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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black Friday Deals for iPad Xbox One and PS4

Totally unrelated kitty photo
Getting a discount on hot items like an iPad Air 2 or a Playstation 4 can be difficult for most of the year, unless it is Black Friday. There is a list of all the deals for Black Friday and it seems to be up to date, and it is included below for reference. 

Highlights of the deals so far: 
  • Best Buy has all iPads $100 off
  • Target has the Nintendo 2DS with Yoshi's New Island $100
  • Walmart has the PlayStation 4 with $50 Walmart gift card
  • Best Buy has Xbox One with Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag $330
The full list of deals is over on Polygon

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: Walmart Savings Catcher

While it is important these days to try and save every penny, there is something to be said for the amount of time it takes to actually find and research these savings. So when something comes along that saves you something after the fact, that's a pretty good deal in my book.

The Walmart savings catcher is something that I noticed on the bottom of my Walmart receipt while wondering why light bulbs were so expensive (what's up with that, anyway) and seeing the QR code at the bottom of the receipt.

It is a pretty simple concept, the user downloads an app to a smartphone, scans the QR code at the bottom of the receipt and app compares the prices of local stores and what Walmart charged and gives you back the difference on a gift card.

It sounds too good to be true, but so far it seems to be working as advertised. The past three times my wife went to Walmart, I scanned in the receipt and in a couple of days (The savings are not instant) I got a notification that I had saved money using the app.

I don't like Walmart so much, but sometimes there's no other option, and this might save some money with very little effort, and that I do like. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Case Review: Nuguard KX for iPad Mini and iPad Mini with Retina Display

There's seemingly two opposing forces at will when it comes to technology. We want our gizmos to be thinner, lighter and sexier, but those features come at the expense of being able to repair things ourselves. Also, these devices cost an arm and a leg. We want to be able to bring our electronics with us, and have the ability to check the weather, news, or play a game no matter where we are, but once we take the phone or iPad out of the house, the chances of it getting damaged are increased. What a dilemma.

It used to be that protecting an iPad would mean a thick case that weighed the tablet down, totally destroying the whole aesthetic of the iPad in the name of survivability. The NuGuard KX for iPad Mini is a wonderful way to balance protection and looks, and is an excellent case for anyone looking to protect their iPad Mini or iPad Mini with Retina Display.

First of all, I've had the NuGuard KX case on my iPad Mini with Retina Display for over a month now, so I feel like I've got a really good idea of how the case functions in day to day operations. I've taken the iPad with me to the dentist, on EasyShifts, and to the kid's doctor appointments. Let me be perfectly clear about something: I have dropped the iPad with the NuGuard KX case installed. The case won.

I can go on and on about the features and the styling, but I wanted to say upfront, that I dropped the iPad while handing the tablet to my 3 year old. I told him 3 times to pay attention and hold the iPad carefully. "Do not drop the iPad." I said this many times to my son. I had to get my car keys out of my pocket, there were cars all around the parking lot and I had my hands full with groceries. That's when he dropped it.

You've seen those movies where the dramatic thing happens and time slows down? That's what happened to me as I watched my iPad succomb to gravity. It landed almost perfectly flat, with the screen face down. It couldn't have landed in a way to do more damage to the screen than it did.

The iPad was fine, and it is working perfectly. There's no evidence of the drop, no damage to the case or the iPad. I couldn't be any happier with the build quality, or the design of the case.

What saved my iPad is the special gel that's inside the case, dubbed "X-Orbing gel" and the design of the case. There's a lip that extended on the front of the case, keeping the glass surface off the surface of whatever it is place on, while face down. The design also kept the iPad from popping out of the case and impacting the pavement when it fell. There's a cross-hatch design on the back that gives the case a reassuring grip, without being a sticky mess.

I also have a NuGuard KX Screen Armor on the iPad Mini. The website claims that it has the same X-Orbing Gel that the case has, and it can withstand the impact from a hammer. I didn't go that far in my testing. However, I did notice some scratches on the screen armor when reviewing the case. I'm also an idiot and didn't follow the directions exactly when installing the screen armor, and I got a ton of dust under the screen. So there's always a possibility of messing up the installation. I had a screen armor on my iPhone 5 and that install went smoothly. Like I said, follow the instructions. The screen doesn't feel sticky like some other screen protectors do, and there's no drag at all when sliding and zipping around on the iPad Mini screen. It has helped protect my screen, and it worth every penny.

