Category Archives: IOS Apps

Review : Jabra Revo Wireless

I recently invested in my first pair of over-the-ear headphones, after much research and testing, I decided on the Jabra Revo Wireless.

I had very specific requirements which helped to narrow down my choices, and the Jabra Revo Wireless succeeded on.

  • Bluetooth capable, and must support multipoint connectivity (simultaneous connection to 2 devices at the same time over bluetooth)
  • Must have a decent voice call quality, especially for the mic. Really hate to constantly repeat myself because of poor noise isolation.
  • Comfortable over the ears cups
  • Good music quality
  • Leverages the IOS headset battery meter; so I can see how much power is left in the headset
  • Integrates well with IOS and Android

Some nice to have features, which I really like, and the Jabra Revo Wireless supports very well

  • backup wired connection via 3.5mm – this allows me to keep using the headphones even after the battery has gone completely flat; and also enables me to use the headphone with inflight entertainment systems
  • charge via USB – this is particularly important especially for travellers; the icing on the cake here is that the Jabra Revo Wireless will act as an USB audio device. Works on both Mac and Windows; the Jabra Revo Wireless will show up in the Audio device list for both input and output!! How cools is that!?!

Call performance is very good, among the best of bluetooth devices I have used.

Multipoint works very well, though I must add that when there are 2 devices connected, there will be some lag in the audio. So, if you are watching a video, or playing a game, the sound will be about half a second late. I’ve validated that this only occurs when multipoint is in action.

Overall, this is a great headset and I am very pleased of my investment.

Foscam IP Camera

So many months ago, I purchased a pair of Foscam FI8918W cameras. Primary usage is to be able to check out what’s going on at home while we are out. After using it for several months now, I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a “remote eyes and ears”.

I must say, it has been a very good investment. Comparing the features with the more commonly known brands like Dlink, Panasonic, Linksys, etc.. it’s very very competitively priced.

Video quality is great does 640×480 @ 30fps, Pan & Tilt capability, night vision is enabled via infrared, 2 way audio (yes, you can have a conversation), motion detection alarm, and much more. All for only S$125, and includes delivery fee.

Coupled with my Singtel Fibre Broadband, I can get very good frame rates when viewing from outside the home, connected via the internet. You’ll need to know how to configure out broadband router to appropriately forward the TCP ports to the cameras.

The video can be access via your favorite browsers, e.g. IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (on iPad and iPhone too!!). Or my favorite method is to use the IOS App, Live Cams Pro. Find it here http://www.eggmantechologies.com

In Singapore, you can order the camera from http://www.foscamsingapore.sg. Though you can possibly order from an US site, and may cost a little less, but at the price of difficult warranty replacements. I’d rather just order from the Singapore store and get easy warranty replacement when required (so far so good, touch wood).

Hello 2012!! The most >Geek< fun I've had in a while

ok ok, so this is really not at all keeping up to trying to post regularly. Got too busy, had a baby, etc.. excuses.

Now, I have a great reason to post!! I just finished a little pet project, tiny one.. but I’m quite excited about it as it’s something I’ve tried to do over 10 years ago, but the products were bad. Now, with newer hardware and software it’s a reality!

I had just succeeded to build my home SIP infrastructure. With a SIP client on my iPhone, I can connect to my personal PBX server, and make calls to regular phones via a SIP to PSTN router.

You are lost? I just built my own VOIP system, which I can make data calls over the air, from my iPhone, connect to my home based VOIP system, and call to a land line. What’s so big deal about that? Here in Singapore, the digital land lines are completely toll free! All outgoing LOCAL calls are free. With 3G and 10GB of quota a month, I can make a lot of phone calls this way!

I will share how I did it… and boy, it’s not easy. This setup is not for the faint hearted to even attempt to consider. Leave it to the real IT geeks *cough*

Here’s a glimpse on what you’ll need.

  1. Home broadband connection which has preferably unlimited usage (as we get here in Singapore)
    +the broadband connection must always be up (otherwise you cannot connect from outside of your home)
  2. Home wifi  network, if you want to make calls via your SIP client in the smartphone
  3. A Linksys SPA 3102 (retailing for about S$100 in Singapore) – this is a VOIP Router
  4. Asterisk – a free PBX Server – run this on an old PC, or a small atom machine, or a virtual machine
    (I run mine as a VMware Virtual Machine)
  5. A SIP client for your PC and/or smartphone
    PC – A good and free SIP client called X-Lite (http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite.html)
    iOS – many choices available, free and paid I use the free client from 3CX (http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html)

Generally, each item is easy to get up and running, but to get them working together was not easy, especially when you don’t understand half the terms involved. This is one of the craziest situations where I was looking at pages of configuration items and they are mostly abbreviated.

