CNET Tech Review
Now you're cooking with apps!This week on the CNET Tech Review: iPad apps for the home chef; an iPad cabinet for the home arcade; counting down our Top 5 tablets; and how to move your Facebook photos to Google+.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, someone is in the kitchen with Sharon and favorite cooking apps. HTC gets a status updates with its new Facebook phone, how to transfer photos from Facebook to Google+, and get ready to rock up some high scores with this iPad Arcade Cabinet. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of the tech plus offer some unique tech wisdom in the form of the bottom line. Let's start with the good. First up today, we've something for all the foodies. There is no shortage of great recipes and cooking tips available on the internet, and there are plenty of great apps for the iPad that help bring that knowledge into the kitchen. Here's Sharon Vaknin with the few of her favorites. -Hey everyone welcome to Tap That App. I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'm hanging out in the Chow test kitchen to talk about three apps that all you home chefs, seasoned or aspiring, will love. They're all available on the iPad iPad, which is a perfect kitchen companion with it's large screen and gorgeous apps like the Photo Cookbook. Launch it, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. This 5-dollar app gives you step by step photo instructions of about 80 gourmet, but basic recipes. It's a great way to get comfortable in the kitchen since not only are the instructions easy to follow, but you also learn about ingredients in the process. Tapping on an ingredient in a recipe will give you its description, ways to prepare it, and other related items. If you decide that you want to e-mail yourself the ingredients, Photo Cookbook lets you do that with just a few taps. When you're ready to expand your culinary knowledge, you can buy up to 180 more Asian, Italian, and Baking recipes in the app. Now if that's too fancy for you, check out the AllRecipes app. AllRecipes is actually an online community where people like you and me submit their own recipes and let me tell you there are some amazing ideas on there. So with this app, you can access the entire collection on your iPad in a pretty interface. Do a search for dish you want to make, browse by filters like course or ingredient, or check out the hand-picked featured recipes. Each recipe is accompanied by reviews, nutritional information, and the option to change the serving size to make more or less of the dish. AllRecipes is probably my favorite place besides Chow of course, to find original recipes at hand, you'll need to build your culinary knowledge. It won't replace culinary school, but Smart Chef Suite will help you out with substitutions, conversions, and definitions while you're cooking. For instance, if a recipe calls for bread crumbs, but I have none of that in my kitchen, the nice little owl will tell me that I can use cracker crumbs, matzo meal, or ground oats instead. You can also convert things like pints to cups, and get vocabulary lessons from the 'definitions' section. Like, what the heck is Ajinomoto? Alright, well, good thing we checked, because it's Japanese for 'MSG'. So pick your recipes, master your kitchen skills, and satisfy your hunger, with these three apps. For more episodes of Tap That App check out CNET TV, and tell us what your favorite are on our Facebook page. I'm Sharon Vaknin. Happy cooking! -I suppose if you do plan to use the iPad while you're cooking. It might be worth investing in a cake, hopefully one that can go in the dishwasher, and when dinner time is over and the dishes are all done, might I suggest you retire to the arcade for some casual retro gaming. You can do just that with this new iPad accessory from ION Audio. I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Ion Audio iCade. The iCade actually started life as an April fool's gag from ThinkGeek, the big online gadget and other weird stuff store. They just did a mockup and said, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if you can get a little arcade cabinet for your iPad?" People liked the idea so much, ThinkGeek actually went out and found a company, Ion, to make it for them so now you can actually buy the iCade for $99. What you get for your $99 is basically a particle board mini arcade cabinet. You have to screw it together yourself, connect it to a Bluetooth joystick and button set so you put a couple of AA batteries in here, sync it via Bluetooth to your iPad, then you take your iPad and you just flip open the top and you drop the iPad right in here. It doesn't actually connect to the cradle or anything, it just sort of sits in it so you don't wanna move this around. Otherwise, you'll jostle everything, and then you launch the Atari Greatest Hits iOS game. That is the only game that currently works with the iCade. However, it does give you a hundred different classic Atari arcade and console games for about $15. That's a pretty good deal especially if you're interested in that kind of classic gaming. Once you do that, you pick the game you wanna play. A lot of these classic games were actually meant to work with trackballs or other kinds of controls, not joysticks. Some of it's a little bit awkward but a lot of them work really well. You're gonna have to go through the hundred games and find the ones that work best for you. For $100, the iCade is basically an expensive novelty. It's a desktop toy, but it's a very cool looking one especially if you're into vintage gaming. The company that makes this has released an SDK or a software development kit that will allow people who make other iOS games to make an iCade-compatible version of that game. We have not seen that yet, but if people start doing that, the iCade is gonna be a lot more useful. