As the holidays loom and people get started on their shopping, iPhones and iPads will be at the top of many gift lists. But if you're an AT&T customer you may have concerns because of the telecommunication giant's issues with data plans. As AT&T customers (including myself) can attest, being an iOS device user under AT&T can be somewhat tricky to navigate depending on your usage. But the company's newest plans may sway some consumers to their side.
These days there is a seemingly endless array of excellent quality Bluetooth speakers. However, out of the multitudes of Bluetooth speakers on the market, only a limited and select few can lay claim to being rugged and heavy duty. What follows are the cream of the crop of ultra-durable, shock-proof, and waterproof speakers. Read on to find the best rugged Bluetooth speakers for those who are adventurous or accident prone, or those who are looking for the perfect speaker for someone who can be really hard on their gear.
Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week, I'm going to give you some tips for saving battery life.
We have many months to go before a new iPhone launches, and already there are rumors aplenty, a number of which I've reported here. Minyanville has helpfully collected the rumors to date in a single post. The most frequent rumor may be that the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen, with sources saying that Apple is testing iPhones with 4.7-, 4.9-, and 5.5-inch displays. I think it's likely we'll see a larger iPhone next year. All the other rumors seem to have less credibility but aren't without substance. It's been rumored that the iPhone will have a curved display, perhaps similar to the picture of the Samsung Galaxy Round that accompanies this post. See my earlier post for more detail on why such a display may be useful.
Thanks to everyone who entered iPhone Life's Biweekly Weekend Giveaway! We received entries from 393 people in 24 different countries this week! WOW! And are giving away 3 amazing accessories!
And the winners are... (drum roll please):
Bluelounge has been making some great accessories for smartphones, tablets, and computers for the past few years. We recently got a chance to test out the Saidoka dock for iPhone 5/5s ($49.95) and the Mika ($39.95), a universal stand for tablets, e-readers, and laptops. Will either deserve a place on your desk?
Apple fans from any generation seem to have a special love for product design. But up until this year, it was impossible to find a comprehensive collection of photographs covering Apple's design history, leaving many of these diehards with only mental images. Iconic, a massive photographic coffee table book on the history of Apple, showcases almost every product Apple has ever made. Author and creator Jonathan Zufi talked to iPhone Life about the book, taking the photos, and what it was like to talk to one of the founders of the world's most valuable company.
2nd Vote (free)
2nd Vote is a clever application. Written by conservatives, the application is designed to inform its users so they can cast a second vote, an economic vote, to reinforce their personal political and social views. The app details the political leanings of major corporations: where they invest and what stands they take, for instance, on same sex partner benefits.
You must sign-up for a free account for the app to work. You may want to read this before you sign-up.
November is almost over, the shops are full of mince pies and brightly colored decorations, and the temperature has suddenly plummeted. it can only mean one thing; Christmas is just around the corner. We’ve decided to get into the festive spirit a little early, and have rounded up the best seasonal apps for your iPhone; from virtual letters to Santa Claus to a handy gift planner, and even a talking Gingerbread Man, there’s something for the old, the young, and the young-at-heart. Ding dong merrily on high!
A number of days ago, Apple quietly began making a new option available for those interested in purchasing an iPhone 5s. You can now buy an unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s. As you likely know, this entails paying the whole price of the phone up front, but you avoid having to commit to a two-year contract. Note though, they're only offering GSM, which limits the phone to being used on AT&T's or T-Mobile's networks. You'll need to get your SIM card directly from one of those carriers. The price is $649 for the 16GB iPhone 5s, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for 64GB.
There are a great many options when it comes to incredible over-ear headphones, and they can range in price from under $50 to well over $400, and upward. Professional musicians and audiophiles alike tend to agree that a good pair of over-ear headphones will provide you with the most accurate and authentic listening experience available.
Let me first start off by saying I love my devices. I use both iOS and Android and I love them both. I use them for work and I use them for fun. But there is one other aspect I go crazy for, the accessories. The best accessory in my opinion is the one that can be used on multiple devices and does not cost an arm and a leg.
Several of us blogger musician types have raved about IK Multimedia gear over the years, and with good reason (see Mike Riley's recent reviews here.) Early this year at CES, I was able to get an up close and personal preview of the latest music creation gadgets, but only recently was able to check out the production versions of IK's iRig Pro and Blueboard. If you are wondering what in the world to get your favorite musician this holiday (with a Mac, iPad, or iPhone), look no further. You can check out the rocking guitar demo above for a taste!
If you happen to be one of the few folks on the planet who haven't experienced the revolutionary gameplay of the original Infinity Blade, now's your chance, no more excuses. For only the second time since this masterpiece of a game was released three years ago, Infinity Blade has gone free in the App Store in celebration of the season. But act fast, this deal likely won't last long.
Today, November 29, only, Apple is offering a $75 gift card if you purchase an iPad Air and a $50 gift card if you purchase an iPad 2 or the first-generation iPad mini. There's no gift card available for the purchase of the iPad mini with Retina display or an iPhone. It's great to see this offer, but one can't help but wish these were discounts rather than gift cards. And one can't help but observe that you'll get a better deal at Target, which is offering a $100 gift card on the purchase of an iPad Air, plus a price of $479 for the 16GB WiFi model, effectively bringing down the price to $379.
If Australia's Black Friday offerings from Apple are any indication, and most people are assuming they are, then it looks like tomorrow Apple will be offering a $70 gift card on the purchase of an iPad Air. But you'll be paying the regular price. Apparently there won't be any gift cards for the iPhone or the iPad mini with retina display, but there will be gift cards for the first-generation mini and the iPad 2 (probably about $45). So it looks like you'll get a better deal at the big-box retailers such as Target and WalMart.
On Monday we published the iPhone Life Bloggers' Awards: Best Apps of 2013. You may have noticed a very important category was missing—gaming apps! That's because they're so important that they needed their own roundup. Bloggers voted for their favorite gaming apps in six different categories. Here are their favorite three gaming apps of 2013 for each category!
City Birds (free from $0.99, Nov. 27-29)
Matching fans are in for a treat should they decide to take City Birds for a spin. This game is pure casual action fun that’s not quite like anything I’ve played before on my iPad, and given the amount of games I have played, that says quite a bit. It’s easy to learn and quickly gets addictive. The problem is that once you’ve unlocked all the birds and completed all the challenges, which sadly doesn’t take as long as one would like, the game grows kind of stale. Hopefully updates that are in the works will address this issue so that this original game can remain fresh to its players for quite some time.
W/Me by Phyode ($169.99)
3 out of 5 stars
W/Me by Phyode is another wristband, like Fitbit Flex and Up by Jawbone, that monitors your health. What sets W/Me apart, is its ability to inform you of your mood and your body's vitality level. This fact alone was enough to inspire me to try out W/Me, but it also has some other really cool features. I received a free evaluation unit from Phyode, the company that produces W/Me.
You already have a ton of options when it comes to cloud-based music, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player, and more. Yet you might want to consider Google Play Music, since it offers a combination of features not otherwise available. As you know, services like Pandora and iTunes Radio let you listen to songs similar to what you like, but you're unable to request specific songs. And subscription services such as Spotify and Rdio let you request a particular song and typically charge a monthly fee of around $10, but they don't store your personal collection in the cloud. Then there are services like iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player that let you upload your collection to the cloud and stream music that you already own. Google Play Music combines the ability to request specific songs (like Spotify and Rdio) with the ability to upload your music collection (like iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player).