Spotlight Reports


Back to School Apple Apps

As we move through August we get closer and closer to students going back to school, and the morning traffic increasing again.  As parents stock up on school supplies, buying new uniforms, shoes, binders, pens, etc; we have decided to throw more into your check list: APPS!   Apple iPhones and iPads already come with a slew of useful apps for students, teachers and parents to help such as –voice memos, calendar, emails, memos, etc.  But with the growing number of Apps in the Apple store why not add some more?

Here are a few that we think you should add to your Back-To-School shopping list:

1: Google Mobile App

Get the most advanced Google search experience for your iPhone, now with Google Goggles, Voice Search and My Location.  Great for researching on the go – all you have to do is talk into it and let the app work for you. Google mobile app also gives you access to all of your other Google accounts including Gmail and Google Calendar.

2. Stanza

Back-to-School means Back-to-Book Reports! Reading is an essential part of education, but it is 2011 so let’s make it interesting.  Forget the moldy books in the library and try Stanza.  Stanza brings digital books to your iPad or iphone.  It has boasted 4million downloads worldwide with over 50,000 contemporary titles to chose from + an additional 50,000 FREE classics (the school type books).

3. Wordbook English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 1.99

Spelling Tests, essays, English Language class, creative writing all require a good dictionary at some point.  So long the days of carrying around a pocket dictionary – let’s face it: they are cumbersome and heavy! Try the Workbook English Dictionary and Thesaurus out, it has more than 150,000 entries, weblinks, spoken pronunciations and a few more cool tools

4. myHomework

My Homework app has got to be the coolest homework diary.  It helps students, and teachers, stay on top of all the many due dates, schedules, meetings and activities that come with being a student.  A great free app to help you keep organized!

5. The Chemical Touch

Studying sciene? Why not make it a bit fun.  This app has an interactive periodic table that has lots of information about the different elements, the standard amino acids, and much more.  It may become super handy during a Chemistry assignment.

6. World Atlas HD 1.99

A Great handy app for geography class. This app is a beautiful interactive atlas that lets you surf the world with your finger tips.  In an instant you can pull up a countries stats like, population, capital, language spoken, flag, majority religion, square miles, political situation and more.

7. iFormulas

Instead of wasting time flipping through your notebooks looking for formulas for common integrals download iFormulas and have them all handy at your finger tips!  This App has formulas for Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics and More!  It is a free app and worth a try.

Your Shopping is not complete without thinking about a cool binder mount for your iPad….check out this one we found on …just a suggestion.


Amazon’s Huge Blu-Ray Sale

Who doesnt like a sale?  From now through to Saturday, August 20,2011 is offering up to 65% off over 20 of the past best-selling Blu-ray deals of the week.  A little sample of what is on sale:

  • The Bourne Trilogy: $32.99 (save 53 percent)
  • Dances with Wolves: $9.99 (save 67 percent)
  • Raging Bull: $12.49 (save 58 percent)
  • James Bond Blu-ray Collection Three-Pack (Vol. 1, 2 & 3): $25 each (save 64 percent)

Check the list to see what esle is being offered.


Top News Apps for iPad

Pulse News for iPad
At the top of the list is Pulse, one of the highest rated news apps found in the App Store. At the incredibly low price of free, you get a truly one of a kind app (that is a member of the App Hall of Fame). Its features include: offline syncing (allows you to view your favorite news stories without an internet connection present), multiple news platforms (allowing you to view whatever you want in a clean, condensed format), easy sharing options, and more. If you’re a news junkie or an avid blog reader, you won’t want to miss this app.

BBC News
Offering news from around the world (not just the U.K.), BBC’s iPad app is incredible. With a user-friendly menu option with easy viewing of clean-cut articles (and there are also video reports as well), BBC definitely comes near the top of the list. It is a highly informative news source for any current events happening worldwide, and again, this one is free too.

USA Today
Another app with high reviews would be USA Today. With all the news, ranging from tech, markets, international, politics, life, economies, and even travel, USA Today’s free iPad app is a comprehensive news source for anyone looking to keep up on the latest events. It also offers a saving option for simple offline viewing, making news more portable than its ever been.

Newsy’s number one objective is convenience. Instead of giving people long-winded reports of minor happenings, Newsy offers quick, yet highly informative video clips to keep you updated without wasting your time. It’s one of a kind in that it gathers information from several sources across many mediums and boils it down into one short clip of only the relevant information. You can build your own playlist of your favorite videos from the dozens of categories Newsy offers in this free app, making it an invaluable resource to anyone interested in the news but with limited time.

News Pro
Saving the best for last, Reuter’s News Pro app offers more information than nearly any other news app out there. It has extremely high ratings among iPad users, and it is a user-friendly resource for getting the news (whether it be written, audio, or video reports). This too, offers the offline viewing option. The price? Like it’s fellow news apps above: free.

