Some accessories are so clever that we wonder why Apple didn’t just fold them into the product’s original design. And with the Magic Charger, a lovely rechargeable-battery solution for the Magic Mouse, you might end up wishing that Apple actually had made it.
Videos and music make long flights and arduous commutes bearable. But if there’s just not enough room on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad for everything you want to hear or see, the Kingston Wi-Drive tacks on an extra 32GB by streaming directly to your iOS device.
The iPhone 4S is the best disappointment Apple has ever released. The build-up to the company’s next iPhone was so over the top, so astronomically hyped, that for some, anything short of the iPhone 6 would have been a letdown. When the 4S was announced, “in-the-know” tech heads chastised it for retaining the same body they hailed as the best of all time a little over a year ago. But no matter how vocal the vocal minority might have been, the iPhone 4S has flown off shelves at a rate that just might make it the fastest-selling gadget of all time.
I have a confession to make: I’m a document pack rat. In all other areas of my life I’m meticulously organized, but when it comes to files and folders, my stuff is all over the place. Digital spring-cleaning is not my forte, which is why I’ve got a bunch of portable hard drives strewn about with various data. Thankfully, Seagate’s 4TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk will let me consolidate onto one single hard drive with enough space to back up my Mac and iOS devices and store my media files.
I kinda have a thing for bags. I know exactly what I want from them, but it’s so hard to find one that does everything a gadget-hauling nerd like me could wish for. But if I ever get to design my own backpack someday, it’s going to look an awful lot like the Powerbag.
Headphones are a personal, subjective thing, and so is one’s affinity for the movie TRON. Monster’s T3 earbuds are a tie-in with the recent TRON remake—the website boasts that they feature “Disney’s futuristic styling and the phosphorous glow of the TRON universe.” Well, they don’t actually glow, and if we hadn’t been informed that they were TRON-related we never would have recognized the silver-and-blue TRON-ish T design on each earbud. But they are pretty cool looking.
When Apple announced the video-out feature for the iPhone, we rejoiced. Finally, we could watch YouTube cat videos on the big screen from our iPhones -- albeit with the addition of an expensive cable. Okay, so maybe we didn’t rejoice that much. Cables are a pain. Grabbing one so you can watch something on the TV…and then only being able to stand a few feet away from said TV is pretty much a bummer all around.
Many of us at Mac|Life have cut ties with the cable company, and it feels great. There’s so much content available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, and others, that we only miss those 400 channels occasionally—mostly for sports and news. Reclaim live sports and news, and cut streaming service costs with the HD HomeRun. It tunes in over-the-air broadcasts or unencrypted (Clear QAM) cable channels, if you’re not ready to end that service.
Like the times, music keeps a-changin’. These days, it’s more often enjoyed on the go from your iDevice, rather than by dusting off a CD or (gasp) record. That’s part of why Apple’s AirPlay feature, which lets you beam tunes from iDevices to compatible speakers, gets us so excited…but there’s actually a better option, if you can afford it. Sonos’ line of wireless music players can send your tunes on tour all over the house, and they offer more power and flexibility.
Unlike the internet, analog synthesizers really are made of tubes. Well, not all of them, but the really nice ones do contain vacuum tubes. They range from ugly green metal boxes to incredibly beautiful pieces of art with wood cases. Someone looking to buy one of these instruments better be willing to pay a pretty penny—analog gear is not cheap. So while we’d all like a Moog, it’s hard to justify the premium price unless you’re a rock star. That’s why we’re impressed that M-Audio’s Venom brings the warmth of analog into the digital age at a price even enthusiast players can afford—and frankly, it does an incredible job.