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.
Think the iPhone 6 costs $199? According to a new report, the real "cost" of an iPhone should be for the next model up, the $299 64GB iPhone. They claim that, increasingly, a 16GB iPhone is almost unusable. While that's not exactly true, it is correct that iOS consumes a fair chunk of the 16GB, leaving more like 12GB available. While competitors, like Windows Phone, use a lot more, it still limits the capability of that entry level model. Apple's own apps like Pages, Numbers and more are not part of iOS, and will take up part of that 16GB. Music, photos, videos, text messages (including photos and videos) and more increasingly make a 16GB model impractical. Let's not even discuss the 8GB iPhone 5c.
If you bought an iPhone 6 Plus, you probably have enough to carry around, so wouldn't it be nice if you didn't need to carry a separate wallet? After all, you can use Apple Pay to pay for many purchases, and for those times when you need a photo ID or traditional credit card, a fullsize wallet would be overkill. The folks at BulletTrain had a case for the iPhone 5 that doubled as a wallet, and now they are using Kickstarter to fund an iPhone 6 Plus version.
Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Those days are in the past. It is now the week of Christmas and any hopes of getting a gift in time require either spending a fortune in shipping, buying a virtual gift online, or, my preference, buying local. If I needed a reminder of this, all I had to do was look at my inbox this morning. While it's normally full of app review requests, today I saw a ton of "Last Chance" emails!
Every iOS user can use a stylus once in a while, no matter what Steve Jobs said. Some games are easier to play if your finger (and hand) don't obstruct the view. Sometimes you might need to draw or sign a signature. Here are some styluses that work well:
While pundits continue to look for a new Apple TV box that lets users break with their cable companies, perhaps Apple's approach is to slowly offer cord-cutting features with the existing Apple TV and iOS devices. Each new feature takes a step in the right direction. Instead of cutting the cord with a Samurai sword, we have the equivalent of death by a thousand paper cuts. Case in point, ABC now lets users watch full-length episodes on the Apple TV or iOS device, even if they don't have a cable subscription.
We love our iPhones, and use them so much that we often run out of power. What to do? Carry a spare battery pack. These are some of my favorites. TYLT makes some attractive accessories and one that deserves a spot in your gadget bag is the TYLT Energi Travel Charger. It replaces the USB wall charger that comes with your iPad or iPhone, but what sets it apart is it includes a battery. You need to carry a wall charger anyway, so why not carry one that incudes a battery. You can double the life of your iPhone battery while on the go.
People always ask me what to get the person who has everything. My response? Something to keep it in. Or in the case of an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, something to dock it in. My favorite docks come from HengeDocks. I've used their MacBook docks for years as they make it easy to reconnect keyboard, monitors, and other peripherals on demand. You have to make sure you get the right model for your particular MacBook, but it is one of the first things I look for when I get a new MacBook!
The claim was pretty outlandish: "The Best Tablet Stand in the world." Well, I had to try it. And for the most part, that claim was pretty much on target. One exception is the name, "Plinth," which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. And the fact that it ships from the U.K. making it a little harder to get. But that could be remedied if Plinth ($32) gets a U.S. distributor or retail outlet.
The Apple Watch isn't shipping until early next year, but it's already having an impact. Existing smartwatches are dropping in price and trying to carve out a niche before the $349 version from Apple ships. Case in point, Pebble, the one that arguably started it all. The $10 million Kickstarter-backed project offered a smartwatch for the masses, at $100 for backers (including myself) and eventually retailed for $150. The higher-end Steel model sold for $250. Now the original Pebble is back to $100 (and $80 at some outlets) and the Steel is a more reasonable $200 (and only $150 at some outlets.) I appreciate the long battery life, magnetic charging, and waterproof capabilities of my Pebble, but I also like my Martian Watch which offers Voice Command via a Siri button. That watch was $300 but can now be picked up for as little as $230 at Staples. They also have a cheaper Notifier product line that doesn't include the speakerphone and voice capabilities but still provides notifications.