If you were hesitant to try the iGrill when it was first released at $80+, the new iGrill mini might make a believer out of you. At $39.99, the mini is an affordable tool to monitor the temperature of your expensive steaks and could pay for itself. In fact, the iGrill mini won an iPhone Life Best of Show award at CES. Unlike the big brother iGrill and the new $99.99 iGrill 2, both of which have four probes, the iGrill mini has one probe, which should suffice for most grillmasters. Unless you're cooking significantly different kinds of meat, like turkey and hamburgers and steaks, one probe might be enough.
I'm always up for learning how to get more out of my iPad Air and iPad mini, and so I read with interest a great post on BuzzFeed: "19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know." One that surprised me: if you turn on Airplane Mode, your iPhone will charge twice as fast. Another helpful tip is how to use Google Maps offline while you're traveling, in case you don't have an Internet connection. While you do have an Internet connection, load the map you want to save. Then type "ok maps" in the search bar to cache it for offline use. Another helpful tip is that you can take a photo or start video recording via your Apple or Apple-compatible earbuds. If you're in camera mode, press the volume + button to take a photo. In video mode, press the play/pause button. Another useful tip regarding earbuds: quickly press play/pause twice to go to the next track, and quickly press it three times to go to the previous track. (I had mixed success with this using my third-party earbuds, but it worked well enough to be useful.)
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest tech shows in the world, and it serves as a yearly marketplace for future and innovative technology. The iPhone Life team scoured the show floor—all two million square feet of it—for genius iOS-related gadgets, some of which are already out, and some that will be released later this year.
Do you have an idea for an app but lack the programming knowledge to begin building it? In this weekly blog series, I will take you, the non-programmer, step by step through the process of creating apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Join me each week on this adventure and you will experience how much fun turning your ideas into reality can be! This is part 35 of the series. If you are just getting started, check out the beginning of the series here.
In my previous post, I discussed making your web-enabled apps scalable by outsourcing your web services to a third-party company, and I provided an overview of the services offered by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In this post, I'm going to dive into Google App Engine so you can get a detailed look at how to access web services hosted by Google from your iOS app. I'll provide an overview of Google App Engine's features, and show you how to set up and use Google's iOS sample app.
Not many people yet appreciate the iBeacon feature built into their devices. But you will. iBeacon continues to gain momentum, and more and more people will begin to use it this year. A post on AppleInsider yesterday reported the first use of iBeacon for mobile payments. This is likely the future: You've selected your items for purchase and as you walk out the store you simply tap your iPhone to confirm the purchase, and you're on your way. According to AppleInsider, iMobile3 has developed a system called PassMarket that will store your payment information for a particular retailer. The system interacts with your iPhone via iBeacon, so that when you approach checkout, iBeacon will sense your location and automatically give you the option of paying via your phone. According to the article, iMobile3 envisions that this will be readily adopted by retailers because the technology basically integrates systems they're already using. And for reasons explained in the article, this system is more secure than the system that was recently breached at Target.
CES 2014 saw a slew of protective cases for the new iPad Air in all shapes, styles, and colors. Finding a case that stood out from the crowd was no easy task. After looking closely at what seemed like hundreds of cases, the Pelican Pro Vault ($99.95) emerged as one of best cases for the iPad Air, and certainly the best case for the Air if you are looking for rugged, heavy-duty protection.
Once upon a time, if you wanted a rugged, waterproof tech accessory, it was going to look the part. Oftentimes that would include a bulky form factor and a militaristic look that, needless to say, wasn't everyone’s cup of tea. Nowadays we have far greater options when it comes to accessories that are both extremely rugged as well as stylish. The Fugoo waterproof speaker is one of those options.
I've attended dozens of CES (and COMDEX) tradeshows and every time I return, people ask me "what was the big thing this year?" Usually it's something straightforward like larger televisions, 3DTV, Blu-Ray, tablets, or smartphones. But this year, the big thing was "THINGS" itself! The phrase "The Internet of Things" refers to the increasing connectivity and intelligence of ordinary tools and appliances. Thanks to technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and IPv6, we have reached a tipping point where everyday devices like light bulbs, door locks, and thermostats can be connected to each other and to the Internet.
Thanks to everyone who entered iPhone Life's Biweekly Weekend Giveaway! We received entries from 641 people in 32 different countries this week! WOW! And are giving away 3 amazing accessories!
