Want Steadier Pics with your iPhone? Get Slingshot

The Slingshot

Do you use your iPhone camera as much as I do? Do you also take shaky pictures and video like I do? The Slingshot aims to solve that problem. It snugly holds your iPhone, or any smartphone for that matter.  It has a great handle, which doubles as a mini tripod, that can also be removed and the holder will mount to any tripod.

I found this Kickstarter project and knew it was something I had to have. The project still has 12 days of funding to go, as of today May 20th, 2012. The creator, Charles Waugh, a photographer from Portland, set out to raise $20K and as of now has raised $45,182. The great thing is if you back him for just $14, you get a Slingshot shipped to you anywhere in the US when production is finished.

Now I can’t give you a review because I don’t have one yet, but the Youtube reviewer Blunty3000 got a prototype and did this video review:

If that doesn’t convince you to drop $14 for one, or $26 for two, I don’t know what to tell you, check out the Kickstarter page now for tons more info.

Should I Jailbreak my iPhone?

SBSettings Screen Shot
With SBSettings you can toggle many settings with the swipe of the screen.

This is a tough question to answer as it is different for everyone. Well, let me answer some common questions about jailbreaking that might help.

What is jailbreaking?
To put it simply, hackers have found a workaround to Apple’s control of their operating system.

Why would you need to jailbreak?
A lot has been said about how controlling Apple is with what you can and can’t do with an iPhone. I believe that it is justified because it gives the user a more consistent and stable experience. Jailbreaking allows you to do things that Apple doesn’t allow.

What can you do after jailbreaking?
When the first jailbreak was released there was not even an appstore. You got the apps it came with and that was it. It was great at that point because you could get games and other apps. Now you can get just about anything with the app store and it’s over 500,000 apps. I do jailbreak still for some little tweaks that I have gotten used to.

Once you have jailbroken your iOS device, you get the Cydia app which allows you to download apps and tweaks that you can’t get through the appstore.

With tweaks I can pack way too many apps on my home screen. My folders have endless apps too…

Is it legal?
In 2010 the US Copyright Office decided it was, but that could change soon. Read more over at Engadget.

Of course Apple doesn’t like you jailbreaking so each time a new exploit is released they try to stop it. It is a game of cat and mouse. For instance, the jailbreak hackers just cracked the iPhone4s in the last two weeks.

What is the downside?
As I mentioned earlier, Apple has it’s restrictions in place for a reason, your phone does become less stable and can be slower based on what you install.

I’ll give it a try, how do I do it?
The best way is to head over to lifehacker’s The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Jailbreaking Your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad [iOS 5.0.1]. There is plenty of further reading there as well.

Let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help you make the most of jailbreaking your iPhone.

Want to know when iOS apps go free?

iOS Apps Gone FreeA while back I found a little gem of an iOS app that let’s you know which apps are being offered for free. The name of the app lacks a little originality but makes sense, it is titled AppsGoneFree [free]. Each day they list some apps that usually cost money but for whatever reason the publisher has decided to make them free for a limited time.

I have picked up a few gems via the app and highly recommend grabbing it. I do pay attention to the ratings and read the description but heck, if an app is free and looks like it’s worth a click, download it…

Let me know if you find anything worth keeping!

Note: If you like what they are doing they have another app called AppStart [free] for new iPhone owners (or ones that need help) or AppAdvice [$1.99] which is a full service iOS app with reviews, news, etc.

Need the perfect case for your infant’s iPhone?

I am guessing (hoping) you don’t have any sort of iOS device for your baby but if you do have some apps for your little one this looks like a nice option from Fisher-Price, it is called the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Durable case lets baby play with your iPhone or iPod safely
  • Device locks securely inside and protects against:
    • Dribbles, drips, and drool
    • Teething
    • Unwanted pressing of the home key (baby dialing!)
  • Two ways to lock in your device: one way will block the home button, the other leaves it open (for older kids you trust to switch between apps)
  • Features textured handle, rattle beads, and a mirror for extra fun
  • Download Fisher Price learning apps for free from the App Store
  • Compatible with iPhone (original, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S) and iPod Touch (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)

Pick up your Laugh & Learn at Amazon now!($17.95 at time of post)