Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

What we love…

easy to use portable stand for your iPhone, iPad or other device

What we’d love to see…

better way to carry it around – I currently put it back in the box each time I use it although it can be flattened.

Summary

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Stanley Stand by Distil Union is a leather device that bends to hold your device and accessories while cooking, serving as a portable charging station, holding your tablet and more.  Stanley Stand is made of leather, merino wool felt and heavy steel.  The Stanley Stand is covered on the outside by leather in your choice of color (black, brown, gray, lime, aqua, red) and on the inside is Merino wool felt.  They cover up a piece of steel inside which bends to make the Stanley stand usable in so many situations.  Each stand has light grey Merino wool felt which has white stitching, and the darker stand (black) has darker grey felt with black stitching.  The stand features a small hole in the back designed to feed your cables through so they are not in the way of your device.

You can use it as a non-traditional dock on your desk at work, on your kitchen counter to hold your device while cooking, to act as a small typing stand or simply to get your device up from a flat spot.  It will hold phones and tablets up to 8″ tall and held my iPad Mini in a Griffin Survivor case quite comfortably.  You can bend the stand to your viewing angle (so you can watch movies while it is on a table or use it for cooking) or a low angle so you can use it as a typing stand.  Inside the box is the Stanley Stand in your choice of color and a USB extension cable which is six feet, this plugs into your lightening charger for your iOS device and works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device by giving it a bit more length.

When I got my Stanley Stand I started coming up with great ideas of using it.  The Stanley Stand is  small enough to toss in my backpack and bring with me when I’m out with my kids, so I can stream a Netflix movie while they are having an appointment or while I wait in the car for the time of the appointment.  I also brought it along as a portable charger – I like many have my iPhone go dead sometimes.  This can be frustrating – especially when you find a plug but it’s a little bit too far away or perhaps you don’t want to be limited by the length of your standard issue Apple cable.  Thankfully using the USB extension you can now comfortably sit in a char while having your device plugged in!  I also liked the Stanley Stand when cooking – I have lots of recipes on my device but I hate touching my iPhone with dirty hands to check the ingredients.  Now, I simply prop it on the Stanley Stand, turn off sleep mode and get cooking!  My husband also recently brought the Stanley Stand to a conference he attended where he had all of the slides on his iPad – instead of having to hold his device while listening to the lecture he simply propped it up and could easily follow along.  One of my favorite things was that I could adjust the Stanley Stand to almost any direction to make it suit my needs – it was nice that it was not molded plastic and static.

In terms of enhancements – right now I put the Stanley Stand back into the box each time I take it somewhere with me – and the box is getting a bit tattered.  I haven’t figured out a better solution – it’s pretty small and fits in tight spaces but I don’t want to mistakenly stretch it out.  It does fold flat – and I have done that a few times to slide it into a tight space in my bag – but I’m not sure if that is a good idea long term.

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s perfect for kids who may be using a tablet to do reading and need to prop it up, adults who need a desktop charging stand or anything in between.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.  In fact, if anything the leather has gotten a nice patina to it.  At a cost of $49.99 USD I feel the Stanley Stand is worth it and is a great gift for someone on your list who may be hard to buy for!  You can buy it direct from Distil Union for $49.99, Amazon and other retailers.

Product details

  • Compatibility: Phones and tablets up to 8″ tall
  • Bend to your viewing angle, or low angle for ergonomic typing
  • Premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, and 1-year warranty
  • Materials: Leather, Merino wool felt, and heavy steel
  • Included: USB extension cable (6ft) – Note: Cable is NOT an iPhone cable. Instead, it works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device.

 

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review

Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun train themed app with great sound effects that encourages role play, creative play, counting and more

What we’d love to see…

ability to back the train up, a ticket that displays the passengers destination visually, other methods to power the train or even a subway

Summary

Fun train themed app that includes sharing, following directions and more!

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Train All Aboard the latest app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene.

Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    My kids also loved loading the cargo and carrying it from station to station.  While we loaded it we practiced counting or even deciding which item to load first – should we load the jelly beans or the chicken?  What happens if we don’t load any cargo.  I loved their responses which ranged from – “the passengers will be sad” to “will the chicken lay an egg?”  My toddler loved speeding up the train within the app or making it slower which shows cause and effect – although that concept was a bit difficult to explain.  As you get to each station stop, a thought bubble pops up looking for a specific passenger or item to be loaded on the train.  There is a maximum of four passengers, so if you have more, someone extra must exit the train prior to it moving.  Safety first!

