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Otterbox Defender and Symmetry Offer Style and Substance

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I had the opportunity to try the Otterbox Defender and Symmetry Series ($39.95 - $59.95). OtterBox gave me a variety of cases to try, in assorted color combinations. They offer a dizzying array of choices and have come a long way since the old days of basic black cases with the rare yellow or white option.



Indie Project Corner—Gene Aikens wants Data in Your Pocket (Part 1)

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This is the first Indie Project Corner post, a regular feature we will be undertaking to showcase noteworthy indie development efforts (mostly iPhone-related). It's not easy to get a crowdfunded product off the ground, as any who have done it will tell you, and iPhone Life wants to help by interviewing entrepreneurs and getting the skinny on what makes their products the best. In this first edition, we interview Gene Aikens of The Power Company, maker of the Smart Card, and the iPocket Drive. Gene sent us an early review sample of the iPocket Drive to check out. If you are looking for an alternative to network or cloud-connected storage, you will want an iPocket Drive! Gene shares some great insights in part one of this edition.



Review: Forge Sketching App from Adonit

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There is a whole host of note-taking and drawing apps for iPad especially, and a lot can be done with a free app and a cheap stylus.



Tip of the Day: Change How Many Lines of an Email Are Previewed in the Mail App

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Do you ever wish you could see more (or less) of an email's content before deciding whether to open or delete it? Here's how to change the number of lines of text shown in your email previews on your iPhone.



Rumor: New Apple TV Coming in June Will Include Siri and App Store

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For well over a year rumors have been floating around that Apple would come out with a new Apple TV set-top box that would include Siri and an App Store. Now, according to BuzzFeed, it's finally going to happen. Citing "sources familiar with the company's plan," BuzzFeed says the new Apple TV will be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and that it represents a major overhaul of the device. That overhaul not only includes a new interface but also the capability of controlling smart home devices. With the introduction of HomeKit at WWDC last year, many had expected the Apple TV to play a central role in controlling HomeKit-compatible devices. It looks like that may be happening. 



Used Apple Watches Just a Matter of Time

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Apple products have always kept their value pretty well and there is a healthy marketplace for used MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. I don't mind the "Apple Tax" because I'm likely to get a good portion of that value back at trade-in time. My Pebble Watch, which sold a year ago for $150, is only worth $20 on trade but the $349 Apple Watch should do better. Cnet is reporting that Gazelle already has plans to take in, and sell, used Apple Watches.



Apple Stores to Offer 15-Minute Apple Watch Try-on Appointments

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As it gets closer to April 10, when you'll be able to get your hands on a demo Apple Watch in the Apple Stores, details are leaking about the preparations Apple is making for the large crowds that are expected. According to 9To5Mac, which apparently has sources inside the company, Apple will be making 15-minute appointments for customers to come in and try on an Apple Watch. The post said that it may not be necessary to have an appointment, but that in every case people will be limited to 15 minutes. And having tried on an Apple Watch, they can make a reservation to come into the Apple Store to purchase an Apple Watch beginning on April 24. The stores are expected to have enough stock to also service walk-in customers.



Apple Selling Sugared Water, Thanks to Apple Pay

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Steve Jobs was a great salesman. Perhaps too good. He lured John Sculley away from the CEO spot at Pepsico by asking him if he really wanted to be selling sugared water for the rest of his life. Sculley became Apple's CEO and within a year, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple. He formed NeXT, which Apple ended up acquiring and Jobs returned to Apple, like Moses returning from the wilderness and the rest is history. But that sales pitch hit home during Apple's Spring Forward keynote. Tim Cook showed a slide of a Coca Cola machine that accepts Apple Pay. The very next day, I saw one of those machines at a college campus, and it occurred to me that Apple is now "selling" sugared water!



Apple iOS 8 Adoption, By The Numbers

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Apple's iOS 8 is chugging along quite well, as Apple now reports that 77 percent of iOS devices are using iOS 8. AppleInsider is citing Apple's App Store statistics, stating that Apple's iOS 7 still commands 20 percent share of iOS devices, at least of those that visited the App Store. That means 97 percent of app customers are using the current (2014) or last generation (2013) operating system. This is important to developers, myself included, as it means we can focus on the latest features without leaving too many potential customers behind.



What Apple Gear Has Not Been Updated Lately?

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Apple may have just updated a bunch of products and introduced some completely new ones, like the Apple Watch, but there are quite a few products on their price list that are overdue for a refresh. The iPod line hasn't been touched in almost two years. Considering they list for close to the price of an iPad mini, Apple may feel that customers can get a bigger device for the same price, or buy an iPhone or use a hand-me-down iPhone, without a cellular contract, as a de facto iPod touch. The Apple Watch could take the place of the iPod nano, but at a much higher price.



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