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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2:48AM iPhone App update

Posted by Mark

An update for the 2:48AM iPhone App is now available in the app store. In this version I added the Bazaar Magazine category to the app so now you can read the magazine on your iPhone. Bazaar have also added a full RSS feed to their site so you can now add them to your feeds. I think I like the direction this app is going where I’m trying to get a variety of local entertainment in one app. If you have a suggestion that would fit leave a comment below. Next update will be for the Kuwait Blogs app. [Link]


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Alice in Wonderland for the iPad

Posted by Mark

Goodbye Kindle, goodbye Nook and goodbye Sony Readers. [YouTube]

It’s available now in the App Store for $8.99 [Link]


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iMaxi iPad Case

Posted by Mark

And the award for the worst designed iPad case goes to [Link]


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Are you getting an iPad?

Posted by Mark

Now that the initial hype of the iPad has died down a bit I’ve been trying to figure out where and how I would use the iPad and I haven’t really come up with an answer. The iPad works with WiFi meaning for me I can only use it at home or at work. I don’t go and hangout at coffee shops so it wouldn’t matter if I can get WiFi elsewhere.

At the office I barely have time to scratch my head and I’m sitting in front of a pretty 15″ MacBook Pro so the iPad wouldn’t serve a purpose there. I also don’t want to carry the iPad along with my Blackberry and iPhone to work everyday.

At home I’ve got access to three computers, my MacBook, my G5 PowerMac and my MSI Wind (also running OS X). Where would I fit the iPad? The minute I get home from work I get on my MacBook and start work on my blog until I’m tired and go to sleep.

The only place I thought the iPad fit nicely was in bed. Its lighter than a laptop, easier to hold and felt cozier in bed. But again what would I use it for? By the time I get to bed I would have already spent around 15 hours of my day online on a computer so what reason would I have to get on my iPad at the end of that?

What about traveling? I continue to blog when I travel and so I would need a laptop with me. An iPad wouldn’t work for me, I need an Ethernet port for hotels that don’t have wifi, I need a USB port to connect my camera to and I need Photoshop to be able to resize, retouch and compress images so I could post them. I can’t trust the iPad for all of that, its like trying to go off-roading in a Corolla. For in-flight entertainment I’ve got my amazing Archos 7 which has a 160GB hard drive and can play practically any video format you throw at it. It also has an amazing battery life that lasts over 10 hours AND I can get an extra battery for extra long trips. So really the iPad doesn’t fit in my travel plans as well. Even if I wanted to travel light I could always take my tiny MSI Wind.

So will I get an iPad? Yeah of course, even though I don’t have a use for one its still an incredible need to have device and I need to have everything thats this cool. I’m sure as the iPad matures and more people develop applications for it I’ll find a use for it in my life.


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Poor Macs

Posted by Mark

I was on my way to lunch when I spotted a bunch of Macs in the trash. If I had extra space at home I would have taken them all home with me but alas, they’re destined to the trash.


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