These adorable plush animals are a must have for any music-loving kid (or adult). Plug Freddy, Manny, or Patch into your iDevice and they'll sing your favorite song, act as if they're narrating a cartoon, or mimic your video game. A bonus? They're soft and cuddly, apart from the battery area in the bottom. See the Plush Pals in action on their website or right here.
I've backed a few projects on Kickstarter, but they're usually boring things like stands and cables. The other day I saw the MYBELL and had to put my money down. The MYBELL is a bicycle horn for the smartphone age. Obviously it mounts to a bicycle handlebar, though I might try it out on my scooter. What makes the MYBELL unique is that you can customize the sound that it plays, just like a custom ringtone on your smartphone. In fact, it will accept MP3 files via the included (weatherized) USB port.
Buzz Aldrin, who inspired the name of Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear, has an Apple connection. He spoke at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference about three years ago. Now, with the 45th anniversary of his walk on the moon, with fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong, he's back in the news. Most recently, Buzz Aldrin offered up his own "Space Selfie," the first ever, taken back in 1966.
It's a balancing act, reviewing the many rumors floating around and determining if they're worth reporting or dismissing. The latest rumors suggests competing iWatch sizes (anywhere from 1.3-inch to 1.6-inch to 1.8-inch) and designs will be shipped this fall. My impression is that it's more likely Apple is testing a variety of designs to see what makes sense, or different generations of the product are being tested.
According to AppleInsider, market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who typically has pretty good inside information about forthcoming products and the timing of their release, issued a note to investors over the weekend saying that production issues facing the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone may cause it to be delayed—until 2015, or in a best-case scenario, late November.
Apple has the most exciting roster of new products set to release in 2014, according to Eddy Cue; but as 2014 is more than halfway done, does that mean all of the products will be announced at once? Not necessarily. Rumors and predictions indicate delays for some of the more difficult products, like a 5.5-inch iPhone and the long anticipated iWatch. Apple's new sapphire factories are doing their best, but this is brand new territory. Sapphire has been used for Apple's camera lenses and for traditional watches, but to make 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens is a new challenge.
Increasingly, iPads are replacing laptops and even desktops as the computing platform of choice, especially in schools. But the onscreen keyboard is often the weak link. There are a plethora of Bluetooth keyboards, notably Apple's own pricey Wireless Keyboard. It could get expensive to outfit each student with one.
On Thursday 9To5Mac passed along a prognostication from market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the iWatch will be available in November. Kuo has been relatively accurate in the past, so his investor reports have credibility. He had originally predicted that it would appear in late September, but has pushed back the date, saying that this first-generation product requires complex hardware and software engineering. Kuo also said in his report that he expected the iWatch to feature a flexible AMOLED display, sapphire-coated display cover, higher waterproof standards, and new system-on-a-chip components.
I had some fun this weekend. I broke the screen on an iPhone.
Well, it wasn’t my iPhone, and it wasn’t attached to the iPhone itself, it was actually part of a kit that arrived from Taiwan from Evolutive Labs, the makers of Rhinoshield (iPhone 5 $24.99, iPad Air $39.99).
IK Multimedia is a company whose products I have been reviewing for several years, and they continue to impress me with their prodigious release of new hardware and software. Their latest batch consists of substantial revisions to their popular iKlip and iMic product lines. This review roundup takes a look at these to see if they are worthy of your purchase consideration.
I’ve been a fan of Scott Jordan’s SCOTTeVEST products for years. Every once in a while, they get excited enough about a product to send me one, or I ask for the latest while heading off to some land far far from Seattle, Washington.
Most recently, I received the new Sterling Jacket for Men ($150), which is my favorite so far. It is stylish, has pockets for everything (24 in all) and includes an RFID pocket for protecting credit cards and passports. For weather and spills, the jacket sports a Teflon-treated overcoat of its own to repel all but the most egregious attacks from nature or humankind.
