Apple and Bose have an interesting relationship, to say the least. Apple bought Beats by Dre this summer for $3 billion, their largest acquisition ever. Bose products, which had been available in Apple stores were recently pulled from shelves. Bose had sued Beats over noise cancellation patents, and Apple inherited that mess, but that matter has been settled.
Life n Soul has a Bluetooth speaker that is like a mullet...business up front, party in the back. That's because the BM211 Bluetooth Speaker ($79.99) has a no-nonsense speakerphone, suitable for conference calls with multidirectional speakers, so the whole office can participate. There's a clever slot that lets you rest a phone or tablet so you can control your VoIP, phone call, Facetime, or, when it's time to party, your music playlist. I could also see using the stand, and speaker, at trade shows.
Did you miss out on a great iPad deal during the Cyber Monday madness? Have no fear, Best Buy is here, and the savings are from $50 to $100 on the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. The more expensive the device, the better the savings, so Apple's newest, most powerful tablets cost about as much as last year's models. For example, a 128 GB iPad mini 3 costs about $500, which is the same as a 128 GB iPad mini 2. Going big is a no-brainer.
When asked what's the best camera, professional photographers will often say "the one you have with you." That's why iPhones are increasingly being used, even by pros, for photography. But what if there was a way to make DSLRs more portable, so they were always handy? That's the concept behind Miggo's Strap & Wrap. This novel invention was demonstrated at the New York City CE Week show and, following a successful Kickstarter campaign, I was able to try it with my Canon EOS Rebel.
I've been a fan of UZBL since over two years ago, when I wrote about them here. Recently, I attended a conference for educators (NYSCATE) and was pleased to see them in their own booth. They've come a long way, and I got to try their newer Shockwave case, for my newest iPad mini 3. As expected, the three-piece design is quite rugged, thanks to a combination of air cells, thick rubber, and hard plastic. There's also a built-in screen protector.
You can never have enough power, or have a battery pack that's too thin, at least that seems to be the design methodology for the TravelCard Charger ($39), and I appreciate it. It's a simple concept, a battery charger the same size as a couple of credit cards. Many have tried, but to keep the size and weight down they don't include a Lightning cable and often use plastic which feels flimsy, and if it's to be kept in a wallet in the pocket, could break.
I recently added a new car stereo and it comes with a USB port for charging and music playback. I love it because the sound quality is better than Bluetooth, and I can keep my iPhone charged while on long trips. I have been on the lookout for the right sized cable that's not too long and not too short. The last thing I want in the car is a a forty-inch cable interfering with driving.
There are a few certainties in life. Apple will change form factors, case makers will rush out new cases, and those cases won't fit in your old dock. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were anticipated, but case makers didn't get samples and had to rely on leaked schematics. The new iPad Air 2 is thinner and the sleep button has been relocated, so manufacturers have to develop all new cases. In their desire to ship as soon as possible, a lot of cases then and even now have issues. Sometimes they leave a big opening around the Lightning port, which offers little protection. Other times they leave too little room around the port, making it hard to insert non-Apple cables or fit in many docks. If you've bought an expensive speaker dock from Bose or another company, that's not what you want.
They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and since an iPhone is usually on hand for most photographers, professional or amateur, it's no wonder that so many photos are taken by iPhone. Still, there are times when a tripod is necessary, but who wants to carry around a bulky accessory?