Tag Archives: icon

i.CON iPad Screen Protector

After my video review of Newer Technology’s NuVue iPad screen protector, Adrian wrote the following email. He is from Canada, and couldn’t order the same screen protector, unfortunately. The hunt was on! Following is his story, and information about the ICON iPad Screen Protector.

Hi Chris!

I just got the iPad for my Mom and applied the i•con iPad screen protector (matte finish) to it. I had previously watched your video “How to Apply an iPad Screen Protector” where you applied the Newer Technology NuVue screen protector. Being a Mac enthusiast/user (not a fanboy) since the mid 90’s, I was familiar with the company “Newer Technology” and subsequently looked into buying the nuVue (this was two weeks prior to the iPad purchase). Much to my dismay, I found that this particular screen protector is not available in Canada (I live in Canada), and ordering it from Other World Computing was not a viable option when the exchange rate, duty, CDN taxes, and shipping were taken into consideration.

I decided to see what was available locally in Southern Ontario, Canada, and I found only 3 available options: The Invisible Shield by Zagg, the Belkin Screen Protector, and the i•con screen protector. The Invisible Shield has gotten really mixed/poor reviews on various blogs, and at my local electronics stores. The employees have been saying that customers are complaining about it being a waste of $29.95 CDN. Common complaints include many air bubbles, peeling at the sides, and once it is installed it leaves a tacky/some what abrasive feeling to the touch surface when using the iPad. This no doubt ruins the multi-touch experience which is by default smooth to the touch.

The Belkin screen protector retails for $19.99 CDN and is available at The Source. I couldn’t find too much information about the Belkin Screen protector, but it seems to me–after talking to some “The Source” employees–that the overall customer feedback has been positive. The down side to the Belkin that first struck me was that it retails for $19.99 CDN and you only get one.†

I ended up buying the i•con iPad Anti-Glare Screen Protector. It retails for $19.99 CDN at Future Shop, and you get two screen protectors: one matte and one glossy. It also comes with a small cleaning cloth and a soft card for removing air bubbles. I unboxed my Mom’s iPad, put on a pair of latex gloves, and carefully installed the matte screen protector onto the iPad. The process was seamless and was similar to your NuVue installation video. The screen protector looks fantastic; you are only able to tell that it is on by looking at the home button area where you can see the edges of the screen protector (I have included photos of the packaging, contents, and what it looks like on the iPad). It should be noted that this is only a minor shortcoming.

The reason that I’m sending you this letter is because there is very little information/reviews with regard to this great product on the internet/blogs. I managed to find one review and two ratings on the Future Shop website for the i•con screen protector. Both ratings were 5 out of 5, and the review had all positive comments. I can confirm–in my opinion–that these two reviews are accurate. The glare is considerably reduced, and smudging is not an issue at all. It is also relatively thick and seems as though it would provide a significant level of protection against scratching as well. When I was making the decision regarding which of the three screen protectors I should purchase, the lack of information on this particular product made it much more difficult. I kept thinking, and doubting, and second guessing myself: “should I trust these two ratings and one review? What if they are wrong and the product ends up being less than lackluster?” As a smart consumer I want as many opinions as possible before making a decision, and I’m sure that there are other people who feel the same way. My ultimate goal in writing you this letter is to share my experience in the hopes that you might disseminate this knowledge about the i•con screen protector to your community so that we all, as intelligent consumers, can make more informed choices when purchasing.

I think that I should note that this particular product might be of more interest to your Canadian viewers. I’m not certain if i•con has widespread distribution of their products in the USA. As far as I’m able to tell from the website, it is a Canadian company that is based in Stratford, Ontario. Actually on second glance at the information section of the company site it states that the products are available at most major retailers in USA and Canada. I’m not sure if you have had any experience with the i•con product line?

In any case…from my own research it appears that consumers in the USA have many more options regarding accessories for the iPad than we currently do in Canada. With this in mind I would suggest to anybody in Canada or the USA–especially Canada though–that the i•con screen protector is a robust product and well worth the money!

