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Anker PowerCore Slim 5000

A few year or so back now I got an Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 for customer review. I did a review on amazon but well it never showed up and now trying to add the review on Amazon is broken, thanks! But I still use this battery bank from time to time when I need to charge my phone while on the go. Lets first go over some of the specs and then I will give some of my opinions.

  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.5 x 0.4in
  • Weight: 126g/4.27oz
  • Output: 5V, 2A max through a standard USB plug
  • Input: 1A max through a micro USB plug
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Red rubberized case
  • Capacity: 5000mAh
  • Charging Speed: Anker PowerIQ auto detect charging
  • Charges: 1-2 cellphone charges based on what phone you have
  • In the Box: Power Core Slim 5000, micro USB cable, travel pouch, quick start card
  • Price $29.99
  • Buy: Amazon

This battery pack I have used for some time, it seems to do a good job topping of a phone while you are not near a plug, it’s also light and thin so if you have to stick it in your pocket with your phone it is not restrictive. The size is good for at least charging most cell phones mostly or fully. I would like higher amps on the output but it’s ok because you can leave this connected while your moving easy enough. They like to show it pressed up next to an iPhone but it works with any phone, and you would need your own cable for an iPhone because it only comes with a short micro USB used for charging the pack or charging a devices. The travel pouch is a nice touch, I keep the cable and battery in it.

For the price of $30, good capacity, quality brand, and super slim design, I would say you should keep one of these in your bag even if you don’t run out of battery often. When I travel I do carry a larger Anker battery pack and 2-3 different Anker chargers but this one is a good always have option. The new colors are nice if you are into that too. Check out the photos and buy it on Amazon using the links.

Google Maps for iOS Available

Google Maps iOS ScreensFor all you iPhone users out there who got screwed over by Apple not getting along with Google and building a junkie maps app you can now be happy again Google has released Google Maps for iPhone today! This build includes the fast loading vector-based maps that are smooth and can be rotated just like on Android or the web. There is also turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic, public transit information, and Street View. They also added information about businesses including phone numbers, photos, and reviews.

If you are a developer you can use the Google Maps SDK for iOS and URL scheme so you can use the maps in your apps. It is available in the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch 4th gen running iOS 5.1 or higher and in more than 40 countries and in 29 languages. Check out the video below for a promotion video that shows none of the maps 😀

Verizon Nokia Lumia 822 – Mini Review + Verizon 4G

The first stop on my Field Trip was the Verizon store and I was also glad to find out yesterday that I can now get 4G data, and speed tests show that I get 4-6MBs so not bad for wireless data, I did give it a try that first hour or two of it being on and did get a test of 25MBs but not now that people know about it doh!

There weren’t that many new devices to play with and there were a lot of people at this store so I kind of wanted to look at something I haven’t had much time with and that was a Windows Phone 8 device. So I saw the Nokia Lumia 822, its one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices and I wanted to see if there was anything special. Turns out there weren’t.

The screen and apps loaded smooth and looked nice, things like navigating messages and people worked well, but I kept feeling like a lot was missing. All of the core apps such as messages, email, contacts, and the like were showing up, but I didn’t see much in the way of other things the phone does. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it almost as much as most people would right before they ask someone “where is the iPhone or Galaxy SIII”, and nothing jumped out. It felt more like one of those “Smartphone Features like MySpace” phones with a good touch screen.

I may need to spend some more time with one of these devices to “Get how cool Windows is” but I don’t think it would change what I think of the OS, it also could be one of those things where the hardware could have been better with a different OS too.

Also the Windows 8 Tablet built into the display was interesting and even though they want you to stay in the Tile interface my son who was with me got it back to the normal desktop and he is only 3. Kind of shows how Microsoft is missing the game one what things are moving to and what people really want their devices to do.

iPad Mini – Mini Review

Yes the title is kind of strange. But I got to play with an iPad Mini on today’s Field Trip.

