When a company creates an input accessory for a device that isn't designed for one, they need to decide what the accessory is going to do that the device's normal input method doesn't. The iPad was designed to use a finger as an input device, and although it supports multi-touch, the iPad's sensors see the finger as a rather blunt instrument. So the stylus market developed with two main branches: The first aimed to be a different or better kind of finger and the second added a feature, usually pressure sensitivity, that the iPad was not designed to accept.
All signs point to an Apple iWatch being released around October. Apple's boosting their Sapphire manufacturing, which could make iPhone screens more durable, but more importantly, it could make an iWatch that handles the bumps and grinds common to watches. Indeed Sapphire is commonly used already for traditional watch screens, and unlike iPhones, most people don't put their watch in a protective case!
Adobe made the jump into hardware on Wednesday, and for iPad users that means a few more tools to hone your design skills. The Adobe Ink & Slide ($199.99) work in tandem as a stylus and ruler for creating digital works of art.
Adobe has been hinting at the stylus and ruler concepts for a little over a year. Dubbed Project Mighty in the early planning stages, the final product hopes to give design professionals "greater creative control."
Mobile games usually come in second behind console and PC titles at E3. Fortunately, iOS gamers weren't completely forgotten. And while the focus of this year's expo still didn't rely heavily on the iOS platform, there were a few gaming accessories on display that may be of interest to iOS gamers, including several MFi controllers. Companies like Mad Catz and Razer had styles that fit the iPhone, while others had controllers large enough for the iPad. Here's a look at a few of them:
Case manufacturers use mockups in order to make cases and have them ready when new iPhones become available. Those mockups are dummy iPhones based on the specs of the actual device. Which means they can give a sense for what the new iPhones will look like. According to AppleInsider, over the weekend, Sonny Dickson, who has in the past been the first to post leaked photos of new iOS devices, posted to Twitter photos of mockups for the expected 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. This is yet one more bit of evidence that larger phones are coming, with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 expected to be announced in September. The mockups show styling continuity with the iPad Air and iPad mini, with the same sort of rounded edges. The similar shape of the two mockups suggests that the new larger phones will share the same aspect ratio—which would be expected from Apple, as they typically try to make it easy for developers to port their apps to differently sized models.
I just bought a mophie charge case that turned my slim, light iPhone into a river rock that pulls my pants down and barely fits in my back pocket (I have loose pants)! No slap at mophie, as I love their chargers (the space pack case is insanely cool)! You could say I'm looking for something a bit less bulky that doesn't heat my phone up hot enough to fry an egg (I exaggerate).
An interesting article on 9To5Mac outlines how many of the new features in iOS 8 are well suited to the small display of an iWatch or other wearable device that Apple is expected to announce in October. The article says that the small app-associated widgets that developers will be able to create for the new Notification Center are just the sort of applets that would work well on an iWatch. The app could push the same content to both the Notification Center widget and to the wearable. In addition, the quick interactive notifications in iOS 8, without your having to go to the respective app, is just the sort of feature you'd expect in an iWatch. When a text message arrives, you'd like to be able to respond right from your wrist. And features such as QuickType and audio and voice messaging will make quick responses easy.
Apple’s so-called iWatch is still just a rumor, but at least one analyst thinks such a device would be a best-seller when released, with 21 million units expected to sell in the first year alone.
The blogosphere was buzzing with rumors about the so-called iWatch on Friday, with a news report on Nikkei Asian Review saying Apple was planning to come out with a wearable device and a report on Re/Code saying Apple's tentative launch date for the device will be October. In addition, the Nikkei report, citing industry sources, also said that Apple is confident in the market for the device and is planning to manufacture 3–5 million units per month. The design is currently being finalized and it will likely have a curved LED display. Plus, it's expected to have a focus on health, and will be able to track things such as calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood glucose, and blood oxygen levels.
As expected, Apple introduced HomeKit, a platform to standardize new and existing home automation systems. They didn't announce any new hardware, but that's probably for the best. Rather than stifle competition, HomeKit can help encourage competing vendors like Lowes, Schlage, Google's Nest and others by making it easy to work together. Lights, locks, thermostats, garage door openers from different manufacturers can now be controlled by Siri or third-party apps, as long as the devices leverage iOS 8 and HealthKit.
