Category Archives: Product Reviews

New products, featured products and cool items you didn’t know existed.

Fitbit Aria

We love finding new gadgets that improve our lives, and especially love it when they work with our iPhones. The Fitbit Aria scale is one such exciting device. It’s a wi-fi scale that tracks your weight, percent body fat, and BMI, and gives it all to you in a handy graph. The scale will report to the fitbit.com website, as well as your phone after you install the free app. It also can automatically recognize up to 8 users, so the whole family can track their health. Come in and check it out, we’ve got it in stock for $99!

“Have you played Atari today?” – Atari Arcade for iPad

With the retina display on the new iPad, you might ask yourself why anyone would ever want to play Atari again. Well, we started to say that right up until we plugged in our new Atari Arcade for iPad. As soon as we opened up the Atari’s Greatest Hits app and experienced all the glory of 1978 at our fingertips, we we’re pretty well hooked. With the great arcade favorites, like Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command, you can relive those glory days in 3.1 million pixel madness.

We liked the simple set up, the fact that it doesn’t require batteries, and the relatively quick learning curve to get used to using it. We figure at $59, it’s a great price to revive an entire gaming system to add to your collection.

Visit us at Expercom in Sandy and try it out for yourself… we think you’ll like it.

Everything you need to know about Mountain Lion

Now that Mountain Lion has been released, we have put together a short list of the most talked about new features you should know about.

There are over 200 new features in Mountain Lion. If you want to see the whole list, head over to Apple’s site and check it out. Check out all the new features in OS X Mountain Lion.

If you have an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad these first few features will be familiar to you.

Reminders

Allows you to set up a list of things to remember. You can set due dates and get alerts when they are due, or set a location from your Mac and get a reminder on your iPhone or iPad when you get there.

Notes

Take notes of anything you want. You can now add photos, images and attachments. Share notes through Mail or Messages or pin your notes to your desktop for easy access.

Messages

Send messages from your Mac to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can also continue your conversation from your own iOS devices. You can also send photos, videos, documents and contacts.

Notification Center

Like the notification center on your iOS devices you can easily get updates when you get an email or message, a software update is available or a calendar alert. Pull it up when you want to see what has changed and then it will disappear so it isn’t cluttering your screen.

iCloud

With the new features from iOS added to Mountain Lion, iCloud will know keep all your devices synced. Set up a Reminder, create a Note, send a Message or see what is new in Notification Center. iCloud will make sure it is the same on everything.

Dictation

Talk anywhere you can type and Dictation coverts your words into text. The more you use it the better it is.

Facebook

Built-in Facebook support so you can share what you are doing right from the app you are in. It will also add Facebook friends to your Contacts and update information when it is updated on Facebook.

Twitter

As with Facebook, Twitter is integrated into Mountain Lion. Tweet links and photos directly from Safari, iPhoto, or Photo Booth.

AirPlay

The feature that I am most excited about. AirPlay Mirroring will allow you to display what is on your Mac to your HDTV. All you need is an AppleTV. Pick up your AppleTV at the Sandy or Logan store and start sharing your photos and videos.

Game Center

Sign in with your Game Center account and see all the game you’ve played and get new ones. Check leader boards and see how you rank. You can also start multiplayer games with your friends.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper helps protect you from malicious software. With Gatekeeper enabled, you can install apps from identified developers and it is the best way to make sure the apps are safe.

Now that you know you want Mountain Lion, check and make sure your computer can take it.

You need OS 10.6.8 or newer to purchase it through the App Store.

You will also need 2GB or more of RAM. You can check how much RAM you have by going under the Apple menu and selecting About this Mac. If you have less than 2GB of RAM come in and get upgraded.

To see if your computer can install Mountain Lion go under the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen. Click on About this Mac. If you have Snow Leopard click the More Info…. button. If you have Lion click the More Info… button and then the System Report button. In the Hardware Overview window you will see a system identifier. The Model Identifier is your computer model.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

iMac7,1 (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook5,1 (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro3,1 (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air2,1 (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini3,1 (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro3,1 (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve3,1 (Early 2009)

Its summer; hit the beach or pool with your iPhone

After a couple of weeks of super hot temperatures here in Utah, it definitely feels like summer. But how do we take care of our shiny iPhone when we’re out having fun in Utah?