As a mom, I loved that there was great role playing – should we be the conductor, the passenger or the person loading the cargo.  Tell me about their job.  What happens if there are too many passengers, how do we decide who gets on?  It was great for storytelling and having my older son describe his actions within the app.  At the station, it was great to unload the cargo and then pass it along to the proper recipients like the pig who wanted the chicken.  Each time you complete a task, you earn additional items to play with in the game which made my kids want to play more and more to see what else they would earn.  There are twelve different train stations throughout.  My son also enjoyed dinging the bell

In terms of enhancements, it would be fun if each passenger had to submit a ticket prior to getting on the train which would get stamped with their destination, currently once they are on the train you can punch the ticket but it does not show the destination.  That way, kids could prepare for which station they are getting off at.  My son also wanted to “back up” the train a few times to go back and look at scenery or to pick up something he might have missed.  I would also love to see other methods for powering the train – perhaps it could be electric and run on above ground power like the T does in Boston or maybe it could run like the subway does with a third rail.  My kids also thought it would be fun if each of the train stops coincided with other Dr. Panda Games like Daycare, Firefighter, Home etc.

There are no in-app purchases and there is a parental gate which requires year of birth.  You can turn off a splash screen which advertises other Dr. Panda apps in the parent area as well as turn on and off music and sound.

Super fun train themed app that kept my toddler enthralled for hours.  He kept finding little secret items and enjoyed loading and off loading the cargo.  Bravo Dr. Panda – or should that be Toot Toot!  Can’t wait to see what else you have planned in the future.



Dr. Panda Train Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

Dr. Panda Train has pulled into the station! Put on your conductor hat and take passengers on a journey full of fun and discovery!

DRIVE THE TRAIN! 
All aboard Dr. Panda Train! Show your passengers.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame- Photo Frames brought into the 21st Century

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame- Photo Frames brought into the 21st Century



What we love…

Easy to set up and use. Auto update feature allows it to automatically upload and display new photos without any effort

What we’d love to see…

Ability to create own albums and tag and search photos (planned in future updates)

Summary

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is an effortless way to bring  family photos off phones and computers and into everyday lives.  It provides an easy way to enjoy and share  photos and memories with family and friends near and far.

recommended-by-the-imums

As children my siblings and I loved seeing the new pictures every time we got a roll of film back from the developers, and we loved reminiscing as we looked through them together. We had albums of family photos lying around that we loved to look through whenever family or friends visited. With my own children most of our family photos have been taken on digital cameras and, more recently, on cellphones.  We take way more pictures now, but we never see most of them – they stay trapped in a digital graveyard on our computers and phones. I really that feel we, as a family, are missing out by not looking at family photos together and enjoying the memories they bring, but any solutions I’ve tried have just been too time consuming, and end up getting dropped after a few months.

I recently started using the PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame and I love how it has brought our family photos off our phones and back into our everyday lives.  When I heard “digital photo frame” my first thought was of a frame we had years ago that required downloading photos onto an SD card, which was then inserted in it to view the pictures. This was OK the first time we did it, but we rarely got around to creating new cards for it so the same pictures stayed on for years. Comparing the PhotoSpring to that is similar to comparing a Prius to a Model-T – they are both digital photo frames but otherwise have little in common. The PhotoSpring is so easy to use, and once set up it can keep adding new photos as I take them, without any effort on my behalf.

Our PhotoSpring is on a bookshelf in the living room and I’ve set it to automatically switch on in the mornings and off around our usual bedtime. It has a nice sharp display screen and a wide angle of view so you can see the pictures from where ever you are in the room. It is currently rotating through around 1,600 photos taken on my iPhone 7 and my husband’s iPhone 6 over the last year. I love that we are now seeing these pictures and that the kids will often comment about pictures they see and reminisce about the times they were taken.

PhotoSpring_angled_girl-dog-1024x867

If a particular photo catches our eye we can take the PhotoSpring off it’s stand and use it as a digital photo album to look through the photos surrounding it at our own pace. It is easy to mark favorite pictures to make then easy to find later or to delete or hide photos we don’t want on display.

