Archive for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Category

How to Get Free Video Content For Your Apple TV 3 Without A Jailbreak

Posted in Apple-Mac, Entertainment-Movies, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, iTunes, Lifestyles with tags , , , , on November 21, 2012 by shutterbuggeek

Apple TV is a great device if you’re part of the Apple ecosystem. The problem is, it doesn’t come fully loaded with apps like the Roku or Boxee Box. You can buy or stream content via your iTunes account, subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, NHL, or NBA, or use a few other included apps, but that pales in comparison with the competition. There are jailbreaks for previous Apple TV models to provide more content, but the 3rd generation has none as of yet, and owners have to rely on other resources.

You can choose the ‘Computers’ icon and view everything in shared iTunes accounts from a Mac or PC. You can also use AirParrot to enable desktop mirroring from your Mac or PC or app mirroring from your Mac. This costs $10, but it’s a one time charge and will let you stream video from sites like Hulu.

If you have any iDevice, you can tap into some new content by using the AirPlay feature. I’ve come across a few apps that are configured for it. Note: Any network shown on Hulu Plus, which is an Apple TV app, will not be configured for AirPlay, so NO NBC, ABC or affiliates like Disney. It also doesn’t allow HBO Go or Amazon Instant Video.

TV & Movie Apps Screenshot on iPad 3

Some AirPlay Configured Apps

  • Bravo
  • BBC (Video & Live Radio)
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNET
  • CNN (Live)
  • Crackle
  • CW
  • Discovery
  • ESPN
  • Food Network
  • PBS
  • Smithsonian
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • Today
  • VEVO

iMedia Share

iMedia Share Lite is configured for DLNA products, and AirPlay. The following channels can be found, with more channels added to the full version.

  • AutoBild.tv (German)
  • axs.tv HD
  • Animal Planet
  • Audi tv (both English and German)
  • Beet.tv
  • Bild.de (German)
  • BREAK
  • CBS News
  • CNBC
  • cnet
  • CNN
  • content one (German)
  • DW (Deutsche Welle in English and German)
  • Daily Motion (International)
  • Discovery Channel
  • Driving Sports HD
  • euronews
  • Facebook
  • France 24
  • funny or DIE
  • Harvard Business Publishing
  • Motorz
  • NASA
  • The New York Times
  • PR Newswire
  • Picasa
  • PortalZINE.tv SD (German)
  • Reuters
  • Revision 3
  • Spiegel Online (German)
  • Showtime (Clips)
  • TED SD
  • twit
  • Onion News Network
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Video Bash
  • Vimeo
  • The White House – Washington
  • YDN Design Guide
  • YouTube

The Boxee app adds mostly YouTube and Vimeo content, but there are some others.

AirPlay on iPad 3

Mirroring

So here’s the BONUS! If you double click on the home button of an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad using iOS 5 and greater, and swipe left to right, you’ll find an AirPlay button next to the audio control buttons once the Apple TV is set up. Tap the AirPlay button to display your device plus Apple TV. Choose the latter to reveal a Mirroring option. Turn it on to display your device’s screen. It will mirror what ever you display, though there is about a second lag time. This will enable you to Watch ABC, NBC, Disney, etc. PLUS play games like Angry Birds, Asphalt 7, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, or Infinity Blade II on your big screen.

At least there are some options out there to get more free content on your Apple TV 3 without a jailbreak in the near future. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below.

Tech on the Cheap

Posted in Gadgets, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by shutterbuggeek

iPad 2 with Logitech and Kensington Bluetooth Keyboard

A growing trend is to ditch the idea of buying a laptop and get a tablet, which can save some money. A 16GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi model is a superior tablet for only $399, offering a nice 9.7″ display. Purchase the camera connection kit (third-party version for as little as $3.99 on ebay), and you can use it to transfer photos from an SD card, and attach any USB device like a card reader or a keyboard you may already have in your home, making it easier to type. You can alternatively purchase a third-party bluetooth keyboard with case for $30 – $100, and turn the iPad into a netbook-like device. The Kensington or Logitech models are good choices.

The bonus of buying a tablet over a laptop is the cost of software. There are hundreds of free business, utility, and productivity apps for tablets, and the paid apps are a fraction of the cost of Mac or PC software. Storage is also not much of a problem thanks to cloud computing. The free Drop Box or Box apps among others, allow easy access to files in a cloud via wi-fi.