All of the ports are accessible through the KX case, and there are cutouts for the speakers, mics, and headphone jack. The only thing that I'm still wary about is moisture. This is an excellent case and if you are looking for a lightweight case that protects like a heavier case would, then you should buy the NuGuard KX for iPad.

Link: Purchase from NewerTech

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AOTD Episode 12

Apple had their annual Worldwide Developer Conference Keynote a couple of days ago, and this is where Apple announces the new software updates to developers. This is one of the biggest WWDC to be seen in quite some time. There's big updates to both iOS and OS X.

Apple announced iOS 8 and there's some really big changes coming to iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. Finally, finally, iOS is getting widgets. Widgets let you see live information from apps, and this is something that Android's been doing for some time.

iOS 8 is also going to allow users to replace the default keyboard! This is big news. While the keyboard on iOS is good, the keyboards on Android are very customizable, and that's something to look forward to on iPhones and iPads. Personally, I like the swiping gestures on Android keyboards, and while there's a taste of the awesome app, Swiftkey, on iOS already, SwiftKey and other apps are going to be available for reals in iOS 8.

For families, there's a big change to how Apple handles accounts. Now parents can link their kid's accounts to their own, as long as the kids have the same credit card tied to the account as the parental account. Parents can set spending limits on how much the kids can spend, and get notified when the kids buy an app. Good Deal! 

Also, when you get a notification in iOS, say from iMessage, you can reply in the notification. The way it works now, if you are in Real Racing 3, and you get a message, you have to tap the notification, the iPhone switches to the messenger, you type your reply and then you have to go back to the app you were in. In iOS 8, you will get a message, you can type your reply in the notification, and you don't have to leave your current app. Apps are also able to 'speak' to one another. iOS 8 is really going to be a game changer for iPhone and iPad owners. 

So iOS 8 looks great, but that's as long as you have an iPhone 4s or higher. The iPhone 4 got iOS 7, and Apple is dropping support for the iPhone 4. Before you get too upset, remember that the iPhone 4 was released in the summer of 2010, almost 4 years ago. (As a point of comparison, the Droid X was released as an iPhone 4 competitor, and never got past Android 2.3)

There are big, big updates to the Mac coming too, but the most impressive one I've seen is native support for Netflix in Safari. iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 usually get released in the Fall. Both updates are going to be free (yay!) Stay tuned for more information as it comes up. 

Aspect of the Daddy is a little segment that you can hear at the end of the HearthCast podcast every week. I like to talk about games, tech and sometimes life in general when you have a little toddler/preschooler to handle. Please head to to download episodes! Special thanks to Freckleface and Rewt for letting me crash on their podcast! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Photo Credit: USAF

To all my brothers and sisters that served before me, with me, and after me, thank you. Thank you for sacrificing so much of your own time, effort and to some, your life so we might have freedom. Memorial Day is more than a day off, or a day to buy a new car. It's a day to remember that freedom isn't free. So to all my brothers and sisters in uniform: thank you, and stay safe out there.

AOTD Episode 11

Peep and the Big Wide World is an educational cartoon based off an animated movie by the same name. Peep is a small bird and he's joined by other birds named, Quack and Chirp. The series has gone through a some changes over the years, but viewers in the US can catch the series on PBS. The only sponsor of the show at the moment is the National Science Foundation.

Peep Paint Splash is an educational game that's available on Android, iOS and on the Web. It's a very simple game that allows children to learn about colors. Peep will show a color, (like Orange) and the child will control Quack, who can jump on paint tubes containing different primary colors. The game will ramp up in difficulty only if the child gets the simple colors correct.

The game is free and it's good for some quiet time to show your little one about mixing colors, not to mention that the animation when you clear the board for new colors is really funny! Caleb loves to watch the hose get everyone wet.

This is a great series, and the episodes are on Netflix (that's how we found them) and feature an animated portion of the show followed by a short live action segment with kids where the kids explore the concept from the cartoon segment.

I recorded the segment using a new app and I'm on the fence about how it sounds. Please leave me some feedback at John  AT  Thanks!

