Attention, guitarists! IK Multimedia announced that the iRig 2 ($39.99)—the signal converting wonder that lets you rock out with a kaleidoscope of filters and patches using the iPad or iPhone—hit the streets today! We have reviewed the iRig and related audio gadgets in the past, but this new version garnered one of our Best of CES awards this year, and a full review will be forthcoming. You can read on for the technical details and first impressions from my brief experience at CES.
I had the chance to try the Pronto Smart Remote ($49.99). It's a nice, affordable way to turn your iPhone into a universal remote control, and it will get better when the Apple Watch is available. The makers promise to make the app work with the Apple Watch, so you can control your TV and A/V equipment from your wrist! How cool is that? The Peel iPhone app also works as a TV guide, but it would be nice if it could leverage the full screen of an iPad. The app talks to the Pronto base station that sits within line of sight of your A/V equipment.
Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.
I missed these guys this year at CES, but wanted to swing back for a quick product review, since they have one or two new and interesting power gadgets and sent a review unit for us to try out: The PowerGenius Rotating 6-outlet Surge Suppressor ($29.99). If you're an iPhone Lifer, we know you are always on the lookout for smarter power options. ACCELL has an array of portable and home-and-office-oriented solutions to consider.
If you follow my Game Centered column, then you already know I'm a big fan of the iOS game Vainglory, "the MOBA perfected for touchscreen." It has the potential to become one of the most popular and internationally competitive, professional-level mobile eSports thus far. Between the massive player base already devoted to the MOBA genre, and the fact that Vainglory will soon be cross-platform across both iOS and Android devices, I can see nothing standing in the way of this game being the first mobile eSport to fill stadiums and attract spectators the way more established MOBA like League of Legends and DotA 2 already do.
As users migrate to tablets, in particular iPads, to replace their laptops, there has been speculation that Apple might bridge the gap between the iPad Air and the MacBook Air. An iPad Pro, at just over 12 inches, with some kind of a keyboard case or cover, like Microsoft's Surface has, could be just what the doctor ordered. There are also suggestions that a Pro version of the iPad might support USB 3.0 for faster data transfer and charging and even support for a wired keyboard. I had a Microsoft Surface with the magnetically-attached keyboard cover and that was a nice touch (no pun intended) that I'd like to see Apple mimic.
When the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 were announced, I wrote about the revolutionary shift in shipping one cellular model that supported all carriers. At the time, I speculated that Apple might get around to doing this with the iPhone. The latest rumors suggest that will be the case, with the iPhone 6s (presuming that naming convention sticks) and likely the iPhone 6s Plus (or iPhone 6 Plus S?)
Sennheiser recently sent me a pair of their premium quality Momentum Bluetooth over-ear headphones($499.95) to try out for a little while. They had quite the effect on me, a powerful one that has been difficult to put into words. Any description I give of these headphones could easily seem exaggerated, but the fact of the matter is that the Sennheiser Momentum wireless are simply one of the best pairs of headphones I've ever come across, certainly one of the best Bluetooth headphones I've had the opportunity to try out. I think you'll be impressed with my findings, read on after the break for all the details.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Great on their own, but even better together. That appears to be the concept behind the JuicyPACK from LifeCharge ($69.99). I've written about LifeCharge's iPhone cases, but I was pleased to see that they also make a stand for iPads. They also make a battery pack for iPads. Actually, it's the same thing.
Portable keyboards are often small yet awkward to carry around. They are cramped and often flimsy, and sometimes not worth the materials used to make them. The ZAGG pocket keyboard ($69.99) admittedly uses much of the same light materials, and though it isn't as sturdy as some less flexible keyboards we've tested, its smart design allows you to fold it up like origami for easy stowage.