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Great Multimedia Player BUZZ Player. 5.0.2 is Out – But not Necessarily Worth Updating to

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In many of my older articles (like this one), I've praised BUZZ Player. ($3.99) and BUZZ Player HD. ($3.99). Up until 4.0.2, which royally messed up the player's MKV playback capabilities, making it one of the worst choices for MKV playback.

(A quick note: note the full stop after the name of both the iPhone and the iPad-specific apps. I've explained the cause for this seemingly amusing name HERE.)

In the meantime, newcomers to the iOS multimedia player scene, nPlayer ($4.99; read my latest review) have become the most important “go to” player for everyone looking for MKV playback and not wanting to play back DTS audio.



2 Apps to Keep Writers and Readers Productive

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My two big resolutions for this year were 1. to read more books, and 2. to write more creatively. While I've been on break from school it's been easy to carve out some time for reading and writing, but I know once classes start up again next semester I will have to be more diligent with my time. So I’ve been on the hunt for apps that will make both endeavors easier. Here are the two I found to be most exciting and helpful. 



CES 2014 Preview: Stay Tuned to iPhone Life for Live Coverage!

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Welcome to CES week at iPhone Life. We’ll be bringing you extensive coverage, reported live from downtown Las Vegas. CES (the International Consumer Electronics Show) is where most of the biggest names in consumer technology converge to show off their latest creations and newest technology. So stay tuned to iPhone Life for updated news and announcements from CES 2014, and also to find out the winners of the iPhone Life Best of Show awards.


Rumor: Apple iWatch Facing Manufacturing Challenges

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We just keep hearing about an iWatch, so it seems pretty definite Apple is working on such a device. The question is whether they'll bring it to market, since they're known for developing devices that they eventually decide not to release. 



A Rock Solid Case for Your iPad Air from Pelican

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I love my iPad Air, but it's probably the most expensive gadget I carry around on a daily basis. And as an app developer, I depend upon my iPad Air. So I need to protect it. I was able to try the appropriately named Vault from Pelican ($99.95) and it's a serious case.



Rumored "iPad Pro" May Be a Tablet/Laptop Hybrid

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Today two rumors have condensed into one. The first is that Apple is working on a 12-inch iPad that many are referring to as the "iPad Pro." The second is that Apple is working on a game-changing laptop that will be as portable as the 11-inch MacBook Air but as productive as the 13-inch MacBook Air. According to AppleInsider, one analyst has figured out that these two rumored projects may be the same one: Apple will come out with a tablet/laptop hybrid in the fall. This is possible, he says, because the new A7 64-bit processor gives the iPad much more robust computing power—on par with desktop computers. In addition, given that the A7 processor is less expensive than the processor currently used in the MacBook, this would also help lower costs.



News Reports Say NSA Can Access Your iPhone

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As you likely know, a ton of documents pilfered and leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA), have shown that that agency's surveillance has been shockingly widespread, including having access to the phone records of you and me. In recent days, the leaked documents have brought the NSA's snooping even closer to home, with the release of documents that say the agency had the ability in 2008 to take control of an iPhone. They were able to "remotely push/pull files from the device, SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control, and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted."



January 13th Biweekly Giveaway!

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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 December 30th! We are raffling off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE.

Here's how it works: Every other Friday we will announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iphoneLife.com/giveaways. On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.

This weeks featured items are:



Meet the Winner of Our iPad Air Giveaway!

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Last month when we announced Julia Gutierrez as the winner of our iPhone Life iPad Air Giveaway, we asked her to let us know what fun plans she had for her new iPad Air. Julia, who is a digital and print subscriber to the magazine, as well as an avid reader of our blog, recently emailed us to let us know how she plans to use her new iPad. 



Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Double Review: Little Pocket Book and Contega Linen from Pad & Quill

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Pad & Quill's offerings for device protection stand out from the rest of the competition for their attention to detail in the little things. Pad & Quill's products have a unique feel to them, both figuratively and literally. We go hands-on after the break.                                                                                                                          



The Pulse is a Bluetooth speaker for every occasion and every place

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I love my iPhone, but Apple has consistently positioned the speakers in a way that directs sound down and not toward the user. If I place my iPhone in my cup holder, it muffles the sound for music or voice calls. A Bluetooth speaker solves this problem, but it's hard to find one that fits well in a car, on your person, and at the gym. That was, until the Pulse from Felt ($79.99). This remarkably compact Bluetooth speaker fits nicely in your hand, or in a cup holder, or, thanks to the included clip, on your visor or seatbelt.