My favorite feature is that with it set on auto-update all the new pictures I take on my camera automatically appear on the PhotoSpring without me needing to do anything. As a busy mum of 3 I always have good intentions about making photo albums, printing photos etc but never quite find time to get it done. With PhotoSpring I no longer have to feel guilty about not being more organized with our family photos -PhotoSpring gets our family photos out and on display for without any effort on my part and that is priceless!

 

Unboxing

In the box is the photo frame, charger and stand. The PhotoSpring looks similar to a 10 inch iPad or Android tablet, but slightly thicker. It has a clean look with no buttons on the front and a white border around the screen. The stand works in either portrait or landscape mode. The charger can be connected to the stand to charge whilst displayed, or directly to the PhotoSpring. It has a nice long cord so I had no problem reaching an outlet.

PhotoSpring_stand_2girls-pool-768x768

 

Set Up

Set up for the PhotoSpring is very quick and easy.  I had mine up and running in about 5 minutes.
1) Connect PhotoSpring to power and wait for it to turn on.
2) Connect PhotoSpring  to your home WiFi network. PhotoSpring will then download the most current version of it’s software.
3) Name your device (e’g Mary’s living room PhotoSpring) then enter your name and email address to get a PhotoSpring account invitation.
4) Respond to the email to create a free PhotoSpring account.
5) Download the PhotoSpring companion apps for iPhone, Android, Mac or Windows to start uploading photos to your PhotoSpring.

You can connect your account to more than one PhotoSpring and invite multiple friends and family to connect to your PhotoSpring. This is great for keep family connected. You can have PhotoSprings at home and work to easily access your photos in both locations. It makes a great gift for Grandparents or other family members because even if they live a long way away you can easily share photos across the miles.

The PhotoSpring comes preloaded with a slideshow that runs you through the features of the frame and how to use it, as well as some art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

Sending Photos

There are 2 ways to send photos to your PhotoSpring:

1) Manually: To send photos you open up the PhotoSpring app on your device, select the photos you want to send, and choose which PhotoSpring(s) connected to your account to send them to.

2) Automatically: choose “auto-update” and the PhotoSpring app will automatically upload new photos from your phone (and thus to your PhotoSpring) whenever you have the app open. You can choose to do this only via WiFi or via WiFi and cellular. For iOS you do need to also give permission for PhotoSpring to use location services for this to work.

The photos get sent to PhotoSpring cloud server and from there they are downloaded onto your PhotoSpring for local storage. This does take a little time, it only takes a minute or two for one picture, but large numbers of pictures can take a while to appear.

I send my photos via the auto-update feature as it means I don’t even have to think about uploading my pictures they just appear, my husband prefers to send his manually.

 

PhotoSpring_smartphone_girl-flowers-768x524

In Use

Once the photos appear on the PhotoSpring they are automatically sorted and duplicate pictures are removed. It will place the pictures in smart albums based on the place they were taken, if they are geo-tagged and location service permission was granted. If you have multiple people connected to your PhotoSpring it will also create albums based on the person taking them.

When playing a slide show you can display either: a) all the photos on the PhotoSpring,  or b) all of a particular album or c) or you can apply one of these 3 filters:

1) Favorite photos- you can mark these by taping on a heart symbol.

2) People- PhotoSpring automatically detects pictures with people in.

3) Best quality- PhotoSpring assesses the picture quality and marks with a lightning symbol those that it considers the best quality.

The PhotoSpring is available with 16GB, 32GB or 80 GB of memory. How many photos it will hold depends on the size/ quality of your images, mine is a 16GB currently has 1,600 photos on it that were taken in an iPhone 7 and is about 25 % full.

The PhotoSpring is a also a touchscreen device, it has a 4 hour battery life so you can remove it from the stand to look through your photo albums and remove, hide or favorite pictures. You can select individual photos or whole albums when hiding, deleting or marking as favorite. When looking at an album the pictures are organized in date order of when they were taken, and you can choose to see them newest first or oldest first. On the side there is a timeline arrow that you can move up or down to easily find photos from a specific date.

In the evenings I like to sit and look through my photo albums – it is a great way to really enjoy the pictures but also lets me easily weed out pictures I don’t want on display and to highlight favorites that I might want to print or create a photo book from later. I would love a way to easily create my own albums as I do this so, that I could create separate slideshows with a theme e.g. vacations, kid’s art work, Scout trips; I am told that the company has plans to add this feature in the future, along with the ability to tag and search.

