If you don't know the name Gary Rayner, chances are still good you know the company he built from the ground up. Rayner is the visionary genius behind the phenomenally successful and multiple-award winning Lifeproof protective cases. Over the years, I've had several opportunities to write about Mr. Rayner, his demanding standards of quality, and the Lifeproof line of cases, arguably some of the best iDevice cases on the market.
Last week at the CTIA Wireless Association convention in Las Vegas, not only did Lifeproof win three trophies at the iPhone Life Best of CTIA Awards, it also played a significant role in a major announcement from Brian Thomas, CEO of Otterbox. Live on the iPhone Life iZone stage, Thomas made the announcement that Otterbox had acquired Lifeproof in a move that according to iPhone Life CEO David Averbach “adds substantially to the Otterbox legacy and solidifies the company’s hold on the case market.”
There are many great waterproof, rugged protective cases on the market right now, with manufacturers unveiling new ones all the time it seems. Having had the opportunity to evaluate many of the best waterproof, heavy-duty cases currently available, I have to say, Lifeproof’s line of waterproof iDevice cases still steal the show.
The Lifeproof frē for iPhone 5 ($79.99) and the original Lifeproof case for the iPhone 4/4S are excellent examples of what a great full-time use waterproof case can be. With the cases for iPhone 4 and 5 series, we see designs that are as minimalist and unobtrusive without sacrificing an ounce of durability. You could most accurately consider these cases enhancements to the iPhone design, rather than bulky behemoths that obscure the beautiful simplicity of the iPhone.
A good pair of headphones can go a long way toward enhancing our listening experience on our iDevices and immersing us in the sound. And if you've checked out some of the more popular headphones on the market, you know it's easy to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of awesome-sounding, high-quality headphones. But that doesn't mean all the good headphones out there will cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, for less than $35, you can get a great-sounding pair of headphones, even if they aren't name brand models.
Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This week's installment takes a sneak peek at the upcoming movie tie-in, World War Z, as well special weekend sales from Gameloft, and the newly-released Fast and the Furious: 6 game.
New apps are arriving in the App Store at such a rapid pace it can be a real challenge to find the stellar entries. This week we'll take a look at a handful of newly released, noteworthy apps worthy of special mention.
1. The Loop (Free)
This new subscription-based magazine is the brainchild of longtime Apple journalist and reporter Jim Dalrymple. He will publish The Loop magazine twice a month, and it will cost $1.99 per month. The Loop magazine app is not just a spin-off of the Loop’s website online. This stand-alone app will feature articles written by some of the great authors in the field of Apple journalism, with all if the articles being written exclusively for the magazine.
While Dalrymple doesn't officially work for Apple, it's safe to say he has his finger on the pulse of the company.
This Adventure-Proof series examines and reviews the best in rugged iOS gear, apps, and accessories to help iDevice users enjoy outdoor adventures and extreme environments with their mobile tech safely in tow.
I've come across many a good Bluetooth speaker in my time and throughout the years have heard some amazing sound come out of very small packages. Tech-savvy adventurers like myself have many options of great Bluetooth speakers. And after spending some time with HMDX's Jam XT ($69.99), I have a new favorite.
The Jam XT is the successor to the original Jam Bluetooth speaker, the first in a line of popular Bluetooth portable speakers known for packing a punch. With the new Jam XT, we now have an adventure-ready, heavy-duty version of this award-winning speaker.
The stylish Blue Tour 6U Bluetooth speaker ($48.41 on Amazon) from Technical Pro is a very affordable and great-sounding speaker. Its simple design and control layout is ideal for the broadcasting of whatever entertainment your iDevice can provide. Some Bluetooth speakers have a dearth of controls and are therefore more suited to the technically savvy user who can quickly adapt to motion sensors or nondescript spinning dials. Others have an abundance of switches, buttons, and ports, which again, may be better suited to a more technically savvy user. The Blue Tour Bluetooth speaker however, strikes an optimal balance between simplicity of design, ease of use, and quality of sound.
The Blue Tour is a cool-looking little device! It reminds me of a stereotypical UFO, with its oval-sphere design. It is a fine work of understated design and it would look great on most shelves, desks, countertops etc.
There's no shortage of interesting and cool accessories available for our iDevices. In fact, with so many great gadgets continually coming out, it's challenging to stay on top of all the new releases to decide what's best for you. With that in mind, the Gear Up! series aims to present you with the best of the best new iDevice products on the market.
1. Pulse (Free)
My favorite news aggregate app just received a welcomed update this week. The new version of Pulse makes sharing articles even easier and simpler.
In the previous versions of the Pulse app, you could share with Facebook and Twitter as well as via email, one at a time. Now, however, after LinkedIn's recent purchase of Pulse, you have the added ability to share articles via LinkedIn, or with all three social networks with just a couple of taps. In addition to adding the sharing feature, the new update also allows for sharing via SMS. Now sharing via Pulse couldn't be easier or more comprehensive.
A great pair of high performance headphones is a key ingredient in how we experience our iDevices. Many apps even suggest using headphones to help you immerse in apps and music. Because I'm aware of how much quality headphones can enhance our iDevice experience, I often review headphones of all different styles and quality for iPhone Life readers. In this series for the discerning audiophile, I will review several new and noteworthy entries in the extremely crowded headphone market.
The first pair of headphones I'd like to introduce you to is the Meze 88 Classics ($309). Mezes are the Lamborghini of headphones, exuding style and quality, both rare and luxurious. The Meze 88 Classics are some of the best headphones I have come across in a good while; one any music aficionado should know about.