iPhone Life magazine

Accessories

CES: Stands That Deliver

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The iPad introduced a new way to interface with our computers. Before tablets, our computers could rest on a desk, table, or lap. As iPads became thinner and thinner, they still put a strain on your hands when held for prolonged periods. This has caused an array of accessory makers to develop innovate stands for tablets and smartphones.  This year, at the Consumer Electronics Show, there were several notable stands on display.



More Apple Watch Details Emerge

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The Apple Watch is Apple's next big (or little) thing and new details are starting to leak out. According to 9to5mac, the battery life could be as low as 2.5 to 4 hours for active application use and up to 19 hours of combined active and passive use. Standby mode could last for two to three days, but it's hard to expect early adopters will shell out $349 to $1000 to leave their watch in standby mode. To make the battery last longer, don't expect it to constantly display the time. Like many Android devices, it will blank the screen to save power and turn on when the sensors detect you're glancing at your watch.



CES Recap: Heady Headphones

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CES is over but the products that were presented are just hitting the markets or in some cases, aren't available yet. One of my perennial favorite product categories at CES is headphones and there were some distinctive sets introduced. Anyone can make headphones and make them loud, but Kidz Gear takes a different approach. Instead of trying to make them loud, they make them safe for kids' sensitive ears. After all, damage to the ear canal can be bad enough for old rockers like Pete Townshend, but for kids with their whole future ahead of them, it's an even bigger deal.



Apple Macs to Adopt CPU Chip from iOS Devices?

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Every year, Apple updates their "A" series of chips that power the iPhone and iPad, prompting speculation that such a chip might find its way into the Mac product line. There are a lot of compelling reasons why that could happen, but there are usually more compelling reasons against it. Which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. However, the buzz is growing around an A-series chip in Apple's next low-end MacBook Air. Apple could control their destiny, using their own chip instead of relying on (and paying) Intel.



CES 2015 Recap: Creative Cases

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After a long week at the Consumer Electronics Show, it's time to reflect on what we just experienced. CES isn't really just a show anymore; it's a show of shows, each with its own theme. When I get back each year, my friends and family ask me what was "The Big Thing?" Because the show is so big, I've decided to break down the "theme" into multiple themes. This year, the different "big things" were as follows:



STM Harbour Bends Over Backwards to Accommodate Your Dock or Cable

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Too many iPhone cases, especially the rugged kind, obstruct the Lightning port and make it impossible to simply dock your phone. STM has gotten around this with their Harbour case in a clever way. First, the case has a wider opening around the Lightning dock than most cases do. I was able to dock my iPhone 6 in the STM Harbour case in several different docks that usually give me trouble with other cases.



GeekFuel is the Gift that Keeps on Giving Year Round

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The holidays are over, but if you didn't get what you want, don't fret. GeekFuel offers monthly surprise gifts in 3-, 6-, or 12-month increments. Each gift box is about the size of a shoebox, and promises $40 or more of value. You can expect a wide variety of items, but they are all geek-oriented items such as comics, science fiction, and technology. A t-shirt is in each box (you specify the size) but you can also expect things like Pez dispensers, comic books, stickers, posters, mini figures, action figures, downloadable content, and more.



ROCKI Makes Your Existing Speakers Wireless Without Bluetooth

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If you already have made an investment in speakers and want to turn them into wireless ones, there are a few options. You could get a Bluetooth adapter, but you would have to deal with the latency and distance limitations of that technology. On the high-end, there are SONOS speakers which use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, but they are expensive and don't take advantage of your existing speakers.



You Can Now Analyze Wind Speed with the iPhone!

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It never ceases to amaze me what you can do with an iPhone, especially when paired with add-on accessories. Case in point, Vaavud makes a Smartphone Wind Meter ($40) that attaches to an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. Unlike most accessories that connect via Bluetooth or Lightning, this gadget connects via the audio-in jack, just like the Square credit card reader. Because newer iPhones have the audio jack on the bottom, you flip the phone upside down and run their companion app while holding the iPhone in the air.



Tigris Shell Stand Case is a Minimalist Case With a Twist

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With a slim and elegant phone like the new iPhone 6, you might not want to keep it in a case. But that leaves it exposed to scratches or worse. In that case you might want a slim case like the Tigris Shell Stand Case from Draco Designs. This soft polymer case covers the back and most of the edges of the iPhone 6 but what I like best about it is the leather back. It adds a touch of luxury, which is especially true of the white model.



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