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Moshi for iPad

  • Having a valuable stolen is already bad enough; You feel violated, and now you'll have to foot the cost of replacing it too.


    Getting a mobile device, like a phone, laptop or tablet stolen is even worse, because, aside from loosing a costly device, you lose content like music and personal pictures and video, and personal information.


    But there's at least one way to safeguard against this type of personal and financial loss. And it's so genius that we've named it our Mobile Accessory of the Week.


    Mobile accessories maker Kensington has developed a line of secure cases and accessories for tablets and other devices, that lock to protect them from thieves as well as from every day wear and tear.


     


    Kensington's Patented SecureBack cases attach to the rear of you iPad while their ClickSafe lock anchors are made from aircraft grade steel and secure to the ports on your iPad with a single click. These tamper-resistant lock anchors have thousands of possible key combinations, and are chrome-plated to resist corrosion and wear.


    The security that Kensington cases offer is in itself a strong selling point, but the company has by no means neglected other areas of design.


     


    Their iPad cases come in a variety that ranges from minimalist to all the bells and whistles; Their Security Case & Lock for iPad 2 protects the back and sides of your tablet, while the more heavy-duty Protective Case & Lock for iPad 2 features a folio design that also covers the screen.


    For the full deal, you can get the Case, Keyboard & Lock for iPad 2, which includes a removable bluetooth keyboard and an integrated folio that does double duty as carrying case and multi-postion stand.


     


    But, be it a slim skin-style case or full-blown work-station, all Kensington cases promise protection from theft, so you and your content can rest easy.




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  • Incipio's Armband for iPod Touch 4G will make workouts more fun as you listen on the go

     


    Christmas isn't even here yet and you're probably already surrounded by sweets and other high-calorie fare. From office holiday parties to the tempting seasonal goodies on view every time you shop for groceries, it can sometimes feel like the battle to stay fit over the holidays is lost before it's even begun.


    Of course, there are ways to make it a little easier to keep on top of your health and weight this Christmas. But since we're not doctors or nutritionists, we'll forego the usual talk about calorie consumption and dietary planning and focus instead on what we do know – gadgets.


    If you've decided to start working out now, rather than tack "exercise more" onto your list of resolutions this January, a good place to start is with some accessories that'll make your fitness routine a little more fun.


    For most people, music is a big motivator when exercising, so a good pair of headphones is a must. If you're doing lighter exercise, you can probably get away with a pair of over-the-ear style headphones, like a pair from Incase. But jogging and other high-impact activities will probably demand a set of earbud-style headphones; iSkin, Moshi, Beats, and ClarityOne all make good and reliable models.


    But hey, this is 2012, and your headphones are probably going to plug into something a little more high-tech than a portable radio (yes those existed.) A lot of accessories makers now produce armbands for your smartphone or media player, specifically designed to make your device accessible while you "get physical."


    Most, like Incipio's Armband for iPod Touch 4G, are made from moisture-wicking material, so they stay put and stay comfortable while you sweat. Others go even further.


    Griffin's MiCoach Adidas Armband goes the distance but keeps your iPhone 5 safe, and close at hand

     


    Griffin's MiCoach Adidas Armband for iPhone 5 sports a sweat-proof touch-through screen protector, and boasts an inline pocket for a house or gym key. Strategically-placed ports make it easy to connect headphones or yet another high-tech fitness tool, the Adidas MiCoach Connect Heart Rate Moniter.


    It's not easy to get back into exercising after a long break, but having so many cool gadgets and accessories to keep us entertained and motivated is a big bonus, and it definitely beats the post-holiday guilt . Good luck!




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  • There's a reason why Incase consistently ranks as one of our favorite brands for smartphone, tablet and laptop accessories. The company's always thinking up new ways to make our digital lives just a little bit easier, more streamlined, more stylish.


    And this week's Mobile Accessory of the Week zeroes in on the latest collection from this leading label – the Terra line of sleek, uncomplicated carrying cases and sleeves.



