Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 25, 2014 in Apple, iPad, iPhone

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i

I really do love my Apple devices, however as a gamer I do feel they have been lacking behind other companies for controller support. Back when iOS7 was released, Apple added the MFi controller API, allowing games developers to have games controlled from an external device instead of the touchscreen, I seem to remember there were two specs, one was quite a simplistic controller, and the second was more like we’ve become accustomed to with home consoles.

It’s been over a year since iOS7 was released and we’re only now starting to see decent bluetooth controllers filtering through. As I’ve used a lot of Mad Catz products in the past, I decided that if I was going to drop on a bluetooth iOS controller, it would be one by them….and again, Santa must have heard me, as guess what was waiting for me under the tree on Christmas morning…yup the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i controller.

The device itself feels a lot like the ever familiar Xbox 360 controller, in weight size and button configuration. The controller is powered by a couple of triple A batteries (provided), simply switch on, sync to your device via bluetooth, install the Mad Catz software it suggests you download (it’s not essential, however will give you an up to date list of the supported games), and you’re good to go. If you’re using this with your phone, there is a handy little holder that will allow you to attach it to the controller.

I’ve so far tried a number games including Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8, and Lego Star Wars and the initial thoughts are good. The control is lag free and responsive and so much better that using the on-screen controls. I guess my only criticism is that the thumbsticks don’t feel quite as smooth as current gen console controllers, however it still works very well.

I hope that now there are a bunch of decent bluetooth MFi controller on the market, my Apple TV dream may actually come true, until then I can still connect my iPad to the TV with the HDMI adapter and pretend.

Unboxing pics below.

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

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Apple TV 3rd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 21, 2012 in Apple, Tech

Like many I sat and watched live streams of the iPad 3 media event on the 7th March 2012, and sat at drooled at the new shiny. In addition to the iPad 3 being launched there was the announcement of the 3rd generation Apple TV.

It’s selling features at the event was a new shiny UI and the ability to output 1080 video (instead of the 720 from the 2nd generation)

Although the 1080 did sound appealing, I spend the best part of a month encoding all my media to 720, and didn’t plan on re-encoding all the blurays to 1080.

Again the new UI looked new and shiny, granted there were no new features added, it just gave it more of a iOS feel, which was available for the 2nd generation within hours of the media event….so unfortunately I wasn’t sold and thought I’d pass on this model.

Then an opportunity arose, that meant I could potentially move one of the existing Apple TV’s into the kitchen, and replace this with a new model…so I did.

Last night it turned up, and to be honest, if it didn’t say 1080 on the side of the box, it would have been hard to tell if it was the new model of not. The same applies for the device itself, I held the 2nd and 3rd generation side by side, and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Plugged in the device, saw the familiar apple symbol then ran through the setup as with the other models. Once set up, I flicked through the menus, to find only one change, the vide output had the 1080 option, and that’s it. This actually made me happy, as I realised I wasn’t losing any functionality from the previous boxes.

Now I’ve seen a number of tear downs, and people are suggesting the 3rd generation has got the A5 processor, and the upgrade to 512Mb of system memory making this device as snappy as the iPad 2. There is also the suggestion that this has the same internal 8Gb storage, and the bluetooth has been upgraded to bluetooth 4.0

Being a long time user of the 2nd generation model, the upgrade to the processor and memory are noticeable, this device is a lot snappier. I’ve not given it enough to see if the hardware upgrade fixes some glitches that were present in the 2nd generation, eg the random restarts, and the occasional buffering issues, however I’m sure time will tell.

I did attempt to give the 1080 a good test, however the UK version of the store and netflix seems to be a little sparse when it comes to 1080 content. It seems a lot of the items are tagged as HD, with the occasional tagged as 1080. Based on this assumption there doesn’t seem to be any 1080 trailers and all the Netflix content I tried had only the HD tag. Now I have read that Netflix has upgraded the Apple TV steaming to support 1080, but not sure if this is in the states only. Currently the UK Netflix library is but a small subset of what’s available overseas.