I have played with iPads before and didn’t see a reason to go away from the Android systems I like, but lots of people like iOS. As for the iPad Mini its operation seemed smooth and things loaded fast and the screen was nice and crisp. As for the size, I have bigger hands than most but the feel of it was too big to the point that my hand was stretched way out to hold on to the device, making it hard to hold and at that point you may as well get the extra 2 inches. But if you wanted the smaller form this would be good if you are already in the iOS world and have only an iPhone or an old iPad but you wouldn’t want to get this if you have a newer iPad.

One other thing is the flaw of only having that Home button, I opened up the iBooks app to see how a book looked, and while it was nice there is no obvious way to get to all of your books or the table of contents. I tried holding Home but Siri wanted to help me find something, swiped from the edges but only a small bit of something came from the top but wouldn’t pull down, double tapped and even did a long tap and only got page turns. While this is only one app it does point to the fact that if there is no menus on-screen and no buttons what are you supposed to do if you have no other instructions. At least on Android you know that the menu button will get you some kind of menu, but also on Windows 8 I see this as a problem until you know that if you slide from one side a menu opens.

My experience with this app should not say if you are going to get an iPad Mini for the smaller size it should be a good experience, but it isn’t something you would go buy the iPad 4th generation and then need one of these. You would kind of just pick one based on the size you want since all of the same apps work on both devices.

Field Trip – iPad Mini, Mac Book Pro Retina, Kindle Fire HD, Nokia Lumia 822

Just took a Field Trip to the Verizon and Best Buy stores after lunch today, I’m going to call these posts Field Trips because I have to go out and play with new tech. Some of the main things I played with at the store were the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Kindle Fire HD, and Nokia Lumia 822. I also played with some of the ASUS gaming laptops and a dead Samsung Chromebook.

While these aren’t the best settings for playing with them because I could not spend a lot of time playing and they were tethered to the display I did my best just playing with them. I also would like to get some of these in as review units or if some donations come in for a specific product I would review it also.

iPad Mini looks nice and would be a great smaller screen iPad if you don’t already have the newer full size iPad, I wouldn’t think you would need both. Check out the full mini review.

Mac Book Pro with Retina Display is a very powerful laptop computer, and with the higher resolution screen it looked nice but is it going to be worth the extra $500 or so for that nicer screen. I liked how it worked and had the older model side by side and couldn’t see much difference other than the Retina had more contrast, I’m sure more using it from the older model you may see a difference. Read the full mini review for more.

Kindle Fire HD is a good device for consuming Amazon content but it doesn’t seem as powerful as a Nexus 7 that I am use to. More in the mini review.

Nokia Lumia 822 is one of the flagship Windows Phone 8 devices while it has smooth operation and looked good, Windows Phone 8 seemed empty and just lacking in non-core apps even from a display model. See what I saw in the mini review.

Those are the big ones I played with but I did look over some other devices such as the ASUS gaming laptop that had good specs and all the keyboard was kind of clunky and seemed overpriced for what I could get a Mac Book for almost the same specs. I also don’t like Windows 8 all that much on a non-tablet or touch screen.

The Samsung Chromebook was set up kind of off to the side in an under equipped display that only had one left in a box that looked like it was taped closed after being opened at Best Buy I wanted to see it work but the system said click to start but I only got a spinning indicator and even after trying to power cycle it nothing came up so I left not knowing how things will work on that system. Too bad because I wanted to know how the system performed but bad displays will not sell these even with a low price tag.
New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple “Event” October 23 2012 – Live Blog

We are going to be live blogging the Apple announcement starting 10:00 AM PDT with the video Apple will be putting out. You can follow the video on the Apple Events site, and full information will be avalible here on Tek4.me as details come out. The expected announcements are a New New iPad (4 generation), iPad mini, or maybe an update to the MacBook laptop line, will see what comes out! We don’t like to speculate too much or have unannounced rumors, but do expect everything to be amazing, one more thing, and the best!


12.17

Thats all for this Live Blog full information to come stay tune to Tek4.ME for those updates! Thanks for reading along.

