Apple Pencil Review (non-artist)

For Christmas, I received an Apple Pencil, and as someone who is not an artist, I wanted to give it a little review. For those who don’t know, the Apple Pencil is basically a special stylus used only with the iPad Pro and can help digital artists and is also useful for other things.


Personally, I use it for editing my photos (as I do a lot of photography and therefore do a lot of photo editing) and for writing and I have to say that this is way better than a standard stylus you can buy for a low amount of money on somewhere online. It works with apps such as Notability to recognise the pencil (as it connects via Bluetooth) and to use it as if it were a pen on paper. It really does feel like you’re writing on paper with this which is fantastic for taking handwritten notes or annotating things and highlighting things. This means the Apple Pencil is fantastic for students who use an iPad Pro as their computer and for notetaking.

People may ask why you’d use the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro over a notebook, and to that, I say because you have much more access to different things, you could screenshot something from a textbook or the internet and annotate it, highlight it and write notes alongside it. It makes notetaking better and you have every single thing for all your subjects in one place.


The Apple Pencil itself kind of has this sort of palm recognition thing with the iPad so once the iPad recognises that you’re using the pencil, it won’t mess up if it feels your palm on the screen (especially great if you’re left-handed like me) and it’s great for notes, photo editing and for artists. A variety of people can use it for different reasons. I do however think the way to charge it is very odd and potentially dangerous as you take off the pen cap and plug it into the lightning port on the iPad. Or you can use the adapter for it so you can charge it with a cable instead of using your iPads battery to charge it. I find that plugging it into your iPad could be potentially dangerous as if someone or something knocks it, you could break your Pencil.

Overall, I do enjoy the Apple Pencil as it has a wide variety of uses, but it is very expensive, at £99, it is definitely an item you want to make sure you’re getting plenty of use out of to make it worth the money, but if you’re an artist, photographer who edits on the iPad Pro or a student who wants to use their iPad for notes for school, then I highly recommend it, but if you don’t think you’d use it much or you don’t have a specific use for it, I’d give it a pass.


Thoughts on the Kindle Voyage

For a few years I had the Kindle Paperwhite but I missed the press of buttons (or kind of buttons) that I experienced with my first Kindle (the Kindle 4), and I wanted a screen with a higher PPI, so I upgraded to the Kindle Voyage (kindly donated by my dad who didn’t use it as he prefers the fire tablets).


In all honesty, the Voyage isn’t much different from the Paperwhite, but even when setting up the Kindle and transferring my books over, I noticed a significant difference in the screen. I’m not sure of the PPI in the Paperwhite as I have an earlier version of it (I think), but I know the PPI of the Voyage is 300. Whether they are the same or different, to me the writing on the Voyage looked more crisp and clear, therefore making it a much more enjoyable reading experience.

I love the little ‘buttons’ to turn the pages. It’s much more reminiscent of what I remember from the Kindle 4, where you could turn the pages forward or backwards one handed and you didn’t need to touch the screen. With the Voyage, it is a one-handed experience because of that and because it is so light. The Kindles have never really weighed much and have always been comfortable for me to hold one-handed (even with my dodgy wrists). This is much better than the Paperwhite, which although is very light, requires two hands, as you press on the left of the screen to go back a page, and right of the screen to go forward a page. I know this is a very lazy thing for me to make a comment on, but for a lot of people, it makes multitasking easier. People can eat their food or drink something or stand up on the bus/train and still read. If you travel and are on a train and have to stand up, you’ve got one hand supporting you while having the other hand able to turn the pages no matter which way you need to go.

wpid-kindle-voyage-00f-us-thin-780x840Another thing I really love about the design of the Kindle Voyage is the bezel being flush against the screen. It makes the Voyage thinner and if anything I think it makes the words sort of pop out at you more, so even if the Paperwhite has the same resolution, because the screen is flat with the bezel and not further into the Kindle (like with the Paperwhite), it makes the screen look nicer and crisper.