And the winners are... (drum roll please):
Currency Converter HD is available for free January 15 & 16. This popular app claims to be the most powerful currency converter in the App Store. It covers over 150 currencies and offers real-time currency conversion with up-to-the-minute exchange rates. The app has three different views: calculator, chart and list view. It also has an offline mode using saved rates, so that you can find the exchange rate when traveling abroad even if you don't have an Internet connection.
I recently realized why it took me over a year to start making real use of Siri. The reason is a bit embarrassing. It's just that Siri seemed so much like a person. I didn't consciously realize that, though. Let me give you a couple examples. I recall one time wanting to show a friend how Siri worked, so I held down the home button. Siri responded, "What can I help you with?" But my friend was slow to catch on that I was giving him an opportunity to interact with Siri. There sat my iPad on the table, with Siri waiting. And my friend wasn't saying anything. Subconsciously I was thinking, "Hurry up, ask her something. She's waiting."
I have a friend who has several hundred photos on her iPhone 5. She's been taking photos on her phone since last summer and has never exported any of them. She's running out of room to take more. The other day she asked me how to get the photos from her phone to her computer.
She's never connected her iPhone to her computer, instead choosing to upgrade her operating system and download apps wirelessly.
There are a variety of ways to export photos, most of them depending on what kind of computer you have and what operating system you are running.
Here I'll explain ways to export your photos and videos from your iDevice to your computer:
Still looking for the best screen protector and case combo for your new iPhone 5 or 5s? Or are you afraid that all the bulky cases available will take away from your iPhone's beautiful design? Take a look at Booq's Glass+Case if you want full, inconspicuous protection.
The CES show floor this year was chock full of wondrous gear that will enhance your person or home. But to get a glimpse behind the curtain, you need to go off the beaten path, which usually leads me to a stop at Imagination Technologies. Though they downplay some of their A-list tech customers (like, for example, Apple), they always bring superb demonstrations of their latest core IP (like their Pure wireless speakers). Without some of that secret sauce, it is safe to say truly innovative consumer electronics is a tougher proposition. This year they did not disappoint, showing off some dazzling home-connected and wearable tech SoC prototype implementations that are surely destined to be found in much of our future gear.
In a previous post I mentioned a rumor that the iPhone 6 will continue to have an 8-megapixel camera, but that it would come with optical image stabilization. Now yet another rumor has appeared that supports the claim that Apple is working on optical stabilization technology. Last Thursday the US patent office published an Apple patent that describes in detail how optical image stabilization and improved autofocus will work in the iPhone camera. Images from the patent application and a description were posted Friday by UnwiredView.com. According to the post, the patent indicates that Apple has been working on this technology since at least early 2012, so it could well be that it's ready for the iPhone 6. A quote from the patent describes Apple's approach to autofocus (AF) and optical image stabilization (OIS):
LaCie, the popular, Mac-friendly hard drive manufacturer introduced their new Fuel hard drive ($199.99) this year at CES. The LaCie Fuel 1TB hard drive is a one-of-a-kind storage device that serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your stored data, and runs seamlessly and intuitively with your iDevices. We were quite impressed with the Fuel and it even went on to win an iPhone Life Best of CES 2014 award. Read on for more details about what makes the new Fuel such a champion among portable storage systems.
50 Cent was at CES this week signing autographs for fans while Stormtroopers stood by on guard. He was there to announce his new line of SMS Audio headphones that are inspired by his love for Star Wars.
Apple's reach just keeps increasing, with the iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display becoming available on the shelves at Staples stores this past week. In the past, Staples had only sold the devices online, beginning last September. The prices are the same as Apple's and other outlets, but their trade-in price is may be of interest: they're paying as much as $300 for your old iPad. Plus, you get 5 percent back in rewards credits. Staples also sells the iPod and a wide range of accessories. But no iPhone yet.
Ōlloclip makes some of my favorite tools for iPhone photography and this year at CES the company was there in force, showing off their impressive new array of iPhoneography gear.
Yet another rumor is suggesting, based on checks with Apple suppliers, that Apple will introduce two new iPhones later this year, one with a display of 4.7 inches and one at 5.5 inches. According to StreetInsider.com, citing analyst Brian White, it's likely that Apple will continue to sell a 4-inch model, giving consumers a choice among three different sizes. White also says that it's likely Apple will introduce the larger phones at different times, first launching the 4.7-inch model on the regular iPhone cycle, and then subsequently having a separate event for the larger device. His rationale is that the larger device would fall into the "phablet" category and be different enough that Apple would have a separate event to introduce it.