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ZAGG Slim Book for iPad Mini

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Slim Book ($119.99) is a sleek keyboard/case combo that works in multiple viewing configurations. The detachable case works with the iPad mini, and the Bluetooth keyboard has the same insanely long purported two-year battery life that the Rugged Book (see our review here) supports, but I found the review unit was not quite as rugged in other regards during my evaluation. It is "purty," but definitely not as tough.



Sony Looks for a Way to Stand Out in Wearables

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Sony made Walkmans for years. I owned several, and recently impressed my daughter when I dug out one of my trusty Walkmans after watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which featured one prominently. Then Apple introduced the iPod, and soon, the Walkman became irrelevant. Likewise, Sony, along with Ericsson, made cell phones, but Apple introduced the iPhone and Sony is losing money on their smartphones. Sony makes videogame consoles and handhelds like the PSP, which are threatened by mobile gaming on Apple and Android gadgets. And there's always the ongoing rumor of an Apple TV which could threaten Sony's bread and butter. Sony also made and still makes smartwatches, but with the Apple Watch on the horizon, that's another market that could slip out from under them. 



Apple iPads in Education Under Threat from Chromebooks

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Apple has always been a strong player in education. They believed that if a student's first computer is an Apple, then that could influence their future purchases. It certainly did with me, as I first used an Apple ][ Bell & Howell (the black one) in high school, and while I purchased an Osborne 1, a Radio Shack Color Computer, a Sinclair ZX-80, and an IBM PC, I always had a special place in my heart for Apple. So when it was time to go to college, I picked a school (Carnegie Mellon University) that had a deal on Macs, and bought one the day I arrived on campus. I even applied for (and got) a job at the school's computer store, and became Apple's Campus Representative. I was at CMU when Steve Jobs came there to acquire the Mach Kernel for his NeXT Computer company, and I got to see him speak. So that first Apple computer set my career in motion.



Rumor: New Details of 12.2-inch "iPad Air Plus," iPad Mini 4

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Many rumors have now suggested Apple will be coming out with a larger iPad next year, with the most recent courtesy of the Japanese magazine Mac Fan, as reported by the website Macokatara. The magazine's January issue, which came out November 28, has published a schematic of a 12.2-inch iPad that it calls the "iPad Air Plus." The report says that it will ship sometime between April and June of next year. It will be powered by a new A9 processor and will have four speakers, one on each edge of the casing. The placing of the speakers will allow for stereo sound even if the iPad is rotated. The size is expected to be 305.31 x 220.8 x 7 mm.



Tip of the Day: iBooks Automatically Inverts Colors for Low-Light Reading

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When you're in bed reading a really compelling book, you don't always want to stop just because it's late and your spouse wants to go to sleep. That's when you need the low-light Night theme in iBooks. It means you can finish the chapter without the glare of the screen hurting your eyes or disturbing your partner. 



Survey Suggests Apple Will Sell 24 Million Apple Watches by Sept. 30

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A new survey by UBS reported by Business Insider found that 10 percent of the 4,000 consumers they surveyed expected to buy a smart watch next year. Extrapolating that figure of 10 percent to the number of iPhone users, UBS estimated that Apple will sell 24 million Apple Watches by the end of their fiscal year on September 30. Based on an average price of around $425, that would generate over $10 billion in revenue and would likely add over $3 billion in profit for the company's fiscal year.



Ozobot Is the Future of Smart Toys

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At the last CES, iPhone Life awarded Best of Show to Ozobot, an emerging technology toy and educational robot system that had great promise. Ozobots ($49.99) are now shipping and we've had a chance to play (and learn) with them over an extended time. Ozobot is a programmable tiny cute robot that resembles the top half of everyone's favorite droid, R2D2. The domed robots can be customized with different color tops so kids can play with several at a time and still tell them apart. The robots get their programming not from a keyboard but via an optical sensor on their bottoms. The Ozobots "read" colors and commands that tell it to go straight, turn one way or the other, or reverse, etc. Kids can "program" the robots by literally drawing with markers on a page of paper. It's a fun way to program without ever touching a keyboard!



