Sunday, December 30, 2012

Talkler By Talkler Labs iPhone Review

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Talkler is an iPhone app using your voice to scroll through your emails, read your emails aloud, as well as reply by speaking. I'll make it real simple for you, if the fact that Siri can not read your emails bothers you, then you'll love this app. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what a frequent traveler on the road needs to safely manage their email, and Talkler Labs has put those needs into their iPhone app.

When you first begin, it's easy to add an email account like gmail and yahoo, but I'm sure it's up to your employer if you can access their email server. Once you are set up, take a quick walk through, and you are ready to go. You should see a magnified list of your emails to scroll through like your normal iPhone email inbox, and I suggest you start by clicking the Talkler Tips light bulb. Scroll through the numerous things you can ask Talkler to do with your emails, as well as some very useful touch features. I guess you'd like to start reading emails now, so go ahead and hold your home button like Siri. Just kidding! I wouldn't review an app that boring, instead put your hands behind your back and say "HEY TALKLER!" Without touch, you can now ask Talkler to do whatever it is you need to do.

The best feature is once Talkler starts reading your email. In a large font teleprompter format, you'll hear your email read in a better than Siri voice, that follows whatever is on your screen. What that means for you is you can simply scroll forward or backward to whatever you would like read again, or see if your friend really just wrote "badunkadunk". No more triple click VoiceOver or highlight to speak, just tell Talkler what to do, and chances are it'll do it!

Here are just a few of the one's I like to ask following "HEY TALKLER!": "check for new mail", "read unread messages", "trash this one", "record a reply", "speak slower", "what was that?", and my favorite, "Help Me!" We all speak in different ways, so you can change any of the above commands to something else like, instead of "what was that?", you can say "could you repeat that?", or "I didn't get that." Without having to list every phrase, you get the picture that the command list is plentiful. With "record a reply", you can record a voice response that sends an mp3 file to open. That way, if you need to respond quickly, you don't have to worry about grammar or inflection. Like any voice activation, I've repeated some commands that must think I'm saying something else, but maybe I just need to try and say it another way.

The touch features are very useful, and you shouldn't have to look at your phone to use them. On top of easily going back or forward, you can touch your email to pause/resume, pinch your fingers to delete an email, swipe left to see your next email, or right to see the previous. Talkler is free to use, but they do have a monthly or yearly fee if you want to remove ads, but that's completely up to you. Whether you are blind, can't see like you used to, or are constantly checking your email while driving, Talkler is a must try!

We would love to hear if you downloaded the app and what you thought of it, leave us a comment below!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Reality Of Gunsanity

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I ask that you take a short break from reading our iPhone app reviews, to think about the extremely important issue of gun control.

There are so many debates and articles flooding the web on those who support stronger gun laws, and those who want their 2nd Amendment gun freedom. You don't know who makes a valid point, or if what you are reading is even the truth. So to take a little different perspective, I thought we could just relax for a minute, and imagine these tragic situations with armed citizens.

The most recent murder of 20 children and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary has hit us all so hard. The fact that a human being could gun down so many helpless children, none of us will ever comprehend. As I read and expressed my own sorrow on Facebook, I quickly learned how naive I was. What started as a few thumbs up, ended with a comparison to 22 Chinese children being stabbed, BUT STILL ALIVE! Then I read other posts about us "gun control liberals" and how if teachers were armed, the children may have been saved. Those statements are why I want you as the readers to forget about who's right or wrong, and imagine what really happens in real life situations that could someday impact you.

Let's pretend a law was put in place last year to arm teachers if they take a course and are cleared mentally. For those who think we'll just arm the young body building teachers, something like 76% of them are women, and 56% are over 40. Fifty-five year old Mrs. Pegi Jones decided she would take the course, and the school would install a combination safe compartment to keep her gun. December 17, 2012 comes around, and it's a normal morning at school. Suddenly there are loud popping noises, and Mrs. Jones class jumps up and asks what is happening. All of a sudden one of the children yells out, "there's someone in the hall with a gun!" Never expecting she would ever need to flip that combination, Mrs. Jones quickly gets her gun, and tells the children to get down as she runs out of the room. Not knowing what to expect, she see's children frantically running in the hallway, and the gunman trying to break into another classroom. She starts to panic and fires 3 shots at the gunman. One of the shots whizzes by the shooter hitting a student in the leg, one hits the shooter in the thigh, and the other hits him in his bullet proof vest. The shooter screams out with rage, shoots Mrs. Jones, and unloads his weapons through the classroom window and hallway. The shooter is bleeding from his leg, but his adrenaline and anger easily takes him over to Mrs. Jones, and fires a bullet into her head. The shooter hears Mrs. Jones students screaming, and walks into her classroom. Without saying a word, he fires at the crying children, and shoots himself. When it was all over, 8 adults died, and 32 children.

