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Holiday Gift Guide: Good, Better, Best

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Every year, around this time, people ask me what they should get as a gift for some tech lover in their life. So I put together a presentation entitled Todd's Holiday Gift Guide: Good/Better/Best. This way, purchasers can decide what their budget is and pick out an appropriate gift! The categories I addressed include Headphones, Wireless Speakers, Stylus, Chargers, Docks, Smart Home Devices, and Smart Watches.



UZBL makes the iPad mini usable under extreme conditions

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I've been a fan of UZBL since over two years ago, when I wrote about them here. Recently, I attended a conference for educators (NYSCATE) and was pleased to see them in their own booth. They've come a long way, and I got to try their newer Shockwave case, for my newest iPad mini 3. As expected, the three-piece design is quite rugged, thanks to a combination of air cells, thick rubber, and hard plastic. There's also a built-in screen protector.



ZAGG Slim Book for iPad Mini

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Slim Book ($119.99) is a sleek keyboard/case combo that works in multiple viewing configurations. The detachable case works with the iPad mini, and the Bluetooth keyboard has the same insanely long purported two-year battery life that the Rugged Book (see our review here) supports, but I found the review unit was not quite as rugged in other regards during my evaluation. It is "purty," but definitely not as tough.



Ozobot Is the Future of Smart Toys

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At the last CES, iPhone Life awarded Best of Show to Ozobot, an emerging technology toy and educational robot system that had great promise. Ozobots ($49.99) are now shipping and we've had a chance to play (and learn) with them over an extended time. Ozobot is a programmable tiny cute robot that resembles the top half of everyone's favorite droid, R2D2. The domed robots can be customized with different color tops so kids can play with several at a time and still tell them apart. The robots get their programming not from a keyboard but via an optical sensor on their bottoms. The Ozobots "read" colors and commands that tell it to go straight, turn one way or the other, or reverse, etc. Kids can "program" the robots by literally drawing with markers on a page of paper. It's a fun way to program without ever touching a keyboard!



Sonos Offers Rare Gift Card Promotion This Holiday Season

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We have reviewed several Sonos wireless speakers and audio accessories at iPhone Life, and in this reviewer's opinion, there are few products that compare. The speakers sound astonishingly great, with solid wireless performance, and their streaming app and service library keeps getting richer and more refined. They don't often do sales or special offers, but the word on the street is they are offering gift cards and store promotions at select retailers for the Play family line. 



Sennheiser Urbanite On-Ear and Over-Ear Headphones

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I come across a great many headphones as a tech reporter; some are amazing, others not so much. With so many different models flooding the market, it can be hard for a pair to stand out from the crowd. Nonetheless, few accessories do more to enhance our experience and enjoyment of our iDevices. After all, even though our mobile computers have great speakers for their respective size, they can't match the audio delivered from a quality pair of headphones. Enter the Urbanite from Sennheiser. Available in either a compact on-ear model ($199.95), or a slightly larger, more noise isolating over-ear pair ($249.95), the Urbanite not only manages to successfully distinguish itself from the masses when it comes to sound quality and design build, it does so with a style and finesse that is rare in the industry. Read on to learn more about this phenomenal pair of cans.



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.



Gift Guide for Tweens and Teens

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As our kids get older, their wish lists seem to get smaller and more expensive. No more asking for Barbie dolls and Matchbox cars—we're on to iPads, iPhones, and Bluetooth accessories.



iPhone 6/6 Plus Case of the Week: The Powerful by Love Mei. [Updated]

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It's that time of year again. Right after a new iPhone comes out there is the inevitable deluge of great cases to protect your new investment. This happens with every iPhone release, but perhaps never more markedly than with the introduction of the completely new form factors of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If ever an iPhone needed a case, it is these large and larger models, with their increased real estate, slick, rounded edges, and extra weight. Rather than clump a bunch of individual cases together I'll be focusing on one great case each  week over the course of the coming months. This week's featured case is the Powerful; a tremendously protective, extreme-duty iPhone case  of gargantuan proportions from Love Mei.



If You Want Unlimited Power, Visit Kickstarter, Pronto!

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I don't like to recommend Kickstarter projects too much, because I've been burned and I hate to let others down. But once in a while a project comes along, like the Pebble watch I backed on Kickstarter, that makes it worth it. That was an example of an existing smartwatch firm, with a good design, and experience, and enough money already raised to make the product a reality (eventually.) There's another project, the Pronto power pack, from a group who has experience in the field, the backing of Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, and way more than the $50,000 they sought already raised. So the signs are good.



Best iPad Accessories, Reviews, iPad Cases

Best iPad accessories: there's lots to choose from and cases, stands and car mounts are just the beginning. We have the reviews that you need and 
let's face it; the iPad isn't a bargain item.  It is expensive, and it requires protection if you want it to last a while.  To get more value out of your device, however, sometimes you need to cough up a few more dollars and invest in some awesome gear.  That's where we come in.  We don't want you spending your precious money on worthless items. Here are our picks and reviews of the best iPad accessories for 2011.  Read on to find the absolute best gear and best ipad accessories.


Most iPad owners purchase a case to protect their device. The type of case you choose depends on how you'll be using your iPad and how much you want to spend. In this section we look at a variety of the best protective iPad accessories: cases, bags, shells, and sleeves, as well as stands. The descriptions not only include the list price but also the price on Amazon, so that you can get a sense for how much they're selling for through other online retailers.


New audio accessories are constantly evolving for all iOS devices, and starting earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there were some great ones in action. Most prefer something compact, with good quality sound, and affordability. An integrated app is nice, but not crucial. 

The Bose MIE2i wired mobile headset

 are perfect examples of earbuds that are compact, have great sound quailty and are affordable. They are highly rated for both sound quality and comfort. They come with three sizes of StayHear silicon tips and an answer/end button on the inline microphone. The reviews say the quality of sound is tops. Note that these are standard earbuds - no noise-isolating to block unwanted sound.
 A comparison of these earbuds and other great accessories are in the 2011 Best Gear article.