Check out the Dirt Proof, Water Proof, Snow Proof, Shock Proof case from Lifeproof.

There are several things I love about this case. It offers great protection (Military Spec MIL-STD-810F-516.5 drop/shock protection at 6.6ft), but its not as bulky as an OtterBox or Survivor case. It has a very clear lens cover so your pictures and videos look great – even under water!

Check out some more videos by clicking here.

I’d recommend this case for anyone headed to the pool or beach this summer. It’s also great for the Utah Apple enthusiast skiers, and snowboarders; or any other construction or outdoor workers.

We’ve got the Lifeproof cases on sale for $10 off – just $69 at Expercom in Sandy and Logan Utah.

Does your case charge? Mophie Juice Pack

So I have to travel for business next week. When I travel, I worry that my iPhone battery won’t last all day. The iPhone (I have a 4S) has great battery life; on a normal day I never worry about my battery; I’m usually on Wi Fi at work and home so I can go all day and into the night before I need to charge my phone.

But when I travel, I have longer days without access to Wi Fi (using 3G or 4G uses more power than Wi Fi). Plus, I’m using my phone more: to check flight status, keep up with what’s going on at work, and entertain me on the flight. True road warriors are probably worried about battery life all the time.

I have a great product that saves my bacon on long travel days. The Mophie Juice Pack. It’s a case for my iPhone that has a rechargeable battery in the case! I slip my phone in this case, and I basically double my battery life. I don’t have to worry about running out of battery on the flight, or finding a place to charge up during a layover. You’d think that this would be a big, bulky case.

My favorite feature is that it can charge up the battery in my iPhone; so when I get to my destination and head off to a meeting, I can pop my iPhone out of the Juice Pack and my phone is fully charged.

They have two versions. A Juice Pack Air with a 1500 mAh battery for $79, or the Juice Pack Plus with a 2000 mAh battery for $99.

Check out this video for more on the Juice Pack Plus and Juice Pack Air:

In search of a better alarm clock. Part 1

The LARK Silent Alarm uses a wrist band that vibrates to wake you rather than using the jarring beeping/buzzing of most alarm clocks. The wrist band also uses an actigraphy microsensor to detect your sleep patterns.

The iOS app is used to set the alarm and keep track of your sleep history easily on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Once you start using the LARK alarm, it will do a 7 day sleep assessment. Once you have done the assessment it will give you an action plan to improve your sleep.

If you would like even more coaching with your sleep, you can get LARK Pro. It was developed with sleep experts and a pro-athlete sleep coach.

I have been using the LARK alarm for a few weeks. I got it because I don’t like the alarm clock jolting me out of sleep in the morning. This does wake me up more gently, which I like. Although I don’t always sleep well, I wasn’t too interested in the sleep assessment until recently. Just this week, I was talking with someone that owns multiple businesses and only gets about 4 hours of sleep per night. He said that the sleep assessment has helped him sleep better. Some of the suggestions it has given him are what time is best for him to go to sleep and what type of pillow to get. After speaking with him, I will probably try the sleep assessment.

Overall I like the LARK Silent Alarm and find it helpful to see my sleep patterns and how much sleep I’m actually getting at night.

It would also be good for anyone that is deaf or hard of hearing and can’t use a regular alarm clock.

The only thing that I didn’t like was how the wrist band felt on my wrist. It wasn’t as soft as I would like and it seemed to irritate my wrist overnight. I found by moving it up higher on my arm, it didn’t bother me as much.

You can find it for $99 at our retail stores. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Grilling in style

Grilling time is coming up. Here are some suggestions on how to use your iPad or iPhone to grill in style.

iGrill

This handy device is easy to set up. It comes with one temperature probe and a second one can be added. The temperature of your meat can be read from the iGrill itself or you can use the long-range bluetooth connectivity to connect to a iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and watch the temperature from up to 200 feet away. The free app allows you to set alarms for each probe so you know when everything is cooked just right. You can also set a timer and it will graph the progress of the temperature as well.

