Let’s admit it: We are a nostalgic bunch, hence the need for something we can hold, even in the age of digital multimedia.
Some devices attempt to tap into that human sentimentality. Gadgets like the recently released Instax camera (which allows you to edit digitally before printing your photos) and Polaroid SnapTouch (which is a camera and printer in one) attempt to stay relevant by adding modern touches to the age-old concept of printed pictures — and I lapped these ideas up.
Introducing: the Prynt Pocket
The Prynt Pocket is basically a tiny printer you connect to your iPhone via Lightning port. What’s so special about this cute device is it can print your videos — well, photos that you can play as videos. More on that later. Before anything else, here’s a quick unboxing.
The Prynt Pocket comes in a clean white box with orange details. (Pencils and Instax not included.)
Our unit is in cute lavender. Other available colors are mint, black, and gray.
The front is where you plug in your iPhone. This device is compatible with the iPhone 5, 5s, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, and in theory, the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus since it’s a Lightning pin on a dock that adjusts to phone size.
On one side is the slot for the film cartridge plus an indicator light, shutter button, and zoom dial.
The other side is where the photo prints out and a micro-USB port for charging.
The box comes with a pack of 10 sticker paper, a micro-USB cable, the printing cartridge, and user guide. (Again, colored pencils not included, but admittedly cute with the color scheme.)
And now, on to actually using it!
How it works
Before anything else, you need to download the Prynt app which can be easily found on the App Store. I was able to set this up — which included loading the cartridge with paper and attaching the cartridge to the device — by following the Prynt app prompts (because who reads manuals anyway).
Take a photo or video of whatever subject you have — in this case, it was Marnie, the dog who was a great model. Good girl.
The Prynt app gives a slew of editing options. From borders, to text, to filters, and even memes — the app welcomes your boundless creativity.
Printing is simple enough. A tap of the print button gives us a Marnie sticker print out!
The best part, however, is what happens when you scan these photos using the Prynt app:
THE VIDEO WILL PLAY! If you did not get my excitement from that last sentence, let me tell you plain and simple: This thing is awesome and amazing! The whole process reminds me of those moving photos from Harry Potter’s Hogwarts!
Another cool feature is once you scan the photos and the video starts playing, a record button appears and you can immortalize the scan forever.
For good measure, I did a scan of Marnie’s Prynt photo with Marnie in the background and results were… well, the cutest I’ve seen in any of my tech reviews.
Imagine the possibilities!
You don’t even need the Prynt Pocket device to scan the photos. All you need is the app installed on your phone.
Is the Prynt Pocket your GadgetMatch?
Admittedly, printing a photo so you could scan it to make a video does sound a little weird at first.
A lot of things can be said about the Prynt Pocket. It’s amazing and amusing, but it’s also a little bulky to hold and with no real practical use with a damage of US$ 150.
But, that’s just the thing. It’s not meant to be practical, it’s meant to be fun and, oh, the fun you could have with this!
More importantly, the Prynt Pocket succeeds where most photo-printing devices have failed: They’ve created a camera that prints photos with a substantial value add to the physical product — one that’s appreciated in the digital sphere.
The Prynt Pocket is a lot of things. It’s a camera, printer, video maker, and even a scanner! Most importantly, though, it’s also Instagram-able.
[irp posts=”19166″ name=”Insta360 ONE hands-on: Stepping up 360 videos”]
C is the key: Explaining USB Type-C
What really makes this new standard special
For years, people have grown accustomed to using USB ports for almost all of their devices. Whether you need to charge your phone using your computer or use a controller to play games, you can always count on a USB port to be readily available for you. But 2018 was the year of change and innovation, and the USB port you know and love welcomed change in a big way.
Introducing: USB Type-C, the newest port added to the family. Its round shape brought many new uses and functionalities to your ports. But, how different is it from its much older brothers? How have companies revolutionized its use in mainstream devices?
What is this USB Type-C port?
The USB Type-C (USB-C) port is a not-so-recent discovery in the world of tech. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) developed this USB port back in 2013, and launched it into mass production the following year. The connector is a reversible oval shape, much different from the usual rectangular shape of the previous generation. Its reversibility allows any orientation of the cable for transferring files or charging your device.
USB-IF developed USB-C following the USB 3.1 standard. Such a standard was particularly used because of its faster transfer speeds and charging capabilities. With a USB-C port, you can transfer an hour-long movie in less than 30 seconds, provided you have the appropriate connector for it.
Computer and smartphone manufacturers have incorporated the USB-C port in most of their devices. One of the early adopters of the new technology was Apple, with their redesigned 12-inch MacBook in 2015. Other computer manufacturers followed in the later years, especially with the release of the Thunderbolt 3 technology used for gaming machines.
It’s the younger, faster and more all-around sibling
USB-C has been around for the past four years, and it has gradually developed into an all-around port for users. Alongside Thunderbolt 3, the USB-C port posts the highest data transfer speed across all the available USB connections in existence. Not only that, USB-C ports these days can now connect your devices to external GPUs and displays, and charge your devices. Most USB-C ports even support fast charging for smartphones.
While the technology behind it is supported by a USB 3.1 standard, it’s still very much different from other USB ports that use the USB 3.1 protocol. For starters, the USB 3.1 standard found in USB-C ports are USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, which offer twice as much performance in data transfer as USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. Most of the Gen 1 ports also use an older USB Type-A standard, which works for most of your gadgets and peripherals today. However, you would need more adapters for other functionalities, like displaying to a monitor.
