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
Steve Jobs Biography
Picked by: AliciaB
Instead of choosing an app, accessory or service for an iDevice, I decided to go with the biography of Steve Jobs, released this past Monday, as my most sincere heartfelt recommendation and pick for this week.
If you are reading these lines, the man needs no introduction, and strictly speaking, if you have even just a passing interest in Apple or its products you will want to read this book. If you are an Apple follower it will make you believe in Apple more, and if you believe in demystifying Apple and humanizing Jobs then you will find the narrative deeply satisfying. Believe it or not it is a book for all Apple observers and critics.
A lot of it is familiar territory given that the broad strokes of Apple’s history and Jobs’ leadership of the company are well known. Still there is plenty in here that surprises, delights and fascinates and sometimes shocks. Currently 27% through the book on the Kindled iPad version, I find myself marveling at the influence of Buddhism and Bauhaus on Jobs’ and thus Apple’s aesthetic. I find myself recoiling at the unblemished picture of the young enlightenment-searching Jobs, with his extreme diets and eccentric habits. And I find myself fascinated at the coincidence of meetings and decisions that all contributed to the products we know and love today.
Reading about the fierce emotional battles that were often waged behind the scenes for details on a miniscule curve, shape and colour of a switch, is more than just amusing. It tells us a truly human story. A story of a battle of wills against odds, triumphs and failures. It tells the story of a man and how he moved the chess pieces in his universe to create a reality that leaves an indelible mark on us all.
Of course you can download Steve Jobs: the Biography by Walter Issacson on Amazon or on the iBookstore for Kindle, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone – or buy it in a brick-and-mortar bookstore.
Little Fear (v1.1)
Picked by: Jay
With the upcoming Halloween festivities, Byook (a previous pick) has released a free app highlighting the experience of reading a beyond-book, or byook. “Little Fear” is a chilling and brief story about what happens to children on nights where nightmares come alive, who is to protect them from those nightmares, and how easily they are forgotten by the rest of the world – including their parents.
According to Byook, “We give life to stories through new reading experiences mixing books and movies’ strengths.” By integrating sound, background music, graphics, and the iPhone’s vibration mode, reading a byook is an immersive and unique experience. With the addition of accessing Facebook, Byook has introduced a customized story as well… *grin*
If you haven’t tried reading a good byook yet, this free app is a wickedly great place to start!
(Free) iTunes Link
Rocketfish Mobile – RF-MAB2 High-Definition Stereo Bluetooth Headphones
Picked by: PatrickJ
I’m cheating a little bit again on this selection, as it’s not an Apple product – but it is a product that works wonderfully well with my iPhone 4S. I don’t get along well with in-ear headphones at all – I have pretty sensitive ears, get ear infections very easily and just never find them comfortable. I also hate messing with the tangled cables – especially when I go to workout, which I try to do nearly every day.
These Rocketfish headphones use Bluetooth and have no cables – which for me is a godsend. They fit very comfortably with their behind-the-head design and stay on perfectly as well – though I am using them only for indoor workouts in a workout room, so your mileage may vary (no pun intended) if you’re using them when running outdoors or similar.
They paired easily with my iPhone 4S and connect flawlessly as soon as I turn Bluetooth on the 4S and tap on the entry for them. They’ve got controls for switching tracks, adjusting volume, and taking phone calls – but honestly I don’t use any of those. I’m fine with using the iPhone for all of that – while the headphones just free me up from cables, and tangles and in-ear buds that either fall out frequently or are terribly uncomfortable to have in.
I’m super impressed with the battery life on these headphones too. Their specs state 14 hours of usage and though I haven’t measured closely that feels about right to me.
Here’s their feature list:
- Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, MP3 players and other audio devices
With a stereo A2DP Bluetooth profile for wide-ranging compatibility.
- Comfortable behind-the-head design
With foam ear pads for a comfortable fit.
- 4 high-definition audio settings
Deliver enhanced audio quality for customizable listening.
- Up to 14 hours of use per charge
Along with up to 340 hours of standby time for extended use.
Rocketfish is a Best Buy brand – so you can get these at their online site or in store. I bought them at my local Best Buy here in Austin.
Mint.com Personal Finance (v2.0)
Picked by: Thomas
Mint for iPad is perhaps the most colourful way to see how much money you do (or do not) have in your various financial accounts. The online service is free to sign up for and can monitor your checking and savings accounts as well as your credit cards, making the monitoring and managing your finances feel fresh (and possibly even minty).
Mint is able to intelligently discern that a Starbucks purchase is likely a coffee, and that something from IKEA is likely furniture for the home. In this way you’ll be able to see breakdowns of your expenditure types on a month to month basis, organized into beautiful graphs and charts. Mint Will also automatically set up budgets so that you know when you’ve been spending $200 more on Frappuccinos than you can afford, and this latest version also supports manual transactions, which is very helpful for purchases that are paid in cash (and therefore have no electronic trail).
The newly minted Mint iPad app takes a lot of the functionality from the web app and creates a beautiful custom interface that really feels at home on the iPad’s 10 inch screen, and I have found it incredibly helpful for creating automatic snapshots of my current financial status.
(Free) 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.