By Jim Karpen on Wed, 08/19/2015
By Sarah Kingsbury on Tue, 08/18/2015
If you’ve been following us on iphonelife.com, you know that we like to give away great cases, tech gadgets, and awesome apps in our biweekly contests. This time, we’re partnering with Zinio to kick it up a few notches and give away a new 16 GB iPad Air 2 with Touch ID, A8X Processor, and Retina Display. You'll also get one free digital issue of iPhone Life magazine on Zinio Newsstand just for entering!
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 08/17/2015
Zivix let me try its upgraded JamStik+ ($299.99). I reviewed the previous generation back in January (JamStik without the "+" sign), and it is still available on the Zivix website, for $100 less than the new model. The JamStik and JamStik+ are ukelele-sized wireless electric guitars that connect to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac and act like a MIDI music source. With the right apps—from Zivix, Apple, and others—you can sound like a variety of instruments. JamStik offers several free apps including tools to help you learn how to play the guitar. You can see where to put your fingers on the frets, and get visual feedback in real-time.
By Biweekly Giveaways on Fri, 08/14/2015
This is the official announcement of the iPhone life Biweekly Giveaway! Be sure to enter the giveaway at iphoneLife.com/giveaways to win prizes, which we'll announce August 24! We are raffling off tons of great accessories for FREE.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 08/13/2015
Apple has gone its own way on numerous technologies, such as its Lightning and MagSafe connectors. But lately it looks like the company is embracing universal standards for some technologies. The new MacBook uses USB-C and the Apple Watch charger looks to be compatible with the Qi standard. One area where Apple had not adopted a third-party standard is Near Field Communication. NFC is what allows Apple Pay to work when a user brings an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or an Apple Watch close to an Apple Pay terminal. But Android users have had NFC for years and been able to use it with a lot more devices. For example, instead of figuring out how to pair a speaker using Bluetooth, an Android user could just tap the speaker with their NFC-enabled smartphone.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 08/13/2015
Apple may be one of the first vendors to popularize USB-C with the newest MacBook, but as expected, the new port is finding its way into Android phones. Engadget reports that a Chinese manufacturer, ZUK (backed by Lenovo), has announced an Android smartphone dubbed the Z1 that offers one distinct advantage: Instead of the frustrating microUSB port, this phone has a USB-C port at the bottom. It looks and works a lot like the Lightning port on an iPhone. Users can plug in the phone in either direction, so they don't have to worry about guessing which way to plug the cable in, especially at night. Dock manufacturers don't have to worry about which way a phone maker might have designed the port. Many of my Android and Windows phones don't even have the microUSB port on the bottom, so there's no way to dock it in portrait orientation.
By Jim Karpen on Wed, 08/12/2015
Rumors have been circulating that we'll see a new iPad mini this fall that will be a miniature version of the iPad Air 2, including the same thin form factor. If true, this is good news. When Apple came out with a new mini last year, it was virtually unchanged from the previous year, except for the addition of Touch ID. So it's good to see Apple is intent on updating the mini and keeping it as part of its lineup. And now we have the additional good news, reported by 9To5Mac, that the new iPad mini 4 will have the split-screen capability that comes with iOS 9. A Mac developer who was poking around in the forthcoming version of the Mac OS found a resource file that shows thumbnail images of device displays, including an iPad mini running the full 50/50 split-screen view.
By Siva Om on Wed, 08/12/2015
If you are the athletic type, then you already know that music can really enhance a work out and provide a healthy dose of motivation and encouragement. These days there are many great options for in-ear training headphones, with the trend moving toward Bluetooth wireless primarily for the theoretical convenience of being able to be as active as you like without the encumbrance of wires going between your head and your audio source. I say theoretically because even though each of the following headphones are geared toward active lifestyles the way each pair holds on to your ears is vastly different and will appeal to different users and for different case scenarios.
By Biweekly Giveaways on Tue, 08/11/2015
Thanks to everyone who entered the August 10 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 August 24 giveaway and tell your friends to enter too!
And the winner is... (drum roll please):
By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 08/10/2015
Images leaked online by @OnLeaks seem to indicated Apple plans to release a thinner iPad mini 4. Last year, the iPad mini 3 didn't get much of a boost— it basically got Touch ID and a gold option but not much else. I bought one anyway, as I think the mini form factor is ideal for grab-and-go computing. It also seems the iPad mini 4 will be even thinner.
