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The Paick Noble Charger May Surprise You

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I didn't expect to like the Paick Noble Power Bank portable charger at first. It is crafted out of aluminum, resembling an iPhone-sized MacBook Air and certainly looks like it could have come from Apple. I was worried that the makers might have put an emphasis on form over function. For example, the two USB ports weren't even visible, no matter how hard I looked. It was like one of those flying saucers in a 1950s science fiction film, such a The Day the Earth Stood Still, where the door isn't obvious until it opens!



LAX Gadgets Wooden Case with a Polymer Lining

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I get to try a lot of cases, and I'm rarely impressed, but one case maker at CES hit the right mix with their wood-backed cases that use a polymer interior. The problem with 100 percent wood or bamboo cases is they can chip, crack, or respond to humidity and lose their ability to safely hold your iPhone.



How to Keep Your Teenagers Safe on Their iPhone

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Photo credit copyright KieferPix via Shutterstock.com

Children are getting cell phones at younger and younger ages, and even the cheapest smartphones on the market are capable of browsing the Internet. With the web as vast and accessible as it’s ever been, monitoring teenagers' iPhone use can be as challenging as dealing with their hormone-driven attitudes. This is why it is good to know what easy, go-to options are available to parents to protect those inquisitive eyes from at least some of the Internet’s unsavory side.



Waterproofer Liquipel Now Protects Against Impacts Too

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I was already impressed by Liquipel's nanotechnology that lets them take your existing technology and make it waterproof, but at CES, I was able to see a demonstrating of their new SKINS Impact Screen Protector ($24.99-$34.99). While most screen protectors are designed to prevent scratches, this protector is designed to take the brunt of serious impacts and keep your phone safe.



3 Apps to Fill the 'Flappy Bird' Void

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Several interesting new apps have emerged from the iOS store and at first glance they may seem to be of the same family as the infamous Flappy Bird app, yet these apps take on a different approach to the ever-widening pipes in Flappy Bird.



Optrix Offers More Ways to Record Your Extreme Video

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While GoPro gets all the attention, I've found a better way to record action-packed video. Instead of paying $300 or more for a dedicated camera and accessories, why not use your existing iPhone? That way you can edit your video right on the device that recorded it, using iMovie and other video FX apps. And of course you can share your video using iMessage, Mail, AirDrop, and more.



Apple News: iOS 7.1 Is Just a Little Bit Safer When It Comes to In-App Purchases

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I have a love-hate relationship with In-App Purchases (IAPs.) As a developer, Apple has been encouraging me to adopt IAPs. In theory, IAPs seem like a way to make a living off apps while giving users a free taste. As a user, I don't like them. I think when you download an app, you should own it and all the promised features. So in the PRO versions of my apps, there are no IAPs. And in the past, my free apps had advertisements with the only "upsell" being a link to the PRO version for unlimited features without ads. But Apple representatives told me personally at the Worldwide Developers Conference and at their Tech Talk Tours that I really should be using IAPs. When Apple talks, I listen. So some of my apps now have such purchase options. But on the IAP selling page, I rebel against the machine and tell users that the best deal is to buy the PRO version!



Snow Lizard's SLXtreme May Just Be the Ultimate iPhone 5/5s Survival Tool

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I've referred to Snow Lizard’s SLXtreme iPhone cases before as the case to use in a survival situation. If you’re an outdoorsy or military type, or an extreme adventurer or survivalist, the SLXtreme for the iPhone 5/5s ($149.99) is without a doubt a perfect case for you. Its rugged design, with its high level of impact protection, waterproofness, and the solar panel incorporated into its backside, which charges a built-in 2,550 mAh battery, make this a superior case for extended use when traveling to wild and challenging environments or for extended treks off-grid. While its size and heft may make this case too big and heavy for the average, casual iPhone user, for the person who requires the reliability and protection of one of the most rugged and dependable cases on the market, this particular case should fit their needs nicely.



New Features of iOS 7.1 Include Default HDR Mode in Camera App

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When I tried to download the iOS 7.1 update for my iPad Air in the evening, it took three hours. This morning when I downloaded it for my iPad mini, it took five minutes. Lesson: always download updates as early in the morning as possible. Blogger Todd Bernhard and I have outlined some of the changes in iOS 7.1 in previous posts. In this post I want to highlight several useful new features. One important new feature is ability to have HDR mode be automatically available on the iPhone 5s. It's previously been available, but you had to turn it on when you wanted to take advantage of it. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and I'm guessing many people, especially those who aren't camera buffs, don't really know what this is. So I think it's a good thing that you can now have it turned on by default. HDR can have a dramatic effect on the quality of certain photos.



Use the Magic of Magnets to Charge your iPhone

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I've written about Buqu's wireless charging cases before, so I was excited to see their latest offering, the Mobile Battery Pack. As expected, they offer wireless charging when the phone is placed on their charging stand, but now this external battery pack also leverages the magnetic charging design.



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