Here’s a crash course in getting the most from your new iPhone's hardware so you can look your best the first night with it on the town. Who knows? If you follow our tips, the next person to write Steve about scoring a date with Apple gear may be you.
iHome’s new iA5 is billed as an “app-enhanced” alarm clock. In plain English, that means you can augment this standalone clock and speaker dock by downloading the free iHome+Sleep app for your iPhone or iPod touch to unlock additional functionality.
Guitar amplifiers have been going through an identity crisis lately. For years, one amp with a good sound was all fine and dandy, but then digital technology figured out how to capture and cram the sounds of many amps into one program--and who doesn’t like choice? Now the realm of digital amp emulation comes to Apple’s handhelds with AmpliTube, aided and abetted by the iRig adapter, and the results are rocktacular.
Apple haters love to trot out the fact that the iPhone and iPod touch lack a physical keyboard. And of course, the first feature iPhone users notice about any rival keyboard-equipped smartphone is usually the microscopic keys. 4iThumbs attempts to bridge that gap, offering some of the tactile feedback of a hard keyboard without giving up all the benefits of the iPhone’s virtual keys.
I’ve resisted buying a Bluetooth headset because I’m not down with cyborg fashion. But as the Borg used to say on Star Trek: The Next Generation, resistance is futile--especially now that many states are adopting laws requiring the use of hands-free devices while driving. Sure, you could use a wired headset, but wires are cumbersome--and besides, it’s 2010. In that spirit, we called in three intriguing new Bluetooth headsets and put them through their paces.
Although the camera in the iPhone got a boost to 3 megapixels in the 3G-to-3GS refresh, it’s still not what anyone would call “powerful.” So if you’re among the many iPhone owners who take a lot of photos with your smartphone, it may be time to supersize that built-in camera with an add-on like the USBfever 8X Telescope with Hard Case. What you get for your $29 is a telescope-style fixed optical zoom lens (which attaches to an included case) and a miniature tripod that steadies your iPhone while you shoot photos or video. The lens lets you manually zoom in on a subject up to 8X, so you can get much closer without ever moving a muscle.
Like X-ray glasses and sea monkeys, vacuum tubes are the stuff of 1950s
pulp-fiction cool. They even glow in the dark! And it turns out that
they can improve the sound of modern digital music--if you stick with
high-quality, lossless files, that is.
Fanny packs may have gone the way of mom jeans, but while they were in vogue, they were pretty darn useful. The modern equivalent is the Armpocket Sport 20, a Velcro-strapped pouch that enables you to carry your iPod touch or iPhone and other small items on your arm when you’re working out or just traveling light.
Great-sounding headphones that don’t cost an arm and a leg are kind of
like aliens--you’re pretty sure they’re out there somewhere, but
they’re really hard to find. Yamaha’s EPH-30 earbuds should come
packaged like a flying saucer--they offer a terrific listening
experience at an affordable price.
iPods are fantastic, but the most important part of any mobile music
experience is the earbuds or headphones that you connect to your
device. Plenty of people are happy to use the stock Apple iPod earbuds,
but many are less than thrilled by their sound quality--or the fact
that those hard plastic ’buds aren’t the most comfortable things to
stick in your ears. Yurbuds are soft rubber eartips meant to work with
your existing phones, offering better fit and improved performance.