hands-on Stories December 16, 2018

In general, I have mixed opinions about using screen protectors with the iPhone X and iPhone XS. The phones are absolutely beautiful without any sort of protection, but with the ever-increasing cost of the devices themselves, as well as repairs, some added peace of mind can go a long way. In comes Whitestone, who has an interesting take on how a screen protector should work for the new age of curved screen devices.

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hands-on Stories September 22, 2016

iphone-7-plus-leather-case-review

Like it always does, Apple released new silicon and leather cases for its latest iPhones. Outside of the obvious camera hole differences, the silicon case remains the same. The leather case, on the other hand, received a subtle, yet notable change. expand full story

hands-on Stories September 21, 2016

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Today Apple released several new betas, but the most interesting new release among the flood of new software is the iOS 10.1 beta for the iPhone 7 Plus. That’s because the iOS 10.1 beta includes a preview of the new Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 Plus Camera app, and we’ve taken the new feature for a brief test drive on video.

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iphone-7-smart-battery-case

Despite its weird looks, I’ve long been a fan of Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s. It’s a case that not only protects my device, but it gives me confidence that my iPhone will stay alive for the entire duration of a real world working day.

That said, the Smart Battery Case adds significant bulk to the iPhone, and its odd looks will certainly be a turnoff to no less than a few. But if you’re looking for one of the best ways to ensure that your iPhone will still have power at the end of busy day, the Smart Battery Case is a capable accessory.

Should iPhone 7 owners consider using the new slightly-redesigned Smart Battery Case, and what exactly has changed the second time around? expand full story

hands-on Stories September 15, 2016

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Apple made a big, polarizing splash when it announced its new wireless AirPods during last week’s iPhone 7 keynote. The AirPods, which are completely devoid of any wires, were met with plenty of mixed reactions online. Whether or not you agree with the design of the AirPods is one thing, but the new W1 wireless chip, Apple’s first, is promising to bring a better overall wireless audio experience to the masses.

Unfortunately, the AirPods don’t ship until late October, so unless you’re among the few who received early review units, you’ll have to wait until the fall before you can experience the $159 wireless earphones for yourself. That said, you can still take Apple’s new wireless W1 chip for a spin, arguably the most important component of its AirPods, anyway.

The W1 wireless chip is not only embedded in Apple’s AirPods, you’ll find the same chip tucked away in several pairs of new Beats-branded headphones as well. The just-released Beats Solo3 On-Ear Wireless Headphones, for instance, have the distinction of being the first product to hit the market with a W1 chip nestled inside. As such, we felt that it was only right to provide you with a hands-on look at this compelling new wireless headphone option. expand full story

hands-on Stories August 16, 2016

Uplift Desk 3

When the folks over at The Human Solution saw my prior standing desk and standing desk treadmill review, they asked me if I’d like to take one of their Uplift adjustable-height desks for a spin. Since I was already in the midst of researching a new dedicated unboxing/review desk for videos, I agreed to take a look. Have a look at our hands-on build video for the details.

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hands-on Stories August 1, 2016

Beta 4 hero

iOS 10 beta 4 was released earlier today, and while there are fewer new features as we get closer to the final release, there are some notable additions and changes. expand full story

hands-on Stories July 27, 2016

Channels

If you’re a cord cutter who owns a 4th-generation Apple TV, then it’s highly likely that you’re already intimately familiar with Channels. Fancy Bits’ well-received app lets Apple TV 4 owners, who own an HDHomeRun device and an antenna, watch, pause, and rewind live TV.

Although a tvOS version launched earlier this year, Channels has been conspicuously missing from the iOS App Store. Today, that all changes, as an iOS version of the app has been released on the App Store for $14.99. expand full story

hands-on Stories July 18, 2016

15 new iOS 10 beta 3 features changes

Today Apple released the third beta for iOS 10. As expected, it features several new changes when compared to the previous beta. Some of the changes reimplement features found in the original iOS 10 beta. Other changes, such as haptic feedback when manually locking an iPhone, are brand new. Have a look at our video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

hands-on Stories June 18, 2016

watchOS 3 hands on

Like iOS 10, tvOS 10 and macOS Sierra, watchOS 3 is a major update that pushes Apple’s wearable platform forward. You’ll find that, even in this early beta, the experience is much better than previous versions of watchOS.

