Hello! Since I’ve written a little about my favorite comics in 2011, I figured I should write about tech as well since I love it so much! 2011 saw me finally break the shackles of having a laptop so my entire daily workflow was overhauled and streamlined. I owe a lot of thanks to various iPhone/iPad apps as well as hardware. Here is what I used and was impressed by the most in 2011 that you should take a look at using as well.
Top Ten Tech Products
10. Belkin Mini-Surge Protector with USB Charger – I don’t go anywhere without this device. It lets me plug three normal power cords in and lets me charge two USB devices at a time. It is definitely something you should throw in a bag for those times that you have limited power.
9. Duracell Instant Charger – This handy little charger has saved me and my friends many times.
8. Apple Wireless Keyboard – As I begin to write more, a good keyboard matters more and more. This is my favorite style of keyboard–small and portable but with keys large enough that I don’t feel cramped at all.
7. Fujitsu ScanSnap S300M – This little scanner is great at helping me be paperless. Everything gets scanned through this and stored digitally. It can scan documents of different sizes and quantities easily and presents them clearly. I searched for a small, portable, well-built scanner for a while before I decided on this one. I’ve had it for over a year so far and couldn’t be happier. The only thing I wish Fujitsu would do is come out with one more portable that could scan wirelessly to iPad or iPhone… then I’d be set!
6. Jawbone’s UP – This is Jawbone’s first attempt at helping people be healthier. It is a band that you wear on your wrist that monitors sleep and movement. It syncs with an iPhone app to show your activity as well as other “teammates’ activity.” The app is also designed to function as a food journal. So far, the band is a great idea but it has been a far from phenomenal launch. I have had to replace it numerous times due to a battery defect… I am currently on my fifth band. Jawbone is working to correct the problem and is standing by their customers. They started a program in December that refunds anyone who bought an UP in 2011 and also allows them to keep the band with all warranty intact. This action alone is enough to generate good will from consumers and keep UP alive. As of this posting, there is no ETA for UP to begin shipping again although Jawbone is hoping it will be soon.
5. Apple TV – The Apple TV has almost converted me away from cable. The Netflix integration is fantastic and now that Apple has enabled video AirPlay, it’s even more useful since you can stream media to it from iPhone or iPad. I’m hoping that whatever ends up happening with the rumours of Apple making a television set keep this device in mind and allows the same type of features.
4. Jawbone’s JAMBOX – This little “brick” is an amazing piece of technology. It is a Bluetooth speaker that is super-portable and sounds incredible. Jawbone is great at updating features on their devices so it’ll be neat to see what new functions come to this device in the future.
3. Jawbone’s ICON – The Jawbone ICON is my absolute favorite bluetooth earpiece. It is small but loud and clear. It sports A2DP so since I started going back to the gym, it’s been my constant companion. It streams audio from my iPhone clearly and plenty loud enough to be heard over the machines in the gym. Even when watching television, it still works well.
2. Apple iPad 2 WiFi/3G – The iPad has changed my workflow for everything. This year, the combination of iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV actually allowed me to ditch my laptop for good.
1. Apple iPhone 4S – The iPhone is my life. I do basically everything from either it or my iPad and almost everything I do syncs between them. I work in a business that uses many types of devices and I can confidently say that people who use iPhone are happier and more productive than those who use Droid or BlackBerry devices. If you don’t have one, it better be on your list.
Top Ten Apps
10. GQ UK (iPad Only) – This is how magazines should be on the iPad.
9. AirVideo – Install the AirVideo server app on a computer and connect to it via this app and voila! You can stream video from a remote computer to your iPhone/iPad and use the built-in iOS AirPlay feature to watch it on your Apple TV! Fantastic!
8. Starbucks – This is how we should be able to pay for things… it is 2012, after all…
7. Meedeor – Meedeor is a super-simple, awesome app to share pictures online. The site is super-clean and easy to navigate.
6. LogMeIn – I manage 400+ computers in my job and this is the best app I’ve found to do what I need to do. I can remotely control and troubleshoot systems any time I need to from anywhere that I have at least 3G coverage. One thing I’d like to see in the future is support for LogMeIn123 subscriptions.
5. 1Password – 1Password was actually the first app I installed on my original iPad and I continue to use it constantly.
4. Kindle – This is how I read books. The only paper books I buy are comic books simply because I like their feel. Kindle has a huge selection and the backing of Amazon. I think I’ve read more books over the past two years because of this app alone.
3. Dropbox – I use Dropbox to store documents and media. It’s easily the best service to do this that I’ve found.
2. Tweetbot – This is how Tweetie should have been after Twitter bought them. I can’t stand the normal Twitter app and I’m excited for however Tweetbot will turn out when ported to iPad.
1. Marketcircle’s Daylite – I use this app for basically everything I want or need to do. I use it to track tasks and projects; contacts; calendars; and notes. It is easily my single most-used app on my devices. I wouldn’t be surprised if I opened it 200+ times a day.