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Ion Audio iCade. -The best part, you don't even need quarters unless you wanna put one up to claim the next game. Given how ubiquitous Facebook has become, it was only a matter of time before we saw a dedicated Facebook phone and that time has some courtesy of HTC. Let's see how much Bonnie Cha likes it. -Hey, everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com and we are here in New York at a special event with AT&T showing off the HTC Status. This is the Facebook-optimized phone. What it has here is a dedicated Facebook button so you can press it to post a status update, share news stories, as well as any music you're listening to. You can also share photos by pressing this button here. Short press will take you to the screen where you can post status updates. If you do a long press, it will allow you to check into Locations so you can share with everyone else on your Facebook wall. Otherwise, it's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 2.6-inch screen. It's HVGA quality. It's a little small but, you know, for the intended audience, I think it's okay. On back, you've got a 5-megapixel camera and on front there's also a VGA camera so you can do video calls. Another Facebook feature, it has a chat client so you can instant message with your friends. Also got a full QWERTY keyboard. Buttons are a good size and they're raised above the surface so they're easy to press. It will be available starting July 17th for a very affordable $49.99 with a 2-year contract so I think it's gonna do really well with the younger crowd who loves the social network especially Facebook so looking forward to trying it out and I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your First Look at the HTC Status for AT&T. -Of course, if you're already over Facebook and you've made the commitment to Google+ that's not gonna be the phone for your like before you forget about facebook completely, Sharon is here again to help you gather up your things and leave. -Unless you've been using service like Picasa or Flickr to sort your photos, I bet that most of your pictures are on Facebook. It makes since, since you wanna put photos where your friends can see them, but if you're switching to Google+ or using both networks, you should share your pictures on their too. I'm Sharon Vaknin for CNET.com, here to show you how to move your photos from Facebook to Google+. Basically, what we need to do is download your Facebook album so you can easily re-upload them to Google+. While it's a free online tools that you do this, but I have a couple of favorites. As always, your best bet is to use Facebook's built in data downloader because it's a guaranteed safe and proprietary tool. The only annoying part about getting your photos this way is that it takes a few hours to a day for Facebook to e-mail you the downloading. Go to your account settings, then hit download your information. Once the download is ready, you will get a zip folder of your Facebook info like messages and wall post and all your photos organized into folders by album. But if you're more of a want it no kind of person, check out Pick & Zip. It's a free web app that let's you download albums plus any photos that you've been tagged in. Just go to pick&zip.com, log in with Facebook, have to download and select download all photos. If you have a ton of pictures, this might take a while. I had about 3500 and it took about 5 minutes. The download will come as a zip folder, which you should decompressed usually by double clicking it on a Mac or selecting extract all files in Windows. You'll see an albums folder with all your albums and a tag folder with all the photos you've been tagged in. Once you have your Facebook photos on your computer, it's time to head to Google+. Go to view profile, then photos, and upload new photos. Here you can create 1 album at a time. You can upload all your album folders at once. Click select photos from computer, find an album you wanna upload, select the photos in that folder, and hit open. Once the photos are uploaded, give the album a name and hit create album. Here you can add a comment about the album, which will show up on your stream and decide which circles you want to share with. If you wanted to be private, just enter your own name or e-mail address. Share it and the album will show open the streams of the people you shared it with and in the photos tab on your profile. You can always change the album privacy options by going to photos, then view all your albums, click the album you wanna add it, and change the visible to option, and here's an extra tip. Unlike Facebook, Google+ has a built in photo editor. Click on a photo and select actions. You can rotate the photo or click edit photo for coloring effect like cross processing or black and white. In this view, you can also tag people in your photos by selecting add tag and entering the person's name or e-mail address if they're not on Google+ yet. So go ahead and move your photo memories to Google+ especially if you think you will be spending more time there than Facebook and feel free to leave behind any baggage you're ready to retire. For more how to, visit howto.cnet.com and feel to ask me any questions on my Facebook page. