MobiSystems, Inc. is offering their productivity app OfficeSuite PRO for free, but it’s a one-day deal. It has a file manager, document editor, spreadsheet editor, presentation editor and a PDF editor all in one app. You can use iCloud Drive, or connect to another cloud service like Google Drive, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or Box. The app recently offered support for iXpand drives, so you can take your documents on the go with you. OfficeSuite PRO is normally a US$14.99 app. Even if you use another productivity suite, it’s such a good deal that you can download and delete it so it will be in your purchased apps. Download it here.
Apple has a new commercial out called A New Light. It’s part of the company’s iPhone X series of commercials, and it promotes Portrait Lighting and Portrait Mode photography. It’s a 38 second spot that does a good job of demonstrating the kinds of thing you can do with Portrait Lighting on the iPhone X.
LAS VEGAS – At CES this week, RhinoShield, makers of thin-yet-strong iPhone cases, was showing off their new “Mod” modular case. The Mod works by letting you put together different parts to create the case that you want. Starting with a bumper you then add a backplate and even a camera lens mount if you like. In each configuration we tested the case was strong and felt cohesive. Holding my phone with the bumper+backplate on it felt like I had one, solid case on my phone. With 11 feet of drop protection, this makes sense! Priced at US$34.99 (or $31.99 plus shipping on Amazon), you can choose different colors and patterns for both pieces of the case. And if you want to change your style, just buy a new backplate and pop it in! RhinoShield mod comes in sizes ranging from iPhone 5 to iPhone X, with everything in between, including Plus-sizes.
LAS VEGAS – Netgear’s Orbi is one of our favorite wireless mesh systems available, and they’ve been doing a lot to update it over the past few months (see our “How to Choose Mesh Wireless” article for more details). The most recent update came at CES in the form of new hardware: the weather-resistant, AC3000, RBS50Y Orbi Outdoor Satellite. The only product that can be paired with both the consumer-grade Orbi and pro-grade Orbi Pro, the RBS50Y is a fully sealed, outdoor mesh point that can be added to an existing Orbi system. Just plug in power and go. Netgear wisely chose not to add Ethernet ports to it for security reasons – an outdoor access point gives people easy (and perhaps unwatched) ability to plug in. The Orbi RBS50Y is available immediately and Amazon has it for $329.99.
LAS VEGAS – Polk is giving Amazon’s Alexa a face lift—er, voice lift—with its Command Bar. The sound bar packs in an array of speakers for sound that nicely filled the large presentation space where we got our fist look, plus it includes a wireless subwoofer and, of course, integrated Alexa support. It also includes Polk Voice Adjust technology that makes it easier to hear dialog. The Command Bar packs in dual 4K HDMI 2.0b HDMI inputs, optical input for TV audio, HDMI (ARC) output, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a USB port for Fire TV, and a far field microphone array for Alexa voice control. You can pre-order one for US$299.95 starting April 1, 2018, in the United States and Canada, and in other countries later in the year.
LAS VEGAS – tech gear bag maker STM GOODS is getting into the augmented reality world with an iPhone and iPad app that lets you virtually check out their products and even see them on your friends. Just point your device’s camera at an STM bag—on your computer screen or in real life—to see a virtual version you can view from different angles, add accessories to, and look at in an x-ray mode. It also lets you see how bags look on people, which is handy for gauging size before your buy. The STM GOODS app is a free download on Apple’s App Store.
CES – DJI, best known for drones, announced Osmo Mobile 2 this week at CES. It’s a handheld smartphone gimbal designed to stabilize your videos by keeping it level despite your movements. Or, as DJI put it, Osmo Mobile 2’s, “three-axis gimbal technology cancels out movement in three directions so your video stays steady even if your hands shake or wobble.” It has a built-in rechargeable 2600mAh battery for up to 15 hours of operation, with a charging time of 2 hours. The device is priced at US$129, and will be available exclusively for pre-order at Apple.com on January 23rd, 2018. It will be available more widely starting in early February.
LAS VEGAS – The idea of moving your head to see through the different focus areas in progressive lens glasses seems pretty crappy to PH Techical Labs, so they invented Dynafocals: glasses frames that adjust the lenses for you. Dynafocals have a proximity sensor to gauge how far away whatever you’re looking at is, and can subtly move the lenses so you’re looking through the right part. They’ll be available this year for US$149 and the company includes instructions for your optometrist on making the lenses.
