Phone Halo shows off the Cobra Tag and more at WWDC 2012

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

We talked about Phone Halo a couple of years ago, when the accessory company was making its own product: A little tracking tag that connected up to your keys or anything else you wanted to hang on to and used a free iPhone app to alert you whenever you needed to find them or whenever they wandered out of range. Since we last talked to them, Phone Halo was able to cut a deal with popular accessory manufacturer Cobra (best known for making speedtrap detectors) and has released the Cobra Tag, a branded and updated version of Phone Halo’s original device.

The company showed the model off to us at WWDC, and it was suitably impressive: The tag is small, well-designed and works over Bluetooth, with any combination of alerts available. You can search for the tag from the phone or vice versa, and you can have alerts set up for “disconnects” (when the tag leaves the iPhone’s Bluetooth range). The app, available for free from the App Store, even tracks the GPS location of the disconnect when you flip it into recovery mode. So while you can’t track your keys directly, you can at least see where it was you lost them.

There’s a lot of impressive things being done here: The tag has an LED light built in, so you have audio and visual feedback when you need to track it. And you can completely customize the iPhone’s alerts, even down to choosing a song to play when a disconnect happens. The app runs in the background all of time, and it will even override your mute settings so you’ll never miss an alert. Facebook and Twitter are integrated as well, If you consistently need to track keys or anything else around your iPhone, the Cobra Tag is a great solution.

There is one major issue with the product, and that is battery life. The tag lasts for quite a while, but the biggest drain is on the phone, which needs to keep up a Bluetooth connection constantly, as well as GPS tracking. As you might imagine, that’s a solid drain on the hardware.

Now, if you really need to track your keys, that might not be a problem. If you usually keep your iPhone plugged in all day, like at the office or while sleeping at home, you probably won’t have a big issue keeping your battery going. And if you absolutely need to track something, the extra battery use will probably be worth it. So while battery life can be a concern, it shouldn’t rule out everyone on a product like this. The Cobra Tag is available now for about $60 at retail.

Phone Halo also showed us something else they’re working on: An app that will be able to track any Bluetooth device, not just the Cobra Tag. Using a generic Bluetooth headset or any Bluetooth device, the new app will be able to do all of the same things that the Cobra tag can do. It’s very impressive.

Phone Halo is still working on that app. It’s hoping to team up with a sponsor of Bluetooth products or someone else to be able to provide the functionality to users for free, and still be able to make money off of the product. But however this tech reaches consumers like us, it certainly seems like Phone Halo is working hard on making it as cheap and easy as possible to track external devices from your iPhone.

Phone Halo shows off the Cobra Tag and more at WWDC 2012 originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 15 Jun 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumor Roundup, Episode 6: iWant to believe

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Microsoft, NDS, iPhone

Unlike the week before, this past week hasn’t seen an epic B.S.-storm of rumors. A few of the ones that came out got huge piles of attention, however, not the least because rumors of a 16:9 screen iPhone sound so delicious to so many that we all want to believe… even though we’ve all been “burned” on this one once before.

But before we can get to those slightly plausible rumors, we have to get the utterly ridiculous ones out of the way first.

New Apple TV Will Feature Seamless Siri Integration (Insideris)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Apple’s HDTV will have a feature where you can control playback and other functions using Siri on your i*BZZT*

B.S. detector reading: 8/10. We’ve been hearing this one since Siri debuted, yet the latest Apple TV shows zero integration with the “intelligent” voice assistant. In fact, it’s been seven months since Siri went public, and aside from a very modest expansion of language support, the software hasn’t seemed to improve much. It’s still restricted to a single device, the iPhone 4S, and it still doesn’t handle driving directions or local business searches in most countries.

Then, there’s this week’s gossip that Siri has been a disappointment to Apple so far, and Steve Jobs would have “lost his mind” if the voice-activated software was launched during his tenure. I have no problem with Siri personally; it does everything I ask it. I just wish I were able to ask it more things. But I’m not holding my breath for Siri integration with a product that has about as much evidence in its favor as Sasquatch.

Apple’s Coming Plan To Take Over The TV Business (Forrester Research)

Forrester Research, famous for predicting Apple’s unparalleled ascendancy and imminent doom in the same week, now predicts the Apple HDTV will be a non-TV TV. In other words, picture hanging a 32-inch iPad on your wall. Think about how “easy” it is to get media from various sources on an iPad. Then picture that replacing your current TV. Now picture that someone got paid to say that with a straight face.

