By Jim Karpen on Mon, 08/24/2015
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 08/24/2015
Apple has made a big deal about how great the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cameras are. The company has put up billboards and posters and has been running commercials highlighting customer photos and videos, all with the tagline "Shot on iPhone 6." Unfortunately, some users of the iPhone 6 Plus haven't had as good a camera as Apple is touting. During a specific time period, an inferior part was used and the result is blurry photos from the rear iSight camera on some iPhone 6 Plus models.
By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 08/21/2015
Samsung is letting iPhone owners test drive one of its phones for a month with no commitment other than $1. It's a gutsy move, but Samsung either has a lot of confidence in its latest smartphones or it is desperate or perhaps it's a combination of both. The promotion is only for iPhone owners and you have to access the Samsung promo page from an iPhone. You will receive a working Samsung S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5 with a SIM card for your current carrier. This isn't a way to get free minutes, mind you. But you can use the Samsung phone with your existing cellular plan.
By Jim Karpen on Thu, 08/20/2015
We're learning a lot about the forthcoming iPhone 6s as details of the device are leaked. Most recently, spectrometer analysis of a purported iPhone 6s shell has found that it will use the same 7000-series aluminum as used in the Apple Watch. This is a new alloy developed by Apple that includes zinc and magnesium, making it much stronger. According to Apple's website, it's 60 percent stronger than most aluminum, while still being light. Apple says it's the same aluminum used in competition bicycles.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 08/20/2015
Samsung is on the ropes. Financially, it is losing ground to Apple, as iPhone sales increased 36 percent over last year thanks to the larger sized iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. At the same time, Samsung's phone sales dropped over 5 percent. These are unit sales, and since Apple's handsets tend to carry a higher profit margin than Samsung's, this has to hurt Samsung where it counts. Now that Apple entered the wearable market, they have taken the smartwatch crown from Samsung as well, forcing the Korean manufacturer to answer with a new smartwatch that takes its hardware cues from Motorola and its software cues from Apple.
By Todd Bernhard on Wed, 08/19/2015
I am always on the lookout for ways to extend my iPhone 6's battery life, including battery packs and battery cases, so I was glad when I had the opportunity to try PhoneSuit Elite 6 Pro ($99.95). I put it to use immediately at an all-day outdoor festival, where I was demonstrating one of my apps and needed all-day power.
By Nate Adcock on Tue, 08/18/2015
The FlameStower Fire Charger ($99) made me a little nervous when I first pulled it from the box and set it up. It's the brainchild of two Stanford students, Adam Kell and Andrew Byrnes. The contraption looks like something featured on MythBusters, but this weird-looking stand can actually kick out a 2.5W charge to your iPhone with nothing more than the primitive elements of fire and water (it also purifies the water in the process). Great for emergency or camping kits. How does the Fire Charger (or the in-home Candle Charger version) do it?
By Jim Karpen on Mon, 08/17/2015
More evidence for the September 9 introduction of the iPhone 6s has appeared, with 9T05Mac reporting that Best Buy will begin offering AppleCare+ for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch on September 14. It's likely that the new iPhones (and possibly iPads) will go on sale that week, which is why Best Buy will begin offering AppleCare on that date. And as we approach the September 9 date, we keep getting more rumors, with recent reports giving details about the A9 processor. It's hard to know how reliable these reports are, and they've been somewhat conflicting. The Motley Fool reports the iPhone 6s may run at 2.0 gigahertz, which means it could approach PC-class performance. VR-Zone says that benchmarking shows an iPhone 6s prototype getting a score of 1811 in the single core test and 4577 in the multi-core test. Both results are significantly higher than most Android devices, and compare to scores for the iPhone 6 plus of 1624 for the single core and 2909 for the multi-core test.
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 08/17/2015
Zivix let me try its upgraded JamStik+ ($299.99). I reviewed the previous generation back in January (JamStik without the "+" sign), and it is still available on the Zivix website, for $100 less than the new model. The JamStik and JamStik+ are ukelele-sized wireless electric guitars that connect to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac and act like a MIDI music source. With the right apps—from Zivix, Apple, and others—you can sound like a variety of instruments. JamStik offers several free apps including tools to help you learn how to play the guitar. You can see where to put your fingers on the frets, and get visual feedback in real-time.