The LG Optimus V (Android 2.2) is available from Virgin Mobile for $129.99 without a contract, and you only pay $35/month for 300 minutes talk time and unlimited web, text, and email. This is one of the best deals out there. It gets even better, because you can download a free app to do something amazing that’s worth about $20/month!

Quick Settings - Wi-Fi Hotspot

The Android app Quick Settings (version 1.9.9.7) will allow you to make some hidden features on the Optimus V visible without rooting (jailbreaking/hacking) your phone. One of the hidden features worth noting is the Wi-Fi hotspot. Making this visible allows tethering, enabling your mobile phone to provide wi-fi to your other mobile devices via 3G. This will turn an iPad wi-fi model into an iPad 3G with NO monthly charges. It’s not 4G LTE, but the savings are fantastic!

Quick Settings is only compatible with certain Android phones. Once you download it, here’s how to activate your personal hotspot:

  1. Press your phone’s ‘Menu’ button, then tap ‘Customize’.
  2. Scroll down to ‘Hidden Settings’ until you see ‘Wi-Fi hotspot’. Drag it up to the ‘Visible Settings’ section.
  3. Tap the ‘Back’ button to return to the main screen.
  4. Now you’ll see the Wi-Fi hotspot option. Tap the ‘Off ‘ button to turn it on. Now you’ve activated the wi-fi hotspot.
  5. Go to your iPad. Tap ‘Settings’, then “Wi-Fi”. You should see a network named ‘AndroidAP’. Select it and you’re ready to connect to the internet, check email, stream video, etc. This can also be used with other mobile devices or a laptop. Always turn off the hotspot once you’re done.

The Wi-Fi hotspot is not supported in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). Use the app Quicker Free as a substitute that might work in ICS or other Android phones.

There is a limit of 2.5GB of data per month. If you go over that amount, your data speed will be reduced to 256 kbps for the remainder of the month. This could mean longer loading times of streaming video, and slower download or upload times. FYI, 2.5GB is equivalent to 400,000 webpage views, 20 hours of streaming video, 91 hours of streaming music, or 90,000 emails without attachments. If available, always use free wi-fi as your first option.

This is a great solution for anyone, as long as you’re fine with 3G speeds. You only pay $35/month for what others would pay up to $100/month for just the smartphone with tethering, or $110/month for a smartphone and a 3G iPad 2 with 2-3 GB of monthly data. That’s a savings of up to $900/year PLUS an extra $130 for not having the 3G model! Virgin Mobile doesn’t support tethering, so use this tip at your own discretion. I haven’t heard of anyone having issues with this yet.

This works anywhere you get a data signal. Many other areas across the U.S. are good, but there are dead zones. Check the Virgin Mobile coverage map to make sure you pick up data before making a purchase.

My Top 20 iPhone Travel Apps

Posted in iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Lifestyles, Travel with tags , , on December 29, 2010 by shutterbuggeek

I love to travel, and certain devices can enhance the experience. iPhone apps are just as vital as a suitcase to me when I’m away from home. There is a constant flow of new applications in the App Store, and I must admit, I need to browse through them to stay current, but for now, here are my top 20 iPhone apps, and why.

  1. Skype – This is a great app to use while out of the country. I’ve used it in Europe and the Caribbean to make calls stateside for free as long as there was wi-fi nearby.
  2. The Weather Channel – Whether here or abroad, I need to know what the day holds for me weather-wise
  3. FourSquare – I’m not addicted to this app, but it’s cool to check in outside of my stomping grounds to get new badges. Just sayin’.
  4. New York Times – I need to stay informed, and this is THE digital paper to read.
  5. Netflix – Sometimes I need to unwind with a movie. They don’t have the biggest selection, but it’s on-demand.
  6. Sun Moon – As a photographer and lover of sunrises & sunsets, this helps me know what time I need to be on location for the golden hour.
  7. TripDeck – This keeps my entire travel itinerary on hand.
  8. Currency – I’m too lazy on vacation to calculate Euros into Dollars. There, I said it!
  9. Converter – I’m also too lazy to convert cm into inches, kph into mph and lbs into kilos on vacation.
  10. Translator – No habla español. Je ne parle pas français. You get the picture.
  11. Yelp – This app helps me find restaurants, gas stations, banks and more.
  12. Text+ – When I need to text while oversees, this and wi-fi come to my rescue.
  13. Evernote – I can store PDF files, web pages and more here to have great info at my fingertips.
  14. iBooks – This is great when I need to unwind and would rather read the book than watch the movie.
  15. Pandora – Music soothes the savage beast. At times I just get tired of my playlists.
  16. Facebook – Sometimes I take a peak to see what my friends are doing when I have down time. Sometimes I share a photo or two.
  17. Photo Shop Express – I usually edit photos on the laptop while away, but this is a back-up. And I can upload photos to Facebook.
  18. flickr – Just in case I want to post a photo or two on flickr.
  19. TweetDeck – I only use this if I’m away for a business event, so I can tweet live with #hashtags to promote the event.
  20. Worldmate – I just discovered this app which I used on my old Palm. This actually eliminates the need for a few of the above.

