The wireless speaker market is completely saturated, so its hard to know where to start when looking for a quality, yet affordable option that is rises above the sea of cheap Bluetooth speakers. I have listened to a metric ton of them, and the gold standard for streaming and quality to me is Sonos, but their products are not cheap, and do not include a simpler Bluetooth option. Nyne has a uniquely shaped line of Bluetooth 4.0 speakerphone devices that give the solid sound quality that approaches the Sonos level, but without the price (and WiFi fuss.)
We do enjoy the games at iPhone Life. What's not to love about having something like a kabillion titles to choose from?! So, we decided to run a series amongst the gamers here that highlight our favorites over the years (some of us been swiping, tapping, or joysticking since the 1970s), and expound a bit on our opinions about freemium, downloadable content (DLC), and regular old-school purchase models. Siva Om has regularly covered this area (and does a superb job) in his column, but the other iPhone Life gamers thought maybe we would each throw in our two cents as well. Here is mine...
Camera phone videos, particularly of outside activities, are often rolling and jerky enough to make one practically lose their lunch when viewing them, which is why a camera tripod is a great tool. You can't lug one everywhere however, and it's usually impractical for your iPhone. Apple has added software image stabilization into the iPhone, but there are limits to its effectiveness. You can save yourself and your loved ones some replay discomfort by adding a more robust video stabilizer app to your iPhone library. There are online tools available on sites like YouTube, but for a finer level of control, you might try Emulsio (free), which was just updated on February 24.
Pure is an audio speaker division under Imagination Technology, the wizards of low-power, high-performance SoC technology including PowerVR—the graphics capability we enjoy in our iOS devices. It might seem surprising that their tech portfolio includes a line of wireless speakers until you consider the low-power, performance, and portability of the Jongo lineup. Pure has wireless streaming speaker products ranging in the 20–100W range of output, all of which are attractively styled and innovative inside and out. The Jongo S3 ($229) is the 20W "little speaker" of the family that can be paired up with partner speakers of the same ilk. Don't let their size fool you, these scrappy little speakers produce quality sound at almost any volume!
There were too many cool audio whatevers at CES to name in a single post, but will give it a feeble shot. I admit I did not get to even a smidgin of the great tech demonstrations out there at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas. The show is just too massive. We walked for miles and miles to bring you at least a glimpse of some great stuff, but alas there was much we probably missed. Here is a round-up of some new audio products worthy of note from iHome, Zagg, Velodyne, Pioneer, Nyne, and more, all coming in 2014!
The CES show floor this year was chock full of wondrous gear that will enhance your person or home. But to get a glimpse behind the curtain, you need to go off the beaten path, which usually leads me to a stop at Imagination Technologies. Though they downplay some of their A-list tech customers (like, for example, Apple), they always bring superb demonstrations of their latest core IP (like their Pure wireless speakers). Without some of that secret sauce, it is safe to say truly innovative consumer electronics is a tougher proposition. This year they did not disappoint, showing off some dazzling home-connected and wearable tech SoC prototype implementations that are surely destined to be found in much of our future gear.
Is there an app for that? If I hear those words spoken again in the next month, I might punch someone. My ire is due to the fact that it was me asking it over and over at CES this year, because, well, there is an app for everything. Literally. I mean, trees have their own apps now. Apps to keep tabs on their leaf count, and what that little pine tree down the street is doing later... I kid, but an app for a screen protector would seem frivolous certainly, but in this case, it is actually face-meltingly awesome! The apps in question are the free EyeFly3DVid and EyeFly3DImg, and they go with the Eyefly3D ($26.95) screen protector that will turn your iPhone (and soon iPad) screen into glasses-free 3D. I do not lie when I say this time that there is an... I just can't say it!
Let's see... There is a food sensor that detects nitrates in fruit and vegetables, a radioactivity sensor to detect gamma radiation. Also coming this year, a UV sensor to protect you from too much sun. Iterium has you mostly covered from harm (at least from nitrates or radiation hazards.)
Plenty of Kickstarts here at CES, and Lunecase ($35.00) is one coming worthy of note. Not satisfied with designing merely yet another iPhone case, the Concepter team (also with a succesful LED add-on flash device called iBlazr) created the Lunecase. The circular open area around the Apple logo flashes green when you get a call, and the LED uses phone EM to power the diode—ultimate coolness! Now, you might think you do not need to be that, um, flashy, but You would be wrong, especially if you often put your phone on mute and miss calls. The Lunecase can alert you, and you therefore will not miss that call from the President (should it come.) Anyway, look for this product on Kickstarter soon (sign up for alerts at link above). Read on to see the $59 iBlazr if you been looking for an external flash.
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.