Download: Android
Download: iOS 
Download: Browser (Flash Game)

Aspect of the Daddy is a little segment that you can hear at the end of the HearthCast podcast every week. I like to talk about games, tech and sometimes life in general when you have a little toddler/preschooler to handle. Please head to to download episodes! Special thanks to Freckleface and Rewt for letting me crash on their podcast! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

AOTD Episode 10: Ingress

Photo Credit: Google
Today on Aspect of the Daddy, I am talking about a little (free!) game called Ingress. Ingress is Android only for now, although I've seen port of it on iOS and a ton of rumors about it coming to iPhone, there's nothing official right now beside Android. It works equally well on phones and tablets, as long as the tablet has GPS built in.

Basically, Ingress is a type game that forces you to go outside and see parts of your town you might not have paid much attention to before. At its very best, you get to go out and get some walking in, lose weight and get to know the other players that are in your town as you coordinate attacks on the enemy and set up defences. At its worst, you stay in your car and play as you drive around town. People notice you circle the block 5 times and you look like a creeper.

My first tiny control field. 

Either way, Ingress is a fun game. You find portals in your town, usually public buildings like post offices or fire stations, and you hack them for items. These items can be used to actually take control of the portals and win them for your faction. There are two factions, and the back story is really interesting if you are into that sort of thing, but for simplicity's sake, there are green and blue factions.

When you get three portals won for the same faction, (green or blue) you can link them together and for a control field. The population that lives in these control fields are added to your score. (In the lore, you are actually are controlling the people in your control fields to side with your faction.) So the more people you influence, the higher your score and the faction with the highest score wins.

As you can see, this is a game being played all across the world! It's a pretty neat thing to get into and if you get to high levels, you are really pull off some incredibly large control fields when you coordinate with other people. 

You can really get into the lore and feel like you are really out there to help humanity if you want to, or just go out and have fun and lose some weight. I really enjoy walking around with my son and capturing portals, and he likes the sounds and stuff in the game. I let him push the buttons to hack and place items so we both have a good time. Give Ingress a try!

Download: Google Play

Aspect of the Daddy is a little segment that you can hear at the end of the HearthCast podcast every week. I like to talk about games, tech and sometimes life in general when you have a little toddler/preschooler to handle. Please head to to download episodes! Special thanks to Freckleface and Rewt for letting me crash on their podcast! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

[Review] Otterbox Defender for iPad Mini with Retina Display

There is something very comforting about knowing that there is an Otterbox on my iPad Mini 2, and in this review I will cover what works and what doesn't. OtterBox is well known for having high quality products, but does that mean you should fork over your hard earned money for an Otterbox? Read on to find out.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NEWGUARD KX Case and Screen Armor Review for the iPhone 5/5S

NUGUARD KX for the iPhone 5/5S

Note: Newer Technology provided the NUGUARD KX review case and NUGUARD KXs screen protector free of charge in exchange for a review.
I've been lucky enough to review quite a few cases over the years, and it's always somewhat concerning to my wife how excited I get when a case comes in for review. One the surface it might seem silly to get all worked up over a simple case, but think about that for a second. A case is purchased to protect and personalize one of the most expensive items we carry on our person almost all the time. Often, we touch the case more than the phone itself, and if you plan to flip your phone and sell it used, a case can actually be an investment. Phones that are mint are fewer and harder to find the longer a phone has been out and if you can find a case that is both pleasing to your hand and offers superior drop and impact protection will actually save you money when it comes time to sell your used phone.
Having said how important it is to invest in a good case, there are people out there that don't want to spend more than a couple of dollars on their cases. These are the same people that run around with cracked screens and battered phones.
First things first, if this is too long to read, here's my summation of the NUGUARD KX case. It rocks. It feels terrific in my hand and that’s very important. This is quite possibly the best-feeling case that I’ve ever had on any of my phones. The case has a soft-touch rubber texture that is not only grippy, but also has a premium feel to it. The NUGUARD KX also has a textured cross-hatch on the back that helps with the grip on the phone.
The case also protects your phone from drops and impacts. There is a gel inside the case that helps absorb and protect your phone, and directs energy from the fall away from the phone. New Technology also claims this case conforms to military specs. All I know is I’ve been extremely pleased with not only the quality of the case, but also the looks of the case. It’s pretty sharp looking.

