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:
You might be asking yourself how a second screen on the back of for your iPhone 6 could possibly be advantageous. But, it turns out the popSLATE actually serves a variety of functions that justify the premium $129 price tag.
So, what kinds of things can be accomplish with the case? More than you may think.
Walking around the Consumer Electronics Show this year allowed me to see some of the best iPhone cases on the market right now, as well as what's coming up later in 2015. Here are my favorite iPhone cases from CES 2015.
There are several hands-free ways you can answer a ringing iPhone while your hands are covered by bulky, hard-to-remove gloves. You could start by wearing touchscreen-sensitive gloves. Or using a stylus. Or plugging in a pair of headphones. But what if your gloves were chosen not for their touchscreen compatibility but for their ability to keep your hands warm while the polar vortex is in town? What if you don't have a stylus or a pair of headphones quickly accessible in your winter gear and you really want to take that incoming call? There's a simple solution; just be prepared for some funny looks.
Thanks to everyone who entered the January 12 iPhone Life Biweekly Giveaway! Every other week we give away three amazing prizes, so if you didn't win this time, make sure you enter the January 26 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winner is... (drum roll please):
Missouri frugal blogger Enza Ketcham recently teamed up with her co-worker, Andy Walleck, to create a new app for both kids and adults. The app is a fun game that you can play with your children to bring up the topic of financial responsibility–avoiding credit cards and shopping when products are on sale. The free ChaChinga app is available now in the iTunes store.
This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Apple enthusiasts. Both Apple Watch and HomeKit hold the potential to be revolutionary in the same way the iPhone was eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the Apple Watch. Bottom line: just as the iPhone freed us from the desktop and made communication and information more mobile, so too will the Apple Watch take things to another level by making information and communication more convenient and easier.
The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.
I do a lot of driving here in Vermont and it has recently become illegal to handle a phone while behind the wheel. I have tried many different dash mounts and like the functionality of magnetics, which have a magnet on the mount and a metal plate on the phone so that you don't have to fiddle with buttons or gripping mechanisms. All you do is hold your phone up to the mount and it snaps in place.
Fortunately I'm not addicted to an iPhone—but only because I don't have one. I do, however, tend to go through withdrawal if I don't have my iPad with me. It turns out, these gadgets have become so much an extension of ourselves that scientists have found that we suffer cognitive and physiological impairment if we're separated from them. A new study by University of Missouri researchers put iPhone users in a situation where they were separated from their phones while taking a cognitive test. Not only did they do worse on the test compared to their performance when they had their phones with them, they also had a significant increase in anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Keeping tabs on little ones can be a full-time job. Turn your head for a minute, and they can almost magically disappear and get into trouble (and if you were ever lost in a store as a kid, you understand). These days, there are smart sensors to keep tabs on everything, including your younglings, and the HereO GPS watch ($179.99) is an example of some of the kid-friendly, protective tech we were able to check out at CES 2015.
The newest smart lens from Kodak, the PIXPRO SL5, debuted at CES this week. We got to sit down with the Kodak team and get the full scoop on this impressive iPhoneography accessory. After hearing all about what this little lens can do, and seeing it put through its paces, it was apparent that we were looking at a product that was well deserving of our iPhone Life Magazine Best of CES award.
Have you ever had three or four people or more gathered around you as you show off pictures from your iPhone? Ever wish you had a bigger screen to display those photos? Well, if you (or someone you know) has an Apple TV you can use your iPhone’s AirPlay feature to wirelessly stream those photos to the TV’s screen.
The Philips Fidelio NC1L on-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation ($299.00) made waves at this year's CES, touting a direct digital connection to your iDevice via Apple's Lightning port. Even though Apple (quietly) announced support for this headphone feature earlier last year, few companies have taken advantage of this connective potential, not even Apple's own headphone company, Beats by Dre. The ability of the NC1L to establish a direct, 24-bit, Digital to Analog Conversion (DAC) is impressive enough. Couple that with the fact that the NC1L draw power for their Active Noise Cancellation from your iPhone or iPad and it's no wonder that these amazing sounding cans are the recipients of iPhone Life Magazine's Best of CES award.
Lot's of cool audio to check out at CES 2015, but I have always thought speaker cases were kind of a weird combo (and possibly quite dead). If I needed to boost audio from my phone, I would probably use an actual external speaker, but who wants to lug one around (even as part of a bulky external case)? Well, ZAGG and PERI have both found a way to make the speaker case compelling again!
We were given a demo of the new Zuli Smartplug system ($135-3 Pak/$50 for single) at CES 2015. The first production units should start shipping next week. The Zuli smartplug can turn any electrical device into a smart appliance. You simply plug it into a wall socket and your appliance, and you can monitor and control your devices remotely (to include power utilization.) The included app also works with your Nest!
The Accessibility features of iOS are useful to those who are visually impaired, but they can also be useful to others, such as those occasions when it might be more convenient to have your iPhone or iPad read to you. In an earlier tip, I showed how you can use the Speech setting in Accessibility to have your device read text to you. A reader pointed out to me that there's yet another way to do so: the VoiceOver feature. And once you get the hang of it, this approach may be the more convenient.
Lifeproof's newest waterproof case for the iPhone 6 debuted at CES 2015 and incorporates a built-in external battery (a first for the Lifeproof brand) which doubles the iPhone 6's battery life, while preserving Lifeproof's highest standards of insulation, protection, and durability. The frē Power as it is called, won iPhone Life Magazine's prestigious Best of CES award, and with good reason.
Looking for a glimpse into the future? That's why hundreds of thousands of people flock to Las Vegas each year for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where tech companies from all over the world debut their most innovative new products.