What are your favorite iPhone travel apps?

The Evolution of the PDA to Smartphone Has Transformed Our Lifestyles

Posted in Electronics, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by shutterbuggeek

Everywhere I go, I see someone with a smartphone. A little over a decade ago, cell phones were just getting smaller in size, and working their way from boardrooms to households. PDAs were also transitioning from executives’ briefcases to housewives’ purses. Then suddenly they collided into the current “must have” device.

I’ve always been a gadget freak. I remember when I was younger seeing people carrying a Casio B.O.S.S. or an Apple Newton and thinking they were cool, but I didn’t have a need for one myself. Back in the late 1990’s the Palm Pilot was all the buzz. Palm took over the market of handheld devices. I received a monochrome m130. I used it for a while, and quickly grew bored with it. A few years later I got a Zire 71. I was captivated by it. It had a color screen, I could convert videos I recorded on my then PC to watch on it, as well as listen to music, view photos, and wait for it…slide the device to expose a still camera. My non-techie friends were amazed with all that I could do with a PDA.

When the Zire 72 came out, I was blessed with it as an upgrade. That model offered video too! But soon, manufacturers started pulling out of the PDA market and transformed to smartphones. Then things got interesting.

At this point, there were many smartphones available, but Apple shook things up with the iPhone. Many were in awe of it, but I was disappointed. Why? It didn’t have nearly as many apps as my PDA. My Palm allowed me to get the latest news via AvantGo, I had games galore, travel guides, audiobooks and more. A year later, Apple opened the App Store. I started downloading apps before I even had a device. I collected the free ones first just to see if they could match what I had on my Zire 72. Once those third party apps surpassed what I had, it was time to make a move.

Just like the Razor’s stylish appearance made it a phenomenon (was I the ONLY one who didn’t have one?), Apple made smartphones sexy. Their design, technology and user interface wowed the masses, and had other manufacturers scrambling to pick up the pace. Google stepped up with the G1, Palm has the Prē, and of course there is the mighty Blackberry. There are so many smartphones on the market representing most major providers, that there’s a choice for everyone. Many have piggybacked Apple’s design, and some have a touchscreen. PDAs combined with phones have appealed to the general population, from tweens to seniors. What was once a convenient gadget for business people and geeks, has now transformed into an everyday item like DVD players.

Today, cell phones with an operating system have more capabilities than home computers of the 1980s. Combining the internet, e-mail, (virtual) keyboard, camera, and SMS along with third party apps and a phone, has made these mobile devices a juggernaut, and has become an icon of popular culture. They’re not just toys for geeks; they become a necessity for some. The bonus is, they start up quickly as opposed to the other portable rival, the laptop. If you leave one on your night table before you go to sleep, when you wake up in the morning, you have everything you need at your fingertips, except for breakfast in bed. You can look up the weather, read breaking news, check your-mails, view closing markets on the opposite side of the world, inspire followers on Twitter, and update your Facebook status, all while listening to your favorite music. Instant gratification has been snowballing since the 1980s, and smartphones are the poster children for this concept, since they can satisfy many request in seconds. I tell my friends, it’s like waking up in the morning, and having a personal staff member (I call mine James), bring you the mail, various newspapers, and turn on music. You basically have a butler you can store in your pocket! Oh James! About breakfast… Hey, is there an app for that?

Tech Gifts 2009

Posted in Apple-Mac, Electronics, Entertainment-Movies, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Lifestyles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

I almost  titled this post Geek Gifts 2009, but now that technology has infiltrated the masses, does it mean that most of us are geeks, and we’ll eventually eliminate the label all together, or will geeks mutate into a higher form? Yes, I did say higher. Geeks will always be ahead of the pack, but for now just by one step. These days, 10 year olds have iPhones, and 5 year olds own laptops. Even my parents who tend to resist technology have a cell phone, PC, and DVD player. I know you’re thinking these are the bare necessities, but believe me when I say it’s a BIG thing for them to own these items. Now if I can only get my dad to buy an HDTV. He’s well overdue! Um. Was I adopted?

