by Jim Gresham on Dec 12, 2013
Screen protectors are either hit or miss. As a naked iPhone user, I use neither a case, nor a skin. There is too much room for disappointment with many iOS device skins. Consequently, I am a true iPhone nudist. I am however not opposed to giving screen protections a try for review.
Inside, I take a quick look at the Armorz Stealth Extreme Lite Tempered Glass for iPhone 5/c/s. After receiving one from Armorz, I installed it on my wife’s 5c and was more impressed than originally anticipated. My wife is still currently enjoying it, even though she prefers a nude iPhone as well. There are all types of screen protection on the market, but the Armorz is my first experience with a tempered glass variety… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 11, 2013
On a regular basis, I am always carrying around any number of little doodads, accessories, and other miscellany. Where should I stuff all of my small pieces of important fanfare? Usually, I will load my pockets down with all that I might need. If there is more, I carry a backpack with lots of pockets and spaces.
Granted, iLuv’s new addition, Tangle, will not replace a backpack or your favorite pair of cargo shorts, but it could easily come in handy. Popularly known for all sorts of creative iOS device solutions, iLuv even has a contract to produce Peanut cartoon accessories. Inside, I take a look at the Tangle and its accessory carrying options… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 9, 2013
Some would say I have a terrible collection of music in my iTunes library. Ask any of my friends, or wife, and I probably rank last in choice of great music. Assuming, for now, I agree with them, that does not mean I cannot appreciate quality sound. Thus, my quest for the best pair of headphones began about a year ago. Keeping my eyes, and ears, open for anything that could quench my audio thirst.
As an average consumer, sound quality and price are both considered. Sure, if we wanted the best money could buy, we would all just buy in-ear monitors like the pros. But, not all of us make millions of dollars. Thankfully, I ran into AudioFly‘s booth at CES in January this year. Their full line of products dazzled my ears. This summer, I reviewed the AF78′s, which were astounding. Today, I take a closer look at the AF45‘s, a more financially modest pair, as we head into the holiday gifting season. You could even win a pair for yourself! I’m giving away two pair of AF33‘s and two more pair of AF45′s… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 8, 2013
We are back again, with another great offering for the Wallpapers of the Week section. There are always great images from which to choose and this week is no exception. Today, I cannot say the options are seasonally specific, but great wallpapers are great wallpapers.
Make sure to keep submitting your wallpapers for consideration as the section is maintained by the readers. The only way for this section to continue running is for readers to keep submitting their works of art. Download the wallpapers inside and find out how to get your images featured on iDownloadBlog… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 7, 2013
As iPad becomes more of a portable workhorse, the need for professional grade accessories drastically increases. Our own Jeff Benjamin swears by his iPad to muscle common tasks for his daily blogging needs. Of the most important professional additions, the keyboard rates at number one.
A virtual keyboard is perfect for portability. Software keyboards only take up screen space, but do not take up space in a travel bag or add weight. They are equally as noticeable when trying to actually accomplish some real work. The Bluetooth keyboard is the answer for users looking to get extra mileage from their iPad Air. Inside, we give a short spotlight to some of the best iPad Air keyboards… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 1, 2013
In the United States, we finished celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. After much feasting and football, I believe it is finally okay to accept winter is creeping upon us. Ceaseless Christmas music will be played and, to coordinate, all of my devices will enjoy frigidly cold winter wallpapers. There is something refreshing about viewing a calming snow scene or frosted nature images.
In that light, let this be the first, of potentially many winterized wallpapers. Anything that looks cold will be considered a winter wallpaper. Considering the Wallpapers of the Week section is customized by our readers, please help the winter wonderland by submitting your frigid images. Details for submission is just past the fold, and the cold… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 28, 2013
In the States, we are celebrating Thanksgiving today. Most certainly, there will be people sitting down to a family meal with all of the turkey and trimmings. Personally, I am ready for some mashed potatoes and gravy. Finally, the pumpkin pie will complete the experience.
However, Thanksgiving is not all about turkey and good food. Another American Thanksgiving tradition is football. No, not soccer, American football. On Thanksgiving Thursday, there are three main games, the highlight match up is at 8:30PM EST, with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Baltimore Ravens.
