June, 2013


29
Jun 13

CaseApp

CaseApp

With so many different phones on the market we all need a jazzy case that will keep it safe but also look good at the same time. But with all the various styles it can be bewildering to choose one that suits you and your lifestyle. Enter CaseApp, a platform where you can create your own case. All you have to do is go to their website, upload an image (as high resolution as possible) edit it to your satisfaction, click preview to see what your final case will look like and submit your order. You can let your imagination run wild and have whatever style you want, a picture of yourself or your favourite celeb, floral images, slogans or branded ones like the Chanel one that is so popular with the stylistas. Their wide plethora of cases and skins are displayed on their Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. If you don’t want a case then you can go for a skin which is designed for iPhones, iPads, Androids, and laptops. The cases are compatible for iPhone 4/4s and 5 as well as the Samsung Galaxy 3.

I was kindly given credit from CaseApp to create my own case. I used the image of my header and ordered a case as well as a skin. I found the process to be very simple; rather like using moo.com. The package arrived just under a week later and I am really pleased with the results. The quality is pretty good and the material for the case is really nice and durable. From now on CaseApp will be my go to place for new cases.

CaseApp is run by StickerApp Sweden and for more information you can visit their website.


29
Jun 13

My Westfield

My Westfield

I am not a great lover of shopping centres except for the fact that they are a lifesaver when it is raining and you just need to go shopping but overall they make me feel claustrophobic. I do have a soft spot for Westfield Stratford though, as huge as it is the shopping centre contains a lot of quirks that make it loveable. From the cool events, the eatries that range from fast food to gourmet, the outside shopping drive and the duplex cinema. What also attracts me to Westfield Stratford is that as well as the noisy boisterous shopping areas there are plenty of intimate spaces where you can chill and have a coffee with a mate. The only downside  is finding your way around the place – well that has all been solved by a new app that has been created. My Westfield launched yesterday and it is a personalised mobile app for Westfield London and Westfield Stratford. The app offers you unique shopping content from your favourite retailers. It does all the basics such as mapping your route to Westfield as well as around the shopping centre and finding all the stores that are selling an item that you are after. On a cool note there is a feature that allows you to find your car wherever you have parked it as well as being able to find out the number of parking spaces that are available. My Westfield also does lots of cool things like creating your own personal profile by allowing you to select the brands that you love, which result in you being sent content that has been specifically created for you. If you are after a bargain then you can find out what the latest deals are which you can share through Twitter, Facebook and via email. Overall a pretty cool app for a cool shopping outlet. Currently it is only available for iPhones but it will be rolled out for Androids and Blackberrys later. I just hope that they don’t forget us little people who have Windows phones.

You can download the app for free at the iTunes store.


21
Jun 13

High Tech Hair Styling Tools

GHD Eclipse

The GHD Eclipse

When Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement in 2010 it was not the ring that got everyone’s attention – as spectacular as it was. No it was Kate’s glossy, bouncy brunette waves that had the media and all the fashionistas going gaga. Since then everyone has been trying to achieve those glossy locks. The good news is that you don’t need the budget of a Duchess to get your hair to all amazing, thanks to a plethora of hairstyling tools out there you can have hair like Kate in just a few short minutes. Hair tools have come a long way from the simple straighteners that were on the market in the 90s and now brands spend a lot of time and money researching ways to create advanced models that can work wonders on your tresses. I have listed the top five hair straighteners on the market.

GHD Eclipse
This is the new one model from GHD. If you are after a high end straightener then look no further. The Eclipse can work on any texture from fine and straight to thick and curly Afro hair. It also a very fast model and can style larger sections of hair at a time which is great for early mornings. The new GHD Eclipse uses a more effective heat to deliver the best and fastest results yet. A really fantastic investment tool.

Priced at £195

19mm Candy Apple Red Instyler (800x397)

The InStyler

InStyler 32mm Special Edition Bundle V2
This tool straightens, curls and create volume and shine to your hair. It contains a rotating heated polishing cylinder, four rows of precision-aligned bristles, and a thermal shield that protects the skin from the heat. The InStyler is a real joy to use because it really lifts your hair from the root and creates a lot of volume. The beauty of the InStyler is its versatility which allows you to straighten your hair but still achieve a lot of fullness. They are available exclusively from Boots or you can purchase from the InStyler website.