Thanks Chris,


Adrian 🙂

What screen protector are you using on your iPad or other device? Where do you go to find the best reviews and information?

How to Use Icon Generator

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Marques has now done several screencasts for us, all of which have been fantastic! This time, he’s going to show you how to make use of a free Adobe Air app. Icon Generator allows you to generate a CS3 or Web 2.0 style icon, in only 3 steps! Choose your color, the character types and then save it in four different sizes! Being an Adobe Air app means that this will work on any platform! It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it’s fun!

Icon Generator is an easy download, and the installation is self-explanatory. Once you open the application for the first time, you’ll see that the interface is quite simple, even though it’s a very powerful application. Over on the right, you have the icon generator itself. You’ll need to choose between creating a CS3 (square-shaped) or Web 2.0 (starburst-shaped) icon.

Choose your name, and then your background color. You will be given a preview as you are editing. Click “Create Icon”, and choose where you want your files exported to. All four sizes will automatically be created for you. This is handy because of the fact that certain websites only allow very small-sized icons.

If you’re looking for a classy new logo for yourself or your brand, look no further than the Icon Generator!

Thanks, Marques, for another excellent tutorial!

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How to Create an Icon

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How many icons do you have on your desktop? I’m betting you probably have a few, unless you have them hidden. Even so, you still have tons of icons on your computer. An icon isn’t like a ‘normal’ graphic, since it can have multiple sizes or resolutions within the same file. They’re quite complex little pieces of art, so how can you easily create them yourself?

ConvertIcon is a simple icon utility. It can import ICO, PNG, GIF, and JPEG formats and export to high-quality PNG or ICO files. There is no software to download and it’s 100% free. It truly is this simple, folks. Just select an image from your computer, choose the size of the icon you want to create, and wait a few seconds while the site does the work for you!

Create custom icons for your documents folder, your My Computer desktop icon, or use them anyplace you wish – on your Windows computer, of course. Sorry Mac people, this one isn’t for you!

The best part of this site isn’t only that it’s easy to use: it’s the fact that you can export your icon into all of the sizes you might want or need. They’re all included in the .ico file (or .png!) that is output when you are finished.

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How to Make an iPhone Web Site and Icon

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Yes, I have an iPhone. If you look closely, you can see my little Chris icon on there. It’s also on my home screen. When I tap it, it opens my blog. When you open my blog on your iPhone, it’s going to look a lot different than it would on a browser. That’s due to a plugin I am running in WordPress.

WP Touch is a plugin that was designed specifically for your iPhone or iPod Touch. What it does it to automagically reformat my blog (or any WP blog), and optimizes it specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It gives it a whole new layout, even, that is designed to just render better on your Apple mobile device. There’s no better way of giving you a better experience than to use WP Touch on a blog that is running WordPress.

As I drill down into the actual content on the home page, I can cascade out and read brief previews. Or, I can dive deeper and go so far as to leave a comment. It loads fast, and it’s clean. It’s a great way of getting content specifically optimized. It even uses Gravatars! There’s even a little search button at the top. Simply tap that, and you’ll be able to run a search through my blog.

How did I get the little Chris icon, you ask? If someone is viewing your website and they press the little plus (+) icon at the bottom in their Safari browser, they can select “add to home screen”. When they do that, the little graphic that is on my web server (or yours) is automatically pulled in when it’s added to their home screen. Even if you don’t have the iPhone or the iPod Touch, you still want to do this. You don’t know who out there in your audience does have one. You want to give them an amazing experience. Just open up your favorite photo editor. You’ll need to create a .png file. The size can vary up to 60×60 pixels. I uploaded mine to my root directory. It’s very important to name it properly: apple-touch-icon.png. That has to be the name, and it has to be in the root directory. This way, the plugin will be able to pull in this icon.

Think of it: you’re doing something simple and free for your audience. If you’re like me, you want to do everything you possibly can in order to keep people coming back for more.

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Are you an Indiana Jones Fan?