Just Mobile has been working on phone and tablet styluses for several years. Their AluPen line has consistently delivered attractive and high-quality products. With the release of the company’s AluPen Digital, does that expectation-setting trend continue? Read on to find out.
The iFrogz Coda Forte ($99.99) are a pair of headphones I really wanted to like. Their parent company, Zagg, tends to make some great products and at first glance they seemed like a pair of headphones with great potential. The reality wasn't so impressive. Having spent some time with these headphones I'd like to share with you my impressions of where these Bluetooth headphones shine, and where they could use some fine tuning.
At CE Week, I got to try WHOOSH! Screen Shine cleaning solution ($19.95). To be honest, I've used a lot of cleaning products on my iPhone and they pretty much work the same. They clean fingerprints, dirt, and gunk off your touchscreen. But WHOOSH! is different. First, it's safe and non-toxic. In fact, WHOOSH! products do not contain alcohol, acids, ammonia, chlorine, solvents, petroleum distillates, phosphates, or VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). WHOOSH! Screen Shine is odorless, streak free, haze free and anti static.
I just got back from CE Week and I always try to travel light. Instead of carrying a battery pack and a USB charger as I wandered around the tradeshow floor and around New York City, I tried something new, namely TYLT's Energi 2K Travel Charger. This compact "block" has 2,000 mAh of battery life, a USB port, and a flip-down prong for charging via the wall. This eliminates the need to carry two separate devices and made my life a lot easier. Combined with a retractable Lightning cable, I was able to keep my iPhone charged and recharge the Energi back whenever I was near a wall outlet.
A recent interview by Apple's CEO Tim Cook suggests that voice may be more important to an iWatch than previously thought. I've used a number of smartwatches, from Pebble, Martian Watches and others. While the Pebble offers the best battery life, the Martian Watch offers the most promise precisely because of its Siri button. In addition to acting as a Bluetooth Speakerphone, there is a button that can be pressed to activate Siri. This is similar to CarPlay, where an audio-only interface is used to access Siri's functions, so there's no touchscreen to distract the driver.
Batteries and chargers—Smartphones and tablets are hungry for them. But if you do a search online, and good luck choosing a battery or charger that is not at least sometimes annoying. They will either be too heavy or too bulky, the power will drain too quickly, etc. But now the AUGMENT (case $24.95/charge $39.95) an add-on case and charging solution made for the latest iPhone models aims to change the status quo. The AUGMENT is a power pack that can cleverly ride around on the bottom of an attractive cover or fit into a pocket.
With Beats becoming part of Apple, there's room for an independent high-end headphone vendor and SMS wants to earn that spot. I've reviewed their Star Wars licensed line by 50 Cent and been impressed. Now they are pivoting (pun intended) in another direction, namely athletic earbuds and on-ear headphones, with help from NBA star Carmelo Anthony.
In addition to writing for iPhone Life I also consult on web designing and Apple-related computer issues, which means I'm the go-to techie amongst all of my close friends. So when our close family friend (we'll call him "The Dude") got his new Apple TV and a set of speakers to go along with the new set-top box, I was more than happy to help him set everything up. While the Apple TV lived up to its reputation and delivered a seamlessly well-integrated media experience, it was the Kinivo M2 Bluetooth sound system ($69.99 on sale) that really got my attention. If you are looking for a great home theater speaker set up, one that won't break the bank, the Kinivo M2 Bluetooth speakers perform incredibly and they're one of the best deals I've come across anywhere online, comparable to systems that are over twice the price.
I'm always scanning for unique and hackable tech, and a news item caught my attention about an app called SimplePi ($1.99) for managing a Raspberry Pi from your iDevice. Since I have been eyeballing similarly geeky tech (for file sharing, etc.), I had to check it out. If you are a Raspberry Pi aficionado, and looking for a nice app experience to help you manage your Pi, today is your lucky day. Not sure what I'm talking about? Read on to learn how a Pi could help round up your stray media!
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