By Siva Om on Wed, 02/04/2015
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.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 02/03/2015
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.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 02/03/2015
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.
By Adam Harvey on Mon, 02/02/2015
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).
By Steve Young on Mon, 02/02/2015
By Siva Om on Tue, 01/27/2015
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.
By Tommy Ly on Mon, 01/26/2015
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).
By Todd Bernhard on Sun, 01/25/2015
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.
By Todd Bernhard on Sat, 01/24/2015
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.
By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 01/23/2015
The iPad introduced a new way to interface with our computers. Before tablets, our computers could rest on a desk, table, or lap. As iPads became thinner and thinner, they still put a strain on your hands when held for prolonged periods. This has caused an array of accessory makers to develop innovate stands for tablets and smartphones. This year, at the Consumer Electronics Show, there were several notable stands on display.
By Nate Adcock on Thu, 01/22/2015
The primary reason you should graphically (or not so graphically if using steganographic tags) tag your photos is to add some identifying mark on them, or even just add context. With iWatermark+ ($3.99) you can add a copyright, a custom icon, a logo, or even embed hidden steganographic data in your photos. You could also simply share your email, a uniform resource locator, or QR Codes (with links to either) from within your images. The latest version also allows you to watermark your videos.
By Abbey Dufoe on Thu, 01/22/2015
If you're a shift worker, look no further than Shifts for your scheduling needs.
Some weeks, I babysit, and others I don't. Every week, I have classes, except during holidays. Sure, these aren't shifts, but they provide the perfect example. With the calendar app Shifts ($1.99), I can create a "shift" programmed with the hours I work every week.
By Siva Om on Wed, 01/21/2015
Drones, drones and more drones. Pardon the pun, but drones were all the buzz at this year's CES. Along with the iPhone-Life-award-winning, high-end, HEXO + drone ($1,149.00), and the ultra portable and more affordable ZANO drone (approximately $200.00), which received honorable mention and which you can read more about here, CES also featured several other excellent entries in the iOS-controlled drone category. Even though CES has come and gone, the excitement over the plethora of drones exhibited on the CES show floor lingers on.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 01/20/2015
CES is over but the products that were presented are just hitting the markets or in some cases, aren't available yet. One of my perennial favorite product categories at CES is headphones and there were some distinctive sets introduced. Anyone can make headphones and make them loud, but Kidz Gear takes a different approach. Instead of trying to make them loud, they make them safe for kids' sensitive ears. After all, damage to the ear canal can be bad enough for old rockers like Pete Townshend, but for kids with their whole future ahead of them, it's an even bigger deal.
By Steve Young on Mon, 01/19/2015
Everyone would choose to keep things positive and spread good vibes in social media, but from time to time, there will simply be circumstances which can prompt us to lose it. Whether it be a rant about an irritating reality TV celebrity, a boyfriend who is late again for the umpteenth time, or lousy customer service, we want an outlet for unloading these feelings.
By Jim Karpen on Fri, 01/16/2015
On Wednesday Google released a new version of Google Translate (free) in the App Store that has some great new features. Most importantly, it now includes Word Lens: you can point your camera at some text in a foreign language, and the translated text will instantly overlay the image on your screen. You don't even need an Internet connection. According to the announcement on the Official Google Blog, the translation works between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, with more languages to be added.
By Siva Om on Fri, 01/16/2015
After scouring the sprawling sea of tech-gear that is CES, here's a compilation of the best of the adventure-proof, rugged gear that was on display. While not all of the items featured here are available for order quite yet, all of these products are expected to start shipping by Q2 this year, sometime around March most likely. Read on after the break to see what's coming in the world of heavy-duty gear for our iOS devices.
By Christopher Smith on Thu, 01/15/2015
For many of us who rely upon smartphones as part of our work flow, chance are we’ve used a scanning app or two. We might even have broken down and gotten one simply for scanning barcodes when we’re out shopping. But a fairly new development from Evernote looks to change the field dramatically. That development comes in the form of Scannable, their iOS app that’s now available in the App Store.
By Adam Harvey on Thu, 01/15/2015
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 01/13/2015
After a long week at the Consumer Electronics Show, it's time to reflect on what we just experienced. CES isn't really just a show anymore; it's a show of shows, each with its own theme. When I get back each year, my friends and family ask me what was "The Big Thing?" Because the show is so big, I've decided to break down the "theme" into multiple themes. This year, the different "big things" were as follows: