While Android fans (fandroids!) will pooh pooh the iPhone 5S as an incremental enhancement, I actually appreciate Apple's consistency in form factor. It allows me to use and reuse some of my favorite cases and accessories.
The new iPhones are here! So what does it mean for us developers? For the first time ever, Apple is introducing two tiers of iPhones simultaneously. In the past, the previous generation of iPhones were kept around at a discounted price. The problem with that scheme is that older platforms stuck around past their freshness date. For example, up to this day, the iPhone 4S with its 30-pin connector was still being sold by Apple. From a developer standpoint, this practice means we have to support things like the smaller screen and older versions of iOS that much longer. By introducing a low-end but still pretty much state-of-the-art iPhone 5c, anyone who buys an iPhone going forward will have access to current operating system and latest features and the lowest common denominator is higher than it used to be. And that means A6 32-bit chip at a minimum (A7 64-bit on the iPhone 5s) and Bluetooth 4.0 standard.
Apple is rumored to be releasing an iWatch. But if you can't wait, or find yourself using your iPhone to tell time instead of a watch, consider the iHangy ($19.99 and up).
The iHangy is a clever slip-in case and adaptor that lets you dangle your iPhone from the included keychain or necklace. Optional earbuds make it a pleasure to listen to your music. Their newer models even have a built in stylus.
I love my iPad mini, and I'm glad I switched, but one thing I've regretted was having to forego the Uzibull case from my full-size iPad. I was one of the original backers of this multipurpose, ultra-protective case, so I was happy to try their iPad mini case.
Just like the full-size version, the case has a flexible, air-cushioned design with a rubbery grip for a comfortable feel.
As its name suggests, iTunes' origins are in music, and it was the way to buy and transfer music to the original iPod. Then came podcasts, movies, TV shows, and of course, apps and ebooks—none of which the "tunes" moniker is appropriate for. But Apple has crammed everything into that overgrown app. They've learned their lesson with the Mac App store, which has its own app, while iOS still uses iTunes for everything.
Cynaps has a new project, the result of its successful campaign back in February. That campaign raised more than double its goal of $20,000, and allowed the production of a very cool baseball hat that doubles as a Bluetooth headset and microphone. The new hat is designed to enhance hearing for those who might have some hearing impairment.
What really sets the Cynaps Bluetooth hat apart is how the audio is delivered. Instead of traditional speakers, the hat uses bone conduction to transmit sound. This is proven technology, used by fighter pilots, and it works pretty well.
I've been using a Windows RT Surface from Microsoft, and while it's no iPad, it does have a built-in stand. But that stand only works in landscape mode and has a limited range of motion.
My hometown of Rochester, NY, is a golfing town. Despite its smaller size, Rochester has hosted the 1995 Ryder Cup, the 2003 and 2013 PGA Championships, the Senior PGA Championship, and the annual Wegmans LPGA event, and even the Xerox Classic. With a number of world class courses, such as Oak Hill and Locust Hill, residents squeeze in as much playing time as they can, given the harsh winters, and are thrilled to welcome professionals with regularity.
To help you enjoy the PGA Championship experience taking place this weekend, I've tried to compile a list of Rochester and golfing related apps and websites. But first, I'll give you more details about the town hosting this year's event.
As a product reviewer who gets to try out all the latest gadgets and accessories, I should be grateful and should not be jealous. But one gadget I don't get to use often is skins. I try new cases all the time, and having a skin on my iPhone would get in the way.
Nevertheless, I daydream about carrying my iPhone 5 without a case. A skin would be a nice compromise, affording protection for the glass back without adding bulk. I also am partial to the real wooden backs and skins several vendors have released. I love the juxtaposition of natural materials against high-tech glass and aluminum.
I'm a skeptic by nature, so I wasn't sure what to expect with the HeartMath InnerBalance sensor for iOS ($99). The device clips to your earlobe and detects your emotional signals, transmitting them to your iOS device. Well guess what... the darn thing works! I was surprised to see that as my breathing, pulse, and emotions changed, the app registered those changes. There is something to this, and physicians, therapists, and researchers need to take note!
The sensor is more comfortable than I thought it would be... I thought it would pinch, but it just sort of sits on your earlobe. A wire tethers the sensor to your iOS device with a 30-pin connector. If you have devices with Lightning connectors, you'll need an Apple adaptor. The connection is a bit tricky, and it took me a few tries to get everything plugged in just right. I would prefer a wireless solution, but it does work.