Our iPhones might still be a few years away from self-parking, but they can already do a lot of incredible things behind the wheel. iOS in the Car is on the verge of taking over our dashboards, and car manufacturers have long been using connected apps to add value to navigation systems, letting us lock our doors or monitor our engine health from afar
In a world of Siri and Dragon voice recognition, the longtime fantasy of completely ditching the keyboard is still pretty much that for folks who spend considerable time transferring words from their brains into their devices. Most are happy with the slim little Apple offerings that offer slick designs, but are less than optimal for touch typists. If you’re interested in moving up into something that is pure pleasure for your fingers, the Matias Laptop Pro is a Bluetooth version of their third-generation, mechanical keyboards that are popular with writers, data entry workers, and anyone who earns a living putting words to screen.
With many iPhone plans featuring limits on data, as well as expensive overage fees, users often scramble for free (or at least affordable) Wi-Fi wherever they can find it. With Karma on your side, you can find Wi-Fi anywhere there’s a 4G signal via a compact hotspot designed for sharing.
Depending on your perspective, free-to-play games might either be the best or worst thing to happen to the mobile platform – but whatever your take, it's hard to deny that the approach comes with notable compromises. Dead Trigger 2 is a fairly engrossing first-person shooter with a lot to offer in regards to comfortable controls and enjoyable blood-spattered gameplay, but you'll quickly find yourself sitting around doing nothing in order to avoid throwing money into the works.
Portable speakers are known for being portable first, and sounding great...well, almost never. Bose is aiming to change that perception with the SoundLink Mini, a diminutive 1.5-pound speaker that connects to any device via Bluetooth. With seven hours of playback on a single charge, and surprisingly good bass, the SoundLink Mini is an itty-bitty powerhouse, whether it’s on your desk or hanging out in the backyard.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s something of a health craze going on in technology. Ever since Nike married fitness and fashion in its stylish, LED-studded FuelBand, geeks everywhere want to be seen wearing gadgets that blink, flash, and measure their activity. They look great on our wrists, but clunky interfaces and faulty synching often spoil the experience, leaving us with little more than an expensive piece of high-tech jewelry.
Backyard Monsters: Unleashed expertly adapts Kixeye’s popular Facebook game for iOS, putting you in charge of a horde of deadly fiends as they build a mighty fortress and wage war on neighboring clans. The beasts are on the scary side of cute, morphing sweet and colorful character designs into something out of a nightmare — which rather adheres to their particular brand of destruction.
Like Star Trek’s Mr. Scott, Apple’s engineers have well-deserved reputations for being high-tech miracle workers, but even they can only do so much about the laws of physics. Any moving part can become worn or damaged over time, and MacBook owners know few parts move more than their power adapter’s precious MagSafe cord. The Fray Fix adds a layer of protection to your faithful power brick’s most vulnerable spot, but in a way that’s anything but futuristic.
Confused demonyms notwithstanding, Romans from Mars is a fairly straightforward iOS offering from Sidekick Games: waves of green-skinned centurions are attacking your ramparts and you, a lone ballista operator, are tasked with holding them off. The Roman deity Jupiter supplies intermittent spells — an earthquake here, a lightning bolt there — but the bulk of Romans from Mars consists of launching huge arrows as quickly and accurately as possible against increasingly complex hordes of aliens. Unfortunately, it devolves into mindless tapping, while the free-to-play approach makes upgrades prohibitively expensive before long.
With a laser pistol in one hand and a glowing sword in the other, charging through long corridors filled with killer robots, oozing slime creatures, and alien freaks sounds like a good time. It is — at least to an extent — in Echo Prime. This sci-fi brawler from Robot Entertainment (Hero Academy) is a high-energy tap-fest that balances smart controls and formidable challenge. The satisfaction that comes from cleaving through droves of foes in a successful run dampens during longer play sessions, however, due to intense repetition that'll leave your wrists aching.