Priced at £79.99.

BaByliss

The BaByliss model

 

BaByliss 2098U Elegance Metallic Purple Straightener
With its beautiful design and salon quality performance, the BaByliss model ticks all the boxes. It is a powerful, sophisticated straightener and styler in one. It is all ready to straighten or style in just 15 seconds with ultra fast heat up and recovery. The Pro 230 Elegance gives you the freedom to straighten and style your hair. Along with straightening your hair to a smooth, sleek finish, the curved design lets you easily create waves, curls and movement in your hair with a flick of your wrist. Wrapped up in a stunning high gloss metallic purple finish, the BaByliss is everything every girl dreams off.

Priced at £79.95

Nicky Clarke Salon Pro Straightener with Comb £49.99 (2)

Nicky Clarke Salon Pro Straightener with Comb

The Salon Pro Straightener with Comb
Hairdressing supremo, Nicky Clarke kills two birds with one stone with this little beauty. The comb teeth glide through your hair effortlessly without snagging it and the ceramic plates smooth over your hair creating a very slick finish. Most importantly the Salon Pro Straightener contains a Tourmaline plate which locks in moisture into your hair which stops it from being damaged. The Salon Pro Straightener with Comb is perfect for ladies who are low on time but high on maintenance.

Priced at £49.99.

WAND - ZEBRA

The Yogi Curling Wand

Yogi Curling Hair Wand
If fancy something a bit unique and funky then these are your best bet. The Yogi Wand comes in a variety of styles such as zebra print, snake skin and hot pink. The wand is lightweight, quick and easy to use. The ionic and tourmaline ceramic technology will deliver super smooth hair with long lasting results. They will also allow you to create a variety of looks from big bouncy waves to super straight locks and flirty flicks.

Prices has been reduced from £64.95 to £34.95.


17
Jun 13

Mujjo iPad Mini Case

ipad-mini-sleeve-08-by-mujjo-the-originals-collection

Mujjo are a Dutch company who started off making winter gloves for people to use while using touch screens. They turned out to be a great success which led to the company moving into making covers for Apple products such as laptops, iPhones and iPads. The cover for the iPads Mini is their latest edition. Subtlety is the name of the game for Mujjo covers; their signature colours are soft greys and browns, creating an air of casual comfort. All of their products are crafted by hand using fabrics like wool felt and leather. The wool felt gives the iPad cover a sturdy feel that allows you peace of mind when carrying your device around. The leather at the top provides a simple closure and keeps your device secure. There are also snaps and rivets lined to keep your iPad mini from touching anything but soft, thick wool felt. The storage compartment allows you to store documents, earplugs and anything else you desire. This cover feels very light in your hands and does not add any bulk so it it the perfect case for your iPad mini.

For more information about Mujjo cases visit their website.


15
Jun 13

The Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia Lumia 925

On Tuesday I was invited by 3 Monkeys PR to see the unveiling of the Nokia Lumia 925. There was a time when Finish brand Nokia seemed dead in the water after being taken over by a flurry of Blackberrys and iPhones but thanks to a fantastic partnership with Windows, Nokia have found a new lease of life. The Nokia Lumia fleet were launched in 2011 and since then they have gone from strength to strength with a selection of spectacular models and the Lumia 925 is the newest edition to the group. Unlike the other models it has a metal design which gives it a very sophisticated feel. A few people might have found the previous models of the Lumia a bit childish with the bright colours and the tiles but this new model will certainly change their minds.

At 13g the Lumia 925 is a touch bit lighter and with just over 12 hours talk time, it has a larger battery which is a huge relief for someone who is constantly tweeting, instagramming, texting, emailing and taking pictures. The interior of the phone has the usual impressive features that we have come to expect from the Lumia series. The model contains the latest Pureview camera innovation with a 8.7-megapixel sensor but the 925 has an additional lens element which also allows you to take fantastic images whether it is light or dark. There are also great apps such as HERE Maps where you can discover the nearest restaurants, pubs and shops wherever you are. HERE Drive is basically a digital sat nav that guides you to your destination. The Nokia Smart Camera is a life saver, allowing you to shoot a sequence of photos and making it easier to capture great moments. Say goodbye to all those dud shots while your subject in mid flow. Sadly Instagram is not supported but you can get round that with clone like apps such as Metrogram. The images look awesome, very clear and glossy. I have not sussed out how to get Pinterest but I am still working on it.

