I backed the Crux Skunk iPad keyboard case project on Kickstarter almost a year ago. I thought it looked like one of the most impressive iPad keyboard cases I’d seen, and it offered some impressive sounding features – a notably slim design, a 360 degree hinge that allows for a great range of typing and viewing positions for the iPad, and a full-size QWERTY keyboard.
Well, mine finally arrived a couple days back and I have tested it out a little and have some very quick first impressions to share. Here they are, in no particular order:
– The packaging for the Crux Skunk is fairly nice.
– The name feels bizarre to type and to to say. My daughter thought I was making it up as a joke. I wonder if there’s some cool back story behind it.
– For my pledge level (I think it was $155) it came with an attractive black leather carrying case – a nice touch.
– Getting the iPad into it the first time is a bit of a pain in the neck. You need to loosen a couple of bolts on the frame’s bottom holding clasps with a very small, included, Allen wrench; then insert the iPad, then tighten up the bolts and adjust as necessary until you can comfortably open and close the clasps to insert and remove the iPad. Not a big deal – but also not a super slick starting point.
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The Squrl video app for iPad has been updated again this week, to Version 3.0. This is not a feature-packed update but it does include a major redesign of the app and it looks great.
Squrl is one of the leading video search and recommendation apps for the iPad and one of our picks for the Best iPad Apps of 2012. The new design is light and bright and makes it easier than ever to discover good videos to watch.
Here’s the full change list for this update:
* Brand new design
* Comment on and reply to video messages from your friends
* Improved Recommendations
* More content from your favorite video providers
* Unlike videos using a new edit mode in the Liked section
And here’s an App Store link for Squrl; it’s a free app and a universal app designed for both iPad and iPhone.
The popular and highly rated Battle Academy iPad game is on sale this week at 50% off. It’s down from $19.99 to $9.99 until June 23.
This strategic wargame has received rave reviews from gaming sites and users alike. It’s a World War II game covering a range of different battles. Here’s a bit of its App Store intro:
Approachable, absorbing and visually impressive yet detailed, Battle Academy aims to revolutionise the strategy games market with a blend of intuitive design and compelling game play driven by cutting edge technical innovation.
Inspired by an original online game concept devised by the BBC, the game has more than 30 battles in a range of theatres of war from the North African desert through D-Day to the to the snowy Ardennes mountains where the Allies battled to repel the final German offensive.
The team at Slitherine worked with Professor John Buckley, Military Historian at the University of Wolverhampton and a keen wargamer himself, to make sure that the strategy, tactics, scenarios and available firepower of the battles fought in WW2 were turned into realistic AI behaviour, powering expertly crafted battles.
The game’s system allows for iPad, Mac, and Windows PC players to plat against each other. It even lets you play the same game across the iPad and desktop machines.
I have heard all good things about this game, and now at this sale price I’m finally going to give it a try.
Here’s an App Store link for Battle Academy for iPad.
If you try the game out, please let us know what you think of it in the comments.
Watchup is a great video news app for the iPad and a recent pick for our Best Free iPad App of the Week. The app received another substantial update yesterday, to Version 1.11.0.
One of the most notable items in this update is the addition of ESPN to the channel list. For sports fans this is very good news – as most of the app’s channels have been more general news up to now. It’s good to see the leading sports network added. Other new channels added in this update include the New York Daily News, This Week in Startups, and local channels from Boston and Portland.
There are also some nice UI changes in this update:
• Subscribe to up to 20 channels.
• Just turn the app on and your automatic newscast will play continuously.
• Swipe to the next video, just like a magazine.
• While watching, you can now see and manipulate all your queue: queue up or play any video straight away
• Want to browse videos per channel? Just pull down the top panel and pick your favorite clips to add them to the queue.
• Pull up the lower panel to reveal extensive descriptions about each video.
• Multitask: subscribe or unsubscribe to/from a channel by pulling the left handle while watching.
Watchup continues to be one of my favorite news apps on the iPad, and the developers have done a great job with frequent updates over recent months.
Here’s an App Store link for Watchup for iPad; it’s still a free app.
The Feedly RSS service has taken a leading role in providing a replacement sync solution for when Google Reader is shutdown on July 1. They are now reaching the final stages of their migration from the Google Reader backend over to their new Feedly Cloud – and yesterday they published some advice for users on how to make sure they’re prepared for the upgrade.
The first and most important step is to make sure you are running Version 16 on all your devices – current versions are 16.0.513 on the desktop, 16.0.1 on iOS, and 16.0.5 on Android. Their guidance is that if you’re unsure of your version number on a mobile device, you should uninstall and reinstall it.
Here’s more of the advice and guidance on the upgrade:
Sync’ing via the cloud
Over the next 2-3 days you should expect to receive a green banner message (desktop) or a green card (mobile). This is the notification that your feeds and categories and up to 1,000 starred items have been successfully migrated to the feedly cloud and the articles you are seeing are coming from the feedly service.
It is important at that point that you restart the app on all your other devices so that they all connect to the feedly cloud.
The one part we did not migrate from google reader is your history (too much data) so you have to expect that you are starting from a blank history and your unread counts will be reset. This is a one time issue.
In some cases, there might be a gap of a few days in the saved items because migrating a few million accounts takes a few days. We have done our best to minimize that gap but we apologize if you are missing a few saved items. This is a one time issue too.
How do I login to my feedly cloud account?
To simplify the transition, we are going to continue to use Google Authentication to let you access your Feedly Cloud. We will be adding support for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn shortly.
How do I know which backend/version I am running?
If you visit http://www.feedly.com/home#console you should see a list of data about your system. [click to continue reading…]