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I finally have decided to own my own domain name and make this blog a little more official than what it is now.  I have always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to actually own my own site and blog from there.  So, go check out http://www.theeasymac.com.  All the content from this blog is on there and go check out new stuff and the design in the days to come.  Thanks for reading and keeping up with me.

Shaun

“A reliable source tells us Amazon wants to give a free Kindle to every Amazon Prime subscriber.” (Via TechCrunch)’

This should be interesting.  For those of you that don’t know what Amazon Prime is, it is a service that gives the customer free 2 day shipping on their items that they buy from Amazon.  Not every item on Amazon qualifies for this.  You pay $79/year for Amazon Prime.  If you tend to buy a lot from Amazon, this may be the way to go.  I have it and it comes in very handy and I know I get my $79 worth each year.

Ok, so now on to the good stuff.  This would be very interesting for Amazon.  If this is true, yes Amazon would be losing a little money in the short run.  But they are banking on the fact that people who have Amazon Prime will be the ones that will continue to support Amazon and buy ebooks on the Kindle, which they are hoping will recoup the loss of giving you the Kindle for free.  Interesting strategy as they try to compete with Apple and the iPad.

Personally I don’t think this stands a chance against the iPad.  If Amazon is really going to make a difference they need to compete directly with the iPad and come out with a Kindle that will run in direct competition to the iPad.  Right now there is no comparison between the iPad and the Kindle.  The iPad, in my opinion smashes the Kindle in so many different ways.  I think initally this promotion by Amazon may work, but after a while, you are going to see more and more people drawn to the iPad, even if they have to pay for one.

These are my thoughts.  What are yours?  Please leave your comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @shaun_27.

As I was looking at the App Store earlier in the week I noticed an app called “CauseWorld” on the front page.  For some reason it caught my eye and I was curious.  Come to find out CauseWorld is an app that gives you the opportunity to do something good.

The basis of the app is that you have the chance to give what are called “karma points” to different charities just by going into stores and restaurants and checking in on the app on your iphone.  When you check into a store you get a certain amount of  karma points.  You can then use these karma points to donate to different charities that CauseWorld has set up.  Some of the charities include Donor’s Choose, Feeding America, American Humane, and Prevent Child Abuse Americato name a few.  When you donate to a charity you are providing a specific thing to that charity that CauseWorld has set up with that charity.  For example, when I donate 14 karmas to Feeding America, Feeding America is able to feed a meal to a person in a food bank.  And the cool thing about it is that you are not paying anything.

Other features of CauseWorld are that you can connect to Facebook to show the world what you are donating and to what organization.  When you donate a certain amount of times you get what are called “cause badges” and after a certain amount of donations you can get a promotion.  This is kind of cool that they implemented this feature as kind of like a game.  The competitor in me wants to do the best that I can!!  They also have a feed on their app that shows you other people who have donated or have been promoted to a higher level.

As with any app there are always limitations.  You can only check in at different locations every three minutes.  Also the maximum amount of check ins are 10 per day.  This makes a lot of sense so that there is no abuse to the app.  The other interesting thing about this app is that right now it is funded and sponsored by CitiBank and Kraft.  These are the two major companies that are providing the funding for the donations.  They both have generously donated a total of $500,000.  The question that I have is what happens when this funding runs out?  Will more companies come on board?  Will Citi and Kraft continue to donate?  Or, the option that I hope doesn’t happen, does the app run out of funding and shut down?  Let’s hope it is not that.

Overall, this is a great app that is not only fun, but makes you feel good inside.  Yes, I know that can be cheesy, but think about it.  We all want to do good, no matter who we are.  And lets face it, a lot of us can be lazy when it comes to doing good deeds.  I am not accusing anyone, I get that way at times too.  So this gives us a small, but fun way to give back.  The UI is very well done and so far have found no major glitches.  I highly encourage you all to get the app.  Also, right now they have added the Red Cross as an option to donate to, to help with the Haiti relief.  And right now, CauseWorld will donate double the amount of karma points you donate to the Red Cross for this cause.   You can get the app here on itunes for free.  Now go, and make a difference in this world and have fun with it!!

