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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.