On their website, they have recipes for any type of meat. They also have tips on grilling, smoking, picking the perfect steak and food safety.

I’ve had my iGrill for about a year and overall I’ve been happy with it. I have had a few issues that didn’t cause too many problems. When using it with my iPhone, the screen would turn off it would sometimes stop connecting through bluetooth. I would then need to reconnect and restart the app for it to start updating again. When I used it with my iPad and had it plugged in to power, I didn’t have the issue.

Weber’s On the Grill

This app has a lot of recipes for grilling. There are the recipes for meat as well as desserts, rubs, marinades and sauces. Once you find a recipe you like it will automatically make a shopping list.

The basics section has many how-to guides on the basics of grilling.

Those who grill a lot may find it too basic but for someone that is starting or would like to polish their grilling techniques, this is a good app. The one downside that I found is the iPhone and iPad version have to be purchased separately. They are both $4.99 in the App store. The iPhone version is here and the iPad version is here.

These are two of the apps and devices I use when grilling. There are many more apps, books in the iBooks store and podcasts that cover grilling. If you have a favorite app, book or podcast that you use, let us all know in the comments.

Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac

I have two great video cameras right now. One is my iPhone 4S; the video that this iPhone can shoot is incredible in quality. I also got a mirrorless Sony NEX-5n for Christmas. Again, incredible video. Once you go to a nice HD video camera, there’s no going back.

But what about all that video I have sitting around from years gone by? I decided that I want to digitize all that video on VHS, Hi 8, Mini DV — and any other video acronym you can think of — to my iMac.

I wanted to get it digitized before my VHS tapes started degrading too badly. I also want to be able to share those home movies, and that’s tough to do until you get them on your Mac. Once they are on your Mac, its easy to put your home movies on your iPod or iPad, or stream to your Apple TV.

One product that makes this easier is Roxio’s Easy VHS to DVD for Mac. If it has “Easy” in the name, its got to be some easy software, right? Well, this one is, actually, pretty “easy.”

It’s a combination hardware and software solution; so it comes with the cable you need to plug in your old VHS player (don’t have one lying around anymore? borrow one from grandma) or analog camcorder.

You then fire up Roxio’s software, name your video, tell it how you’ve got everything plugged in, hit play on the VHS, hit record on the sofware, and go have dinner. If you’re not hungry, you’ll have to do something for a while. If you want to capture 60 minutes of birthday parties from 20 years ago, it will take 60 minutes. There is no way to speed that part up, so this will take some time. Luckily, Roxio has a nice “auto stop” feature so you don’t have to be around to stop recording.

Once the video is captured, you can burn it right to a DVD with the included Toast software, or you can drop it into iMovie to edit first.

Wish me luck in digitizing my shoebox full of videos. And don’t tell my mom I can do this; she’ll want me to digitize her movies.

Price: $79

Pros:
Comes with everything you need; hardware and software
Can go straight to DVD or edit in iMovie
Includes Toast Basic 9 – a nice freebie

Cons:
Digitizing video is still time consuming
You’ll need a lot of hard drive space if you want to digitize a lot of video

iFrogz Boost Speaker

Sometimes, I’d like to get a little more volume out of my Apple iPhone or iPod touch. iFrogz, a local Utah company, has a unique product you should check out.

It’s called Boost, and it’s a “NearField Audio” speaker. It doesn’t use any wires; there’s no bluetooth or AirPlay to setup or configure. You just put your phone or iPod touch on the speaker, and viola, the Boost amplifies the sound.

This is hard to explain with pictures, so check out this video to see how it works.

Some people think it has a mic in the box to Boost the sound; but no, it uses patent pending NearFA technology to sync the audio from inside your iPhone or iPod before pumping it through the speakers.

You have got to check this out next time you’re in Expercom in Logan or Sandy. It’s way fun. The iFrogz Boost sells for $39; so it’s a great price too. It runs for up to 15 hours of play time on three AA batteries.

Price:   $39

Pros:
- Easy to use
- Decent audio quality for the price
- Fun

Cons:
- You can get better audio quality if you spend more
- Doesn’t work with iPad very well (too big to balance)