12.13

Recap, update to MacBook Pro 13 inch, update to iMac, update to iPad to 4th Generation, new iPad mini.

12.11

iPad mini in hand

ipad mini screen shot of stream in hand

12.09

Pre-Order Friday October 26 2012 Ships November 2 2012

12.08

Wi-Fi iPad min starts at 9 for 16GB

12.05

Updated Smart cover for the iPad mini

12.03

iPad mini specs: A5 processer, LTE version, Lighting connecter, front and back connecter, 10 hours battery, 7.9″ display, same apps as normal iPad.

12.01

Trying to show apps that are optimized for iPad to none updated Android apps not made for tablets, that makers of those apps are responsible for not Apple or Google, kind of a low.

11.57

Comparing Nexus 7 with out saying the name to the iPad mini

11.55

Updated design that fits in your hand, thin as a pencil 0.68 lb., 7.9 inches, same resolution as iPad

11.52

iPad mini is real.

11.51

iPad 4th generation with updates Wi-Fi 16GB 9

11.50

iPad 4th generation with updated A6X processer, front camera, 10 hours battery, more LTE support, updated Wi-Fi, Lighting connecter

11.47

2,500 classrooms using iBooks textbooks, update to iBooks Author download today

11.42

100 Million iPads sold 275,000 iPad apps 91% of tablet web traffic

11.40

21.5 inch iMac starts at 99, 27 inch iMac starts at 99

11.39

Fusion Drive combines both a Flash memory drive and standard hard drive and is managed by the os to keep most used applications on the SSD.

11.38

Updated iMac has better anti-glair screen.

11.31

MacBook pro 13 on sale today for 89

11.21

MacBook Pro 13.3 inch with Retina Display 2560 x 1600 178 degree IPS display

11.18

Updated MacBook Pro .75 inch thick 3.5 lb

11.17

Macs #1 notebook and desktops in US

11.14

Update to iBooks include iCloud sync, new reading mode, and share integration. Free download today from App store

11.08

The live video  only works on Snowleopard MACs kind of a fail on the part of Apple

11.05

They have started by talking some numbers of how good iPhone 5 is selling, and shown some video of people buying the iPhone.

10.52

Starting soon!

Apple - Apple Events - Apple Special Event October 2012 starting soon

09.23

Full updates start at 11 AM MDT when the event starts.

Second-Generation Nest Thermostat

Nest announced today that they have an update to the Nest Thermostat that makes it compatible with 95% of low voltage heating and cooling systems, along with a slimmer unit, and updated software. The Nest is a “learning thermostat” that is connected to the internet, it tracks your settings such as when you come home and want your house warmer or when you are gone and don’t want the heat up. You can also control the thermostat from an iOS device or Android device, the App shows things like current temperature, set the system to heat or cool, setup schedules, or see statistics of your heating or cooling use.

The updated software on the new Nest adds better controls for forced air systems that start in the morning, better energy savings on radiant heat systems, and support for heat pump systems and other extra add-ons to different systems. They also updated the mobile apps for the new features and support for Android tablets.

The new Nest can be pre-ordered for $249 and ship later in October, and will be available on Amazon.com, Apple online store, and in Lowe’s stores. The updated Nest Software 3.0 will be updating existing Nest thermostats tonight.

FreedomPop Free 4G Data

FreedomPop is a company using Sprint WiMax 4G service to give users 500MB of free data usage a month. They also plan on updating the service later on to use Sprints 4G LTE network for wider coverage. While you get 500MB of data free they also offer reasonable rates for extra data, such as the “Casual 2GB Data Plan” is $17.99 a month. To get the service you also have to put down a security deposit for the MiFi or USB Stick, and depending on the one you get the price.

After looking at their coverage map it shows that the WiMax is the real problem, it’s only in major cities. For me the closest cities are Salt Lake or Denver that have coverage. If this worked on Sprint’s entire network I would be down for spending the $20.98 for the 2GB and the “Speed Plus” that is said to give a 50% boost in speeds whatever that means. The change to LTE is expected to happen sometime in 2013.

