iPhone Life magazine

Expert Blogs

AfterShokz Offers an Open Ear Alternative to Earbuds

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There are earbuds, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones, but I was surprised to see the Open Ear wireless Bluetooth headphones from AfterShokz, dubbed BLUEZ 2 ($99.95). These attractive headphones use the bone conduction technology whose origins go back to Beethoven and you might find today in a Navy SEAL's communication system. The result is, you hear the music through the inside of your head, and more importantly, your ears are uncovered. If you're riding a bicycle, for example, you can safely hear traffic with the AfterShokz. They could even help some hearing impaired users the same way Cochlear Implants can help them "hear" the world around them.



TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank Serves with Distinction

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There are a lot of portable battery packs out there, so to distinguish themselves, battery makers have to offer a combination of features that are unique. The TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank does so in a few areas. First, obviously, it offers 10,400mAh of power. That's a lot and rarely found in such a compact unit. The result is, you can recharge your iPhone up to five times. This is possible not just because of the battery size, but the energy efficiency of the charger.



The TravelCard Charger—No Bigger Than a Couple of Credit Cards

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You can never have enough power, or have a battery pack that's too thin, at least that seems to be the design methodology for the TravelCard Charger ($39), and I appreciate it. It's a simple concept, a battery charger the same size as a couple of credit cards. Many have tried, but to keep the size and weight down they don't include a Lightning cable and often use plastic which feels flimsy, and if it's to be kept in a wallet in the pocket, could break.



Get the Party Started With the ION Party Starter Bluetooth Speaker

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My kids wanted to setup the basement as the kid version of a Man Cave. Part of their wishlist included a disco ball and laser light show, along with a Bluetooth speaker. Fortunately, I was able to get the appropriately named ION Party Starter. At only $39.99, it provided the variety of effects we wanted in one very compact unit.



Proporta Sale Gives You a Chance to Cover Your New Gadget at a Discount

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Your new iPhone or iPad is beautiful but it should be protected. If you didn't get a case this holiday season, Proporta has got you covered, literally. In addition to a wide array of cases and sleeves for iPhones and iPads, they have a 20 percent off sale going on to make those cases more affordable.



Review: Life N Soul Bluetooth Speaker

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Life n Soul has a Bluetooth speaker that is like a mullet...business up front, party in the back. That's because the BM211 Bluetooth Speaker ($79.99) has a no-nonsense speakerphone, suitable for conference calls with multidirectional speakers, so the whole office can participate. There's a clever slot that lets you rest a phone or tablet so you can control your VoIP, phone call, Facetime, or, when it's time to party, your music playlist. I could also see using the stand, and speaker, at trade shows.



Polaroid Gets Into the ActionCam Game

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When it comes to Action Cams, there's more than GoPro to consider. Polaroid has an absolutely adorable little camera called the Polaroid CUBE ($99.99), which is a perfectly named product. The Polaroid CUBE has Polaroid's trademark rainbow pattern along the sides; the uninitiated might think it's a rip off of Instagram, but the truth is Polaroid had that look decades earlier—I still have my Polaroid 600 Sun camera to prove it.



Is the MyID with QR Code the MedicAlert Bracelet for the 21st Century?

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You're probably familiar with those MedicAlert bracelets. If you're not, at least it's good to know that the EMT's, doctors, nurses, and other first responders are. Those are the metal bracelets that list any allergies or medical conditions a person might have so they can quickly and appropriately perform first aid. For example, my father-in-law's bracelet said he had a pacemaker.



OlloClip Magnifies Images and Their Product Line

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OlloClip is the category-defining lens maker that lets users add wide angle, zoom, fisheye capabilities, and more to their iPhone and even iPad cameras. As the iPhone has become the world's most popular camera, it's no wonder that OlloClip has become so popular as well. It's also no wonder that they came out with the OlloClip 4-IN-1 Photo Lens model ($79.99) for Apple's latest iPhones.



Take Stable Selfies with iStabilizer Monopod and Shutter Remote

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Selfies are all the rage, but that doesn't mean they are great to look at. When you hold your arm out and try to snap a photo, it's never going to be as good as if someone else took the shot. There are some apps and Bluetooth gadgets like the iStabilizer Shutter Remote that make it easier to snap the picture, either by clapping or touching a button, but unless the phone is positioned properly, you're still going to get a dud of a photo.



