iPhone Life magazine

Danalock Review: Smart Door Security for the Connected Home!

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The Poly-Control Danalock is a Bluetooth-enabled smartlock ($159, varies by model) designed to work with your existing dead bolt. Once installed, you can control the dead bolt from your iPhone, configure it to auto-unlock when you are in proximity to the door, and allow others to similarly lock/unlock your doors. I had to wrestle with it a bit to get it installed and working, but the concept works well once it is configured.



iPhone Life's 2014 Rugged Gear Gift Guide

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In this day and age it's become commonplace for us to do just about everything with our iDevices, which means that we need gear that can keep up with us on any outlandish escapades, as well as on our day to day grind. The items featured here represent some of the best in their respective categories; built tough and designed with integrity and durability to handle the  adventures that lie ahead. Many of the products featured here have impressive MIL-STD or IP ratings, which you can learn more about by clicking HERE.

Here at iPhone Life we love turning people on to great gear that fits their specific purpose and need and we're hoping that these reviews will make your holiday shopping that much easier. Whether as a present for yourself, or as gift idea for family or friends, this list of exceptional products will help you find the perfect accessories.



ABC and Apple Offer More TV Choices

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While pundits continue to look for a new Apple TV box that lets users break with their cable companies, perhaps Apple's approach is to slowly offer cord-cutting features with the existing Apple TV and iOS devices. Each new feature takes a step in the right direction. Instead of cutting the cord with a Samurai sword, we have the equivalent of death by a thousand paper cuts. Case in point, ABC now lets users watch full-length episodes on the Apple TV or iOS device, even if they don't have a cable subscription.



Holiday Gift Guide: Chargers

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We love our iPhones, and use them so much that we often run out of power. What to do? Carry a spare battery pack. These are some of my favorites. TYLT makes some attractive accessories and one that deserves a spot in your gadget bag is the TYLT Energi Travel Charger. It replaces the USB wall charger that comes with your iPad or iPhone, but what sets it apart is it includes a battery. You need to carry a wall charger anyway, so why not carry one that incudes a battery. You can double the life of your iPhone battery while on the go.



Tip of the Day: Use Siri to Find and Launch Apps

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I have a lot of apps on my iPad Air, and I can't always remember what folder I've put them in. Also, sometimes I do remember where the app is located, but it means swiping through a bunch of screens to get to the app. I'm finding that there's a much faster way to launch apps: simply ask Siri. Not only can you use Siri to launch apps, Siri can also help you find and download apps of interest.



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,200,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App Report, AppsGoneFree, AppieDay, AppShopper and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Survey Finds Apple Is Top Brand in Wearables — Despite Fact Apple Watch Not Yet Available

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Other manufacturers must find it difficult competing with Apple, a fact that's clearly in evidence in a new survey showing that Apple is the top brand in wearables — even though the Apple Watch isn't out yet. The survey, by Ipsos, asked the over 2,000 respondents which brands they would consider purchasing in the wearables category. Apple led the way, with 62%, followed by Google (44%), which has Google Glass, and Samsung (43%), which has the Galaxy Gear watch. According to Ipsos, this is because the dominant consideration when consumers purchase a wearable is integration across devices, and Apple has long led the way in this regard. Consumers want to be able to easily integrate their wearable device with their smartphone, computer, and tablet. Other important factors are brand confidence and reliability. The survey found that 70% will only choose a brand they trust.



December 29 Biweekly Giveaway

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This is the official announcement of the iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iPhoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce December 29! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.



Holiday Gift Guide: Docks

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People always ask me what to get the person who has everything. My response? Something to keep it in. Or in the case of an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, something to dock it in. My favorite docks come from HengeDocks. I've used their MacBook docks for years as they make it easy to reconnect keyboard, monitors, and other peripherals on demand. You have to make sure you get the right model for your particular MacBook, but it is one of the first things I look for when I get a new MacBook!