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You could say I’m an Indiana Jones fan. Heck, I even watched the old “Young Indiana Jones” television show. So of course, I’m excited for the release of the newest movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The plot promises: “Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.” Yeah… I can’t wait to see this. It comes out in theaters on May 22nd, 2008.

But the movie alone isn’t why I’m doing this video. Check out this announcement from one of my favorite websites, IconFactory:

For the past 6 months, artist Anthony Piraino has been crafting all new icons for Indy’s return to the big screen, and so we’re kicking off May with a re-release of Anthony’s original Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark™ collection, now with beautiful large resources for Mac OS X Leopard and Windows Vista. Indy’s bullwhip, trademark fedora and treasures never looked so good! In addition, the CandyBar iContainer sports a fun custom dock, and Dave Brasgalla has worked up a special Indy desktop picture perfect for armchair archaeologists.

We invite you to visit the Iconfactory’s Indiana Jones™ home page to preview and download each film’s icon collection throughout the month of May. Then be sure to grab your ticket for the hottest show in town, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull™ coming to theaters everywhere May 22nd. We hope you enjoy this Iconfactory special event. The adventure is just beginning!

That’s right, folks. You can download these awesome Indiana Jones icons right to your desktop!

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RSS, OPML, Tag, Bookmark Icons

We have a “standard” RSS icon and a similar working OPML icon, but I’d like to work with the graphics community on creating a “standard” Tag icon and a “standard” Bookmark icon – in a similar square style. These icons would tie into the functionality of my first two WP plugin ideas – where the user would only need to display one icon, and when the visitor hovers over it, would receive a nice callout to selected services. We could eliminate a massive amount of confusion and save page space at the same time. I think it’s time we started thinking about this – but I’m not a graphic designer. Help?


OPML is great – and for feed organization, it’s equally awesome. Just about every news aggregator supports importing and exporting OPML, but there hasn’t yet emerged an OPML icon design that is equally as appealing as the “standard” feed icon set forth by Firefox and subsequently adopted by the industry. In working with information architects on TagJag, we decided to dedicate some cycles to designing an OPML icon for use on the site:


Before you ask, I did float this past Dave (who didn’t like it much, but suggested I ask others what they thought of it). We’re certainly open to suggestions, but as it stands – this is the design we’re gonna use for linking to OPML files. It’s pretty much like the “standard” feed icon, but it’s… different. Check out OPMLIcons.com.

The Feed Icon Debate

I received an email from Daniel Goldman earlier today regarding Mozilla’s filing for a trademark on the feed icon, requesting that Opera Software sign an agreement before using it in their Web browser. Daniel asked me if I thought this was a good thing or a bad thing for the feed icon. Let me start out by saying that the blogosphere has to get over the whole “copyrights and trademarks are evil” jihad.

Daniel asked: “Do you think that a trademark on a universal feed icon beneficial or detrimental?” I answered: Beneficial if Mozilla allows anybody to use the icon to indicate a feed – and detrimental if they don’t. They’re likely serving as the icon’s protectors, which is what I’m inclined to believe.

Daniel asked: “Do you have your own opinion on what a universal feed icon should be?” I answered: Yeah, theirs. It’s the only one that put the orange XML vs. orange RSS button debate to bed. If Microsoft signed the agreement for usage in Internet Explorer 7.0, then so should Opera – and so should anybody. I don’t think Mozilla is doing this to hurt the community, but to protect it. Would anybody rather have a crazy greedmonger holding onto the trademark? Doubtful.

Opera, please sign the agreement.

Windows Explorer ToolTips

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow lost ToolTip functionality in Windows the other day. I’d hover over an icon and NOTHING would show up. Needless to say, I was more than a little perturbed. I did a quick look around the ‘Net and discovered The Elder Geek had an answer that might work. It involves a bit of Registry diving, which is no problem from a seasoned power user like myself. To Enable or Disable Tool Tip Displays, fire up your Registry editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced. Look for “ShowInfoTip” and make sure its value is set to 1. That’s it. Shouldn’t even need a reboot in XP to see ‘er work again.