Readdle has made Documents a universal (hybrid) app, meaning that iPhone owners can use it, too. Documents lets you read Office documents, read and annotate PDF files, edit text files, move files to and from your Mac or PC, download documents from the Interwebs, and more. It's a free download, and it's available now. For iPad owners who already had it, the new version is 4.1.
John Kirk took a look at Android numbers from IDC and a new approach to measuring Android activations by Google. Neither data set was found to be satisfactory, and Mr. Kirk's opinion is that Google’s New Android Math Doesn’t Add Up. He also called for firms like IDC to stop counting all Android sales as "Android" sales, and instead to count only those sales that contribute to the platform as a whole, and to divide out Android variants in China, Kindle Fire sales, and perhaps even Android devices running Facebook Home. It's a very good read.
Adding lenses to your iPhone for for photo effects isn't a new idea, but building them into a case so they're always available just might be. AppBanc is hoping to raise the funds for just such a case on Kickstarter, and they say it "rivals the performance of a 200mm camera." It includes macro, wide angle, cameo, and polarized lenses you switch out with the flick of a finger, and the company's own eZoom app that offers what they call lossless digital zooming. They're working towards a US$50,000 goal, and pledges start at just $1.
We found another cool Kickstarter project, the Vaavud Wind Meter for your iPhone. This device fits into the audio jack of your iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy S2 and S3, and it measures your real-time wind speed. Better yet, it does so without any active electronics. Instead, the developers are converting data from two magnets in the device's rotor into wind speed. Pretty cool! They've already hit their funding level of £20,000, but there are some Kickstarter edition units up for grabs if you want to boost funding even higher.
Panic released a new app on Wednesday called Status Board that turns your iPad into, well, a status board showing your schedule, news, projects, messages, and more. It's configurable so it can show just the information you want, can build graphs and tables from the data you provide, and it supports HMDI and AirPlay for showing your Status Board on an HDTV. It's available through Apple's App Store for US$9.99, and looks great.
We found something pretty cool called the SOS Charger. This is a portable recharger for your iPhone with a hand crank so that you can use it even when the power's out or somewhere where a wall socket isn't an option. The device can also be charged from a standard powered USB slot (like Apple's plug-in USB adapter). This is a Kickstarter project that zoomed way past its initial goal of US$27,000. There have been 2,261 backers who have pledged $86,491.
Long time Mac users will remember Bungie's Pathways Into Darkness, and now everyone else can get a taste of this amazing first-person shooter, too. Thanks to Mark Levin and Bruce Morrison, the game has been brought back to life for the Mac, and it's available for free on Apple's Mac App Store. The game predates Marathon -- the FPS that redefined the genre -- and is an amazing snapshot of what state of the art gaming was like back in 1993, and thanks to The Loop's Peter Cohen turning us onto the OS X-compatible version, we're about to lose a lot of productivity.
Scottevest's Tropiformer is a water-resistant jacket with pockets for all your electronic gadgets, including your sonic Screwdriver, your Communicator, your portable Bluetooth speaker, a copy of the Hobbit, your iPhone...there's even a pocket big enough for your iPad, and that's a real iPad, not an iPad mini. Check out the video below. Come on, that's cool! It was made for ThinkGeek, and it's priced at US$149.99.
In 1981, Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paull Allen posed with some classic personal computers of the time. Behind Mr. Allen is an Apple II and in front of Bill Gates is a Commodore PET. To the right of that is a TRS-80 Model 1. 32 years later, the classic photo has been reprised at Mr. Allen’s Living Computer Museum in Seattle.
We have robotic rovers driving around Mars and sending back spectacular images and data right now, but how far away is the little red planet from Earth? At its closest recorded distance, Mars was 56 million km away, which in galactic terms is nearly nothing. In human terms, however, that's pretty hard to visualize which makes the How Far Is It to Mars website pretty awesome. It gives you a scale representation of the distance between Earth and Mars plus some extra details on your simulated journey between the two planets without requiring you to climb aboard a spaceship. Plus, it's amazingly cool.
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