by Jim Gresham on Jan 25, 2015
The annual event where everyone in America acts like they loved football year round. For die hard fans, Super Bowl XLIX is the culmination of a destiny for their chosen team. After many Sundays and Mondays of ceaselessly cheering, the Super Bowl is a proving grounds for only the top two NFL teams.
In stark contrast, many more Americans crowd around the TV for plenty of beer, hot wings, nachos, beanie weenies, peanut butter filled pretzels, potato chips, and the commercials. Regardless of allegiance, millions of people will watch for some reason, even if they just happen to be in the same room for social purposes. To celebrate the madness, show your team spirit with these Superbowl XLIX wallpapers and cheer on your team in the comment section below. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Jan 18, 2015
Last week’s post of space galaxies proved to be a big hit! This is a consistent theme proved to be enjoyed by readers. You can find additional galaxy themed wallpapers in the following posts: galaxy creation, stars and moons, and galaxy wallpapers. Moreover, our Interstellar movie inspired wallpapers are in the same theme.
Taking movie and galaxy themes to the next level, I asked readers to submit their favorite Guardians of the Galaxy wallpapers for iOS devices. Very quickly, I received a solid collection of submissions via Twitter. Below is a curated list of great Guardians wallpapers with credit to the submitters. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Jan 11, 2015
Having posted the Wallpapers of the Week for well over a year, certain trends become apparent to us. Popularity of images can be predicted and we try to stick to topics we know readers will enjoy. Of course, every now and then we need to vary from topic to topic. After all, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Not all wallpapers are created equal. What you see is what you get. And, any other cliche you can think of about imagery.
Today, however, we harken back to a topical wallpaper post theme, made popular by several other previous posts. Focusing today on space, is not a new trend, but a popular version by way of social shares. Step inside for details, downloads and backlinks. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Jan 4, 2015
Welcome to 2015! Before moving through our current selection, take a step back through our short 2015 wallpaper recap in the new year posting from last week. Moving forward, we are looking at another long year of wallpapers, starting with a celebration of the cold coming winter months.
In the northern hemisphere, winter just recently started on December 21. Temperatures have been erratic, at best, but the cold chill is starting to finally move in. As I mentioned previously, winter wallpapers are my favorite wallpaper genre and today brings four different chilling images for your iPhones. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Jan 2, 2015
The long and weary January expedition to International CES is now upon the consumer electronics industry. Each year, the entire industry descends upon Las Vegas, NV with more than 150,000 attendees. Noted as one of the largest trade shows in the world, CES is quite a spectacle. Everything from app powered toothbrush games to global players like Sony, Samsung, and LG will be in attendance.
Each year, we head out to the event in hopes of learning about new iOS devices and accessories. Through a week’s worth of events, press conferences, and booth meetings, the upcoming landscape for Apple-related tech is revealed. From Sunday, January 4 through Friday, January 9, I will be trekking across Vegas’ strip in search of the newest items, which will hopefully include Apple Watch accessories.
CES 2015 marks my third consecutive trip and having two previous shows under my belt, the planning strategy this year continues to evolve with my experience. Three trips hardly make one an expert, but no longer an amateur, my novice skills are at work in preparation for one of the most exciting weeks of the consumer electronic year. I will be flying out on Saturday, January 3, getting settled in, then surviving the next seven days. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 28, 2014
Today marks the last Wallpapers of the Week post for 2014! We are completing the first calendar year of the series, which started mid-2013. Earlier this year, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the series with our top images.
This year we published more than 52 Wallpapers of the Week posts, including some special edition mid-week releases for important events. Some of the most popular posts include: Interstellar; Apple’s 5K iMac Retina image; October 16 Keynote wallpapers; a pre-release of the iOS 8 flower wallpapers, which received almost 1,000 media shares; September 9 Keynote wallpapers; geometry style; and galaxy images.
Take a step inside to celebrate 2015 and another upcoming year of wallpapers.
by Jim Gresham on Dec 21, 2014
As we round out the year, Christmas is upon us. The last shopping frenzies are ending and we turn to the kitchen to bake up our favorite goodies. If you are still looking for some last minute shopping ideas, you can still deliver items just in time. All of your favorite iDB editors compiled their favorite Christmas items in our annual Holiday Gift Guides.