There are a lot of you that got iphones for Christmas and yes there are tons of cool applications for the iphone, but that is not what this post is about.  There are other cool things about the iphone that can help maximize the use and life of the iphone.  In this article I will be talking about the many different accessories that you can get for the iphone.  Some of these I personally use or had tried out at one point, some of these are on my wish list, and a few are on the “if I had a million dollars” list.  Hope you enjoy the post and please feel free to comment.

Cases

There are literally thousands of cases for the iphone and everyone has their own opinion on which one is the best one to have.  I have been through quite a bit myself.  My wife reminds me of this all the time 🙂  So, here are a few of the cases that I have and ones that I don’t have, but think would be useful.

1.  The Naked Case by Casemate

  • The one nice feature about this case is that it covers the whole phone, even the screen.
  • made out of plastic
  • If you are the type of person who uses your phone a lot and put a lot of mileage on it, this may be the case for you.
  • cheapest place to buy: buy.com $16.97

2.  iskin Fuze

  • covers most of your iphone except the screen.  It is a hard cover.
  • very durable, great quality
  • little too bulky for me
  • don’t like the belt clip that comes with it, adds to the bulk
  • cheapest place to buy: Provantage $27.27

3.  ivyskin Quatro T4

  • this case combines the first two I talked about into one.
  • this is a hard case that covers the whole iphone, even the screen
  • very durable, very good quality hard case.
  • adds some bulk, but not as much as the Fuze
  • Cheapest place to buy: iskin.com $44.99

4.  Seidio Innocase II

  • One of my favorite cases
  • very slim case that covers most of the phone, except the screen.
  • hard rubbery case
  • durable and gets the job done
  • if you are looking for a slim case that doesn’t add bulk, but still gives your phone some protection, this is the case for you.
  • cheapest place to buy: Seidio $29.95

5.  SwitchEasy Capsule Rebel

  • this is one of the most protected cases I have seen.
  • this case combines a rubber case and a pl astic case that goes over that.
  • since this has two cases it is definitely bulky
  • the biggest bang for your buck, Switcheasy gives you a bunch of accessories with this case for a great price $29.99.

6.  Marware CEO Premiere Plus

  • this is the case that I am currently using and loving it
  • has a thin plastic case that covers the back and side of the iphone
  • leather case to put iphone with case in.
  • very classy
  • sturdy and great quality
  • cheapest place to get: Marware $39.99

Here are a few other cases that you may enjoy.

Other Accessories

Below are some other accessories that I either have or would like to have for the iphone 3G/3Gs.

1.  Kensington Dash Mount

If you are like me and you use or want to use your iphone in your car, this is a great accessory to have.  The thing I like about it, is that it can accommodate pretty much any device you can fit in it.  With its expandable arms you can fit your iphone, ipod, gps, etc.  It can also be rotated 90 degrees so you can look at your iphone sideways as well.  It sticks to my dash pretty well, I have only had it slip off once, in the year and a half that I have had it.  It’s nice to have if you plan to use your iphone to listen to music in the car or need to use the map application.

Available at a variety of places: My recommendation Amazon.com or Newegg.com

2.  Screen Protection

image.alt.TS505

If you don’t buy a case that covers the screen, I highly recommend some type of screen protection. The iphone holds smudges and scrapes way too easily.  Besides, the screen is one of the most important parts of the iphone so you want to keep that as protected as possible.  There are many to choose from, my recommendation is the Power Support Crystal Film Set.  It seems to do the job and in my opinion, is durable and doesn’t hold smudges as much as others do.

Available at a variety of places: My recommendation Apple.com or Amazon.com

3.  Contour Surface Sound Compact Car Kit

image.alt.TR500

This is a perfect compliment accessory to the Kensington Dash Mount.  With a lot of states now cracking down on talking on your cell phone in your car, this is a nice bluetooth accessory to have.  It gives you handsfree talking and for the most part it gets the job done.  It is a little hard to hear when you are on the freeway.  But overall, it gets good sound quality.

Best place to buy: Buy.com

4.  Mophie Juice Pack Air

image.alt.TV809

This, in my opinion is one of the best backup batteries for the iphone.  If you are a heavy iphone user, then a backup battery, unfortunately, might be necessary.  But the nice part is that there are a lot of backup batteries out there.  The one thing I like about the juice pack air is that it acts as a protective case as well as a backup battery and it is pretty slim for a backup battery.  The Juice Pack Air gives you about double the battery life of your iphone.