In addition, there are few up to date guides on the net which tells you what to do. I found lots of guides for Asterisk, some very good, but are for older versions. I’m using version 1.8, and there are lots that are now redundant. After all I’ve done to get things to work, I must say it’s actually not a lot of settings we need to make.

Credits will be given when due. I will link to the sites which I found the most useful information.

 

iMessage how to use it?

The first question I had was, where’s the app for iMessage? I was thinking that there could be a dedicated app, and it’ll probably function like having another “whatsapp” like function. I was wrong. In face, iMessage is integrated into the orignal “Message” app. Yes, the one you use for SMS and MMS.

So, how to start using it? There are 2 parts to it. Part 1 is to setup your iOS device, and part 2 is how to send an iMessage.

Part 1 – go to settings, messages, then look at addresses. These are what your friends and contacts will use to send iMessage to you, as a form of identification (like a userid). By default, your mobile number will be one of them, and the other is the iTunes or iCloud account you used when your first setup iOS5. You can add or change more contact information. e.g. your work email address. Add all the form of “identification” you want and save it.

Part 2 – just launch messages, and here’s the cool bit. Just add the contact you like to send a text to. The app will then do a check if the recipient is already registered with iMessages. Remember what you did in Part 1? The recipient’s contact information in your phone book will be used to check for iMessage “compatibility”. If yes, your “send” button will turn blue, and the text box will have a faint “iMessage” word, otherwise it will have a faint “text message”, and the “send” button will be green.

It’s that simple!

Now, I’m just a little curious about the warning that popped up once or twice to warn of carrier charges for sms sent to activate iMessage. I wonder how many messages will that consume.

IOS Devices : Automatic App Installation On All Devices You Own

I didn’t stay up to catch the Apple WWDC, but it’s the first thing I checked out when I woke up today. One of the new features which has got all my thumbs up is the ability for your devices to automatically download purchased content. More details is in this Mac Rumors posting.

I haven’t tested this yet, but what I believe it’s suppose to do is this; Say you have an iPhone and an iPad. If you’ve purchased  content, Music/App/Book, from the Apple Stores, it will automatically make it available on both devices. That sure takes the hassle out to trying to keep both devices in sync.

Without this, I’ve been maintaining synchronization using iTunes, or just manual re-download. Now it’s all automatic! That’s cool!

The best part, you don’t need to wait for IOS5, all you need is the currently available IOS 4.3!

IOS Game – GLWG (Great Little War Game) – 5 Js

GLWG! Came across this really fun turn based strategy game 2 days ago. The iPhone version was going for free, and the iPad (HD) version was $0.99. I bought both!

Did I say this is a War Game?

It’s turned base; you make your moves, then the AI moves. Each of your units get to move and attack (if in range) every turn. There are some advantages you gain from going on to high ground, or travel further by riding in a vehicle.

When you attack, the opponent automatically retaliates, if it survives.

Very addictive! Check it out!

Excellent PDF Reader for the iPad

I’ve been working on deploying several large VMware environment lately. What has been very helpful to me is my iPad equipped with PDF Expert [iTunes].

It was one of the first few apps I bought on my iPad, and it is one of my best investments.

It supports PDF (duh), docx, xlsx, and more. But I primarily use it to refer to PDF documents. What’s really good about it is beyond fundamental book reader (for that, iBooks will do just fine).

It’s the ability to be able to annotate the pdf document… e.g. highlight, underline, strikeout, notes, add text and more. I can make corrections to the document, so that when I get back to my PC, I have an easy reference. Bookmarks are automatically placed when I annotate, so it’s easy for me to search later on.

What’s also cool is the ability for the app to send out the corrected pdf with either the annotations all flattened on to the doc, or still kept separate.

This app to me allows me to completely replace PDF print outs and scribbling corrections.

To up the ante, a recent update (can’t remember when), there has been new integration which allows you to connect to multiple DropBox accounts to download, and even sync!

I do recommend it to anyone looking for a tool that does this.