How many times have you wished you could control your phone right through the case, instead of eating up screen real-estate with your fingers? The Canopy Sensus is a a prototype touch-sensitive case product that should be released some time later this year, and you can see it in action at the LVH iLounge Pavilion at CES. The back of the case (as well as the sides) function as a grid of touch input points. There are several apps already prepared to work with it (an SDK is available). Like a lot of app-cessories that need a catalog of apps, the Sensus will only go as far as the app community that supports it, but there are other reasons to cheer for it.
iHome had great products on display this year at CES. Too many to cover in one shot really, but will do my level best to round up the ones that shine. Many won't be released until later this year (some maybe not at all). I skipped most of the AirPlay capable models, as we have covered several on our blogs already. They were showing a new wireless speaker that is basically the iW3 (see my review here), but with Bluetooth, which is the better option in my opinion, unless you really must rely on AirPlay. Another interesting product is a speaker accessory that turns any analog audio player into a bluetooth-capable stereo, and an on-ear BT headphone that folds up and fits in your pocket (almost). Much more iHome CES gear coverage follows...
Over in the Las Vegas Hotel (right next to North Hall), the CES iLounge Pavilion continues full of great accessory gear for the intrepid wanderer! I'll be posting up a full review on the iXY from RØDE after the show, but the high points include: stereo dynamic mic input wrapped in a superb hardware package, and with a recording/sampling ability and impressive range of editing and sharing options. Serious journalism types, podcasters, and musicians that want to capture high-quality audio with nothing more than iPhone (and the iXY) should give this product a serious look!
I'll do a full post up on the Mobile App Showdown later, but wanted to get the word out that MyScript Calculator, an awesomely cool scratchpad-like calculation app (with handwriting recognition and the ability to solve equations) ran away with the MAS this year at CES. The app garnered oohs and aahs during the 4-minute pitch, and the applause-o-meter went off the chart as the crowd went wild for it at the end. If you grab one app this year, make it this seriously cool, award winning calculation app (currently FREE)!
We have a bunch of folks at CES, so I don't want to steal too much thunder, because I know they are probably covering many of these vendors as well, but there were some early standout case products to slobber over. First up, if your want to drag your phone around in aircraft-grade aluminum, Rokform has a CES award-winning line of alloy-encasing products that jump out at you like Arnold in the Terminator! Seidio had an actual aquarium set up (complete with submerged devices, but sans fish) to show off their new waterproof Obex cases, and of course, they had to show off by streaming to a BT speaker on the outside of the tank. Last, the mophie OUTRIDE case proves that surfers need iPhone's connected to their boards to monitor for sharks (totally made that up). What is true though, is that mophie even developed an Instagram-like free app to help you find the best waves, and catalog your best ride (or "run", or whatever you surfer types call riding a wave)!
One of the big tech showcase press events during the CES week of madness is Digital Experience, held at the MGM Grand Convention Center. A veritable cornucopia of vendors all crammed together--a mini version of CES, but with catering. Figured least I could do would be to post up a sample on some of the great stuff in this space. The theme this year was that of a "tailgate party", as in a party out in the parking lot of a college football game, but with vendors being swarmed by press, and the noise level cranking up to a steady drone, there was not much football interest being exhibited. Uh, anyway, let's go straight to the gear...
The press room at the annual 2013 Computer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, was pretty dead this afternoon when I grabbed my gear, but soon that will change significantly as tons of press people from the world over descend on what is arguably the biggest electronics extravaganza in the known universe (or something)! Anyway, this is my inaugural post to remind everyone to stay connected to our blogs this week as several of us iPhoneLifers will be covering the show (Jan 8-11, 2013) in near real-time, or at least as frequently as our wireless connections will allow. It should prove to be an exciting event, and not just for iPhone/iPad/iPod-related gear (though there will be a ton of that), but also mucho mobile and just plain cool gadgets, sick apps, latest car gizmos and so much more...!!! Words can't even describe the coolness, really, so stay tuned!
Back in 2011, I reviewed the iW1 when it first came out; an awesomely portable/rechargeable wireless speaker from iHome--portable, as in literally no wires--with an internal 2600 mAh Li-ion battery. The Wi-Fi setup was a bit sketchy, but I finally figured out a compromise by setting up a second Wi-Fi access point. Been looking forward to trying out one of the new iW3 models and got my hands on a review unit. The iW3 is like the iW1, but taller, lighter and easier to haul around the house. The sound quality is pretty close to what I remember from the iW1, and though it won't blow out a window, it will let you easily push quality music to any room in your home.
Two awesome 99 cent titles this week, and likely my last WIPTW article of 2012, so a happy holidays to everyone, and here is hoping you have a great new year in 2013! Starbase Gunship is a new game from Capital j Media. A stationary 3D shooting game that puts you at the center of the action as enemy ships and incoming weapons head toward your base station. Blasting through and surviving enemy waves will allow you to build up enough creds to update your base firepower and protection levels. Angry Birds Space HD is pig busting in zero-G, and like every other Angry Birds (all of which are currently on sale), powerfully addictive.
Got to love the holiday sales, right? In the spirit of the season, several vendors are proving their "non-Scrooge-iness" by offering up reduced pricing and FREE apps to close out 2012! But some only appear to be free, so FREE buyer beware! First up, you can grab great Activision re-styled classics like Pitfall (uh, TOTALLY FREE), Guitar Hero ($1.99), Call of Duty: Zombies ($1.99) and more great games at reduced prices (search App store for Activision). You can also grab a slew of cool games like Shoot the Zombirds (FREE) from Infinite Dreams, iQuarium HD (99 cents), and Jelly Defense (99 cents), plus several more low-priced titles. While you are up in the App store nabbing these great games, you might check out Sleigher and Ears the Astronaut, both pseudo-FREEBIES that I must now sadly report require in-app purchases to advance, which RUINS FREE, IMO (and must now pull from my review queue)...