This week’s gadget roundup includes a review of an adapter that can turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a glorified television remote. No more digging in the couch to change the channel.
We also look at an amazing iPad stand that is a definite must-own product for owners of Apple’s tablet.
VooMote Zapper by Zero1.tv; $69.95
Hate looking for the TV remote every night? The VooMote Zapper might be exactly what you need.
The device turns your iPhone/iPod/iPad into a special remote that can control almost all audio and visual equipment on the market.
A special dongle attachment plugs into the connector on the bottom of the iOS device. This will prompt the user to download a special application that is required for the product to work. Thankfully, it’s a free download.
After the app has been booted up, you’ll begin selecting the devices you wish to control. I was able to setup my DirecTV account in just a couple of minutes.
The software features several pre-installed settings for many different cable and satellite boxes. Going down the list using process of elimination is the best way to determine the particular configuration you will need for each device.
VooMote can understand macros and user-created scenarios very easy. Most of them seem to be fairly useless, though.
Planned support for iCloud will be a welcomed addition in the near future. You’ll be able to share your specific configurations with friends and family.
Ten color options are available in total. They include the traditional black and white as well as the eight Apple Smart Cover colors.
At near $70, the VooMote Zapper is a hard sale for people with limited electronics. However, the product is an excellent choice for those that have many audio/visual devices and wish to control all of them with one remote.
Uprise 360 by Hub Innovations; $34.95
Apple’s own Smart Cover does a pretty good job of propping up the iPad, but Hub Innovations’ newest product does it better — way better.
The Uprise 360 stand firmly holds the iPad in place, snapping your tablet into its four corners without much effort. Using the touchscreen is a breeze once installed. You can put pressure on the screen without worry of knocking everything over.
Portrait and landscape viewing angles are supported. You can literally spin the iPad in a complete 360º circle. This can help you angle the tablet in a way that avoids glare on the screen.
Pulling the latest iPad out can be a bit of a hassle, as the minimal added thickness creates an extremely strong hold. I’d argue this as a good thing, however, as one doesn’t need to worry about their tablet slipping out. The iPad 2 fits pretty great and is a tad easier to remove.
The product is extremely small and can be folded up to put into a bag. Saving space is always a worthwhile endeavor.
I frequently use the application Air Display to convert my iPad into an extra monitor for my notebook computer. The Uprise is perfect for such a situation, as it props the added screen neatly next to my MacBook Pro.
The only glaring flaw of the Uprise 360 is that it almost requires a naked iPad to work.
I use a Smart Cover to protect the front of my iPad and a clear plastic cover for the back. Both of these items have to be removed in order to put the tablet into the Uprise 360.
It’s not much of an issue, but it still takes time. Those that use a full protective case such as an Otterbox may find that wrestling the iPad out it every time isn’t worth the effort.
That aside, Hub Innovations’ Uprise 360 is one of the best accessories you can buy for the iPad. The low price makes it a worthy purchase for any Apple tablet owner.