My only gripe about this phone is that as it is a Windows phone and I am very Google orientated I cannot sync my calendar with the map facility as I can with my Samsung and Blackberry. Unfortunately that is an essential feature for someone who has to navigate themselves to different events on a regular basis. Despite this the Lumia 925 is one hell of a phone; it looks good and feels great in your hands. I have not quite got to grips with typing on a touchscreen but the screen for the 925 is really easy to use. The chrome finish of the model gives it a very luxurious feel that everyone will aspire to.

The Nokia Lumia 925 is available from major phone outlets.


7
Jun 13

Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First is Lottie Moggach’s debut book and the gripping tale about a close friendship that is created online. Nothing unusual about that except that the two ladies in question plot to one to take the others identity. As great as the book sounds it is the book trailer that blew me away. The team from Pan MacMillan in conjunction with FIT Digital, have created a Facebook app that allows you to fully experience the key theme from the book – online identity and thus recreating the book’s unsettling atmosphere. The trailer prompts you to log into your Facebook account and while doing this the app pulls in all your information, such as your profile picture, news feed, location and friends list. It then plays a trailer tailored to your individual Facebook identity which allows you to react Kiss Me First’s storyline. The result of this is that your experience with the trailer will be very unique to you and totally different from another person who watches the trailer. I must admit it was a bit eerie seeing all the details in the trailer but the overall effect is truly awesome.

You can watch the trailer here.

Kiss Me First is released on 4th July.


5
Jun 13

Karen Bryson Talks Shameless, Acting and Tech

Image taken by Sebastian Bednarski Photography

Image taken by Sebastian Bednarski Photography

Karen Bryson became a household name with her role as Avril Powell in the popular show, Shameless. Karen has become a firm fixture on British TV ever since graduating for last decade and has featured in Buried, Bodies, The Bill, Holby City, Silent Witness, Torn, The Children and Doctors. Karen also won a Screen Nation award in 2013 for her work in Shameless. She took five minutes out to talk to me about her acting career and her tech essentials.

When did you know acting was for you?
I knew acting was for me, very early on in my life. As a child I would be the one in the play ground improvising and rehearsing plays with my unwitting friends. Performing for anyone who’d watch! For me it was never a case of what do I what to do, but how?

How did you get your first break?
My first break into the professional acting world was straight out of drama school LAMDA. I did Romeo and Juliet at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. I couldn’t believe I was being paid to do what I love.

How has Shameless changed your life?
Shameless was such an amazing experience on so many levels. I was overwhelmed how popular a show it is. So I now get the fantastic fans saying hello when I’m out and about. As far as changing my life, that would be on a professional level. By that I mean playing Avril for three years in a show like Shameless, which constantly pushed the envelope. I have learnt to think outside of the box and take some risks as an actor. …. Oh and I can no longer go to the corner shop for the papers in my pajamas on a Sunday morning.

Name five tech products that you cannot live without with the reasons why?
1. My smart phone.. Simply because I actually can’t imagine life without it..( scary ) I use to take photographs, write receive emails, tweet, text message, whether reports, trains times.. The list is endless.

2. A close number two would be my tablet. Since I commuted from London to Manchester weekly.. This amazing thing made my life so much easier. I had all my scripts, which I could refer to at the touch of a button. Also I’m helping save the planet by not using paper. Also I’m a film buff, so for my journeys back and forth I could also rent and watch films. I also used it to sykpe my husband. It also weighs next to nothing.

3.My laptop, I can move around my house with ease and be totally connected through the wonderful powers of wifi.

4. DVD recorder.. I can tape Shameless.

5. My Wii, I love games, and the fact a lot of the games are quite physical games that can be played in groups, makes for hours of entertainment.

Do you tweet or Instagram?
Oh yes, I was bitten by the bugs only late last year. I must admit I was resistant but I love Twitter as way of sharing information expressing thoughts, ideas. It’s also great to have instant access to the fans of the show and vice versa. As for Instagram, what a lovely idea. As a keen amateur photographer, being able to capture and share your life through photographs. I dislike when people post words, it almost defeats the object.

