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Rugged Gear Roundup: The Latest Abuse-Proof Headphones, Speakers and iPhone Cases

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The latest crop of rugged, adventure ready gear is out, and there are some great new gadgets and accessories you'll want to take a look at. All of the gear featured here is built tough, with the shared focus of being able to survive extreme stresses and perform well under exceptional circumstances. From waterproof headphones and speakers, to the best new iPhone protective cases, we've got some unique rugged products that are made to live up to the challenge of an active and daring lifestyle. You'll notice as you read on, that many rugged products refer to IP and MIL-STD-810 ratings. For more on those designations and what they mean, you can click HERE to read my article discussing that topic.



You Can Never Have Enough Power, but UNU Comes Close

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I travel a lot, and depend on my iOS devices during those travels. That makes a reliable extra battery pack an extremely important part of my travel gear. Recently I've been using a UNU battery case ($99.95), but that's specifically for my iPhone 5s. It doesn't have a USB port to power my iPad Air, and when the next iPhone comes out, it won't be compatible.



Waterproof Battery Case: Review of the iBattz Refuel Aqua

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Yes, it's true.

You can now have the convenience of a waterproof and battery case at the same time. 



Wikipedia App - Explore the Modern Oracle on your iPhone!

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I use Wikipedia to gain background knowledge on any number of technical concepts, and because of the reputation of possible inaccuracies (due to it's open system of content contribution), I always cross-check the source material with other leading technical sources. In every case, I have found it to be quite accurate. So, I am pretty stoked to be able to get quick and up-to-date access to this oracle of information on my iPad or iPhone using the newly released and official Wikipedia Mobile app! Read on for our full review of the newly minted mobile encyclopedia.



Piel Frama's FramaSlim Lives Up to Its Name

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Piel Frama makes nice, quality leather cases for iPhones and other gadgets. But I didn't think they could make a case as slim as the FramaSlim. There has to be a trick, and indeed there is. Instead of a plastic insert or more leather to enclose the iPhone, they use a micro-suction material to attach the iPhone to the stiff leather case. There is a flap that covers the screen, but still, the case is remarkably thin. That flap closes shut thanks to built-in magnets, which is a nice touch.



Adventure-Proof Your iPhone with the Heavy-Duty Voyager for the iPhone 5/5s

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Pelican has long been considered a pioneer in the design and manufacture of high quality, rugged gear that's designed to last and withstand significant abuse. Their new ruggedized iPhone 5/5s cases continue in this great tradition. With its minimalistic yet highly protective design, the Pelican Voyager ($50) is the latest heavy-duty iPhone case offering from one of the leaders in reliably protective cases. This well-designed case not only meets the demanding Military Standards of device defense, it actually outshines the competition in one critical area.



Back to School: Gear Up with Pelican's Rugged S105 Backpack. [Review]

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With school about to be back in session, I've been keeping my eye open for great last-minute gear for the returning student. If you (or someone you know) are the type of student who tends to be rough on things, or a student who just needs something durable and reliable that can stand up to the general abuse and heavy lifting that the school year can bring, then the Pelican S105 might be just what you're looking for.



Battle Fleet 2 Adds New Game Modes and 3D Graphics!

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We reviewed the original Battle Fleet naval warfare strategy game back in 2012, and gave it high marks for its authentic details and realistic gameplay aspects. Now you can experience the even more immersive Battle Fleet 2 ($4.99) with 3D graphics, a new combat system and campaign modes. Get a taste with the embedded trailer or head over to the Battle Fleet home page. More details on the new version follow the break...



Game Centered Special Edition—Modern Combat 5: Blackout

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The wait is over. After several delays, Gameloft's Modern Combat 5: Blackout ($6.99) is finally available. And it is well worth the wait! This is one of the year's most anticipated games and it doesn't fail to impress. With cutting edge graphics and gameplay, and a storyline filled with mayhem, evildoers, and heroic deeds, MC5 is destined to be one of this summer's top blockbuster video games. This week's Game Centered gives you a brief introduction to this latest installment in Gameloft's highly successful Modern Combat series.



Better Headphones than Beats for Less

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When Apple paid $3 billion for Beats by Dr Dre, a lot of analysts think Apple overpaid. But that doesn't mean you have to. Sure, Beats headphones will set you back $200 and if you want wireless Bluetooth headphones with the Beats logo, expect to pay $300 to $350. But there are alternatives.



iPhone Reviews | iPhone Life Magazine

We have several iPhone reviews.  Articles like, iPhone Goes 3G,is one of many that gives you a more in depth look at Apple's products. Here are several iPhone reviews on past and current models.

"On July 11th, 2008, Apple and AT&T stores started selling the iPhone 3G, and over one million consumers bought one in the first three days, making this the hottest smart phone launch ever.  The 3G brings speed,assisted GPS, and a new low price to Apple's smart phone platform. And while the hardware has definitely been improved, it's the OS 2.0 and software suite that is truly revolutionary."

In iPhone 3G S and OS 3.0, we take a first look at the new 3G S. Resting in your hand, it looks pretty much like the 3G, but in this case, looks are deceiving. The iPhone 3G S sports a faster processor, better battery life, a 3 megapixel camera, enhanced 3D graphics, and a variety of other improvements.  Best of all, it's claimed to be twice as fast as the 3G.

We also reviewed the new OS 3.0 and software suite.  Apple added some nice features, including Cut & Paste capability, enhanced A2DPBluetooth that supports stereo headsets, an upgrade of SMS to full Multi MediaServices, improved search feature, landscape keyboard in Mail and other apps,and additional enhancements to Calendar, Contacts, iPod, and Safari.  Apple also added a new native app to the application suite.  VoiceMemo lets you capture and edit short audio recordings and e-mail or SMS them toa friend.

iPhone reviews: Apple began selling an unlocked versionof the iPhone 4S (iPhone Life Article Here). That means that you can use it with any carrier, andyou don't need to sign a contract.  Unlocked phones are a big advantage for frequent travelers. GSM is the most common standard abroad,and the whole cell phone business model is typically much different in other countries. No contracts, no subsidized phones. You simply buy a SIM card and put it in your phone. You can even buy SIM cards at kiosks in airports and on the street.