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10 iPhone Accessories Every Nature Enthusiast Needs

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Happy Earth Day everyone! I'll admit, I've got mixed feelings about the contemporary celebration day known as Earth Day, simply because I feel strongly that EVERY day should be approached with the love and respect for Mother Earth that Earth Day promotes. Nonetheless, once a year is better than nothing. We all have our own connection to this great planet and there's no shortage of cool gadgets, gear, and apps to help us get out there and enjoy all that this bountiful planet has to offer. I've put together a roundup (presented in no particular order) of some of my favorite items. This roundup features accessories that will encourage you to spend more time romping and frolicking outside, and that will support doing so with your modern-day tech in tow. The gear featured here isn't necessarily produced by any award-winning Eco-friendly companies, but they might inspire you to spend more time outdoors and perhaps develop a greater connection with this great planet and Mother Nature.



PhoneJoy Ships a Compact Controller that Grows with Your Phone

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The popular Kickstarter project from PhoneJoy is now shipping and I had the opportunity to try it out. This is a Bluetooth controller that expands to fit just about any phone, in landscape or portrait. By any phone, that includes Android and iPhone, and thanks to the expanding nature of the device, the next generation of larger iPhones should fit as well!



Review: Experience Wireless Hi-Fi with the Freedom Bluetooth Headphones

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Bluetooth headsets have come a long way since the old days of those small, thumb-sized, in-ear stick devices that weren't good for much more than talking on the phone hands-free. These days we can enjoy an ever-increasing selection of high-fidelity, acoustically precise Bluetooth headphones. Still, there aren't that many to choose from, relative to the number of wired headphones on the market. In this newly emerging market of quality Bluetooth headphones, the SuperTooth Freedom ($149) have become one of my favorite Bluetooth headphones currently available. That said, there's still room for improvements. Read on to find out where these headphones shine the brightest, and where they could use some polishing up.



iOS 8 Could Add Shazam Functionality to Siri

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The next iPhone is getting a lot of coverage, but each generation of iPhone also sees a new version of iOS. With Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) coming June 2, it's logical that iOS 8 will be available soon. Hundreds of new features roll out with each new operating system, but one that caught my eye is a potential integration of Shazam's music recognition service with Apple's Siri, according to Bloomberg.



Apple and Other Smartphone Manufacturers Implement Anti-Theft Initiative

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Apple's iPhones have long been the object of affection for consumers and also thieves. New York City reports that crime has increased directly because of the iPhone. In 2011, iPhones accounted for 70 percent of all cell phone thefts and half of all thefts in New York City! As a valuable commodity, they can be resold easily, or at least they could before iOS 7's anti-theft capabilities. In addition to the preexisting Find My iPhone feature, iOS 7 added the requirement that a user's iTunes ID and password had to be entered after a factory reset.



Review: the Down-to Earth Troubadour Over-Ear Headphones by LSTN

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I'm a big fan of using over-ear headphones for the personal enjoyment of my iDevice media. When it comes to authentic sound reproduction, whether it's games or music, it’s hard to beat the noise-isolating comfort of a good pair of “circumaural” cans. Even more than over-ear headphones though, I am a fan of environmentally friendly products. So when a product manages to be a high quality hybrid of both over-ear hi-fi headphones and ecologically conscientious business practices you can guess that I would want to share the news with all of our readers. Without further adieu, I introduce you to the Troubadour from LSTN ($150.00).



The Cogito Pop Watch may be smart enough to earn a spot on your wrist

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This is the season of the Watch, and I've had the opportunity to review at least five SmartWatches lately, from Pebble, Martian, Phosphor, i'mWatch and now Cogito ($129.95). Each brings something different to the table, in terms of apps, screen, battery life, style, and functionality. Cogito's Pop may have just enough "smart" to go with plenty of style and battery life to be your primary watch.



Gear Review: Nyne BASS Bluetooth Speaker

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The wireless speaker market is completely saturated, so its hard to know where to start when looking for a quality, yet affordable option that is rises above the sea of cheap Bluetooth speakers. I have listened to a metric ton of them, and the gold standard for streaming and quality to me is Sonos, but their products are not cheap, and do not include a simpler Bluetooth option. Nyne has a uniquely shaped line of Bluetooth 4.0 speakerphone devices that give the solid sound quality that approaches the Sonos level, but without the price (and WiFi fuss.)



In-App Purchase Problems Lead to Refund Option

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Apple just sent out a quick notice offering a mechanism to get a refund for unauthorized in-app purchases by a minor. It should have been sent to all iTunes users who made an in-app purchase, but it's easy to miss, so I've included the text below. Despite Apple's efforts to limit in-app purchases to a 15 minute window without requiring re-entering a password, a lot of damage can be done in those 15 minutes. I've written about my troubles with IAPs before.



Add Power and Style with the Add PowerBank from Lepow

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There is always need for more battery life, and power banks are a must-have in my gadget bag. I often carry several in fact. So it was cool to see the Add series of Power Banks from Lepow. There are several features that set this product apart.



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