CES – Healbe demonstrated GoBe 2, the company’s wearable it claims can track caloric intake, calories burned, and hydration levels, all non-invasively. It uses five activity and stress sensors, with all data sent securely to the GoBe 2 app for iOS or Android. The company is also developing a portal that will allow users to send data to “trusted nutritionists/wellness coaches,” though Healbe didn’t elaborate. GoBe 2 is water resistant in fresh water, but not salt water, and it works up to 48 hours on a charge. GoBe 2 is priced at US$199, with additional strap color options available at $19 each. It’s available now.
LAS VEGAS – Every year at CES I make it a point to pass through the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall at least once just to see the spectacle of new TVs on display. Each year, all the big manufacturers try to out-do one another (including renting booth space under dummy company names and expanding last-minute) just to create the most impressive display. This year, for me, LG’s OLED TV tunnel was a perfect entrance to the mayhem. Thankfully, I got there before the power went out, but that’s another story for another time. For now, just enjoy my tour through the LG tunnel.
In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit look at Apple’s Chinese iCloud occupation and what it says about Apple. They also think Apple is just plain missing the smarthome boat, judging by what we’re seeing at CES. John goes off on a tangent rant about parenting and Apple, and for the pop portion of the show, they talk about recent developments in The Curse of Oak Island. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
LAS VEGAS – Kano makes computers and coding accessable to all ages with their built-it-yourself computer kits and easy to learn coding platform. They show Jeff Gamet their product lineup at CES 2018.
LAS VEGAS – At CES this week Scosche was showing off its new Magic Mount Pro CHARGE line of magnetic mounts for use in the car. The new Pro line includes four products: Window/Dash with a suction base, Vent for air vent mounting, Surface for setting on the console with Scosche’s StickGRIP mat, and CD, for mounting inside those CD player slots that we never use anymore. They all combine a neodymium magnetic mount and a 360-degree adjustable cradleless design with Qi charging to truly make for a seamless mounting-and-charging experience. Every product comes with two MagicPLATES to stick to your phone. Included and online templates guide you in placing the MagicPLATES to avoid interfering with the Qi charging coil inside your phone. All are available immediately.
LAS VEGAS – Kickstarter darling Advanced Sound has just released a set of universal fit, dynamic driver earphones built for musicians to use as in-ear monitors for just US$24.99 per pair. The Advanced S2000 features a single 10mm dynamic in each earpiece, and they’re designed to loop the cable over the ear to stay in place on stage. The low price point is intentional: they know that musicians wind up getting their in-ear cables pulled or earphones crushed in a gig bag, and their thought is to make them inexpensive enough that one doesn’t worry about replacement costs. The sound? I haven’t tried them on stage, but I did try them in my hotel room and on the show floor. They have a great sound with a high-mid boost that actually matches what I prefer for on-stage. That lift gives vocals a little more presence, and is exactly what you want. For $24.99, these will remain in my gig bag as spares or a rehearsal set, for sure. If you just want to listen to music, the original $39.99 M4 would likely be a better choice, as the EQ is a little smoother for that purpose.
LAS VEGAS – The Spire Health Tag attaches to your regular clothes, turning them into your personal health and fitness tracker. Jeff Gamet checks them out at CES 2018.
LAS VEGAS – Popular iPhone grip and stand maker, PopSockets, has launched their next accessory: the PopSockets Car Vent Mount. Built to fit into the air vent of your car, this makes it super-simple for any one with a PopSocket on your phone to mount it on your car’s dashboard in one, easy motion. Pricing is US$9.99 and it will be available this week or early next from PopSockets.com or Amazon.
LAS VEGAS – Apple’s Lightning to USB cables for the iPhone and iPad are notorious for fraying where the connectors and wires come together. Nite Ize has a fix for that with their Cordcollar, and they show Jeff Gamet how it works in this video interview.
LAS VEGAS – Somnox showed their sleep aid robot to Jeff Gamet at CES 2018. It helps you relax and fall asleep, and you can check it out in this video interview.
LAS VEGAS – Catalyst has a shock proof and waterproof case for Apple Watch Series 3 that’ll keep your smartwatch dry up to 330 feet underwater. Jeff Gamet gets to check it out at CES 2018 in this video interview.
LAS VEGAS – Rocketbook’s reusable notebooks let you write and draw, use your iPhone to upload and organize your work online, then wipe the pages clean and start again. Jeff Gamet checks them out in this video interview.