Celebrating all that is American football, we have wallpapers for that key matchup. To make everyone happy, inside readers will find wallpapers for every NFL team, courtesy of an iDB reader… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 27, 2013
iPad stands and docks are a great way to store and use the device without personally holding it. One of my favorite iOS device accessories, there are many stands and docks laying around on my desks, so many, I even let my friends borrow them on occasion. With a dedicated work station in my home office, I like viewing my devices in an upright position. It is simply easier to watch for notifications without picking up the device to look at the screen. Stands also keep my devices off dusty surfaces like the coffee table, book shelves or kitchen counter.
Anywhere I sit or stand for more than 10 to 15 minutes has an iOS device stand. The living room book shelves and side tables, kitchen counter, office desk, and sometimes my night stand all have device stands or docks. In an effort of generosity, even the guest bedroom has a charging alarm/clock/iPhone dock. All of my rambling is to say, I am quite well versed in the dock arena and MiStand by Mi is quite impressively giving all former stands a challenge for my top spot… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 24, 2013
Another Sunday, another set of reader wallpapers. Each week readers submit different kinds of wallpapers, from completely graphic to photographs to abstract modifications. It is great to see what type of artwork our iDB readers regularly produce.
The posts also spur excellent conversation in the comments section. While all of the feedback is not completely useful, we do keep an eye on the reactions below. Criticism and negative comments are not useful without a suggestion for progress. However, some readers help guide the section with their constructive feedback. This week, we present two manipulated photographs by Anxanx. Take a look inside for the full downloads… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 18, 2013
The iPhone 5c originally received a lot of attention due to the new form factor, lower price, and colorful addition to the otherwise black and white iPhone line up. Now, it seems the 5s is getting most of the attention as the new flagship handheld device.
Even iDB focuses primarily on the high end hardware, but today we recenter. Thanks to a few contacts in the right places, we are excited to announce an iPhone 5c specific giveaway to our readers. Take a look past the fold for the grab bag goodies going to one winner and enter for your chance to win… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 17, 2013
Wallpapers have the ability to truly change the look and feel of the iOS 7 operating system. As we discovered during our blurry phase, the entire system changes throughout with the transparencies. However, the multi-layered colors were the only visually stimulating item throughout the OS.
Using boxes, shadows, and textures is another way to enhance UI, but several of those key components were lost with Forstall’s iOS 6. There is a very delicate way to use these elements but still keep things iOS 7 compliant. This week we feature iPhone 5 wallpaper and SpringBoard specific wallpapers that utilize shadows, textures, and transparency to change the Lock screen and Home screen design in a creative way… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 12, 2013
The Bluetooth speaker is making its way as a universal speaker for all mobile devices. As I mentioned in a previous Bluetooth speaker round up just last week, it appears more companies are entering the Bluetooth speaker marketplace. Also, it seems fewer companies are producing dock based speakers. After Apple turned the iPhone dedicated aftermarket upside down by eliminating the 30 pin cable, fewer companies want to continue chancing a Lightning pin specific option. With the universal Bluetooth standard, not only does the company future proof their design, but all mobile devices will work effortlessly, thus preventing costly dedicated iPhone models.
ZAGG (you know them as one of the original iPhone skin companies) is also branching into the mobile media scene. No longer just the InvisibleShield company, ZAGG and their new subsidiary iFrogz are getting their hands dirty in a cross platform way. From skins to cases to audio, there is certainly a diversification for the company. I was able to review a new pair of their Bluetooth headphones a few weeks back and today, a closer look at the ZAGG Bluetooth speaker, should leave everyone begging for more.
The ZAGG Origin, which made its first splash at CES 2013, had escaped my radar until recently. With a streamlined design and hard hitting sound, I was excited to receive a review unit. Origin may look like it is just another part of the average Bluetooth line up, but a detachable companion speaker is the second part of a one-two punch to success… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 12, 2013
Like iPhone sleeve cases, the “dock” is a generally over populated hardware field that many manufacturers throw out as an option. With so many different docks on the market, little things make or break the product. At what angle is the iPhone sitting, does it adjust, what are the materials, can it hold both iPhone and iPad, etc? Today, I take a look at the successfully Kickstarted MiDock and put it through the paces.
My first impressions of the device were very positive and for my personal preferences, it fit with my iPhone usage. However, after looking at the MiDock more critically, it might not be for everyone. Take a stop beyond the fold to determine if the MiDock is right for you… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 11, 2013
Incipio is always quick on the trigger when it comes to releasing new product lines along with Apple’s new hardware. Before the iPhone launch, I was already contacted by some friends at Incipio asking me to take a look at their, then unreleased, products. Happily agreeing, they sent over three different cases for inspection.