One of my favorite decorative ways to celebrate is with holiday-themed wallpapers. It may sound funny, but that is the item I see most throughout the day, why not dressing it up in some red and green? Take a step inside for a selection of Christmas wallpapers for your favorite device. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 17, 2014
The market is crowded with Bluetooth speakers. Every time you turn around, there is someone selling another Bluetooth speaker. They are an excellent iOS device accessory and I recommend having at least one. Of course, they run the full range of prices and I have had my hands on cheap and expensive several hundred dollar models.
When choosing a speaker, it is important to decide what is most important to you. Do you need one small enough to throw in your bag or do you prefer a home theater style option that can shake the walls with crisp and booming sound? Divoom is on the lower end of the Bluetooth spectrum. Providing small packaged, portable Bluetooth speakers with a rugged edge is the niche market for the Texas based company, which sent them over for review. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 16, 2014
Samsung called us iPhone users wall huggers in their recent commercial attacks. Sure, we charge fairly frequently, but iPhone owners just like using their device more and do it more frequently. Right? Sometimes that leads to a low battery. Even with an iPhone 6 Plus touting about 10 usage hours before depleting, I sometimes find myself in scenarios where additional charge is critical.
There are loads of battery backups on the market. Just walking into a 7-11 convenient store will reveal small stick sized charging devices for a few bucks. But, a backup is one of those you-get-what-you-pay-for experiences. Take a look inside for details on Outdoor Tech’s Kodiak Power Bank. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 15, 2014
Since Apple announced MFi controller support for iOS games, fewer options appeared than originally anticipated. The reason for a slow response is a bit surprising. However, my point of view is slightly skewed as an iOS accessory hardware reviewer. Still, I cannot imagine why app developers would not want to build in the support. Even more shocking is the small list of hardware options.
At CES 2014, it seemed like controllers would be the new thing. Unfortunately, several companies I chatted with never released their controller. We have come a long way since January 2014 and a full year plus another six months since the MFi controller support protocol released at WWDC.
SteelSeries was one of the first companies to-market with their SteelSeries Stratus. The Stratus was an extremely small MFi controller, but perfect for on-the-go gamers. Recently, they released the Stratus XL, a full sized battle tested design, similar to a true console handheld. After settling down with the XL, it changed the way I look at iOS as a gaming platform. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 14, 2014
Another year down and year three of the iDownloadBlog Holiday Gift Guide hits the site. As tech bloggers, it is our job to make sure you know about the awesome new things that come out during the year. We pride ourselves in filling a Santa list that is top notch and informed.
The following list of items may or may not be things I currently own or reviewed. Items in my gift guide are simply my favorite gadgets, accessories or tech related items.Throwing price to the wind, but still keeping it within a reasonable reach of most consumers, take a step inside for my most wished for items. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 14, 2014
Confessing previously to my winter wallpaper obsession, this week’s picks are in the same genre. If you did not catch the past few posts in Wallpapers of the Week, several of them contained snow. More directly, the “snow frost” post started the winterization of the walls section.
Today’s selection is also a tribute to the cold winter months approaching for the northern hemisphere. A collection of photographs play well with snow and ice to give that chilling affect to an iPhone or iPad screen. Inside, we have six different photographic wallpapers for your enjoyment. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 11, 2014
No one in my home has a green thumb. Sure, like any normal family we have some decorative blooms around the house, but nothing to get too crazy over. Mostly because we are a family on the go, plants suffer in both the summer and winter, when the weather is most extreme. If plants could talk, right?
Well, Parrot developed a way to get the data you need about plants, simply by walking by. While we may be too busy to notice a plant while rushing past, what if you could receive a shout of desperation. A plant begging you for water through a push notification is hard to ignore. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 10, 2014
Tired of carrying around multiple cables? Of course you are! Lots of gadgets pile up around iOS devices. There are battery cases, portable Bluetooth speakers, powered headphones, and the like. Unfortunately, none of them use Lightning cables for charging as they instead require a micro USB.
