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Snow Lizard's SLXtreme May Just Be the Ultimate iPhone 5/5s Survival Tool

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I've referred to Snow Lizard’s SLXtreme iPhone cases before as the case to use in a survival situation. If you’re an outdoorsy or military type, or an extreme adventurer or survivalist, the SLXtreme for the iPhone 5/5s ($149.99) is without a doubt a perfect case for you. Its rugged design, with its high level of impact protection, waterproofness, and the solar panel incorporated into its backside, which charges a built-in 2,550 mAh battery, make this a superior case for extended use when traveling to wild and challenging environments or for extended treks off-grid. While its size and heft may make this case too big and heavy for the average, casual iPhone user, for the person who requires the reliability and protection of one of the most rugged and dependable cases on the market, this particular case should fit their needs nicely.



New Features of iOS 7.1 Include Default HDR Mode in Camera App

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When I tried to download the iOS 7.1 update for my iPad Air in the evening, it took three hours. This morning when I downloaded it for my iPad mini, it took five minutes. Lesson: always download updates as early in the morning as possible. Blogger Todd Bernhard and I have outlined some of the changes in iOS 7.1 in previous posts. In this post I want to highlight several useful new features. One important new feature is ability to have HDR mode be automatically available on the iPhone 5s. It's previously been available, but you had to turn it on when you wanted to take advantage of it. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and I'm guessing many people, especially those who aren't camera buffs, don't really know what this is. So I think it's a good thing that you can now have it turned on by default. HDR can have a dramatic effect on the quality of certain photos.



Use the Magic of Magnets to Charge your iPhone

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I've written about Buqu's wireless charging cases before, so I was excited to see their latest offering, the Mobile Battery Pack. As expected, they offer wireless charging when the phone is placed on their charging stand, but now this external battery pack also leverages the magnetic charging design.



Tales of the Sanctuary: Chapter 1 Won't Make The Big Players Sweat

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With G5 and Big Fish Games on the iOS scene there is certainly no shortage of quality hidden-object and adventure games for your Apple-centric gadgets. With all the AAA titles available, though, it does make it a lot harder for the small developer to compete. Tales Of the Sanctuary: Chapter 1 ($0.99) makes an admirable attempt at doing something different, and I will admit to gleaning an odd sense of enjoyment from the game. In the end though, the game felt a bit too piecemeal for me. A bit more coherence would have gone a long way with this tale.



Tip of the Day: Choose from New Siri Voice Options

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Although I suspect most people still use the original female Siri voice, you've had the option for a while now of changing the gender or the accent. And now the latest update to iOS 7.1 offers more natural-sounding UK and Australian English voices in both genders, so if you haven't played around with Siri's voice, this might be a fun time to try it. 



Apple News: iOS 7.1 Fixes Bugs and Makes Visual Tweaks

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iOS 7 was a major departure from the previous generations, offering a fresh new take on what Apple thinks a mobile operating system should look like.  But that doesn't mean it can't be tweaked further. The first significant update, iOS 7.1, was just released and it takes the O.S. further down the road.



iOS 7.1 Brings Changes to Siri, CarPlay Support, iBeacon Improvements, Apple TV Upgrade

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One of the big changes with the arrival of iOS 7 is the way Siri works. In the past, you'd hold the Home button, wait until Siri responded with "What can I help you with?", release the button, and then speak. Siri would automatically detect when you stopped speaking, and respond. The problem was that sometimes Siri would respond because you'd made a slight inadvertent pause in your speech, even though you weren't done talking. Now with iOS 7, you hold have the option of manually letting Siri know when you're done talking by holding down the Home button while you talk. Siri keeps listening until you release the button. In addition, Siri also has new, more natural-sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese.



Tip of the Day: Look Up Definitions in Safari and Mail

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One of my favorite things about reading ebooks (besides the fact that I no longer have to figure out how to fit 10 books in my carry on) is how easy it is to look up the definition of a word and then get right back to reading. No more encountering a word whose meaning I'm not sure of, realizing my dictionary is on the shelf all the way downstairs, and deciding I don't really need to know what that word means after all. (I stopped pretending to myself that I would look the word up later years ago.)

But did you know you can also look up words in Mail and Safari?



The Siberia Elite: An Early Contender for Best Over-Ear Headphone of 2014

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SteelSeries has garnered an international reputation as a leading company in both cutting edge personal listening gear, as well as gaming accessories, including what is in my opinion, the best MFi iOS game controller on the market, the StratusTheir Siberia Elite headphone ($199.99) are already considered a high-level, gaming-specific headphone, but read on to find out how they stack up as a dual purpose headphone, one that shines as both a gamer’s premium headset, as well as an audiophile’s dream headphone.



