not a complete collection. Rather than linking to data from a resource like Memory Alpha, the designers have used the database for its information. This means, this PADD is more of a “nice to have” app than a reference tool. The designers try to make up for the  problem by linking into Twitter and Facebook, which is ok, but not what I would imagine Trek fans would prefer.

It’s not possible to filter down characters  by series, which surprised me, in fact there is almost no filters aside from the main sections. The designers note “The official Star Trek PADD app database does not include all information within the Star Trek Universe. We will continue to update the database as information becomes available.” Again a little surprising as all Star Trek Moves and series have long since ended, aside from the new movie, which we could forgive.

Despite all the above, it is worth having this app if you are a Star Trek fan. It looks very like the displays in Star Trek The Next Generation  and you are bound to have some fun playing around with it, and while it has plenty of potential – don’t expect it to be your ‘go to’ Star Trek reference tool, because it’s nowhere near that.

[box]Star Trek PADD for iPad is 3.99 in Irish app store[/box]



Perfect your grilling technique with Great Backyard Grilling for iPad

Great Backyard Grilling
Great Backyard Grilling

It’s summer and hopefully unlike me, you’ve have had a chance to fire up the Backyard Grill. I like Grilling, and it’s not always easy so if your are looking for a companion app to help you perfect your grilling technique take a look at Great Backyard Grilling.

There is something for everyone in the recipes menu from beef, pork and lamb to vegetables and fruit.  Each menu comes with a selection of buttons  making preparation a cinch! You can add a recipe to a menu which you can mail to everyone to let them know the good food they can look forward to!

The feature I love is the ability to create a shopping list for each recipe! Of course your unlikely to bring your iPad to the store, so you can mail the entire list to your iPhone to bring with you!

The layout is straightforward and easy to follow. Each instance a time is referenced you can click on it  and start the built in timer! It’s things like this that make you say wow, the developer spent some time on the design of this app!

The On The House Great Backyard Grilling app will include nearly 50 great grilling recipes with impressive features such as outstanding photography throughout, the ability to add recipes to a “favorites” list, a special menu creation utility, e-mail functions for recipes, shopping lists and menus and menus with dinner invitations. Also included is a timer function for all recipes and powerful flexible shopping list functions that include key ingredient definitions with stunning photographs.

Sadly the video section is empty, the developers are really missing out by leaving this section blank at launch and it seems to be the only thing missing for this useful app. I’ve not fired up my barbecue yet this year, so if anyone feels like giving this app a try please comment on this post and let us know how you got on!

The app costs 2.99 Euro in the Irish app store and 3.99 USD.

Features | Functions 
•All recipes are illustrated
•Ingredient calculator
•Built-in timer for each recipe
•Flexible shopping list functions
•E-mail functions for recipes, shopping list and menu
•Key ingredient definitions and photographs
•State of the art photography

All – inclusive Shopping Tool 
•Shopping list for each recipe
•Quantity calculator
•Customized to add own ingredients or leave out ingredients already at home
•Sorting by grocery store product groups

Sky Go brings hope to ‘proper telly’ streaming for iPad and iPhone


Some exciting news for SKY television customers in Ireland and the UK from July 6 th . Sky announced that they will be scrapping their old SKY Mobile TV app and Sky Player service in favour of a service called SKY Go, which will consolidate the two services and mirror  SKY customers’ subscription. This means no more paying extra for SKY Sports if you already have the channels. Sadly iOS devices will be limited to five Sky Sports channels, ESPN and Sky News, but SKY say further channels to be added over time.

It’s better news for your Mac or PC  “customers will be able to access more than 30 live channels, including all five Sky Sports channels, Sky Movies, Sky News, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, MTV, Disney, G.O.LD, Nickelodeon, NatGeo, History, Eden and ESPN, supported by an extensive library of on-demand content.”

You must already have a subscription to the above channels in order to watch them of course, but if you don’t. Sky Go will be available from August to non-Sky TV customers, with monthly subscriptions priced from £15-£40.

Still waiting on RTE Player here!

Stephen van Rooyen, Deputy MD of Sky’s Customer Group, comments :

“The explosion of smartphones and tablets demonstrates the increasing consumer demand for accessing entertainment and communicating on the move. We have already responded to this by offering a range of services, including live TV, across many new innovative platforms and devices, like laptops and iPhones.

