Articles in Personal Tech

Apple iPhone 6 and iOS 8 – What You Need to Know and Review

iPhone 5s' smaller form factor compared to the 6 Plus

For many people, the next big thing in tech is the new Apple iPhone 6. Indeed, the day the iPhone went on sale, Apple experienced “a record number of preorders overnight,” according to a spokesman. For those who can’t quite justify an upgrade or contractually aren’t eligible for one, there’s no need to suffer iPhone 6 envy. The vast majority of the functionality that millions of people will get come …

Is Apple’s Smartwatch Smart Enough to Make Travel Faster and Easier?

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Apple’s new smartwatch can buy a Frappuccino or Big Mac, monitor the wearer’s pulse, and help with workouts. The question remains, however, as to whether it will prove useful when traveling.
At the launch event, Apple demonstrated how travelers can use the watch to pay for coffee, board a plane using a Passbook boarding pass, enter a hotel room, or get directions while strolling about.
From a user perspective, paying for something …

5 Tips to Extend Apple iPhone Battery Life

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If you’ve become frustrated by your iPhone’s battery capacity, you aren’t alone. The more functionality and apps the device uses, the more power it consumes, and the amount of time the device will operate before it requires a charge may be severely limited.
For most users, what really drains the battery are some small, power hungry features that they may not even know exist and could, for the most part, do …

Review: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Mini

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As an avid mobile typist, I typically take my MacBook Air with me wherever I go.  However, on day trips I sometimes leave the 3-pound laptop at home and take my iPad Mini.  Until recently, I had qualms about typing on my iPad mini – mainly because the on-screen keyboard uses precious screen space on an already small display, and also because of the lack of tactile feedback.  I much …

Home Automation Part 4: Philips Hue Starter Pack, Friends of Hue Bloom Lamp, and LightStrip

Friends of Hue LightStrip mounted under the cabinet (set to red)

In the fourth part of our Home Automation series, we now look at a very specific application: lighting.  The first new piece of gear that I acquired for this was the Philips Hue Starter Pack.
This system provides wireless control over the color and intensity of household lighting using special Philips LED bulbs, a hub, and an app.  At first, I thought it would be just a toy, but the system …

Home Automation Part 3: SmartThings Know and Control Your Home Kit

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In our continuing series on home automation, we now turn to specific products that centralize and automate control of lighting, doors, appliances and other devices, making life more convenient, energy efficient, and comfortable.  Today we’ll take a look at SmartThings’ Know and Control Your Home Kit.
While the concept of home automation is nothing new, practical solutions are only recently beginning to gain traction and popularity.  The SmartThings Know and Control …

Mobile Hotspot Rentals: How to Stay Connected While Traveling

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Today, more so than ever before, there is an expectation that your circle of acquaintances will remain connected, regardless of what time zone one may be in.  Connected to what, I hear some of you cry.  Well, to the Internet, of course, the tangle of wires and cables and routers and switches that enables your reading these words right now.
The idea of ubiquitous connectivity is not new.  Well before everyone …