I need a Lightning cable in my car, as well as a microUSB cable. My iPhone might be in a battery case that uses microUSB to charge, and I also have some Android devices. I keep a cheap no-contract phone in my car, for emergencies, just to dial 911 if needed. So I like to have Lightning and microUSB options.
If you want to quickly call, FaceTime, or text a contact, there's no need to open any of the related apps. Those who have iOS 8 on their iPhone can quickly access Favorite and Recent contacts via the App Switcher.
As I prepare for a week of travel, I'm trying to pack as light as possible. I know I'll need a Lightning cable or two, for my iPhone and iPad, so one of those cables will be the Kero Nomad ($24.99). It's a tiny little thing, at about three inches long. There's a removable cap that can fit on a keyring. I was worried that the cap might come off, and I'd lose the cable, but the cap connection is quite sturdy, so that concern was alleviated. There are other cables that are about as small, but they are usually quite stiff. This makes it hard to connect an iPhone to a wall plug, and you have to prop up the phone to make a good connection. Fortunately, the Kero Nomad is flexible and that concern also goes away.
If you know about Tilt to Live ($2.99), well then I need not describe the pulse-raising pleasure of endlessly dodging morphing blobs and armies of dots. The name says it all. If you don't know, then by all means go check out these original and popular games from One Man Left Studios (we have reviewed both here at iPhoneLife). If you think you are ready to take on toughest Tilter yet, then Gauntlet's Revenge ($2.99) is waiting in the app store (with an attitude) for you to try.
It's hard to find one case that meets all your needs, but the ibattz mojo REFUEL ARMOR S Removable Battery Case comes close. First off, it is a rugged, splash-resistant case. It accommodates the Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s through a rubberized flap that normally covers the home button but pulls down to reveal the sensor. There's a screen protector built in as well.
When Apple announced the Apple Watch, they said it would be available in early 2015 — but didn't say anything more specific than that. And they still haven't. However, in an internal video memo, a transcript of which was leaked to 9To5Mac, Angela Ahrendts said in passing that the Apple Watch will be coming out in the "spring." In addition, she said that it would be coming after the Chinese New Year, which is February 19.
I attended Stan Lee's Comikaze convention this weekend, in Los Angeles, and Mr. Lee has already made some news. In partnership with Madefire, Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment will be creating new characters and stories for Madefire's Motion Books interactive multimedia platform. Stan Lee is the co-creator of just about every character in the Marvel Universe, most notably Spider-Man. He's also made appearances in the assortment of Marvel movies made over the past decade and those cameos are one of the things I look forward to with each movie.
As anyone who has used to Siri to make calls, search the web, or send messages knows, Siri doesn't always understand what you say. This can be followed by increasing frustration levels if Siri fails over and over to understand your voice corrections. But when Siri gets it wrong, you don't have to repeat yourself. Instead, you can edit your query via typing.
Vote now in the iPhone Life iPhone Photography Contest! The voting deadline is Monday, November 3. Click HERE to choose your favorite images. The top 10 photos will be featured in an upcoming issue of iPhone Life magazine.
As I was preparing for an article on the future of iOS gaming (for the current issue of iPhone Life magazine), I had the pleasure of interviewing Tino Soelberg, Chief Technology Officer of gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries.
One of the major benefits of iOS 8.1 is iCloud Photo Library. All your photos can now live in the cloud rather than being tied to a particular device, making them available to you regardless of which device you're using. Any change you make to a photo or video on one device is carried over to the others. And perhaps the most important benefit is that it allows you to free up space on your devices. If you enable iCloud Photo Library, you can choose to store only optimized versions of your photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad. The full-resolution versions are kept in the cloud, and versions less memory-intensive, which are perfectly suited to the size and resolution of your iPhone or iPad, are stored on your device. This can save you gigabytes of storage space. And any time you want, you can download the full resolution.
It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges, and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is the stylish Access Italian leather case by Nodus, which is currently available at a special discounted pre-order price for a limited time.
I don't like to recommend Kickstarter projects too much, because I've been burned and I hate to let others down. But once in a while a project comes along, like the Pebble watch I backed on Kickstarter, that makes it worth it. That was an example of an existing smartwatch firm, with a good design, and experience, and enough money already raised to make the product a reality (eventually.) There's another project, the Pronto power pack, from a group who has experience in the field, the backing of Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, and way more than the $50,000 they sought already raised. So the signs are good.
Thanks to iOS 8, Apple lovers finally have access to widgets on their iPhones. But users will find some widgets more useful than others. Maximize their utility by deleting widgets you don't need to see in the Today view in Notifications and arranging the rest in the most convenient order.
While all the attention in the smartwatch arena was on Apple, Microsoft snuck in a wearable that looks more like a fitness band, but offers some smart tricks. Most notably, while the Microsoft Band works (best) with Windows Phone, it also works with Android and iOS. When you're in third place, you have to acknowledge the leaders, and Microsoft made sure their wearable worked with the top two platforms. However, Cortana, Microsoft's answer (and some might say a superior one) to Siri is the only voice command option. This could be a Trojan horse to get people to try the band and then migrate to a Windows Phone to take full advantage. But the Apple Watch should be out soon enough.
I've used the Lowe's Iris home automation system for quite a while and though the technology is decent, the interface is lacking. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to try the Piper from Icontrol for an extended amount of time, and I really like it. It addresses many of the deficiencies in the Iris system. For starters, it's compact and integrated whereas there were a lot of pieces in the Iris system. Instead of a separate motion detector, environmental (temperature, humidity, light, and sound) sensor, hub, and camera, the Piper has that all in one sleek unit.
The Biweekly Giveaway – Award Winner Edition features prizes from companies that won iPhone Life awards at the recent Super Mobility Week powered by CTIA 2014 trade show! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iPhoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce November 3! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.
Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest!
You know the feeling—you hand your phone over to a friend or family member, intending to show them a single picture, and suddenly you’re watching in horror as they begin swiping through your 50+ selfies or stumble across your hoard of risqué photos. Thankfully, iOS 8 has introduced an easy way for you to hide your shots from prying eyes with its new "hide" feature.
Sometimes you want a game that tests your reflexes and makes your fingers fly; other times, you want a lazier, more Zen-like experience. If swiping back and forth through your iOS home screens isn't quite stimulating enough, then you might want to give Chillingo's Find the Line (Free) a try. While you don't do much more than move your finger, you're rewarded for your efforts with an enjoyably unique puzzle style. It's got its problems, but it's definitely worth a look.
When Apple preannounced their Apple Watch, some naysayers complained that the watch doesn't work as a standalone device. It requires an iPhone to be fully functional. But those critics should be careful what they wish for. There are competing smartwatches that can accept a SIM card and access the Internet directly via a cellular carrier, but those wearables may require a data contract, and that can cost as much as a phone or tablet would cost.