iPhone Life magazine

Accessories

Counting Steps is Lame. Count Jumps with VERT!

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My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.



Another Apple TV Prediction

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Groucho Marx used to say "Live every day as if it were your last, because one day, you're going to be right." Likewise, Piper Jaffray's Gene Muster is always proclaiming that "this year" is the year Apple will ship its own full-size Apple TV and not just a hockey puck-sized set-top box. He still thinks a full-fledged television is coming from Apple, but in the meantime, an updated Apple TV should ship in 2015. That is a safer bet (and a far safer one than Apple shipping an automobile.)



Why Apple Will Not Make an Apple Car

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Once again, Apple watchers (not to be confused with Apple Watches) are getting giddy about the concept of an Apple car. Every so often this prospect gets some traction, in part because of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive's appreciation for cars. There was some work with Volkswagon, dubbed the iBeetle, but that was more of a branding promotion. The reason people think Apple might be making its own car, now, is that they have been trying to poach employees from Tesla. This is hardly a reason to draw such conclusions, however.



Valedo Makes Fitness Fun

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The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.



Apple Watch Will Make You Move

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We are learning more about the Apple Watch, in part thanks to a conference call Apple CEO Tim Cook had recently with analysts. We already knew that the battery life (about 19 hours with light use) would prohibit sleeping with the watch on. This, and its size, make it less suitable as a sleep tracker. So don't expect the Apple Watch to tell you how you slept. In fact, it looks like the watch will discourage you from being still! There is a mode that beta testers have been using that will remind you to get up and stop being so sedentary.



Apple Watch Announcements Does Its Job, Discourages Other Smart Watch Purchases

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Apple made a rare move when it publicly announced the Apple Watch many months before it would be available. But this may have been designed to discourage potential customers from purchasing competing smart watches. If so, it worked, as only 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped during the last six months of 2014, the time period when it was available. Users might not want to spend $200 to $350 on a watch, and if they do, they will want to keep it a while, rather than upgrade every year or two. This means it was wiser to wait and see how robust Apple's offering would be.



Versatile Cases from Verus

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The hard part about choosing a case from Verus is that there are so many choices. And the difference between the cases are subtle but significant. I had the opportunity to try several of their cases, for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it was quite difficult to pick a favorite. So let's start with what they all have in common. They offer all-around protection, which includes the bottom of the iPhone, where many cases leave the phone vulnerable.



iNPOFi: Wireless Charging Nirvana!

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The iNPOFi Deluxe pack features both a charging board, a mobile charger (which is also a wireless charging pad), and a case. It's an altogether impressive package, but if you are looking to embed this award-winning wireless charging capability in your own technology, iNPOFi has you covered there as well.



Keep Your Phone Steady As She Goes While Driving With Airframe Vent Clip

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I've tried vent clips before as a way to keep my phone in place in my car, but many of them have springs or plastic clips that don't do a good job or break. If that leads to a phone falling, that could be an expensive problem. So my phone usually ends up in a cup holder, which makes it harder to access for GPS navigation, music control, or phone calls. Of course, make sure you don't drive when distracted, or let yourself be distracted while driving!



Second Screens in Several Sizes

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At CES, several vendors offered "second screen" monitors either intended to be used as "accessory" screens to complement a larger monitor or to serve as a single purpose screen to keep tabs on specific content. It's a neat concept, with some neat designs, that is only possibly now because of lower costs, increased supply, and new technologies and concepts like the Internet of Things.



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