Moshi always makes impressive, well-designed gadgets; but the IonSlim 10K ($ 99.95) in particular packs a lot of power into a slim aluminum shell, reminiscent of anything coming out of Apple these days. As Apple is now shipping devices that charge via USB-C as well as Lighting USB-A cables, there is a need for a portable battery pack like the IonSlim 10K.
The IonSlim 10K offers two ports, USB-A and USB-C, and delivers 10,000 mAh. It can even charge two devices at once, with one of those devices being a MacBook Pro. It can deliver 30 watts of power, so it’s well-suited as an emergency backup power source. I would like to see more color choices, to match Apple gear, but the one color choice is comparable to Apple’s Space Gray. It’s not cheap, but there is a $ 54.95 5K version as well.
Slim, compact design
Two ports, USB-A and USB-C
Charge two devices at once
Only one color
The IonSlim 10K from Moshi packs a lot of power into a light and compact and stylish package.
When Apple introduced Touch ID, it created a quandry for touchscreen gloves. If you did away with a short passcode, in favor of the fingerprint reader, then it became a nuisance to wear gloves, even if they had capacitive fingers to work on a smartphone. Now, with Face ID, touchscreen gloves are more practical, and Mujjo offers a wide selection of Touchscreen Gloves (starting at $ 24.13).
If you’re partial to knit, Mujjo has got you covered, literally. If you want something more luxurious, the company also offers a really stylish high-end black leather model with a Velcro closure. I really liked these as they had a bit of a Kylo Ren vibe! Just make sure you use the online sizing guide to order the right size as they have a snug fit. The Velcro does help adjust the size around the wrist, but you’ll still want to get a good measurement.
What I liked about most of the pairs is that they don’t look like traditional smartphone touch-capable gloves. Those usually have an obvious capacitive tip, often in a different color, which is a giveaway that these are tech gloves. Most folks wouldn’t know that the Mujjo gloves serve a secret purpose… smartphone use!
Leather models are luxurious
Velcro closure on wrist of leather models
Don’t look like smartphone gloves
Need to order the right size
High-end models are expensive
If you are looking for a pair of touchscreen-compatible gloves, Mujjo has a nice variety to choose from.
Amazon Alexa is great; I have a device in every room of my house. But that doesn’t mean each device has to be from Amazon. The iLive Concierge Wireless Speaker with Amazon Alexa ($ 65) has earned a nice place right between Amazon’s low-end and high-end speakers, and it adds a twist. When Amazon got rid of the Tap, it also stopped selling any kind of Alexa device that was battery operated. I find that too limiting.
The Concierge is battery operated, with up to five hours in Bluetooth mode, but just a one to two hours in Wi-Fi mode. Still, that should be plenty for a dinner party on the patio or by the pool. Amazon and Google have added fabric to many of their technology gadgets and iLive matches that with the Concierge’s cloth exterior. iLive even offer a rose-gold option for a little more. The device even supports iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, and TIDAL. Keep in mind that the speaker requires using the free iLive app, as opposed to the Amazon Alexa app.
Voice-activated Amazon Alexa integration
Bluetooth or wired option
Supports iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify and TIDAL
Short battery life
Uses iLife app, not Amazon Alexa
If you are looking for a voice-enabled wireless smart speaker, look no further. The Concierge Wireless Speaker with Amazon Alexa from iLive should meet your needs.
Your Apple Watch has frozen. Now what? Don’t worry, you can restart your Apple Watch; simply power it off, then power it on again. Even if your Apple Watch isn’t responding, you can still use this trick to reboot. If restarting your Apple Watch doesn’t get things back to normal, you can try a force restart. Let’s get started learning how to restart and force restart your Apple Watch so you can get it unfrozen and back to normal!
Press and hold the Side Button until three options appear: Power Off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS.
Slide Power Off to the right.
If the screen is completely dark you’ll know your Apple Watch has shut off. Now hold the Side Button again until you see the Apple logo.
