Elago Slim Stylus for the iPad

Post by Mark

If you own an iPad you’ve most probably already downloaded Draw Something or Paper by FiftyThree. If you haven’t all you need to know is that they are two very popular apps right now that involve drawing. The regular way to draw on the iPad is using your fingertips but you can also use a stylus for a more natural feel.

I searched Xcite, Office Depot and Blink and ended up going for the Elago Slim Stylus from Blink. I thought from all the models I checked, the Elago stylus looked like something Apple would have designed themselves. The stylus weighs enough to feel comfortable and is made of metal but has a rubber tip. It also comes with an extra rubber tip in case you damage one for some reason.

Drawing with a stylus is a lot easier than drawing with a finger obviously. I won’t show you how my drawings improved using the stylus because I can’t draw for shit with or without the stylus. But it really does make a difference and if you’re having difficulty drawing properly with your fingers or if you’re serious about illustrating on the iPad then getting a stylus is a must. Their prices range from around KD3 and upwards. The stylus I got cost me KD7.250 which is very reasonable and just KD2 more expensive than amazon. It’s definitely worth getting a stylus.


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Kuwait Blogs App Update

Post by Mark

I finally got around to fixing and updating the Kuwait Blogs app and it’s available to download right now in the store. Other than the fix to the thumbnails not loading I’ve also updated the blog list and now includes the following blogs:

2:48AM
2:48PM
360 Dewan
Aboflan
Ansam
Buz Fairy
Confashions
Danderma
Dusty Co.
Frankom
Grapevine
His & Hers
iLSul6ana
Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait
Khaleejesque
Kuwait Music
Pink Girl Q8
Tidbit Du Jour
Trying to be Fahad
zDistrict

But all is not well. When I updated the app on my phone awhile ago it was freezing on launch. It was working perfectly fine when I tested before uploading to the store. It seems it’s working on some phones perfectly fine while others are facing issues similar to mine. Bare with me I’m not an expert in this. For now you can download it the way it is until I see if I can find a fix for it over the weekend. [US App Store Link]

If you could you please tell me in the comments if the app is working or not working with you that would be great. If you can include which iPhone you have and what version it is that would be even better. Maybe I could narrow the problem down that way.

Note: The included blogs might not all be the most popular but they are blogs I think are interesting and I’ve also tried to include a bit of variety in style and content.


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UAE Cabinet has adopted iPads

Post by Mark

The UAE Cabinet is now using iPads to “achieve speed and flexibility in decision making” says HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. [Source]

In other news the Angry Birds creator is working on a muliplayer version of the game for an undisclosed customer from the Middle East.


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iOS 5.1 fixes annoying phone number problem

Post by Mark

If you didn’t know already, Apple last night released an update to iOS 5. Among other things the update fixes the issue where sometimes the phone wouldn’t recognize the caller. So upgrade your phone to the latest version to fix that problem.

Update: With the 5.1 update Siri now can make phonecalls!


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Negooshi iPhone Game

Post by Mark

Two Kuwaiti guys have created an iPhone game called Negooshi which revolves around a kid who takes revenge on some school bullies by using a slingshot. I found the controls a bit difficult to use and the menu system hard to navigate and understand but I liked the Kuwaiti voice overs and the fact that the game is localized. If you’re interested, Negooshi costs $1.99 and is available in the iPhone store right now. [Link]


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Abdulrahman al-Zanki still in the news

Post by Mark

It’s been over a year since the young Kuwaiti iPhone app designer Abdulrahman al-Zanki created his game but he’s still making headlines, most recently in the New York Times:

It took Abdulrahman al-Zanki, then 14, a few weeks to develop his first game, Yellow Taxi, and upload it to Apple iTunes in 2010, learning from written instructions between school hours and homework. Since then, the Kuwaiti teenager has created 22 more iPhone games in less than two years, including the highly popular Doodle Destroy.

You can read the full article [Here]


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Action Movie App

Post by Mark


[YouTube]

Next time I’m going to try the missiles attack effect on a Gulf Road douchebag. [Link]


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Kuwait Airport App

Post by Mark

This is a very simple app which allows you to track incoming and departing flights at the Kuwait Airport. Back in the old days (I’m talking around 2001-2002 here) the Kuwait Airport website was terrible (kinda like now) but it had one very cool feature. When you accessed the airport website from a PDA browser, it wouldn’t take you to the regular website but instead take to a very simple white background site with just a list of incoming flights on it. It was PERFECT! A lot of times when I needed to check the arrivals list it would usually be when I’m on my way to the airport and from a mobile device. That simplified version of the website made things very practical and I was actually really surprised the airport website had that feature. Sadly, this cool feature disappeared years ago without a trace.

