By Siva Om on Sun, 05/17/2015
By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 05/16/2015
Act fast, because until May 16th at 11:59pm (ET) only, PowerSkin is offering their PoP'n for just $10 shipped. Technically, it's a penny with $9.99 shipping, but however you slice it, it's a good deal, since it normally lists for $49.99 plus shipping. The PowerSkin PoP'n latches on to the Lightning port (or microUSB if that's what you order) of your iPhone and sticks to the back of the phone or case. Not all cases will work with it, as you need some clearance around the lightning port, but you could always remove your case if needed. Their website lists the iPhone 5/5s/5c, but it should work with an iPhone 6.
By Tommy Ly on Tue, 05/12/2015
For the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to test out the Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack ($79) loaded with everything I need for a mobile office and more. Of course, there are things I like and things I don't. Let's dig in.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 05/11/2015
In the post-Apple Watch world, like it or not, every wearable will be compared to the Apple offering. Fortunately, Apple has left quite a few gaps in their product line, allowing folks like Cogito to compare quite favorably. They offer a pair of watches, one at about $130 and the other at $180. This is about the price of a nice band from Apple!
By Todd Bernhard on Sun, 05/10/2015
I had the opportunity to try PowerClip ($61) from Emtec. This clever charger snaps on to the bottom of the iPhone via the Lightning port. This can be a more compact alternative than a traditional battery pack case. I used to have a similar charger for my 30-pin iPhone and was glad to see a Lightning option. Emtec also makes an Android-compatible model with a microUSB port.
By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 05/09/2015
I love the products from Satechi. They offer a range of hubs, stands, remotes, and more that make the iOS and Apple Mac experience better. Additionally, many of their gadgets are made out of aluminum which makes them right at home on any Apple user's desk. Recently, Satechi gave me their Premium Aluminum Monitor Stand ($69.99) to try.
By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 05/06/2015
I had the opportunity to try Scosche MagicMount XL Dash/Window ($34.99) from Scosche. The MagicMount is a car mount for phones, but is hefty enough to work with tablets as well, and it can also work on a desk in an office. This makes the MagicMount's decent price even more justifiable. I once drove a Tesla Model S and it has a 17-inch touchscreen display. If you want to do something similar, with an iPad mini or even a full-size iPad, the MagicMount could do the trick.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 05/05/2015
The Apple TV is due for a refresh and signs point to a June announcement, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. The box might not be the only element to get an upgrade, as reports suggest the remote control that ships with the Apple TV, and is sold separately to control Macs, could get a touchpad. I was just setting up a current version of the Apple TV at a friend's house today and it was a pain trying to use the arrow keys to enter an email and password. Usually I use the Apple Remote iPad or iPhone app which adds touchscreen control and a virtual keyboard. It will be a nice addition if the next generation of the Apple TV includes an improved remote control.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 05/04/2015
May 4 ought to be a national holiday. That day is known as Star Wars Day, as in "May the Fourth be with you!" Fortunately, there are a ton of accessories that can get you in the spirit of Star Wars. A year ago, I reviewed the SMS Audio Boba Fett headphones and I still use them, so I can report that they have held up well. It was nice to learn that SMS has expanded their Star Wars-themed offerings to include Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Tie Fighter, and R2-D2 versions. They are adorable and each one has a unique design that will be appreciated by any Star Wars fan. The headphones are packaged in a gift-worthy box that includes a carrying case, poster, sticker, cleaning cloth, and certificate of authenticity that extend the Star Wars theme. These new headphones are available for pre-order, and early adopters will receive a free t-shirt as well.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 05/04/2015
If the rumors are true, the upcoming iPad Pro could incorporate a stylus and Force Touch, like the new MacBook and Apple Watch. Both Force Touch and a stylus would make it possible to create more artistic content thanks to pressure sensitivity. Fifty Three is one third party that released a Bluetooth stylus dubbed the Pencil which works with their Paper by Fifty Three app for the iPad. The combination allows for pressure sensitive drawing where the harder you press, the thicker the lines are. The Pencil uses Bluetooth, whereas an Apple offering could rely on Force Touch or Apple's version of Near Field Communication or some combination of those technologies.