I did however download a 1080 trailer from Apples site, drop it in iTunes and streamed it to the Apple TV and this did look a lot sharper.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with future content, and hope that when the iCloud movie steaming comes to the UK, I’ll get a 1080 version of all the films I got on triple play (Digital, DVD and Bluray), but I guess only time will tell.

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iPod Touch OS3.0 First Impressions

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jun 17, 2009 in Apple

Ok, I’m a little sad, ever since the WWDC I’ve been counting down the days until the version 3.0 software for my iPod Touch. Today as most of you are aware is d-day. I’ve spent the day checking the net to see if it’s out, but to no avail.

5.30pm came, I got myself home in record time, sync my iPod, hit Refresh of the update page….and got the, the latest firmware is 2.2.1…Booo !

Had a quick look on twitter, and and there was a tweet from TrekkyGeek to suggest the firmware wouldn’t be out till around 9pm. Great I though, I’ve got things to do, and this gave me a little time to do them, then I could spend from 9pm onwards messing with the new software.

Just after 6, there was another post from TrekkyGeek saying, ooops, 9pm may have been wrong, so I hit refresh and there it was FINALLY !

I hit the magical download button, did as most people do and just hit the “I accept your T’s and C”s”, paid my £5.99 and hit download.

Initially it download a “iPod Software Update” of 277Mb, went through the motions of updating my iPod, rebooted, once rebooted I unplugged it, went straight to Config >> About and it still said 2.2.1 ? Thought WTF !, So I plugged it back in, iTunes detected it, and said…”Hey, there’s a new firmware available ?!?”, so I downloaded the firmware again, this time a 257Mb file, it ran through the motions, and voila Version 3.0 !

So, I’ve had a couple of hours to have a play with it, so what do I think ?

Well, it’s quicker, and I’d say noticeably quicker, it seems to feel a lot smoother.

Bluetooth, now enabled !, for those of you that didn’t know, the iPod Touch 2G has bluetooth, however this was never made public knowledge, ad this is what was used for the iPod + Nike, and was how you communicate with the sensor you put in your trainer. This now seems to be unlocked so you can use it with Stereo headphones, and speakers. From what I’ve read, this will also be used for peer to peer gaming also.

One of the major additions for me is the Landscape keyboard, currently it only seems to work with Safari (which it did anyway), notes and mail, which is cool, however I hope they bring this to the other applications.

Spotlight Search…anybody who owns a Mac will know just how good the spotlight search is. This will check meta data and id tags for the “searched word(s)”, emailed, notes and it an incredible local search engine, to see this work on the iPod Touch was lightening fast, and a welcome change.

Now this is the major seller for me, and worth the £5.99 alone, Cut, Copy & Paste..I tend to use my Touch a lot for browsing the web, and sending and receiving email, and to be honest it’s been frustrating not to have these when you become so used to them, on the PC and Mac. This does work a treat, you hold down your finger or thumb on the screen for a few seconds, and you get the Cut, Copy, Paste option, select the text, or images you want, with 2 movable start and end blocks, and your done, works very well.

Voice recorder, not a major feature for me, as it means I’ve got to plug in my ear bud/mic combo headset in, but works pretty well.

Something I noticed when I was listening to a podcast shortly after was a number of new icons on the play bar. You now have the option to jump back 30 seconds, which for me is a godsend, I’m forever getting interrupted and struggle to find where I was, with this, 1 click and your 30 seconds in the past !. Another of the icons lets you speed up / slow down the play speed, this way you can power listen to the podcasts you are behind on, which seem a really good feature to me !

The main update I’m looking forward to (which won’t be available till September) is the Push Notification, which allows information about your apps to be notified to you (kinda how the blackberry’s work) for example if you use a Twitter application, this could potentially be coded to let you know when you have a reply, without actually running the application. This if done right with be brilliant, and really give blackberry a run for their money I think.

Finally, a feature that’s been missing since day, something very simple and something you could do by using Yahoo, it’s the ability to sign in to your YouTube account and see and play your subscriptions  ! GENIUS !

Anyway, the firmware is still new, I need to have a good play with it, and will get chance over the next couple of days.

There are many more features, but the above are the only ones I’ve played with so far.

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