FlipBelt Makes All Your Tech "Wearable"

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While the world waits for the Apple Watch, you can "wear" your iPhone and other gear today, thanks to the FlipBelt. The FlipBelt is a stylish, remarkably expandable, stretchable fabric belt with hidden compartments. You could store an MP3 player, headphones, keys, a wallet, etc., and it wouldn't add much bulk at all. This makes the FlipBelt great for jogging or working out. Thanks to the wide variety of color choices, it's also a great fashion accessory.



Product Review: The Buddy Pouch Mini & Buddy Pouch for iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

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If you live an active lifestyle and you're the kind of person who carries all kinds of stuff in your pocket, I have two nifty products for you: the Buddy Pouch mini ($13.99) and the Buddy Pouch for iPhone 6 & 6+ ($23.99). There's no limit to the adventures you can have with these revolutionary designs.



Big Sound in a Small Package From Soundmatters

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If you just received a new iPad or iPhone for the holidays, congratulations. But you'll probably notice that the sound from the built-in speakers isn't that great. Apple's emphasis on design and looks means that they put the speaker grill at the bottom of the device, facing down. It's hardly optimal for quality sound. If sound matters to you, you should consider the Soundmatters line of speakers.



Apple TV AirPlay Mirroring Could Work Both Ways

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Apple TV's AirPlay mirroring feature has been a great reason to own an Apple TV. Users can launch videos on a portable iOS device and "throw" the display to the big screen. Games can be shared with an audience as well. It's a great tool for education, as teachers can find a video on their iPad or iPhone and share it with the classroom.



SMS BioSport Headphones Available Now!

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I got you excited about these new headphones a few months ago, and now they're here! SMS Audio BioSport in-ear headphones, developed in collaboration with Intel, are now available at Dick's Sporting Goods, smsaudio.com and amazon.com for MSRP $149.95. Here are the answers to a few questions you may have about these heart rate measuring headphones:



IOgrapher Turns Your iPad Into a Professional Videography Solution

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Videography and the iPad don't usually go together. And that's a shame because the large screen of the iPad and even the iPad mini make for a great video editing tool. Without a USB port or SD card slot, transferring video files to the iPad is a hassle, even with AirDrop. Ideally, you could easily record quality video on the iPad and edit it immediately using iMovie or third party apps.



Want an Apple Watch Today?

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If you've been waiting patiently, or impatiently, for an Apple Watch but just can't wait any longer, or if you can't justify the $349+ price tag, I have good news for you. You can get an "Apple Watch" today, in the same way that I once bought a "Rolex" for $50 on the streets of Taipei, Taiwan. A Chinese gadget site called Everbuying.com offers a $40 clone of the Apple Watch that is available today.



iPhone Life's Top 20 Headphones of 2014

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To make it onto this list, headphones must shine in the following areas: They must be exceptionally comfortable, they must be well built and they must have superior sonic quality. No earphones that have to be inserted into the ear are included in this list and any Bluetooth headphones featured have to include a microphone for convenient conversing. Sounds simple enough right? Well, it would be, except for the fact that there are so many great headphone options out there. Coming up with a condensed list of 20 headphones to highlight out of the hundreds of great choices on the market was no easy task, but after a year spent studying the intricacies and nuances of a great many headphones, this list represents 2014's cream of the crop.



Trying to Decide if You Want a Short or Long Cable? Get Both with CordCruncher!

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I recently added a new car stereo and it comes with a USB port for charging and music playback. I love it because the sound quality is better than Bluetooth, and I can keep my iPhone charged while on long trips. I have been on the lookout for the right sized cable that's not too long and not too short. The last thing I want in the car is a a forty-inch cable interfering with driving.



Product Review: Proporta Touchscreen Gloves

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If you've ever tried to use your touch screen with regular gloves on, you know it does not work. At. All. The gloves that are out there that do work with a touch screen are usually either kind of ugly or don't keep your hands warm. You can't seem to get the best of both worlds. Knowing this, the people over at Proporta created unisex One size fits all Touch Screen Gloves ($13.99) that are nice looking and very thick and warm.



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