It's rare that an app is featured first in this column, but it's also rare to find an app as impressive as SayHi ($2.99, iTunes app store).
The beauty of this product is its simplicity. Available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, SayHi is a translation app. It can tackle 33 languages and dialects, and it does so with amazing accuracy.
Start this app (mine is currently set for English-Espanol translation), and you're faced with a simple control panel. You press the English button and start talking. This product's ability to capture your speech is typically flawless. Then the translation follows in both text and spoken voice. If you choose to press the Espanol button, the same process happens in reverse.
I asked "Do you prefer football to baseball, or do you just like hockey?" SayHi responded "Prefieres el futbol al beisbol o te gusta el hockey?" Having translated that sentence, the app can copy it into a document, e-mail the sentence to a friend or post the sentiment on to a Facebook page.
You can see the app in action at sayhitranslate.com
Whether you're going on an overseas trip, or just trying to communicate with one of the tens of millions of non-English speaking people in this country, you can now be bilingual with the simple download of an app.
If you use SayHi on your iPad and you are looking for a case that has a built-in keyboard, one of the newest is the Targus Versavu Keyboard Case ($100, amazon.com). This gadget has a Bluetooth keyboard for those times when a keyboard is the better method to input data on your tablet. The Versavu can position your iPad at four different viewing angles. It comes in white or black. It's one of the lightest keyboard cases on the market. You can charge the iPad and keyboard without ever removing your tablet. The Versavu operates for 90 hours between charges.
About two and a half months ago, we wrote about RCA's USB Wall Plate Charger that converts a standard dual AC power outlet into one that accommodates a 3-prong plug and a pair of USB outlets. Now Targus has released their Plug-N-Power Charging Station ($30, amazon.com) which is better in that it converts your power outlet so you can power three 3-prong plugs and a pair of USB outlets powering your gadgets at one time.