Tag Archives: iphone

Review: Powerbag by ful is a device-charging backpack that looks too good for a geek

Over the past month, I’ve been carrying around a Powerbag backpack from ful.  The idea is pretty straight-forward.  They put a 3000 mA battery inside a backpack complete with adapters for just about any device you’d ever want to charge.  On heavy usage days, I have a mobile charge with me at all times. Instead of taking out all of my devices when I get home, I just plug in the bag.

Read on for the full review…

Sure you could just buy a $42 5000mA USB Battery and pop it in your regular backpack and you’d get some of the same functionality (guilty!) as the Powerbag.  But in this Powerbag, it is all integrated.  Nothing to lose and everything is organized.

The battery sits in the front pocket and can be removed and charged externally, though I’m not sure why you’d want to (it is light enough not to notice when carrying around).  Then, adapters run into a side pocket where you can fit small stuff like an iPhone or camera.  In the main compartment, there is a 2.1A USB port for quick charging tablets or bigger devices like an iPad or Kindle.

“Powerbag sources the highest quality cells and parts for the batteries,” a ful spokesman told us “Our batteries are all rigorously and thoroughly tested, enduring the most abusive of treatment, still upholding Powerbag’s high standard of safety.”

The backpack comes with a 3000 mAh battery, with additional batteries (6000 mAh, 9000 mAh) available for purchase separately.  I found the standard battery was able to charge up an iPhone 4 about twice or adds 5 hours of use to an iPad (about half a charge).  It also has a powerful 2.1A internal USB adapter for quick charging the iPad vs. the slow charge you get from most USB batteries.  What’s probably the best part of this bag is that you can just leave your devices (up to 4) in your bag when you get home and just plug in the bag.  That saves some hassles.

Click to view slideshow.

Also, it can charge up to 4 devices at a time.  So, you can charge an iPhone and an iPad at the same time and still have two ports for a camera, bluetooth headphones, an iPod, a Bluetooth keyboard or anything else that can charge via USB.

It isn’t just a power plant, either.  The Powerbag is also a well built, incredibly well designed backpack with lots of internal pockets (more external would have been helpful) which rides on your back very comfortably.  The bottom is ruggedized, there is a front external pocket on the strap and there is lots of cargo space to go around.  The material is strong, the sticking is industrial and the zippers are high quality.

This thing is great all around but there are some things that could be added/improved upon.  Here’are some suggestions for v 2.0:

  1. Solar! Obviously you aren’t going to fill up a 3000mA battery in a day but it would be nice while camping (or in a pinch) to have an extra source of energy. Bonus for a crank charger.
  2. It doesn’t exist yet, but a version that could charge a MacBook Air would be awesome.  The 9000mA battery could certainly help – otherwise check out hypershop.
  3. The system isn’t as user friendly as I’d like.  It would be nice to get auto-charging without having to hold down the button for 2 seconds on the front.  There have been a few times that I forgot to push the button and my devices lost charge.  It hasn’t happened yet but I could see the button being pushed by mistake and draining the battery as well/
  4. Car/Plane lighter type adapter would be nice in the base package.

But these are just wishes.  Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this bag which retails for $129.  For the deluxe model which includes more pockets and a 6000mA battery, you are talking $169.

They also come in a variety of shapes and styles including $129 messenger bag, suitcase, and more.

Ful has provided us with a 15% off discount code POWERBAG95 good on their site: http://www.mypowerbag.com/



EA Mobile: Flight Control and Mirror’s Edge for iPhone and iPad free today

From 9to5toys.com:

Today only EA Mobile is offering both Flight Control and Mirror’s Edge ($9.99) for free in both regular (iPod/iPhone) and HD (iPad) versions.  This is the first time that both of these iOS hit games (over 4 million paid for!) have been free.



Radio Shack to offer $30 discount on iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 starting Sunday

From 9to5Toys.com:

RadioShack is offering a $30 discount on all of their AT&T high end smartphones which obviously includes the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, starting Sunday and running until December 17th. The sale will bring the iPhone 4S 16GB down to $170 0n contract and the iPhone 4 16GB to $70 on contract. Also, if you use Radioshack’s trade-in program you can get the phones for free and even have some extra credit left over. Head over to your local store to take advantage of this sale.

Update: Word on the street is that Target is going to give $25 back on an iPhone purchase. (Thanks commenter)

Apple posts Beatles iTunes ‘Covers’ ad to go with free Yellow Submarine iBook

Seems to be Beatles day at Apple.  Earlier, we noted the iBookstore offering an enhanced iBook version of The Beatles Yellow Submarine (also worth noting: in the credits at the top it says ‘For Steve’).