Inside, I take a closer look at these cases and their form factors, relating to iPhone 5c. These are the first 5c cases I received for any reviewing purposes and they all fit quite well. As with most Incipio line ups, they are affordable and colorful… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 10, 2013
We are rolling through some great wallpapers in the Wallpapers of the Week section on iDB. If you have not gone back through the archive, I highly suggest spending a few minutes rounding up submissions from the past twenty weeks. That is almost a full half-year’s worth of wallpapers, kept alive by submissions from our readers.
Of course, some walls are more preferred by other readers, but some people like chicken more than steak. It is all a matter of preference. Even Sebastien and I have different tastes in wallpapers, but we know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a variety of walls will best suit the readers. We have gone through a blurry phase and a short photography phase, but truth is, anything that looks awesome is fair game. Consequently, I encourage you to keep sending in those images, as they are all considered each week. If you have something negative to say about the offerings, then get yourself into Photoshop and get busy, because we are waiting for your creative images… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 9, 2013
I assume there was an eyebrow raise at “premium Lightning cables.” Be ensured, the title is not intended to be click bait, rather a description of the actual product. After Apple switched from 30 pin, my arsenal of available cords depleted. Like many of our readers, I amassed a large number of 30 pin cables across the years.
Suddenly, I needed to reinvest in more cables. I grew accustomed to having a cable pretty much anywhere I sat for more than an hour. The folks at Moshi sent me a review unit of their Lightning cable, which is the same price as a standard Apple OEM cable, but offer a lot more in the way of rugged design and classy fixtures… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 8, 2013
We love music. For years, well before iPods, we took music everywhere. From records to CD’s, music is a part of every day life, especially with the invention of MP3 players and the subsequent iPod. However, these are personal devices with single use headphone jacks. Music is most fun when enjoyed with those around us, or at least without being tied down by a corded headset.
Setting music free, is the Bluetooth speaker. As a reviewer, it seems Bluetooth speakers continue to advance in popularity. Not only do I get asked to review them more frequently, but I seem to have more personal conversations about them too. Which one is best, more portable, louder, more clear, better battery and so forth. To throw a few out there for consideration, I rounded up four different models for your consideration… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 7, 2013
Neurio is an electrical monitoring device developed by Energy Aware Technology. The small device sits in the home’s breaker box and “monitors how much power homes are using, and figures out the cost of running individual appliances using smart algorithms that look for patterns and potential problems.” Using a self-learning algorithm, the unit collects data about the electrical items in the home. Reports and information are provided to the user, who then determines which ways to better eliminate energy consumption.
Most importantly, the monitoring and cloud reporting does not require home owners to install sensors on any device. As the unit sits in the breaker box, connected to the central home electrical hub, it monitors information directly from the source. Using a companion app, cleverly titled “Wattson,” a homeowners’ smartphone becomes the simple monitoring tool needed to determine real time power consumption and usage… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Nov 3, 2013
‘Tis the season,” they say, but not yet the season for Christmas. The month prior to December is host to many wonderful things in life, most notably, Thanksgiving for Americans, Fall leaves, cold nights, and Starbucks never ending marketing blitz for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. As a man, or woman I suppose, November is also heralded as Movember, a month to grow a mustache to help support awareness for men’s health issues.
Men the world ’round can participate by growing facial hair, particularly a mustache. If you haven’t started growing your stache, only three days passed, get busy. To celebrate the manly month of Movember, today’s post includes mustached wallpapers for the occasion… Read More
by Jim Gresham on Oct 27, 2013
We are a little wallpaper crazy. Over the past couple weeks we posted standard Wallpapers of the Week, along with iPad event wallpapers and iPad Air wallpaper recreations. Based on the comment feedback, everyone seems to enjoy the wallpaper coverage on the site and we hope to keep everyone flush with fresh walls. Nothing is worse than a stale Lock screen.
As we continue to prep for the iPad Air launch this coming Friday, we take a moment to pay homage to the new iPhone 5c, before all attention is given to the iPads. In today’s wallpaper post, we highlight graphic artist Svink who created two great walls with different variations… Read More