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December 15 Biweekly Giveaway

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This is the official announcement of the iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iPhoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce December 15! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.

Here's how it works: Every other Friday we announce the prizes we're giving away through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter the giveaway, go to iPhoneLife.com/giveaways and tell your friends to enter too! On the following Monday morning, we will randomly select the winners. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code to redeem the app for free. If you win an accessory, send us your address and we will mail it to you.



CloudOn Adds On-Device Document Editing

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CloudOn was one of the early, free, mobile-editing solutions to come to iOS (see our previous review here). The software provided access to a virtualized office suite of editors, which meant that you had to be exclusively online to use it. In terms of document editing, however, it was full featured and could sync docs to several popular cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. In October the app was updated markedly, adding the ability to locally edit documents. Kudos are in order— it's a big plus for iOS users, but the other editors still need a bit more work.



Game Centered Special Edition: Top iOS Games for Console Gamers

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The following dozen games are either ports of popular console titles, or iOS games that shine in their own right as being console quality. To be included on this list, a game must either be a new release as of this year, or it must have been updated recently to support iOS 8 and Apple's advanced new programming interface known as Metal. With the introduction of iOS 8 and Metal, alongside the powerful A8 and A8X processors that are inside the latest iDevices, Apple has leveled the virtual playing field. It would be ignoring the facts for a core console gamer to say that iOS can't support video games that are on par with console or PC titles, especially if you indulge in iOS' streaming capabilities that allow us to play these great games on a large screened TV. With the graphic capabilities of iOS 8 and the exciting titles currently available for the platform, it's easy to see how Apple's iOS is leading the way in a mobile eSport industry that is on track to bring in a revenue of over 24 billion dollars this year, and set to overtake PC and console gaming's revenue in 2015. As the holidays are upon us again, don't forget that you can gift any of these apps to your favorite gamer via the App Store.

 



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.



Apple iPads in Education Under Threat from Chromebooks

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Apple has always been a strong player in education. They believed that if a student's first computer is an Apple, then that could influence their future purchases. It certainly did with me, as I first used an Apple ][ Bell & Howell (the black one) in high school, and while I purchased an Osborne 1, a Radio Shack Color Computer, a Sinclair ZX-80, and an IBM PC, I always had a special place in my heart for Apple. So when it was time to go to college, I picked a school (Carnegie Mellon University) that had a deal on Macs, and bought one the day I arrived on campus. I even applied for (and got) a job at the school's computer store, and became Apple's Campus Representative. I was at CMU when Steve Jobs came there to acquire the Mach Kernel for his NeXT Computer company, and I got to see him speak. So that first Apple computer set my career in motion.



Rumor: New Details of 12.2-inch "iPad Air Plus," iPad Mini 4

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Many rumors have now suggested Apple will be coming out with a larger iPad next year, with the most recent courtesy of the Japanese magazine Mac Fan, as reported by the website Macokatara. The magazine's January issue, which came out November 28, has published a schematic of a 12.2-inch iPad that it calls the "iPad Air Plus." The report says that it will ship sometime between April and June of next year. It will be powered by a new A9 processor and will have four speakers, one on each edge of the casing. The placing of the speakers will allow for stereo sound even if the iPad is rotated. The size is expected to be 305.31 x 220.8 x 7 mm.



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!



WINNERS of the iPhone Life December 1 Biweekly Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone who entered the December 1 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the December 15 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!

And the winner is... (drum roll please):



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.



Everything iPad - Apps, Accessories, Reviews, Wallpapers etc | iPhone Life Magazine

What's bigger than an iPhone, smaller than a MacBook, and the most anticipated Apple product since the original iPhone? On January 27, at a special invitation only event at the San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Steve Jobs announced Apple's new "magical, revolutionary product" -- the iPad. Meant to fill the gap between the laptop and phone, Jobs said it was "way better" than either. Let's take a look at it.

Thin, lightweight, and powerful

The iPad shares many hardware features with the iPhone, including an accelerometer, an orientation sensor to switch from portrait to landscape mode, solid-state memory, and the same 30-pin doc connector. Connectivity is also virtually the same, with wireless 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR included on all models.

iPad runs iPhone apps!

The iPad will run a version of iPhone OS, and the new device can run virtually any app developed for the iPhone or iPod touch. Aps developed for the iPhone can run on the iPad in native resolution but is large enough to touch type on.

The larger screen not only makes familiar iPhone apps like Calendar, Mail, and Safari look stunning, it also provides screen real estate for more complex elements in the UI. For example, Calendar display a split-sreen view that describes the day's appointments on the left and shows you a color map of used time slots on the right. The split-screen view in Contacts displays you contacts list on the left and the full information for the contact you've selected on the right.

An ebook reader and more

Although not build into the iPad, Apple will offer a free app called iBooks, which will allow you to download and read books from it's new virtual bookstore. The new iBooks store will be accessed from and as easy to use as iTunes.

The ultimate media device?

The iPad is not the world's first tablet PC or the first eBook reader. Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, and others sell Windows-based tablets, and Amazon has had considerable success with it's Kindle. But Apple thinks the iPad will reinvent the category by offering a vastly superior multi-touch interface an easy access to a wide-variety of apps and media via iTunes. Aple hopes to make the iPad the ultimate media device by leveraging it's existing assets which include over 100 million paying iTunes customers, established relationships with music and video content providers, and over 100,000 iPhone OS app developers.