Which brings me to this app. It’s fast and focused. It’s actually the fastest launching app on my iPhone right now. So fast I actually had a VERY difficult time capturing a screenshot of the splash screen. Once the app loads it downloads the list of arriving and departing flights and you’re set. You can then scroll down the lists or search for a specific flight number or airline.

There are no negatives other than the fact the app isn’t free. You can download it from the App Store by searching for Kuwait Airport or by following this [Link]


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Where to fix your iPhone or iPad

Post by Mark

I heard about this place that fixes iPhones ages ago but never had a reason to pass by until today. My mum accidentally dropped her iPhone into her coffee and it stopped working so I took it to the Michel Chinese Workshop in Hawalli. That’s the official name of the store but you can call it the iPhone and iPad Workshop. The shop is located in the basement of a complex and is run by a very nice Chinese couple in the front and four young Chinese technicians in a small glass room in the back.

This tiny place kicks ass. They fix whatever problem you have with your iPhone or iPad and at a very reasonable price. They fixed my mums phone for KD15 while one of my twitter followers was able to replace his broken iPad screen for KD30. They’re also fast, it took them less than an hour to diagnose what the problem was with my mums phone and also fix it.

Finding the place isn’t too difficult as long as you know Ibn Khaldoon Street since they’re right on it. Get to Ibn Khaldoon and if you pass McDonalds on your left, keep driving around 100 meters and you’ll spot the above banner on your right hand side. If you’re on Ibn Khaldoon Street and you pass McDonalds on your right then you’ve passed the place. In case you get lost you can call them on 66228596 or 22640666.


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iBadala vs Urban Moon

Post by Mark

I have a habit of installing apps on my iPhone and then only using them a handful of times and never again. Over the years I’ve accumulated a ton of useless apps to a point where finding one I needed became a hassle. So I decided to do some spring cleaning and delete the apps I hardly use anymore as well as apps that do pretty much the same thing. For example I had two apps that I used to re-size images on my phone, two apps to listen to internet radio stations, two RSS readers and so and so. I also had two apps which I used to find numbers of local businesses, iBadala and Urban Moon. So which did I decide to keep?

First I’ll state the obvious, iBadala looks terrible. The app feels like it’s stuck in a bad design time-warp somewhere between Windows 3.11 and the Pontiac Aztek. It’s not a pretty app while Urban Moon on the other hand looks a lot cooler and feels trendier. It has a pretty icon and a nice start up splash screen that really helps with the first impression. So in the looks category, Urban Moon wins hands down.

When it comes to functionality though, things are completely different. Although Urban Moon is the better looking app of the two and one that feels like it should be easier to use, it isn’t. When I run either one of these apps it’s usually because I’m looking for a number, usually a restaurant to call and check if I can reserve or see how long the line to get in is. Whenever I run Urban Moon I first need to wait for the app to check for updates, and if any are found I have to wait for them to download before I can even start using the app. Depending on how fast my internet connection is at that very moment this could take 5 second if there are no updates (on my 4s) or 10 to 20 seconds if there are any updates. The thing is, even 5 seconds is too long since it makes the app feel sluggish right from the get go due to the app freezing on the start up screen until it’s done checking for updates.

iBadala on the other hand takes just 2 seconds to launch and is then ready to use right away. While Urban Moon has all the numbers built into the app, iBadala grabs a number for you from an online database. Although that sounds slow in reality the search can take as little as under a second depending on how fast your connection is. The disadvantage here is the fact that if you don’t have an internet connection you can’t find any numbers.

It wasn’t that hard really to choose between the two. Even though iBadala is an ugly app, I constantly found myself using it instead of Urban Moon to find numbers quickly. Even if there wasn’t a long wait at the start of Urban Moon I still had to enter a section (another 1 second lost) before I could get to the search box. In any case both apps are free so you could download both and try them out and see which you prefer. I actually got Urban Moon back when they were selling it for $3.99 but they’ve recently made it free (but added advertising) which I think is a better way to go about it.

Here are the links for both apps:
iBadala App
Urban Moon App


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