Review: Thoughts on the ChargeKey

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Battery life on mobile devices isn’t great. The iPhone has some of the better battery life in the industry, but even it pales in comparison to the week-long battery life of the dumb phones of the past. There are two solutions. The first involves having a bulky battery case on your iPhone at all times. This works, but it completely ruins the svelte design of the iPhone. The second option is to try and have power anywhere you go. ChargeKey, meet my pocket. (more…)

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Bulletproof iPhone screen protector is not bulletproof

Bulletproof iPhone screen protector is not bulletproof

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The good folks over at Ars Technica tested a screen protector made of bulletproof glass. First, the screen protector took some abuse from a screw driver. Then, they actually shot it. While the screen protector protected the device from the screw driver, it isn’t, in fact, bulletproof.

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SurfacePad case now available for iPad mini

iPad mini surfacepad case

The SurfacePad case — a nifty iPad accessory from the folks over at Twelve South — is now available for the iPad mini. The case combines a front cover that makes use of the magnets in the iPad mini, as well as an adhesive back to offer a little more protection than what Apple’s solution offers. The whole case is made of leather, and goes for $69.99 in one of three colors (red, black, or white) on Twelve South’s website. If you’re in the market, I wholeheartedly recommend this case — Twelve South makes excellent accessories.

[Twelve South]

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Is the iPhone 5s leather case worth buying?

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Apple’s official, first-party leather case looks like a fantastic product. The price isn’t too high — though still higher than what most would pay for a case, but I’ll excuse that because leather — and the quality looks great. How is the case in everyday use? Is it worth throwing down the money, or is someone better off spending that money on a cheaper, third-party plastic case on Amazon?

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Review: Designed by M AeroSpace Bumper

Designed by M | Bumper Case | $ 59.99

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A couple years back, Apple introduced a new form of cases, bumpers.  Originally designed for the 4/4S, the bumper case was a minimalistic design that surrounded the iPhone but didn’t cover up the design queues set by Sir Ive.  Designed by M decided to go out and make their own bumper case, this one made out of aluminum to match the design of the iPhone.  From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s a beautiful case.   (more…)

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New iPhone case adds NFC for payments

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Apple has, so far, been the only major manufacturer to not adopt NFC. NFC, or Near Field Communication, offers a low-power way to send information between two points. This has made it useful in payments, though it hasn’t yet become a standard in many countries. A new case from Incipio and AT&T hopes to change that, as it adds NFC to the iPhone. (more…)

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Review: BuQuTech Magnetyze Charging Case

BuQuTech | iPhone Case | $ 59.99

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The idea of using magnetism for charging a device is nothing new.  Inductive charging relies solely on this mechanism.  The Magnetyze Case attempts to give a magnetic-like charging system to devices that don’t support it.  It adds a magnetic contact onto the back of the iPhone and a snap clip that magnetically attaches to it.  On the other end of that clip is a male USB port.  The case provides quite a bit of protection and the charging mechanism works like a charm.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t without fault.   (more…)

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Apple’s strict guidelines are making iOS game controllers expensive and lacking

Apple is a very controlling company, particularly with its line of iPhones and iPod touches. That’s typically served them well: the control allows them to sit at a premium place in the market. However, it seems that their strict guidelines are backfiring in at least one way.

Announced at WWDC 2013 as an iOS 7 feature, many people looked forward to game controllers built exclusively for iOS. The first wave hit in November, and they were received with harsh criticism for build quality and supported titles being improperly configured. The situation has improved slightly, with certain titles being updated to enhance gamepad support, but the build quality is still lacking. The lack of quality hardware is due to Apple’s mandate that gamepad creators must use specific, expensive components. This means that the manufacturers cut corners in assembly, and in other ways.

The controller program is also limited in other, odd ways:

There are other limitations of the program as well. For instance, the d-pads must be one circular button, opposed to just a raised cross shape or separate buttons for up, down, right, and left that you find on PlayStation and Xbox controllers and that many gamers prefer. The requirements also extend to the color, labeling and layout of the face buttons, thumbsticks, triggers, etc. It’s all meant to control quality and make it easy for developers to update apps to support all controllers, but in some areas Apple’s controller specification might not be strict enough.

Hopefully this situation improves over the coming year as Apple can tweak its policies and other manufacturers can enter the ring, all while developers work to make better use of the gamepad API.

[9to5mac]

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The Truffol Autograph is the best iPhone skin you can buy

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I’m a fan of Truffol, an up-and-coming manufacturer of mobile accessories. I reviewed their Signature Classic, which I thought was an excellent high-end case that offered great protection and a wonderful design, but with one drawback for iPhone 5S owners.

This time, Truffol is back with their Autograph line of skins. Featuring a fantastically-slim leather design that protects the back of your iPhone and adds some “gripiness” to the aluminum and glass back of the iPhone 5 and 5S, the Autograph line is my new favorite skin for the iPhone.

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Mophie’s latest case adds 16 or 32 GB, battery life to your iPhone

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CES has, for the last few years, been a source of dozens of new Apple product accessories. That trend has continued, and one of the best new accessories to come out is Mophie’s latest case. The design of the case looks almost identical to their Juice Pack Helium line, which is already available. As anyone who has a Juice Pack Helium knows, the case has some empty space at the bottom, in order for it to connect to Apple’s lightning port and provide extended power.

The new case, named the Space Pack, includes a 1,700 mAh battery to allow you to charge your device up. However, and more interestingly, it also comes with 16 or 32 GB of storage, where you can save movies, music, photos, and other media. Mophie will release a companion app that allows you to take advantage of this extra space.

The cases will be available on March 14 for $149.99 or $179.99 for the 16 or 32 GB model, respectively.

[9to5mac]

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