“Clearly the consumer appetite is there, and it’s growing. In responding to that, and to create even more value, choice and flexibility for our customers, we are now going to offer online and mobile access to Sky content at no extra charge. The future support of a nationwide Wi-Fi network will help us supercharge that experience further still.”

Press release

iOS 5 beta for iPhone 4

iOS 5 First look
iOS 5 First look

Thanks to a really great contact on Twitter I managed to grab the first beta of iOS 5. While much of the great and wonderful updates have been reported on already, I have been through the settings and jotted down some notes on what I found. Here are a few observations on iOS 5.

  • As promised by Steve Jobs, you no longer need a PC or Mac to activate or set up your iPhone. It’s now an independent device in its own right!
  • iCloud: You can use your iPhone while syncing it with iTunes and I assume the iCloud. An icon appears on the status bar indicating a sync is in progress. There is an option for “Storage Plan” which is currently grayed out, which indicates Apple may have various storage plans in addition to the Free 5GB. Steve Jobs made this sound like a lot, but when I ran my first iCLoud backup, I realised how little this is if you plan on backing up your camera roll!
Alert Style
Alert Style
  • Home Screen Notifications: You can slide notifications by swiping down at the top of the screen. You can delete all text and phone message notifications but not individual messages. The notifications screen also shows two widgets: stocks and weather. Weather uses GPS to display weather in your area. You can change from banner notifications to the usual pop up windows.
  • Lock Screen: Messages now appear on lock screen as banner notifications opposed to a single pop up message. The lock screen will only show notifications since you last locked it. You can access the camera from the lock screen. New e-mail messages do not seem to appear on the lock screen (disappointed in this).
  • Settings: There is some interesting things happening in the settings . Now an option to update software over the air! A new iTunes Sync option. iCloud options with the following On/Off toggle options: Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Photo Stream, Find my iPhone. They were all disabled by default on my test device.
  • Sending an e-mail without a subject? You now get a warning!
  • iPod app has gone! I’m surprised Apple are removing this one, now there is an app for music and one called video, the same as an iPod Touch.
  • LED Flash for ALerts.  The camera flash will go off for alerts. Makes me suspect that Apple will have Blackberry like LED in the next iPhone device.
  • Twitter: Twitter is tightly integrated, you can authorise more than one account, if you use Twitter this is very handy.
  • Camera: Pinch to zoom, seems a bit buggy to me, but it is a first beta, there is also a grid, and best of all you can use the volume button to take  a snap.
  • Photos app: You can now edit photos, it’s pretty basic, but functional none the less. The ability to correct ‘red eye’, crop images and rotate images!

To summarise, lot’s of goodies in this iOS release, which we can expect in Autumn sometime, with possibly more that is available in the current beta. I have noticed throughout the iOS that much of the functionality comes from what was popular apps and jailbreak functions, Apple seems to be listening to its users.

iOS 5 The most extensive update ever


iOS 5 was today announced by Apple. Some new exciting updates and enhancements were announced. We have the down low on iOS 5 in bite size bullets below. It will work for iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, iPod Touch 3rd, 4th Gen.

