Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Best Twitter Apps on Google Play

There are a tonne of half decent Twitter Apps on Google Play but while most kinda do a "job" many fall over at the first hurdle of providing a great user experience, so which ones should you give your time to (and indeed Money).

I'm not much of a fan of free apps, as you would either have to give up half of your screen estate to some bullshit advert or handover your digital DNA to a company who will sell your soul on your behalf, yes I'm looking at you Facebook. 

To keep it simple I have just given my thumbs up to just two of the best paid Twitter apps out there, otherwise this could have been the longest post in history of this blog had I mentioned them all in some way.


Plume has been around forever, and has some great features like live streaming, multiple account support and the ability to highlight tweets from certain people. There is a snazzy tablet version also which really does give you multiple line view with all your tweets, mentions, DMs, and other configurations which you can dick around with to your hearts content. 

You can select a tweet and then swipe the bar under the tweet to choose a ReTweet, Quote, Copy and a host of other options without clogging up your display like some kind of TouchWiz.

Ignore the free version and go straight to the 'Premium' version to avoid those pesky adverts. There is a new material design on its way that was in beta, its received a bit of a mixed bag of support and hate recently so you might want to look elsewhere until that settles, personally I think its excellent. 

$4.99 on Google Play


Bit of a dark horse this one, and certainly left of field, its close as you can get to the official app without losing the features that Plume offers. There is also a superb tablet specific app here, so it does do a great job on any screen size, we tested on 10.1in, and let me tell you it looked great. The material design is in full effect here, and I must give full props to the design team as they nailed it. 

What I love about Fenix is that is displays pictures in a very large format both in the stream and when opened / viewed. Its much better than say the official Twitter app and in Plume in that respect. 

On first glance you would think Fenix is actually under featured but things like Quote tweet are hidden away in the ReTweet icon, but one cool item that's missing from Plume, Tweet Cast and others is the option to translate right from the icon pull down on the right of any tweet, once selected Google Translate will fire up and as you how you want the tweet translated; I like.

I choose the dark theme, although you might enjoy the lighter one. 

Fenix really is the best out there in my opinion, check it out. 

$4.99 on Google Play

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

IHAG Gadget of the Year 2014 : Hammerhead Bike GPS

Yes, its the time again for us to sit back and ponder the year of 2014 from the good, bad and the ugly...

Kickstarter and Indigogo always throw up some great candidates, some a little left of centre but mostly in decent quality.

One item that came from left of centre was Hammerhead.

The bike attachment that helps you navigate using a series of lights on a loom attached to your handlebars. Sounds a little primitive but it really does work well, and for $85 thats a steal of a price.

Hammerhead is very easy to use and works with all the navigation apps you would expect too, as well as working out routes for cross country exploring. I'm a biker and loved using the Hammerhead, Im sure you will too.

Check out http://hammerhead.io/

More Tizen stupidity from Samsung, consumer collateral damage.

So now Samsung will run their Tizen OS on their range of poorly made TVs. Meaning you can have not one but two white elephants in the room at the same time, there must be a word for that by now...

... On the other end Sony have announced at CES Android TV will feature on its BRAVIA range of TVs meaning you can use your apps from Google Play ala Google Nexus. Which is a good thing.

But here is the thing, yet again Samsung is pushing out more Tizen into western markets which will confuse the consumers and restrict choice rather than encourage it. Ragardless of that, why buy a TV that has an OS that doesn't really interact with anything you already own ? Android already is a big seller for Samsung and pushing Tizen onto its sets seems a little shortsighted to say the least. Samsung (read Samdung) hasn't really been thinking of the consumer experience at all here, more for lining its pockets pushing something onto its sets which is pretty much useless.

Having Android TV is a compelling reason to buy a Sony, Philips, Sharp (or what other brand will have it) having Tizen is a further good reason not to buy an over saturated TV with an obsolete OS. Remember Samsung wants a war with Apple and Google, just don't become collateral damage.