Variety of places to buy:  Best Buy or Apple, etc

5.  Griffin PowerDock 2 Charging Base

image.alt.TR330

This is a nice accessory to have, especially if you have an ipod already and then you now got an iphone.  Most people who have an iphone, usually have an ipod, so this comes in very handy.  You can charge two ipods or two iphones or one of each.  The other nice thing about this accessory is that it can charge any ipod or iphone that you have.

Best place to buy: Buy.com

6.  Sony Speaker Clock/Dock

This is a nice little speaker docking station for the iphone or ipod.  It gives pretty good quality sound and charges your iphone at the same time.  It also has a radio as well.  This can function as your alarm clock or just a speaker system to play your music from your iphone or ipod.  If you are looking for something inexpensive (as compared to Bose products), then this is the one for you.

place to buy: apple.com

7.  Bose SoundDock Series II

image.alt.TS836

The step up from the Sony is this Bose SoundDock Series 2 Speaker.  It has very good quality speakers.  The one downfall as compared to the Sony, is that it only does one thing, play your music from your ipod or iphone.  But on the flip side of that, it does this one thing very well!  You also will pay about double of what you would pay for the Sony.

Best place to buy: Newegg.com

8.  Bose SoundDock Portable System

image.alt.TP573

This is the next step up in the Bose systems.  It basically is the same as the previous Bose system, but the main difference is the sound quality.  I have not tried this one out so I cannot compare.  Again, you will be paying a pretty penny for this.

Variety of places to buy

9.  iHome iP1 Studio Series Audio System

image.alt.TW481

I have not tried this one out, but the reason I put it on here is because I think the concept of the design is sweet!  I love the clear plastic so that you can see the inards of the system.  From what I have read, it gives out a good sound.  But like the Bose systems, this one only plays your music.  Also like the Bose systems, this one is not cheap.  Personally, I think if you are going to pay this much, you might as well go with Bose, as we all know, they are the king in sound quality.

best place to buy: Amazon.com

10. Bose SoundDock 10

image.alt.TX239

This is the granddaddy of them all!!  I don’t own one of these because if I did, I would have to take out a 2nd mortgage!  But I did get to listen to one in a Bose store a couple of weeks ago and wow, it was amazing!!  I couldn’t believe the sound that was coming out of this thing.  You could literally buy this thing and not have to buy any other speaker system for your house.  It is that good.  Of course with this great of sound quality, you will get hit in the pocket, a $600 hit in the pocket.  But, if I had the money, I would be all over it!!!

Variety of places to get this one

Wow, there you have it.  There are a ton more of accessories for the iphone that I have not mentioned here.  I have tried to give you a variety of accessories that I like and that I think you would be interested in.  If you are looking for more accessories go and visit ilounge.com or the Apple Store.  Feel free to leave a comments on your favorite accessory or other accessories that you like.  Also follow me on Twitter @theeasymac or on Facebook The Easy Mac Facebook Page

I just found out about a web application called Glue. It gives me the ability to put up a post on their site and have the post go out to any site that I want to connect it to (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, WordPress, Posterous, etc). You should check it out at www.gluenow.com and get in on the beta!

via Glue

Here is a video I took with the iVideo Camera app, that is now live on the App Store. As you can see it is a little choppy and the picture is not the clearest. The people who made the app said that in their future updates they plan increase the frames per second, which will make it less choppy. But overall, it is a decent start, definitely cheaper than going out and getting a 3GS.

So, I love Posterous, but I don’t know how to exactly integrate it with the social sites I already use.  I have a Twitter account as well as a blog (www.theeasymac.wordpress.com) and i would like to use the three of them together.  I don’t exactly know how.  Any ideas?

Well, this is my first entry into the world of blogging.  There has always been a desire to start a blog, but no real vision.  Besides, who wants to read about your life if it ain’t that interesting!!!  So, after lots of contemplating, I decided to follow my passion!  I have always had a passion and desire to learn more about computer tech and how it can make my life easier.   Now, there are a ton of applications out there that help make our lives way more productive.  My goal is to bring you some of these applications and present them to you in a way that can help make your life easier as it has made mine.

I hope you come along on this journey!  As always, please feel free to leave any kind of feedback.  It is always appreciated!

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