    So-called because of the natural woven materials Incase uses to make these laid-back, lightweight traveling cases, the Terra line comes in either a light natural canvass or slick charcoal grey chambray, both of which are as durable as they are attractive.


    Neither too feminine or too masculine, the easy elegance of styles like the Terra Sleeve and Terra Tote is a look that's modern, unpretentious and will pretty much work for anybody



    Incase seems to get the details right. Models like the Terra Tote and Terra Sleeve for Macbook Pro and Macbook Air are logically designed, and simply executed, with the perfect dimensions, and just the right amount of padding and extra storage for safe, easy, and unfussy transport.


    While the Terra laptop sleeve gives you an exterior document pocket, the Terra Tote comes packed with multiple organizers and offers easy access for a no-hassle a day on the go.


    Added touches, like genuine leather toggles on zippers, and additional padding at the bottom for extra laptop protection, are like icing on the cake.




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  • At a time of year when you probably don't expect to receive an iPhone 5 case within a week of ordering it online, the device itself is hot and ready to ship.


    BGR reports that, for those living in the Asia/Pacific region – which includes Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia – some ship times have dropped to as little as two to four days. That's immensely quicker than the ship times Apple was quoting for the device only a short time ago; last week, the estimated ship time to the Asia/Pacific region was a full week.


    Shipment times are improving mainly because supply is finally catching up with demand for the iPhone 5. According to 9to5Mac, that's evident in-store as well as online. Citing figures analyst Gene Munster gave on November 21, they write:


    "in-store stock for the iPhone 5 has improved. At the time, the iPhone 5 was available in 92 percent of Apple Stores for Sprint, 82 percent for AT&T, and 72 percent for Verizon."


    What this means is, for those of us who really had our hearts set on getting an iPhone 5 before Christmas, it's a pretty serious likelihood. So now's probably a good time to start looking for a new case, if that's your plan.


    But as supply begins to meet demand in some markets, Apple won't be content to rest on its laurels. And you can bet they'll be opening up new markets for their latest, hottest device.


    In fact, the company announced this week that they're prepping to launch the iPhone 5 in 50 new countries this month, with an eventual goal of reaching 100 countries by the end of the year.




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  • With EQ setting, Beats headphones and the iPhone could be the perfect match. Image courtesy of MJ Rodriguez Photography.

     


    So, despite their massive popularity – which even extends to celebrities like Lebron James, Lil Wayne, Gwen Stefani, and other a-listers – the Beats by Dre line of headphones has got a sort of questionable rep since its release.


    The collection of high-end headphones has been criticized as having a sound that's too bass-y and artificial to warrant their equally high-end price tag.


    To be fair, Beats is a line released by hip hop legend and beat master Dr Dre. And anyone who's ever listened to a hip hop track with less than strong and present bass will probably attest to the fact that Beats seem like the perfect fit for that genre of music.


    Moreover, as Mashable notes, the headphones – which are compatible with Apple devices like iPhone, iPad and iPod – are probably better suited to a recording studio, where you get a range of sound equalizing options, than to a phone or tablet.


    Still, there are some who'd prefer a more balanced sound from the ragingly popular headphones, even if they're listening to tunes on their mobile device. And, according to Mashable, there is a "secret iPhone setting that makes Beats headphones sound better."


    We're not really sure how "secret" this is, but here's how to equalize your sound for your own tastes. By default, your iPhone has the equalizer (EQ) turned off. To access it, turn it on, and choose from two dozen settings, go to:


    Settings >> Music >> EQ.


    Go to Settings, then Music, then EQ. Play around til you're happy.

     


    From there, you can select Bass Reducer, to reduce the boominess of bass when listening to with your Beats. If you actually love bass and want even more of it, there are settings like Late Night and Bass Booster too, as well as settings for particular music genres, from classical to jazz, hip hop, and electronica.


    Just play around until you're satisfied. It's certainly no recording studio with its plethora of controls, settings and levels. We are talking about a phone after all. But it's certainly closer to the setup that Beats were probably intended for than your basic, un-levelled listening device.




