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

No service? goTenna hardware and iOS app let you text off-the-grid

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If you’ve ever been on a hike, out of the country, or at a crowded concert with no service, goTenna is aiming to be your connectivity solution. The hardware accessory combined with an application for both iOS and Android says it will allow you to create a local network that works reliably. The network is based on a group of people each having a goTenna stick connected to the iPhone. The video from the company, below, explains it well:

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Review: Overcast for iPhone, the newest contender for the iOS podcast app market

With Instapaper and The Magazine, Marco Arment effectively invented the read-it-later and independent publishing idioms on iOS. Naturally, competitors followed but Arment was already a ‘front runner’ in the market. With Overcast, Arment is the follower. Overcast joins a whole host of other developers in a segment of the App Store that is already well established. It’s a different set of challenges.

In many respects, Overcast acts like its the only podcast app on the iPhone. I mean this in a good way. There aren’t any gimmicky extras or visual widgets to try and spur interest. This is very much Arment’s take on how a podcast app should look and behave. Read on for our full review …

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Review: Kickflip is a cool, simple, and affordable stand for your MacBook

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been testing a new MacBook stand called the Kickflip. I’ve used some of the more high-end stands for my laptop in the past as it improves the ergonomics involved with keyboard typing and because it improves the cooling of the computer. This new Kickflip is not stationary like some other stands on the market, but it is an accessory that sticks to the bottom of your laptop. The stand can be closed for when you want to keep the laptop in a bag or carry it around, and you flip out the kickstand when you want to raise up your laptop. The experience is nice, the stand is sturdy, and I very much have enjoyed using the Kickflip…

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Review: Wiper encrypted messaging/calling app with neat erase feature (and iOS 8 update details)

Yes, another secure and ephemeral messaging app. There’s Wickr, Snapchat, Confide, so what makes Wiper Messenger different? I’ve had the chance to play around with the new free chatting app on iOS, and it seems to act as a fusion of WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Wickr. The app prompts you for your email address or phone number in order to create your account, and then you are brought to a fairly simple interface with three tabs across the bottom: Chats, Contacts, and More. Let’s go tab-by-tab:

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Review: Scott eVest RFID Travel Vest solves 2.5 travel problems in one

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You don’t need me to tell you that being a tech-head can pose a few challenges when travelling. Budget airlines often have ridiculously tight carry-on restrictions, which can make it hard to get all your gadgets into a bag that meets both size and weight limits. And once you arrive at your destination, you also have the worry of ensuring that all your valuable electronics remain safe from thieves.

Scott eVests are designed to solve both problems, allowing you to carry lots of technology on your person, rather than in a bag, with each item securely zipped into an inside pocket. The company’s latest addition to the range – the RFID Travel Vest – adds one further feature: protection of RFID-readable payment cards and passports from portable skimmers …  Read more

Review: Transcend’s JetDrives add whopping 240-960GB SSD to MacBook Air at a great price

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See that little $190 daughter card up there^? It houses 240GB of Transcend SSD and it could replace the 64GB or 128GB SSD that came in your MacBook Air in as little as 5 minutes. Even better, Transcend just released larger versions in 480GB and 960GB sizes to blow your SATA III MacBook Air or Pro into new worlds of space. Keep in mind these are SATA-based SSDs and Apple’s latest round of MacBook Pro/Airs came with speedier PCIe SSDs so you can’t use these on Apple’s late 2013/2014 models (see bottom of the article for compatibility list).

I got my hands on a demo unit and took it for a test drive…

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Review: Photo collages made simple with PhotoMatte software

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I enjoy photography, and mostly prefer to take full control of the final output using powerful software like Lightroom. But there are times when I just want something fast, easy and automated to create something fun for a Facebook image or similar – and that’s what PhotoMatte is all about.

The idea is a simple one: choose a template to suit the occasion, ranging from beach holidays to a wedding; drag your chosen photos onto the template; choose your output format – from Mac desktop image down to iPhone wallpaper – click Export and the job’s done …  Read more

Review: OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini dual-drive external enclosure with RAID

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One of the reasons I like Macs is that their useful life tends to be significantly longer than that of a typical Windows machine. This is especially true of the pre-Retina MacBook Pro models, where it’s trivial to upgrade both the RAM and the drive.

I’d previously swapped out the 750GB hard drive and optical drive that came with my late-2011 MacBook Pro 17 for two 1TB hard drives. Along with a RAM upgrade, that gave me a 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive machine. The plan was to use the machine in that form for a year or two, then do a further upgrade to SSDs once 1TB models arrived and fell to a halfway sensible price.

When that finally happened, and I did the upgrade, that gave me two 1TB hard drives surplus to requirements. I could have placed each into its own external drive caddy, but one 2TB drive is more useful than two 1TB ones, so I decided instead to try out OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro mini. This is an external enclosure for two 2.5-inch drives, which supports both USB 3 and Firewire 800, drawing power from either source – making it a portable drive without the need for external power …  Read more

Review: LifeProof Nüüd is just the right amount of protection for your iPhone 5/5s

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This case has been around for a while, and frankly, I’ve always been a no-case kind of guy. But when I found myself not being as careful with my now almost two-year old iPhone 5, I thought that maybe I should just go all the way. Maybe I should get ahold of one of the more protective cases out there, without going off the deep end and getting something would provide more protection than I need.

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