Category: Gear Reviews

OtterBox Updates iPad Case Lineup to Support iPad Air and New iPad Mini

OtterBox

I drove by the OtterBox headquarters a few weeks ago in Fort Collins, Colorado and was reminded about how important this company has become to me and my group of friends. I have kids and all of my friends have kids too and we all love our iPhones and iPads. The problem is that our kids love them more and every single one of us has a pre-OtterBox horror story. OtterBox has thankfully announced that its lineup will support the new iPad Air and iPad Mini which is good news.

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WaterField Jumps the Gun and Announces iPad 5 Case ‘Outback Solo’ Ahead of Today’s Apple Event

outback-solo-by-waterfield-designsIt is not uncommon for accessory makers to take big risks and design products for devices that haven’t even been announced yet. Back in June, case maker Gumdrop launched a new line of iPad cases that fit the predicted specs. At the time, the company’s CEO believed Apple would unveil the new iPad at the Worldwide Developer Conference.

Today, accessory maker WaterField is launching a new line of iPad cases that have been designed with the fifth-generation iPad in mind. The question is, does Waterfield know more than we do, or are they simply betting on the rumors to be true?

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Gumstick by Breffo is the Ultimate Universal Stand

Gumstick

An interesting new universal stand from Breffo is currently seeking kickstarter funding and I think it is worth taking a look. Gumstick is a smart phone stand which also works with the iPad Mini and I suspect that if you want to use it with the full size iPad then you could use two Gumsticks simultaneously.

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3M Keeps Your iPad Screen Private with New Removable and Reusable Privacy Filter

3M Privacy Filter

3M has announced a product that I plan on buying immediately for use in meetings on campus and as long as I remember to turn off the sound then no one will know I am not paying attention. Seriously though, the innovative 3M Easy-On Privacy Filter is both functional and smart because you can put the privacy screen on when you need it and then remove it when you don’t.

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Nest Unveils ‘Protect’ an iPhone and iPad Enabled Smoke Detector

Nest

Smoke detectors can be obnoxious. I was making grilled cheese sandwiches last week and I accidentally let one cook a little too long and the fire alarm started blaring. There wasn’t a fire but the alarm going off created chaos with the kids and it even went off again after I deactivated it because I didn’t open the window fast enough. How much did that alarm cost? Probably $20-30. Now there is a better option.

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Add Some Rock & Roll Cool to your iPad with this Retro Styled Wireless Speaker

Marshall Stanmore

I can think of a half dozen people who would want the new Marshall Stanmore wireless speaker for their iPad. There’s no question about its cool factor but it also has the design heritage to be a speaker you’re going to enjoy using.

The Stanmore is designed with a high level of attention to detail and is intended to be a true Marshall experience and not a cheap imitation. In fact at $400 it isn’t really cheap at all. Even the 3.5MM cable is designed to emulate the feel of a guitar cable.

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Padcaster Looks to Turn your iPad Mini into a Production Studio

Padcaster

If you are using your iPad to shoot video then this is a product that you will be very interested in. The Padcaster frame allows you to secure your iPad to a tripod and attach a wide variety of accessories which are critical for your production needs. While the Padcaster has already been put into production, it is also a part of a new Kickstarter campaign.

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Cool Accessory Transforms your iPad into a 3D Scanner

ocipital 3d sensor

There is an in-progress Kickstarter campaign which is building a 3D sensing device. While it probably wont be at the level of established non-mobile 3D scanners, the fact that it attaches to your iPad is pretty amazing.

As someone who is involved in the music and film industries, I can see a lot possibilities. Here are a few that I came up with immediately:

  1. Location scouting for films – quick 3D models of places
  2. Record keeping of microphone placement in recording studios
  3. 3D representation of artwork

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iPhone 5s versus iPhone 5 – Is it Worth the Upgrade?

5s

Now that we’ve had a couple of days to look at the new iPhones it’s possible to make some solid recommendations about whether or not to upgrade from your current phone. Specifically we are going to look at the upgrade path from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 5s and my official recommendation is a semi-firm no.

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iPhone 5s Camera Receives Solid Upgrade – 8MP Sensor and Advanced Flash

iPhone Camera

It’s not the 40 megapixel offering that a recent competitor seems to think is the end-all phone camera but the iPhone 5S’ 8MP camera is still an impressive update to an already nice camera offering.

The new features are going to raise the quality level of pictures in an obvious way and are going to help with action shots and low light situations. Best of all you can shoot slow motion video, which will certainly mean a lot of slow motion content on people’s Facebook pages in the coming weeks.

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