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.
I love cruising around on Kickstarter for the latest and greatest in innovation. It makes me feel good to help a company with a great product get a leg up! Today, I came across the Lifelogger POV video camera and I want one. Badly.
Check it out.
Do you have a gadget-loving iDad? Does he get excited to show you all of his new accessories for his iPhone and iPad? If so, we have a few gift ideas for every budget that'll make you Dad's favorite this year on Father's Day!
When Apple announced CarPlay, their new technology for automobiles, the big question was whether it would only be available on new cars, or if older cars could also take advantage of it. Then to the relief of many, two different companies announced forthcoming aftermarket CarPlay systems, with the one from Pioneer to be the first to hit the market. As noted by AppleInsider, Pioneer has been offering hands-on demonstrations of its NEX car infotainment system to the media this week, including CNBC, Macworld, and Digital Trends, which has a very detailed hands-on review of the system. Pioneer's CarPlay system offers Phone, Music, Maps, and Messages. See an earlier post for a bit more detail.
'Tis the season for graduations! High school, college, whatever your family member or friend is graduating from, spring is the time to watch them walk across that stage and celebrate their accomplishments. And then, of course, buy them a gift to say congratulations! Here's my list of the best Graduation gifts for iDevice users.
Apple's handheld devices are reaching the point where just about everyone has one, and I mean everyone. If everyone in your home has an iDevice, but only one computer with which to sync and manage devices, then you might need a few extra USB ports. Enter Satechi's 10-port USB hub ($59.95). Overkill? Maybe. Useful? Definitely.
Several days ago, Dr. Dre sent out a tweet noting that he may become the first billionaire rapper. Ever since, there has been unbridled speculation around the possible Apple acquisition of his Beats company (Which he owns with partner Jimmy Iovine) for $3.2 billion. With less than three weeks until WWDC, it looks like Apple may be delaying the announcement of their Beats acquisition until then.
Mashing your thumb down on a soft or hard button (or attempting to) can ruin an otherwise great picture or video. Stabilizing the camera continuously through the shot will result in better pictures and videos, and make your loved ones more likely to want to view your photo roll without rolling their eyes. You could buy a tripod or stand, which are also handy for group photos (a GorillaPod is a good portable choice), but why not consider a simpler solution? Get a HISY ($24.99.)
The rumored purchase of Beats by Apple has caused a fair amount of headshaking, but it makes a lot of sense. Sure, at $3.2 billion, it would be one of the larger purchases by Apple, but it's a smart move. Purchasing of Beats would give Apple several advantages, overnight. First, street credibility. With every iPhone and iPod, Apple gives away a pair of cheap earbuds. Sure, they were enhanced recently, but still there's no prestige in those nondescript white EarPods. Beats, however, made it cool to spend $300 on a pair of headphones. And their "b" logo is everywhere, even on smartphones and laptops.
Since my recent trip to London, I've shared many travel tips. But this time I'm going to just let the following images speak for themselves. They come from the technology section of the upscale department store Harrod's. Look not only at the beauty of the crystals, diamonds, and gold plating, but at the prices associated with them. Keep in mind, a gold-plated iPhone 5s covered in diamonds becomes obsolete just as quickly as your basic model at AT&T or T-Mobile.
If you're a music lover or an iOS gamer, you already get this, but it's hard to appreciate the full scope and flavor of our media when relying solely on our iOS device's speakers. Even if the extent of your media consumption on your iPhone or iPad (or laptop or desktop) doesn't stray beyond watching movies and videos, you'll have to admit, the in-built speakers these gadgets come with don't necessarily broadcast the most stellar audio. For crystal clear, pristine sound reproduction we have to look to the world of headphones and external speakers. With that in mind I'm always on the lookout for great headphones and speakers to share with iPhone Lifers. This week we'll be taking a look at Skullcandy’s Crusher over-ear headphones ($99.99).
To help you prepare for your warm weather adventures with iDevices in tow I recently compiled and reviewed some of the best, rugged, Bluetooth speakers currently on the market. All of the speakers featured in that particular round up were of outstanding quality and durability, but one thing they all had in common was the fact that they were all too large to comfortably tuck in your pant’s pocket or clip on your belt-loop or pack-loop. Many adventurers these days would appreciate having a more portable Bluetooth speaker solution, and with that in mind, the following roundup features some of the best, ultra-portable, miniature-sized and ruggedized Bluetooth speakers available.
It would be hard to find two more diametrically opposed docking solutions, but the contrast makes the key features of each shine brightly. EverDock ($49.99) is small, understated, solid, non-electronic, and beautiful. iHome's iDL46 ($99.99) is electronic, larger, full-featured, and also beautiful. What to do? Read on for the solution to this docking enigma.
The Battstation Optimus by ibattz ($129.95) doesn't just have a long name—it has a long battery life. Eight iPhone charges, to be exact. If you have an iPad, you can expect two full charges using the Battstation Optimus. I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed.
Like many iOS device owners, I am also a MacBook owner. But at this point I own more chargers than MacBooks, because they are prone to getting damaged due to the unique way Apple connects the thin wire to the charging brick. The folks at JuiceBoxx have decided to do something about it and via Kickstarter are offering a protective wrap that eliminates the stress that causes the cable to fray.
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