B.S. detector reading: 10/10. What Forrester has proposed is effectively no different from the existing Apple TV, except it comes with a 32-inch screen and a much higher price tag. It sounds like the kind of product Apple would have been ecstatic to launch in 1996, back when the company had no idea how to make products that actually earned it money. The Apple of 2012 knows better.

Bigger than an iPhone, yet smaller than an iPad: the next Apple TV? (GigaOM)

GigaOM reaches the Singularity of stupid Apple rumors by combining the Apple HDTV and iPad mini into one epically mythical, misguided product. The iPad mini will be the TV that goes wherever you go! And it’ll provide zero advantages over any of Apple’s existing products!

B.S. detector reading: 10/10. Bad enough that GigaOM has divided by zero as far as Apple rumors go, the site has also conveniently neglected close to 65 years of TV viewing habits. Even if our 9.7-inch iPads now offer nearly double the resolution of the best HDTV out there, I’d be willing to bet 99.9 percent of you still watch most of your TV on a much bigger screen that’s much farther away.

Even assuming the iPad mini existed, it’d have to be just as multifunctional as the iPad Grande it’s supposed to complement. Otherwise, why would anyone buy it?

Microsoft set to release Office for iOS and Android tablets in November (BGR)

A “reliable source” tells BGR Microsoft Office is heading to iOS devices in six months. No really, this time for sure, guys.

B.S. detector reading: 6/10. I fully expect Office to debut on at least the iPad, eventually. But “reliable source” and BGR go together about as well as pickles and caramel. The site’s BREAKING EXCLUSIVE RUMORS have been so consistently wrong (remember the “Sprint-only iPhone 5?”) that virtually anything the site says has to be taken with enough salt to induce cardiac arrest.

Facebook Tries, Tries Again on a Smartphone (New York Times)

Facebook, world famous for this week’s terrible IPO and one of the buggiest household-name iOS apps in existence, is supposedly working on its own smartphone. Again. Just like in 2011, and 2010, both of which were indisputably the Year of the Facebook Phone (that never launched).

B.S. detector reading: 7/10. A software company building its very own smartphone wouldn’t be a new development. Google did it with the Nexus lineup… sort of. And the Microsoft-Nokia pairing is almost certain to see some Windows 8 devices coming out sometime between now and 2099.

But here’s the problem: most of the people accessing Facebook from a smartphone already have an iPhone. Facebook’s going to have to make a phone that’s more compelling than the most successful smartphone in the world, and I’m not convinced that a company with no hardware sales experience is going to manage well in that regard.

Plus, if the phone’s OS is anything like Facebook itself, the user interface is going to change so often (and almost never for the better) that people are never going to get used to how the damned phone works.

Apple May Make A Splash…With The Mac (Wall Street Journal)

A bunch of analysts agree that Apple’s getting ready to launch new Macs with Retina displays.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. Here’s the problem: I want to believe that new Macs with Retina Displays are on the way. But because a bunch of clueless “analysts” predicted them, it kind of feels like the products vanished from existence the second the WSJ’s story went live.

These analysts don’t have any more information than the rest of us. They’re going off the same information we have, which is the usual slurry of rumors and made-up nonsense. Since that’s all they’ve got to go on, take their predictions as seriously as they deserve to be taken.

3-year-old iPhone 3GS primed for revival (BGR)

Some analyst claims the iPhone 3GS is going to be reduced in price and offered as a prepaid handset. As evidence, he says- hahaha, no, he didn’t offer any evidence whatsoever.

B.S. detector reading: 6/10. Apple has shown no intention of entering the prepaid market in spite of years worth of analysis claiming otherwise. About the closest the company has come to addressing the prepaid market is offering its handsets contract-free at an unsubsidised price.

The iPhone 3GS may seem like an ideal prepaid iPhone, but the question is whether Apple wants to “water down” the iPhone brand by offering such a super-cheap alternative. And given that the iPhone 3GS shares almost no components with later iPhones and iPod touches, at some point it’s simply going to be more trouble to continue building the device than it’s worth.

