Gadgets for Geeks: Wish lists
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Gadgets for Geeks: Wish lists

By the MacTech Magazine Editorial Staff

It’s that time of year where people think about toys they want, and how they want to spend their money for the next year. Whether it’s a new budget with the new year, or just buying something you want, here’s some fun things that we’ve used ourselves this year that we thought any self-respecting geek would love.

The basis for these recommendations are technologies we used for travel to keep our staff connected during assorted trips, and even outdoor products that kept one of our editors connected while leading a group of scouts at a National Jamboree.

FileMaker Go

For many years now, "MacTech" used a number of FileMaker databases that have allowed us to create workflows for a variety of processes in the magazine. FileMaker is great if you are connected with a Mac, but in the days of everything being mobile, if you’ve not set up web access, it was limiting. Enter FileMaker Go.

FileMaker Go lets usersview, edit and search FileMaker Pro records on an iPhone and iPad. Databases can be accessed directly from files hosted on FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server, or database files can be copied locally onto FileMaker Go via File Sharing in iTunes. You can work with data just like you would on FileMaker Pro and:

° Add, modify, or delete information;
° Find, sort, and navigate through records;
° Display data in familiar Form, Table, and List views;
° View information in portals, tabs, or web viewers;
° Search for information using Quick Find;
° Connect to external SQL data sources.

Performance is limited by your bandwidth. And, if your databases aren’t optimized to work well over the Internet for your desktop machines, they will similarly suffer performance wise with FileMaker Go (especially over the AT&T 3G network).

Big thumbs up from MacTech on this product. FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPod touch is US$19.99, and FileMaker Go for the iPad costs US$39.99. http://www.filemaker.com

Leisure Jacket for the iPad

M-Edge's Leisure Jacket for the iPad is an US$49.99 case for the Apple tablet that provides protection against sand, dirt, and moisture thanks to its read-through, clear vinyl cover. While it’s not waterproof, it has a protective double closure zipper allows access to the charging port without removing iPad from jacket. The interior of the Leisure Jacket includes a high density foam frame to provide g device security; the iPad can be flipped over for additional screen protection while traveling.

An exterior zipper compartment contains a pocket specially sized for the iPhone and additional pockets for accessory storage. The clear vinyl front cover allows full functionality of iPad's touch screen.

If it fits your needs, it’s worth the price. The Leisure Jacket weights 8.90 ounces and measures 8.5 x 10.5 x .75 inches. It's available in a variety of colors. http://www.medgestore.com/products/ipad-leisure.psp

JuiceBar Solar Charger

The JuiceBar Solar Charger includes 12 connectors covering a variety of mobile phones, cameras and handheld games such as the iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and others.

The JuiceBar sports a 1500 mAh battery and comes with a free accessory bag. It allows you to charge various portable devices using a solar powered battery. Plus, it reduces the need for multiple chargers or adapters and provides a totally clean energy source.

If you are traveling with a group that has a variety of devices, this is a must have charging solution. The US$49.99 device measures just 0 .5 X 3.75 X 1.6 inches and weighs 2.5 ounces. http://juicebarsolarcharger.com/JuiceBar-Pocket-Solar-Charger-5060171700...

Trendy Digital Waterguard Plus

Ever wanted to submerge you iPad in water? If you have, you need therapy. On the other hand, if you have your Apple tablet around water very often -- say, at the beach or on a boat -- you do need a waterproof case. Trendy Digital makes one in the US$23.99 Waterguard Plus Waterproof Case for the iPad.

It's designed to be submergible with some qualifications. If the case has been checked and sealed tightly, the device inside should be safe if you accidentally drop it in water and retrieve it quickly. In other words, the WaterGuard is designed to protect your iPad from water-related accidents, not for taking it into the swimming pool with you.

Made of UV-stabilized plastic, the WaterGuard Plus Waterproof Case is designed to offer protection when you get stuck in a rainstorm or accidentally drop your bag on a wet surface. When using the WaterGuard Plus Case, the iPad can be slipped directly into the WaterGuard pocket and the transparent surface provides full access to the iPad’s touch interface and keyboard. 

The case features a fitted form with back padding to house the iPad. In addition to water, it protects against dust, dirt, sand and other elements. You can wear the WaterGuard around your neck or shoulder via an adjustable strap. And at 3.0 ounces, it's very light.

If you are taking your iPad somewhere where you are worried about water, rain, or significant moisture, you really need something like this. We were astounded at how well the sound worked even in the sealed bag, and it could be a great solution for watching a movie in the spa. Big thumbs up from "MacTech" on the WaterGuard Plus. http://www.trendydigital.com

Emergency Charge Adapter

The BKRadio Emergency Charge Adapter is an US$34.95 device that turns nine AA batteries into a cigarette lighter socket. You can charge your cell phone with your BK Radio Battery or get emergency power for other portable devices.