A few minutes ago, the above ad appeared in Apple’s YouTube feed.

Go get some Beatles!



Games for the weekend: Storm in a Teacup

Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.

Storm in a TeacupA platforming game presents the player with a series of actual platforms the central character must jump to and from to complete a level. With Chillingo’s iOS title Storm in a Teacup, we get classic side scrolling platform mechanics, with graphics and charm that are anything but traditional.  For just $1.99 on the Mac App Store, and$2.99 on both the iPhone and iPad, this game offers a lot for very little.

Storm in a Teacup 1

What sets this game apart from other platform games is the meticulous detail on the graphical design of the levels.  The style could best be described as a well-crafted scrapbooking project come to life.  The main character, Storm, navigates a flying teacup through various obstacles, ultimately collecting hidden stickers that are revealed once all of the sugar cubes have been collected.  As you collect these stickers, you can customize the design of Storm’s world by unlocking new outfits, hairstyles and even changes to the teacup itself.

Storm in a Teacup 2

The game is simple, yet slightly challenging to master.  You move either forward or back and can give the teacup either a gentle or hard nudge into the air.  The physics behind the gliding aspect of the teacup are reliable and consistent.  You are however limited in how much ‘umph’ you have available at any give time to propel the teacup backwards or forwards.

You’ll find you’re about halfway through the forty levels by the time you’ve mastered flying in a teacup, at which point the difficulty gets a little more challenging where obstacles are concerned.  The real challenge isn’t simply completing every level, but completing every level perfectly and collecting all the hidden stickers. Unique achievements like completing a level without jumping, which are awarded through Crystal and Game Center integration, add replay value to this cute, fun game.

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Patent Wars: Apple Loses To Samsung And Moto In Germany, Australia

Photo by rb3m - http://flic.kr/p/6sFFE4

In the ever-changing patent wars, somedays you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. After coming up roses Thursday, Apple finds itself on the losing side against Samsung and Motorola.

An Australian court today dismissed Apple’s request to continue the country’s ban on Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet. The ruling by the Australian High Court means the South Korean company will be able to hawk its device during the all-important Christmas buying period.

In an ironic move, the court also ordered the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant pay legal costs. Conversely, on Thursday, a French court denied Samsung’s bid to ban the iPhone 4S, ruling the smartphone maker must pay Apple’s court costs. Apple and Samsung are engaged in courtroom brawls covering some 10 nations.

Apple suffered a second patent loss Friday, this time in Germany. That nation’s court ordered an injunction against the iPhone and iPads using 3G. Motorola claimed the Apple devices infringed on a European patent regarding the “Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System.” Patent expert Florian Mueller, writing at FOSS Patents, said the patent was ruled essential for the GPRS standard, a version of 3G used widely used in Europe.

The ruling comes after a German court sided with Motorola in an earlier default judgement against Apple. The default judgement was entered after Apple failed to respond to Motorola’s complaint. Today’s court decision actually carries a penalty compared to the essentially administrative default ruling.

Although the iPhone 4S was released after Motorola filed the German lawsuit, Mueller believes Apple’s newest iPhone would also contain the offending technology. However, the actual ruling mentions only the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G.

While Apple’s next step is unknown, one potential reaction could be for the company to modify its products to remove the patented technology. The company is expected to unveil a new iPhone and iPad in early 2012.

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Hacker Demonstrates Untethered Jailbreak For iOS 5 [Video]

Back in November, iOS hacker Pod2g announced in a message on Twitter that he had discovered a bug in the iOS 5 software that could provide an untethered jailbreak. To backup his claims, Pod2g has posted a video to YouTube that demonstrates the hack in action, but he’s yet to provide any indication as to when the jailbreak might go public.

Following his announcement last month, a member of the Chronic Dev-Team verified Pod2g’s exploit and confirmed that it was indeed legitimate, but claimed that it was being kept “highly guarded until the right time.”

Just in case you needed proof of its existence, Pod2g has created a video demonstration (above) of the untethered jailbreak in action on an iPod touch running iOS 5.0.

It’s all very promising for those who are itching to install apps and tweaks that aren’t authorized by Apple, but unfortunately, we have no idea when the jailbreak will be made public. There’s clearly a lot more work to be done before Pod2g releases his hack, but at least we know it’s in progress.

[via AppAdvice]

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