Force Restart Your Apple Watch
Don’t try to force restart if your Apple Watch is updating watchOS. You’ll know an update is happening if you see the Apple logo and progress wheel on the screen. Also, only use force restart if your Apple Watch didn’t respond to the regular restart procedure.
Press and hold the Side Button and Digital Crown for at least ten seconds.
Let go of both buttons when you see the Apple logo reappear.
Now you know how to restart and force restart your Apple Watch. If neither of these procedures worked to unfreeze your Apple Watch, please contact Apple Support!
My kids are crazy for PopSockets ($ 10–$ 15) and I understand the appeal, especially now that the company has come out with a car vent mount option ($ 15). You have likely already seen these on the back of someone’s phone. You attach the adhesive back of the PopSocket to the back your iPhone case and then can pop it open and use it as a stand for your device or a means to get a better grip on your iPhone.
Aside from its use as a stand or finger grip, a PopSocket is also a great way to decorate your phone with an image or design or even logo of your liking. PopSockets even offers a very reasonable $ 15 custom option where you just upload a photo, select colors, and even add text in your own font. There is also an option for corporate branding. And now the car vent clip adds a new element of usefulness. You simply slip the phone into the mount and let gravity keep it in place.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, PopSocket showed off tons of designs including licensed images from franchises like Harry Potter. They even have a higher-end Swarovski® Crystals options. My only concern is that they are semi-permanent; if you’re careful when installing a PopSocket, you can reposition it but not easily re-attach it without new sticky tape. I’d like to see an industrial-strength Velcro® option. And they aren’t compatible with some silicone or waterproof cases. Plus, the device itself might interfere with Qi-based wireless charging.
Tons of designs including licensed images
Customize your own
Swarovski® Crystals options
Vent mount option
Corporate logo options
Repositionable, but semi-permanent adhesive
Might interfere with Qi-based wireless charging
Not compatible with some silicone and waterproof cases
If you want to dress up your case, and add a finger grip, PopSockets has a lot of designs to choose from.
There are the apps we try and the apps we use. For the longest time, Day One sat on my iPhone as a wonderful journaling app I never used. Then iPhone Life magazine’s managing editor Rheanne Taylor showed me how she organizes her Day One journaling app. And in that moment, I realized I completely missed arguably the best feature this app has: the ability to create multiple journals. I’ll go more into her brilliant organization below. But with a simple change of outlook, the app has become more invaluable to me than any other note-taking, journaling, or markup app available. If you’re not familiar with Day One, then you’re really in for a treat. This journaling app is beautifully designed and works like a dream. I’ll go over more on what Day One does and why we love it below.
Overall, Day One is a beautiful journaling app with more features than I’ll be able to cover in this article. The Premium version provides you with unlimited journals and unlimited photo storage for $ 3.99 a month or $ 34.99 a year. This is a new model for Day One, which used to be a single-purchase app. For Day One users who bought the app before this transition, there’s a lifetime discount. While a lot of users have not been happy about this change, I think it makes a lot of sense. Day One is planning to add lots of new amazing features. On its website, Day One lists three of these upcoming features: audio recording, writing prompts, and video entries. But in order to do that, the company needs a steady stream of money to invest back into the app. I think it’s worth the small investment for those who want and will use the best journaling app available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Which reminds me, with a premium subscription, you also get the Mac app. So all of your entries and writing will sync beautifully across all of your devices. Hoorah!
The Day One app provides you with four different ways to view your entries: the main Journals view, by photos, on a map, or via the calendar. The main view is where you can quickly start a new journal entry and see a preview of previous entries. The Photos view shows all the photos you’ve added to entries, and you can tap on a photo to view the full entry. The Map view lets you see where you were when you wrote the various entries, and the Calendar view lets you see when you wrote each entry. You can create tags to easily organize notes across journals, search by year, or even song. You can see what you wrote On This Day the year before or even set reminders to journal for certain days of the week or at the beginning and end of a month.