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In this week’s top stories: iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and new features for Apple TV with the upcoming tvOS 10 release, our coverage of Apple’s WWDC 2016 announcements make up the majority of this week’s top stories.

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hands-on Stories June 17, 2016

macOS Sierra hands-on

Although it hasn’t garnered the same level of excitement as iOS 10’s unveiling, there are quite a few compelling additions to be found in macOS Sierra. Along with a rebranded and more modern naming convention, macOS Sierra adds Siri, a Universal Clipboard for sharing clipboard contents between iOS and macOS, and many more underlying features. expand full story

hands-on Stories June 15, 2016

75 iOS 10 features video walkthrough

On Monday Apple unveiled the highly-anticipated software update for the iPhone and iPad. As expected, it’s a huge release that brings a bevy of new and exciting features to the table.

In the following video walkthrough, we take a look at 75 of the features and changes found in iOS 10. Some of the features covered are obvious changes, and some are more surprising. expand full story

hands-on Stories March 29, 2016

Nintendo’s first iOS game Miitomo will launch in US & other countries on March 31

Update: The Miitomo app is now available on the U.S. App Store.

The game is already available in Japan— that’s how Jeff managed to go hands-on in our first look video earlier this month— but today Nintendo confirmed that its first iOS game, Miitomo, will officially arrive in the US on March 31st.

The game isn’t exactly bringing over any of Nintendo’s very popular first party franchises to iPhones and iPads, but it does feature known Mii characters and, as we noted in our review, the release feels very much like a Nintendo title:

When you first start Miitomo, it’s immediately recognizable as a Nintendo title. It feels like someone took my Nintendo Wii and shrunk it down to fit inside of my iPhone 6s. The music and sound effects, most notably, are of the characteristic Nintendo style. The Miis themselves look just like the Miis on the game-maker’s handheld and home consoles. The writing — witty, with just a hint of corniness thrown in for good measure — is classic Nintendo.

Nintendo noted in its press release today that Miitomo was downloaded over a million times in the first three days after launch in Japan and it also managed to become the #1 most downloaded free app in both the App Store and Google Play.

While Nintendo didn’t mention other countries by name today, it did say that “several other countries” will receive the title on the 31st alongside users in the US.

Check out our review of the game from earlier this month to get a first look before it officially arrives in the US and other countries on the 31st.

hands-on Stories March 21, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 9.27.50 PM

Apple earlier today officially took the wraps off of the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7-inch. While the two devices are largely similar to devices we’ve seen in the past, there are a few tweaks here and there that people have been requesting to get a look at. Members of the press who were in attendance of the event at Apple’s campus in Cupertino had an opportunity to go hands-on with the new iPhone and iPad and videos have been rolling in…

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hands-on Stories November 9, 2015

Adobe creative professionals offer first hands-on impressions using iPad Pro [Video]

Adobe is one company patiently waiting for the launch of the new iPad Pro as the firm in recent months has prepared for what it expects to be a big user base of professionals interested in its various creative mobile apps on the device. Sharing in the excitement for the launch scheduled for later this week, Adobe just released the video above showing off some of the possibilities of its apps on the new iPad and giving us one our first looks at hands-on impressions with the iPad ahead of product reviews going live.

In addition to offering some previews of upcoming mobile app improvements at its Max conference earlier this year, the company has worked hard to optimize several of its apps that are bound to be popular on the new larger iPad. Apps ready to go for the launch include Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop Mix and Comp CC.

Apple confirmed earlier today that the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will go on sale Wednesday, November 11th in 40 countries, while the device will hit Apple retail stores sometime later this week. In Apple’s press release, Adobe’s vice president of Products Scott Belsky called the company’s work on software for the device an “industry-advancing collaboration that millions of Adobe and Apple customers will benefit from.”

“iPad Pro enables new forms of mobile creativity that will help transform how creatives work,” said Scott Belsky, vice president of Products at Adobe. “With the larger iPad Pro screen and lightning-fast performance, creatives will be able to take full advantage of Adobe’s family of Creative Cloud mobile apps. For example, the ability to manipulate a 50-megapixel image right on iPad Pro in Photoshop Fix and then send that image to Photoshop CC on a desktop, for further refinement, is the kind of industry-advancing collaboration that millions of Adobe and Apple customers will benefit from.”

