iPhone Life magazine

Accessories

Trying to decide if you want a short or long cable? Get both with CordCruncher!

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I recently added a new car stereo and it comes with a USB port for charging and music playback. I love it because the sound quality is better than Bluetooth, and I can keep my iPhone charged while on long trips. I have been on the lookout for the right sized cable that's not too long and not too short. The last thing I want in the car is a a forty-inch cable interfering with driving.



Trouble Making New Apple Gadgets fit? CableJive to the Rescue

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There are a few certainties in life. Apple will change form factors, case makers will rush out new cases, and those cases won't fit in your old dock. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were anticipated, but case makers didn't get samples and had to rely on leaked schematics. The new iPad Air 2 is thinner and the sleep button has been relocated, so manufacturers have to develop all new cases. In their desire to ship as soon as possible, a lot of cases then and even now have issues. Sometimes they leave a big opening around the Lightning port, which offers little protection. Other times they leave too little room around the port, making it hard to insert non-Apple cables or fit in many docks. If you've bought an expensive speaker dock from Bose or another company, that's not what you want.



Add Some Color to Your Life with Elgato's Avea Smart Bulb

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Earlier I wrote a post about smart light bulbs from Connected By TCP. I'm really enjoying the ability to schedule the bulbs so that my porch and living room are lit up when I come home after dark on dreary winter evenings. The great utility of these bulbs is their flexibility in regard to scheduling. Plus, they're smart enough to know the time of dawn and dusk. Although I find the soft white LED light of the Connected by TCP bulbs appealing, I was eager to try one of the smart bulb options that offer color. Elgato was kind enough to send me their Avea bulb, and I've been having fun trying its different moods.



Review: Travelon Travel Gear

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I travel a lot. So does my family. When Travelon offered to provide some bags and other gear, I took them up on the offer and distributed the products across the family. Their bags went to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Israel, and around the Mediterranean.



The best Compact Tripod Mount and Stand for the iPhone

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They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and since an iPhone is usually on hand for most photographers, professional or amateur, it's no wonder that so many photos are taken by iPhone. Still, there are times when a tripod is necessary, but who wants to carry around a bulky accessory?



ZAGG Slim Book for iPad Mini

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Slim Book ($119.99) is a sleek keyboard/case combo that works in multiple viewing configurations. The detachable case works with the iPad mini, and the Bluetooth keyboard has the same insanely long purported two-year battery life that the Rugged Book (see our review here) supports, but I found the review unit was not quite as rugged in other regards during my evaluation. It is "purty," but definitely not as tough.



Sony Looks for a Way to Stand Out in Wearables

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Sony made Walkmans for years. I owned several, and recently impressed my daughter when I dug out one of my trusty Walkmans after watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which featured one prominently. Then Apple introduced the iPod, and soon, the Walkman became irrelevant. Likewise, Sony, along with Ericsson, made cell phones, but Apple introduced the iPhone and Sony is losing money on their smartphones. Sony makes videogame consoles and handhelds like the PSP, which are threatened by mobile gaming on Apple and Android gadgets. And there's always the ongoing rumor of an Apple TV which could threaten Sony's bread and butter. Sony also made and still makes smartwatches, but with the Apple Watch on the horizon, that's another market that could slip out from under them. 



Ozobot Is the Future of Smart Toys

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At the last CES, iPhone Life awarded Best of Show to Ozobot, an emerging technology toy and educational robot system that had great promise. Ozobots ($49.99) are now shipping and we've had a chance to play (and learn) with them over an extended time. Ozobot is a programmable tiny cute robot that resembles the top half of everyone's favorite droid, R2D2. The domed robots can be customized with different color tops so kids can play with several at a time and still tell them apart. The robots get their programming not from a keyboard but via an optical sensor on their bottoms. The Ozobots "read" colors and commands that tell it to go straight, turn one way or the other, or reverse, etc. Kids can "program" the robots by literally drawing with markers on a page of paper. It's a fun way to program without ever touching a keyboard!



Sonos Offers Rare Gift Card Promotion This Holiday Season

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We have reviewed several Sonos wireless speakers and audio accessories at iPhone Life, and in this reviewer's opinion, there are few products that compare. The speakers sound astonishingly great, with solid wireless performance, and their streaming app and service library keeps getting richer and more refined. They don't often do sales or special offers, but the word on the street is they are offering gift cards and store promotions at select retailers for the Play family line. 



Big Savings for Cyber Monday at TYLT

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Black Friday has come and gone, but the Black Friday coupon code that TYLT emailed their customers for 50 percent off on in-stock items is still good for Cyber Monday. Just visit http://www.TYLT.com and add items to your shopping cart. Enter code CYBER2014 through Cyber Monday and get half off on some great items.



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