I had the chance to try the Pronto Smart Remote ($49.99). It's a nice, affordable way to turn your iPhone into a universal remote control, and it will get better when the Apple Watch is available. The makers promise to make the app work with the Apple Watch, so you can control your TV and A/V equipment from your wrist! How cool is that? The Peel iPhone app also works as a TV guide, but it would be nice if it could leverage the full screen of an iPad. The app talks to the Pronto base station that sits within line of sight of your A/V equipment.
I saw Fugoo's speakers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Recently, Fugoo gave me the opportunity to try its Sport Wireless Speakers ($199). Fugoo offers a wide variety of speakers, with different materials, textures, colors and capabilities, but they all have one thing in common. They are substantial both in weight and sound quality. And these speakers are waterproof, not just splash proof. At CES, Fugoo drenched their speakers in water and they kept on rocking!
The Apple Watch will be available in a wide variety of configurations, but there is one more way to personalize your Apple Watch that Apple didn't even mention. If you purchase the Sport version, and pick up a second Sport band in a different color, you could mix and match and have a band that is part green and part blue for example. You could use any combination of black, white, pink, blue, and green, perhaps to reflect your favorite sports team or college colors. (I can't do that for my college, since Carnegie Mellon's official "colors" were plaid!) I put together an animated GIF showing the possible color combinations.
It's important to keep your iPhone or iPad backed up, and especially important to back it up before you install an iOS update. Of course, given that much content already resides in iCloud these days, even if you aren't backed up and you lose everything, your apps, media, and personal data such as contacts, calendar, and email will still be able to be restored. But having a full and recent backup is the fastest way to restore, plus it restores all your settings, too. For convenience, you can set your iPhone or iPad to automatically back up via iCloud when you device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, plugged in, and locked. Plus, you can manually tell it to back up now.
Before the Apple Watch was announced, when we learned that Nike was abandoning its Fuel Band, there was speculation that the Apple offering might be more of a fitness band and less of a miniature iPhone. However, that didn't happen and the Apple Watch is indeed bulkier than most fitness bands. Potential customers looking for a smaller band may want to consider the Microsoft Band. Not only is the Microsoft Band smaller, but it's cheaper too, at $199.
The Flyover feature of Apple's Maps, as you likely know, gives you a 3D view of a city. A list of these cities can be found on the website Flyover Cities. In iOS 8 Apple added a fun new feature called Flyover Tour that takes you on a 3D tour of the city's major landmarks. The Flyover Tour of New York City includes the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Central Park, and more. Only some of the Flyover cities have a Flyover Tour. They include New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Sydney.
With summer soon to arrive, we'll all be spending more and more time outdoors. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to tell when you've had enough sun besides noticing the sudden bright red coloring of your skin?
Anytime you see a link in Safari or Mail, you can tap and hold it to reveal options beyond simply opening the new page. I constantly use this feature when I'm looking at the news in my personalized Yahoo page. If I see a news story I want to read, I tap and hold the link so that the page opens in a separate tab. That way I can quickly go back to the original Yahoo page without having to use the back arrow and waiting for the page to reload. The options in Safari also included adding the linked page to your Reading List. Tapping and holding a link in Mail also gives you the option of adding the page to your reading list as well as opening the page in Safari. Finally, the options include copying the link so you can paste it elsewhere.
Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.
With Apple's recent unveiling of the next generation of MacBooks (among other things
), it's obvious that portability is becoming an even larger priority than before for both companies and consumers. Booq is staying with the times and its latest tech backpack, the Cobra squeeze ($195)
, aims to do more than just keep your tech with you.
Apple has given us so many choices when it comes to the Apple Watch. The case comes in three metals, each with different shades and a wide assortment of bands, and two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The potential downside is known as paralysis of indecision, or analysis paralysis. I can't even decide what to call it, that's how tough it can be to make a decision!
This is the official announcement of the iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iPhoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce March 23! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.
If you like to use the camera on your iPhone or iPad, one of the features you'll appreciate in iOS 8 is the ability to recover deleted photos. When you delete a photo, it remains available in the Recently Deleted album on your device for 30 days. If you decide that in fact you want to save a photo you deleted, you can easily recover it.
At the Apple Watch announcement, Apple didn't spell out the differences between the 38 mm and 42 mm versions of the Apple Watch, but we are learning now that the larger device has a larger battery. It makes sense, from what we learned about the new MacBook. Apple loves to cram batteries into every nook and cranny. There is a precedent, as the iPhone 6 Plus has a larger battery than the iPhone 6 (but it also needs a larger battery to power the much bigger screen.)
9To5Mac has ferreted out detail about the Apple Watch's storage capacity — and says that the company has confirmed the details. The Apple Watch comes with 8 GB of storage, of which 2 GB is allocated for music and 75 MB allocated for photos. The rest of the space is apparently reserved for the OS, built-in apps, settings data, application caches, etc. Even more interesting is that 9To5Mac says that one doesn't need a tethered iPhone to listen to the music or view the photos being stored on the watch. That comes as a surprise and adds to the standalone functions of date, time, and timer that we already were aware of.
I've been a big fan of the Apple TV for a while. In addition to Netflix and consumption of various forms of media, the AirPlay feature is a lot of fun. I can wirelessly project my iPhone or iPad's screen to a big screen using the Apple TV. There are even games that take advantage of AirPlay to project a different view to the public. Our family likes to use Party Doodle which works like Pictionary, and the iPad screen shows the clue while the Apple TV only shows the drawing in progress. Games like Real Racing let you use your iOS device as a controller and see a different view of the track, and fellow racers, on the big screen.
JVC gave me a set of Extreme Fitness HA-ETR40 earbuds ($39.95) to try. This sporty pair of earbuds with microphone should meet the needs of most athletes. It's waterproof and washable, so sweat won't be a concern. The customizable fit makes sure the earbuds will stay put during a workout.
If you have an older iOS device, such as an iPhone 4S, you have probably chosen not to update to iOS 8. Which means you're missing the fun of sending audio messages to your friends and family. The way around that is to record and share brief Voice Memos instead.
Even with a protective case, there's still a chance you can damage your iPhone if dropped from a sufficient height. With the Kenu Highline ($29.95-$34.95)
, dropping your phone becomes a little safer. Just a little.
Bracketron gave me an EZCharge ($24.95) Dual High-Speed USB Charger to try. It could be the best car charger you can buy, and I say that because very often, such car chargers are free, as promotional items. But in this case, you get what you pay for. This car chargers offers a lot of features that make it worth paying for.