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: 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: Is Logitech’s iPhone Case+ system really ‘the only case you’ll ever need’?

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We were eager to get our hands on Logitech’s iPhone transforming Case+ system immediately following its announcement. The idea is that this system is so versatile that it’s up to nearly any task you could ask of an iPhone case. It allows you to switch between rugged protection, wallet functionality, a windshield/dashboard mount, and a battery pack without having to remove anything.

Without the Case+, you would need to buy at least five different iPhone accessories to perform all of the same core functions that the Case+ offers: rugged protection, multi-angle stand, ID/credit card carrier, car dashboard/windshield mount, extended battery. It’s certainly a novel idea and an ambitious product from Logitech so head below to find out if we think the Case+ is worth investing in…
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Mini-review: Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer, the simple iPhone app for creating prettier lockscreens

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You’d think choosing a photo to use on your iPhone lockscreen would be a pretty simple task. Scroll through your Camera Roll, choose a photo you like, hit Set and you’re done.

The reality is a little different. Half the time the photo you really want to use is landscape format (horizontal) and you need a vertical image. The iPhone will automatically crop it, and allow you to slide the image around to get a crop you like, but the result rarely does justice to the original shot.

The other half of the time, you find a portrait (vertical) photo which looks great on its own but then clashes with the clock and slide to unlock text when you set it as your lockscreen. Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer is a very simple app that aims to solve these problems …  Read more

Review: JBL Pulse portable Bluetooth speaker with LED light show

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We’ve taken a look at a vast array of portable Bluetooth speakers and have found that most include similar features but sound quality and reliability can vary greatly. That’s why we eagerly awaited the arrival of our JBL Pulse, because it dares to be unique in a sea of familiarity. A dazzling display of LEDs encompasses the entire unit, bringing your music to life by dancing along with the beat. We put this new speaker to the test to see if this LED-studded speaker is just a novelty or if it has a lasting impact on the way we enjoy our music…

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Synology gets even better w/ version 5.0: Why every Mac & iOS user should have a DiskStation

I’ll admit, I’ve never felt the need to purchase network-attached-storage (NAS) hardware for storing and accessing my media or backing up my files. These days most of my content, from photos and movies to back ups of important files for work, are already stored in the cloud. My photos are (supposed to) auto backup to Photostream in iCloud, iTunes has all of my music downloadable from all my devices from the cloud, and any important files and everything else go directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. Around 90% of my content is already stored and accessible from anywhere in the cloud.

That being said, for the last year or so I’ve been hearing more and more about Synology DiskStation products. Coworkers can’t stop talking about them, and the products have received a lot of praise from many other reviewers as well.

I’ve been putting the Synology DiskStation hardware and brand new DiskStation Manager 5.0 software to the test in recent months to see if I could really benefit from a NAS solution despite all my content already being on the cloud and backed up. With today marking the release of 5.0, the company’s biggest software update yet, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share my experience.  Read more