Capsule speakers remain a niche product, but they offer some appeal to laptop or iPod and iPhone users who want better sound but don't want to lug around a set of computer speakers. The only drawback to going small is that even if the speakers sound better than most internal laptop speakers, they usually still sound pretty mediocre. What's slightly different about iHome's iHM79s, is that it has made these mini speakers a tad larger than its early capsule models, and the result is that they sound better but take up a little more room in … Read more
This shouldn't come as news to anyone, but the older your iPhone or iPod gets, the worse its battery performs. Don't blame Apple: it's just the nature of rechargeable batteries.
OK, you can blame Apple for one thing: You can't just swap in a new battery--not without some warranty-voiding surgery. However, you can plug in external power, which is cheap, easy, and affordable.
For example, HandHeldItems.com has a pair of 1,000mAh iPhone backup batteries for $13.99 with free shipping. That's after applying coupon code 2x1000mah at checkout.
Since you will usually … Read more
The first time I saw the Novophone, I laughed. Then I mocked. Then I got a little thirsty. Finally, after thinking about it for a while, I started to develop some genuine interest in the thing. Desire, even. Is it crazy, or am I?
As you can tell from the photo, the Novophone is a handset--a full-size, old-fashioned, haven't-seen-one-since-the-'80s corded handset.
Just plug it into your cell phone, then enjoy a trip down Nostalgia Lane as you cradle it comfortably on your shoulder, stretch and twirl the coiled cord, roll around on the couch, and tell your BFF … Read more
Largely overlooked amid the overwhelming iPad hype is its biggest potential achievement. Apple's touch-screen quasi-PC may have finally struck a fatal blow to the long-standing king of input devices, the computer mouse.
Make no mistake about it, the era of the familiar PC mouse is coming to an end. It may not be a 2012-style apocalypse (and the mouse will surely hang on in some form for many years to come), but the door is slowly shutting on the universal acceptance of this single iconic piece of hardware that we have equated with personal computing for decades (for argument's sake, let's agree to date its lifespan from the 1972 invention of the ball mouse, and its use as a consumer device from the 1981 Xerox Star). Replacing it is an array of touch input devices and icon-focused operating systems that are built (not always for the better) around expediency over flexibility.
Long before the iPad, touch-screen tablet PCs had been around for years, occasionally enjoying a brief surge in consumer interest, and then fading away again, as users discovered that touch navigation was not really ready for prime time. Apple's iPhone, and later the iPod Touch, changed all that, bringing actual one-to-one touch to the masses for the first time.
But on the PC side, this only made the sluggish, temperamental touch screens found on most tablets even more glaringly obvious; we frequently described these devices as having a rubber-band effect. You'd drag a finger across the screen to move an icon, and it would follow behind by half a beat, as if on the end of a rubber band. The takeway was that touch was workable on tiny handhelds, but not well-suited to larger laptop screens.
The iPad's disruptive success in building a larger touch environment that has received almost universal praise puts the lie to that theory. It may not be as productivity friendly as your ThinkPad, but add a Bluetooth keyboard and Apple's iWork apps, and you've got a reasonable approximation of a laptop experience in many cases.
But even before the iPad, PCs that traded the mouse for a fingertip have been making significant strides. HP has led the way with its TouchSmart lineof all-in-one desktops and convertible tablet laptops. Again, the experience wasn't entirely seamless, but each successive generation of these systems has seen further refinement of their specialized touch interfaces, which sit on top of Windows, hiding the mouse-driven desktop from view. Asus also did an decent job with the custom interface on the Eee PC T91, a touch-screen version of the popular Eee PC Netbook (despite that system's other flaws).… Read more
For this week's Crave giveaway, we've got Powermat's upcoming new Wireless Charging System for the iPhone. Yes, you heard right, upcoming, which means if you win you'll be this first on your block with one of these puppies when it's officially released mid-April.
In case you don't know what Powermat's all about, its products allow you to charge cell phones (and other stuff) by simply laying the product down on a mat that's plugged into the wall. Powermat's new Wireless Charging System for the iPhone comes with a Powermat 1X mat, … Read more
I come from a PalmPilot background. In the old days, our devices didn't connect to our computers via a stray cable that's always getting in the way. Our devices didn't lay prostrate on our desks while charging or syncing. They sat upright, faced forward, and gave us something to look at. In other words, they docked.
You can dock an iPhone, but Apple charges a whopping $49 for the privilege. Thanks, but no thanks.
There's nothing worse than a smartphone that lays down on the job--especially when that job is showing a movie on an airplane, a photo slideshow at your desk, a recipe in your kitchen, or the time of day on your nightstand.
For those and other applications, your screen needs to stand up. Sure, you could drop a few bucks on something like the GoGoStand, a cool and convenient solution, but I think it's a little more fun to take the MacGyver approach.
You can cobble together a fantastic phone stand using everyday household objects. Here's a look at four of my favorites:
1. The gift-card stand
Stop! Don't throw away that used-up gift card. Or hotel room-key. Or even expired credit card. In about 10 seconds you can turn just about any such piece of stiff plastic into a killer stand. One strategic fold here, a second one there, and boom, you're done. Take a look:
Back in November of last year we wrote about an upcoming Apple-certified iPhone and iPod Touch solar charger from a company called Novothink. Well, four months later, the Solar Surge charging case, which Novothink is marketing toward "outdoor enthusiasts," is now available for purchase.
As anybody who's tried to charge an electronic device using a solar charger knows, it doesn't juice up the device nearly as quickly as your typical power adapter would and the Surge is no exception. The charging case can provide up to 30 minutes of talk time on a 3G network or … Read more
The TomTom Car Kit and the Magellan Premium Car Kit are two devices that fill the same very small niche. As we've seen in our reviews, these iPhone accessories solve the problem of where to place your iPhone while driving and navigating. Not content to merely hold your iDevice is place, these kits also feature integrated GPS receivers that enhance the accuracy of the iPhone's positioning, loud Bluetooth speakerphones that are compliant with handsfree laws, and 12-volt chargers that ensure that your iPhone is juiced and ready to go once you get where you're going.
Both units … Read more
A refrigerator is not a refrigerator without magnets. And a self-respecting iPhone/iPod Touch owner is not a self-respecting iPhone/iPod Touch owner without a set of Jailbreak Toys App Magnets.
I mean, how awesome are these things! They come in sets of 18 (one for each stock iPhone app, presumably) and sell for the reasonable-to-my-cheapskate-senses price of $12.99.
Shipping will run you another $5 or so, though if you order three sets you can get free shipping by applying coupon code 3forFREE at checkout. My advice: Grab a set for yourself, and stash the other two away for … Read more