8 Steps to Make 2014 the Best Year Ever (With the Help of Your iPhone)

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I love the time between Christmas and the New Year. My business is slowing down, which gives me time to think and reflect about the past and dream about the future. And to make some New Year's resolutions. Do New Year's resolutions give you a a smile because they remind you of goals achieved, or a bad taste of broken promises?

For many, I suspect it is the second. Sometimes I think having a fitness center must be the best business ever. In January half the country signs up for a one-year membership and in February the place is empty. Having clients paying for something that they do not use must be very profitable.

What is the difference between someone setting a New Year's resolution and failing to follow through and an elite athlete setting and achieving the goal to be in the 2016 Olympics? Many times a clear roadmap is missing.

In this post I want to show how you can turn your New Year's resolutions into concrete results so that 2014 will be your best year ever! As always we have the help of our iPhone.



Restaurateurs, Resolve to Be More Efficient This Year with SteadyServ

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If any industry needs to be more efficient, it's the restaurant and bar business. Profit margins are tight, employee turnover is a problem, and customers can be fickle. That's why I love shows like Bar Rescue which feature new technological solutions for one of the oldest industries.



Can You Hear Me Now? (An Open Letter to Apple)

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Dear Apple,

I don't know whether you read this blog or not, but I'm going to assume (pretend?) that you do.

First Things First

I came over from the dark side in November 2012. That was when I purchased my first Apple product: the iPhone 4S. I'd always heard how great Apple products were and so I was not surprised that the 4S lived up to all the hype from my friends and colleagues regarding your products.

With the 4S, I immediately became an Apple fan. I began to follow what others wrote about you and your products. In the spring of 2013, I got excited about the iOS 7 rumors and was thrilled after the announcement when most of the rumors came true. I love almost everything about iOS 7.  

Then you went ahead and released the iPhone 5s and 5c. I was so stoked.

The day before Christmas 2013, I upgraded my 4S to the 5s (and gave my 4S to my wife, converting her to Apple too!)

But, Apple, We Have a Problem



iPad Air Case Roundup: First Looks at 19 iPad Air Cases

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It used to take forever for new iPad cases to arrive. Now it takes days, at most weeks. Many of the new iPad Air cases got the size and shape right, but a few missed the magnets on folios that enable sleep/wake. This first batch of iPad Air cases doesn’t offer any new twists or innovations, instead continuing mostly with cases that are one-offs of earlier iPad cases. The variety does, however, suggest that iPad Air owners will have plenty of options to choose from.

Look for CES announcements to greatly expand the number of options available.



WINNERS of the iPhone Life December 30th Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered iPhone Life's Biweekly Weekend Giveaway! We received entries from 436 people in 23 different countries this week! WOW! And are giving away 3 amazing accessories!

And the winners are... (drum roll please):

 



From the Gray Side: Errands To-Do List

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David Mandell created Errands To-Do List (free)and it’s a winner! He also developed my favorite app, Alarmed - Reminders and Timers (free)I really liked that app, so I felt I would like Errands. I do. Everything I wrote about Alarmed applies to Errands also: It's simple to use, efficient in carrying out its purpose, and filled with just the right features. It is the simplest and most user-friendly task manager I have used. It may lack some of the glitz and glitter of other task managers, but it compensates by being very inclusive and surprisingly sophisticated.



Expect to Hear More About Apple's iBeacon in 2014

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Apple quietly introduced iBeacon this year as a feature in iOS 7. Basically this functionality uses the new Bluetooth technology called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to let devices communicate with one another while using very little energy. This means that tiny transmitters can be placed at specific locations such that when you come in range, say within 10 feet, your phone alerts you with some information. Apple, for example, earlier this month deployed iBeacon transmitters in 254 of their US Apple Stores. If you have this feature enabled, you'll receive information as you browse in an Apple Store. For example, if you pause by the iPhone display, the iBeacon will inform you of your upgrade status and encourage you to trade in your old phone for a new one.



Review: Urban Xplorer's Stylish and Rugged Half Pack RT

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The Urban Explorer HalfPack RT ($198.00) is a stylish and ruggedly designed multi-purpose bag that incorporates both heavy-duty durability and fashionable aesthetics into one versatile and dependable package. With its bold and practical design and well-planned fabrication, the HalfPack RT is an extremely high quality carryall solution for your iDevices and laptop sure to satisfy any bag aficionado.


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