By Siva Om on Fri, 08/07/2015
If you follow my online articles here at iPhone Life you may have gotten the feeling that I'm like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to the release of a new Apple TV. Well, here I go again; and this time I believe that its release is coming soon, most likely in a September (or October at the latest) unveiling event, either with the anticipated introduction of the new iPhones in September or along with Apple's new iPads in October.
By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 08/07/2015
Apple silently updated Apple.com by "merging" the Apple Store (formerly http://store.apple.com) directly into the main website. It's a subtle change but it means you can easily research a product and quickly buy it, without much of a transition. A bigger deal (literally and figuratively) was today's addition of their annual Back to School promotion.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 08/04/2015
The first-generation iPad Air, which launched in 2013, is currently being sold for hundreds of dollars less than it originally cost. B&H is selling the white 128 GB iPad Air with T-Mobile cellular data connectivity for $509. The same model is going for $463 in the Google store. B&H also has the space grey 128 GB iPad Air with Sprint cellular data connectivity for $449.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 07/30/2015
Drawing on the iPhone or iPad isn't quite the same as drawing on paper or canvas. The slippery glass surface effects your movement, even with a high-end stylus. Apple thinks it has a solution. An Apple patent, unvearthed by Apple Insider shows an Apple stylus that can sense a virtual texture and provide "haptic" feedback, or slight vibrations, that could simulate what it is like to draw on that particular texture.
By Nate Adcock on Wed, 07/29/2015
At CES, I saw a demo of an early model of the ZAGG Speaker Case which is currently 40 percent off at $59.99. The case is more of a bumper with a Bluetooth detachable speaker in back. Now I have one to actually test out. Zagg also sent over a Fantastic 4-themed iPhone 6 back cover, which marks ZAGG's partnership with 20th Century Fox to promote the latest Marvel Comics movie.
By Jim Karpen on Tue, 07/28/2015
No doubt the iPhone and iPad rumor mill will be ramping up as we head into the fall announcement season, and again we're hearing there will be a new iPad mini. I'm excited about that. The Japanese website Macokatara has reported that Apple will be coming out with a new mini that will be a miniature version of the iPad Air 2. It will be the same svelte 6.1 mm thick compared to the current 7.5 mm, will have the same A8 processor, the same 8MP iSight camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a laminated display with an anti-reflective coating. I wish Apple had come out with this model last year. Instead they came out with a model that was the same as the 2013 device except for the addition of Touch ID.
By Siva Om on Thu, 07/23/2015
The Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector Pro ($249.99) was a wonderful surprise for me; an extremely functional, portable, and practical creation that is well worth the extra $49 investment for the required Apple A/V adapter — if you don't already have one that is. Once you've got the Apple A/V adaptor, connecting your iPad or iPhone to the projector is as simple as plugging it in and turning it on. With this projector you can instantly view your iDevice's high-definition videos and images, games, and even native iOS apps like Keynote or FaceTime, all on a variable sized viewing screen the can enlarge the image to a 115-inch diagonal size.
By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 07/21/2015
We've written about the promise of wireless and magnetic charging before, but ZNAPS has a novel approach. Instead of turning the back of the iPhone into a wireless charging platform, the company has created tiny adaptors that sit inside the iOS device's Lightning port and at the end of a traditional Lightning cable, turning the two items into a MagSafe like system. Apple's patented MagSafe system is found in its MacBooks and is a great way to charge laptops and not have to worry about a tripped cable causing the MacBook to crash. They separate and connect instantly, thanks to the magnets.
By Siva Om on Fri, 07/17/2015
The Misfit Bolt smartbulb ($49.99) is the latest innovation from the same folks that brought us the Flash wearable fitness and sleep monitor/smartphone remote control. It's a wirelessly connected smart LED bulb that is controlled by your iPhone or iPad. With the Bolt, you can select from millions of easy to adjust color combinations. You can also set the Bolt to remember your last choice of light level and color and return to that whenever you turn it on.
By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 07/16/2015
Apple may have revolutionized the world of apps, but Microsoft is the first to offer an App Store that consolidates desktop, tablet, and mobile apps in one place. It helps that Windows computers can use touchscreen apps, so it's possible and practical to write apps that work across the Microsoft product line. By comparison, Apple's desktops and laptops do not use touchscreens and there are no short term plans to do so. The result is that Apple has a split personality, with Mac OS apps and a Mac App Store separate from iOS apps and the iOS App Store.