I’m about to provide a basic evaluation of three new keyboards. Before I do, though, I have to raise an issue about keyboard portability. Notebook computers, or tablet convertibles, typically fold over the keyboard, protecting them from the harsh jiggling they are likely to encounter during travel.
If you are a parent, you already know how interested your kids are in your iOS devices. And as much as we may try limit and monitor their exposure to this touchscreen technology, it's hard to blame them for being interested in our iDevices. After all, they are by their very nature so observant of us and of how "plugged in" we can be at times, not to mention the abundance of great, child-appealing apps in the App Store. The thing is, gear and accessories that might be perfect for an adult might be less than ideal for little people. With that in mind, here's a list of some great iOS gear that is well-suited for both kids and their parents.
The iPad mini is perhaps the most powerful compact tablet available. You can leverage the thousands of full-size iPad apps yet still slip your iPad mini into just about any purse, bag, briefcase, or even coat pocket. That's why I traded in my original iPad Air for an iPad mini 3. I now leave my MacBook Pro at home and rely on the iPad mini when out of the office or out of town. The one thing that's missing is a mechanical keyboard.
At CES, several vendors offered "second screen" monitors either intended to be used as "accessory" screens to complement a larger monitor or to serve as a single purpose screen to keep tabs on specific content. It's a neat concept, with some neat designs, that is only possibly now because of lower costs, increased supply, and new technologies and concepts like the Internet of Things.
It's always a total bummer when you lose battery power on the go. I know it's not something I can handle at all because my phone is my life. I live and die by that thing and if it goes down, so do I. The good people at Patriot clearly know me very well and sent me two of their FUEL + chargers to review: The smaller 6000 mAh($49.99) and the larger and more powerful 12,000 mAh style ($79.99).
I've been hearing a good deal of positive feedback from my peers in the tech press about the Blue Microphones' Mo-Fi headphones($349.98), so I was eager to spend some time sampling the audio performance and comfort that these oddly designed headphones offered. What I discovered was a pair of high-end, superior-quality headphones that manage to set themselves apart from a crowded field in a number of unique and distinguishing ways.
Nowadays, it’s more common than not to own more than one device that can be charged via USB. If that’s the case, you probably have a jumbled mess of wall adapters and various cords in different plugs throughout your workspace. To help alleviate at least some of that mess is Truffol’s Station 5 ($39.99).
I've been having fun with NHL Hockey Target Smash (free), and it's not all about smashing targets. With the hockey simulator game, you get to choose your team colors, enter your name, and customize your hockey stick and even your puck. That's something Tom Brady would love to do with his football! But that's another sport. Speaking of other sports, Concrete Software, the maker of NHL Hockey Target Smash, also makes PBA Bowling Challenge, another fun licensed app I've played and enjoyed.
This should be the year of home automation, as Apple's HomeKit specification starts to take root, and CES had a number of products in that arena. The Ring Video Doorbell is a novel product that can replace a doorbell, using the existing wiring. It lets you see who is at the door and communicate with them thanks to a microphone and speaker, all via the free companion app running on an iOS device. This means you can be thousands of miles away and see when a visitor, delivery person, or intruder approaches your door. It's a great idea and at $199, it's reasonably priced. The Ring can also be operated by battery, so you can add a video doorbell to a gate or just about anywhere, as long as it's within range of your home's Wi-Fi.