They also have an iPhone and iPod sleeve being made that works like a MiFi but also adds 6 hours of battery life to the iPhone case. With one of these you could turn an iPod into a real mobile device without an expansive contract. Both sleeves are only pre-order right now and will cost $99.

Check out the charts below for more details.

Device Deposit
Freedom Sleeve for iPod Touch $99
Freedom Sleeve for iPhone 4/4S $99
Freedom Spot – Photon $89
Freedom Stick – Bolt $49

The iPhone and iPod sleeves are said to come in a few weeks if you pre-order them.

Name Data per Month Price per Month
Free 500MB 500MB + $0.02 per 1MB after Free
Casual 2GB 2GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $17.99
Premiere 4GB 4GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $28.99

All plans can add FreedomPop Speed Plus for $2.99 per month for “50% faster speeds”.

For now if you have service in your area this could be a nice way to add data to a Tablet, Laptop, or other device if you want some free data that you would use from time to time, but otherwise hold off for a while until they change over to LTE. But it is good to see companies taking some risks in the mobile data field trying to come up with new ways to get people data service, also Sprint should be thought of as they seem to be the one network that is open to other companies trying new things using their equipment.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Sorry About Maps

Today Apple‘s CEO Tim Cook put out a letter talking about maps. Apple removed the older app they had in iOS from the core operating system that used mapping data from Google Maps when they put out iOS6 for their iPhones and iPads. A large number of users have reported a bad experience with the new maps Apple has been building, having problems like incomplete mapping data, wrong or misleading directions, and just a bad experience using the maps application.

In the letter Cook says sorry about the maps app in the first paragraph.

We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

He also talks later about how you can also use other applications from the App Store to get maps or to use Google or Nokia web apps to get maps. He also talks about how 100 million iOS devices use the new maps and have been used to search half a billion locations. To finish, he talks about how they are working to improve the app and get it up to their high standard.

While this doesn’t fix the app or bring Google Maps to iOS in a meaningful way, it does show they how even Apple makes mistakes and like all companies has to fix them, so expect an update coming at some point to make them better. This would be a good time for Google to drop in with an iOS Google Maps app and get a lot of people to use the trusted maps they are use too.

Full text of the letter below…

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

iPhone 5 LTE

The new iPhone 5 was announced by Apple with a 4″ Retina display with a resolution of 1136 x 640, 16:9 aspect ratio, and is 7.8 mm thick weighing only 112 grams. They also include an upgraded A6 processer that is 2 times faster than the A5 processer that is also smaller and uses less battery. The phone also has LTE built in that on the same radio will work with global carriers. iOS 6 is the installed operating system, and includes updates to how iOS works, apps that are developed for the old 3.5″ screen will scale automatically.

Global LTE works with most major carriers globally, including Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T in the United States. The WIFI works with A/B/G/N running at both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz with speeds up to 150Mbps. Battery with normal use of 4G and 3G talk or video playback is 8-10 hours.

They updated the connector to a new smaller 9-pin connector called “Lightning” that is 80% smaller, and there is an adapter to convert the old connector to the new one. They also are including updated headphones named “EarPods” that are made to send the sound into your ear better and fit into your ear better.

The camera was updated to 8MP 1080p with 40% faster capture, better low light, panorama mode, and easer sharing. The front camera is 720p HD, and works with FaceTime. There was also an improvement to the speakers to include noise-canceling ear peace, wideband audio, and 20% smaller. It also includes 3 microphones on the front, back and bottom.

iOS 6 includes updates to iCloud sync of Safari, new maps with navigation and satellite imagery, share photos by saying “Share” when photo is selected, and updated Siri to include movie searches, restaurant searches, and Tweeting with your voice.

You can pre-order September 14th and ships September 21st in the United States, and September 28th in other countries. This includes 100 countries and 240 carriers. Prices below

Colors Black or White 16GB $199
32GB $299 64 GB $399

Older modules will be available at reduced prices and do get updated to iOS 6.

iPhone 4 8GB FREE iPhone 4S 16GB $99
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