Whether you’re casually interested in keeping up with the news or a hardcore current events junkie, these are quite possibly the most valuable apps you can download to your iPad. And when none of them will cost you a penny, what reason is there to say no?


Coming to App World: Offical Facebook App for iPad

More than a year has passed since the original iPad was released, and there is still no official Facebook app optimized specifically for the iPad. While many users choose the option of using the enlarged Facebook app made for iPhone users or downloading one of the many third party Facebook apps available, presumably nothing beats having the official Facebook app that’s specifically formatted for iPad users.

Luckily, it appears that the wait is coming to an end, as Facebook insiders recently said that the official iPad app is set to release some time in the coming weeks. It has been in the designing, developing, and testing stages for several months, with reports saying that even the company chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg on board with the intricate detailing process.

It will be a free application, which will have many Facebook users – some of whom have been paying $0.99 for ad-free third party Facebook apps. The move is expected to boost Facebook usage, which has been reported as slowing down in recent months.

While most of the details have been carefully kept under the wraps, it has been said that it will be similar to the iPhone Facebook app, but with unique formatting and more advanced chatting options for iPad users.  iPad 2 users  should be able to take, upload and tag high resolution pictures and videos right off of their devices.


Great FREE iPad Travel App

Tripit (Free)
When traveling, it is easy to get frazzled with the amount of travel information you must keep straight. This app helps to keep information organized no matter where you booked your travel plans. Although there is a paid version for $3.99, the only difference is the free version does include advertisements. Easily keep all your confirmation numbers, times, and flight numbers in one place. Also include activity information and times so you don’t miss out on all the important events you want to see during your trip. Once your trip is set up in the app, email it to family or anyone who might need to get in touch with you during your vacation. All of this reduces the need for pesky paperwork.  To roam in non Wi Fi areas you will need the 3G roaming data for this app, which may result in quite a pricey data bill at the end of the vacation.  Most airports and hotel rooms do have aireless internet that you can access, although sometimes at a fee.  Seems like a cool app and it is free so it is worth a try.


Apple Launches iCloud


After quite a few web rumblings, Apple officially announced iCloud. Apple CEO Steve Jobs just unveiled the free cloud-based service at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

The service is designed to store all of your digital goodies, then wirelessly push the content to devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, as well as a Mac or PC. It can also sync those devices, meaning when something changes on one device, all compatible devices will get the message almost instantly.

“Today it is a real hassle and very frustrating to keep all your information and content up-to-date across all your devices,” Jobs said. “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

Additional iCloud services include MobileMe Contacts, Calendar and Mail, the App Store and iBookstore, iCloud Backup and Storage, and a photo stream service. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. However, purchased music, apps, books and the Photo Stream service do not count against the storage limit

Of course, iCloud can also keep track of iTunes purchases. If you want to add music not bought through the service, the newly announced iTunes Match promises to replace your music with 256 kbps AAC DRM-free files, if they can match the tracks in the iTunes store. The iTunes Match service isn’t free, however. Apple plans to launch it this fall, with an annual $24.99 service fee. A free beta version of iTunes in the Cloud is now available without iTunes Match, and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users running iOS 4.3. The company will launch it with support for all iPhones that iOS 5 supports this fall.

Both the iCloud beta and Cloud Storage APIs are available immediately to iOS and Mac Developer Program members at For the rest of us, iCloud will launch this fall with iOS 5.


Top Movie DVD Releases for July 2011 (US release days)


July 5th DVD Releases:  


13 Assassins

synopsis: Set at the end of Japan’s feudal era in which a group of unemployed samuri are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war torn future.  



Of Gods and Men

Synopsis: Eight French monks live peacefully in a monastery perched in the mountains of Algeria until post-colonial tensions escalate.  



July 12th


The Lincoln Lawyer

Synopsis: Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental sedan. Haller has spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, until he lands the case of a lifetime: defending a Beverly Hills playboy accused of murder. But the seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.

White Irish Drinkers 

Synopsis: In the autumn of 1975 in Brooklyn, Danny tries to enlist his brother Brian in one last scheme – to rob the Lafayette on the night of the Rolling Stones concert. Danny sees this as their only chance to get enough money to skip town and start them both off in a new life, somewhere far away from Brooklyn.


Synopsis: The story of Hind Husseini, who founded an orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

Friday July 15th




Synopsis: The story of a chameleon with an identity crisis.


 Synopsis: A boozy playboy rascal is set to inherit a fortune if he marries an heiress his family thinks will make something out of him. However, he falls in love with a working-class woman and turns to his valet for help when his family makes him choose between money and love.  