It works with the iPhone, iPod, CD players, GPS devices, most cell phones and more. The Emergency Charge Adapter is machined from solid billet aluminum. If you absolutely, positively need to have power, this is the simplest and most reliable of devices. We’ve talked to emergency crews (e.g., fire departments that use them), and we can see why. Big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. http://bkradio.com/

Matias Folding Keyboard

While many people can do occasional typing on the iPad or iPhone via the virtual keyboard, serious keyboarding simply isn't possible without a true external keyboard. While Apple offers two options, they are limiting and the US$99.95 Matias Folding Keyboard provides an ideal third option for serious iPad typists.

Unlike Apple's offerings, this is a full-sized keyboard. There are no tiny key caps designed to look good, but which fail at heavy typing. This keyboard folds to about the overall size and thickness of the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, but unfolds into a full keyboard complete with number pad and a spacious typing area.

If you want to effectively type with an iPad, the Matias Folding Keyboard is an ideal combination of portability and function. You'll have a full sized keyboard that's compact and and a pleasure to type on.

Big thumbs up on this keyboard. If you are traveling for more than a little bit, and relying on your iPad as your primary computing device, this is a must have. We can’t imagine keeping up with email without this keyboard. (http://matias.ca/foldingkeyboard/index.php)

CandyShell iPad Case

Speck's US$49.95 CandyShell iPad case is a case with a case thin, hard-shell coating, soft rubbery interior lining, bezel and button covers.

It sports a flip-back panel for use with iPad dock and the iPad keyboard dock (the latter isn't included). To use you slide the right (button) side of iPad into the CandyShell case first, then gently snap the other edges of the case around the edge of the screen. To use with dock connector cable, iPad dock or keyboard dock, pull open the flip-back panel. (Don't try to use the flip-back panel as a stand or foot.)

To remove the CandyShell iPad case, pull open the flip-back panel at the bottom, and then work off the bottom corners. From the bottom up, pull your iPad out of the top corners of the CandyShell.

As one of our favorite iPad cases, this gets a big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. The cusioning, back flap, and feel are just well thought out. http://www.speckproducts.com/ipad/candyshell-batwing-black.html

Waterproof iPhone Case

The DryCASE Waterproof is an US$39.99 is a flexible, waterproof case that allows use of your phone or camera while keeping it dry and clean.

To use, you twist the clasps outward to open the DryCASE, and then simply slide in the device that you would like to protect. Make sure that the contents inside are completely clear of the opening and the closure.

Twist the clasps inward to close and lock the DryCASE. Position your device how you would like to use it inside the DryCASE. When you remove the air creating a vacuum it will secure the device in place. To pump out all the air, just squeeze the pump until you've removed all the air and can’t pump it any more. After you have removed all the air the DryCASE should be tightly sealed around the contents inside and the pump should be completely flat. You can now remove the hand pump and place the safety cap on.


The DryCASE is completely submersible. You can also order DryBUDS waterproof headphones ($29.99 if purchased separately; $64.99 for a bundle of the case and headphones) for use with the case. The headphones can be used up to nearly 10 feet underwater.

The DryCASE is 4.25 inches wide and 6.5 inches long and will fit almost any phone, camera or MP3 player. http://store.drycase.com/DryCASE-Waterproof-phone-camera-and-music-playe...

Invisible Shields for iPad

Zagg's InvisibleShield for iPad is a film that protects iPods, iPhones, iPads, and other devices scratches. The film is made with Nano-Memory technology that covers and shields your device.

Zagg says Nano-Memory technology offers four main benefits:

° Durability -- self-healing properties offer resistance to scratches and damag;
° Coverage -- pliability and flexibility allows the invisibleShield designs to cover the corners and curves of your device;
° Drop resistant -- an improved grip makes it easier to hang onto your gadgets;
° Glare reduction -- the invisibleShield gives your device a slight "orange peel" finish that breaks up glare and reduces finger print smudges, while still creating high res screen viewing clarity.

Zagg lives up to its reputation, and gets another big thumbs up from MacTech on their iPad product. Zagg ensures a lifetime guarantee if the film ever wears or becomes scratched. The price of films for iPad for a full body cover is US$39.99. The price for full coverage for iPhone is $24.99. http://www.zagg.com/invisibleshield/features.php

Folding bikes

Apple users like their computers, MP3 players and phones svelte, so why not their bikes? Ok, not quite a Mac, but it’s cool tech nonetheless. As a surprisingly economical solution, 2KSilver makes 20-inch and 26-inch folding bikes that are good in a variety of circumstances.

