Jeremy’s holiday gift guide: Mac, iPhone & iPad gear you can trust

Holiday Gift Guide 5My first post for 9to5Mac is on a topic near and dear to my heart: best-of-breed Apple products and accessories. Why should you trust me? I’ve been a professional product reviewer for 23 years and an Apple user for 28 years. Last week, I finished an 11-year stint running the editorial side of iLounge, the leading Apple product review site, where I tested literally thousands of Apple accessories from every major company on the planet. Readers have praised my reviews as accurate and insightful, and I always put my readers’ needs first when testing new products.

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Review: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini is the best iPhone speakerphone you can fit in your pocket

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I reviewed two portable Bluetooth speakerphone options earlier this year: The Philips WeCall ($145) vs. Logitech P710e ($125) . Both are square and have internal batteries and make conference calling easy. But for their ~$150 price tag, I wondered if you could get more portability and style without sacrificing sound quality.

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The answer to those questions is the Harman Kardon Esquire line of portable speakerphones. Below, I take a look at the Esquire Mini which retails for $149.99 and can be found as low as $145 at Amazon or $135 at World Wide StereoRead more

Review: Deliveries for Mac and iOS is the perfect way to track your online orders for the holidays

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With Cyber Monday coming up, a lot of us shop online, as opposed to going out to the store. It would be nice if there was an easy way to track all of your packages. Of course you could set up mail rules to filter any emails that contain the words, “the tracking number,” but all that does is put all of your emails into a folder without notifying you of any changes in the status of your package. After initially receiving the email most forget about it and never track their packages, which happens all the time to me causing me to not pick up my packages for weeks. Or you can be the type of person that can obsessively track your package by constantly pressing the refresh button hoping that there’s an update to no avail. Well there’s an app that can track your tracking numbers and keep you updated about the status of your order. Deliveries is powerful, handy and easily notifies you of your packages.

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Best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases: Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book and SurfacePad from TwelveSouth

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For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.

What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $50 SurfacepadRead more

Review: Jawbone UP 24, a smart fitness band that gets you up 24/7

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The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.

Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.

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Review: Pad and Quill’s Contega Linen case for iPad Air 2 is handmade perfection (Video)

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It’s always refreshing to see iOS accessory makers doing something different and Pad & Quill leads the pack in this area. With handmade cases crafted from linen, leather, and wood, it’s hard to go wrong with this simplistically elegant spin on cases.

Lately I’ve been using Pad & Quill’s Contega Linen case for iPad Air 2 and it’s changed my mind about “premium” cases. There’s something beautifully different about the craftsmanship and it’s created from materials that are designed to last, but not without a steep entry price for some…

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Review: Logitech m320 wireless mouse, an ergonomic and affordable solution

Logitech m320Logitech introduced its m320 wireless mouse last month and I’ve been trying it out for the past few weeks. The Logitech m320 is a wireless mouse (included wireless receiver required) with an ergonomic design for your hand to comfortably rest upon during use. Aside from fitting to your hand with ease, the Logitech m320’s super lightweight build allows it to smoothly glide across a surface without friction. Check out my hands-on with Logitech’s affordable desktop mouse… Read more

Review: Scosche BoomBottle weatherproof Bluetooth speaker for cyclists

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You can scarcely turn around these days without bumping into a new Bluetooth speaker. We’ve reviewed many of them.

The Scosche BoomBottle manages to set itself apart from the crowd, however, by targeting one specific market: cyclists. The speaker is the same size and shape as a large drinks bottle, so it fits into a standard bicycle bottle cage – and it’s weatherproofed, to survive the elements. I took it for a spin …  Read more

Review: Kenu Stance is a must-have miniature iPhone tripod

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The Stance compact tripod, Kenu’s latest accessory for iPhone, is one of my favorite gadgets I’ve tried out lately. It’s a tiny, pocketable stand for holding up your iPhone during video recording, FaceTime calling, and more. The Kenu Stance attaches to your iPhone or iPod touch by connecting to the Lightning port where you charge your phone, and it locks in securely for standing up iPhone in either landscape or portrait orientation. Check out my hands-on with the Kenu Stance below… Read more

Two of the best iPhone car mounts we’ve tried: Fuse Chicken Une Bobine and MONTAR by WinnerGear

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There are a lot of options for mounting your iPhone in your car. I’ve relied on the highly-rated Kensington suction cup windshield car mount for a few years without too much incident. However, I’ve never been too pleased about how it blocks a bit of my driving view and requires a non-elegant wire to go up my dashboard.

Today I’m looking at the Fuse Chicken Une Bobine (pictured above) and MONTAR by WinnerGearRead more

Review: The Veil from Caudabe is a case that will keep your iPhone 6/Plus thin and protected (Video)

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I’m always looking for the best possible case for my needs. I’m not the type of person that requires a bulky case with a lot of drop protection, but it’s nice to have something there to protect against scratches and small dings. The only option I’ve had in the past is to use a skin. It’s not always the best solution though, as a skin is nothing more than a thick sticker that will eventually start to wear and peel up at the edges.

Recently, I discovered Caudabe and their ultra thin iPhone 6 and 6 Plus case, The Veil. This isn’t the most protective case in the world, but it’s the perfect solution to my problem. It offers the same protection as a skin, with the advantages of a case. If your goal is to keep an iPhone clean and thin, there’s no better option…

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