Why We Love It
My Day One journaling app is password protected, which makes it feel like more of a sacred, private place to pour my feelings into than a physical journal or computer document. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, Rheanne completely changed the way I organized my Day One app. Being able to create multiple journals, I just assumed I’d have one for each year. But no, Rheanne had a way better idea. She creates different journals for different reasons. So she has one for keeping quotes, one for daily free writing, one for lists, and on. I found this to be absolutely brilliant. Now I have six different journals, all of which I use under different circumstances. If I come across a recipe on Instagram that I really want to try, I add it to my Recipes to Try entry within my Lists journal. And since I can color-code my journals differently, I can visually see which journal I’m in very quickly.
There are many more features I can’t possibly cover here; but if you want a journaling app that’s elegant and wonderful to use, give Day One a try. While the shift to a subscription model has turned some users away, I think we as app consumers need to get used to paying for the features we want, just like we would with a physical product. And Day One is definitely worth it.
One of the coolest gadgets I saw CES, according to myself, my friends, and my family, was the Pionears Wireless Earbuds ($ 69.99) from Origaudio. At first glance, it looks like an oversized Zippo lighter (about the size of a deck of playing cards), but it’s really a charging case for two remarkably tiny earbuds. And the lid snaps open and closed (thanks to magnets) just like a lighter, but for a much healthier use case! The storage case itself has a 4,400mAh battery; and what is really cool is that it slips into a charging dock with integrated A/C wall plugs, so no cables are needed.
The unit is sold in Silver or Silver with Black, but I think the all-silver version looks the best. The compact earbuds can be adorned with several sizes of ear tips. They only get three hours of battery life; but when it’s that fun whipping out your charger, maybe that’s part of the charm.
The earbuds list for $ 119.99, but as I write this, they are on sale for $ 69.99. Origaudio is generous with sales and discounts, so check its website often.
Integrated A/C wall plugs
Silver or Silver with Black models
Remarkably compact earbuds
Several ear tip sizes
Three hours of battery life
If you don’t want to be a sheep with boring earbuds, check out the Pionears Wireless Earbuds from Origaudio.
I have a new travel companion. VogDuo has delivered what is perhaps the ideal travel charger. The VogDuo Charger Pro 3-Port USB Wall Charger ($ 49.99) is thin, powerful, and adaptive. And my evaluation unit is cherry red, just like Elon Musk’s car heading out to the asteroid belt.
The most important feature is the three Type-A USB ports that are all capable of charging a tablet. This means that it can essentially charge any three things at the same time: cameras, phones, Bluetooth headsets, etc.
The foldable, swiveling AC prong brings the second best feature. Unlike chargers that just fold the prongs and then extend them at 90-degrees, the VogDuo charger tilts 270-degrees as needed to accommodate almost any socket configuration, including conference table power centers, overfilled power strips or space challenged wall sockets.
Finally, it’s thin. It will fit into bags without adding bulk. It’s just a little thicker than an iPhone so it will fit into many of the pouches in backpacks and briefcases designed to hold phones and cables.
And its already ready for international use (with an adapter, not included) as its ready to convert up to 240V AC.
My only complaint? The plastic in the packaging wasn’t labeled with recycle logos so it went to the landfill rather than the recycling center. I continue to encourage all manufacturers to adopt fully recyclable packaging.
The Charger Pro 3-Port USB Wall Charger is thin, powerful (charges three tablets at a time), and adaptive (270 degrees of swivel). It charges fast and looks good. It’s not a cherry red Tesla, but its as close as a portable charger will likely ever come.
I have to admit I have a new addiction. Well, not an addiction so much as a way to while away my time during on-demand NBC television show commercials you can’t fast forward through even though Comcast owns NBC. The game is called Word Flow (free with in-app purchases).
When I got the eval code, I was pretty sure it was going to be one of two types of games I get asked to review. A non-engaging derivative, or a super deep labyrinth that I don’t have time to master. I was wrong. Word Flow is kind of a Goldie Locks game, in that its just right for the way I pass the time.
