Piel Frama makes nice, quality leather cases for iPhones and other gadgets. But I didn't think they could make a case as slim as the FramaSlim. There has to be a trick, and indeed there is. Instead of a plastic insert or more leather to enclose the iPhone, they use a micro-suction material to attach the iPhone to the stiff leather case. There is a flap that covers the screen, but still, the case is remarkably thin. That flap closes shut thanks to built-in magnets, which is a nice touch.
Pelican has long been considered a pioneer in the design and manufacture of high quality, rugged gear that's designed to last and withstand significant abuse. Their new ruggedized iPhone 5/5s cases continue in this great tradition. With its minimalistic yet highly protective design, the Pelican Voyager ($50) is the latest heavy-duty iPhone case offering from one of the leaders in reliably protective cases. This well-designed case not only meets the demanding Military Standards of device defense, it actually outshines the competition in one critical area.
It's quite possible that Apple itself doesn't yet know when the iPhone 6 will be announced, since there are so many factors involved in ramping up production for the huge number of devices that Apple sells.
Upon unboxing the FLOTE Orbit ($129.99), my college-age daughter Marielle enthusiastically grabbed it and asked if she could use it at her dormitory. I granted her request on the condition that she participate in reviewing the product. Here is that review.
With school about to be back in session, I've been keeping my eye open for great last-minute gear for the returning student. If you (or someone you know) are the type of student who tends to be rough on things, or a student who just needs something durable and reliable that can stand up to the general abuse and heavy lifting that the school year can bring, then the Pelican S105 might be just what you're looking for.
Holy Toledo, this is one of the coolest dang tech ideas to come round since, well, since cool tech things started coming 'round. But anyway, The Power Company has hit the Indiegogo funding goal for the amazing SMART CARD. (Although if you hurry, you can still grab a Smart Card perk pack for $39. Other pack deals include two Smart Cards and a free "Smartie" Tracker.)
Apple loves rounded rectangles so much, they patented the shape. I was rearranging some of the Apple gear in my living room and it occurred to me to create a "PyraMac"—a pyramid of smaller and smaller rounded rectangles, almost like a Mayan temple (Macan Temple?) of aluminum, black, and white plastic. First, there was a recent Mac mini, then an AirPort Extreme (the size of the original Mac mini), then an Apple SuperDrive. On top of that, I placed the current Apple TV and then the previous generation iPod nano. All of these use the rounded rectangle design Apple has popularized.
Given the announced (and shipping) smartwatch products from Samsung, LG, Motorola, Pebble, and other manufacturers, and the substantial rumors around an iWatch from Apple, the question is when, not if, Apple will introduce a wearable offering. But there are some fresh reports that suggest a new twist.
Inateck is a tech accessory company that offers computer peripherals like wireless adapters, mobile charging solutions, and PCI interface cards. They also have a selection of compact and affordable Bluetooth speakers, and recently sent us charging gear and speaker samples to check out. We gave them a go...
When Apple paid $3 billion for Beats by Dr Dre, a lot of analysts think Apple overpaid. But that doesn't mean you have to. Sure, Beats headphones will set you back $200 and if you want wireless Bluetooth headphones with the Beats logo, expect to pay $300 to $350. But there are alternatives.
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.
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