July 19th



Synopsis: The story centers on a down-and-out writer who gets his hands on a top-secret pharmaceutical drug that makes one smarter. He experiences sudden financial and social success but soon discovers that the drug has lethal and lasting side effects, including “trip-switching,” a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality. Before long, mysterious antagonists are pursuing him.  



 July 26th



 Synopsis: Set in a time of bitter civil war, based on the true story of the great siege of Rochester castle.






Weatherproof your iPad

Do you want to take your ipad to the beach, on the boat or to a pool party?  Are you afraid to take it because it may become the casualty of the day?  Trendy Digital has a solution for you, they have created a waterproof case for our ipad and it is only 19.99.  It is a bit more than the ZipLoc bag trick — but it may be a bit more secure too.  Have a look on at Trendy Digitals ipad product.  They also have more weatherproof products available for Kindle an nook users


Amazon’s Electronics Trade-In Program

What do you do with your old electronics? If you’re like most people, you probably stick it in a box or on a dusty shelf. Amazon, however, wants to help you clear some space, announcing a new Electronics Trade-In Store.

This new program builds upon Amazon’s existing Trade-In service, adding electronics into the mix. Amazon says that they will take tablets, cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, GPS devices and other electronic items.

To trade in an item, start by searching for it at Amazon’s Trade-In Store. Once you find it, click on the Trade In button and choose what condition you think the item is in. Then, print the pre-paid shipping label. Once the retailer accepts your item, the trade-in amount will be credited to your Amazon account.  Of course shipping from Bermuda may be a bit $$ and not worth the effort – but perhaps the next time you go into the US you can take a few old electronics with you and ship from there.

Of course, you can trade in your used items, but you can also buy them up, too. Amazon turns those trade-ins around and sells them at a discount. We found iPods for as low as $22, GPS devices for $27, and tablets for $111.


Android™ Control Software for Crestron Systems

Slingbox® Inventor And Crestron Collaborate To Bring Android OS Support To The Crestron Platform

R2 Control App For Android is Now Available

Slingbox® inventor, Blake Krikorian and Crestron today announced the release of R2 Control™ for Crestron, a software app that turns virtually any Android® smartphone or tablet into a fully-functional Crestron touch panel for residential and commercial applications. Utilizing the R2 app and Crestron processors, customers can now control AV, lighting, thermostats, security systems, and thousands of other products via their Android device from anywhere in the world.

R2 was initially unveiled at the Crestron booth at CEDIA Expo last September. Since then, R2 conducted a seven month private beta test program consisting of hundreds of residential, commercial and government Crestron-authorized integrators from around the world. The input from this beta team helped R2 achieve a sophisticated solution compatible with a multitude of Android devices.

R2 was developed by id8 Group Productions, a product development and technology lab. Co-founder and inventor of Emmy award-winning Slingbox, Blake Krikorian founded id8 Group Holdings (parent company of id8 Group Productions) in 1999. R2 is the first product developed by id8 Group since Slingbox expanded in 2004 to form Sling Media, Inc. Sling Media was subsequently acquired by Echostar in 2007.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with an innovator like Blake and officially support Android,” says Fred Bargetzi, Crestron VP of Technology. “The R2 control app for Android is the latest development in our ongoing open-standards platform which also includes integration with iOS, MAC OSX and Windows.”

Krikorian initially conceived of R2 for his own use. “In addition to being able to control aspects of my home via Crestron remote controls and iOS devices, I really wanted to be able to use my new Android-based phone,” says Krikorian. “I desired a software platform that allowed me to further optimize the home control experience for general purpose smartphones and tablets, beyond the industry’s current state of the art. R2 and Android provides the flexibility to do just that.”

R2 Key Features

• Communicates with Crestron 2-Series and 3-Series control systems via WiFi and cellular network

• Controls multiple systems/homes from one Android device

• Uses the same Crestron development tools to create projects for R2. R2 touch panel projects are created using the existing and familiar development tools such as SIMPL Windows, VTPro, D3 and System Builder.

• Compatible with Mobile Pro/Mobile Pro G™ apps: runs projects created for iOS devices

• Quick access: ability to disable screen unlock requirement; Device’s built-in proximity sensor can automatically wake device

• Automatic project UI scaling: resizes Mobile Pro and Mobile Pro G projects to the native resolution of any Android device

• Visual, haptic and audible feedback: provides clear confirmation of key presses

• Optimized performance for Android: takes advantage of Android’s multitasking and flexibility to deliver an experience optimized for home and building control

• Support for multiple and custom resolutions: in addition to R2’s built-in UI display scalar, an upcoming VTPro add-on (coming soon) enables developers to optionally create pixel-perfect projects for any screen size.