These bikes are more easily checked on an airplane, or packed in a car. Assembly is truly easy. A single tool is all you need -- and that's just for tightening the bike together. In fact, the most difficult thing about the assembly is probably the careful location selection and tightening the bell on the handlebar so it would ring clearly and loudly.

The 2KSilver bikes are easy to ride. If you're over six feet, you'll want to go with the larger model. The seat will only expand so far on the smaller 16 and 20 inch bikes, and a tall person would need more knee space.

We found out first hand that the bike's seven gears are enough to handle biking up and down hills. For more demanding terrain, more gears would be useful. Realistically, if you're going for a 2KSilver folding bike, you're probably going to use it for basic transportation rather than competitive or mountain biking.
We love the technology and simplicity of these bikes. Big thumbs up from MacTech’s crew. The 20-inch models can be bought for US$179.99; the 26-inch models are $234.99 to $299.99. https://www.2ksilver.com/

Tantango

Tatango is a flexible group SMS service designed to work with different size groups -- from 10-person groups to 10,000 person groups. It’s a must have for a group that needs rapid communication. Messages can be sent out from a computer or a cell phone. Each account can have multiple groups, and each group can have multiple subgroups.

You can create as many groups as you want under one Tatango account. What's more, you can create subgroups to better manage group members and search your contacts by phone or name. You can let others in your group help you manage the group by making them an administrator.
With Tatango, you can send your message to an entire group or select a specific subgroup. You can get a preview of what your group message will look like on your group member’s phones. If you're not near a computer, you can send your group message from your own phone.

To send out a message to one of your groups from your phone, simply send a text to the Tatango short SMS number (68398) with an asterisk at the beginning and your message. Tatango will then reply asking which group to send it to, and after responding with a group number all members of the group receive. We of our editors used it to communicate other leaders, scouts and parents. When the tornado touched down in Washington D.C., it was particularly useful.

All Tatango messages come from 68398, so they never show your personal phone number. Messages arrive with your group name on the top and contain no advertisements.

Tatango stores all past messages sent to your group. Every message sent is stored for future reference, including the date, message and the recipients. If a group member responds to your message, that reply is also stored.

Big thumbs up from the "MacTech" crew. This was the easiest to use, most turnkey system we found for communicating to a lot of different types of devices. http://www.tatango.com

PowerFilm Solar

The PowerFilm Solar lets you charge your electronic devices anywhere the sun shines. Using solar technology, these are foldable chargers that comes in wattage ranges from 1.5 to 60 watts and comes in voltage ranges from 3.6 to 15.4 voltages.

The chargers aren't available for sale directly from the PowerFilm Solar web site, PowerFilmSolar.com; however, they're available online through Amazon.com. The listed sale price on Amazon.com around $250.

The PowerFilm line of product deserves an entire article on its own about how to build a charging station, and more. We couldn’t have handled the longer outdoor adventures without PowerFilm. Big thumbs up from the MacTech crew. http://powerfilmsolar.com/foldable-solar-chargers/f15-1200.php

QuickerTek iPad charging products

QuickerTek makes three products that will let you get a charge out of your iPad. Literally.

The US$249.95 Apple Juicz external battery for the iPaduses the Apple 10 watt USB charger that comes with the iPad to charge the battery (or any USB charger), so there's no extra AC power wall wart adapter to lug around.

The Apple Juicz External Battery for the iPad recharges the device in three hours and has two female USB ports that can simultaneously charge any USB device as well as having the propriety circuitry for the iPhone, iPod touch or any 30-pin iPod while being used to charge and power all models of the iPad.

The Apple Juicz users Li-ion Polymer high capacity 9400 mAh batteries, which will recharge in access of 2000 times. They sport safety circuitry for protection along with temperature and charge/discharge rates, cell balancing and a fuel gauge with a LED indicator showing how much Juicz is left in the battery.

The $299.99 iPad Solar Panel is a 10-watt foldable solar panel that charges as fast as Apple's 10-watt wall charger that comes with the iPad. QuickerTek includes an USB monitor/activator so that you can see the charge current level. Also in the kit is a female cigarette lighter adapter and a USB cable.

The $29.99 Charge Monitor has three functions. The unit will turn on the USB port so that it will charge and the four LED's on the unit shows that the iPad is charging and shows the charging current level or how fast it is charging. The more lights are on the more power being put out by the usb and thusly the faster your iPad is charging. No bigger than a USB dongle with a USB connector at each end, the iPad Solar Charger is compatible with 1.0 or 2.0 USB ports, the iPad, iPhone (all generations), the iPod touch and all 30-pin iPods.

