It’s true. Our devices sure have improved our productivity: dictating, navigating and researching on the fly with our smartphones and wowing folks in meetings with iPad touch screens. But let’s be perfectly clear: It’s the nifty non-essentials that have us hooked. The gadgets, the games, the shopping (accessories!) and especially the socializing. So today we indulge all things digital and web-geeky. Lucky us, it was a big week for that.
1. First, let’s blow your mind. Thanks to this week’s big Web 2.0 Summit—and Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends presentation and slide deck—we now know all kinds of interesting facts about our current and future mobility. Her analysis of the trends shaping the Internet covers the mobile revolution (still in its infancy), e-commerce, online payment innovations and the impact of the iPad and more. (For a bit of perspective, check this entertaining infographic on the history of the telephone.) As for how people are using those iPads, Ad Age offers this nugget: Adult tablet owners spend up to 90 minutes more on the Internet each day than non-tablet owners. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise to tablet users, of course. Online or offline, it is ridiculously fun.
2. Game on. Speaking of ridiculous, our newest post-Angry Birds obsession is Chillinga’s Cut the Rope—similar to the Birds but with, well, bugs. We’re even more deeply obsessed, however, with the hugely popular talking friends, especially the newly updated Talking Tom Cat. For those who haven’t met him, Tom’s a cartoon cat that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say in a high-speed voice. His friend Ben is a lovably laid-back hound with a slow and low voice. (You know that thing where you start laughing and can’t stop?) Eventually even we tired of teaching Tom the songs from our iTunes library (oh, yeah), and moved on to recording our Facebook ad campaign. Of course, there’s no shortage of games to please—just check out these lists of top iphone and iPad apps from Gizmodo and TechRadar and these top free apps for Android users.
3. Should you or shouldn’t you: The big iUpgrades. It was quite a week for iPhone and iPad users with the release of the new iPhone 4S and iOS5 . Thrilled? Disappointed? Don’t know what to think? Take a trip over to the PMA Tips blog and read this week’s post on “iPhones and iOS5 Upgrades” from Diane Ebersole, Practice Management Advisor to the Michigan State Bar. She offers an excellent round-up of helpful posts and links, including iPhone JD Jeff Richardson’s review, plus some helpful tips for navigating the iOS5 download. Browse through iPhone JD for a great explanation of email improvements in iOS5, and other tips, too. Also this week, Engadget released a special edition of digital magazine Distro, detailing the history of the iPhone and reviewing the new 4S.
4. Talking pictures. If smartphone plans and upgrade details give you a big fat headache, some pictures might clear things up. Lawyer Tech Review has a handy iPhone 4S infographic detailing all the new features. And some months ago, Infographic Labs created this helpful poster comparing features of rivals Android vs. iPhone. Android is fast gaining a big slice of the smartphone market, of course (see slide deck above), thanks in part to drool-worthy features that rival the iPhone’s. This week saw the launch of the Nexus Galaxy, the first phone to run on the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Oh, my.
5. Choose carefully from the accessory wall. It’s not all fun and games with technology, of course. There’s also fun and games with accessories. We’ve been on the hunt for a wifi keypad for the iPad that will help is use the tablet as more than an expensive e-reader or karaoke machine. Thanks to iPadmania for pointing us to this nifty keypad in a portfolio, available at Brookstone. We’ll take the red one. Speaking of red, over at PiperLime, we’re lusting after this Kate Spade iPad cover … though these Megan Adams animal print covers make an interesting statement. More into rugged good looks? Check the Otterbox’s iPad2 covers, as well as the site’s many sturdy protective covers for that new iPhone.