Monday, 29 December 2014

I Have A Gadgets Top 5 games of 2014

When it comes to talking about the GOTY there are many games that are worthy pending the type of games you may play. I play many games a year, and spend way too much on games than i'd like, but an addiction is an addiction and this one is going nowhere. Anyway I had to think long and hard about what my top 5 games were going to be, and trust me it wasn't easy, but here you go...

5. South Park: The Stick of Truth

Now I'll admit i'm a true lover of RPG's, and when I heard that there was going to be a South Park RPG developed and overseen by Trey Parker and Matt stone, I knew the game

would be great, but when I first began playing, it struck me as PERFECT. Not only did the game make you feel as if you were really apart of the South Park world, it was full of all the humor of the show, from LOTR parodies to a consistency of fart jokes. Despite it being South park to the core, the RPG element of the game was not lost in the background. There was quite a hilarious abundance of spells, and some questionable but funny summons (Mr. Hanky & Big Gay Al). You still had the ability to level up, gather many weapons, and explore the whole town of South Park without feeling as if you were limited. This game was made for South Park fans and gamers alike, and it's certainly earned it's way onto this list.

 4. Super Smash Bros

I know to many this game should be in my top 3 if not number 1, but that would honestly just be awarding it the spot by title alone. SMB is easily the number one game on my list if I was going for pure replay value and entertainment alone, but i'm not. SMB still makes it in the top 5 because it brings out the true competitor in you and all those sharing that screen with you. Smash is full of well known characters, stages, and weapons, among giving you the ability to create your own characters (Mii) and level's to your hearts desire. Smash is the one game that can bring friends and families together, and at the same time tear them apart, I would know from experience. Nonetheless this game is a must buy, and if you don't own a Wii U yet, now's definitely the time to fork up the cash.

 3. Grand Theft Auto 5

Where does one start when it comes to GTA? The beautiful world? The immense amount of side quest? The Hoes?.....This game has it ALL, and till this day continues to deliver, with the upcoming Heist mode. GTA5 is a game that is more than worthy of this list. The characters are great, the guns are top notch, and the story is well worth the playthrough. There's so much I can say about this game, that i'm actually finding it hard to put it into few words. Rockstar is no slouch when it comes to the developement of their big name titles, and GTA5 is most definitely their greatest title ever made to date.

 2. Shadow of Mordor

I'll be the first to admit that i'm a huge LOTR fanboy, but that's not why this game is number two. Honestly this game surprised the hell out of me. Although many would claim that the game ripped off of Assassins Creed and the Arkham games, it certainly dd it well. The action in this game went where no other LOTR's game has gone before, delivering intense action sequences that kept you on your toes, and sweet decapitations to finish your foes off. SOM also does a great job of filling in some gaps in the LOTR lore, which certainly any fanboy/girl would appreciate. SOM is set in an open world, which also had it's fair share of sidequest, and the nemesis system incorporated into the game was nothing short of pure genius. SOM brought something new to the table this year and was successful with it. That's why this title earned my number two spot.

 1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition is nothing short of brilliant to say the least. Dragon Age Orgins was great, and Dragon age two was....ok, but Inquisition was pue perfection to me. I never felt the need to put so many hrs into a game until now since the day's of Skyrim and Mass Effect. The world of Fereldon is massive to say the least, and I spent 8hrs alone in the Hintherlands right at the start of the game, without even touching the story. Character creation is definitely on point, with tons of ways to create your player of choice. The action in the game plays out smoothly, and no matter your character class, you never feel as if you made the wrong decision. Dragon Age is the first game since Mass Effect, that made me care about the characters, and put every bit of consideration into who I wanted in my party at any particular time, and it was never an easy decision to make. To this day I have spent over 70hrs in this game, and I don't believe i'm anywhere near finish but yet I keep going back for more. Bioware struck gold once more with this title, which I myself was skeptical of, but now I feel that it warrants the title of GOTY.