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs. -Consider this your opportunity to do some spring thinning as well. I know everyone has some snapshots that have been posted to Facebook have no business being there, myself included. Thanks for putting up the old high school pic buddies. In fact, let's take a break so I can go delete those photos right now, but don't go too far, we've still got a more tech review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good. Many of us have come to depend on GPS navigation to get us where we're going, which is great as long as it doesn't steer you directly into a traffic jam. That's where live traffic monitoring comes in and where the latest version of the TomTom GO really shines. - Even if you're headed to a familiar place in a very familiar city, a GPS device with traffic data can still be useful for dodging traffic jams. TomTom has a new trick up its sleeve that aims to deliver more accurate traffic straight to your dashboard. I'm Antuan Goodwin with CNET.com. Let's take a first look at the TomTom GO 2535 M LIVE. The GO 2535 M LIVE packs many of the same features that we saw earlier this year in TomTom's GO 2405, including a glass capacitive touchscreen. This time it's a 5-inch unit as opposed to a 4.3-inch one, and an asymmetrically designed metallic chassis that snaps into its cradle with the power of magnetism. Interestingly, the GO 2535's power cable features a detachable 12-volt-to-USB adaptor, so you won't get a separate USB sync cable in the box this time. On the bright side, the GO 2535 LIVE gains the ability to use its traffic and live services without the power cable being connected, because TomTom's moved the data receiver into the unit's main body as opposed to housing it in the cord like on previous models. You'll be able to get the latest weather conditions and forecasts, find the lowest fuel prices nearby, search for points of interest with Google Local Search, avoid speed and safety cameras if you're a little paranoid, and get live traffic updates. Now that last bit is worth dwelling on because this isn't just regular RDS traffic, but its TomTom's latest generation of HD traffic. TomTom claims that this HD traffic service updates more frequently, more accurately, and on more roads than standard municipal traffic services. TomTom's Live connected services are free for the first year of ownership. The GO 2535 LIVE also features TomTom's new interface which was updated early in 2011 which takes advantage of the capacitive touchscreen for things like pinch and zoom on the map and swipe to scroll the menu. There are also fewer mini levels than previous TomTom generations, with the main functions of Navigate To, View Map, and Plan Route sitting at top level on the main screen. Oh, and by the way, the 'M' in GO 2535 M LIVE means that this baby will get free updates for as long as you own it. I'm gonna go chase down some traffic jams to see how accurate the GO 2535 LIVE's HD traffic service actually is and how much time it can save me. I've been Antuan Goodwin. To find out what I think, look for the full review of the TomTom GO 2535 M LIVE on CNET.com. -I can definitely use one those to help get around in town whenever there's a Giants game going down the street. Also, I wonder how TomTom would handle Carmageddon in LA this weekend. Be strong people. Let's see what's up this week in the bad. Now if you're going to take the time to wire your living room or your home theater for surround sound, I'd hope you would also take the time to choose the speaker system that not only sounds good, but at least looks halfway decent too. In which case, I would you keep this new set from Klipsch. -Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and this is the Klipsch HD Theater 500. This is a 5.1 speaker system and it can be found online for less than $500. The system is made up of four small satellite speakers, a center channel, and a 100-watt subwoofer. The speaker cabinets are plastic and the grills on the front are removable revealing a 0.75-inch tweeter and a 2.5-inch woofer. Wall mounts are included for the satellites and they offer the ability to angle the speakers at up to a 20-degree angle either left or right. The subwoofer is average size for a system like this and there's an 8-inch driver on the bottom. While the Klipsch system looks pretty stylish, we were disappointed by the cheap speaker connectors on the back. They have a spring clip design that only accepts bare speaker wire and they don't make as much of a secure connection as we'd like, and while this is a budget speaker system, many competitors have better connectors on the back. The most important aspect of any speaker system is its sound quality, and while the Klipsch sounds a whole lot better than many of the sound bars and home-theater-in-a-box systems we test, it didn't sound quite as good stacked up against other budget speaker systems. When we played action movies like Black Hawk Down at high volumes, the small satellites started to sound strained and not quite as powerful as the competing Energy Take Classic 5.1 system. Music wasn't much better either and, again, it didn't fair well when we tried to get loud. However, if you tend to listen at relatively low volumes, or you watch less sonically demanding movies, the Klipsch can sound quite good as long as you don't push it too hard. Altogether, while the Klipsch HD Theater 500 is a competent budget surround sound system, we prefer a lot of its competitors at this price range. The Energy Take Classic system offers better sound quality at around the same size, and if you can put up with larger speakers, the Pioneer SP-PK21BS delivers unbeatable sound for the money. If you find the Klipsch HD Theater at a heavy discount, it's not a bad system but we generally prefer the alternatives. