Being a perfectionist isn't easy. But when it comes to making a waterproof iPhone case, it's a requirement. That's why it was nice to see that personality in the folks from LifeProof. I met them at MacWorld in January 2011, and they showed me a prototype of their upcoming iPhone 4 case. It was waterproof, dirtproof, shockproof, and even snowproof, hence the name "LifeProof." I have seen and tried other waterproof cases before, but they were much bulkier and they obstructed the various ports, so you had to fully remove the case to charge them.
My daughter is entering Middle School and it can be intimidating. So I was excited to see Be Confident in Who You Are: Middle School Confidential, a graphic novel turned into an interactive, electronic book, complete with audio and visual effects. There are a variety of topics so a student is likely to find something they can relate to, whether it is bullying, body image, self confidence, etc.
The gold standard for a Bluetooth keyboard for an iPad is probably Apple's wireless keyboard. But gold can be heavy and expensive, and the Apple keyboard is pricey at $69. A competing keyboard needs to be smaller or lighter, or cheaper or have more features like specialized keys. With that in mind, I tried out some alternative Bluetooth keyboards.
"Awesome!" and "Adorable!" and similar pronouncements were shouted when I displayed the Headphonies® "Stryker" Portable Micro Speaker to my kids! At first, they thought it was a cute little toy like their plethora of figurines from Disney and Hello Kitty, but when I showed them that it was a portable speaker, that actually performed a useful function, they were really into it.
Leather is one of those guilty pleasures. So if you're going to indulge, do it right. I've been enjoying the latest SENA (http://www.SENAcases.com) for my iPad 2 and they are exceedingly well made. SENA cases are "handcrafted from the finest quality, full-grain genuine leather" and you don't have to take that with a grain of salt... it's true!
[Special Guest Review by Dennis Wurster of MacSmarts.com]
The folks at Marware are at it again, extending their line of iPad cases to the iPad 2, offering six different choices in various colors and materials. Their most popular case is the $50 "CEO Hybrid for iPad 2", in the folio-style that Marware is famous for. You can see more at http://www.marware.com/c-e-o-hybrid-ipad-2-case
By making a waterproof iPhone case, The Joy Factory has gone where most case makers fear to tread (or tread water, in this situation.) Just because you can make a waterproof case, doesn't mean you want to ship one, because you still need to make it foolproof enough that end users will seal it properly before they take the plunge. The $40 RainBallet from The Joy Factory addresses this through several smart decisions.
I was recently spelunking... yes that's a word, even though my wife thought I made it up. We were exploring an underground cave called Howe Caverns, in Upstate New York. The caverns are 200 feet underground and lit artificially, but there are still areas of darkness. Thankfully, I had my iPhone enclosed in a glow-in-the-dark case from MoonSkins! Any case can protect your iPhone, but the MoonSkins offer added value by glowing in the dark. Now you might not be spelunking every day, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to find your phone on the nightstand, without having to turn on the lights?
Remember "ACT!" the database program? Back in the late 1980's and 1990's, DOS and Windows users (like me) relied on it for contact management long before Salesforce.com ever existed. Well, you can thank Mike Muhney, one of the creators of ACT, for that powerful software. Now, Muhney brings a similar set of features to the iPhone world, where such capabilities are even more valuable, in an app called VIPorbit.
There are a lot of apps that let you take a picture using the iPhone's built-in camera... but I recently discovered Photo Double Fun which lets you use BOTH the front and rear cameras, simultaneously, to take photos as well as videos! Why is this so cool? Suppose you want to document that you were at a specific location, seeing something in person. The Photo Double Fun app combines the two images into one, and if you use their free version, it adds a watermark and you can only store a couple of photos at a time, without upgrading.