iPhone Life magazine

Expert Blogs

CES 2015: New Power Cases and Accessories from TYLT

image

CES is a great showcase to find anything for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and TYLT is aiming to meet the demand for extended battery protection with their newest ENERGI cases. That's not all we found on display at their booth however. Read on for the full skinny on what these power pro specialists are featuring in 2015!



STM Harbour Bends Over Backwards to Accommodate Your Dock or Cable

image

Too many iPhone cases, especially the rugged kind, obstruct the Lightning port and make it impossible to simply dock your phone. STM has gotten around this with their Harbour case in a clever way. First, the case has a wider opening around the Lightning dock than most cases do. I was able to dock my iPhone 6 in the STM Harbour case in several different docks that usually give me trouble with other cases.



Jabra Stealth: A Bluetooth Headset with Big Features in a Tiny Package

image

Jabra has been at the forefront of noise cancelling Bluetooth headsets since the early days of the iPhone. Their most recent headset, the Jabra Stealth, is the culmination of years of experience in a remarkably tiny, comfortable earpiece. I don't normally like Bluetooth headsets because they interfere with my glasses or are uncomfortable inside my ear.



Deciding Which Essential Accessories to Buy for Your New iPhone

image

You just bought a new iPhone, or better, received one as a holiday gift. It comes in a perfectly wrappable white box, complete with headphone, a charger and a cable for charging and data interchange. It even comes with a bit of iCloud storage for backups and file access.

What more could you want?



GeekFuel is the Gift that Keeps on Giving Year Round

image

The holidays are over, but if you didn't get what you want, don't fret. GeekFuel offers monthly surprise gifts in 3-, 6-, or 12-month increments. Each gift box is about the size of a shoebox, and promises $40 or more of value. You can expect a wide variety of items, but they are all geek-oriented items such as comics, science fiction, and technology. A t-shirt is in each box (you specify the size) but you can also expect things like Pez dispensers, comic books, stickers, posters, mini figures, action figures, downloadable content, and more.



Jamstik Helps with That New Year's Resolution to Learn to Play Guitar

image

A year ago, I bought our daughter an acoustic guitar, complete with instructional DVDs. That guitar has collected dust ever since. But now, I have the Zivix Jamstik which should change that. The Jamstik helps kids (and adults) learn how to play the guitar using tools they are already comfortable with, like an iPhone or iPad and apps. It connects wirelessly via Wi-Fi, or via USB to a Mac. The Jamstik works with over a dozen apps like GarageBand or other MIDI apps, as well as the included Jamstik Connect, JamMix, and JamTutor apps from Zivix.



ROCKI Makes Your Existing Speakers Wireless Without Bluetooth

image

If you already have made an investment in speakers and want to turn them into wireless ones, there are a few options. You could get a Bluetooth adapter, but you would have to deal with the latency and distance limitations of that technology. On the high-end, there are SONOS speakers which use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, but they are expensive and don't take advantage of your existing speakers.



You Can Now Analyze Wind Speed with the iPhone!

image

It never ceases to amaze me what you can do with an iPhone, especially when paired with add-on accessories. Case in point, Vaavud makes a Smartphone Wind Meter ($40) that attaches to an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Unlike most accessories that connect via Bluetooth or Lightning, this gadget connects via the audio-in jack, just like the Square credit card reader. Because newer iPhones have the audio jack on the bottom, you flip the phone upside down and run their companion app while holding the iPhone in the air.



Tigris Shell Stand Case is a Minimalist Case With a Twist

image

With a slim and elegant phone like the new iPhone 6, you might not want to keep it in a case. But that leaves it exposed to scratches or worse. In that case you might want a slim case like the Tigris Shell Stand Case from Draco Designs. This soft polymer case covers the back and most of the edges of the iPhone 6 but what I like best about it is the leather back. It adds a touch of luxury, which is especially true of the white model.



AfterShokz Offers an Open Ear Alternative to Earbuds

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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?

image

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

image

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

image

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"

image

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.



Email icon
Want more? Get our weekly newsletter: