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Twelve South’s BookBook Travel Journal Classes Up Your Carry-ons

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Twelve South sent me their $99 BookBook Travel Journal (4 stars out of 5) as a companion for my many trips. I now take it everywhere, but I don’t exactly use it as intended. But let me share intentions first.



Five Great Apps for the Olympics

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Eighteen days of Winter Olympics began Friday in Sochi, Russia, and of course there's a lineup of apps to help you track what's happening—and even view the events live. 



The iPort Charge Case And Stand Brings Wireless Charging To The iPad

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If and when Apple ever decides to incorporate a wireless charging solution in future iDevices, it will be a killer feature for sure. But until then, it's up to third-party accessory manufacturers to step up to the plate. One system that I've had the pleasure to use is the iPort Charge Case and Stand for iPad mini with Retina display ($99.95).



Game Centered: Popular New Titles and a New App to Track MFi Games

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition.


Top 3 App Deals of the Week

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As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App ReportAppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.

Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!



Last Chance to Enter our February 10th Giveaway!

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Don't forget to enter this weekend's Giveaway Contest! 

Here's how it works: Every other weekend we raffle off tons of great apps and accessories for FREE then announce the winners through iphonelife.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To enter, go to iPhoneLife.com/giveaways. If you win an app, we will email you the promo code. If you win an accessory, we will ask you for your mailing address.

 

This weeks featured items are:



Apple Job Posting Seeks Exercise Physiologists, Giving More Evidence for Apple's New Direction

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What is Apple up to? The evidence just keeps mounting for a major focus on health and fitness. Today Apple posted a job listing seeking exercise physiologists. We already know they've hired a number of top people with expertise in areas such as medical sensors and health-monitoring equipment. The people being recruited by today's ad, which has now been taken down, would be asked to "design and run user studies related to cardiovascular fitness & energy expenditure, including calories burned, metabolic rate, aerobic fitness level measurement/tracking and other key physiological measurements…" The website 9To5Mac has posted a screen shot of the ad. Qualifications for the positions include experience with health-monitoring equipment, measuring calorie expenditure, key fitness indicators, and exercise testing. 9To5Mac says the ad suggests that Apple is moving into the development phase, which will entail product testing. 



Does The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2000 Have A Place In Your Apple-Centric Home?

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Portability is becoming an increasingly important factor for consumer electronics these days. With smartphones, laptops, and tablets getting thinner every year, the trend is spreading to other entertainment devices as well. Enter the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2000 ($899), a 3LCD 1080p projector capable of both 2D and 3D video playback.



Sound BlasterAxx Axx200 Review

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With the growing popularity of mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, there has been a flood of high quality wireless Bluetooth audio gear addressing the limitations of iOS hardware built-in speakers. Not to be left out of this expanding market, Creative Labs has improved on their initial wireless speaker design with the release of their Sound BlasterAxx Axx200 sound system. How does it stack up against similarly priced competitors? Read on to find out.



Flappy Bird Review: A Game You'll Hate to Love

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Whether it's a small iOS game or full-fledged RPG, there is just something appealing about gaming. In the simplest of games, it might only take one minute to finish what was just started. Flappy Bird (free), the latest hit iOS game, will take a minute of your time—if you're good.



Sleep Expert and Other Apple Hires Strongly Suggest iWatch Coming

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Since 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been saying there are new products in the pipeline. Yet so far we've only had updates for existing products. But it's self-evident that they're up to something health-related, given the people they're hiring: a former executive vice-president of medical affairs, an expert on health sensors, an engineer who's a specialist in health-monitoring equipment, and, most recently, a sleep expert. You don't have to be too bright to infer that this suggests they're working on a product related to health monitoring. Plus, they hired a former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. Why would they hire a fashion designer if not to help create a fashionable wearable device? All of this points to an iWatch or some other sort of wearable computer.



Braven 710: Small Size, Big Sound

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The market for Bluetooth speakers continues to grow each day. Should you give the Braven 710 ($169.99) a chance to be heard over its competition?



Jamaica's Olympic Bobsled Team: Cool Runnings Redux

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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will undoubtedly be full of triumphant moments and inspirational stories taking place. Perhaps one of the most inspiring will be a story that is both new and still familiar to many people out there. It's the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and their journey to these Olympics. It is partly an ode to determination and partially a gaze into the possibilities of digital currency and crowdfunding on a global scale. 



Apple to Jump on the Mobile Payment Bandwagon?

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In a recent report on mobile payments, the Wall Street Journal said,  “Apple Inc. is laying the groundwork for an expanded mobile-payments service, leveraging its growing base of iPhone and iPad users and the hundreds of millions of credit cards on file through its iTunes stores.” This report does not raise eyebrows, but simply states the inevitable fact. Apple's entry into this market will undoubtedly raise the bar, with major players already fiercely competing to gain market traction over how people pay through mobile devices.



Pebble Watch Store for iOS Users Arrives; Rumor Says iWatch to Have Wireless Charging, Curved Display

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A lot of the interest in smartwatches has been stimulated by Pebble, which is the most popular one so far. So what's a smartwatch? They run apps and they typically communicate with your smartphone, such that alerts and other information from your phone appear on the watch's face. 



New Free Facebook App Paper Now Available

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A new app from Facebook called Paper - stories from Facebook (free) is now available in the App Store. You can read more detail about this app and see a demo video in a previous post. The app offers the same sort of immersive experience as the popular Flipboard app, with an attractively designed presentation of your newsfeed. It also offers news on a wide range of your favorite topics taken from the news media.



Revel Builds Upon Tinder to Gamify Dating

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With the proliferation of mobile apps, there seems to be two growing trends—mobile dating and photo or video sharing.

In fact, a recent report by Pew Research Center shows that 7% of cell phone apps users (representing 3% of all adults) say that they have used a dating app on their cell phone. Two-thirds (66%) of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app, and nearly a quarter (23%) of online daters say they have met a spouse or long term partner through these sites.



How To Edit Photos On Your iDevice

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Besides the convenience, I think the best part about my iPhone's camera is the ability to quickly edit the pictures I've taken.

To edit a photo, go to your Camera Roll and select the photo you would like to spruce up. Tap on Edit in the upper right corner of your screen. Here you'll be given several tools to edit your photo.

The various edit options (from left to right on the bottom of your screen) allows you to rotate your photo, auto-enhance it, choose different filters, remove red-eye, or crop your photo.



Keep your New Years Resolution with ibitz Fitness Monitors

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Wearable computing is here, as was evident at CES 2014. One of the most evident applications of this trend is health and fitness gear. There were a lot of bracelets on display, but I already wear a watch and don't want another thing on my wrist. The ibitz is a handy and compact fitness tracker that clips to your belt or clothing and you can forget about it. And thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, it can last for months without recharging.



Report: iOS 8 to Include Focus on Fitness, Mobile Health; More Evidence for iWatch

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Some very interesting stories were published in recent days that give insights into a new direction for Apple. As you know, the iPhone 5s and the new iPads have the M7 motion tracking chip. It uses the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass sensors to track keep a record of all your motions, a feature that is being integrated into a range of apps, including fitness. Apple now seems intent on expanding on this and making health and fitness a major new direction. According to a report on 9To5Mac, this monitoring will be a key feature of iOS 8. The report says iOS 8 will include a new app code named "Healthbook," which will offer the ability to monitor blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and blood-related data points such as glucose levels. You will even be able to enter in information about your medications, if any, so that you can be reminded to take them.



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