Many people don’t like having to sacrifice thickness for protection. There are other cases out there that offer great protection from falls, but it’s an act of Congress to get the phone out of the case. Or there’s three different layers to take off, and locking tabs that break if you take the phone out too much. The NUGUARD KX case is one-piece and slips on and off the phone in seconds. The fit and quality of the case is excellent. I didn’t feel like I was damaging the case at all while I was putting the case on or off, nor was there any play between the phone and the case once it was installed. The Lightning Port and side switches are easy to access. The NUGUARD KX case doesn’t muffle the speakers of the iPhone 5 at all, and adjusting volume and turning the iPhone 5 on and off was effortless straight out of the box. There wasn’t any stiffness to overcome. The NUGUARD KX also has an important feature, the front of the case has a lip on it. This allows you to place the iPhone face-down on a table and the KX will protect the glass from being damaged or scratched by whatever you set the phone down on. 

Speaking of the glass, I was also provided a NUGUARD KXs screen protector. The case was made specifically for the screen protector so the two went together very easily. They complement each other very nicely. The screen protector doesn’t just protect against scratches, it has a protection and absorption layer in addition to an adhesive layer, offering three layers of protection. There’s video out there of the NUGUARD KXs screen protector taking a hammer to the face and living to talk about the tale. Amazing stuff. Installation was easy and the provided tools and directions were excellent. However, I managed to mess up the installation and when I put the case on the iPhone, the edge of the screen protector squished up against the case where I didn’t line up the screen protector accurately. I was able to pull the NUGUARD KXs up and reinstall it where it fit perfectly. Thankfully, you wouldn’t even be able to notice I messed up the installation. Testament to how well the NUGUARD KXs screen armor is built.
As a combination, the case and the screen armor of the NUGUARD KX series makes an excellent way to protect your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S. They are an affordable way to ensure your iPhone stays in tip-top shape, not to mention the peace of mind you will have knowing your precious device is in good hands. 

The NEWGUARD KX series cases and screen armor 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hitbliss April 14, 2014

So there's quite a few ways for people to go out and make some money on the side, in your spare time. One of the ways you can earn a little credit on the side, is through a program called, HitBliss. Hitbliss is basically a program that shows you ads and you get credits for watching those ads. While there are some movies and TV programs that you can buy through Hitbliss itself, you really get maximum value through this program when you link Hitbliss to your Amazon account. Linking to Amazon lets you watch or rent a wide variety of TV shows and movies through Amazon Instant Video.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind though. You have to push a button that randomly pops up to prove that you are actually watching the ads. There is a trust level system, where you level up the more times you prove that you are at the screen watching the ads. The higher your trust level, the longer you can go before you are prompted to prove that you are watching. Also, you can only earn $6 in credit at a time. Once you hit that $6 limit, you have to spend it before you can earn more money. And don't think you can bury Hitbliss and click over while you do other things. If you are doing something in another window, and you have the focus away from Hitbliss, it stops and you don't get any credit until you click back on it.

While it's a little repetitive, there's nothing wrong with spending a couple of minutes to earn credit to watch a show that you would otherwise pay for. If this is something you are interested in trying, please click the link below.

Sign up for free! Hitbliss

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Download Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft in the USA

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment 

Blizzard's finally come to the iPad and it is the long-awaited card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. While no doubt has many people in a fever to get their hands on the game away from the confines of a laptop or desktop computer, there's one little hitch that's stopping most people from downloading the game right now from iTunes:

Hearthstone is not available in the USA.

Whhhhhhat? Seems our neighbours to the great snowy North finally have something to hold over us in the USA. Canada, Australia and New Zealand have the game already and if you live in one of those countries, you can head over the App store and download it now. Go do it, what are you waiting for?

Don't fret though, there is a way to download Hearthstone in a restricted region, catch me after the jump for the how to.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aspect of the Daddy March 25, 2014

Hey guys, it's time for another quick post for Aspect of the Daddy! Today's show features an app called Carat and it will help you figure ways to extend the life of your battery on your Android and iOS devices. It's free and available on the Google Play Store and the App store on iOS.

Carat works by comparing your phone's performance with all the other phones using the app. Did I mention that this is a project of UC Berkeley? So there's no commercial aspect here, nobody is making money on the app or your data.

Just install Carat and open it a couple of times a week. When it's open, Carat will send your data to the cloud and the servers will crunch your data and give you some interesting information for you to look at. Carat will show you bugs that it's found and energy hogs, and tell you how to stop the offending apps from using up your battery. It also is able to tell you how much battery you will save by following the advice it gives.