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  • With Hip Street's Keyboard Case for iPhone 4 and 4S, BlackBerry devotees have nothing on Apple fans

     


    There are so many good iPhone cases on the market, but when it comes to our ongoing Mobile Accessory of the Week feature, there can be only one! This week, it's a case that'll finally get BlackBerry users to leave iPhone users alone.


    With Hip Street's KeyBoard Case for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, Apple devotees can finally experience the ease of texting and typing that BlackBerry adherents are always harping on about.


    Most of the the time, KeyBoard Case looks like your mild-mannered, everyday smartphone case, with a black satin-finish backing and attractive metallic accent around the edge. But when times call for a lengthy text or full email rather than a line or two, the BlueTooth-enabled, full Qwerty keyboard slides out for serious typing jobs.



    But the integration of a full and super-handy keyboard in no way interferes with the way you'd normally use your iPhone. With a cutout design, the touchscreen is completely unencumbered and the case itself doesn't add very much bulk to your iPhone either.


    Because it's BluTooth-enabled, you do have to charge the Hip Street Keyboard Case via USB cable, but a good 2 to 3 hours of charging should last you a few days. And you can always turn off the keyboard with a switch whenever it's not in use to conserve battery power.


    Over all, it's a well made, sleek-looking case and an invaluable tool for anyone who tends to use their iPhone heavily for texts and emails. And that makes it our top pick for mobile accessory of the week.




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  • If the only thing stopping you from getting an iPhone 5 is the prospect of getting one through one of Apple's carriers, then there's some good news for you.


    That's because factory unlocked versions of the device are on the way, reports a post on AppleInsider. What's more, the pricing for the unlocked iPhone 5 is out too.


    Don't quite buy it? Well, how's this for a reliable source – the news comes from Apple itself.


    Fair enough, Apple probably didn't make the revelation intentionally. AppleInsider admits that, while the devices aren't automatically found anywhere on Apple's website, "a query for 'iPhone 5 factory unlocked' in the Apple.com search bar reveals 'Apple Store Results,'" with listed prices ranging from $649 for the 16GB model to $749 for the 32GB version, and $849 for the 64GB iPhone 5.


    AppleInsider's search query on Apple's website revealed prices for factory unlocked devices

     


    The search results aren't likely to be an error, says AppleInsider, citing as evidence a report from September that "showed an Online Apple Store iPhone comparison page that revealed the prices of unlocked versions bound for the U.S. and Canada."


    Those prices, writes AppleInsider, are "in line" with those found on Apple's website. And though similar prices for unlocked iPhone 5s was already available from certain carriers, the news here is "that Apple could soon be joining those ranks for such off-contract sales," writes Mashable.


    As for when we can expect unlocked versions of the iPhone 5 to be available directly through Apple, Mashable and AppleInsider alike cite a theory that says they're likely to be up for grabs once the supply of iPhone 5s starts to catch up with the demand.




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  • Our first 'Thank Gadget It's Friday' feature, Dexim's remote controlled Monster Truck for Apple devices

     


    We're making Fridays even more fun at the Pure Mobile blog, with a new weekly feature we're calling 'Thank Gadget It's Friday,' or TGIF for short.


    What better way to wrap up the week than with our favorite gadgets? And in this feature, we'll be bringing you our top picks in mobile accessories, from the coolest smartphone cases to the best phone docks and speakers.


    But we're kicking things off in style today, with an accessory that's a little out of the norm, and a whole lot of fun – Dexim's remote controlled AppSpeed Monster Truck.


    Definitely a toy for grown ups, the Dexim RC Truck uses Apple devices, like iPhone, iPad and iPod in lieu of a traditional controller. All you need is the free app that's provided when you purchase the truck.



    But that's not the only difference between this suped-up mobile accessory and a regular remote controlled car. Dexim's monster truck can be controlled by either traditional touch sensor or "gravity sensor," which lets you control the vehicle by tilting your device in different ways.


    The truck also has multiplayer mode for racing with friends, and comes with three preset stations that let you "automatically ZigZag, Spin, or Dance your vehicle to     music."