Likely next-generation iPhone with 3.999-inch display, 1136 x 640 resolution in testing (updated: more decimals) (9to5 Mac)

9to5 Mac makes a bold claim with initially plausible sounding numbers backing it up: the next iPhone will have a 16:9 ratio, 4-inch display at a resolution of 1136 x 640. The site throws in some official-sounding codenames and some typically cloak-and-dagger tales of phones being carried around Apple’s campuses in fake cases to disguise them.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. Even if 9to5 Mac’s story sounds mostly plausible, there’s a small problem: none of it is new. Not one iota. Not the Photoshopped mockups, not the calculated pixel resolution, not the 16:9 screen. We’ve been hearing the same thing since at least February of 2011.

An iPhone with a 16:9 screen, running apps designed for the current 3:2 screen, would run those apps “letterboxed” like a widescreen movie on a standard TV, with 88 blank pixels on either side. Some apps, including TUAW’s own app, could in theory be easily updated for that resolution. Other types of apps, particularly games, are going to take a lot more work to port to yet another resolution.

I would love it if the iPhone’s screen switched to 16:9 — that was by far my favorite of the mockups I did in February of last year — but I won’t be at all surprised if the next iPhone has exactly the same screen. But then again…

New Part Leaks Include Taller iPod Touch Front Panel, ‘iPhone 5′ Cameras

Yet another parts leak, but at least this one is more interesting than a Home button or headphone cable. MacRumors got its hands on images of an iPod touch front faceplate that seemingly matches the 16:9 aspect ratio rumored elsewhere.

B.S. detector reading: 5/10. It’d be one thing if MacRumors actually handled these parts, but all it has to go on is images from a parts supplier — images that are relatively easy to fake. That said, past parts leaks to MacRumors have panned out before, and I’m willing to give them a few bonus points just for relying on someone other than DigiTimes for a change.

As WWDC gets closer, we’re sure to hear yet more rumors surrounding the upgrades to the Mac lineup. Depending on how slow of a news week we have ahead, we’ll probably hear more about the iPad mini and Apple HDTV, too. More’s the pity.

Rumor Roundup, Episode 6: iWant to believe originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 28 May 2012 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Line2 updated to add MMS support within its network

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Line2 has an interesting premise – it lets you add a second phone number to your iPhone and turns your iPad or iPod touch into a VoIP phone. The company announced on Monday that it’s sweetening its service by adding picture and location support for iOS devices.

If your device runs iOS 5.0 or greater, you can send an MMS from one Line2 number to another Line2 number. As you would expect, the image will automatically appear within the user’s Line2 app. Unfortunately, carrier restrictions limit the usefulness of this new MMS feature as most carriers block MMS messages from a Line 2 number to a mobile number. You can send a Line2 picture message to any mobile number, but it will appear as a link the recipient must click if he or she wants to view the image on their phone.

Via Engadget

Line2 updated to add MMS support within its network originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A pair o’ docks: Edifier Tick Tock Dock and XtremeMac Luna Voyager II

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

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Alarm docks are one of the most popular genres of charging docs for iOS devices. They not only charge your device while you sleep, but help to wake you up to tunes from your device, FM radio, or auxiliary sources such as chimes. I received a couple of docks over the past month that caught my attention, and here’s a full review of both the Edifier Tock Tock Dock and XtremeMac Luna Voyager II — two very different products that do the same thing.

Gallery: Edifier Tick Tock Dock / XtremeMac Luna Voyager II

Edifier Tick Tock Dock

I’m old enough to remember the good old wind-up alarm clocks. They had several really annoying habits, like ticking way too loud and scaring the crap out of me when they went off, but in a lot of ways they had some charm. They always had two bells on the top sticking out like ears, and a round face with a dial clock. Now Edifier has come up with a fun retro-styled dock for the iPhone and iPod touch called the Tick Tock Dock (US$79.99) that brings the old round alarm clock into the future.

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Edifier is all about design, and this clever product is not only fun to look at, but works well as a alarm clock, as a charging speaker dock for your iPhone or iPod touch, and as an FM radio. The round face of the clock (which, alas, is digital) hides a big speaker as well as the dock for your iOS device. With a touch, a secret door pivots around to show the dock — once you grab your iPhone, you can close the dock to make the Tick Tock Dock look more like a clock.

Those two “bells” that stick up from the top appear to hide two smaller speaker ports. On the top of the unit is a navigation pad for your Music app, and a toggle button to switch between functions and inputs (you can hook in an external input). On the back of the Tick Tock Dock are a 9V DC IN port, the AUX IN port, and four more buttons — mode, set, down and up.

