Meebo – Review February 26, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods , add a comment
Meebo – it’s fun to say! Meebo. Meebo.
A while back, I wrote a review of Beejive IM, for the iPhone – an IM app that did nearly everything. It’s a great app, but somewhat pricey for IM, ($10) – although it was the best way to IM everyone on all your networks.
But, recently, after showing the app off at the original iPhone 3.0 announcement, Meebo has finally been released, and joined the IM fray. And for most of you – the presumably cheap especially – Meebo might be the solution you’ve been looking for for using AIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Yahoo Chat, and Windows Live simultaneously. (Although you might want to look at consolidating some of those networks…). And unlike the still-fantastic Beejive, Meebo comes at that lovely, lovely price of free.
Also, Meebo has the usual features of a great iPhone IM app: push support for getting IMs outside of the app, speed, and full chat history. It also has the ability to connect to the Meebo website – which allows a pretty sweet seamless transition from iPod/iPhone to computer. One minor qualm I had was related to my use of an iPod Touch – it takes a few seconds to reconnect/load your accounts when returning to the app from a notification – something that is due to the use of WiFi over 3G or EDGE.
But, for delivering almost all functionality of Beejive for free makes Meebo at least worth checking out. Link’s right here.
HTC Announces 4 New Phones At MWC February 25, 2010Posted by Zev Rosenbaum in : Cell Phones, Mobile World Congress , add a comment
When you want a slim, cool, phone you used to think companies like LG, Motorola, and Samsung. But recently, HTC has been continuously releasing phones which compete with the big phone companies. The Google Nexus One, myTouch and HTC-branded Hero, Touch Pro2, and Imagio are just a few of the big name phones that HTC has released over the last year; and at Mobile World Congress last week, HTC unleashed a few more phones that are sure to be ones you will want to be in your pocket when they become available later this year. Read on for all the details.
Doubletwist – iTunes for Your Phone February 24, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Apple, Cell Phones, Computers, First Look/Reviews, Mp3 players and iPods, Music , add a comment
Doubletwist – like iTunes, for non-Apple stuff
The age-old issue: you, like nearly everyone else, uses an iPod for music – be it Touch, Nano, Shuffle, or Classic — and you are very happy with using iTunes for syncing and so on. But unfortunately, unless you have an iPhone, the iTunes program is quite unhelpful when it comes to your phone. Unlike your iPod, you can’t just plug in to your computer and sync your music, and while phones have separate applications for syncing media, lets face it – getting everything to work, getting your music from iTunes…its annoying– especially every time you get a new phone.
Enter Doubletwist. iTunes for everything else- literally. Able to recognize and import your iTunes library (even playlists), Doubletwist is compatible with a whole slew of companies and devices – PSP, Zune, Nokia’s, LG’s, Motorola’s, etc. True, it’s not compatible with everything – but it’s certainly more then an iPod and it does a great job syncing. The interface is simple, and familiar to iTunes’, and features the drag/drop method we all know and love. Videos – provided they aren’t purchased (and therefore, DRMed) from iTunes – are converted into a suitable format and synced. Photos – same deal. (Note: iTunes Plus songs, without DRM, are fine)
Best of all – it’s not only a Mac application – Doubletwist is for Windows as well. It also has features for sharing – or “twisting” as they call it – media with friends and family, as well as integration with the Amazon MP3 store.
If you’d like Doubletwist, check it out on the site here to see if they support your phone or device. Also, you might want to check that you have a USB cable to connect your phone to your PC. Finally, if you’re looking to keep a fair amount of songs, look into getting a MicroSD card, so you have memory to store ‘em.
And next time your iPhone toting friend is bragging about having his music on his phone – you’ll have the last laugh.
Nintendo DSi XL Coming to US March 28th February 24, 2010Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Video Games , 1 comment so far
The new DSi XL in Burgundy
Have you been craving that super sized DSi LL Nintendo released for Japan last year? Really wanted to get a DS with 93% bigger screens than the DS Lite but was stuck in the US? Well, those days will soon be over my friends, as come the end of next month, Nintendo will have answered your prayers: it is releasing the DSi XL on March 28th here in the US for $189.99 (only $20 more than the current DSi). Oh, and European readers– don’t worry, you guys will be getting this a few weeks earlier on March 5th.
The DS Lite compared to the DSi XL
On top of the standard features of the DSi (such as the 2 cameras, SD card slot, music playback, and photos app with ability to upload to Facebook), the slightly thicker new DSi will pack 2 4.2 inch screens (over the DSi’s 3.25 inch ones), a bigger, full size stylus, and will come preloaded with 2 Brain Age games (Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters and Brain Age Express: Math & Photo Clock), as well as the DSi Browser and Flipnote Studio. Intially, the DSi XL will launch in either Burgundy or Bronze colors, though knowing Nintendo and previous DS’s, it probably won’t be long till this comes in any color you like. Also at launch will be two new DS games, America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking, and WarioWare: D.I.Y– and while they will work on all DS systems, Nintendo says games like these will demonstrate the “enhanced experience” available with the DSi XL.
Considering this thing sold over 100,000 units in the first 2 days of launch in Japan (yes, that’s 100,000– in 2 days!), any one out there going to hold off on that new DS purchase just a tad longer to get the DSi XL?
