iPhone 5 Stories March 31, 2015

Yesterday, I reviewed PowerSkin’s Spare, a semi-protective battery case designed specifically for the iPhone 6. While Spare didn’t strike me as a great value for its asking price, PowerSkin also sells a more powerful alternative called PoP’n 3 that can work with multiple iPhones, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and earlier iPhone 5 models. And despite having nearly twice as much power as Spare — enough power to fully recharge any iPhone — it sells for only $50-$55, depending on the color you prefer.

PoP’n 3 isn’t a typical USB battery pack, even though it looks like one. Made mostly from metallic plastic that matches the space gray, silver, or gold colors of recent iPhones, it has a Lightning cable built into the bottom for easy connection to bare or encased devices. Suction cups on one side let it attach or detach from your iPhone on an as-desired basis, and unlike iPhone-specific battery cases, enable it to function as a just-in-case power source for iPads, too…

expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories March 26, 2015

Wired video abuses ultra-protective iPhone cases, two withstand slams, one even survives falling safe

Most cases will protect your iPhone during regular use, and many can handle accidental drops and a little abuse, but very few can withstand deliberate punishment. An amusing new Battle Damage video from Wired uses abusive tests to crown the “toughest iPhone case ever” from four different ultra-protective models: Griffin’s $50 Survivor,* LifeProof’s $80 Fre, Lunatik’s $125 Taktik Extreme, and Otterbox’s $50 Defender. The iPhone 5 units inside the Griffin Survivor and LifeProof Fre don’t make it through the first test, a hard smash of the encased iPhone on a hard floor, but Lunatik’s Extreme and Otterbox’s Defender go onto a second test: attempting to withstand a 50-pound safe while standing in a completely vertical position.

Unless you’re planning to drop a safe on your upright iPhone, the smaller and more affordable Defender seems like a smarter choice. But only Lunatik’s metal-reinforced Extreme survived the safe-dropping test; an iPhone 6 version hasn’t yet been released. Most people will do just fine with regular iPhone cases (or great iPhone battery cases), but if you want something that can protect against Looney Tunes-like antics, check out the video for some nice camera work and screen-shattering fun.

[* Note: Wired claims that the Griffin Survivor case shown in the video is Survivor Slim, but it looks more likely to be Survivor + Catalyst, a now-discontinued $80 model that was marketed as waterproof. Thanks, Nick!]

iPhone 5 Stories March 16, 2015

Apple has shown off the Apple Watch at a special event now on two occasions: first after the iPhone 6 last September, then after the new 12-inch MacBook last week. We know how the Apple Watch will look, how much it will cost, when we can buy it and for how much. Many developers are ready to ship apps for the Apple Watch, and we’re already seeing an accessory market for Apple’s wearable.

Since last week’s event, I’ve been thinking about why Apple might have chosen to have its second Apple Watch unveiling more than a month before people can actually buy the device. My conclusion? It’s complicated, but mostly necessary considering the complexity of actually buying the right watch.

Apple’s motivation is to ensure that you have an iPhone 5 or later before next month, and that you have the answer to a number of questions including how many millimeters your wrist measures if you plan to pre-order before trying on an Apple Watch. And because we know how major iPhone launches go with getting the exact model you want, pre-ordering will be the first opportunity to secure the Apple Watch of your choice or risk waiting even longer. expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories March 5, 2015

iPhone 5 battery replacement program extended into January 2016

When Apple launched its iPhone 5 battery replacement program last year, the company said that it would accept devices for replacement up to two years after purchase. Because the devices with the faulty batteries were sold between September 2012 and January 2013, two years from that date range would have given buyers until January 2015 (or March 1st, 2015, according to the page) to get their devices swapped.

However, as spotted by iPhone in Canada, Apple today updated the copy on the page to state that replacements would be accepted for an additional year. The page now says that users may return their defective units until three years after the date of purchase, pushing the end date for the program back to January 2016 for those who bought their phones near the end of the time when affected models were sold.

Since only certain phones were impacted by this problem, users will need to plug their iPhone’s serial number into Apple’s support page to find out if they qualify for a replacement.

Ahead of likely Apple Watch and Apple Pay announcements on Monday during Apple’s ‘Spring forward’ event, Apple has spruced up the main Apple Pay site to further highlight the Watch’s compatibility with Apple Pay and clarify frequently asked questions about the service for merchants. Changes to the site include a dedicated page for finding out where to use Apple Pay, and a new FAQ support document to help merchants learn about Apple Pay and start accepting the mobile payment service. expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories February 11, 2015

iPhone and Galaxy smartphones more reliable than current wearable fitness devices at measuring activity, finds study

If you were thinking about buying a fitness band, a university study suggests you probably shouldn’t bother: it found that the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S4 measure activity more reliably than most current fitness bands.

The study by the University of Pennsylvania (via EurekAlert!) tested the ability of the phones to measure steps on a treadmill and compared the results to six dedicated fitness bands. The two smartphones had a margin of error of 12.9%, while the error rates of the fitness bands ranged up to 22.7%.

The study tested the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 against the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP24, Digi-Walker SW-200, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip. Only the FitBit One and Zip performed significantly better than the two smartphones. While the iPhone apps all delivered similar levels of accuracy, Health Mate out-performed the others.

Tim Cook took a dig at existing smartwatches at yesterday’s Goldman Sachs conference, saying that “there are several things that are called smartwatches, but I’m not sure you could name any.” The Apple Watch would, he said, “change the way people live their lives.”

Via Gizmodo

Powered by WordPress.com VIP