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Klipsch HD Theater 500. -$500 is not a lot to pay for I got one surround sound system, but if it looks like it was made for $50, I'm not sure it's really such a good bargain. I promise you will get more bang for [unk] in this week's bottom line. From Android to webOS and of course iOS, we're up to our next with tablets around here these days, which is all the more reason to revisit our top tablet picks in this week's top count down. -Hello gang! Last time, I brought you a list of Top 5 tablets. A lot of was well, hooey that's because of the contenders for the iPad's crown were still yet to go on the market and undergo weathering tests, our lab and your opinion. Well, that's all changed now, the henchmen on line here. I'm Brian Cooley with the Top 5 tablets, iPad and otherwise. Let's go shopping. Number 5 is the T-Mobile G-Slate. We like that it has 4G support and Android Honeycom all random to one device and pre-installed streaming TV apps that work quite nicely, but then there's the built in 3D camcorder thing, which uses those cheapy red and blue glasses, seriously? No. The 3D on this thing is just a gimmick. Don't get mislead. Beyond that, this is also kind of a pricey device 800 bucks, unless you do a 2-year hitch with the carrier who is likely gonna be gobbled up by another carrier halway through that hitch. It's just kind of mess. Number 4 is the BlackBerry Playbook. A lot of folks our there in the audience right now playing the funeral dirge as mentioned this one, but the Playbook is actually kind of hot. It's fast, powerful, flash-enabled, HDMI-equipped, a multitasking wonder. But the 7-inch size cramps all that power on too small stage and it's too tied to the Blackberry platform at a time when many folks are going a different direction. Number 3 is the improbably named Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It actually does transform. Is it a Honeycomb Tablet or a Netbook? Yes. You see you can dock it into a keyboard docking station that answers one of the biggest frustrations with all have with tablets that there's no way to type beyond to really tie, you're always hunting and pecking on the touchscreen. Now, it's pretty hefty, kind of wide, kid of thick, kind of heavy, and that's without the dock. But the price is pretty good, $400 list for 16GB model and the keyboard dock is a reasonable $150 more. Number 2 is one of the very first serious iPad 2 challengers, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is the big boy on their line, super thin. It runs the hot Honeycomb OS, with front and rear cams and alarmingly powerful speakers. Now, while we love meth- addict lines, we didn't like how Samsung got there. The back feels cheap, plasticky and likely to break if you drop it even once. Not exactly Apple build quality, but if you're looking for something that isn't Apple, this is our go to choice right now. OK, before I bring you to our number 1 tablet, let me remind you of what may be the best value in a tablet. It's the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. That's right. It's ostensibly an e-Reader with a little bit of technical acumen. You can do what's called rooting of this device and fully expose the Android operating system that lies within. That's not a lot of sweat to break to get yourself a real good Android tablet for $250 or less. We've got a link to the step by step directions to root one of these devices in our show notes at Top5.cnet.com. Think about it. OK, if really bad at things like process of elimination games, I will tell you the number 1 tablet. It's the Apple iPad 2. It's thin. It's got dual cameras now, dual core processor, FaceTime video chat and two carriers for your 3G models. That slick cover still looks like a damned magic trick, and it has a huge and well vetted store of apps. That said, its screen resolution and ratio is still stuck back in iPad 1 territory. The photo quality is an inexplicably lousy, and there's no support for flash, but you'll have days of battery life to ponder those few shortcomings and be part of the vast majority who think a tablet is an iPad. Okay before you go buy any tablet, these 5 or some others make sure you check out our reviews, our latest reviews at CNET.com because category is hot and new models are coming out fast and furious right now. For more Top 5's like this, go to at top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching. -The bottom line this week, was there ever any doubt. You could kind of see number one coming from a mile away, but good on Asus for making it on the list. Alright folks, that's our show, come back next week for an all new CNET Tech Review including our hands on impressions of the Spotify music service. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at cnettv.com. See you next time and thank you for watching.