But the USB-C port is a far cry from the old USB 2.0 and 3.0 protocols, which have been in existence for 14 years (and counting). Data transfer speeds for those two protocols are significantly slower compared to the USB-C port. An hour-long movie would ideally take around one to two minutes on a USB 2.0 port. Also, older USB protocols don’t really allow you to power up devices that need more electricity. So, charging devices on them might not be as fast.
Supercharged with Thunderbolt 3
So, you’re probably wondering what really makes a USB-C port just that fast. It’s not so much that it’s round, or that it’s new; rather, it’s the technology inside it. Late 2015 saw the arrival of the new Thunderbolt 3 standard specifically for USB-C ports. It first started out in most Windows laptops before making it to the 2016 MacBook Pro and several gaming motherboards.
What Thunderbolt 3 does for USB-C ports is to significantly increase its capacity and capabilities by a mile. We’re talking faster file transfer, heightened gaming experiences, and being able to plug in 4K displays for clearer images. Thunderbolt 3 also allows much bigger devices to be charged at a controlled rate. This is mostly evident with the MacBook Pro, several high-end Ultrabooks, and most recently, the 2018 iPad Pro.
The charging capacity brought about by Thunderbolt 3 deals with a tweak to how USB power delivery works. USB power delivery standards state that each USB standard has specific conditions that must be met to power up devices. Early versions of USB ports only allow a small amount of electricity (2.5W) for delivery, while USB-C allows for the full 100W. Basically, you went from just powering up your mouse and keyboard to charging your entire laptop.
What’s to come for USB-C?
At this point in time, you’re already living in the future that the USB-C port hopes to achieve. Suddenly, you can simply bring a USB-C cable around, plug it into a powerbank, and you can already charge your expensive MacBook. More and more devices are starting to adopt USB-C because of its potential to enhance your tech experience as a whole.
However, people still find it difficult to switch to USB-C, and for good reason. Most devices continue to use a USB Type-A or micro-USB connector, especially gaming controllers and peripherals. Also, they can argue that the old ports are more accessible. In a not-so-distant future, using a USB-C port could potentially replace a phone’s headphone jack.
The future of USB-C is still uncertain. Companies will iron out the new technology more so it can become mainstream for the future. Let’s just hope that by the time that happens, there won’t be a USB Type-D yet.
Apple now sells 18W USB-C fast charger and clear iPhone XR case
More expensive than the ordinary, of course
Apple has a couple of interesting new items available for iPhone owners out there.
After the month-long delay, the iPhone XR finally gets an official case. For the first time ever, Apple now offers a clear protective case. Instead of leather or silicone, you can protect your colorful iPhone XR with an optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU case.
It’ll be probably one of the most expensive TPU cases you’ll ever purchase for US$ 39. With its expensive price tag, hopefully, it won’t turn yellow over time like other cheap third-party clear cases.
Those who have been wanting a fast charger for their iPhones can finally get one without spending too much. The early solution wasn’t specifically designed for iPhones and it’s not cheap either.
Thankfully, Apple is now selling an 18W USB-C Power Adapter. Although, you’ll still have to purchase a USB-C to Lightning cable separately. The new iPhone fast charger is priced at US$ 29, while the USB-C cable is an additional US$ 19.
It’ll cost you US$ 48 to charge an iPhone faster, which should come out of the box like with flagship Android phones. Keep in mind that you should be using an iPhone 8 or later model.
The new 18W fast charger and clear case for the iPhone XR are now listed on Apple’s online store.
Pantone of the year Living Coral and where you’ve seen it before
Such a pretty shade! 🤩
For the last 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute had been assigning a color to the year that’s to come. Symbolic of the incoming trends in culture, fashion, and design, among others; each shade that’s carefully picked represents a sentiment that embodies “our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”
This year, that color is Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546.
As the name implies, it’s a color we mostly expect to see under the sea. It is, according to Pantone, a hue which “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”
But, we don’t just see this amazing color in submerged life forms. It’s a breathtaking shade we find in nature, in the beautiful world that surrounds us, and on our Instagram feeds. Here are a few breathtaking samples from our feed:
Of course, makeup is all up in this color jam. Coral classics have always existed, and here are some crowd favorites in this year’s Pantone pick.
Even on the runway, this mellow color has popped up. For the Spring 2019 collections, a number of designers like Marc Jacobs, Prada, Sies Marjan, and Zac Posen have worked in the shade.
Coral also took center stage in celebrity news and pop culture in the form of a tiny bikini in what has been dubbed as “the battle of the coral bikini.” Basically, Kourtney Kardashian and Sofia Richie, the ex and at-that-time beau of Scott Disick, were both spotted in Mexico with swimwear that looked way too similar.
Even in tech, we saw the rise of this color slowly creeping in and taking the place of traditional gold and black color schemes — thank goodness!
The Pantone Institute justifies its color choice with the “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” that this color represents. They even go as far as saying that Living Coral symbolizes the “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy” — perfect at a time of fast-paced tech and the internet.
Rightly so, Panton explains that Living Coral is “a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”
After writing this feature, I can’t say I disagree.
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