Tip of the Day: How to Play Slideshows from the Photos App

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From editing to organizing, there’s certainly a lot that your Photos app has to offer, but did you know that you can also showcase your favorite pictures in a slideshow, right from your iPhone or Apple TV? 



Is the Plinth the Best Tablet Stand?

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The claim was pretty outlandish: "The Best Tablet Stand in the world." Well, I had to try it. And for the most part, that claim was pretty much on target. One exception is the name, "Plinth," which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. And the fact that it ships from the U.K. making it a little harder to get. But that could be remedied if Plinth ($32) gets a U.S. distributor or retail outlet.



Apple Watch Is Already Having an Impact

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The Apple Watch isn't shipping until early next year, but it's already having an impact. Existing smartwatches are dropping in price and trying to carve out a niche before the $349 version from Apple ships. Case in point, Pebble, the one that arguably started it all. The $10 million Kickstarter-backed project offered a smartwatch for the masses, at $100 for backers (including myself) and eventually retailed for $150. The higher-end Steel model sold for $250. Now the original Pebble is back to $100 (and $80 at some outlets) and the Steel is a more reasonable $200 (and only $150 at some outlets.) I appreciate the long battery life, magnetic charging, and waterproof capabilities of my Pebble, but I also like my Martian Watch which offers Voice Command via a Siri button. That watch was $300 but can now be picked up for as little as $230 at Staples. They also have a cheaper Notifier product line that doesn't include the speakerphone and voice capabilities but still provides notifications.



Product Review: Xtorm Power Case for iPhone 6 by A-Solar

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I am a power user for sure. I have my phone with me all of the time and have even been known to fall asleep with it clutched in my hand. Clearly, putting my phone down so it can charge is not something that makes me happy. I loved the power case I had for my old iPhone 5s, but when the 6 came out, I had to replace it. The good people at A-Solar sent me the Xtorm Power Case AM412 (69, about $85.53) to take for a test spin. Here's how it went.



TAG Heuer Answers Apple Watch Wakeup Call

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Many traditional watch makers sat on the sideline while smartwatches from Pebble, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and others were released. But now that Apple is about to release their Apple Watch, with heavy emphasis on fashion and the high-end market, those luxury watch makers no longer have the luxury of waiting. With the Apple Watch starting at $350, and rumored to stretch to $5,000 or more for the gold models, this is a shot across the bow for Rolex and others.



Tip of the Day: How to Use Your iPhone’s LED Flash for Alerts

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There are times when we might need an extra alert if an important message or phone call is expected. If you work in a noisy environment or can’t keep your phone right next you, you can use the LED flash on the iPhone to alert you to calls or other notifications.



iPhone Fashion: High Fashion iPhone Cases for Every Occasion

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Phones are fashion. Think about it; your phone is your number one accessory, the one thing you carry on your person every single day. You don’t wear the same outfit every day (unless your job requires you to wear a uniform, in which case, I am sincerely sorry) so why would you make your phone wear the same case everyday? If you love changing your iPhone’s cases the way you changed clothing on a 1980s Dolly Pops, love fashion, want to personalize your phone, or are looking for a cool and unique Christmas gift, I have the top online sources for iPhone fashion. 



Mini Motor Racing WRT - Free to Play Sequel to hit App stores this week!

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Mini Motor Racing ($0.99), the miniature racing game, garnered an App store award in 2012 with it's primo graphics, twisty tracks, and bouncy physics. It reminds me of a graphically enhanced version of the Windows Mobile classic, K-Rally (though K-rally also featured weapons which was so fun it was crazy). If you missed the original game, you can still grab it, or you can get the freemium, enhanced WRT version when it's released later this week! I give the two games a bit of a comparison in this mini-review.



FiiV iPad Case Houses a HotSpot and Battery Pack

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When considering the purchase of an iPad case, things like affordability, design, and protection all factor into the decision. The FiiV iPad case—currently on IndieGogo—adds a few more options for iPad owners. This smart case alleviates two common struggles you may face while you're out and about: Battery life and Wi-Fi. And the case itself is surprisingly slim even with the inclusion of added peripherals.