Currently PhotoSpring only supports digital photos, but video support is due to be added in the next few weeks. The PhotoSpring has built-in speakers ready for video support. When the company updates the software to add new features it automatically updates via WiFi so you don’t need to check for updates to access the new features.

Summary

I love our PhotoSpring – it makes it so easy to enjoy and share our family photos with very little time or effort on my part. The auto-update feature makes it effortless to constantly update the frame with new pictures. My whole family is enjoying  it. We all get to enjoy our family photos and gives us many opportunities to easily took through photos and share memories together. It makes a great gift for moms and dads as an easy way to view family photos at home or in the office. It is also is a great gift idea for grandparents, as long as they have a WiFi connection, many different family members can connect to their PhotoSpring and easily keep them updated with family pictures even if they live a long way away or even in a different country. Highly recommended !

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is available from PhotoSpring.com with 16, 32 or 80GB storage from $149

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. – Review

Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

Fun easy to use leveled math app that encouraged my son to practice his math skills

What we’d love to see…

ability to test out of content your child may already be familiar with, ability to turn off the sound affects within the app

Summary

I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills.

Our Rating

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math GamesZap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal app for iOS that focuses on #commoncore math skills.  The free app with gated in-app purchases (IAP) includes content for children from kindergarten through sixth grade to learn, master and be quizzed on math materials using games.  The app itself contains over 150 games and over 180 math subtopics and is common core aligned to the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics.  For purposes of the review, I was given a full user ID and tested using second grade material since that is the grade my older son is in.   The premium subscription is $9.99 USD and is charged on an annual basis.  For those that purchase the full subscription there is also a web-based dashboard so you can check on your child’s progress.

Skills practiced within the app include:  Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Ratios, Multiplication, Geometry, Coordinates, Measurements, Angles, Time.  Each “year” within the app is a full school year’s worth of content which is fantastic for home practice during homework time, for homeschooling families or simply to prevent the “summer slide”.

Within the app, there are four different skill areas to use: training, accuracy, speed, mission.  There is no spoken language contained within the app, but there are written directions as well as video tutorials to show you what to do for each of the mini games.  After completing problems correctly, the words “good job” or stars are flashed on the screen.  After taking the quiz, you are shown the results of your work as well as given a time bonus (if completed faster than allowed) to give you a total score.

  • Training – this is the area where your child learns the skill and gets a tutorial about how to do it.
  • Accuracy – your child uses the skill to answer questions faster and more accurately
  • Speed Building – the skill itself is learned and now the focus is on completing the task in a faster manner
  • Mission – this brings all the pieces together when you rocket into outer space with a fun mini game

One of the things we liked was that there was a tutorial for each type of game.  This made sure we understood how to play it because it included step by step directions and a sample problem for you to complete.  My son in particular enjoyed the hive game as he had to connect different equations together to complete the problem.  At the end of each mission, you see your accuracy and score as well as a number of “Z” coins which are in app currency to purchase items.  We also liked the wide variety of games and frankly the huge amount of free content available to users without purchasing a subscription.  This app really allowed you to “try before you buy”.

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if there were a way to “test” out of content.  My son was familiar in some cases with the content and kept telling me how “boring” it was to have to relearn a skill that he already knew.   I also would like to be able to turn off the background sound within the app, my son found the ticking and various noises distracting so we ended up muting our device, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to do it.  I’d also like a collaboration space, my son’s math curriculum is very visually based and several times he actually wanted to use the number line or draw out the math problem.  You can see the number line in the training mode, but you can’t manipulate it which was something he requested.  I would also like to see a parent gated area that contains the rating as well as a way to see the dashboard from my device in a future release.

Zap Zap Math

Above is a screenshot of a sample dashboard that shows what skills each student is practicing along with accuracy, amount of time played, number of attempts.  You can also click through to get a more detailed report.

I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills.  This is a great app to try and see if it works for your family, the $9.99 in app purchase/annually seems affordable for the amount of content contained within the app.  There are external links, however, they are parental gated.

Zap Zap Math/a>

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math Games
Zap Zap Math - K6 Math Games
by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.

Category: Education, Games, Educational, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 691.12 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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