I keep both a Lightning cable and micro USB cable in my daypack at all times. Actually, I keep two Lightning and two micro USB cables in my pack. My forgetfulness only proves the challenge of keeping enough cords around. If only there was a cable to satisfy both standards. Thanks to accessory maker TYLT, the Syncable-Duo is just the solution. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 8, 2014
Apple only produces a small wireless keyboard, which is frustrating for users that require the benefits of a full sized option. Using an Apple wireless keyboard for home use is usually manageable. However, using a reduced keyboard in the office is more of a struggle. The lack of a number pad is extremely complicated when entering digit data and the like.
Why Apple is yet to produce a full size, Bluetooth keyboard is beyond understanding. Third party companies are starting to enter the space with designs that compliment Macs. For several years, Logitech and other companies offered wireless keyboards, but they are bulky and clash with Apple’s aesthetic. Satechi’s Wireless Smart Keyboard is filling the gap. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 8, 2014
Headphones are one of those device categories where more money does not necessarily equate to a better quality product. Many branded, read “designer,” headphones cost extra simply because they have a celebrity backing them. There is a single branded headphone line that gets most of the attention and offer a high price tag for entry.
There are ways to more intelligently choose a pair of cans. Make sure the sound is superior quality. Of course, pay attention to build quality, but sound is paramount when purchasing headphones. Start with plastic. If the entire headphone is plastic, start second guessing your purchase. Pulling the Phiaton Bridge MS 500‘s from the box was quite a rewarding experience, complete with machined aluminum, perforated leather, and red stitching. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 7, 2014
There are only a few movies over several years that make a lasting impression on the viewer. Movies are created, launched, watched, and forgotten. However this season’s Interstellar continues to grip audiences worldwide. The three-hour space odyssey piques the imagination and is arguably one of the most well written blockbuster movies in many years.
To fully enjoy the experience, I went to see the film in IMAX. The stunning visuals were all wallpaper worthy shots. I try not to toss around this word lightly, but Interstellar was epic, from the story and character development to the cinematography. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 7, 2014
Where do I even begin talking about selfies? Everyone loves a good selfie. They are wildly popular across the world, even causing South Korea to ban “unregulated” selfie stick sales. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, and other forms of popular social media channels are completely filled with selfies. What caused our self obsession will never be explained, but the selfie is here to stay.
The selfie stick was one of the first hardware selfie assistants. I saw them around touristy places when I traveled, but didn’t think much of them about a year ago. Now, they are increasingly popular and being utilized in everyday places. Several iterations of selfie-inspired accessories cropped up and iLuv is capitalizing on the fad. Launching “selfy,” iLuv guarantees you will always have a quick way to snap a selfie and includes a laundry list of add-ons to assist. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 6, 2014
Living a conflicted life, I am an iPhone nudist but also a hardware reviewer for iDB. As you can imagine, the struggle comes when reviewing accessories that cause the user to obfuscate the design and detail of an Apple iOS device with unnecessary appendages. I do not like bulky cases, even if their primary function is protection. I do not even like screen protectors because it stands between my finger and the glass.
When Inatek approached me about a sleeve, I jumped at the option. Sleeves are one of my favorite accessory genres because they allow the device to be used naked, while still providing protection for travel and day-to-day carry. The Inatek TPB-IM sleeve fits the bill. Read More
by Jim Gresham on Dec 4, 2014
It is rare to find a case I adore. Most of my hesitation stems from being an iPhone nudist, which I mention in most of my articles. Further complicating matters is my disdain for overly complicated designs or cases that interfere with the look and feel of iOS devices.
Many case companies get most things right. The protection level is perfect or the look and feel is spot on. Everyone does their thing. However, running into my third year of accessory reviews, most of the marketed cases are boring to me. In fact, my hardware review articles are quite infrequent due to the lack of truly new cases. Many companies are in their third or fourth iteration of the exact same case, merely updated for the newest iPhone form factor.
Standing in stark contrast to the mundane daily cases, Nodus introduced me to their Access collection. Even before holding the product, I thought to myself, here is a company that is doing it all exactly right. Shortly thereafter, I pillaged my mailbox looking for the iPhone 6 Plus Access case. Read More