To learn more about the DSi XL, visit Nintendo’s site here.
On the Importance of Backups February 24, 2010Posted by Chaim Gartenberg in : Computers, Teen Info , add a comment
The last thing a Mac ever displays…
For computers today, backing up a hard drive is easy. Really easy. Macs – you have Time Machine; Windows – dozens of alternatives. But, chances are, YOU, the teenager reading this – don’t. Because, you (like me) are lazy. After all, the backup popup (“You haven’t backed up your files in a while – would you like to now?”) serves to annoy and is ignored more often then not, and the odds of YOUR hard drive failing – when does that happen?
The point of all this? Well, actually, there is one. See, about two weeks ago, my laptop’s hard drive failed. Everything – gone. 3 years of schoolwork, documents, pictures, projects, movies, music, applications – everything from the template to my school’s newspaper to my pictures from summer camp – totally gone. I suddenly was that guy – and man, did I wish that I had backed up some of this stuff – schoolwork especially.
If I can, through these years of writing, get one thing out to you, it is this – don’t mess around with backups. Yes, I know that many of you reading this won’t care – the odds are against it – but trust me: you don’t want this to happen to you. If you don’t want to do a whole backup drive – use a flashdrive to hold your most important stuff, or use Dropbox and store it in the cloud.
But seriously – learn from my mistakes. TeenTechBlog exists to help you – teens – with tech. I’m trying right now to help you – I had a few files on Dropbox, which at least had some recent school stuff. If your computer goes down, you don’t want to deal with data loss too.
But go now – open your document folder, and copy some stuff to a drive. You won’t regret it.
Inside Out: The Future of the Cell Phone February 21, 2010Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Cell Phones, Opinion , 3comments
From time to time, we’ll provide our thoughts as to where we think the industry is going, particularly as it relates to teens. We’re calling these posts, Inside Out, because we’ll be looking from where we sit into the outside world.
The future of the cell phone: the Windows Phone 7 Series, iPhone 3GS, BlackBerry Curve 8530, Palm Pre Plus and the Nexus One
Cell phones. We live by them. They’re by our sides 24/7, wherever we are. They are our ways of connecting with the world, through texts, IM’s, or just regular calls. Getting a new one is no longer just picking up a free phone, it’s a choice of style and design. Do we want a full keyboard, something that has a good camera and music player, a simple phone that doesn’t cost much, or something completely loaded with all of the latest features? The choices are endless, no matter what carrier you’re on– Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.
But recently there’s been a major shift in the cell phone market, led by new phones like the iPhone, Pre, BlackBerry, Droid and Nexus One. This is the rise of the smartphone (as those phones are called), phones that no longer just do texts but also email, internet, Facebook and Twitter. These phones are growing rapidly and more and more of us are switching to them when we look for new phones. Let’s take a look at why that is and where this is all leading.
Skype and Verizon Join Forces to Bring Skype to Verizon Smartphones February 17, 2010Posted by Eli Blumenthal in : Cell Phones, Mobile World Congress , 1 comment so far
At first you might not think so, but this recent announcement at the Mobile World Congress is BIG news. Today, Skype and Verizon announced a new partnership and smartphone app that will allow Verizon users to chat– both through Skype IM AND through calling– to Skype users around the world. The free app, which will come in late March, will be available on the BlackBerry (models Curve 8830, Storm 1 and 2, Tour, Curve 8330 and Curve 8530), as well as the Android-running Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, and the upcoming Motorola Devour (a phone we’ll have more on soon–think of as less powerful Droid with full keyboard and MOTOBLUR).
The name of the app is Skype Mobile and is an “always-on app,” meaning that it will constantly running in the background. Now here’s the big part of this partnership– the calls made on Skype Mobile are made over Verizon 3G data network and will NOT use your minutes. This is huge in multiple ways– 1) for those close to running over minutes and have one of these phones, you can use this to help keep you from running over. 2) Not only do Verizon users have unlimited calling to the 90 million customers on their carrier, but now they now can also call the 500+ million Skype users, even if those users are online internationally!
Now you will need a data plan to use Skype Mobile (though since the application is only for smartphones, and that Verizon requires data plans for all the phones mentioned above, we don’t see this as much of a problem), and yes, AT&T has recently approved a Skype iPhone app that also allows calls over 3G and not just WiFi (which by the way, this app won’t be able to do)– but this is still definitely a big win for Verizon users if for no other reason than that Verizon is finally opening up their network for Skype and hopefully other services in the very near future.
Pandora One February 16, 2010Posted by Zev Rosenbaum in : Computers, Music , add a comment
Have you ever wanted your own DJ? One that is so smart that it can pick from literally thousands and thousands of songs, the perfect songs, customized to your music preferences? Imagine, a DJ that will create a whole playlist of songs based on songs you like, even comprehending the elements of the song that cause you to enjoy it so much. No I’m not talking about Genius, Apple’s attempt to create your own DJ, but something you can run entirely off the internet, for a mere price tag of $3 a month. I’m talking about Pandora One, which is an attempt to bring the very successful Pandora (known for their great iPhone, Android and other mobile apps), to your desktop.