While there haven’t been many hands-on videos since Apple first unveiled the device at its press event in September, we did get a look at Disney and Pixar animators playing with the device and offering their first impressions last month.

hands-on Stories September 22, 2015

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The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are launching in just four days time and right on schedule the embargo on reviews have been lifted. Apple is touting the new phones as major updates over the 6 and 6 Plus, with 12-megapixel camera and 4K video recording, ‘3D Touch’ pressure-sensitive display to enable quick actions across the OS, Live Photos and more. We’ve already seen an early hands on with the iPhone 6s thanks to an early delivery but now the official tech reviews are live.

So what’s the verdict? We’ve rounded up the highlights below from those lucky enough to get the phones early …

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hands-on Stories September 21, 2015

atv-lead

Today we’re taking the first really deep look at Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV, which will hit stores next month. In our exclusive video, we explore the upgraded hardware, the Siri Remote, and dig down into tvOS, the new UI that brings the entire experience to life.

Are there surprises? Oh yes. The new Apple TV actually supports Bluetooth headphones and Bluetooth speakers, a special Night Mode, and radically improved accessibility options inspired by iOS. You can learn about all of the great new features below…

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hands-on Stories September 9, 2015

iphone 6s

Apple earlier today took the wraps off of a handful of new products, including the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, iPad mini 4, a new Apple TV, and several new accessories. Members of the press who were in attendance of the event at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco got the opportunity to try out many of Apple’s new products and as you’d expect, they all shared their thoughts.

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hands-on Stories July 8, 2015

Apple earlier today pushed iOS 9 beta 3 to developers, and this build includes the company’s new News app. The app was unveiled back at WWDC last month, but was not included in the first two beta builds of iOS 9. News is designed with a Flipboard-like magazine interface with large images and minimalistic appearance.

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hands-on Stories June 22, 2015

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When Apple first announced Apple Watch, one of the things I was most excited about was the ability to use third-party bands. I was surprised when Apple announced the capability and even though I was pretty sure I was going to buy an Apple Watch, third-party band support solidified my choice. Apple Watch has now been on the market for two months and so far, companies have been slow to release their aftermarket bands. With iPhone, companies usually have cases available the day the device launches, but Apple Watch has presented a whole new set of challenges for accessory makers.

When I purchased Apple Watch, I went with the stainless model with the classic buckle. Since my initial purchase, I have also bought a black Sport band, a Milanese Loop and now, an aftermarket stainless steel Link Bracelet. I love the idea of the band for my Watch matching the Watch itself, but Apple’s Link Bracelet offering seems absurdly high-priced at $449. Looking to save money, I went with an aftermarket solution

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hands-on Stories June 8, 2015

A look at iOS 9’s comprehensive support for right-to-left languages [Gallery]

A feature that went unmentioned during Apple’s main WWDC keynote this morning was the addition of comprehensive support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9. While Apple didn’t mention the addition this morning, it detailed the support during its Platforms State of the Union address this evening. Apple also notes of the feature in the official iOS 9 changelog:

iOS 9 brings comprehensive support for right-to-left languages, which makes it easier for you to provide a flipped user interface. For example:

  • Standard UIKit controls automatically flip in a right-to-left context.
  • UIView defines semantic content attributes that let you specify how particular views should appear in a right-to-left context.
  • UIImage adds the imageFlippedForRightToLeftLayoutDirection method, which makes it easy to flip an image programmatically when appropriate.

To learn more about providing a flipped user interface, see Supporting Right-to-Left Languages.

While this feature may not seem incredibly useful for everyone, it will definitely be welcome in areas of the world where right-to-left languages are more widely used and it’s certainly nice to see Apple working to add support for features that are maybe not as headline worthy, but undoubtedly needed.

Below are some screenshots of the comprehensive support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9:

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During its WWDC keynote this morning, Apple announced new “Slide Over” and side-by-side features that allow users to run two iPad apps in a single window. The features, which we originally reported on more than a year ago, are similar to a feature also available in the latest Mac operating system, OS X El Capitan.

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hands-on Stories May 10, 2015

Video shows first hands-on with $400 gold-plated Apple Watch

Earlier this week, a few aftermarket services emerged that claimed to gold-plate an Apple Watch for as little as $399. Now, the first users who have taken advantage of the Watch Plate service have started receiving their gold-plated Apple Watch devices back. Among them is YouTuber Keaton Keller of TechSmartt.

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