At the last CES, iPhone Life awarded Best of Show to Ozobot, an emerging technology toy and educational robot system that had great promise. Ozobots ($49.99) are now shipping and we've had a chance to play (and learn) with them over an extended time. Ozobot is a programmable tiny cute robot that resembles the top half of everyone's favorite droid, R2D2. The domed robots can be customized with different color tops so kids can play with several at a time and still tell them apart. The robots get their programming not from a keyboard but via an optical sensor on their bottoms. The Ozobots "read" colors and commands that tell it to go straight, turn one way or the other, or reverse, etc. Kids can "program" the robots by literally drawing with markers on a page of paper. It's a fun way to program without ever touching a keyboard!
When the iPhone 6 came out, I knew I'd want a battery case for it, but was afraid I'd have to wait a while, until the manufacturers caught up with the new design. Ultimately, I didn't have to wait too long, and the case I found was the IPM iPhone 6 3200mAh Power Charging Case from Staples.com. It was reasonably priced and available in white, black, or gold. I ended up getting two, one in white and one in gold and I let my daughter choose (gold, of course) for her iPhone 6. I actually prefer the white one because it has a slick exterior and the gold one has a rubbery texture.
Black Friday is behind us, and thoughts turn to what's next to come out of Cupertino (and China) from Apple. Obviously, the Apple Watch is expected in early spring, but rumors are already swirling regarding the next iPad. A larger screen version has been discussed for some time, but it wasn't ready for this season. Sources in Japan, as reported by Apple Insider, have given us a peek at what to expect from such a device. They are calling it the iPad Air Plus, but I think that's too long a phrase and iPad Pro is a more likely moniker.
More iOS users are running iOS 8 than those that are on an older version, as reported by Apple Insider and Apple. It took a while, by Apple standards, but it was still a lot faster than Android. And with Black Friday upon us, the numbers should go up, as more users pick up the next generation of iPads and iPhones, which require iOS 8. Indeed I just added an iPad mini 3 to my stable thanks to BestBuy's early Black Friday offering.
Black Friday has come and gone, but the Black Friday coupon code that TYLT emailed their customers for 50 percent off on in-stock items is still good for Cyber Monday. Just visit http://www.TYLT.com and add items to your shopping cart. Enter code CYBER2014 through Cyber Monday and get half off on some great items.
They say the blondes have more fun. As a brown-haired guy, I cannot attest to that one way or another. But I can say that females in general have a lot more choices for fashionable iPhone cases, thanks to KoreaHallyu. And they're making a special deal for iPhone Life readers! Just use the coupon code IPHONELIFE to save 10 percent.
Maybe it's a reflection of how we treat superstar inventors like Steve Jobs, or just the glut of superhero movies lately, but another actor in the running to play Steve Jobs has also played a superhero (or villain.) Michael Fassbender, the younger Magneto in the X-Men films, is taking over for Christian Bale, of Batman fame, as the title character in the Steve Jobs movie. The film has changed studios as well, from Sony to Universal, but it looks like Seth Rogen, who played superhero the Green Hornet, will serve as Jobs' partner, Steve Wozniak.
I'm probably not the target audience for Glam Screen, but boy is my daughter. When I showed her the screen protector that doubles as a mirror, she made the loudest, slowest "Aaawwwesooomme!" exclamation ever. And she's in some impressive company, as the screen can be found on phones owned by several Kardashians and other famous housewives and fashion icons. It's no wonder, since Glam Screen is an invention of Jonathan Cheban, fashionista and Kim Kardashian's BFF.
As a follow-up to my article on Apple changing the wording from "Free" to "Get," I noticed that the word hasn't changed everywhere. While iTunes and the App Store display "Get" for apps that don't have an initial price, the App Store preview pages, which are displayed when web sites link to an app, still show "Free" for such apps. Eventually, Apple may get around to fixing this, but it is a glaring inconsistency from a manufacturer that usually takes their entire web store down to make changes.
What a difference a word makes. The European Union objected to Apple's use of the word "Free" for apps that have In-App Purchases and ordered them to change it. Yesterday, they did. But Apple changed the "Free" button to "Get" for all no charge apps, even those that don't have In-App Purchases. I would have preferred that they left such apps as "Free," but at least they have text, in gray, below apps that say "In-App Purchases" if applicable. The headlines still read "Top Free Apps" so they haven't eliminated the word free entirely. The change in verbiage may not do much to stop users from downloading such apps, and eventually making purchases. After all, the top grossing apps tend to be "Freemium" apps with In-App Purchases.