Although both the Voyage and Paperwhite have a light, there has definitely been a significant improvement since the Paperwhite with the addition of auto-brightness. Although during the day this may not be particularly useful, at night it’ll mean it slowly adjusts to the brightness around you, meaning your eyes will slowly adjust to the darkness and the light of the screen will be suitable for your eyes, meaning it’s not too bright or too dark for you, making it a comfortable experience. The light of the Kindle is, of course, my favourite feature because back when I had the Kindle 4, I struggled to see the screen properly in dimmer lights, and I caused my eyes to strain in darker lighting (like when travelling).

Overall, I do recommend this Kindle, yet I still recommend the Paperwhite too, although the Voyage feels like more of a premium experience. The price for the Paperwhite as of writing this is £109.99 vs £169.99 for the Voyage, and although the functions do not differ much, I do prefer the Voyage. The pagepress sensors, auto-brightness and overall sleek look and feel are worth the extra money, but if you want an e-reader with a light, I see no problem with anyone purchasing the Paperwhite, and it is up to the budget of the potential purchaser as to whether they think the features and slightly more premium build are worth the extra £60.


Nintendo Switch Review

On the 26th June I got a neon Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Since then it has kind of taken over my life. I’ve left school and finished my a-level exams now so I have more time to relax, more time to read, write and play games and spend time with the important people in my life.

11396090-1784485336392124The Nintendo Switch was released in March of this year (2017) and for those who have been hiding under a rock, it is a hybrid console. You can play the switch in a variety of ways, as a handheld, as a home console and each joycon can be used as a separate controller or they can be put as one controller. Now I can’t speak much in terms of games because I only have the one at the moment (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) but I do love it and I can say that both on the TV and as a portable console it is fantastic. I think the graphics look beautiful, the console feels well-made and the joycons, although being small for my boyfriend, they fit perfectly in my girly hands!

So, what do you get in the box for your £279.99? Actually more than you may expect. You get the switch itself, which is about the same size as an Amazon 7 tablet, two joycons (left and right), 2 joycon straps (please look at the + and – when putting these on!!), the dock, an AC adapter which is USB-C, a HDMI cable and a joycon grip (dock? thing to turn it into one controller?). You’ve got everything you need to get set up and honestly the switch for both portable and home console mode is very easy to set up and it took me a matter of minutes. All the cables are tucked away nicely in the dock so it looks a bit nicer too. A word of warning about the dock though, please be careful. I myself am restraining from using the switch until I my glass screen protector arrives because there have been multiple people say that the dock has scratched their screen (which is a plastic one), so I’d recommend a screen protector or a dock-sock, which you can get from etsy and I’ll definitely be purchasing one at some stage.

Nintendo SwitchLike I said before, the graphics are great and although I’ve only had a full experience with Mario Kart, I have played demos for Puyo-Puyo Tetris and Snipperclips with my boyfriend and they are really fun and Snipperclips is a really funny and silly game. Out of what has been released so far I have seen a fair few games I want, but being the fresh-out-of-school human that I am, it’s gonna take me a while to get money to get games but my wishlist is full and I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for a variety of games and the lineup for what is to come looks amazing. Mario games are coming out this year as well as Skyrim and there are Kirby, Yoshi and Pokemon games being lined up as well. I also hope for an Animal Crossing game. That’ll be amazing!

Other than all that, all I can really say in summary is for the £279.99, this is an amazing console. I love it. I highly highly highly recommend it and I’m so excited to build a collection of joycons and games. Nintendo have done an amazing job on this and it’s really fun. I think my 3DS and Wii U are gonna be neglected for a while but the 3DS will still be one of my favourite Nintendo products. Let me know your opinions on the Switch, if you have one or want one!

