iPhone

Want to play piano or guitar by ear? There’s an app for that too and we tried it out

Want to play piano or guitar by ear? There’s an app for that too and we tried it out

Playing by ear is truly an enviable skill. To be able to just hear something then play it yourself is almost like a super-power to many a musical layman. With enough time and practice I could probably develop such an ability too, but come on. I got too many ice cream and animal dating games to write about already.

So I rely on computers to do it for me. There are a variety of software applications on desktop computers that can take a song and at least attempt to break it down into its components, but they can be rather complicated and difficult to use. Now Casio has come out with an iOS app called Chordana Viewer that can reverse engineer songs right on your Apple device for piano or guitar.

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I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

I used the giant Samsung phone that Apple wants to kill — and I’m never going back to a tiny screen again

When I first started using Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, almost everything about its enormous size annoyed me. I couldn’t text with one hand. It barely fit in my pocket, or didn’t at all. I felt silly holding it up to my ear to talk on the phone. It was the least subtle or elegant phone I’d ever seen.

Even my friends were horrified. I’d plop the Note onto a table or I’d whip it out to take a picture, and anyone I was hanging out with would double-take.

“What is that thing?!” they’d gasp.

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Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens

With the advanced state of the technology at our fingertips these days, our tech lives have never been so customizable. But one thing users may have never thought to get creative with is the iPhone’s humble lock screen. The most a typical user will ever aspire to is replacing the standard background with a picture of their cat or something. Or so I’ve observed of my more technologically inclined friends; I still use a rotary phone.

But did you know that with a little creativity and a photo editing tool, you can actually make some pretty cool custom unlock screens? Just ask these Japanese netizens that squandered their creative talents making anime characters say appropriately anime-ish things on their unlock screens:

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Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

Samsung, IOC deny asking iPhone carrying Olympic athletes to cover their Apple logos

The Olympics gives the world’s most talented athletes a chance to show their abilities to people all over the globe. It also gives the world’s most wealthy marketers a chance to show their products to that same audience.

Among the Games’ biggest sponsors is Samsung, whose Galaxy Note 3 was granted the title of official phone of the Sochi Olympics in thanks of its manufacturer’s generosity. Some reports are claiming that the Korean electronics maker isn’t showing a respect for healthy competition, though, by asking athletes with iPhones to make sure they cover the Apple logo when on-camera.

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Love disembodied women’s hands? Here’s a great iPhone case for you, you big weirdo

Love disembodied women’s hands? Here’s a great iPhone case for you, you big weirdo

I wouldn’t know personally because I basically use two plastic cups with some string attaching them for all my not-in-person communication, but I hear people with smartphones spend a lot of time and money trying to find the perfect case to protect and customize their technological doohickey.

There’s a lot to consider, after all: Will others enjoy the design as much as you do? Does the case affect the overall weight, size and shape of the phone to an unacceptable degree? Can you still fit it in your pocket after you snap the case on? Will people think you’re a creepy weirdo based on your choice of case? These are all questions normal smartphone users ask themselves.

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Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Back in the early heyday of the iPod, its distinctive white in-ear headphones were blamed for a sharp rise in street robbery in London because they identified the wearer as having a fancy music player valuable enough to be worth stealing. If the newest product released by Shanghai-based company King Jim takes off, though, the next zombie-like commuter you see wearing headphones might not be able to listen to any music at all thanks to Digital Earplugs (Dijitaru Mimisen in Japanese). The new device looks just like regular white headphones, but they’re not for playing your favourite tunes. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Your iPhone is embarrassingly bad at simple math

Your iPhone is embarrassingly bad at simple math

The Cult of Apple is so smug about the many features and perks of the iPhone that it becomes a test of will for us Android users not to snatch any iPhone we see out of the hands of its user and throw it overhand into the nearest wall.

But now we may have a new weapon in the war on Apple: basic arithmetic. Seedy Japanese Internet geek forum 2chan has apparently proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that, when it comes to the calculator function, Apple’s smartphone is as dumb as that kid in your elementary school class that ate glue all day.

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Connect to sushi-poo Wi-Fi using smartphone or tablet devices

Connect to sushi-poo Wi-Fi using smartphone or tablet devices

Looking for a way to give those in your immediate area looking for Wi-Fi a delicious treat? No? Well, me neither. But I do enjoy some pointless yet fun tricks to do with devices like Apple’s iPhone or iPad. Take, for example, this incredibly easy way to make your device show up on others as pieces of sushi and poo – or more!

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【Thursday Throwback】Siri does not understand my English, kicks my confidence in the nuts

【Thursday Throwback】Siri does not understand my English, kicks my confidence in the nuts

The iPhone4S finally arrived in Japan today, and thousands of people lined up outside their local Softbank or AU store, eager to get their hands on the phone when it hit the shelves at 8 am.

The most appealing new function of the iPhone4S for many people is the integrated voice interface, Siri. Apple claims that Siri enables you to easily send messages, check the weather, schedule meetings, and take care of a number of other traditionally text-based tasks just by using your voice.

Though it is currently not compatible with Japanese, the program is still available for use on Japanese iPhones. I made my way to an Apple Store to see if Siri would respond to my heavily-accented English but I had no luck. In fact, my broken attempts to inquire about the weather in English were interpreted so far off that I couldn’t help laughing.

Take a look at my techno-lingual struggle below.

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New iPhone case looks like sea monster swallowed your phone

New iPhone case looks like sea monster swallowed your phone

It may look like some CG monster out of Cloverfield, but the monstrosity above is actually a giant isopod, a type of crustacean that lives deep in the sea. Yes, that Pekinese-sized pill bug actually exists. And now, you can have an iPhone case that looks just like it!

