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Ah the dilemma of an early adopter... We get the latest gear, but when Apple introduces an entirely new form factor, as with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we lose out on some of our favorite cases. So I was very happy to see a new package from Alto Collective ($35-$45). They make beautiful etched-wood cases, by hand, in Canada. I've tried other wooden cases, but while they look and feel great, they don't have the protection and precision that Alto does. Alto combines a custom wood back with a rubberized, textured border. This provides grip and protection and it should last better than other wooden cases.
Relying on the built-in microphone on your iPhone or iPad for recording audio performances is fine for quick stream of consciousness captures. But if you’re serious about audio fidelity and capturing high-quality recordings, you need a serious microphone for the job. Does IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic HD meet this demanding requirement? Read on to find out.
Out of a crowded field, the Jabra Revo Bluetooth headphones ($199.99) get my vote as one of best pairs of Bluetooth headphones of this year. Specifically, within the on-ear category of headphones, the Revo's performance is unparalleled. They are masterfully designed and show a remarkable level of attention to all of the details that go into making an exceptional pair of 'phones; from their intuitive user interface to the extreme torture testing they go through before they are shipped. I realize Bluetooth headphones aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if you are looking for a top quality pair, the Revos are the best your money can buy.
There are a lot of tip calculators and bill-splitting apps, but many restaurants frown upon patrons pulling out their smartphones. And now that iPhones are getting larger and larger, I long for the days of a truly pocketable phone. The folks behind Tip 'n Split have come up with a handy, dedicated device that makes dining out a little easier, especially for seniors. This rugged little unit includes a 2.5X magnifying glass, which makes reading menus and bills easier. There's even a flashlight button to light things up. Of course, the main point of Tip 'n Split is to make it easier to figure out the tip, and to split the bill among multiple diners.
I only ended up with the Unicorn Beetle PRO ($19.99) by happenstance. I needed a rugged case for my iPhone 6 Plus as soon as possible, since I didn't want to use it without a case, but while most case makers had plenty of cases for the iPhone 6 ready to ship at launch, few were ready with cases for the 6 Plus, and even fewer had cases ready for the 6 Plus that were rugged options. With good reason I felt I needed a heavy duty case for this large and heavy iPhone 6 Plus, so I took to Amazon and before long these rugged cases from a manufacturer I hadn't heard of began coming up in the search results, and their rugged cases seemed, at first glance at least, to be almost on par with Griffin's Survivor All-Terrain ($59.99) or Otterbox's Defender ($69.90), two industry-leading, rugged case brands. So I took a chance and placed my order, figuring it was only $20 in the event that I hated it. I can now say that not only was I immediately impressed by the overall design and build of this sturdy case, I've been using it for almost two weeks now, and I've already drop-tested this case with hard falls from approximately three-feet high. It's safe to say that the way this case performs and feels in the hand is definitely reminiscent of the Otterbox Defender or the Survivor All-Terrain.
There are several trends in the consumer electronics industry. Smart home accessories are a big thing now. Bluetooth speakers are big. And convergence is big. So it was nice to see the convergence of both a Bluetooth speaker and an app-enabled lighting unit, all in one cool looking gadget from Yantouch.
It's not unusual for Apple to release hardware or software that has a glitch or bug. It's become the unfortunate trend that when a glitch in the Apple matrix is discovered, it gets nicknamed "such and such-gate." Do you remember Antennagate, which happened on Steve Jobs' shift, when numerous users reported dropped calls if they simply held their iPhone "wrong"? Then again, you needn't think back that far. Last month we were hit with Celebgate, (aka: the Fappening) where personal iCloud accounts of popular female celebrities were hacked and their nude photos flooded the internet.
I don't regret my decision to get the iPhone 6 Plus, not at all. To say that Apple has impressed me with the new iPhone 6 Plus would be an understatement. I am in awe of this device, often times when I am using it I'll notice a smile creep onto my face as I play my favorite graphically enhanced games or notice amazing new device features in action. But after a week with this iPhone at my side I've discovered that despite the fact that the 6 Plus is proving to be one of the best premium smartphones on the planet, there are still some significant issues (yes, even after this most recent iOS 8.0.1 update) that Apple really needs to address.
Want to keep tabs on someone (or maybe someone wants to keep them on you?) Consider V.ALRT (on sale for $59.99) which requires no expensive monthly services. The V.ALRT mobile tracking application can detect a fall, and has a panic button that can be configured to automatically alert and send SMS texts to friends andfamily, but the open API means that new apps will become available for this interesting and versatile health accessory from VSN Mobil.
The iPhone I've been requesting that Apple make is finally here. My iPhone 6 Plus safely arrived this morning and it's everything I hoped it would be. With great finesse and style, it encapsulates all I'd envisioned a larger iPhone would offer. I am not in the least bit disappointed, in fact, if it was a quarter-inch to a half-inch bigger that would've been just fine with me. My first impressions (and unboxing video) follow after the break.
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