So now that you realize you’re a closet geek, let me tell you what I think are cool techie gifts to give (or receive) this holiday season.

It is said, once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. Either convert your PC frustrated loved one, or upgrade that special Mac mini owner in your life to a beautiful 27″ iMac. This large size is not just for photographers, filmmakers and graphic designers, the average Joe can appreciate streaming Netflix movies or podcasts on this. Even better, pop in a DVD, and watch your favorite flick on this beautiful screen. The pixel density is amazing at 1440p, yes well BEYOND the high definition of 1080p! That gives you awesome clarity in HD, tack sharp text, and brilliant details of photos. The LED backlit display gives you the uniform brightness. It also comes with a wireless keyboard and multi-touch wireless mouse. The design alone should give you heart palpitations, but what’s inside will blow you away. You didn’t just see me drooling, did you?

Sticking with Apple for a moment, it’s hard to deny the market share they have in the mp3 arena, and their phones aren’t  too shabby either. If you know someone who doesn’t want AT&T service, but loves the iPhone, the solution is to give them an iPod Touch. It was revamped in September, bumping up the gigs from 16 to 32 and 32 to 64, and the price remained the same. What? That’s sheer madness! Actually, it’s a brilliant move on Apple’s part, especially in this economy. This is a PDA on steroids! It has wi-fi & bluetooth, allowing you to retrieve e-mail from several pop & imap accounts, you can surf the web, watch videos, listen to music, and the list goes on. With the inclusion of bluetooth, you can challenge a friend  to a car race or a game of tic-tac-toe on a plane or in a car. With the proper apps, you can watch streaming video from your Mac in bed, and then remotely put it in sleep mode or it shut down for the night. Need I say more?

Chances are high that you know someone who owns an iPod/iPhone, Zune or portable DVD player. The Cinemin Swivel is a pocket size multimedia pico projector, which once connected to your device will allow you to watch a movie, YouTube, podcasts, etc. projected on a screen or wall. You can project it as close as the back of an airplane seat, or if you have a room where you have at least 8 feet distance, you can get up to a 60-inch image.  It has a rechargeable battery which lasts over 2 hours, enabling you to watch most movies in full. I have got to stop drooling.

This is a BIG ticket item, and most guys would love to receive this one. The 82″ Mitushishi 3-D ready 1080p DLP. I had a demo of this with the required shutter glasses to view a movie in 3-D and WOW, it’s just like in the theaters. You must connect a PC (Macs not compatible) with the installed software to playback the DVD. An emitter is connected to the HDTV, and the glasses pick up the infra red signal to give you accurate 3 dimensional images. Of course, DLPs are not as bright as an LCD or a plasma display, but it is a lot more energy efficient. Guys, do you have your 12-pack and nachos ready for the game? When you get this EVERY friend you know will be over to watch the game. And who said size doesn’t matter?

I’m on my second model of this next item. I love these products! Universal remotes from Logitech-Harmony. Using the software provided, you select your A/V equipment, connect the remote to your computer via a USB cable, and all the info is transferred onto the device. Sweet! The beauty of these remotes is not only do they operate one piece of equipment, like turning on your TV, if you select “choose an activity”, i.e. Watch DVD, it will turn on all devices necessary to watch a DVD, including switching the TV and amp/receiver to the appropriate settings. I do have to manually turn on my old powered subwoofer, but besides that, click 2 buttons and everything is ready. Well, you do have to put in the DVD. The new Logitech Harmony 1100 is amazing. It has a big touch screen, and a big price to match, somewhere in the $350 range. You probably need two hands to operate it, since it’s in tablet form. I bought the 880 that’s Mac compatible a couple of years ago, and is operational with one hand. This is down to $125 in the meanwhile, which makes it a great deal if you don’t mind not having a touch screen. The One and 900 models also offer touch screens, and are priced in between the 880 and 1100.

There are tons of cool tech items to add to your wish list this year. Do you like the Sonos music system, a Shiatsu full body massage chair, or the Droid cell phone. Dare to share! What’s your favorite tech toy of 2009?


Watch Streaming Video on Your TV!

Posted in Apple-Mac, Entertainment-Movies, Entertainment-Music, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, iTunes, Photography, Social Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

For those without a DVR, the ability to watch ’30 Rock’, ‘The Office’, or ‘House’ on demand via Hulu is amazing.  You can even watch movies like ‘Jewel of the Nile’ or  ‘Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel’.  If you have a Netflix account, and you’re looking for a better selection of movies, you can select Watch Instantly to stream select features.   The only problem is you have to watch them on a computer monitor, and if you only have a 13″ screen laptop, it will not be as rewarding as watching it on your television. The solution is to hook up your laptop or Mac Mini to your TV, or buy a Vudu, Roku or Apple TV set top box.  Check out my previous blog post on connecting your Mac/PC to your TV if you opt for the laptop/Mac Mini connection.  If you have a home theater, and/or want a permanent set up, then a set-top box might be right for you.