Because of the nature of the operating systems, Carat works wonders on Android and works well on iOS. iOS tends to wall off apps from talking to one another, as a security measure, and Carat is limited on iPhones. It also takes Carat much longer to return data on iPhones. I suspect that iOS 7's aggressive task killing is to blame here.

Regardless, with enough time, Carat might save you a couple of hours (or more) of battery life during your day.  Find the download links below and don't forget to listen to my segments on the HearthCast podcasts!

Source: Carat 

Download on Android
Download on iOS

Link to Aspect of the Daddy on HearthCast 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Aspect of the Daddy Episode 3 Toca Cars

On today's episode of Aspect of the Daddy, we talked about Toca Cars, by Toca Boca. Caleb who is three, just loves this game, and I really wanted to pass it on to other adults that care for kids. The game is available for iTunes, Google Play and The Amazon App store.

This game is a simple, but extremely fun car game. The game uses a touch system to drive the car, and since this is geared towards kids, driving is as simple as one finger on the screen. The car will head towards the finger on the screen, so there's no gas or steering to deal with.

Everything in the 'sandbox' is made of cardboard, and the art style is bright and colorful. There are a couple of ways to play, either in a preset world that has a road, ramps and traffic lights. There is also a creative mode where the child can place the cars, ramps, streets and buildings to her liking.

The music and sounds are not quite as irritating as some kid's games can get. I found myself humming along to the music and it was stuck in my head hours after he went to sleep. It's one of those games.

Cars is available on iOS, Android and the Amazon App Store for $2.99, and it's nice that you pay once and you have the game. All of it. In other words, there aren't any in-app purchases to worry about.
Hit up the Toca Cars website for the official download links. Download the latest episode of Aspect Of the Daddy here! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Free Book This Weekend

There's a series of books that might just grab you and never let you go. The Primitive series is about shape-shifting Tigers and Wolves set in the bayous and swamps of southern Louisiana. The reviews are amazing and the author is smoking hot! If you need a little bit of romance with a twist of paranormal shape-shifting, check out Alicia Sparks and the Primitive Series.

Fitbit Recalling Fitbit Force

Seems like there are some problems with the FitBit Force. There were reports of people wearing the Force getting a rash on their wrists. The CEO of Fitbit, James Park, has gone on to the company blog to detail how he is going to compensate everyone that bought a Fitbit Force. It looks like he is going to give everyone a refund, and of course he is no longer going to sell the Force. However, it seems like the violet Fitbit Flex is still on sale at the time of this writing.

There is going to be a voluntary recall of the Force and Fitbit has set up a recall website, or call 1‑888‑656‑6381. The user will receive a kit to send the Force back to Fitbit, and a refund check will be issued.

There is a rumor of a new device coming from Fibit soon, and seeing how I am in the hunt for a Fitbit myself, I am really looking forward to seeing what Fitbit comes up with.

Source: Fitbit

Monday, February 3, 2014

Aspect of the Daddy Episode 1

Hey, thanks for stopping by and checking out my little place on the Web. Hopefully, this will update every week and I can finally get off my lazy butt and find time to write about tech, toddlers and the pains that come with raising kids. It would be great if you could stop by and say hi in the comments. It is nice knowing that there are people reading this, besides that spam bots.

In the first episode of AotD, I talked about two apps that are pretty noteworthy on your smart phone. For Android, I picked up A Better Camera. This app brings all of the best features of popular Android camera apps like HDR Camera+, Night Camera+ and HD Panorama+ and baked into A Better Camera. The app is free and open source, so it can be incorporated into all of your favorite apps. This is quite an important moment in Android, hopefully all of the best apps in proprietary software like you might see in a Samsung Galaxy S4 or a Note 3.

For you iPhone users out there, you are not left out. You already have a great camera, and great software so I am focusing on another genre here. Facebook finally got an update and it's on a brand-new app. Paper -- stories from Facebook. This is a brand new app, and it looks terrific. It lets swipe and slide your way through not only your Facebook news feed, but you can add news feeds like technology, photography and cooking.

So there's the first episode of AotD, I need to find a place to host my podcast feeds, and write out some more ideas for more episodes. Thanks for the support, and here's to more fun!