QuickerTek has been in the Apple market for years, and has a number of innovative products. Big thumbs up from the MacTech crew on making an easy to use solar system that can charge multiple devices. http://www.quickertek.com

 
AAPL
$102.03
Apple Inc.
+0.45
MSFT
$46.53
Microsoft Corpora
+0.01
GOOG
$588.55
Google Inc.
+3.78

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Xcode 6.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Apple Xcode is Apple Computer's integrated development environment (IDE) for OS X. The full Xcode package is free to ADC members and includes all the tools you need to create, debug, and optimize... Read more
Apple Safari 7.1 - Apple's Web brow...
Apple Safari in OS X Mavericks brings you all-new ways to find and enjoy the best of the web. It works with iCloud to give you a seamless browsing experience across all your devices. It looks out for... Read more
Delivery Status 6.1.2 - Check delivery s...
Delivery Status displays delivery status of packages for a variety of shipment services. Can't wait for your packages to arrive? Don't waste your time checking the site constantly, just open this all... Read more
Mavericks Cache Cleaner 8.0.9 - Clear ca...
Mavericks Cache Cleaner is an award-winning general purpose tool for OS X. MCC makes system maintenance simple with an easy point-and-click interface to many OS X functions. Novice and expert users... Read more
OneNote 15.2.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Apple Configurator 1.6 - Configure and d...
Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution. Three simple workflows let you prepare new iOS devices... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.16 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
OS X Server 3.2.1 - For OS X 10.9.5 Mave...
OS X Server is the next generation of Apple's award winning server software. Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, host... Read more
Apple Security Update 2014-004 - For OS...
Apple Security Update is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/... Read more
OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 - The latest versi...
Apple OS X Mavericks is the latest release of the world's most advanced desktop operating system. Now free! With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

New Modes and Leader Boards in Update fo...
New Modes and Leader Boards in Update for Rules! Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
TwistedRun Review
TwistedRun Review By Rob Thomas on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DON'T TWIST YOUR ANKLE!Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad TwistedRun is kind of like running up a giant curly fry into the sky. Or maybe that was just... | Read more »
Scope Review
Scope Review By Jennifer Allen on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LOCATION AWAREiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to easily find photos from around the world based on their location? Scope is a... | Read more »
HipstaFox Review
HipstaFox Review By Jordan Minor on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FANTASTIC MR. FOXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HipstaFox is a great single that makes players long for the whole album.   | Read more »
Ninja Raft (Games)
Ninja Raft 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** Special Launch Price ** "Ninja Raft is definitely the game to play if you’re into Tower Defense games and want to play something... | Read more »
Paste+ | Clipboard Action Widget (Produ...
Paste+ | Clipboard Action Widget 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Powerful clipboard widget for iOS 8. Reimagine what you can do with your clipboard! Paste+ is a... | Read more »
Agenda+ | Calendar & Reminder Widget...
Agenda+ | Calendar & Reminder Widget 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Best Calendar and Reminder Widget Ever for iOS 8 | Read more »
Leg·end·ar·y (Games)
Leg·end·ar·y 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Simple and yet complex. Leg•end•dar•y is a grid-based puzzle game based on numbers. Discover the adventure of Leg•end•dar•y and... | Read more »
KuaiBoard (formerly QuickBoard) (Utilit...
KuaiBoard (formerly QuickBoard) 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KuaiBoard is currently 50% off for launch! Billing info. Signatures. Locations. KuaiBoard allows you to... | Read more »
Treasure Fetch - Adventure Time (Games)
Treasure Fetch - Adventure Time 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Adventure Time Treasure Fetch is a fresh take on the classic Snake game! STRETCHY JAKE Snake your way... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $300 on the price of a new Mac wit...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
16GB iPad Air on sale for $449, save $50
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air WiFi on sale for $449 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup. Their price represents a $50 savings over standard... Read more
13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099,...
B&H Photo has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099.99. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Toshiba Introduces TransMemory ID High-Speed...
Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the TransMemory ID USB 3.0 Flash Drive, a simpler storage solution for people who... Read more
New iPads and OS X Yosemite Release Coming Oc...
The DailyDot’s Micah Singleton reports that Apple is planning to hold its next product announcement event on Oct. 21, at which it will unveil the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 and release a final build... Read more
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Cross-Platfor...
Logitech has an enviable track record of making some of the best computer keyboards and mice. At least in my estimation, the best freestanding keyboards I’ve ever used have been Logitech units,... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished iPad Airs and iP...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Sprint offers 16GB iPad mini for $199.99 with...
Sprint is offering 1st generation 16GB iPad minis for $199.99 with a 2-year service agreement. Standard MSRP for this iPad is $429. Their price is the lowest available for this model. Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini remains on sale for $549, sav...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.