PSP Go as an Emulator

I recently obtained a PSP Go from my father, who hadn’t touched the thing in a long time. For those of you who don’t know what a PSP Go is, it’s a smaller PSP that is smaller and the screen flips up (like an older phone) to reveal the controls. It also does not have a UMD drive (which is the type of game disk that PSP’s use), so it is a digital only console, but has a 16gb internal memory for holding games.

31leh7cnpelI looked into it when I got given it and a lot of people have used it as an emulator and I decided to do the same. Now, I’m not gonna explain it too much because I am awful at explaining how to do things but there are a variety of YouTube videos and other things that can tell you how to do it with a PSP/PSP Go. Basically it involved updating to either 6.61 or 6.60 for the software and then getting custom firmware and then installing emulators and putting the ROM files in the folders for the emulators.

I have done it and have PS1, gameboy, gameboy colour and gameboy advance emulators on there and they work fantastically. I watched a couple YouTube videos on them and that managed to stop my confusion and I’ll admit it is a lot easier than I initially expected. I thought it was going to be so difficult to do and I was going to have to do so much but I didn’t. It was simple to do and I am really enjoying the outcome of this. I have my favourite (more relaxing) games on there which I can dip in and out of whenever I get the time and am in the mood for it and it’s really fun.

If you have been considering putting emulators on your PSP I definitely recommend doing it and if anyone has done it let me know what emulators you have on there 🙂


Amiibo Cards – Are They Worth The Money?

If you are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll know about amiibos. For those who don’t know, they’re cards and figures that can connect to some Nintendo consoles (such as New 3DS and Wii U) via NFC (near field communication). They can add stuff into games such as Animal Crossing New Leaf, Happy Home Designer (both for 3DS) and Amiibo Festival (Wii U). The figures tend to go for roughly £10ish depending on where you get them, and the cards in the UK come in packs of 3 (1 special, 2 normal) for about £3.49 according to Amazon.
So for just over £1 per card, you’re getting an amiibo. A toy-to-life. But, is it worth it? Personally for me, I love the fauna-ecae38114593b4b3262704833282f7c174c4198025b0e4b637348cd0aa57f440Amiibo cards. As someone who loves collecting and used to collect Magic the Gathering and YuGiOh cards (as well as Vanguard), I love collecting little cards and the fact that these ones, although being more expensive, actually do something in games that I really love, it’s fantastic. I haven’t had the chance to play with them in New Leaf yet, but I have played around with Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival and they’ve been really fun.

In Happy Home Designer, you use the cards to phone up specific characters (special characters being ones you can’t design for in any other way) and then you can design their home for them. In Amiibo Festival, if you use an Amiibo Card when organising your town, that specific character can host your game, events can be made around them (such as with birthdays) and if you keep the card with you while you’re in the game, you can use them to roll the dice for you, increasing the chance of getting the specific desired number on the dice, as each character has a specific dice number on the card. Meaning in games, they can be very helpful.

In all, I think Amiibo cards are worth the money and are in general both adorable and fun. They are nice things to collect and can be great additions to certain games. So if you love collecting cards, are a fan of Nintendo, you’ll love these. It just depends on what you think of the price.


Review – New 3DS XL Animal Crossing Pouch

So, in my review of the Mini Elite Transporter Case I mentioned that I wanted a case that’s slightly smaller so I can actually travel with it, and I came across this Animal Crossing pouch made for the New 3DS XL, but of course the new 3DS will fit in there. I saw it had 2 pockets on the inside originally for storing amiibo cards, but I guess you could put anything in there. I loved the design, it had good reviews and it is an official Nintendo product, so for £10.80, I bought it. I bought it on the 15th of April and it arrived on the 18th of April, so I’ve had it for some time and have had the opportunity to test it.

hori-animal-crossing-soft-pouch-1So, what are my thoughts? Well, it fits the New 3DS nicely and I’m able to put in a spare stylus. I use one of the bigger styluses you can get (like what came with the Dsi XL) because I just find it easier and more comfortable to hold. The two pockets fit amiibo cards but I’ve used them for game storage. The case also feels really nice and high quality and honestly, the pattern looks nicer in person than it did in the pictures. Only one side has the pattern that you can see on the picture, the other side is the plain colour. The pouch also has 2 zips which I found strange, as I’m not really sure why you’d need two for such a small case.