Setting the time and date on the clock is easy; you just dock your iPhone or iPod touch and it’s done. But here’s where the design begins to get a bit wonky. If you’re like me, you like to be able to check the time at night, and with your iOS device plugged into the dock to charge, you can’t see the clock face. Sure, you could hit the Home button on your device and check the time, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having a large time display on the clock, doesn’t it?

Once you’ve set the alarm — on the dock, not on the iOS device, it will start up the music at the appointed time, with the volume gradually getting louder. That navigation pad serves as a snooze button, which gives you a brief respite (10 minutes) before you have to wake up and face the day.

The sound of the Tick Tock Dock is pretty good as “clock radios” go, providing amazingly good stereo separation. It can definitely get loud enough to wake almost anyone — with the possible exception of one of my college roommates who could sleep through a direct hit by a meteor.

XtremeMac Luna Voyager II

The next dock I looked at was the XtremeMac Luna Voyager II ($69.99), a larger dock that can accommodate the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad — although not simultaneously. The Luna Voyager II has a nice demarcation of device and clock, so you can actually see the clock when your iOS device is docked. In case you were wondering, that was a not-so-subtle jab at the design of the Tick Tock Dock.

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XtremeMac refers to this as an “app-enhanced” accessory, meaning that when you dock your iOS device, you’ll get a request to download and install an app. The app is the self-named “Luna Voyager II” app, and it’s what you use to set up and use the alarms.

For setting dual alarms (one at 7:00 AM and the other at 8:30 AM, for instance), you just use the app. Tuning the radio? Use the app. Selecting a song to listen to when you wake up? The app. The Luna Voyager II app is, however, quite flawed — especially when used with an iPad.

The dock works well with an iPhone or iPod touch, with the phone sliding right onto the Dock Connector and working with the app to synchronize alarms you have set with the actual dock. With the iPad, the app doesn’t provide controls for setting the time of the alarm — a major issue. I even tried XtremeMac’s other app — Alarm Clock — but it’s not designed to work with the dock. So while you can recharge your iPad with the Luna Voyager II and play tunes through the speaker, it doesn’t work well as an alarm clock with an iPad.

The Luna Voyager II works well with the iPhone and iPod touch, but not so well with the iPad due to the lack of full app integration. I also found the iPad a bit difficult to dock on the Luna Voyager II. Some positives for the dock are that the company includes an FM radio antenna for better reception, and there’s a small plastic stand for holding up your iOS device, especially important with the iPad.

I felt that the sound quality of the Tick Tock Dock was actually better than that of the Luna Voyager II, but if you’re looking at buying the dock primarily for the purpose of using it as an alarm clock, it’s going to do the job.

Conclusion and Giveaway

Both the Edifier Tick Tock Dock and XtremeMac Luna Voyager II are nice-looking products with some subtle flaws. The Tick Tock Dock is one of the happiest-looking iPhone docks I’ve ever seen, although the design makes it impossible to see the time on the clock when an iPhone is docked. I found the lack of an integrated app to be somewhat odd, but the superior sound quality of the Tick Tock Dock more than made up for that.

The XtremeMac Luna Voyager II is more traditional looking and includes an integrated app that works quite well with the iPhone and iPod touch. The dual alarm capability is wonderful for couples with different wake-up times, and since all settings are made through the app, there’s no complicated dance to do with a bunch of buttons to get things to work.

Here’s your chance to win one of these two docks and make sure that you wake up on time every morning. To enter, just fill out the form below completely and press the submit button. Follow the rules, get your entry in early, and you can be the happy owner of one of these two docks.

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before April 15, 2012, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Two winners will be selected. One will receive an Edifier Tick Tock Dock valued at $79.99, while the other receives an XtremeMac Luna Voyager II valued at $69.99.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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A pair o’ docks: Edifier Tick Tock Dock and XtremeMac Luna Voyager II originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 13 Apr 2012 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T’s iPhone unlocking process simple but time-consuming

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

AT&T began unlocking iPhones this weekend. The unlocking process is being described as easy but long, according to a report on Electronista and forum posts at iMore.

Customers only need to provide their phone’s IMEI to AT&T online or in a store, and then they wait for Apple to unlock the phone. This wait period may be as short as a few minutes or as long as four to six days. Most customers are being told to expect to wait up to 72 hours for the unlock to go through Apple’s system.

Keep in mind that only iPhones that are out of contract are eligible for an unlock; alternatively, the customer can pay out the contract kill fee and then request the unlock. Phones that are still covered by a two-year AT&T agreement are not eligible.

