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.
When I last wrote about Invoxia's AudiOffice, I had one complaint... its lack of Lightning support for modern iOS devices. Fortunately, its new device fixes this. I actually had another minor complaint—its name, which led me to joke that it was an accessory for Audi automobiles! In the latest version, the mixed-case name is gone, now simply called Audioffice ($299).
The newer Audioffice is an elegant accessory, with a companion app, invoxia (free) that turns your iPhone, iPad, or Android device into a full function conference room speakerphone. You also can use internal and alternative apps like FaceTime, Skype, etc.
When a product arrives in a package that looks this good, you wonder if what's inside could be worthy of its presentation. But with the iPad mini case from Piel Frama, there is no need to worry! The textured box, with its quality linen paper lining and gold text make for a beautiful presentation, and fortunately, the case inside is just as impressive.
Apple's Lightning connector offers a number of advantages, but its introduction slowed down the availability of compatible third party accessories since Apple had to approve them individually. One such accessory I'd enjoyed on my iPhone 4S was the uNu DX Battery Case. It effectively doubled the battery life of my iPhone, and I found it invaluable at trade shows such as CES. Thankfully, uNu just released a version for the iPhone 5, which I was able to test.
The TabletStage from Mighty Dwarf has a split personality... and that's a good thing! Aside from splitting apart to form an easel for iPad, iPad mini, or other tablets, it also includes stereo speakers and can accept audio via Bluetooth, NFC (with supported tablets), or 3.5mm audio jack (cable included.) It charges via Micro USB (cable included) and, at least for my review unit, ships pre-charged and ready to use!
The TabletStage folds into a compact form for easy stowage in your gadget bag. When you unfold it, the device forms a full-size "stage" for your tablet. The audio quality is surprisingly strong, thanks to a pair of clever slits in the base that act as a subwoofer. If you cover them up, you'll hear the difference.
The trouble with most rugged cases, especially those claiming to be waterproof, is that they are too bulky for everyday use. Additionally, getting your iPhone in or out of such a case can take several minutes not to mention a masters degree. The Concord Keystone ECO slim case ($49.99) is changing that with its slim waterproof case.
With the ECO slim case, your iPhone slips into a one-piece clamshell unit, and a latch secures the device in a watertight enclosure. This makes it very easy to switch cases as desired, and since you cannot charge the iPhone while it is in the Keystone case, this is important.
Find My iPhone is great, but do you ever find yourself wishing you could use it to find your wallet, keys, purse, and other important items? That's where Button TrackR by Phone Halo comes in. With its companion iOS app, Item TrackR (free), you can use your iOS device to find assorted gadgets!
I was already a supporter of Phone Halo's Wallet Trackr project, and once again, I put my money where my mouth is, via crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com as a paid supporter/investor. The new Button TrackR is an even smaller disc, which you attach to your important items and use with its free companion app to track your valuables. I've funded that project, too.
With more than $300,000 in pledges, the new project blew through its $15,000 funding level, but you still have a chance to get early adopter pricing and take some credit for helping. Check it out on Indiegogo and never lose your important items again!
Powermat brings inductive charging to the masses through clever cases with integrated batteries, magnets, and chargers so you can simply place the device on one of its numerous chargers. Magnets help align the device and a distinctive beep tells you it's charging. I have been reporting on and following the tech company with great interest since its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009.