Vodio Internet video app, by Vodio Labs Ltd.
Free for the Apple iPad at the iTunes App Store
My wife’s fingers are practically welded to the TV remote. Rather than wrestle her for it, I find myself looking at a lot of Internet video. Now comes a particularly cool and clever way of finding online entertainment on an Apple iPad.
When you install the Vodio app, it asks you to choose the kinds of videos you’re most interested in: news, sports, movies, and the like. Make your selections and up come a series of screens with attractive offerings in each category. Videos arrive from all over the Web — YouTube, of course, but also CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Politico, and lots of other venues. Tap an image and the video expands to fill the screen.
You can share what you’re watching with Facebook or Twitter friends. In addition, Vodio will track your social network activities to identify videos that reflect your tastes and interests and deliver them to your iPad.
With its sharp, snappy user interface and excellent selection, Vodio is an excellent choice for casual browsing.
Pyle Sports waterproof MP3 player,
by Pyle Audio Inc.
$46.66 at Amazon.com
With all the summer heat, you may be spending more time than usual at the seashore or in a swimming pool. But that’s no reason to stop listening to your favorite music. Pyle Sports has built a reasonably-priced MP3 player that goes where Apple’s beloved iPod would fear to tread.
Yes, you can get a waterproof case for an iPod, but the Pyle music player is its own waterproof case. The whole gadget is sealed in rubber that’s supposed to protect it to a depth of three meters — call it 10 feet. I settled for dunking it in a bucket of water for a while. The Pyle player and its headphones emerged unharmed. Audio quality wasn’t exactly on a par with Symphony Hall’s, but decent enough for a day at the beach.
The player runs on a built-in battery that charges up through a computer’s USB port. While it’s charging, you can load up the player with tunes; it’s got 4 gigabytes of built-in storage, enough to hold hundreds of songs.
I’m not much for water sports, but if you’re a regular at Carson Beach or the local YMCA, this Pyle Sports player could be a welcome companion.
DigiPower Universal ChargeCard backup battery,
by Mizco Corp.
$29.99 at digipowersolutions.com
I’m a fanatic about keeping my cellphone charged up, but some days I still come up short. No wonder I’m impressed with this slick little device: an emergency battery small enough to fit into a wallet.
The ChargeCard comes in two
flavors. One version has a built-in mini-USB cable that fits most Android smartphones, while the other has the correct cable for plugging into an Apple iPhone. For some reason, the iPhone version isn’t listed on the company’s website, but they sent me one of each to try out.
Operation couldn’t be simpler. You power up the ChargeCard with a separate USB cable that taps into your personal computer. Once fully charged, the device is supposed to give up to two hours of talk time. You just push the clear button on the edge of the device, plug it into the phone, and start dialing.
There are plenty of backup phone batteries out there, but its unusually compact design makes the ChargeCard a particularly attractive