  • Notifications: It has taken a long time for Apple to give us this one. iOS 5 will come with a notification screen which you can slide down from the top of the display, much in the same fashion as android. The exciting thing about iOS 5 notifications, is that it also brings notifications to the lock screen, finally all that wasted screenspace has a purpose. You will be able to see at a glance what’s new on your device. Also when you are running an app or a game you are no longer interrupted by a notification pop up, instead a notification appears and disappears at the top of the screen!
  • iMessage:  iMessage allow you to message any other iOS device, and it’s built into the messaging app. Think of Blackberry Messenger for the iPhone!
  • Newsstand: To me this looks like iBooks for magazines. Apple can automatically update your magazine subscriptions to the newsstand, keep an eye on the credit card folks!
  • Twitter integration: Tight Twitter integration was expected for iOS 5 and that is exactly what we got. “iOS 5 makes it even easier to tweet from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Sign in once in Settings, and suddenly you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. Want to mention or @reply to a friend? Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures. So you can start typing a name and iOS 5 does the rest. You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from.”
  • Camera: I like that with iOS 5 you can now access the camera from the lock screen, there is often that moment you grab your phone for a quick snap, and by the time you have it ready to go, the moment is lost. We assume this can be disabled for the security conscious. Also images can be stored on iCloud, which is coming in the Autumn alongside iOS 5.
  • Safari Reader: Not sure I understand this one, and I am not sure how webmasters will react to this. Safari Reader removes all the clutter (I imagine this is the ads) and lets you read the article, nice for the end-user, not the webmaster. You can also store the articles on the cloud. Safari will also have tabbed browsing, which is a welcome addition.
  • iCloud. Apple have removed the PC and Mac, you no longer need to hook up an iPad or iPhone to activate it or the sync its content, this is all thanks to the iCloud, which is free. The cloud also works with 9 apps! And can be used to backup your device.
  • “The new Reminders app helps you manage your tasks; create and group related tasks together; and set time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches, or when you arrive or depart a given location. Reminders can also be viewed in iCal® and Outlook and are updated automatically.”
[toggle title_open=”Close Press Release” title_closed=”View Press Release” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]New Version of iOS Includes Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter Integration Among 200 New Features Available to iPhone, iPad & iPod touch Users This Fall SAN FRANCISCO―June 6, 2011―Apple® today previewed iOS 5, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. The iOS 5 beta release includes over 200 new features that will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users this fall. New iOS 5 features include: Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required. “iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.” With iOS 5 and iCloud®, you just enter your Apple ID and password and iCloud will seamlessly integrate with your apps to automatically and wirelessly keep all of your mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer. Notification Center provides iOS 5 users with an innovative way to easily access all notifications―text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more, all in one place, from anywhere in iOS 5. When they arrive, notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen without interrupting what you’re doing. With one swipe you can see all your notifications, and a simple tap will take you right to its app for more detail. Notifications also appear on the lock screen, with the ability to be taken to the notifying app with just one swipe. Newsstand is a beautiful, easy-to-organize bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. A new section of the App Store™ features just subscription titles, and allows users to quickly find the most popular newspapers and magazines in the world. If subscribed to, new issues appear in the Newsstand and are updated automatically in the background so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art. Safari is the world’s most popular mobile browser, and with iOS 5 it’s now even better. New features include Safari® Reader, which gets all the clutter out of the way and sets the right font size on a web page, so you can easily scroll and read through a story; Reading List, so you can save articles to read later and they automatically show up on all your iOS devices; and Tabbed Browsing, which makes it easy to flip between multiple web pages on iPad. iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter integration, so you can sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps with a single tap. New APIs give third party developers the ability to take advantage of the single sign-on capability for their own iOS 5 apps. iMessage in iOS 5 brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices―iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Built right into the Messages app, iMessage allows you to easily send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or a group on other iOS 5 devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. iMessages are automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices, making it easy to maintain one conversation across your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iMessage also features delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption. The new Reminders app helps you manage your tasks; create and group related tasks together; and set time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches, or when you arrive or depart a given location. Reminders can also be viewed in iCal® and Outlook and are updated automatically. New features in the Camera and Photos apps give you instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and you can use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up your shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject. The new Photos app lets you crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize your photos into albums right on your device to share them on the go. With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box with no computer required, and iOS software updates are delivered over the air and installed with just a tap. Wi-Fi Sync in iOS 5 transfers and backs up your content securely over SSL and wirelessly syncs purchased content from your device to your iTunes® library. Additional new features in iOS 5 include: Game Center, now with the ability to add photos to your profile, purchase new games from within the Game Center app and easier ways to find friends and new games; Mail enhancements which include the ability to compose messages using draggable addresses, and a new formatting bar with bold, italics, underline and indention controls; AirPlay® Mirroring to wirelessly display everything you do on your iPad 2 right on your HDTV through Apple TV®; and a system-wide split keyboard to make it even easier to type on your iPad. Availability The iOS 5 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products. Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices. Press Contacts: Trudy Muller Apple (408) 862-7426 Tom Neumayr Apple (408) 974-1972[/toggle]

Belkin flipblade stand for the iPad

FlipBlade for iPad

We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Belkin FlipBlade stand for the iPad, which apparently will also work with other tablet devices including the iPad 2. The Belkin FlipBlade stand is the first one we have ever used, and for me the first one I have ever tried. And it is a very smooth operator indeed. Perfect for showing off your iPad slide show, or if you like to use your iPad upright.