AT&T’s iPhone unlocking process simple but time-consuming originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 09 Apr 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iOS users jump time zones during DST switch

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Ah, the pleasures of Daylight Saving Time. The semi-annual clock shift (known as “Summer Time” in the UK and Europe) saves energy on lighting and heating and aligns daylight hours with the times most people are active; unfortunately, the actual change leads to frayed sleep, a brief spike in traffic accidents, and frustration with gadgets that ought to know how to handle leaping an hour forward.

Apple’s devices and operating systems are by no means immune to the confounding effects of DST, as we’ve seen repeatedly over the past few years. Odd behaviors have cropped up including alarm fouls on iOS, mistaken clocks on Snow Leopard and even Siri being confused about when DST actually starts.

This year, despite substantial updates to iOS, there still appear to be a few kinks to work out. Several readers report that rather than jumping forward an hour last night as expected, their iPhone clocks actually shifted in the wrong direction — back an hour — because the automatic time zone adjustment went wonky. A reader in Nashville has a phone that thinks he’s in Mountain Time; a reader in Florida’s phone is convinced it should be on Chicago time. Our colleague Mel Martin lives in Arizona, which mostly does not observe DST at all; nevertheless, his phone (which had automatic time zone settings & location settings on) incorrectly jumped forward one hour.

Most of these issues will probably resolve themselves with a device restart, or by turning timezone automation on and off, but it’s still annoying. By now it’s probably too late to issue our regular reminder, but I’ll say it just the same: if you are depending on your iPhone as a critical, gonna-miss-my-flight, OMG-I’m-so-fired alarm clock, set a backup. Or two. In a pinch, use the countdown timer rather than the alarm clock — Siri can do that for you. For years, I’ve used a 999-minute pocket timer (a gift from SKYY Vodka inventor Maurice Kanbar) as a backup alarm, which trained me to multiply by 60 quickly; your iPhone won’t make you go through that work.

Thanks Tommy & Alexander

iOS users jump time zones during DST switch originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 10:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zomm Wireless Leash Plus keeps tabs on your gear

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

Have you ever left your iPhone somewhere? I had this happen to me back in 2008 when my iPhone accidentally slipped out of my pocket as I was getting off of an airplane. By the time I realized the phone was gone, someone else had already picked it up. This was in the pre-Find My iPhone days, so I have no idea where the phone ended up. If the Zomm Wireless Leash Plus (US$89.99) had been around just four years ago, I would have been alerted that I was walking away from my iPhone.

The Wireless Leash Plus is a small round Bluetooth device that not only warns you when you’re leaving your iPhone behind, but can be used to find your keys or anything else valuable that you attach the Leash to. That’s not all — it can also be the center of a hands-free kit for your car, as well as a tiny one-touch emergency call button. Read on for full details on how this clever device can keep you in touch with physical items in your life.

Design

The Wireless Leash Plus is tiny, about 1.62 inches in diameter and about a half-inch thick. Around the perimeter are three white areas that contain bright flashing LEDs, a micro-USB port for charging the Leash, and a metal loop for attaching the Leash to a keychain or neck strap.

Gallery: Zomm Wireless Leash Plus and Hands-Free Kit

Out of the box, the Wireless Leash can be charged through the micro-USB port in about 4 hours. According to Zomm, that will power the Leash for up to six days of standby use or two hours of use as a speakerphone. The device tells you when the battery needs charging by literally speaking “Battery Low.”

Once the Leash is charged, you need to download a small Mac app (there’s also a Windows version) that is used to set the initial configuration of the device. With the Leash paired up via Bluetooth, you can set an emergency phone number (the default is 911) and set the initial volume of the various alerts.

Now it’s time to pair the Wireless Leash Plus to your iPhone. It’s fairly easy — you just press the one and only button on the Leash (the Z button) for 6 seconds until the lights all begin flashing, and then it becomes visible in Settings > General > Bluetooth. The Leash pairs with your iPhone, and you’re ready to roll. Note that if you turn off Bluetooth, an alert shows up in Notification Center telling you that your Wireless Leash Plus is no longer attached, and the device itself begins beeping.

The first thing your iPhone will do once it is paired with a Leash is prompt you to download and install the MyZomm app (free). The app has several functions, including allowing you to find the Leash — extremely helpful if you have it attached to your keychain and have lost your keys — and geotagging things like your car’s location.

