Review: Apple wireless keyboard for Logic Pro X from EditorsKeys

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There are a few companies that make skins specifically for Apple’s keyboards to add icons for the various shortcuts that pros use daily in apps like Logic Pro and Final Cut. I’ve tried a few in the past, but the benefits never seemed to outweigh the tradeoff of putting a clunky rubber skin over Apple’s masterfully built keyboard. The latest Logic keyboard I received in for review from EditorsKeys, however, has actually won me over and proven up to the task of permanently replacing my stock Apple keyboard. Read more

Mini-review: Lensbaby LM-10, a fun if pricey accessory for iPhonography fans

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It took a while for Lensbaby’s Kickstarter-funded selective focus lens for the iPhone to make it into production, but the LM-10 is now here and I took it out for a play.

For those not familiar with Lensbaby, the company makes lenses for DSLRs with a bellows lens that provides a small in-focus area, with the rest of the image out of focus. It’s not the same effect as the shallow depth-of-field achieved with a wide-aperture lens, but a less-controllable effect designed to provide fun and unusual images …  Read more

Contrast debuts Contact Center, a simpler Launch Center Pro focused on keeping in touch

Contact Center

If you’re familiar with Launch Center Pro, the iPhone and iPad app we’ve covered that enables powerful automation on iOS, then you may recognize Contrast’s new iPhone app debuting today called Contact Center. While its name sounds like it could be an alternative address book, it’s actually a simpler, easier to learn version of Launch Center Pro focused on staying in touch with your favorite contacts.

Contrast describes Contact Center as allowing you to “automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message, jump right to a contact in WhatsApp, automatically paste your clipboard into an email or message” and more; below we’ll take a look at the new app.

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Review: Parallels Desktop 10 brings even tighter OS X/Windows integration, overall performance improvements

2014-08-26 08-59-52 2014-08-26 09-00-07Last week, Parallels launched the upgrade to v10 of their software and today, you can now get the full version online.

Parallels Desktop has long been one of the go-to applications for using your Mac to virtualize a wide variety of operating systems, and many considered its previous version 9 as more than sufficient for getting this job done. While the software shining point has always been its ability to run Windows truly parallel to the standard Mac OS X desktop, this version of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac takes multiple strides forward, making it even easier than before to incorporate Windows-only applications—or applications from other x86 operating systems including Android, Chrome, Linux, etc.—into your Mac-based workflow.

Perhaps most importantly, Parallels again ups the ante in speed both in launching and runtime, turning virtualization into a native-feeling experience.

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Review: Simplicam, the Dropcam HD competitor that adds face-detection

Home security cameras that send you alerts when they detect movement have been around for a while now. We reviewed Dropcam, one of the better-known names in the business, last October.

The problem, though, is that most movement isn’t likely to be of interest – especially if you have pets or are susceptible to changes in nature from sunlight/wind. What we really want to know is when a person arrives, and that’s what Simplicam aims to deliver through face-detection software. You can thus choose to be notified about any one or more of three types of event: movement, sound and face-detection …  Read more

Review: OtterBox Resurgence iPhone 5/5s power case is tough in more ways than one

OtterBox Resurgence

Earlier this summer, OtterBox announced their first entry into the smartphone battery charging case arena with the Resurgence series for iPhone 5 and 5s. The OtterBox Resurgence is a high-speed charging iPhone case with a 2,000 mAh battery and “military spec. drop protection”, according to OtterBox. Naturally, being an OtterBox case, the Resurgence focuses heavily on protection and durability, but it also boasts a few interesting battery features as well including high-speed and auto-stop charging. Below I’ll unpack how the OtterBox Resurgence case for iPhone measures up as a battery charging case against similar offerings from Mophie and the like… Read more

Review: Lumsing Prophet $20 Bluetooth Speaker/phone rocks out with its dock out

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Although we’ve covered the gamut of portable Bluetooth speakers here at 9to5Mac, we typically recommend higher-end products like the Bose Soundlink Mini ($199), JBL Charge ($138) or Ultimate Ears Mini/Boom ($80/$179). It’s usually not worth cheaping out on Bluetooth speakers (unless you are looking for niche products like wearables) because the sound quality degrades heavily once you drop below the top tier. Lumsing-Prophet-review Sadly, today’s entrant into the Bluetooth speaker cage-match lot isn’t going to compete with any of the $100+speakers above. But I have to say, the Lumsing Prophet isn’t bad at all, especially if you aren’t listening to bass-heavy tracks. And, the freaky part is it only costs $20 bucks after coupon code PROPHET0 (expires 8/13) at Amazon which makes it an absolute steal… Read more

Review: iKettle, the iPhone-controlled kettle for gadget-loving tea drinkers

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Any tea drinker will know the experience. You wander into the kitchen to put the kettle on to make tea, wander back to the living-room or office and half an hour later realize you forgot all about it. So the second time you stand there waiting impatiently for it to boil. This is the problem the iKettle sets out to solve.

That, at least, is my excuse. The reality, of course, is that it’s a kettle with wifi – how could anyone reasonably expect me to resist … ?  Read more

Review: Blue’s Mikey Digital now has Lightning support, but is it worth the money? (Video)

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Blue Microphones is known for its high-end studio mics and, in recent years, iOS recording accessories. Not too long ago, I had a chance to check out Blue’s Spark Digital which is a USB/Lightning/30-pin microphone compatible with a wide range of devices. Today we’re looking at something a bit more portable.

Blue’s Mikey Digital is a stereo condenser microphone. It’s now available with a Lightning connection and will provide on-the-go high quality audio for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. So what makes Mikey Digital so special? Well, let’s find out…

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Review: uNu’s UltraPak portable batteries can be recharged up to 8X faster than the competition (Video)

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In my opinion, the worst part about having a portable battery pack to charge up your devices is making sure it actually has juice. I have a few battery packs around the house, but whenever I go to use them, they’re always dead. Sure, that’s my fault, but most of them take quite a while to charge. Thankfully, uNu has come up with a better solution…

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Review: Gravitas from Henge Docks is a premium dock that ‘stays put’…almost (Video)

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I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t sell a premium dock for iOS devices. There’s such an attention to detail when it comes to product design at Apple, yet they continue to sell a dinky plastic dock for select devices. I’ve never been a fan of these plastic docks and have been in search of something with a little more class for a while now.

Recently, I came across Gravitas from Henge Docks. This is a weighted dock crafted from zinc alloy that has interchangeable inserts for all of my iOS devices. It’s also advertised as having the ability to “stay put” when undocking your device thanks to the hefty 2.5lbs of weight it’s packing. This is definitely one of the best docks I’ve used, but it does have a few shortcomings…

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Hands-on: Fantastical 2.1 for iPhone & iPad adds snooze, invitation/birthday notifications, keyboard shortcuts, more

We’ve already taken a close look at Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Fantastical 2 for iPad, and today Flexibits is releasing Fantastical 2.1 for both platforms with a list of new features and discounting Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Among the list of changes include new snooze functionality, event invitation notifications and badges, notifications for upcoming birthdays, external keyboard shortcut support, and more. Below we’ll take a look at each new feature added to Fantastical for iPhone and iPad… Read more