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Our reporter makes himself too sexy for his face with Line Camera’s “beauty” function

Our reporter makes himself too sexy for his face with Line Camera’s “beauty” function

Naver Corporation’s Line has been steadily becoming a juggernaut of smartphone apps in recent months. Starting out as a mild-mannered free text and voice chatting application, it has since expanded into a drawing app, games, and even a recently launched Q&A service.

Now, the company’s free camera app has hit the scene and is causing a bit of a stir for its rumored ability to enhance anyone’s beauty. Our Japanese writer GO, who’s always looking for ways to improve his already stunning features, took it out for a spin.

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RocketNews24 office left in disarray at startling Apple iOS discovery

RocketNews24 office left in disarray at startling Apple iOS discovery

On December 13… RocketNew… I’m sorry.

It’s just I can’t stop staring at it. None of us can. How many times have we looked at the menu screens of our iPhones or iPads? Too many times to count, but we could never see what was going on right in front of us all this time.

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Learn about Japanese history with cute smartphone samurai warrior cats!

Learn about Japanese history with cute smartphone samurai warrior cats!

Earlier this year, we brought you news of cute earphone jack puppies, perched atop owners’ smartphones in a number of irresistibly cute poses. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any cuter, the company behind the adorable animals announced an update to the series with an extraordinary litter of samurai warrior kittens.

If you like your cats with a side of history, this could be the most perfect gift you could ever wish for.

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Go back to the 70s and 80s with a retro iRecorder for your iPhone

Go back to the 70s and 80s with a retro iRecorder for your iPhone

There’s no denying that smartphones are awesome. They can send messages, let you browse the web, take photos and play thousands of songs, all while fitting into your pocket, ready to be used anytime, anywhere. But for some of us, none of that convenience can compare to the fun of fitting a cassette tape into a cassette player and pressing play.

Now there’s a gadget that lets us have the best of both worlds: the joy of thousands of songs combined with the lost art of old-school push button technology. Now that fluoro’s back in fashion, there’s never been a better time to pull on those leg warmers, download some Madonna circa 1985 and experience music the way it used to be.

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Everything you need to know about the birds and the bees, packed into one quirky video game

Everything you need to know about the birds and the bees, packed into one quirky video game

For pretty much every parent, there will eventually come that awkward day when their child asks questions about where babies come from. Parents have to tread a fine line with the information that impart, at once wanting to preserve their curious progeny’s innocence but also not wanting to send them out into the wild with tales of storks and cabbage patches.

Thanks to Ryo Shirakawa, now there’s a fun way to teach kids about sexual reproduction without actually having to deal with it: Sperm Vs Egg (Seishi Vs Ranshi; localized to Seed and Egg in English) for smartphones.

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Get the realistic Tumbler Batmobile you’ve always wanted… for your iPhone

Get the realistic Tumbler Batmobile you’ve always wanted… for your iPhone

Yarisugi is a Japanese word that means overkill or something done to excess. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the realistic replica of the Christopher Nolan-era Batmobile announced by Premium Bandai this week. Not because they’ve copied the vehicle in minute detail, as you can see in the image above, but because it is, in fact, an iPhone case.

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Run, fat boy, run! Moe cuties return to help men shed pounds in running app Burn Your Fat With Me 2

Run, fat boy, run! Moe cuties return to help men shed pounds in running app Burn Your Fat With Me 2

With Thanksgiving looming over our North American readers and the eatathon that is Christmas not far behind it, the folks at Creative Freaks are clearly worried about our waistlines. Following on from the success of last year’s Nenshou: Burn Your Fat with Me!! and July’s insult-you-until-you’re-slim-‘em-up Nenshou for Girls, the developer has just released a true sequel to the fitness app-cum-dating sim, taking a slightly different approach this time around.

If having abs of steel and not breaking into a sweat halfway through your evening meal aren’t incentive enough for you, perhaps dating a moe-style cutie and having her be your personal trainer each day will be enough to get you off your couch and into your running shoes?

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Japan belongs to Apple: iPhone claims top 10 spots in total smartphone sales in November

Japan belongs to Apple: iPhone claims top 10 spots in total smartphone sales in November

In news that Android fanboys will likely want to spit at, Japan’s top 10 smartphone sales chart currently reads 100-percent iPhone, it has been revealed.

Now carried by all three of the country’s biggest mobile providers, Apple’s iPhone has become immensely popular in Japan in recent years and is seemingly the must-have mobile this November.

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Bluetooth Taiko No Tatsujin controller lets you play properly in the comfort of your own home

Bluetooth Taiko No Tatsujin controller lets you play properly in the comfort of your own home

The taiko drum simulating rhythm game Taiko No Tatsujin has been a hit in game centers and home living rooms for quite some time now. Even the iOS app has fared well, currently standing as the 25th top grossing application on the Japanese App Store.

Still, playing it on a touch screen doesn’t quite match the experience of using a physical drum and sticks. You’d probably be too afraid of screwing up the screen by wailing on it too hard. That’s why Bandai will be releasing a Taiko No Tatsujin drum controller for use with Apple devices.

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icePhone: Because everyone wants to look like they’re talking on a popsicle

icePhone: Because everyone wants to look like they’re talking on a popsicle

When you’re a little kid, any slightly long object turns into your own personal phone. The remote control, a banana, maybe even a sausage have all served as substitute talking devices for children not quite old enough to have their own fully-functional mobile device. But frozen treats, no matter how perfectly sized, have always been out of reach as a play phone, transforming into a puddle of sticky goo before the purple dragon had his turn to talk. But now you can be the envy of all those 5-year-olds yammering like fools on their pickle phones with the icePhone case that looks like a real crunch bar or popsicle.

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