Apple usually reserves appearances by Sir Jonathan Ive, their head of design, for polished videos shows at product introductions, but he spoke with The Sunday Times in the UK this week to discuss Apple's philosophy and contrast it with the competition. The full article is available on Time.com Jony Ive's comments can be read as cheerleading or trash talking, depending on the reader's perspective, but he makes some interesting points. For example "We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care—just like the people who make them."
While the newest Apple products usually get all of the attention, remember that Apple often keeps the previous generation of products around to achieve a lower price point. The third generation iPad introduced the Retina display but still had the 30-pin connector. Then the fourth generation offered a Lightning interface. The iPad Air was thinner and had a narrower bezel.
Steve Jobs didn't like the idea of keeping an iPhone in a case. So much effort went into making a functional work of art, that hiding it in a case was sacrilegious to him. Maybe he needed to get his eyes on the Berlin and Sydney Birdcage Designer Cases from Strong N Free.
You can never have enough power, for your iPhone and other gadgets, and Ontrion knows that. As many others have done, they have introduced a case for the iPhone 5/5s, the LifeCHARGE Battery Case ($79.99). But where others have fallen short, Ontrion has gone a step further. Specifically, many such cases obstruct the headphone jack, and include an extension cable that you're supposed to carry around. That extension is going to get lost or forgotten, making you rely on the built in speakers.
I didn't expect to like the Paick Noble Power Bank portable charger at first. It is crafted out of aluminum, resembling an iPhone-sized MacBook Air and certainly looks like it could have come from Apple. I was worried that the makers might have put an emphasis on form over function. For example, the two USB ports weren't even visible, no matter how hard I looked. It was like one of those flying saucers in a 1950s science fiction film, such a The Day the Earth Stood Still, where the door isn't obvious until it opens!
I get to try a lot of cases, and I'm rarely impressed, but one case maker at CES hit the right mix with their wood-backed cases that use a polymer interior. The problem with 100 percent wood or bamboo cases is they can chip, crack, or respond to humidity and lose their ability to safely hold your iPhone.
I was already impressed by Liquipel's nanotechnology that lets them take your existing technology and make it waterproof, but at CES, I was able to see a demonstrating of their new SKINS Impact Screen Protector ($24.99-$34.99). While most screen protectors are designed to prevent scratches, this protector is designed to take the brunt of serious impacts and keep your phone safe.
While GoPro gets all the attention, I've found a better way to record action-packed video. Instead of paying $300 or more for a dedicated camera and accessories, why not use your existing iPhone? That way you can edit your video right on the device that recorded it, using iMovie and other video FX apps. And of course you can share your video using iMessage, Mail, AirDrop, and more.
I have a love-hate relationship with In-App Purchases (IAPs.) As a developer, Apple has been encouraging me to adopt IAPs. In theory, IAPs seem like a way to make a living off apps while giving users a free taste. As a user, I don't like them. I think when you download an app, you should own it and all the promised features. So in the PRO versions of my apps, there are no IAPs. And in the past, my free apps had advertisements with the only "upsell" being a link to the PRO version for unlimited features without ads. But Apple representatives told me personally at the Worldwide Developers Conference and at their Tech Talk Tours that I really should be using IAPs. When Apple talks, I listen. So some of my apps now have such purchase options. But on the IAP selling page, I rebel against the machine and tell users that the best deal is to buy the PRO version!
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.