WINNERS of the iPhone Life March 10th Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered iPhone Life's Biweekly Weekend Giveaway! We received entries from 489 people this week – WOW! And today we will be giving away three amazing accessories to three lucky people!

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



How to Add Calendar Events

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The Calendar app on your iDevice can help keep your life organized. It can even be synced among all your devices using iCloud. You also have a choice to use separate calendars, such as one for work and one for home. When you add an event to your calendar it is automatically placed in the default calendar set up on your iDevice.

Here I'll show you how to create events, add details, and, if you choose, place them in separate calendars.



Apple's New CarPlay To Be Available for Some Older-Model Vehicles

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With the launch of Apple's new CarPlay last week at the automobile trade show in Geneva, many were left wondering if you had to buy a new Ferrari or Mercedes or Volvo in order to get it. Apparently, the answer is no. 9To5Mac has reported that at least some automakers will be offering aftermarket CarPlay installation for older models. They've confirmed that Mercedes will be doing this, and expect others to do so as well. This is good news, and it will be really interesting to see how it develops. Apple has made a fortune giving us better interfaces for our technology: first personal computers, then MP3 players, then smartphones, then tablets—and now the automobile.



How to Master "Silhouettes" with Your iPhone

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Hello friends and fellow iphoneographers. In this post I will be teaching you tips and tricks for capturing fantastic silhouette shots. For starters, you can use many different subjects for your silhouette shots. This includes people, birds, trees, or any object that would form a great silhouette. You always want to make sure your subject is in front of the lighting you choose to use. I find the best silhouettes are captured using natural light in the background. Sunrises and sunsets are my personal favorite backgrounds for capturing fantastic silhouette shots. I believe you can never go wrong using one of these as your backdrop. 



Tip of the Day: Increase Your iPhone Typing Speed

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Messages, emails, notes, reminders, there are so many ways to give your thumbs a workout while using an iPhone. Getting your iPhone typing up to speed can be a real time saver. Here are a few suggestions that will have you thumbing out messages speedily and with ease:



Thecus N2310 NAS Review

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The rising tide of portable devices over traditional laptop and desktop computers is being facilitated by systems that used to be associated with those mature platforms. Case in point, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which are essentially purpose-built computers that serve files from the hard drives connected to them. This review takes a look at an economical, full-featured NAS from Thecus ($159) with model number N2310.



Rumor: iPhone 6 to Have Blazing Fast Quad-Core A8 Processor

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Recent rumors have suggested that the iPhone 6, expected in September or earlier, will have a new A8 chip designed by Apple and manufactured by chipmaker TSMC rather than Samsung, which makes the A7 used in the latest iOS devices. Then this last week a rumor passed along by Laptop and other websites said that the A8 will be a quad-core chip with quad core graphics. By comparison, the A7 has a dual-core CPU. Combine quad core with the 64-bit architecture Apple switched to in the A7 chip, and you get blazing speed.



iPhone 5s for $119 at WalMart; Target Offering Minimum $150 on iPad Trade-in

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Times have changed. In the Steve Jobs era, prices for Apple products always seemed to be uniform. Today if you're in the market for an Apple product, it behooves you to look around for the best deal. The ongoing discounts seem unprecedented. Most recently Walmart has slashed the price of the 16GB iPhone 5s to $119 with a two-year contract. And the iPhone 5c? It's down to $29 for the 16GB model with a two-year contract. According to CNN Money, Walmart announced these price cuts on Wednesday, but I couldn't quickly find them online. In addition to the lowered price on the iPhone, Walmart also lets you trade in your old gadgets for a gift card. So you could effectively lower your price even further.



Apple News: New iTunes Festival App Arrives, for Apple TV, too, But iOS 7.1 Still Missing

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The rumor mills pegged iOS 7.1 coming out any day now, to support an updated iTunes Festival app (free). However, that app update was released and did not require a new version of iOS after all. The app lets iOS users stream live video from the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in Austin, Texas, as well as other Apple events.

UPDATE: Apple already released iTunes Festival as an app/button for those of us with Apple TV!  This is a great way to enjoy the concerts at SXSW this week!



Tip of the Day: Use Your iPhone as a Mirror

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If you've ever found yourself checking your teeth or applying lipstick in the reflection of your iPhone screen or if you've ever considered downloading an iPhone mirror app, this tip is for you.



Getting Into the Mind of Smart TVs: Making the Right Choice

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Once upon a time, people owned cell phones, televisions, and cars. It was just that simple. But advancements in technology are changing all of that, and these days, "smart" is the buzzword. There are smartphones, smart TVs, and even smart cars. In most cases, the often overused adjective is synonymous with high tech, particularly when it comes to electronic devices; but what this entails varies depending on what you are talking about.



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