Kuwait Blogs App + iOS4

Posted by Mark

For those of you who’ve updated to iOS4 and noticed problems with the Kuwait Blogs App like the back button missing I am working on the fix right now. I should have checked and seen if there were any issues with the app and iOS4 earlier but I’ve been really busy. The update should be available in the app store in the next few days.

Update: Here is a quick temporary fix until the update is available in the App store. To see the back button again just click on Leave a comment at the end of the posts. Thanks Aziz for the tip.


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Video Capture Time

Posted by Mark

While in New York I picked up the Elgato video capture device for my Mac. Basically it allows me to connect regular RCA and S-Video cables to my Mac which I can then use to convert analogue video like old VHS and Betamax tapes to digital. I have a ton of old videos from the 80’s I want to start converting to digital and sharing on this blog. My issue is the Betamax tapes, does anyone know where I can get a hold of a Betamax player here in Kuwait?


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WaterField iPad Ultimate Sleeve Case

Posted by Mark

I’m a big fan of WaterField products. I got my first Apple iBook sleeve and bag back in 2001 from them and it still looks brand new today, the product quality is outstanding. That’s why when I got my iPad first thing I did was check out WaterField to see what they had to offer. Turns out they had a few different sleeves on offer but I decided to go with the iPad Ultimate SleeveCase which I am reviewing here. The reason I went for the ultimate case is because I could use it in two ways.

The first is like a messenger bag. I ordered the sleeve with d-rings on the side which would allow me to attach a shoulder strap and carry the ipad sleeve over my shoulder. I also got it with a small pouch that also attaches to the d-rings which I could use to carry more stuff like my phone and camera and when traveling I could put my passport and other items in the pouch. That way I travel very light, just the iPad in the sleeve and a few important items in the pouch.

Now the second way I can use this is just like a regular sleeve. I disconnect the strap and pouch from the d-rings and I end up with an iPad sleeve which I could insert into a larger bag.

The build quality as usual is incredible. The bag is made in San Fransisco and the material they use is very durable. The sleeve is padded very well and the inside is covered with screen cleaning Ultrasuede® lining so you basically clean your iPad every time you take it in and out of the case. The cost of my sleeve was $89 without shipping. Depending on your configuration it can either increase or decrease. The sleeve alone without the d-rings, pouch and shoulder strap is $55 for example. Here is a link to their website [Link]


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iPads at the Apple Store

Posted by Mark

There are none! You would think by now they’re readily available at the Apple stores but they aren’t. I pass by daily and they’re always sold out. They have an option to reserve an iPad which I did yesterday but they estimate I can pass by and pick it up in 7 to 10 days! Hopefully that’s just a conservative estimate.


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Cheap iPad Stand

Posted by Mark

Before I got to New York I had read about this stand people were buying for their iPad that was very cheap. It’s not really an iPad stand, it’s a business card holder from Office Depot that someone had realized works perfectly as an iPad stand. I passed by Office Depot in Kuwait and they didn’t carry it there so I passed by Office Depot here in New York where I ended up finding a few still in stock.

They had 10 left and I took them all so I could pass to my friends. How much does it cost? just 62 cents!


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Kuwait Blogs 1.1

Posted by Mark

The Kuwait Blogs iPhone app update is now available in the app store. I’ve added three new blogs, Kuwait Exposed, Q8 Black Market and Up Till One. On the other hand I had to remove the Some Contrast blog. Their feed was crashing the app randomly and although I didn’t mind that I was getting a lot of complaints by email and I was forced to remove it. They should be back in the next update once I figure out how to fix their feed. [App Store]


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Using the iPad App store without a US credit card

Posted by Mark

I started getting a lot of emails after my Zinio post asking me how I am getting my apps from the iPad app store without using a US credit card. Well, in case you missed it, I already posted a step by step guide [Here]

Update: Here is a step by step walk-through…

1) Go to maximuscards.com and purchase an iTunes card
2) Open up iTunes and go to the iTunes store
3) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
4) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
5) On the bottom of the iTunes store you will find a bunch of text links
6) Click on “Redeem”
7) Copy and paste the code Maximus Cards emailed you
8) Then choose create new account and follow the instructions (enter a US address)
9) When it comes to payment options there should now be an option called “none”, click that
10) Continue till the end and you should end up with a US account without having to use a credit card

When you run out of credits in your account you need to follow steps 1 to 7 and then for step 8 sign in the account you previously created. Below are screenshots showing the steps above.

