GearChat



Amazon Fire Smartphone? Nope. Not A Prayer

On Wednesday June 18, Amazon announced their first ever smartphone – the Amazon Fire.  While this Fire OS based device (an Android derivative) may be the only phone with Dynamic Perspective (a screen that shifts as you tilt the device) , Firefly technology (Google revamped for Amazon) and Mayday (live help at the push of a button) .


Will iOS 8 Lure You Back to the iPhone?

After Apple’s iOS 8 preview at WWDC, I posed the following query to the Gear Diary Team: Carly: So for everyone who has used iOS and been using Android, or for those who have used both platforms…does iOS 8 make you want to jump back to iOS full time? Personally I think this looks like an awesome upgrade.



Bluetooth Speaker Shootout- GearFest 2013

At GearFest 2013, Judie, Mike, Carly, and I sat down with a number of Bluetooth speakers to do a blind test listening to two pieces of music Travis had put together. (Thanks for jumping in to help us Coach!) With Mike’s wife Lisa helping us out (and offering up a few dance moves at the beginning of the video), we listened to six different Bluetooth speakers that have previously been…


Are You Still Using Mailbox?

When Mailbox, the app designed to tame, manage and control your inbox, arrived, I was thrilled. I was the first person on the Gear Diary team to gain access, and for the first few weeks I was doing nothing but singing its praises. Judie, Dan and Mike all joined over the next several weeks, but not all of us are still using it. Who is? Who isn’t? And for those…


The Ultimate Bioshock Infinite Review for PC and PS3

Ask any gamer and they know ‘that game’ – the one that is supposed to be ‘genre transcendent’, combining excellence in gameplay, technical aspects, gear, freedom of choice and action, story, immersion, multiple platforms, cinematic qualities, and so on. And while there are many games that have claimed to bring it all together, in 2007 Bioshock was perhaps the first one to truly manage the feat reasonably well. It was…


Google Reader and Google Keep, You Get What You Pay For

Google Reader and Google Keep are two different services, but when placed side by side they offer a cautionary tale for anyone using the web. There has been a good deal of chat among the Gear Diary team on our backchannel, and  Judie, Mike, Carly and I have been further discussing the demise of Reader and the introduction of Google Keep among the four of us quite a bit. Here’s…


Set Top Boxes, a Gear Chat

Over the years writing for Gear Diary, we often have chats behind the scenes about all sorts of issues.  Some are private and will never see the light of day, but many times what is said ends up in a long string of comments that would make a great post.  This one all started by a gift I received from a friend — a brand new Roku 2 XS — which…


Gear Chat – the ‘Mike Wasn’t Getting an iPad Mini’ Episode

OK, so just a few weeks ago I made some bold declarations about how I would not be getting an iPad Mini, stating it in our last Gear Chat, then taking a bold stance on the ‘Five Reasons I Won’t Be Getting the ‘iPad Mini’’ (which Dan rebutted with a single reason). Since release although I didn’t explicitly post a review or anything else declaring that I had gotten the…


The Kindle Fire HD, a Gear Diary Video Chat

iPad-junkies Mike and Dan both purchased the 16GB version of the 7″ Kindle Fire HD. Dan got his on release day, Mike the following Monday; unlike with the Google Nexus 7 there is no attempt to use ONLY the Kindle Fire as a ‘daily driver’. Following on with their Nexus 7 chat Dan and Mike jumped on video to talk about the Fire, the Amazon ecosystem and how two devoted…


Is iOS 6 Setting Your World on Fire?

We were all super excited here at Gear Diary to download iOS 6! Some of it has been exciting, but on the whole we have some mixed feelings about how exciting this is … read on for our thoughts! Douglas Moran: Downloaded and installed iOS 6 onto my iPhone 4S. Not much to report so far–although THANK GOD Bluetooth is now on the top-level in Settings!–but I’ve noticed that *every time*…


The Best iOS Apps for Taking Notes

We’re back with another “Best Apps for…” This time out we’re looking at the Best Apps for Taking Notes… Judie: The built-in notes app is great for quick jots, but for heavier duties, I can’t recommend AudioNote highly enough! (iPad version here.) Dan: Judie, but there is no sync except over local WiFi with Audio Note? Judie: Dan, when I’m trying to listen to a lecture, meeting or in the middle of an…


Apple’s Big Patent Win, and What It Means for Smartphones

The Apple/Samsung patent trial’s jury shocked everyone by returning a verdict extremely quickly on Friday afternoon. Once we had the full details, I asked the team here at Gear Diary what they thought. Was this a game changer for Android and smartphones in general, or just another chapter in “lawyers gone wild”? Bryan: Yeah but remember, some of us don’t want to hear it:  😉 (Sorry, couldn’t help myself! :)) Dan: Agreed….


Are We Bored Yet? A Video Gear Chat

The other day Chris published a post entitled, “In an Apple and Everything Else Funk“. As he noted in it Lately I’ve been in a funk. I thought, at first, it was an Apple funk. I thought it might be about the fact that Apple today doesn’t seem to have the same excitement and vision as it did under Steve Jobs. I thought it might be about a sequence of…


The Nexus 7 Challenge, a Gear Diary Video Chat

iPad-junkies Mike and Dan both purchased 8GB Nexus 7s. Mike took one for the team. He put away his iPad and is in the midst of a week-long Nexus Challenge. In other words, he is going full in with the Nexus 7 for a few more days. Dan also got a Nexus 7 so the two jumped on video to talk about the tablet, Mike’s challenge and how two devoted…


GearFest Gear Chat Part 4, Google Apps – Yay or Nay?

This was a sweet thought, a search mega-player committed to doing things in a kind, open and customer-friendly manner. But we all know it isn’t the case. No, Google is just a money-making machine and just as Health Insurance Companies make their money by saying “No” to sick people and reimbursing physicians at a rate of pennies on the dollar, Google makes the bulk of their cash by giving you…


GearFest GearChat #1, Tablet or Notebook? Which One When?

While together this past weekend the editors took some time out to talk tech. We’ll share the conversation/s over the next few days. Each of us brought a tablet, a notebook and at least one smartphone along with us. Two used the tablet almost exclusively while the others traded off between them fairly evenly. In this first one we talk about when and how we choose to use one or…


To 7″ iPad or Not to 7″ iPad, That is the Question

The Gear Chat began with this message to the team… Okay, this is ground we have covered before but it really deserves a new Gear Chat so… 7″ iPad. Interested or Not Interest? I commented: Me, I’m interested. As Mike has said, the 7″ form-factor is quite nice. Easy to carry, good for books and “big enough” for most tasks. Yes, it will offer less productivity functionality than the iPad…


Will The Nexus 7 Tablet Impact the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet?

When Google announced the Nexus tablet, I was surprised to see they didn’t seem to be aiming for the iPad. With a $199 starting price and a 7 inch form factor, Google is clearly taking aim at the devices that have defined the Android tablet market thus far; e-reading based tablets like the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Tablet both run off Android, but use their own proprietary app and content…