Do you follow any celebrities on Twitter?
Yes a few…

How important do you think Social Media has been for celebrities in creating brands?
I think Social Media has played a huge part in celebrities creating brands. Some might argue there is an element of manipulation. Instant contact globally? The press now regularly use this medium in their reporting. The celebrities who are honest and somewhat open are the most successful for me. For example, I love Sheridan Smiths tweets, I feel I get a real sense of who she is, and she’s fabulous!

You can watch Karen on Shameless on Tuesdays at 10pm on Channel 4.


4
Jun 13

Sol Republic Headphones

SOLREPUBLIC_TracksHD_111112_Perspective_white (1)

Ok there are headphones and there are mega headphones. When the PR for SOL REPUBLIC offered to send me a pair of the Tracks HD On Ear headphones telling me that it had been created by the guy behind Monster Headphones, my interest was immediately piqued. SOL REPUBLIC is a global consumer electronics company dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through better-sounding headphones. Their ethos is to celebrate the people who make music, love music and are devoted to music. I was expecting to find a stylish set so I was pleasantly surprised to see what I would describe as a very slick piece of work. For a start they are the first interchangeable headphones to be launched in the UK. Therefor they are packaged like separate entities; the headband, ear pieces and cable are presented in different compartments and there is even a case for you to pop them in. The headband is described as indestructible, I have to admit that it is pretty sturdy as well as rather bendy but I cannot vouch for whether they are indestructible or not, however they are very comfy due to the padding at the top. You can mix and match the headbands to reflect the mood that you are in as they come in a variety of different colours and styles.

What is so impressive about the headphones is the easy comfort. The ear buds are padded with soft leather which feels very cool and soothing on your ears. They actually slide up and down the headband itself and because of this you can even take them off and use the cans as two portable speakers. The cable is pretty cool too; it has a three-button remote that lets you adjust the volume, skip music and answer or hang-up calls easily. The quality of the sound of course is stunning. You have amazing bass and definition and any outside interference is blocked out. The headphones come in a range of on-ear and in-ear styles and offers you a wonderful music experience featuring V10 HD Sound Engines for deep bass, high clarity and crisp vocals. They are compatible with iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android devices.

For more information about SOL REPUBLIC please visit their website.


3
Jun 13

Acer Inconia A1

Iconia A1_front_left_screen

A few weeks ago I was invited down to the W Hotel to celebrate the launch of Acer’s new tablet, the Inconia A1. As well as mingling with a mixture of bloggers, tech press, testers (customers who try out new gadgets ahead of release) and other media types I got to find out about the tablet. In tablet land there are three camps; Samsung, Kindle and the master all tablets – the iPad. With those three in sight they are a pretty hard nut to crack, rather like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. That being said, Acer have a real contender to the throne with the new Inconia. At 7.9′ it is aimed at modern day digital creatives who often have to work on the go. It comes in a sleek case that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. The internal aspects are equally impressive: it has a quad-core processors for faster media performance as well as vibrant visuals on 20.1 cm (7.9”) LED-backlit display with IPS(1) technology and 5MP camera.

Pros

The size is perfect, you can hold it on one hand and use it effectively. It is also dinky enough to fit into your bag.
The hook up with Google is a life saver, the Inconia was connected to my email, Instagram, Google Reader and other apps very easily. I love the fact that I get alerts about new emails, Twitter messages and updates as soon as they come in.

It fills the gap between a laptop and smartphone. This works perfectly for me for when I am out and about and do not want to carry my laptop about or when I am at home and I am too lazy to fire up the laptop. It also acts as an extension of my Samsung and makes it easy for me to read news and blogs on a larger screen.
Watching videos on the Iconia is a cinch because it just boots up instantly unlike the Kindle which takes ages to load.

Navigation between apps on is very easy and you can find whatever you want quickly.
The battery lasts quick a while – seven hours on the box – I haven’t actually tested this but I tend to to use it on and off for a good few days before it runs out of juice.

Cons

The elasticity feel of the keyboard makes it difficult to type on. I prefer a much sturdier keyboard.

The plastic case gives it a cheap feel which is a shame considering that the Iconia is on par with the Kindle Fire HD except the Kindle looks like a much more quality product.

Internet connection can be a bit iffy.

So as you can see there are a lot of positives about the Inconia and at £169 it is a pretty good steal.

The Acer Iconia A1 is available to buy now.

For more information please go to the Acer website.

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