Now if you aren’t interested in purchasing anything from the US app store but instead just want to download free apps that aren’t available in the Kuwait store (like CNN, Amazon and eBay) you can follow the steps below:

1) Make sure you’re not signed in to your Kuwait account
2) Scroll to the bottom of the store and make sure the US flag is showing on the bottom right. If its not click the flag and choose US.
3) Buy any free iPhone or iPad app from the US store
4) When you are asked to login create a new account
5) Enter a US address and choose “None” for payment method


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Zinio, my favorite iPad app

Posted by Mark

If I was forced to keep just one app on my iPad it would have to be Zinio. Zinio has made me owning an iPad logical. I’ve already posted previously about the fact that I didn’t know what exactly I would use the iPad for but with Zinio its become very clear… magazines. I love magazines and I hate books (short stories are fine). Maybe if I was stuck on an Island with just a library I would take up reading but with my already hectic life I need to make the best of my time and books just take too much of it. It’s the same reason I don’t watch many movies, for the same amount of time it takes me to watch 1 movie I could watch 4 episodes from my favorite TV show. The problem we have in Kuwait is magazines are expensive costing KD3 and up per issue every month. In the US you could subscribe to a full year for the same price we pay for just a single issue here. I’ve tried subscribing to US magazines and having them shipped with Aramex but magazines can be heavy and in the end I was paying 10$ a year to subscribe to 12 issues of a magazine and then paying KD3 or KD5.500 to ship a single issue to Kuwait.

With Zinio I no longer have that problem. Zinio originally was a website which allowed you to subscribe to digital versions of magazines so you could view them on your computer. Now they’ve created an iPad app which allows you to view the magazines on your iPad. The magazines on the iPad look like the print version except it has a few advantages. For example I was flipping through an article in Car & Driver about a car and on one of the pages I noticed an icon, when I clicked the icon it opened up a gallery full of pictures of the car.. ones that weren’t available in the print version. Other nifty features is the ability to open the contents page and then click on the headline of the article you want to go to or view all the spreads as thumbnails and then select the spread you want to see. There was a Honda ad in the magazine with a button click here for a test drive, when I clicked the button it played a video commercial of the ad (which was actually a good one). You can also view the magazine as a spread (two pages side by side) or if you hold the iPad vertically you can view the magazine page by page. You can zoom into the page to enlarge the copy by other double tapping a location or by pinching the screen. Another cool feature is the fact that you can view a purely text version of the magazine in case you’re having issues for some reason reading the regular print version. Articles in the text format can also be emailed to friends or to yourself to print out and you can even control the font size.

When you run the app you have three main sections, featured articles, your library and shop. Featured articles is basically samples of articles from some of the popular magazines which you could read for free. Your Library is where all your magazine issues are stored. You can view your magazines either by titles or by date. It’s very organized and easy to navigate. Finally the shop section is where you can flip through the magazines available to subscribe to and order them. Once you download a magazine you don’t need Internet access to view them. Magazine sizes vary from around 20MB to 40MB per issue. The prices for most US magazines like Car & Driver, Maxim, Cosmopolitan etc.. are around $10 to $15 for a yearly subscription (similar to their print counterparts) while some magazines that are European imports cost a lot more. You can use your Kuwaiti credit card without any problems.

The Zinio app is free and available in the App Store (on both the iPhone and iPad). Here is a link to the Zinio website where you can check all the magazines they have available with their prices. [Link]


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Lonely Planet iPhone app now free!

Posted by Mark

Due to many travelers being stuck all over the world due to the ash clouds from the recent volcano eruption, Lonely Planet is offering their iPhone apps for free. Their regular prices are usually $9.99 to $15.99 for each country app but from now till Thursday the European ones are going to be free. I just got a ton of countries as you can see above. [Link]


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Yo! Sushi iPhone App SumSushi now includes the GCC

Posted by Mark

The creator of the SumSushi iPhone app emailed me telling me he’s now included Kuwait, Bahrain and UAE Yo! Sushi prices in the application. So the next time you pass by Yo! Sushi it’s a lot easier to keep track of your bill. Once you download the app just go to the iPhone’s settings and then click on SumSushi and choose your country. The app is free. [Link]


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