In all, I think it is really nice and high quality and perfect for any animal crossing fan, no matter which 3DS you have as it’ll comfortably fit both. It may seem a little pricey, but for an official Nintendo licenced product, I think it’s a good deal. The price does also keep changing on Amazon, but only by a matter of pence. I really do recommend this and it’ll definitely be the main case I use for a very long time!


A Month With The Apple Watch – A Review

At the end of March, I got the Apple Watch Series 1 (38mm) in rose gold and since then it has been a big part of my everyday life. For a hefty price of £269, you can actually do a fair bit with it.

apple-watch-series-1-38mm-rose-gold-aluminium-case-with-pink-sand-sport-bandI used to own a Fitbit Flex, and honestly as much as enjoyed it for the basic fitness tracker, it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, and after seeing what had happened to my old Fitbit Charge and my mums Fitbit Alta, I was starting to get worried my Flex would pack in. So as I was looking into similar things not by Fitbit, I remembered about the Apple Watch. I absolutely love Apple, and over the past 7 years I’ve owned iPhones. I tried out a Blackberry and didn’t like it, and I always find myself going back to Apples technology. I have a friend who has an Apple Watch and after I looked into it not just for the fitness tracker, but for the ability to check and answer messages, phone calls, check your bank and the heart rate monitor, I asked her what she thought of it and she said she couldn’t live without it.

When I got my Apple Watch, I was completely amazed. My first week with the Apple Watch was great. Although I had to charge it every night (which to me was no issue), the battery is quite good, I can easily get through an entire day and that’s when using it at school as well. It benefited me a lot because I am able to check messages from family while in lessons when I’m not allowed my phone out, or even just when I’m letting my boyfriend play a game on my phone. And, although I’ve never been a fitnessy person, (I’m quite lazy and I mainly had the Flex just out of interest to see how many steps I did on a daily basis) but the Apple Watch has kind of made me get more determined to fill up those little fitness circles! I absolutely love this thing. One annoying thing about the watch however is that in the box there was no power adapter. It came with the cable but nothing to plug it into, which I think was a bit of a silly idea from Apple, meaning if people do not have spares around the house (luckily I did), you’ll have to spend money on that on top of the £269 you just spent on the watch itself.

Now cut to a month later, what do I think of the Apple Watch now I’m used it and have kinda gotten over the initial OMG over how cool some of the features (like the heart rate monitor and the scribble feature to answer texts)? I still love it. If my phone is in my bag or whatever at school or during days out, I’m still able to check texts, which for me is essential as it means if anything as an emergency or important comes up from my family, I’m able to check and reply without people really noticing. The fitness stuff really has become quite interesting to me though, although I don’t think I’d ever use the workout app on it, the activity app is useful. I like getting the updates telling me how I’ve been doing with my goals throughout the day and it really has gotten me more determined to try to fill up the circles. I’ve discovered though that it’s easier if I’m out with my boyfriend as I have someone to go on a walk with. The heart rate feature for me is quite useful. As someone who does have an irregular heartbeat, it’s interesting to see how it changes throughout the day and I’ve been able to work out an average for my resting heart rate, but have also figured out ways to slow it down a bit, which makes me a bit calmer about it all.

In all, although this watch is expensive, it has a lot of great features on it and there are plenty of apps available which will suit a variety of people. It’s a great little device and I honestly think it’s become a big part of my life just over this past month. I do highly recommend this watch, but if you’re a swimmer or think you’d benefit from having GPS without your phone, the series 2 (priced at £369 in Argos) is probably a better option for you. The Apple Watch is amazing and I find it so useful. Let me know if you have one and what you think of it in the comments.