With CES 2015 behind us, TMO's Jeff Gamet joined The Tech Night Owl Live's Gene Steinberg to take a look at the annual electronics trade show. Jeff shared his thoughts on the event, reactions to new products, home automation, health and fitness tech, HD televisions, Apple's influence, and more. You can check out his CES wrap up on the Tech Night Owl Live website, or on the iTunes Store.
Apple added a new section to its App Store called Games for Kids that makes it easier to find child-friendly games for your young iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch user. Games are grouped by age, and many don't include in-app purchases. The Kids Games section groups titles for kids aged five and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11. You can find games from LEGO, Sesame Street, Disney, and more. You can even download the free ebook Family Time with Apps explaining how to more effectively manage the time kids spend playing on their iOS device.
Dave's back from CES and he & John have an overflowing mailbag to get through. System layout, Mail, SSDs and more are discussed. Download and enjoy!
The Mac Observer was on location this week at CES 2015, and along with all the cool products that are coming soon, the crew picked up on some trends for the coming year. Jeff and Bryan talk about the interest—or lack of—device makers were showing in HealthKit and HomeKit, what's happening with home automation products, who wants to support Apple Watch, and more.
NASA has a wonderful new project related to the Kepler mission. Kepler's mission is to find other human-habitable planets, and some of those potential planets are part of the Exoplanet Travel Series, which means they received the vintage travel poster treatment, and look amazing. Here's the best bit: These are freely downloadable and amazingly high quality and you are welcome to print them yourself and hang them on the wall. All three are lovely, go check them out. (Via Engadget)
In the long and storied history of They Might Be Giants we've seen quirky songs, a couple of TV show themes and even further back, there was the "always free, often busy" Dial-A-Song. Sadly Dial-A-Song starting having physical issues with the actual answering machine, and eventually got disconnected in 2008. However it's back now, having made its triumphant return in the first full week of 2015. Every Tuesday in 2015 songs will be posted at DialASong.com and even videos on YouTube. There's also a network of radio shows that will be playing them each week. If you can't wait till Tuesday, you can hear it on Slate's The Gist with Mike Pesca, released Monday nights. If what you loved about Dial A Song was making a phone call and hearing music, you still have Callin Oates to fill that need.
Finally, an RC plane you control with your iPhone. Actually, you can use an iPod touch, iPad, and some Android devices, too, but you get my point. It's called the SmartPlane, and it will fly for 30 minutes on a single charge. There's more information on SmartPlane and a video giving you a look at how it works. Through our deal, it's $59.99. Have fun!
The two biggest tech things in 2015 will be UHD/4K TV and the Apple Watch. The TV industry is working hard to make sure it doesn't have another "3D" debacle, and Apple will use its enormous resources to make sure the Apple Watch is successful as the best and most famous wearable, propelled by Apple Pay. This week's Particle Debris looks at both.
The Mac Observer is on the ground at the Internation Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and we still have some cool products to talk about. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at a few more products Jeff enjoyed seeing, a Bluetooth toothbrush he did his best to avoid, content for 4K televisions, and Kelly's brother and his Elvis impersonating adventures.
LAS VEGAS -- Cocoon already has several stylish products for on the go tech, and the company is expanding its lineup to include even more, like its new waxed canvas laptop organizer bag. Along with a padded laptop sleeve and built-in Grid-It gear organizer, the bag also includes a padded back and a padded lumbar compartment to hold your Beats headphones. TMO checked it out at CES 2015 and it lives up to Cocoon's well-earned design quality. Cocoon plans to ship the new bag in blue, black, and green soon for under US$80.
LAS VEGAS -- Griffin Technology is hoping to make our lives a little easier with its new USB to Lightning cable for the iPhone and iPad that sports a reversible USB Type A connector. Along with a plug you can't insert upside down into a USB port, the new cable is coated in braided fabric for added durability, and includes reinforced points where the plugs connect to the cable wires. It also comes in three colors to match your iPhone or iPad. Griffin showed us the cable at CES 2015 and said it will be available soon for about US$30. A durable Lightning sync and charge cable with a USB connector that's always right side up? Yes, please.
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company knowingly sold consumers MacBook laptops with defective logic boards. The Judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show the laptops were sub-par because they were able to use the computers for two years.
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A Mac should last longer that two years, but if the plaintiffs weren't able to show Apple knowingly shipped defective computers then Judge Alsop was right to dismiss the case.
Today, Melissa Holt is going to tell us how to change up which contacts appear when we double-click the Home button on an iPhone running iOS 8. Wanna see folks you've recently contacted? Would you prefer your favorite people to show up there? Come read this Quick Tip, and you'll be getting in touch with your friends and family even more efficiently.
Normally a commercial wouldn't be a big deal around TMO Towers, but I've applied for an exception so I can tell you guys about this one. It's a State Farm Insurance ad, and it is a bit different than the ones that feature classic Saturday Night Live characters. This ad was released today, Elvis Presley's 80th birthday, and features a variety of Elvises including my younger brother. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just tell you that he's the one who brings it home. It's a 30 second ad, so click on through and amuse yourself. Maybe if it's popular enough my brother will have a steady gig Elvising for State Farm ads. Enjoy!
Our friends at Stack Social have put together a deal called the 10-For-$10 Mac App Bundle. As the name suggests, you get ten Mac apps and it's going to cose you ten bucks. It includes, Disk Map, MenuTab Pro for Facebook, NotesTab Pro, CopyClip 2, Privacy Protector, Share Bucket, StatsBar, StockTab, Slerts for Gmail, and InstaReel for Instagram. There's additional information on all of these apps on the deal list, and it's good for another 5 days.
LAS VEGAS -- Bad cell signals don't have to mean the end of your conversations, and now devices like AT&T's MicroCell aren't the only option for getting your calls through. Nextivity showed The Mac Observer its Cel-Fi at CES 2015, and instead of relying on your broadband Internet connection, it deconstructs weak cell signals and rebuilds them into stronger and usable signals. The Cel-Fi can take a poor 1-bar connection and turn it into a solid 3-bar signal without simply boosting a crappy connection that isn't any better than the original weak signal it comes from. Nextivity supports GSM-based services like AT&T and T-Mobile, but its planned LTE voice support means Verizon customers will have some hope for better signals soon, too. Cel-Fi costs about US$500, but may be free depending on whether or not your carrier offers it as a loyalty incentive.
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