By Jim Karpen on Fri, 05/01/2015
There have long been rumors that Apple will be coming out with a new Apple TV to replace the aging device that hasn't been updated for several years. The first clue that it might happen soon was when Apple recently lowered the price of the current Apple TV to $69, suggesting that the company might be trying to clear out inventory. And now Apple's website shows that the current Apple TV is no longer in stock and gives a ship time of one to two weeks. This sort of thing usually happens in advance of an updated device from Apple. It now seems likely that Apple will announce a new Apple TV at the Worldwide Developers Conference scheduled for June 8–12. Rumors for the past 18 months have suggested that Apple would open up the Apple TV to developers, and now it may be happening.
By Nate Adcock on Wed, 04/29/2015
The DX-FREE ($69.99) from uNu Electronics is a 2400mAh external battery case that is surprisingly thin and light. The two-piece construction gives superior protection that is practically seamless once installed. So much so that I almost couldn't uninstall it!
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 04/28/2015
MOBI gave me the opportunity to try its MOBI Cube White Bluetooth Speaker with 360° Light Show ($29.95) and I'm glad I did. So is my daughter, who liked the fun light show that the speaker offers. In fact, the light show has five modes and can be synced to your Bluetooth or wired music source. The MOBI Cube is surprisingly well-built given the price point of just around $30. Plus who wouldn't like how cute the MOBI Cube is. It reminds me of my Rubik's Cube—which I was a champion at solving, by the way! And when it's turned off, the MOBI Cube is still pretty stylish and wouldn't be out of place in an Apple Store or the Museum of Modern Art!
By Nate Adcock on Tue, 04/28/2015
This is Part 2 of a two-part Indie Project Corner featuring the Libre wireless keyboard from Casestudi (see Part 1 here). In part 1, we queried Peter Ho (Casestudi Founder) on the gory specifics about his fancy new thin keyboard that works with PC, Android or iOS! In this part, we actually kick the tires (or kick the Libre, as it were) on this spotlighted Kickstarter effort!
By Nate Adcock on Mon, 04/27/2015
This is the second edition of the Indie Project Corner, where we highlight the coolest new crowdfunded projects; and this time we have selected the Libre Keyboard from Casestudi for our project spotlight. Peter Ho, Casestudi Founder, thinks we need a thinline, wireless backlit keyboard that is both affordable and universal (and I agree). He designed his own multi-OS-compatible Bluetooth keyboard and funded it on Kickstarter, and is now headed for stretch goals.
By Daniel Rasmus on Wed, 04/22/2015
There is nothing like the post-Consumer Electronics Show fulfillment of promise, as things that were just demos in January start to ship. I spent the last month reviewing a wide variety of headphones, earbuds, and other audio devices. Here are my thoughts on a dozen ways to bring audio into your life, categorized by type: mono earbuds, stereo earbuds, on-the-ear headphones and over-the-ear headphones.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 04/21/2015
Despite the wide variety of Apple Watch configurations (54 at last count) there are more bands available than previously disclosed. Apple previewed several different shades of Sport watch bands at a fashion event in Milan, with Apple executives Phil Schiller, Marc Newson, and Sir Jony Ive (in a suit and not his trademark t-shirt) no less.
By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 04/17/2015
Apple is just getting in to wireless charging, if you consider the Apple Watch's magnetic charger to be wireless. Other technologies, like inductive charging have been around and thanks to the Android's diverse set of manufacturers, this is an area where Apple lags behind.
By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 04/17/2015
As if buying accessories for the iPhone wasn't enough, now we need to buy accessories for the Apple Watch, which is itself an accessory. It reminds me of our daughters' American Girl dolls. Even those dolls have "pets" and toys of their own. Still, some of the Apple Watch accessories that have been filling our inboxes at iPhone Life do seem to make sense, and I may end up accessorizing my Apple Watch with them.