App Reviews

App Review: Ratepop

Some of the less observant amongst you may be asking why we’re reviewing an app that rates people’s properties. I’m sure there’s an app for that, but this one ain’t it (sorry). This one is called Ratepop. So, it’s about rating your dad, then? No, not that either. Rate how well you burst balloons? Well…close. Actually, no. Not close at all. Let me explain–it’ll be quicker than guessing.


We Review: Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

Back in 2011, I did the one and only hardware review for this blog. It was for Parrot SA’s high-flying AR.Drone. I crashed it a couple of times, once into a light fitting at work. Mercifully no one was injured, except for my pride. Another time, an extremely high fence stopped what would have been a suicidal plunge into a ravine. It was the wind’s fault, honest.

Operator error aside, I lamented the AR.Drone’s terrible battery and even worse camera. And I said the price was too damn high. That’s just a quick summary though. You’re more than welcome to read my review of the original AR.Drone here.

Now, Parrot SA’s new AR.Drone 2.0 is not exactly new. It was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show of last year but was only available for purchase in South Africa several months later, in October. The new AR.Drone has been bumped up to version 2.0 and that would indicate some major improvements over its predecessor. What are they you ask? To find out, I decided to take it for a spin. See my flight log after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Featured


Tom and Jerry. Alien versus Predator. Android versus iOS. It’s these rivalries that are at the heart of the cute illustrations by Dan Matutina, an illustrator based in the Philippines. Matutina depicts the love/hate bond between characters from popular culture in the shape of a heart, with each rival making up a symbiotic half of the heart/relationship.

Have a look at some of Matutina’s Versus/Hearts after the jump.

Featured Gadgets

We Review: Parrot AR.Drone

The French company Parrot SA is perhaps more known in South Africa for its hands-free car kit. With car telephony not very high on my list of fun things to invest in, I have not paid much interest to Parrot SA, even when it ventured to new grounds with its remote-controlled quadricopter. Dubbed the AR.Drone, the toy debuted in 2010 with a novel control scheme. Instead of the finicky, often complex transmitters used with normal remote controlled helicopters, the AR.Drone can be controlled using a device that was already in the hands of tens of millions of people: smartphones.

While owners of iOS devices have been able to fly AR.Drones for some time now, there hasn’t been much love for Android. Until now. Parrot SA has finally paid cognisance to the fastest-growing smartphone operating system in the world. Not all Android devices are supported, but since September 1st this year, users of Samsung Galaxy S (and S II), HTC Desire, LG Optimus, and smartphones running at least Android v2.2 having been experiencing the flying fun previously unavailable to them. As a Samsung Galaxy S user, I had a chance to take the AR.Drone for a spin. Has the experience been worth the wait or it is just a fleeting one? Find out after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Cartoons & Comics

Super Cute Droid Army

I like Android and given its incredible rise in popularity (see geeky timeline video), the Android collective could be seen as a formidable army. #droidarmy is swelling up on Twitter, it is a couple of like-minded artists who are re-imagining characters from popular cartoons, comics, TV, and film as if they were the Android’s lovable mascot.

Pop culture icons including Darth Vader, Danger Mouse (and Penfold), He-Man, Zoidberg, Pikachu, Spock, and the TARDIS are part of this super cute Droid Army, have a look them after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Music Video Clips

It’s Time to Chromercise!

Google has made quite an effort with the April Fool’s Day gags this year. They have advertised positions for autocompleters and have shown you a day-in-the-life of one such passionate individual.

They have introduced a wholly new (and embarrassing) way to interact with Gmail, and have created an Android app to help you communicate with your pets. And they’ve even played a prank on typography snobs.

The most entertaining gag thus far has to be the one inspired by the eccentric fitness instructor, Richard Simmons. This exercise video is intended to help you remove flab and build muscle tone. For your fingers. Everybody, Chromercise!

If you have some across equally hilarious April Fool’s Day pranks, do let us know.

[via Wikipedia]


Google Nexus One

Ok I for one love my iPhone. You can keep your Blackberries, Palm Pre’s and Motorola Droids,  iPhone is the winner. And then this happens. The Nexus One from Google of all people.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, it’s reported to be the iPhone killer. With a faster processor, better camera, better OS, better everything.  Except for two things. The price and it will not be available in South Africa. This is the worst news in my opinion and makes no sense. The iPhone made it to our shores, why not this? I guess it will be a matter of time till techies jailbreak this as well and make it available for all us third worlders.

Here’s some info on how it stacks up (click image to enlarge).

Hit the jump to more images.