VUDU was the first device to come out that would enable you to rent or purchase a movie and stream it to your television. It offers 13,000 movie and TV titles on demand from Hollywood studios and independent distributors, including a large HD collection.  The standard box gives you 250 GB of space ($149).  The XL model, designed for high end home theaters and available only through an authorized installer, has 1 TB of storage, which translates to about 500 titles ($499). Bonus – You can connect to Pandora Radio, Picasa, YouTube and Flickr.

ROKU gives you have over 50,000 videos at your fingertips. This selection includes 12,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, and 40,000 titles from Amazon Video on Demand.  It has built-in wi-fi, and can be used wired or wireless.

APPLE TV teams up with iTunes to extend movies and TV shows in standard definition and HD.  It comes in 40 GB and 160 GB versions ($229/$329).  It can access all compatible content off your iTunes account (movies, TV shows, photos, music, podcasts, etc.), and even stream content from up to five computers.  It is partnered with Flickr, YouTube, and Mobile Me (.Mac) to add more viewing capabilities to your box.  Warning, this does NOT work with older, non-widescreen TVs.

BOXEE is the baby of the bunch, and it doesn’t have hardware (yet).  You simply download the freeware, and use it on your desktop or even better, on your laptop. The latter is portable and can be connected to a larger screen. It’s an alpha version, and available for Mac and Linux users.  The last group of Windows testers were invited in February 2009, so you probably have to wait for the beta version.  Boxee brings a lot to the table. It’s a media center that assembles all your entertainment together.  Your movies, TV shows, music and photos on your hard drive are added to the mix of several online channels (too many to mention them all).   The highlights of Boxee are Hulu feeds, Joost, Netflix (Macs only), CNN, G4, NBA, Discovery, CNET TV, Pandora, Last FM, Shoutcast, YouTube, Picasa, and Flickr. You can even send updates to Twitter, FriendFeed and Tumblr (set-up via the website)!

DYNAMIC DUO – Here’s were the fun begins!  For those Mac users with an Apple TV and are a bit technically inclined, there is a hack that will get Boxee (and XBMC) onto your ATV. Follow the first video (link below) to build a USB patchstick (not all brands and models work, so check the Boxee announcements forum for the list), and the fourth video to install it to your Apple TV.  This gives you the ability to watch whatever is in you iTunes collection, PLUS all the streaming video content available through Boxee on a larger screen. Score!

Streaming Video in the Palm of Your Hand Pt. 2

Posted in Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, iTunes with tags , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

We have looked at iPhone third party apps that allow streaming video.  Now let’s look at other sources.  The first way is extremely easy.  It just requires Apple’s very own built-in iTunes app.  There’s absolutely nothing to download.  Just open the application, select Podcasts from the bottom bar, and look for content to watch.  If you already have a favorite podcast, below you can choose Search, and type in your desired podcast.

The second way is also super easy.  Another built-in app to the rescue.  YouTube enables you to watch TV shows in several parts, due to the maximum length of video that may be uploaded (10 minutes).  There are mostly kid or teen full episodes available in several parts.  Adults will find mostly clips of their preferred shows.

The third way is easy, with just a little work involved.  CBS has content on the app TV.com, but until Hulu’s app has been developed and approved, I have the next best thing to share with you.  ABC.com and NBC.com automatically detects that you are using an iPhone or iPod Touch when you visit them via Safari, and direct you to their mobile sites.  These sites scale everything down for your device for easier reading.  If you tap on Video, it takes you to their TV shows.  m.NBC  offers full episodes of their top sitcoms and dramas, while ABC.go.com/iPhone extends more clips to viewers..  You can easily bookmark these two for quick access, but a faster approach is to add an icon to the home screen.  To do this, once you’re on the site at the video page, select the plus sign on the bar at the bottom.  A menu will pop up, and you should pick Add to Home Screen.  The icon is shown with the name, which may be modified (I delete the .com).  Tap on the Add button on the top right, and it will add the icon to the next availble spot on your screen as a shortcut to the  site.  This can also be done with cwtv.com .  Happy streaming!

%d bloggers like this: