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.
It's time for Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and with it a new version of the company's mobile operating system and more!
Apple had a lot to announce regarding Macs and Mac OS, including the new OS X Mavericks in a break from cat-based names. But this is iPhone Life, so here's what's new in the iOS world:
One day, our Apple iDevices will power themselves wirelessly, sucking in power from elements in the air. Until then, we are stuck with wires and being tethered to a traditional power source. But some vendors are making products that bridge the gap.
One such company is BuquTech, with its Magnetyze Charging System with Protective Case ($59.99). The Magentyze line is well designed and currently supports the iPhone 4, 4S, and promises a version for the iPhone 5 in the future.
If you change phones, or if multiple family members have different devices. You can mix and match and preserve your investment.