By Todd Bernhard on Sun, 08/16/2015
It's Back-to-School season, so I've been shopping for binders, dividers, and day planners for my daughters; and lo and behold, an all-in one solution dubbed the DreamWeaver arrived via Kickstarter. It won't ship until November, which is a bit of a squeeze for back-to-school purposes, but it's fine for business folks looking to manage their 2016 calendar. I don't normally write about crowdfunding projects because companies typically underestimate how difficult the technology is to develop. I backed and wrote about the Pebble Watch, but it shipped a year late. On the other hand, a low-tech or no-tech offering like this leather planner should be fairly straightforward to develop and ship.
By Biweekly Giveaways on Fri, 08/14/2015
This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce August 24! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 08/13/2015
Apple has gone its own way on numerous technologies, such as its Lightning and MagSafe connectors. But lately it looks like the company is embracing universal standards for some technologies. The new MacBook uses USB-C and the Apple Watch charger looks to be compatible with the Qi standard. One area where Apple had not adopted a third-party standard is Near Field Communication. NFC is what allows Apple Pay to work when a user brings an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or an Apple Watch close to an Apple Pay terminal. But Android users have had NFC for years and been able to use it with a lot more devices. For example, instead of figuring out how to pair a speaker using Bluetooth, an Android user could just tap the speaker with their NFC-enabled smartphone.
By Brian Faulkner on Thu, 08/13/2015
NoiseHush offers two great pairs of affordable noise-cancelling headphones. The i9 BT comes with Bluetooth connectivity while the i7 does not. Check out the pros and cons of both of these pairs of headphones in this in-depth review.
By Siva Om on Wed, 08/12/2015
If you are the athletic type, then you already know that music can really enhance a work out and provide a healthy dose of motivation and encouragement. These days there are many great options for in-ear training headphones, with the trend moving toward Bluetooth wireless primarily for the theoretical convenience of being able to be as active as you like without the encumbrance of wires going between your head and your audio source. I say theoretically because even though each of the following headphones are geared toward active lifestyles the way each pair holds on to your ears is vastly different and will appeal to different users and for different case scenarios.
By Becca Ludlum on Tue, 08/11/2015
It's frustrating when your device reminds you that you don't have enough storage to take a picture, install an upgrade, or download some music. With the new NextDrive Plug, you won't have to worry about that anymore. The NextDrive Plug is a way for iPhone and iPad users to connect their USB devices wirelessly for a multitude of uses—file sharing, cloud storage, photo backup, music streaming, and much more.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 08/11/2015
9To5Mac has interviewed people familiar with how Force Touch will work on the forthcoming iPhone 6s and has posted a detailed description. The big news is that it will be functionally different from the Apple Watch. Whereas the Apple Watch uses Force Touch to reveal additional options, on the iPhone 6s Force Touch will be used to reduce the number of steps or taps required to accomplish a particular action. Think shortcuts. 9To5Mac gives a number of examples. In Maps, for instance, you will be able to Force Touch a destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions. This saves the steps of having to click on the navigation icon, then clicking another button to start the navigation.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 08/11/2015
A lingering question has been whether Apple will continue to come out with new iterations of a 4-inch iPhone. Earlier this year there were rumors of an iPhone 6c, then rumors saying Apple had decided not to bring out a 6c. Now AppleInsider is reporting that Evan Blass, who has been an accurate source in the past, has indicated that it appears that Apple will be releasing three models at their September 9 event: an iPhone 6s, 6s plus, and 6c. However, there's no indication of display size for the iPhone 6c, and AppleInsider suggests it could be a repackaged iPhone 6, in just the same way the 2013 iPhone 5c was a repackaged iPhone 5. AppleInsider also notes that when the new aluminum iPod touch in six colors was introduced in July, there was speculation that Apple would come out with the same color options in a 4-inch iPhone 6s.
By Biweekly Giveaways on Tue, 08/11/2015
Thanks to everyone who entered the August 10 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the August 24 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winner is... (drum roll please):
By Siva Om on Fri, 08/07/2015
If you follow my online articles here at iPhone Life you may have gotten the feeling that I'm like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to the release of a new Apple TV. Well, here I go again; and this time I believe that its release is coming soon, most likely in a September (or October at the latest) unveiling event, either with the anticipated introduction of the new iPhones in September or along with Apple's new iPads in October.