When you first open the  Belkin FlipBlade and pull back the clasp, the thing slowly opens out to full form.  It works well as a display stand, but can I use my iPad, tapping away at the screen, without the iPad rocking back and forth? Yes, this stand holds on to the iPad very well indeed. There is a rubber seam which does a good job of preventing the iPad from moving about, but also does not grip the iPad so much that you can remove if necessary.

Using a stand with the iPad, is much better concept than I  initially thought, I never considered buying one, but once you have the iPad on the Belkin FlipBlade, you  an eye on can keep an eye on Twitter or other apps while working on a laptop. Or take cooking apps for example, having a stand becomes a necessity to keep the iPad at eye level.

The Belkin FlipBlade is an inexpensive stand that just works and looks pretty good too. The only downside might be that you may have to remove your cover, especially if you have a thick leather one – it might be a inconvenient process.

Many thanks to for sending us this device for stand for review. Check them out for iPad 2 Accessories

How to delete/uninstall iPhone & iPad apps – iPhone 101 series


It’s possible to remove applications once you no longer need it from either your iPhone or iPad. This is very simple to do, and necessary if you are a iPhone app download junkie. It is also particularly useful if you don’t use folders. Removing them is very easy, thank’s to Apple’s way of thinking!

  • Hold your finger over the application you wish to remove until it starts to ‘giggle’ you will see a small ‘X’ to the left of the icon tap it you will then see this message: “Deleting this application will also delete it’s data”
  • Select ‘delete’ to remove the application from your device. It really is that simple, remember if you remove an application from your iPhone or iPad you are also deleting the associated data, as per the above alert. It’s always a good idea to sync apps you have bought first with iTunes, but of course you can always re-download them for free once you have bought them!
  • Note: If your are in the process of downloading a large application such as a graphics intensive game, which you no longer want, and it  is not finished downloading, you can use the same above process to cancel the download/install!

iPhone 101 is a series of blog posts by that makes no assumptions. If you are new to smart phones, iPhones or mobile phones, you will find this guide straight forward to use.

    No iPad 2 for me!

    Tablet PC’s have been around for sometime now. But Apple have really woken the industry bringing it’s knowledge of touch screens from the iPhone to the iPad. The iPad was deeply criticized as a giant iPhone, but it was still a huge hit and with the iPad 2 gaining first time iPad owners, as well as those choosing to upgrade from the original iPad, it’s time to see can the others can keep up?

    I will not be one of those people choosing to upgrade this year to the iPad 2! While the iPad 2 is undoubtedly more powerful and faster than the original, I just cannot see a need to upgrade that would benefit me. I actively use my iPad to watch movies in bed, browse the net and a little bit of gaming. When traveling I find the iPad is a marvelous entertainment companion, small useful and multi functional. I spent more purchasing it at the time than most because I bought it before it was officially for sale in Ireland, it is not a purchase I regret in the slightest, it is  well used and is part of my technology ‘buddies’. But at the end of the day the iPad as it stands even with extra features of the iPad 2 is not better than having a laptop and the iPhone 4 working together. For me currently, the iPad is great, serves a function, but not one that will feel better by upgrading the iPad 2.


    iPad Cover
    iPad Cover

    The iPad 2 offers dual cameras, I have this on my iPhone 4, I always thought it looks a little strange filming with a tablet device! I have used facetime on my iPhone 4 about five times, so I don’t need an iPad with facetime.It is also much slimmer, and having not physically touched the device… I would imagine, feels a lot better. iPad 2 will of course have better memory management for browsing the internet, and Apple have developed some amazing apps that use this faster iPad 2. Still not enough, sorry Apple! I do like that this device has a dual core memory and more ram, this is something iPad has needed badly, even for something as basic as browsing more than one website tab at a time!

    The future

    I have a strong feeling Apple have pushed out the iPad 2, to keep ‘in the game’ as it were, and have more to come.  I think the iPad 2 will keep iOS gamers happy and new users will love it. The iPad 3, will be the one to watch, and may persuade me to upgrade. But for now I am happy with my current iPad. And let’s not forget iOS 5, hopefully later this year!

    Will you buy the iPad 2? Let us know in the comments!