I had the chance to try the Pronto Smart Remote ($49.99). It's a nice, affordable way to turn your iPhone into a universal remote control, and it will get better when the Apple Watch is available. The makers promise to make the app work with the Apple Watch, so you can control your TV and A/V equipment from your wrist! How cool is that? The Peel iPhone app also works as a TV guide, but it would be nice if it could leverage the full screen of an iPad. The app talks to the Pronto base station that sits within line of sight of your A/V equipment.
Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.
Even with a protective case, there's still a chance you can damage your iPhone if dropped from a sufficient height. With the Kenu Highline ($29.95-$34.95), dropping your phone becomes a little safer. Just a little.
The Apple Watch announcement is behind us and it's time to "spring forward" and look ahead to the next announcement! The huge focus on fashion in the watch product line may spill over to the iPhone. Originally, the iPhone was only available in an aluminum and black form. Later white was added, and then silver, space gray, and, of course, gold. The iPhone 5c brought plastic colors too, but those are on the way out. The iPod touch product line came in assorted colors, but that product line seems to have been abandoned. Now, just as former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts brought her fashion sense to Apple Retail and the watch offerings, she may be influencing Apple to go pink with their flagship iPhone.
At the March 9 Apple event, Apple introduced "Force Touch," which is basically a binary version of touch sensitivity, for the trackpad in the new MacBook as well as for the Apple Watch. Those devices can now distinguish between a touch and a hard touch. This isn't exactly the kind of touch sensitivity that a Wacom tablet would offer, where it recognizes multiple degrees of force. That can be great for artists who want heavier and lighter lines based on pressure.
I missed these guys this year at CES, but wanted to swing back for a quick product review, since they have one or two new and interesting power gadgets and sent a review unit for us to try out: The PowerGenius Rotating 6-outlet Surge Suppressor ($29.99). If you're an iPhone Lifer, we know you are always on the lookout for smarter power options. ACCELL has an array of portable and home-and-office-oriented solutions to consider.
If you follow my Game Centered column, then you already know I'm a big fan of the iOS game Vainglory, "the MOBA perfected for touchscreen." It has the potential to become one of the most popular and internationally competitive, professional-level mobile eSports thus far. Between the massive player base already devoted to the MOBA genre, and the fact that Vainglory will soon be cross-platform across both iOS and Android devices, I can see nothing standing in the way of this game being the first mobile eSport to fill stadiums and attract spectators the way more established MOBA like League of Legends and DotA 2 already do.
I understand that others might not change their iPhone cases daily like I do, but I think we can all agree that there are times when you need something different then your "everyday" case. Here are the cases that I'm using right now—for every situation.
When the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 were announced, I wrote about the revolutionary shift in shipping one cellular model that supported all carriers. At the time, I speculated that Apple might get around to doing this with the iPhone. The latest rumors suggest that will be the case, with the iPhone 6s (presuming that naming convention sticks) and likely the iPhone 6s Plus (or iPhone 6 Plus S?)
Google, Microsoft, Pebble, and other smartwatch makers think there's room for them on the wrists of iPhone owners. Apple has left an opening by charging $349 minimum and compromising on battery life and other features. This means there may be an opportunity for other watch makers to sell to iPhone users, if only they could make their devices work with iOS. Microsoft already does, with their Microsoft Band, and Pebble always has. Pebble just launched a color version, called Pebble Time, that is attractive and offers a week or more of battery life, thanks to e-Paper display technology. They also launched a $250 steel version including the option of a gold color case, which is a lot more affordable than Apple's gold Edition will be!