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Apple Says HomeKit Devices Coming in June

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Apple rarely comments on forthcoming products, but reacted quickly when the rumor began spreading late last week that HomeKit devices wouldn't be available until August or September.



Life n Soul Offers an Affordable and Adorable Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker Just in Time for Summer

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I had the opportunity to try BM101 Mini Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker ($24.99) from Life n Soul. It is a teeny tiny adorable speaker about the size of two dozen quarters, stacked on top of each other. When placed on its side, it almost looks like a jet engine. There are two small metal hooks on the side that you can attach a small lanyard to, for use on the go.



Tip of the Day: How to Sort Texts from Contacts and Unknown Senders in Messages

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I try to be good about keeping my Messages app cleaned out from unwanted texts by deleting them. There are times though that I receive texts from people who are not in my Contacts and I may want to save the text, but not necessarily add the person to my Contacts list. That’s why I’m glad Apple added a new sorting feature to Messages in iOS 8.3. Now I can keep my Contacts and Unknown Senders separate.



Monster 24K Headphones Bring a Head Full of Bling

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If you are one of the elite few to score a gold Apple Watch, or if you gravitate towards the gold iPhones or iPads, then the Monster 24K headphones ($299.95) may be the perfect accessory to compliment your sense of style. Monster's 24K headphones are a sleek synthesis of a high performance, self-contained sound system, with decadent elegance and posh style. With their extremely flashy look, the 24K may not be for everyone, but for those looking to make a Kardashian-esque fashion statement with their headphones, these are a classy alternative.


Rdio's $3.99/Month Streaming Service Includes 25 Daily Downloads

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As the tech world awaits an announcement by Apple regarding its expected subscription music service, Rdio on Thursday undercut the competition by offering a low-cost streaming music service called Rdio Select. For $3.99 per month, you can stream Pandora-like stations ad-free at 320 kbs, enjoy unlimited skips, and access 25 of your favorite songs each day.



Next iPhone Camera to Offer Bigger Resolution by Using Smaller Pixels

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As many advancements as Apple has brought out recently, the camera has remained pretty stagnant. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer the same 8 megapixel resolution as the iPhone 5s. At least the larger iPhone 6 Plus offers optical image stabilization. In fact, as the phones got thinner, Apple wasn't able to reduce the size of the lens, and that's why it protrudes a bit on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.



Tip of the Day: How to Set Speakerphone as the Default for Answering Incoming Calls

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Do you find yourself mostly answering the phone in speaker mode? Well, there’s an easier way than tapping buttons. You can set your iPhone settings to answer in speaker mode automatically. Here’s how:



Add Power to your iPhone for Just $10

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Act fast, because until May 16th at 11:59pm (ET) only, PowerSkin is offering their PoP'n for just $10 shipped. Technically, it's a penny with $9.99 shipping, but however you slice it, it's a good deal, since it normally lists for $49.99 plus shipping. The PowerSkin PoP'n latches on to the Lightning port (or microUSB if that's what you order) of your iPhone and sticks to the back of the phone or case. Not all cases will work with it, as you need some clearance around the lightning port, but you could always remove your case if needed. Their website lists the iPhone 5/5s/5c, but it should work with an iPhone 6.



Tip of the Day: How To Add an Event to Your Family Calendar

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Schedule

I love using my Calendar app to keep track of my family's schedule. It can only be so helpful, though, when I'm the only one using it. Having a sharable family calendar means that we can all be on the same page—all the time. The family calendar just might be my favorite feature of Family Sharing!



The Search for Apple Watch Apps Just Got a Little Easier

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If you were lucky (and brave) enough to pick up an Apple Watch, you probably want to find some killer apps for it. Maybe you want to justify your purchase, or show it off to friends, or just get the most out of your new device. After all, the original iPhone didn't really strut its stuff until the App Store showed up a year later.



Will Wolfram's New Image Identification Come to Siri?

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Some of Siri's specialized knowledge comes courtesy of WolframAlpha, a service that offers access to an extensive knowledge base. When you ask Siri how many calories are in a bagel, or what the square root of 128 is, Siri's answer comes from WolframAlpha.



Last Chance to Enter Our May 18 Biweekly Giveaway!

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



Last Chance to Enter to Win an Apple Watch from iPhone Life!

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Hey folks! It's not too late to enter to win a free Apple Watch from iPhone Life! You still have 12 hours left, and it just takes 10 seconds to complete your entry.

I have had my Apple Watch for two weeks now, and I already won't go anywhere without it. It's incredibly convenient for texting, tracking my workouts, and keeping an eye on my schedule and the weather (full review to come in our July/August How-To Guide). So what are you waiting for? Enter to win your very own Apple Watch!



Grading Tests in a Zip With ZipGrade

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What it is: ZipGrade ($1.99 2 months/$6.99 1 year subscription), an automated multiple choice grading app for teachers on the go.
 
Pros to using ZipGrade: 
 
  • Scores are returned instantaneously as the student waits.
  • You can see how your entire class did on a test from the Item Analysis screen. 
  • You can import students and classes and then export them to many online grading sites.
  • Backed up to the cloud.
  • You have


Tip of the Day: How to Compare the Photo You're Editing to the Original

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Ever wish you could compare the photo you're in the process of editing to the original image? Photos in iOS 8 allows you to do so.



Google Apple Watch App Offers News, but Is Not as Good as CNN's

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It's always a good sign when one of the top companies develops an app for a new platform. Google has just launched their first Apple Watch-ready app: Google News & Weather (free). The app offers the top 10 news headlines, drawing upon over 65,000 publications. On the iPhone and iPad, the app, which was first available last fall, offers news in categories such as Technology, Sports, and Fashion. The Apple Watch content, though, is limited to the latest headlines, and doesn't include local news and weather. With each headline you can scroll down to see a photo. However, you're not able to view the full story or to see a summary. On the other hand, a Force Touch adds the news story to your reading list in Safari. 



Mount the Apple Watch in Your Automobile

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The Apple Watch may not be cheap, but it could actually be a practical alternative to a CarPlay or Bluetooth-enabled stereo system. I recently added Bluetooth stereo to my old car and it cost over $200 for an entry-level model. With the right car mount, you can use your Apple Watch as a hands-free speakerphone, complete with Siri integration.



FiftyThree Introduces Think Kit for its Paper App

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FiftyThree, the team behind various creative tools, added a few more upgrades to its Paper (Free) app for iPad. The Think Kit includes three new modeling and graphing instruments  Diagram, Fill, and Cut.



Tip of the Day: How to Delete Frequently Visited Sites in Safari

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Is there a site you visited frequently in Safari for a while, but now no longer need to visit, such as irs.gov during tax season, or consumerreports.org while you researched new cars? Rather than wait for them to eventually disappear from your Frequently Visited list or get replaced by other sites, you can easily delete any sites you don't want to see anymore right away.



LUNATIK Is at It Again, with a Protective Case for the Apple Watch

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You might remember LUNATIK, the folks behind Epik, a hardened case that turned the old square iPod nano into a rugged watch. Apple stopped making that little iPod a few years ago, and during that time, LUNATIK has been anticipating an Apple Watch. They are now ready to release their Kickstarter campaign for a protective shell for the Apple Watch. As I wrote about earlier, the Apple Watch is proving to be more durable than expected and even scratches on the stainless steel model can be removed.



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