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iSource Picks of the Week

 

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Welcome to our weekly installment of Picks of the Week at iSource where we provide our expanded coverage of Apple accessories and applications  Here we will promote our favorite iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV related items, as well as bring you occasional tips and tricks.  Hopefully many of our favorite items will also be of interest to you. Please feel free to comment on our selections, and suggest picks of your own.  Check out this week’s picks after the break

The BookGem

Picked by: jhrogersii

BookGem

The BookGem is an a perfect example of how a well designed item can be re-purposed for many potential uses. The BookGem is a very portable folding stand that began its life as a humble stand for books. You know, books. Those paper things we all used to read and clutter our
houses with before technology made them obsolete.

The BookGem works great as a book stand, but also does a great job of holding just about any e-reader or tablet, including the iPad. It will even hold your iPhone or iPod in landscape mode for watching movies. I have been using the BookGem as an iPad stand for several months, and I
love it. It can hold the iPad in landscape or portrait mode, and also from the top or bottom, so there are 4 different positions to choose from. You can also plug your Apple 30 pin connector and charge or sync in any of the 4 configurations.

There are other stands out there that are specifically made for iPads and other tablets that may be more refined, but the BookGem really sets itself apart in two categories. First, it is very portable. It folds flat and ends up smaller than a small envelope. I have carried
it in the small zippered pocket of my netbook case (which my iPad travels around in) with plenty of room to spare for other stuff. Second, the price is hard to beat in comparison with other stands. The BookGem is only $14.95, which is less than half of what most iPad
stands cost.

With the launch of the iPad 2 imminent, the BookGem is a well made and designed stand that you can order now and have for your new gadget when it arrives. As an added bonus, it will work with any other tablet, reader, book, or smartphone that you already own. That’s hard
to beat at $14.95.

($14.95) Link

Jawbone’s Jambox

Picked by: Jay

Jambox

My pick this week is the wireless bluetooth accessory, Jawbone’s Jambox. As a frequent traveler and presenter, I am often looking for ways to minimize the size of portable equipment while maximizing features. Jawbone’s bluetooth wireless speaker has an impressive sound (85 dB output) – including the bass – for its diminutive 151 x 57 x 40 mm size and 12 ounce weight. The bluetooth hooks up easily to the devices I’ve tried (iPhone, iPad, and Mac Book Pro), though I’ve experienced the occasion where a reconnect was required to the Mac Book Pro to get the correct playback sound, which feels more like a bluetooth issue than a device issue. The 3.5mm input jack also allows for direct connection, in my case a wireless microphone receiver, so broadcasting a speaker’s voice to an audience is also a convenience. As an added benefit, the Jambox can also act as a wireless headset with its built-in microphone so conference calls and chatting via online service are a breeze. Charging the Lithium-ion battery is either through USB, or the supplied A/C wall charger, and according to the Jawbone’s specs, can last up to 10 hours. Take a peek at a one-minute video here of the Jambox in action.

($199.99) Amazon / Jawbone Website

Marware C.E.O. Hybrid Case for iPad 2

Picked by: PatrickJ

CEOHybridforiPad2

Isn’t it fun to see how many seconds it takes from the time of a public announcement of a new Apple iDevice until the first wave of press releases on specially designed new cases for the device? The Marware C.E.O. Hybrid is one I’m very glad to see though. I’ve used this case with my original iPad and it’s a very versatile and attractive case. Definitely one of my favorite iPad accessories. And this model for the iPad 2 has all the same versatility as stand and hand grip, as well as the same professional good looks.

($49.99) Pre-order Now (No word on shipping date yet)

Yobongo (v1.0.1)

Yobongo

I have to say this app is in the ‘Interesting’ category, not yet in the ‘Recommended’ category, as I have installed it last night but not had a chance to use it in anger just yet.

It’s a new location-based social app that could be really fun – especially with the big SXSW festivals about to kickoff in my home town very soon – or it could be very creepy. Or perhaps a bit of both. It lets you chat with nearby people – in fact it automatically connects you with nearby people. Here’s its App Store elevator pitch:

Yobongo allows you to chat with people nearby. Chat with interesting people in your city, at a coffee house, at the park, anywhere. No complicated setup process, people to follow, or rooms to configure. Simply jump into the conversation happening around you.

It’s only available in San Francisco, New York, and my lovely hometown, Austin, for now. I’ll have lots more thoughts on this one once I’ve given it a go during SXSW.

(free)  iTunes Link

Trillian  (v1.5.3.6)

Picked by: Renkman

Trillian

Social networking apps are very popular in the App Store these days.  Trillian for the iPhone is my current favorite to help keep track of all my instant messaging sites in one place.  With Trillian there is only one place I need to go to catch up with friends.  With integrated contact lists, push notifications, and multiple account support, Trillian provides a powerful user interface that is clean and easy to use.  All the the major IM sites are supported–Astra, MSN, Facebook Chat, Yahoo, AIM, Google, MySpaceIM, and Jabber.  Enter all your sign-in info one time, and all your future logins will only need to go through your Trillian account.  Other features include…

  • Landscape support
  • Privacy settings (block, invisible, etc
  • Copy/paste support
  • Contact search
  • Tabbed chat windows
  • Viewable contact info
  • Send pictures
  • Typing notifications

At $4.99, you get a very stable, reliable app that is intuitive and easy to use.  There is even a desk-top client that can synch with your MAC, Windows, or the Web.  Give it a try today!

(4.99)  iTunes Link

There you have it!  Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Picks of the week.  Please let us know what you think, and share with us some of your favorites.

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