Functionality

After pairing was complete, I left my iPhone on my desk and went for a walk. Once I was about 30 feet away from the iPhone, the Leash started vibrating and flashing its LEDs. After a short while, it began beeping, and a few seconds later the volume of the beep cranked up. Let’s face it — the Leash is definitely going to get your attention. It works the other way around, too. If you have your iPhone with you and leave your keys somewhere, the Leash will start beeping.

If you’re in a situation where you want people to pay attention to you — for example, if you’re walking down a dark street and someone is following you — just hold down on the Z button for about nine seconds and it lets out a piercing siren tone. The panic button sound is easy to turn off, and will hopefully scare off any would-be muggers.

I also tried the “Find” function of the app, which was quite useful. Tapping the Find button in the app forces the Leash to emit a loud sonar sound, flash its LEDs, and vibrate. Trust me, you’ll find the Leash very quickly if it is within earshot. To turn off any of the alarms, you can tap the Z button.

One other note: if you wish, you can “connect” other Wireless Leashes to your iPhone for other easily misplaced or stolen devices. For example, attach a Wireless Leash to your computer bag so it’s not left behind or stolen at the coffee shop. You can run the MyZomm app on your iPad if you wish to keep it safe instead of your iPhone.

It’s not often that I’m able to review an accessory that has an accessory. In this case, the Zomm Wireless Leash has the $39.99 Safe Driving Kit that includes a Visor Clip, a Low-Profile USB charger and micro-USB cable for in-car charging, and another quick release keychain. The idea here is that you’ll get into your car, put the key into the ignition, release the Leash from the keychain and place it into the Visor Clip, and then use the device as a hands-free kit.

How does it work? When a call is coming into your iPhone, you tap the Z button once to redirect the call to the Leash speaker. To reject a call and send it to voice mail, you tap the Z button twice. That also works to end a call. The Leash speaker is loud; volume is controlled from your iPhone, which means that you’ll want to adjust the volume before you start driving.

One feature I wish the Zomm folks had worked into the device was a way of using it to dial the iPhone through Voice Control. I can do this with many other Bluetooth devices, and it seems odd that there’s no way to tap the Z button twice or something similar to get Voice Control to respond.

In the near future, Zomm will be introducing a “Personal Safety Concierge” service. Like those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” buttons you’ve seen on TV, this service uses the Leash or a new Lifestyle Connect fob and a mobile phone. An elderly or mobility-impaired relative can simply push the Leash button three times to contact a trained responder who directs the call to emergency services or another contact.

Conclusion

Zomm has come up with a slick product that fills a need for almost everyone. If you haven’t already lost your keys or your iPhone, you most likely will at some point. At least the Wireless Leash Plus will warn you before you’re too far away from either your phone or keychain. I also like the fact that the product can have functionality added to it in the form of the hands-free kit and the Personal Safety Concierge kit.

If there’s one negative I can think of, it’s the price. On the other hand, if you lose your keys or your iPhone, you’re going to spend a lot more money. My loss of an iPhone 3G in 2008 cost me about $500, since my AT&T contract wasn’t yet finished, and when I lost my car and house keys back in my youth, it cost me about the same amount to replace the keys and change the house locks.

One other “cost” you should consider is reduced battery life on your iPhone. It will be actively communicating with the Wireless Leash Plus all the time, unless you either turn off the phone or the Leash.

For the forgetful geek in all of us, Zomm’s Wireless Leash Plus is an unique and unobtrusive iPhone accessory that can keep your valuables safe.

Zomm Wireless Leash Plus keeps tabs on your gear originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 20 Feb 2012 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Some Verizon customers received GSM-provisioned iPhones

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

You’ve got to feel for Frank G., who shared this story of holiday woe on the WWW Artist’s Consortium mailing list. He ordered a Verizon iPhone 4S, and received it, but when he tried to activate it — no joy.

Frank spent an hour and a half on the phone with Verizon tech support in an effort to activate, until they finally sussed out the problem: the phone wasn’t allocated for Verizon. Rather than attaching to Big Red’s CDMA network as it should, the phone was apparently set up with a GSM SIM that thought it was intended for one of Vodafone’s overseas networks. We know the 4S is a worldphone but this is a bit much, no?

