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A Sapphire-Screened Smartphone... from Somebody other than Apple

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There have been many conflicting rumors about whether the iPhone 6 will have a sapphire screen or not, but if you want a smartphone with a sapphire screen, you don't have to wait for Apple. I attended the Huawei press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and their CEO made no secret that they were trying to distinguish themselves among the Android vendors. Huawai is trying to go big in the smartphone market, and now, they have joined the sapphire craze.



Rugged Gear Roundup: The Latest Abuse-Proof Headphones, Speakers and iPhone Cases

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The latest crop of rugged, adventure ready gear is out, and there are some great new gadgets and accessories you'll want to take a look at. All of the gear featured here is built tough, with the shared focus of being able to survive extreme stresses and perform well under exceptional circumstances. From waterproof headphones and speakers, to the best new iPhone protective cases, we've got some unique rugged products that are made to live up to the challenge of an active and daring lifestyle. You'll notice as you read on, that many rugged products refer to IP and MIL-STD-810 ratings. For more on those designations and what they mean, you can click HERE to read my article discussing that topic.



Zen and the Art of Apple Watching

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"Patience, my son." That's the best advice for Apple watchers. Earlier this weekend I noticed a posting on another site raising a panic about iPhone delays due to display issues. It didn't seem worthy of coverage. Today, that same site carried a post saying not to worry and that even those delays are "baked in" and won't effect availability.



Tip of the Day: Make Those Broken Headphones Work

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Have you ever tried to listen to music or watch a movie with a pair of headphones that only work on one side? It's pretty miserable, isn't it? (Every parent who has ever made the mistake of sharing his headphones with his kids is nodding sadly right now.) Obviously it's time for you to order a new, higher quality pair of headphones and hide them from your destructive offspring. In the meantime, you can enjoy the full audio experience by switching your iPhone or iPad's audio settings to mono.



Create Your Own Custom Cases and Gadgets With These Retailers

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As soon as smartphones came out, case retailers quickly learned that smartphone owners were eager to customize their cases by uploading their own images and logos to display proudly. The technology has only improved as the years have gone on, and some retailers are even offering customizable portable chargers and Bluetooth speakers. 



Apple to Change Its Charger?

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That charging cube we've all come to know and love might be getting some "love handles." A photo out of China shows a wider charging brick with indentations on the side to make it easier to grip. This could all be speculation, but it would make sense. Apple already has a different charging adapter for the iPad, because it uses more power, and the expectation is that the upcoming larger iPhone will use a battery that is almost 50 percent bigger than the iPhone 5s. It's understandable that it might need a more powerful charger than the current model.



Tip of the Day: How to Upload Photos to Your Social Media Site

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I love to add my photos to Facebook and Twitter, especially when I am on vacation. Even though I may get sarcastic, jealous replies regarding my getaway photos, I still love to share them. I also upload pictures of my kids for distant family members to see. Sometimes, I just like to share cute photos of my pets. 

If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr there is an easy way to upload your photos from your iDevice to your choice of the social media sites.

Here's how:



THE Shopping App to Know: Spring is Here

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After much anticipation, Spring (free) has finally arrived. The first of its kind, Spring is a fashion app that actually streamlines the online shopping process by allowing you to shop from the comfort of your iPhone. You can view products, “heart” them to save and browse later, or add them to your cart for instant buying gratification. The beauty of Spring is that it includes a marketplace of all your favorite high-end brands and designers in one place (think everything from Joie and Clare Vivier to Oscar de la Renta). 



You Can Never Have Enough Power, but UNU Comes Close

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I travel a lot, and depend on my iOS devices during those travels. That makes a reliable extra battery pack an extremely important part of my travel gear. Recently I've been using a UNU battery case ($99.95), but that's specifically for my iPhone 5s. It doesn't have a USB port to power my iPad Air, and when the next iPhone comes out, it won't be compatible.



Android vs. Android: Fragmentation is NOT a Figment of your Imagination

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As a developer for iOS, Mac OS, Android, Amazon Fire, Windows Phone, and even Samsung Bada, I have enough platforms to support. Apple makes it relatively easy and even though the next iPhone is likely to have a new screen resolution, it should be straightforward to accommodate. Android, however, is another story. This chart from Open Signal, via Gizmodo shows just how fragmented the Android market is.



Last Chance to Enter our August 25 Biweekly Giveaway!

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Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest! 



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!



Tip of the Day: 5 Instagram Tips and Tricks You May Not Know

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in thinking we know everything there is to know about social media that we forget it’s always evolving. If you’re like me, chances are you often don’t read about the new features added to your updated app or even bother to ask your friends about the tips they’ve discovered themselves. Here are a few tips and tricks that you may not already know about!



Rumors: First Photo of 5.5-inch iPhone; 2 GB RAM in iPad Air; iWatch 512 RAM, 8 GB Storage

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While we've seen a lot of images online of parts purported to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone, there haven't been any glimpses of the 5.5-inch phone—until now. Posted on the website Evasion Jailbreak, the images show the back shell of the forthcoming 5.5-inch phone compared to a similar part from the 4.7-inch phone.



Walmart Now Offering iPhone 5c for $27 and iPhone 5s for $127

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Today Walmart began offering a dicount on the iPhone 5s and 5c, likely intended to clear out inventory in advance of the anticipated September 9 announcement of the iPhone 6.



A New Era at Microsoft

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It's a new day at Microsoft. For the first time in decades, neither Bill Gates nor Steve Balmer are involved in running the company.  While Gates left years ago to concentrate on his charitable foundation, Balmer stepped down as CEO six months ago, and this week he dropped off the Board of Directors. Instead of concentrating on charity, Balmer will use his trademark enthusiasm to cheer on his newest acquisition, the Los Angeles Clippers.



Apple News: Thanks for the Memory Boost

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I’ve written before about Apple’s likelihood of introducing a 128 GB model of the iPhone, and possibly dropping the 16 GB configuration. I’ve also written about their reduction of the price difference to double the memory of a particular configuration, at least for the iPod touch. That was long overdue. For years, Apple charged $100 to go from 16 GB to 32 GB or from 32 GB to 64 GB, despite the decrease in memory costs over time. Combined with Apple's insistence on a closed design, with no expandable storage, those pricing decisions added insult to injury.



Tip of the Day: View Facebook Messages Without Downloading the Messenger App

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There is no shortage of outrage over Facebook forcing users to download their Messenger app (and abide by their terms) by removing the messaging function from the main app. Turns out there is a way around it—though be aware this may only work until the next app update. Here's how to do it:



Kickstart Your iPhone App Development with This Swift Programming class

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I just learned of (and backed) a Kickstarter campaign to learn Swift and iOS 8 programming. It's being run by a friend and colleague of mine, named Paul Solt. He's an award-winning app developer and a great instructor. I've had the opportunity to attend live training from him, and he's offered video training before, also via Kickstarter, with great success.



Product Review: STM Aero Small Laptop Backpack

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STM sent me the coolest thing ever to test and review. It's the Aero Small Laptop Backpack ($64.89 on Amazonand it is absolutely loaded with features. As you know, I carry around a ton of gadgets. I always have a laptop, a tablet, multiple battery packs, chargers, cords…the list goes on and on. This bag fits it ALL in one compact bag.



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