    As far as mobile accessories go, the Dexim RC Truck may not top the list of most needed, but it's certainly among the most exciting, and would certainly make a great gift for the techie in your life. Though we can think of more than a few people who'd simply want one for themselves.


    Vroom vroom!




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  • An update to Apple’s iOS 6.0 is now available for download from iTunes or over your wireless connection. Apple’s iOS 6.0.1 fixes some of the bugs that have already appeared and also provides the iPhone 5 with wireless update capability.


    To download the new OS version wirelessly, go to the “Settings” menu and bring up “Software Update,” If you’re updating your iPhone 5, you’ll be asked to first download an updater for iPhone 5. This enables the wireless updates to be installed.


     



    For older iPhone models, the iPod Touch and iPads with iOS 6 already installed, you can get the 6.0.1 update at “Settings”, “General”, “Software Update.”


    Your phone’s “Learn More” gives you a screen with the information below that tells you what bugs have been fixed:


    “This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:


    • Fixes a bug that prevents iPhone 5 from installing software updates wirelessly over the air
    • Fixes a bug where horizontal lines may be displayed across the keyboard
    • Fixes an issue that could cause camera flash to not go off
    • Improves reliability of iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation) when connected to encrypted WPA2 Wi-Fi networks
    • Resolves an issue that prevents iPhone from using the cellular network in some instances
    • Consolidated the Use Cellular Data switch for iTunes Match
    • Fixes a Passcode Lock bug which sometimes allowed access to Passbook pass details from lock screen
    • Fixes a bug affecting Exchange meetings”


    If you’re ready to start the download, you click on a quick user agreement confirmation, and the update begins. Your phone will give you instructions for the rest.


    One of the bugs that the update is supposed to fix is the one that causes static and horizontal lines on the screen when you’re downloading a new app. So, if you thought you’d caused the problem because your new iPhone 5 has already hit the concrete a couple of times, the update will offer some comfort. Add a little insurance for future whoopsies and improve you device’s bounce factor with a good case.




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  • Nuance Communications just released the beta version of their Dragon Mobile Assistant software for Android.


    Dragon is the name of a line of speech recognition software products that can do things like make calls, keep your calendar and send texts just by giving your phone a command. The English version of the app is available on Google Play for free right now. It works on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 OS or later.


    Nuance dominates the market for speech recognition. They’ve been working with Apple on their voice control technology, the most famous being Siri (available on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.)


    Here's how the voice recognition software works on your phone.



    Start the app with the greeting, “Hi Dragon”, and then give it a command like:


    “Tell Lori, ‘I’ll come find her when I get to the restaurant.” or
    “Schedule a meeting for 2 p.m. tomorrow.” or
    “Give me directions to the Statue of Liberty” or
    “What’s the weather in Chicago?”


    As long as Dragon can interpret what you said, you'll get an answer.


    Nuance’s press release says it’s plan is to expand availability and debut new features by year end. “We’re at a transition point where voice and natural-language understanding are suddenly at the forefront,” said Vlad Sejnoha, chief technology officer at Nuance Communications. “I think speech recognition is really going to upend the current [computer] interface.”


    If you've ever tried to call about a complaint or order a prescription over the phone, you've experienced Nuance's voice technology. It's been used in places like calls centers for awhile.


    Now the rapid rise of powerful mobile devices is spreading the use of voice interfaces. One reason for the stunning advancements in voice recognition technology is that smartphones have so much processing capability. They can access high-bandwidth data connections that exist on massive servers in the cloud. The combination of more data and more computing power means sophisticated programs like voice recognition will fit into smartphones.


    Apple’s Siri was the first to bring voice-recognition technology to mobile devices, and (finally!) Nuance has now brought Android a little closer to having its own voice functionality. Others like the Windows Phone platform, other mobile systems, and a lot of apps won’t be far behind. The interfaces still have to be refined, but the good news is that the capability of talking to our devices is already built in to the hardware.


    Nuance doesn’t plan on stopping at cellphones. Inspired by their success, the company is working on putting speech interfaces in many more places like televisions and vehicles.




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