A Powerful Case from an Unlikely Place

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When the iPhone 6 came out, I knew I'd want a battery case for it, but was afraid I'd have to wait a while, until the manufacturers caught up with the new design. Ultimately, I didn't have to wait too long, and the case I found was the IPM iPhone 6 3200mAh Power Charging Case from Staples.com. It was reasonably priced and available in white, black, or gold. I ended up getting two, one in white and one in gold and I let my daughter choose (gold, of course) for her iPhone 6. I actually prefer the white one because it has a slick exterior and the gold one has a rubbery texture.



Beyond Black Friday, What Comes Next for Apple users?

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Black Friday is behind us, and thoughts turn to what's next to come out of Cupertino (and China) from Apple. Obviously, the Apple Watch is expected in early spring, but rumors are already swirling regarding the next iPad. A larger screen version has been discussed for some time, but it wasn't ready for this season. Sources in Japan, as reported by Apple Insider, have given us a peek at what to expect from such a device. They are calling it the iPad Air Plus, but I think that's too long a phrase and iPad Pro is a more likely moniker.



WINNERS of the iPhone Life December 1 Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered the December 1 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the December 15 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!

And the winner is... (drum roll please):



Tip of the Day: Quickly Add Photos to Your Contacts Via Facebook

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One of the nice features of the iPhone and iPad is the ability to see a photo of your contacts, such as when a call is coming in. You can manually add a photo to a contact by tapping Edit and then tapping Add Photo. Doing so lets you either select a photo you already have on your device or take a photo of the person on the spot. However, there's a much faster way. With just a couple taps you can add photos from all your Facebook friends to your contacts.



Unlock Your Mac Using Touch ID with FingerKey

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Unlocking your computer just became a whole lot easier thanks to the FingerKey ($1.99) app. Using Apple's Touch ID functionality, Mac-owners can login from a distance with their iPhone 5s, 6, or 6 Plus.



Apple Honors World AIDS Day, Supports (RED)

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Monday, Dec. 1, is World Aids Day, and a portion of every product Apple sells will go to support (RED) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS. In addition, through December 7, 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of (or in-app purchases in) select apps will go to support (RED). You can see a list of the apps in iTunes.



iOS 8 Now on 60% of iOS Devices

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More iOS users are running iOS 8 than those that are on an older version, as reported by Apple Insider and Apple. It took a while, by Apple standards, but it was still a lot faster than Android. And with Black Friday upon us, the numbers should go up, as more users pick up the next generation of iPads and iPhones, which require iOS 8. Indeed I just added an iPad mini 3 to my stable thanks to BestBuy's early Black Friday offering.



Time Magazine Names Apple Watch Top Gadget of 2014

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Three Apple products made Time magazine's list of Top 10 Gadgets of 2014, with the Apple Watch coming in at number one. (Which is a bit ironic, since it won't be available until 2015.) The iPhone 6 Plus ranked fifth on the list and the iPad Air 2 ranked ninth. Time described the watch as a "daring foray into the wearable market" and said that "Apple could be the first company to make wearable computers ubiquitous."



Sonos Offers Rare Gift Card Promotion This Holiday Season

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We have reviewed several Sonos wireless speakers and audio accessories at iPhone Life, and in this reviewer's opinion, there are few products that compare. The speakers sound astonishingly great, with solid wireless performance, and their streaming app and service library keeps getting richer and more refined. They don't often do sales or special offers, but the word on the street is they are offering gift cards and store promotions at select retailers for the Play family line. 



Big Savings for Cyber Monday at TYLT

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Black Friday has come and gone, but the Black Friday coupon code that TYLT emailed their customers for 50 percent off on in-stock items is still good for Cyber Monday. Just visit http://www.TYLT.com and add items to your shopping cart. Enter code CYBER2014 through Cyber Monday and get half off on some great items.



Tip of the Day: Change Your Default Reminders List

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A few weeks ago we published a tip explaining how to add an item to a specific list in Reminders using Siri. If you don't specify which list you want to add the reminder to, it will get added to your default Reminders List. But if you find yourself mostly adding items to a list that is not the default Reminders List, such as your Shopping List, why not make that your default list?



The Toughest & Slimmest iPhone 6 Cases

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I've shared with you how important it is to protect your iDevices—I was recently able to upgrade to the new iPhone 6 ($299) and received $295 from Gazelle for my "old" iPhone 5S because it was in stellar condition. My new iPhone 6 cost me $4 because I kept a case and screen protector on it at all times.



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