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Power to Go, with TYLT's Energi 2K Travel Charger

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I just got back from CE Week and I always try to travel light. Instead of carrying a battery pack and a USB charger as I wandered around the tradeshow floor and around New York City, I tried something new, namely TYLT's Energi 2K Travel Charger. This compact "block" has 2,000 mAh of battery life, a USB port, and a flip-down prong for charging via the wall. This eliminates the need to carry two separate devices and made my life a lot easier. Combined with a retractable Lightning cable, I was able to keep my iPhone charged and recharge the Energi back whenever I was near a wall outlet.



Apple News: Robots to Build iPhones

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The first Apple devices were handmade by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and a few others in Jobs' family garage. They've come a long way since then. While most Apple devices are now made in China, via subcontractors like Foxconn, there are still a few devices made in America. The new version of the $3,000-plus Mac Pro is made in the U.S., where the higher price can offset any costs due to Americans demanding a living wage and not polluting the environment. Foxconn has had their own problems with worker suicides leading to the installation of netting around buildings. Yet workers still flock to Foxconn factories because the working conditions are often better than the alternatives.



Apple News: Save the Date(s)?

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Every day brings us closer to the iPhone 6, and all signs point to September for the announcement and availability. In fact the specific dates may be narrowing, according to a Chinese source, as reported by Apple Insider. September 19 or 25 are being discussed as potential dates customers could get their hands on the 4.7" device. A 5.5" version is expected to be announced but possibly later this year. Now we are learning that the larger unit may be dubbed the iPhone Air. This is counterintuitive, as the MacBook Air represents the lighter, smaller MacBook compared to the Pro, but the iPad mini vs iPad Air may set a new precedent, with Air representing the handheld device with the largest screen. Perhaps the better naming convention would be to make the 4.7" model the iPhone Air and the 5.5" version the iPhone Pro while keeping the current iPhone 5s as the basic iPhone.



New Video Shows Alleged Front Panel of iPhone 6, Compares it to iPhone 5s

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A new video posted by the Chinese website ifanr gives perhaps the clearest look so far at how the size of the forthcoming iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display compares to the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5s. The video claims to show an actual front panel of the iPhone 6, and puts it beside a front panel of an iPhone 5s. It also shows how the new phone will fit in one's hand compared to the 5s. See the embedded video below.



Apple News: Voice the Key to an iWatch?

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A recent interview by Apple's CEO Tim Cook suggests that voice may be more important to an iWatch than previously thought. I've used a number of smartwatches, from Pebble, Martian Watches and others. While the Pebble offers the best battery life, the Martian Watch offers the most promise precisely because of its Siri button. In addition to acting as a Bluetooth Speakerphone, there is a button that can be pressed to activate Siri. This is similar to CarPlay, where an audio-only interface is used to access Siri's functions, so there's no touchscreen to distract the driver.



Tip of the Day: How to Produce Great Outdoor Photos With Your iPhone

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Your iPhone is a great tool to catalog your outdoor explorations. For an example, check out the image of Longs Peak that I took with my iPhone in Rocky Mountain National Park. Until I acquired a Nikon camera a few weeks ago, I relied solely on my iPhone for outdoor photography. I purchased the 32GB model of the 5s for the extra photo storage. I am no professional photographer, but I travel for work or play about once a month so you can imagine how many photos I have amassed.

Here is some insight into the best apps and tools to use for your adventures:



Augment Review - Super Slim Power on the Go!

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Batteries and chargers—Smartphones and tablets are hungry for them. But if you do a search online, and good luck choosing a battery or charger that is not at least sometimes annoying. They will either be too heavy or too bulky, the power will drain too quickly, etc. But now the AUGMENT (case $24.95/charge $39.95) an add-on case and charging solution made for the latest iPhone models aims to change the status quo. The AUGMENT is a power pack that can cleverly ride around on the bottom of an attractive cover or fit into a pocket.



Apple News: iOS 7.1.2 released

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With all of the hubbub around iOS 8, it's worth remembering that iOS 7 is still around and still being maintained by Apple. In fact, this week Apple rolled out an update, iOS 7.1.2, which offers bug fixes and security updates. Many of the fixes are related to barcode scanning and iBeacon. The 23.1 Megabyte update can be installed wirelessly, which helps contribute to Apple's record-setting adoption rates. I've been using Android devices a lot lately, and it's frustrating how out of date they get. Industry tracker Chitika Research reports that iOS 7 adoption rates are around 90 percent and that was three weeks ago.



Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Kinivo's M2 Bluetooth Sound Theater

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In addition to writing for iPhone Life I also consult on web designing and Apple-related computer issues, which means I'm the go-to techie amongst all of my close friends. So when our close family friend (we'll call him "The Dude") got his new Apple TV and a set of speakers to go along with the new set-top box, I was more than happy to help him set everything up. While the Apple TV lived up to its reputation and delivered a seamlessly well-integrated media experience, it was the Kinivo M2 Bluetooth sound system ($69.99 on sale) that really got my attention. If you are looking for a great home theater speaker set up, one that won't break the bank, the Kinivo M2 Bluetooth speakers perform incredibly and they're one of the best deals I've come across anywhere online, comparable to systems that are over twice the price.



Apple News: Back to School for Less

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As much as my kids and college professor wife would like to forget, it's almost Back-to-School time, and Apple is making it a little easier with their Back-to-School promotion. College-bound students (and their parents) as well as teachers can save year round with Educational pricing, but now Apple sweetens the pot. The annual promotion covers most Macs, iPads, and since 2013, iPhones.



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