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The CES of THINGS! The Common Thread for CES 2014

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I've attended dozens of CES (and COMDEX) tradeshows and every time I return, people ask me "what was the big thing this year?" Usually it's something straightforward like larger televisions, 3DTV, Blu-Ray, tablets, or smartphones. But this year, the big thing was "THINGS" itself! The phrase "The Internet of Things" refers to the increasing connectivity and intelligence of ordinary tools and appliances. Thanks to technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and IPv6, we have reached a tipping point where everyday devices like light bulbs, door locks, and thermostats can be connected to each other and to the Internet.



CES 2014: Meet the LaCie Fuel, a Wireless, Streaming, Portable Hard Drive.

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LaCie, the popular, Mac-friendly hard drive manufacturer introduced their new Fuel hard drive ($199.99) this year at CES. The LaCie Fuel 1TB hard drive is a one-of-a-kind storage device that serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your stored data, and runs seamlessly and intuitively with your iDevices. We were quite impressed with the Fuel and it even went on to win an iPhone Life Best of CES 2014 award. Read on for more details about what makes the new Fuel such a champion among portable storage systems.



CES 2014: Game On! Introducing the Stratus iOS Game Controller

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If you follow iPhone Life magazine and iPhoneLife.com you might already know this about me, but if not, I'm an avid iOS game playerSo when I found out about Apple’s MFi support for third-party developers to build dedicated and certified iOS game controllers you could say I was stoked, and that would be an understatement. However, the first entries into the field of iOS MFi game controllers actually left me a little underwhelmed. The potential was there, but until now no controller has really embodied the complete package of what a good iOS game controller should be like. Until now...


CES 2014: Free FlipSquare App Provides Puzzle-Solving Downtime at CES!

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I can call this a CES mini game review, because I was able to enjoy a bit of a gaming break here at the show while at the Venetian at CES (which I desperately needed). The FlipSquare concept at first look seems way too simple and easy, but after I blasted through a few levels, it became apparent I needed to put on the old thinking cap. Starting position is key, but basically this block connection style game requires clever thinking and pattern visualization skills to master. Once you select a block direction to fill, you have to fill the entire row before going in another direction. The developers are offering the first 75 levels for free (unlock 100 with a $0.99 IAP, and 4 extra hints also cost $0.99). It looks boring, but I stayed through at least 14 levels and still wanted to keep going (later levels add new block types and conditions)... Ah, back to the show, darnnit! Grab the already popular FlipSquare at the link above.



CES 2014: Braven's New BRV-X Raises the Bar for Rugged Bluetooth Speakers

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Braven just introduced a massively powerful new outdoor, rugged speaker at this year’s CES. Called the BRV-X ($229.00), it's designed to withstand almost any abuse that an outdoor adventurer may subject it to, with considerable shock/drop/water protection. The BRV-X is truly a force to be reckoned with, and between its thunderous sound and Herculean design, it ranks as one of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers I've ever seen or heard.



Time for a New Pebble Smartwatch?

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I'm a big fan of the Pebble SmartWatch as one of the early backers on Kickstarter. So I was anxious to see their announcement at CES yesterday. But frankly, it was a letdown. As I mentioned, I like my Pebble. I wear it almost everyday and appreciate that I can get text messages and caller ID on it. I appreciate the magnetic charging capability and the fact that the battery lasts about a week.
 



A Rock Solid Case for Your iPad Air from Pelican

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I love my iPad Air, but it's probably the most expensive gadget I carry around on a daily basis. And as an app developer, I depend upon my iPad Air. So I need to protect it. I was able to try the appropriately named Vault from Pelican ($99.95) and it's a serious case.



The Pulse is a Bluetooth speaker for every occasion and every place

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I love my iPhone, but Apple has consistently positioned the speakers in a way that directs sound down and not toward the user. If I place my iPhone in my cup holder, it muffles the sound for music or voice calls. A Bluetooth speaker solves this problem, but it's hard to find one that fits well in a car, on your person, and at the gym. That was, until the Pulse from Felt ($79.99). This remarkably compact Bluetooth speaker fits nicely in your hand, or in a cup holder, or, thanks to the included clip, on your visor or seatbelt.



Restaurateurs, Resolve to Be More Efficient This Year with SteadyServ

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If any industry needs to be more efficient, it's the restaurant and bar business. Profit margins are tight, employee turnover is a problem, and customers can be fickle. That's why I love shows like Bar Rescue which feature new technological solutions for one of the oldest industries.



iPad Air Case Roundup: First Looks at 19 iPad Air Cases

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It used to take forever for new iPad cases to arrive. Now it takes days, at most weeks. Many of the new iPad Air cases got the size and shape right, but a few missed the magnets on folios that enable sleep/wake. This first batch of iPad Air cases doesn’t offer any new twists or innovations, instead continuing mostly with cases that are one-offs of earlier iPad cases. The variety does, however, suggest that iPad Air owners will have plenty of options to choose from.

Look for CES announcements to greatly expand the number of options available.



iPad Reviews, News, Tips and Tricks

Searching for the best iPad reviews, news or tips and tricks on accessories, apps, gadgets and more is just as important as figuring which apple product you should get in the first place. iPad reviews and news on different products allow you to make a more conscientious decision, but where should you look.  Here at iPhone Life Magazine we work towards answering these very questions.  This page is dedicated to iPad reviews, news, tips and tricks.  This is just one example of a review that we have online (The Green Figure iHolder iPad Stand).

Another great thing about doing research is that sometimes you will find something that you weren't looking for and that can help you.  For example, our page on The Best of 2011 shows our reviews for some of the best products that came out this past year.  This link gives you just a taste of some of the concrete examples of reviews that we do.

Now, the iPad 2 has been around for several months and there have been several companies that have based themselves around the needs of this tablet.  However, it is still a competitive world in the market of accessories.  Anyone could be easily overwhelmed by all the available stands, apps, cases or any of the other niche markets.  We would definitely recommend doing some research and checking out some iPad reviews to get an idea of whats available and how you are going to use your device. The market has several options to choose from today.

Such examples as IK Multimedia, have been on a roll lately, with a slew of hardware and software products tailored for amateur and prosumer musicians. Whether its stands and clips for iPhones and iPads or multitrack recording and sampling software for the iOS platform, IK has been expanding their catalog at a prodigious rate. Their latest releases include a MIDI hardware connector for the iOS platform, a sound sampler app and a iPad version of their popular VocaLive software. These iPad reviews will take a closer look at each.

Whatever you may be searching for, we too are looking for answers and want to help you find them.