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Holiday Gift Guide: Smart Gifts for a Smarter Home

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The best part about buying a gift for family members is you get to enjoy the gift yourself, if you play your cards right! So gifts that make your home smarter are perfect for those who share a home with you! Here are some smart home tools that I use to make our home smarter.



Holiday Gift Guide: A Stylus for Your iOS Device

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Every iOS user can use a stylus once in a while, no matter what Steve Jobs said. Some games are easier to play if your finger (and hand) don't obstruct the view. Sometimes you might need to draw or sign a signature. Here are some styluses that work well:



Danalock Review: Smart Door Security for the Connected Home!

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The Poly-Control Danalock is a Bluetooth-enabled smartlock ($159, varies by model) designed to work with your existing dead bolt. Once installed, you can control the dead bolt from your iPhone, configure it to auto-unlock when you are in proximity to the door, and allow others to similarly lock/unlock your doors. I had to wrestle with it a bit to get it installed and working, but the concept works well once it is configured.



iPhone Life's 2014 Rugged Gear Gift Guide

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In this day and age it's become commonplace for us to do just about everything with our iDevices, which means that we need gear that can keep up with us on any outlandish escapades, as well as on our day to day grind. The items featured here represent some of the best in their respective categories; built tough and designed with integrity and durability to handle the  adventures that lie ahead. Many of the products featured here have impressive MIL-STD or IP ratings, which you can learn more about by clicking HERE.

Here at iPhone Life we love turning people on to great gear that fits their specific purpose and need and we're hoping that these reviews will make your holiday shopping that much easier. Whether as a present for yourself, or as gift idea for family or friends, this list of exceptional products will help you find the perfect accessories.



Holiday Gift Guide: Chargers

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We love our iPhones, and use them so much that we often run out of power. What to do? Carry a spare battery pack. These are some of my favorites. TYLT makes some attractive accessories and one that deserves a spot in your gadget bag is the TYLT Energi Travel Charger. It replaces the USB wall charger that comes with your iPad or iPhone, but what sets it apart is it includes a battery. You need to carry a wall charger anyway, so why not carry one that incudes a battery. You can double the life of your iPhone battery while on the go.



Is the Plinth the Best Tablet Stand?

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The claim was pretty outlandish: "The Best Tablet Stand in the world." Well, I had to try it. And for the most part, that claim was pretty much on target. One exception is the name, "Plinth," which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. And the fact that it ships from the U.K. making it a little harder to get. But that could be remedied if Plinth ($32) gets a U.S. distributor or retail outlet.



Mini Motor Racing WRT - Free to Play Sequel to hit App stores this week!

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Mini Motor Racing ($0.99), the miniature racing game, garnered an App store award in 2012 with it's primo graphics, twisty tracks, and bouncy physics. It reminds me of a graphically enhanced version of the Windows Mobile classic, K-Rally (though K-rally also featured weapons which was so fun it was crazy). If you missed the original game, you can still grab it, or you can get the freemium, enhanced WRT version when it's released later this week! I give the two games a bit of a comparison in this mini-review.



FiiV iPad Case Houses a HotSpot and Battery Pack

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When considering the purchase of an iPad case, things like affordability, design, and protection all factor into the decision. The FiiV iPad case—currently on IndieGogo—adds a few more options for iPad owners. This smart case alleviates two common struggles you may face while you're out and about: Battery life and Wi-Fi. And the case itself is surprisingly slim even with the inclusion of added peripherals.



This Week's Gaming Distraction: Zengrams

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We're spoiled for choice when it comes to games nowadays; new apps come out every week, and there are hundreds of development companies working around the clock to create the most addicting, entrancing, and entertaining distractions possible. Games are as old as humanity itself, but we haven't always had such a wide variety of them; for thousands of years, we made do with just a handful of brain-teasing puzzles. These games were challenging enough to carry on down through the generations, and their influence is still occasionally seen today. Zengrams ($0.99), by Gameblyr, is one such example; it takes inspiration from ancient Chinese tangram puzzles. Translating to “seven boards of skill,” tangrams consisted of seven flat geometric shapes; the goal was to use all of the pieces to completely fill a larger outline. Tangrams are some of the most famous dissection puzzles on earth; from the seven standard shapes, there are over 6500 configurations currently known.



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