Sure, the Apple v. Samsung patent trials have been a treasure trove for fans who like seeing prototypes of their favorite gadgets, but what about a look at the guts of one of the earliest iPhone prototypes available?
Nearly two months after the introduction of Apple's new Lightning connector, third-party accessory maker Belkin looks to become the first out of the gate with a dock and auto charger for your current-generation iDevice.
I have a life-long passion for art. Unfortunately, due to the usual demands of adulthood, I haven’t drawn since architecture school 20 years ago. I’ve also been slow to try my hand at creating digital art because the software and graphics tablets seemed too darn expensive.
You know how those organizer pockets in backpacks and messenger bags usually include a few long, skinny pockets sized for pens and pencils? Raise your hand if you actually use those for pens and pencils. Yeah, me neither.
Skype is great for communicating with friends and colleagues in other places, but let’s face it: that spacey, hollow sound you get from your Mac’s built-in mic could use some improvement. Blue Mics aims to fix that with Tiki, a USB microphone designed to improve your Skype calls. There’s no software required—Tiki uses onboard electronics to process the sound and enhance call quality.
How Apple could ever think that the four USB 2.0 ports on an iMac or Mac mini would be enough for all of the digital cameras, external hard drives, and iOS devices in our lives is beyond us. MacBook users are even worse off. Two USB ports? Seriously? Fortunately, there’s a cure to the too-few-ports blues: the Satechi 12-Port USB Hub. It’s powered, lightweight, and wicked useful.
BiKN is a simple piece of hardware that tethers your phone to anything you don’t want to lose: your keys, your wallet, your cat, even your kids. BiKN comes with an iPhone 4/4S case and two tags (additional tags are $49.99 a pair), which you can attach to just about anything. A free iPhone app lets you communicate with the tags in Leash, Page, or Find mode. In Leash mode, the tag “pings” audibly when it gets far enough away from the iPhone. Page makes the tag beep wherever it is, so you can locate it by sound. Find mode tells you how far away from your tag you are, and which direction it’s in. And if you misplace your phone but have a tag handy, you can press a button to page your phone.
For the tens of millions of us patiently waiting for Apple to flip the switch on new iPhone preorders, Reuters has weighed in on a persistent rumor that the proprietary 30-pin connector that's been used since the third generation of the iPod is finally meeting its maker, presumably to make room for an underside headphone jack.
For those arguing that Apple wouldn't render a decade of third-party plugs and accessories incompatible, we beg to differ. Even if you want to ignore all of the leaked prototypes and case mock-ups that deliberately point to a narrow connector, remember that this is Apple. Millimeters mean everything, and the old-school connector takes up a bunch of them, so if we want a thinner phone, something has to give.
The iTwin ($99, www.itwin.com) is a handy way to securely share files with no worries about logins or fiddling with settings. Using a familiar drag-and-drop model that anyone who’s used a USB thumb drive can understand, the iTwin just works. And you can get one if you win our August contest.