Frank returned his phone to a New York-area Verizon retail store, where they confirmed that indeed the phone was improperly provisioned; unfortunately now he has to wait a couple more weeks for his new device. The store techs reportedly said that at least 10 other people had come in with the same issue that day.

It seems like we would have heard more commotion about this problem if it was truly widespread, but let us know: have you gotten a mismatched Verizon iPhone this holiday?

Thanks Laurie!

Some Verizon customers received GSM-provisioned iPhones originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 30 Dec 2011 09:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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FaceMan 3.2 Released – Reinventing the Photo Booth Fun in Your Pocket

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

Milano, Italy – Libero Spagnolini today is pleased to announce the release and immediate availability of FaceMan 3.2, the critically acclaimed iPhone app that introduces tons of new features, a brand new UI and bring a strong performance boost on iOS 5 devices.

The real fun starts when you use the cool effects that FaceMan is able to render. Based on a streamlined and super easy to use interface, FaceMan sports 24 incredible effects, and pushes the limits of what is possible on a mobile device. FaceMan is sure to provide many hours of fun that you can share with your friends.

FaceMan 3.2 is distilled with a super polished UI to get things done in less taps and more fun, a completely redesigned album with brand settings that lets you customized FaceMan in depth. The app also comes with a great built in album that lets you collect all your coolest effects.

A lot of most wanted feature requests made it in 3.2 and here are a few:
* New UI, with improved navigation controls
* Automatically save to device photo library
* Captures are now saved at native camera resolution
* New sharing feature to Facebook, Twitter
* New help overlay
* Improved performance especially on iOS 5 devices

Customer reviews have been terrific:
“This is by far the best real-time video FX app available.
Why would I lie?
Download it and see for yourself…..
If I’m wrong you can call me a liar….
Ahh yea!!!”

“This is a great & hilarious app . it takes the funniest pictures ever . you wont regret buying it . better then any other FX app out there .”

“This app is awesome! Reminds me of playing with PhotoBooth with my wife at the Apple Store for the first time, but now I can carry it around in my pocket!”

“Love it. Acts like Photo Booth but on your phone. Worth 1.99″

“Wow, this is a killer app – it is better than PhotoBooth for the iPhone, use interface is super simple and nice clean sounds let you know that you pressed the right button (to save to album in app, to save again to camera roll etc) … effects are amazing … the best two buck photoapp I’ve seen and deserves to be shortlisted alongside Hipstamatic as a must have … within seconds I was sending mug shots to my girlfriend via mms … awesome stuff!”

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
FaceMan 3.2 is priced $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo & Video category.

FaceMan 3.2
Purchase and Download
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Located in Milano, Italy, Libero Spagnolini is an independent developer. Whether you want to report a problem, suggest a new feature or just say hello, we want to hear from you! Copyright (C) 2011 Libero Spagnolini. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

New iPhone App Takes Personal Safety to a Whole New Level

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

Fredericksburg, Texas – With the push of ONE button, an emergency alert is sent to several contacts, video evidence is captured, GPS location is updated every minute on a google map and through streaming audio from the phone ALL emergency contacts can be updated as to exactly what the situation is and what type of help is needed.

One of the most important features of the myGuardianAngel app is that since the emergency contacts are the person’s most trusted friends and family members, it isn’t necessary to wait for something bad to happen. At the first sign of danger, a bad situation or when a stranger approaches, when a date gets aggressive, when a person must walk to their car alone, when an abusive spouse becomes a threat or when someone unexpected is at the door the “HELP” button can be pushed. Should it be a false alarm simply saying “everything is ok” into the phone lets ALL emergency contacts know that everything is ok. If something bad happens then the emergency contacts have all of the information they need to provide help.

Another feature of the app is the ability to call 911 with the push of one button while simultaneously sending a message to each emergency contact stating that 911 was just called along with the location of the event. An additional feature is designed for a discreet situation such as a date, party or domestic violence situation. The app contains several other features designed to help keep a person safe. The app sends all information to a secure web site for viewing with total user control and the ability for emergency contacts to download the information onto their computer or phone. This means that destroying the victim’s phone does not destroy the evidence.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (4th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* 4.3 MB

Pricing and Availability:
MyGuardianAngel 1.0 is $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. A portion of profits from the sale of the app will be donated to charities for the missing, abused, abducted or molested.

MyGuardianAngel 1.0
Purchase and Download
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DS Apps LLC is a company dedicated to personal safety. Copyright (C) 2011 DS Apps LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.