iPhone Life magazine

Reviews

Piper Automates Your Home

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I've used the Lowe's Iris home automation system for quite a while and though the technology is decent, the interface is lacking. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to try the Piper from Icontrol for an extended amount of time, and I really like it. It addresses many of the deficiencies in the Iris system. For starters, it's compact and integrated whereas there were a lot of pieces in the Iris system. Instead of a separate motion detector, environmental (temperature, humidity, light, and sound) sensor, hub, and camera, the Piper has that all in one sleek unit.



Flashcard Languages - Brush Up Your Language Skills Anywhere!

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I have crammed for many a test using flashcards, and can attest to the timeless effectiveness of using them as a study aid. I have attempted to learn Spanish since high school, which has so far proved largely ineffective. Flashcard Languages ($1.99) cuts out the fancy app embellishments and focuses on the key words and phrases you need to make real progress in expanding your vocabulary.



Get your Guardians of the Galaxy Fix

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The recent blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy broke the mold for superhero movies. The characters, while part of Marvel's stable, were not traditional heroes like Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America, and the lead actor hadn't carried a film before. Even two of the lead actors, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, were just voices for a wisecracking raccoon and a tree with a limited vocabulary ("I am Groot!")



iPhone 6/6 Plus Case of the Week: STM's Harbour

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It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges, and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is STM's stylish and affordable Harbour.


Double Review: Replay Video Editing App, Featuring Parrot's A.R. Drone 2.0

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This is really two mini reviews in one. A while back the folks at Parrot wanted me to check out their A.R. Drone remote controlled aerial vehicle. So I spent a couple of months doing some product testing. In the process I utilized the quadricopter's two onboard cameras along with Parrot's FreeFlight (Free) drone control app to shoot some video, which I wanted to include with my reviews. Then the dilemma arose of where the heck to find the time in my busy schedule to both write a review and edit about 25 minutes of aerial video down to a short snippet that I thought people might be interested in watching. Enter the remarkable video editing app, Replay, which I learned about during Apple's live presentation of the iPad Air 2.



SoundHound and TouchTunes - Convergence of Online and On-Premises Music Services

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If you like and use the SoundHound music app (free), which can guess melodies like a musical savant, then you might want to add TouchTunes (free). SoundHound recently announced a team up with TouchTunes: an in-venue entertainment and music platform that provides service at over 60,000 locations. With SoundHound and TouchTunes together, you can now get your online music choices queued up when visiting any TouchTunes supported location!



This Week's Distractions: Finger Painting Puzzles with 'Watercolors'

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Watercolors (Free)

iPhone Life rating: 4 out of 5 Stars



Your Gadgets' Best Friend: The SeV Revolution Plus TEC Jacket [Review]

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I love the changing of the seasons. In fact October is one of my favorite months here in the US. From coast to coast, temperatures are cooling down, trees are lighting up with brilliant colors, and there's a refreshing nip to the air. With the return of the cooler weather, many of us are rummaging through our closets, as we put away our warm weather gear and search for our winter wear. If you are in the market for a new winter jacket (or if you're contemplating giving a warm jacket to that special someone) have I got an amazing recommendation for you!



Catalyst Waterproof Case Has the Right Mix of Features, for iPhone 5 and 5s

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The iPhone 5s is still for sale, and many iPhone 6 owners may be handing down their older iPhones to family members. That's what I did, and, since it's still worth $200 to $300, I want to make sure my daughter keeps it protected! That means a waterproof, rugged case. And because it's an iPhone 5s, I'd like to keep the Touch ID functionality.



From the Originator of Beats by Dre, Come the Monster Inspiration Headphones

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Monster headphones have been in the business of making premium audio accessories for over three decades now, and they have built up quite a reputation by developing high-end audio gear. Over the years I've heard a great deal about the amazing quality of  the audio gear made by Monster, the company served as the launch pad for Apple-owned Beats by Dre. So when I had to opportunity to try a pair of the Monster Inspiration Lite on-ear headphones ($269.95), I was excited to see how these headphones from the company that helped shape the future of Beats would perform.



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