Some of you are saying, "all you did was just make up a lame fictional short story and kill off some more people!" I won't disagree with you, but tell me how this story could possibly end up with a happier ending? Tell me a story about how if five movie watchers were packing the night of the Aurora Movie Shooting, they would have changed the outcome? Are you going to tell me how one of these men is a dark room sharp shooter, and with one bullet hits James Holmes right through his mask? Again, my guess is that short story ends up with James Holmes killing 50, and movie goers with guns killing 4.

So why is an iPhone App blogger diving into this topic? It's very simple, the belief that more guns is the answer is only going to lead to someone close to me ending up a statistic. I am not interested in going backwards in time to be a cowboy, or overtaking our government. People like John Lott are only going to cause more gun deaths in the United States. People like Piers Morgan are only trying to stop people from being slaughtered with assault rifles, and he's twitter slaughtered for it. I am not an expert on guns, and have never fired one. I understand the reasoning, and I have no problem keeping a gun in your home to protect your beautiful family. I won't even disagree that some murders wouldn't have happened, if the killer knew there were guns where they were going. If we could have security guards at every school like Wayne LaPierre VP for the NRA is proposing, that would be awesome! If you can get that done sir somehow, I am all for it, but that addresses nothing with gun control. It was clear after hearing LaPierre speak, and then again on Meet The Press, that the NRA will not budge on reducing clip size, or anything having to do with their precious guns. Lets be honest people, we are all crazy in our own ways, and any one of us has the potential to make a split second mistake during rush hour traffic. You have got to understand, for those of us who don't own guns, it's hard for us to just sit back and say,"evil people do evil things, and guns are not the problem." Would Adam Lanza have killed those children if his mother didn't take him to the shooting range and have three guns in her house, we'll probably never know. What we do know is that the United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, and 60% of homicides in the U.S. come from guns. I'm pretty sure with all the gun control talk, we just went from 1st, to 1st with a commanding lead! We can toss gun violence graphs in other countries back and forth, but none of that will change people like me. We fought over the Presidential Election with our different views, but even if you lost, your family moved on and lived. There is only one view in my mind regarding guns, and that is to make sure I never have to feel the pain we have all watched and felt through these tragedies.

The worst part of this debate, is I can't get these friggin NRA ads off my post! Thanks for reading, and god bless!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Twiddler By EM Games iPhone Review

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There are game genres we all choose to stay away from, for me some are endless runner games, mazes, and growing crap! Twiddler fits in the labyrinth/maze category, but it was intriguing enough to keep me playing. Imagine you have a glass lens in your hand you can rotate with ease, and you're looking into a maze filled world. Twiddler feels very realistic almost as if you forget it's just a screen, well, until you're rudely interrupted by someone calling. You begin each level rolling and balancing your ball rotating clockwise or counterclockwise, and grab as many stars as you can on the way to the end portal. Your heart will be thumping, so be sure to take a break in crevices to avoid enemies and obstacles like barbed wire and ugly creatures.

All that hard work squashed after grabbing a bunch of stars? You could take the easy way out skipping most of the stars, but that's not going to unlock the next level for you, so man up! Twiddler does work through the Game Center, so you will be able to challenge your friends scores and achievements if you so choose. Lets be honest here, that's about all I can tell you because this game is tough, for patient people, and I haven't unlocked many levels yet! Hopefully you'll have better luck than me, because Twiddler currently has a rust, nature, and space world, with 5 levels each(15 total). If you're into the labyrinth category, I think you'll love Twiddler, if not, I still think you'll appreciate the realistic feel to this game.

We would love to hear if you downloaded the app and what you thought of it, leave us a comment below!