As reported now on several tech sites, the attached parody video (which is a scream, by the way) will make you indeed wonder why you need another premium Apple gadget on your person. But then I had to muddy the waters by adding a mind-blowing tech video from Carnegie Mellon University that demonstrates some stupendously cool things that are possible on your wrist. You won't believe it.. Read on to see it!
The FAVI Boomerang ($79.99 on Amazon) is a dual wireless Bluetooth speaker with NFC connect. It's a portable home theater for your iPad. Honestly, I was shocked at how fabulous the sound quality was when I tested it out.
Are you the daring type? Are you ready for action this summer? Have you had it with not being able to record your summer adventures during those times when you need both hands free? A new Kickstarter success story has come up with a very affordable way to remedy the situation, one that allows you to use your iPhone to film your escapades, while leaving your hands unencumbered. Introducing the appropriately named ReadyAction iPhone mounting system.
There are an abundance of iPhone case on the market that claim to be heavy duty; and while many may meet the rigorous Military Standard criteria, some are better than others. Recently one of my associates in the PR industry turned me on to the Dualtek XT from Pure.Gear ($49.99), and I have to say, overall I was quite impressed. Read on to get the complete scoop as well as to hear about the pros and cons of this new, ruggedized, "extreme terrain" iPhone case.
I've been a big fan of booq's bags for a long time now. In my experience, booq's products are both well constructed and stylishly designed, and their newly released Boa Flow Graphite ($225.00) backpack is certainly no exception. Read on for my full review of one of the best backpacks I've come across this year.
I'm always on the lookout for quality headphones, and since I'm also a huge Star Wars fan, when I saw the SMS Street by 50 Star Wars line ($199.95) at the Consumer Electronics Show, I was very excited, and snapped a photo! 50 stands for 50 Cent, the rapper turned branding sensation, and he is apparently a Star Wars fan, too. At CES, he was paired up with a couple of Stormtroopers to announce these new headphones. The phones are available in Light or Dark Sides, with Vader, Stormtrooper, Rebel Alliance, or Boba Fett variations.
As my fellow blogger Todd Bernhard discussed in this post, there was a report out Monday from The Financial Times saying that Apple will be announcing a new Smart Home platform during next Monday's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple has been working on an integrated home system for at least several years, with a number of patent applications indicating what they have in mind. In this post from January of 2012, for example, I pointed to a patent application that described a single device that would automatically detect appliances available for it to control. This would include TV, video disk player, stereo, computer, and home device controls, such as security, lighting, thermostat, and a wide range of other devices that are now Internet connected, such as the intelligent thermostat from Nest and smart light bulbs from Hue.
Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is less than a week away, and while most of the anticipation is around the rumored Beats acquisition, Apple may have "one more thing" to surprise us with. Apple TV is due for an update; and rather than focus just on entertainment, according to the Financial Times via MacRumors, it looks like Apple is working on a Smart Home platform, and the Apple TV could be one component of that. TV-based competitors like Time Warner offer "Intelligent Home" that lets customers control smart devices such as lights, thermostats, and webcams from apps. Apple already has a section on its online store labeled "Connected Home."
If there’s one thing the digital age has helped, it’s access to media—particularly music. If you’re anything like me, you carry your tunes with you on your iPhone so you can rock out whenever the need strikes. While it’s easy and convenient to just put all of your music on your phone, if you want it to sound awesome, you need to have awesome speakers. That’s the catch-22 of listening on a smartphone: Users want a pocket sized package, but speaker efficiency and fidelity demands bigger packages. Up to this point in time, we basically had three options:
I have an exciting new device to talk to you about today, iPhone Lifers! It’s called Cue ($199) and it represents the ultimate in health monitoring devices. As a person who is into tracking my fitness with wearables like my Fitbit, the whole idea of this really turns my crank. It’s actually a little embarrassing how excited I am about this. I may or may not have squealed like a little girl when I heard about it.
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