Otterbox is no stranger to iPhone cases that provide serious amounts of protection, and the Defender case was proof of that. Now with the recent release of the Armor Series case – one Otterbox calls the “toughest case ever built” – your iPhone 5 is finally safe from the ill-effects of water damage. Besides being waterproof, the Armor case boasts protection against dust, 10 foot drops and can even withstand two tons of crushing force.
There are quite a few excellent apps that’ll turn your iPhone into a wireless mouse for your Mac/PC (Mobile Mouse being one of them), but one company is looking to drastically improve upon the experience with a tiny peripheral called the Mauz. Combined with a dedicated app, the Mauz (the first of its kind in the ‘appcessory’ world) essentially will turn your iPhone into a motion and visual gesture controlled wireless mouse.
Several months ago, I accidentally dropped my iPad 3 on the ground as the Smart Cover I was holding detached itself from the tablet. Sadly, the screen got banged up and several inches of scratch marks were made. Thankfully Apple replaced it for free and gave me a brand new iPad – this despite not having the extended AppleCare+ warranty. Now if I had bothered putting on a worthy screen protector, the iPad’s display wouldn’t have been damaged in the first place. Since then, I’ve gone through several brands (mostly the cheap ones), though all of them left much to be desired for one reason or another. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. That’s when I decided to finally skip the junk and try out some of the “premium” screen protectors out there, like the hugely popular ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs. In particular, the invisibleSHIELD Extreme for the iPhone 5 and High Definition shield for the iPad 3/4.
The new version of the iBooks app showcased during this afternoon’s Media Event is now live on the App Store. The 3.0 update shows all your ebooks purchases in the cloud right from the bookshelf (iOS 6 only), as well as an all new scroll theme that lets you continously scroll through your ebooks should you wish to ditch the page turns. And sharing quotes is now made possible by highlighting selected text, and sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, Messages or Mail. Here’s the complete list of What’s New:
Introducing iBooks 3
• See all your iBookstore purchases in iCloud—right on your bookshelf with iOS 6
• Scroll vertically through your books with the flick of a finger using the new Scroll theme
• Receive free updates to purchased books—including new chapters, corrections, and other improvements
• Look up definitions for words in German, Spanish, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese with iOS 6
• Share quotes or thoughts about your favorite book with friends on Facebook, Twitter, Messages, or Mail
Apple, iBooks – Free
Camera+, one of the most popular and feature-laden third party camera apps for the iPhone, has just become the first app to support the iPhone 5’s dynamic low light mode. As explained on stage during the official unveiling, the iPhone 5’s camera provides up to 2 f-stops greater low light performance, meaning it can go all the way up to 3200 ISO when needed (vs 800 previously). As explained by Scott Meinzer of TapTapTap:
Apple has added the ability for the sensor in the iPhone 5 to take pictures at 4 times the sensitivity. If you’re a camera buff this means the ISO can go from a limit of 800 before, up to 3200 now!
We’re excited to announce that Camera+ 3.5.1 supports extended low-light shooting on the iPhone 5! To show you exactly what this means we’ve taken a comparison photo with Camera+ on the iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5 with new low-light mode. It adds some additional noise, as you can see in the 100% zoom, but it also enables you to take photos you wouldn’t have been able to take otherwise.
While Google has no plans yet for a dedicated iOS 6 Maps app, iOS 6 users (particularly those with an iPhone 5) finally have access to Google Street View for when the need to look up local hotspots in a virtual 360 view arises. If you’ve ever used this amazing tool before, you know just how handy it can be when trying to locate a particular landmark. This is now possible on the latest OS thanks to an updated Google Maps web app, which can be accessed from mobile browsers like Safari or Chrome. Simply head over to maps.google.com on your iDevice, look up a point of interest in the search bar and ballon-shaped markers will be displayed on the map. Tap on one of them and an info bar will appear at the bottom, with options to call, get directions and a person icon for enabling Street View (if not available for the location, it’ll be greyed out). Conversely, you can simply tap on any POIs on the map to bring up said info bar.
As I mentioned in my review of the iPhone 5, battery life was certainly a concern during the first several days of use. The battery drained at an alarming rate of 1% every 3-4 minutes with just basic web browsing (3G on, LTE off), and during the first 2 days, my phone would lose 20-30% overnight while on standby. With my iPhone 4, it would drain no more than 1 or 2% throughout the night. Not surprisingly, after searching online for similar cases, I soon found that many iPhone 5 users were also experiencing poor battery performance. Furthermore, those who upgraded to iOS 6 with their iPhone 3GS/4/4S were also finding that they weren’t getting nearly as much juice out of their phones. Not wanting to exchange my iPhone 5 a second time unless I really had to (i.e defective battery), I tried a number of “fixes” in hopes of rectifying the issue. Thankfully, they seem to be working and I’m starting to see some improvements.
If you’ve ever been told that size doesn’t matter and actually believed the lies, just watch this (hilarious) iPhone 5 ad. Yes, it’s taller even than the 4″ display and features BodyTime (now let your imagination go wild), single snap Panoramic Mode, dramatically improved reception and ‘ultra’ HD widescreen. Your shiny new iPhone 5 doesn’t look as cool anymore, does it?[Zagg Blog]
Now that we know Google won’t be releasing a standalone Google Maps app anytime soon, it maybe time to explore other options on the App Store if you’re adamant against using Apple’s own Maps app. Like this one here: Scout by Telenav. An award winning nav app for mobile devices, Telenav is currently offering a 1 year subscription to Scout Plus absolutely free (normally $24.99). With Plus, you’ll get all these features:
- Our 3D turn-by-turn navigation with voice
- Traffic rerouting
- Offline navigation for when you drive out of cell coverage
- Lane Assist, which helps you figure out what lane you should be in
- Speed Traps & Red Light Camera Alerts
- Search for the cheapest gas near you
It’s even got a little Siri happening as you can use your voice to tell the app what you’re looking for or where you want to go. Additionally, you can download offline maps for in the event you lose cell coverage while driving. Best of all, it appears that Scout’s turn-by-turn navigation even works on the now 3 year old iPhone 3GS. Grab the app via the link or check out the promo videos for Scout below.
TeleNav, Inc., Scout by Telenav – Free
There’s certainly plenty to like about iOS 6, but unfortunately, one of its most touted features – Apple’s own Maps app – has been a fairly huge disappoint for many users. From missing POIs to warped 3D maps, and at times questionable turn-by-turn instructions, it’s been ridiculed to no end. And just when you were hoping that Google would come save the day with their release of a standalone Google Maps app for iOS 6, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt confirmed earlier today that nothing is in the works at the moment. This according to Reuters:
“We have not done anything yet. We think it would have been better if [Apple] had kept ours. But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”