Basic game play is pretty simple. Make some words out of tiles and win. Bigger words, tiles with crowns, and words that incorporate blaster tiles (tiles that take out entire rows or columns of letters) earn more points. Theh bigger the words and the fewer the moves the better.
The game offers a simple linear path of levels; just follow the path. As you move up the levels, the game, of course, gets harder. Well, the goals get harder and the obstacles more challenging. You still have to spell words, but some of the letters must be released from harrowing circumstances before they can be employed. Letters arrive trapped in ice so you have to spell words using adjacent letters to break them free. Once liberated, those letters can be used to free letters near them. Ducks also end up in the puzzles. Their emancipation comes from scrolling them down rows by solving for words below them. So far I’ve broken a lot of ice cubes to unleash their letters and freed a number of rubber duckies. Each level starts with a set number of plays, when they run out, you can either buy more turns or start over.
If you go back to play a level, you are greeted with new letters; so game play isn’t the same, even if the general obstacles to overcome remain. Restart a level too often and you have to buy additional keys to unlock it (I think the game would be better if it allowed for play without keys on previously solved levels). Some of the levels can be a little daunting to figure out, so you might need a restart or two. Puzzles within puzzles.
Yes, I have trophies for things like unique word choice (not just spelling out the same short words over and over.) And from the looks of the trophy list, I have plenty of work ahead of me on the couch, in an airplane seat, or on a conference call where the team forgets I dialed in.
The one thing I would love to see is a legend that describes the various tools in the bag. The game does run through orientation levels, but if you don’t use the tools, you tend to forget what they are for.
The tools also fail you. I recently used the word speller tool, the one that punches out a good word on your behalf (you get a few at the start, and then have to buy more of any tool once you spend your initial allocation), and it spelled out a great word;, but it broke my ability to break ice cubes, so I had to start over. Good word, bad strategy.
Grandleaf has so far released a few updates, so they seem to be squashing bugs and improving game play incrementally. I hope they keep at development with the same vigor they hope game players burn through virtual gold coins.
Word Flow is a new game that I’m having fun with, and you should too. Like most iOS games, it’s free; but also like most games, it offers various add-ons, such as the elimination of ads, a beginner pack that loads you up on gold and goodies, and more. If you like solitary word play, it may be a good game to help you fill up your time on your iPhone doing something other than filling up your time on your iPhone.
Requesting and receiving money on iPhone isn’t a brand new feature; there are lots of different ways to ask for and collect payments from your iPhone, including on Facebook, PayPal, Venmo, and even Snapchat! With the rollout of iOS 11.2 though, there’s a new, even more convenient way to request a payment from a friend or customer who owes you money, and to receive that payment as well. Now you can quickly and securely request and receive payments right from the Messenger app on your iPhone. The great part about this is that you don’t need to set up any new accounts or download an app, you can use the Apple Pay Cash feature right within your normal text messages, as long as you already have Apple Pay set up. First things first, make sure you have Apple Pay set up, and then let’s get started learning how to request and receive money with Apple Pay Cash!
You’ll need an iPhone 6 or later that is updated to iOS 11.2 or later to use this feature.
In the Messages app, open or start a text conversation with the person you’d like to receive a payment from.
Tap the App symbol to the left of the text input box.
Tap the Apple Pay option and adjust the amount with the plus or minus symbols.
For larger amounts, or amounts including less than full dollar amounts, tap on $ 1 and an option will appear to use your keypad.
After you’ve entered the correct amount, tap Request.
How to Receive a Payment in Apple Pay
Payments are automatically received and kept in Apple Pay Cash. Once a payment is received you should be able to spend it right away, unless Apple decides to do an account security check for some reason. Once the payment has cleared, you can keep it in your Apple Pay account, or transfer it to your bank account.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of accepting payments automatically, you can change your settings to Manually Accept Payments.
You only have seven days to accept the payment the first time you use Apple Pay Cash. If you’ve chosen not to accept automatic payments, keep this in mind! After you’ve accepted payment, you can check to seeif the payment was received in your Apple Wallet.