Are you among the "Gold is Best" crowd? When Apple launched the gold iPhone 5s, did you scour the web and retailers in your area to find your own "golden ticket?" If you prefer gold but think the Apple version is too "champagne" for you and not gold enough, there is another option. As long as you don't mind spending $3,000 or more!
This should be the year of home automation, as Apple's HomeKit specification starts to take root, and CES had a number of products in that arena. The Ring Video Doorbell is a novel product that can replace a doorbell, using the existing wiring. It lets you see who is at the door and communicate with them thanks to a microphone and speaker, all via the free companion app running on an iOS device. This means you can be thousands of miles away and see when a visitor, delivery person, or intruder approaches your door. It's a great idea and at $199, it's reasonably priced. The Ring can also be operated by battery, so you can add a video doorbell to a gate or just about anywhere, as long as it's within range of your home's Wi-Fi.
The iPad introduced a new way to interface with our computers. Before tablets, our computers could rest on a desk, table, or lap. As iPads became thinner and thinner, they still put a strain on your hands when held for prolonged periods. This has caused an array of accessory makers to develop innovate stands for tablets and smartphones. This year, at the Consumer Electronics Show, there were several notable stands on display.
The Apple Watch is Apple's next big (or little) thing and new details are starting to leak out. According to 9to5mac, the battery life could be as low as 2.5 to 4 hours for active application use and up to 19 hours of combined active and passive use. Standby mode could last for two to three days, but it's hard to expect early adopters will shell out $349 to $1000 to leave their watch in standby mode. To make the battery last longer, don't expect it to constantly display the time. Like many Android devices, it will blank the screen to save power and turn on when the sensors detect you're glancing at your watch.
Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. 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, and we have a lot to cover in this, the first installment of Game Centered in 2015! After a brief period of relative quiet on the iOS game front, things are picking up, with 2015 widely expected to be the year that mobile games overtake console games for revenue generated, and many big name titles coming down the pipeline. Read on after the break for some of the latest and greatest iOS-related gaming news and info.
Drones, drones and more drones. Pardon the pun, but drones were all the buzz at this year's CES. Along with the iPhone-Life-award-winning, high-end, HEXO + drone ($1,149.00), and the ultra portable and more affordable ZANO drone (approximately $200.00), which received honorable mention and which you can read more about here, CES also featured several other excellent entries in the iOS-controlled drone category. Even though CES has come and gone, the excitement over the plethora of drones exhibited on the CES show floor lingers on.
I remember interviewing Oculus co-founder and VP, Nate Mitchell at CES 2013, back when his company was barely more than a humble crowd-funded campaign demoing a chunky, duct-taped box that strapped precariously on to your head. We talked optimistically about the future of virtual reality (VR), agreeing that the potential was great, even though consumer interest in this fledgling platform hadn't had a chance to gather much steam. Fast forward three years and Oculus is now a division of the Facebook empire, and we have Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighing in on the impact that this emerging technology will have on the world.
CES is over but the products that were presented are just hitting the markets or in some cases, aren't available yet. One of my perennial favorite product categories at CES is headphones and there were some distinctive sets introduced. Anyone can make headphones and make them loud, but Kidz Gear takes a different approach. Instead of trying to make them loud, they make them safe for kids' sensitive ears. After all, damage to the ear canal can be bad enough for old rockers like Pete Townshend, but for kids with their whole future ahead of them, it's an even bigger deal.
Every year, Apple updates their "A" series of chips that power the iPhone and iPad, prompting speculation that such a chip might find its way into the Mac product line. There are a lot of compelling reasons why that could happen, but there are usually more compelling reasons against it. Which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. However, the buzz is growing around an A-series chip in Apple's next low-end MacBook Air. Apple could control their destiny, using their own chip instead of relying on (and paying) Intel.
After scouring the sprawling sea of tech-gear that is CES, here's a compilation of the best of the adventure-proof, rugged gear that was on display. While not all of the items featured here are available for order quite yet, all of these products are expected to start shipping by Q2 this year, sometime around March most likely. Read on after the break to see what's coming in the world of heavy-duty gear for our iOS devices.
After a long week at the Consumer Electronics Show, it's time to reflect on what we just experienced. CES isn't really just a show anymore; it's a show of shows, each with its own theme. When I get back each year, my friends and family ask me what was "The Big Thing?" Because the show is so big, I've decided to break down the "theme" into multiple themes. This year, the different "big things" were as follows:
This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Apple enthusiasts. Both Apple Watch and HomeKit hold the potential to be revolutionary in the same way the iPhone was eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the Apple Watch. Bottom line: just as the iPhone freed us from the desktop and made communication and information more mobile, so too will the Apple Watch take things to another level by making information and communication more convenient and easier.
The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.
I do a lot of driving here in Vermont and it has recently become illegal to handle a phone while behind the wheel. I have tried many different dash mounts and like the functionality of magnetics, which have a magnet on the mount and a metal plate on the phone so that you don't have to fiddle with buttons or gripping mechanisms. All you do is hold your phone up to the mount and it snaps in place.
Keeping tabs on little ones can be a full-time job. Turn your head for a minute, and they can almost magically disappear and get into trouble (and if you were ever lost in a store as a kid, you understand). These days, there are smart sensors to keep tabs on everything, including your younglings, and the HereO GPS watch ($179.99) is an example of some of the kid-friendly, protective tech we were able to check out at CES 2015.
The newest smart lens from Kodak, the PIXPRO SL5, debuted at CES this week. We got to sit down with the Kodak team and get the full scoop on this impressive iPhoneography accessory. After hearing all about what this little lens can do, and seeing it put through its paces, it was apparent that we were looking at a product that was well deserving of our iPhone Life Magazine Best of CES award.
Lot's of cool audio to check out at CES 2015, but I have always thought speaker cases were kind of a weird combo (and possibly quite dead). If I needed to boost audio from my phone, I would probably use an actual external speaker, but who wants to lug one around (even as part of a bulky external case)? Well, ZAGG and PERI have both found a way to make the speaker case compelling again!
The autonomous, intelligent ZANO drone is designed to sense and avoid obstacles and is perfect for anyone new to drone piloting, or anyone interested in putting a drone to good use as a flying, selfie-taking, remote aerial vehicle.