Reviews

Sound To Go Plus portable audio system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac review

If you’re like me you absolutely hate -- hate! -- the weak speaker performance of your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook Air, Edifier has made the Sound To Go Plus, a quality built auxiliary audio system that's as portable as your Apple devices.

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iPhone 5 review

The iPhone 5 was, is, and remains inevitable. An iPhone, new to be certain, but still an iPhone. Some say this is a sign Apple has lost their drive for innovation. Others, a sign Apple has kept their sense of focus. Both are facets of a single truth -- that through craft something is revolutionized, refined, and one day, replaced. The question then becomes, where is the iPhone 5 along this continuum? Is it a boring, uninspired, end-of-line update that should have Apple desperately seeking to once again "think different", or is it iconically, deceptively, insanely great enough to delight customers, inspire developers, and once again drive the entire industry forward?

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New Apple EarPods vs. original earbuds: Should you upgrade?

If you haven't yet upgraded to the iPhone 5, can you get some of that iPhone 5 experience by upgrading to Apple's new EarPods earbuds? At $29 they're not as expensive as high-end earpieces, but they're not exactly cheap either. Compared to the original Apple earbuds, the ones that shipped with every iPhone, iPod, and iPad up until the iPhone 5, are they a worthwhile upgrade, or are you better off waiting and just getting them for "free" with your next iOS device?

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Weather 2x for iPhone and iPad review

Weather 2x is an iPhone and iPad app that will make even the worst of weather condition look amazing -- especially on the iPhone 5's new display. The information provided by Weather 2x includes the current condition and a 5-day forecast that can be broken up into 3-hour intervals. Weather 2x does not include in-depth details about the weather, like radars, but rather focuses on bringing the most important information to you in an elegant and beautiful package.

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iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S vs iPad 3 vs Android: Benchmark shootout

For some, simply knowing that the new iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the last iPhone is enough. But some of us want numbers. We want to know how much faster. Sure, Apple typically brings experience to a spec fight, but it's the specs that drive the experience. It's the engine in the meticulously appointed car. It's the stats behind the championship team. It's the science behind the art.

So with that in mind we ran the iPhone 5 through a whole battery of benchmarks, and to give it some context we put it up head to head, device to device against the iPhone 4S, iPad 3, and added in scores for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and a sampling of other competing phones.

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iOS 6 in 6 minutes

If you don't have time to read our definitive iOS 6 review but you still want to see all the highlights -- Maps, Siri extensions, Passbook, Guided Access, Shared Photo Streams, and more -- then here's everything you need to know about iOS 6 in just 6 minutes.

iOS 6 includes 10 major and, according to Apple, 200 new user features overall. It may not be as audacious as iPhone OS 2 was with the App Store, or iOS 5 was with iCloud, and Maps may cause some pain for some users for some time, but it does set the foundation for Apple's platform going forward.

To find out much, much more, head on over to our iOS 6 review.

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iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 3GS vs. iPhone design evolution gallery

The iPhone 5 Apple's 6th version, and 4th major design revision, of the iPhone. It might well have been inevitable, and still be working its way towards Jonathan Ive's Platonic ideal, but it's also a fascinating visual evolution of case shrinking, screen lengthening, and materials improving over generations.

We've done the iPhone 5 in both stunning portrait, and in intimate macro. Here's the Darwinian march of iPhone designs through the years, from the original 2007 iPhone to the 2009 iPhone 3GS to the 2011 iPhone 4S to the brand new 2012 iPhone 5.

Here are the backs, from aluminum to plastic to glass and back to aluminum.

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A macro look at the iPhone 5 in micro-fine detail

We've already shown you just how stunning the new design looks in our iPhone 5 gallery but we also want to go in for a much closer look at all the little details. Apple is manufacturing the iPhone 5 using some incredibly advanced equipment and tolerances measured in microns. The backing is anodized 6000 series aluminum with ceramic or pigmented glass inlays. The iSight camera is covered by sapphire crystal and the beveled edges are cut by crystalline diamond. It's been said the iPhone 5 is closer in kind to a luxury time piece than what's traditionally passed for consumer electronics.

How much of that is just marketing and ad copy, and how much is reality undistorted? If the details matter that much to Apple, how well did they execute on those details? Let's take a really close look...

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iPhone 5 photo gallery

The iPhone 5 isn't just one of the most advanced pieces of consumer electronics ever made, Apple has taken the design and manufacturing itself well beyond the next level. Measured now in microns, the precision is as impressive as it is ephemeral -- easily seen in the fit and finish of every part up close, but disappearing instantly when you start using it, when it just becomes the phone, internet communicator, or widescreen iPod in your hand.

So lets take a moment to appreciate the iPhone 5 as object, as a piece of industrial design, as the craftsman of Apple and Jonathan Ive and Bob Mansfield and their teams, as a thing of beauty.

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iOS 6 review

iOS 6 is a software update divided against itself. Apple claims over 200 new user-facing features, which is the same if not more than previous versions of iOS. Many of these are good and solid, reducing the friction and increasing the functionality of iOS, and delightfully so. But a lot of it them are also about Apple and the future of their platform.

In that regard, iOS 6 is nowhere near as audacious as iOS 2, which brought the App Store, or iOS 5, which cut the iTunes cord, took us to the iCloud, and brought Siri along for the ride. It doesn't remove user and developer pain points the way iOS 3 did with cut/copy/paste or iOS 4 did with multitasking. iOS 6 is more of a soft-reset and a way to set the stage for iterations to come. It strips Google almost completely out of iOS and introduces an all-new Maps app and increased Siri intermediation. It introduces Passbook, which isn't a digital wallet, but does provide a single repository for tickets and balances, and starts to make mobile transactions convenient and comfortable. It abstracts and outsources sharing with new Facebook and enhanced Twitter integration, so Apple no longer has to worry about creating awkward new networks of their own. And it increases support for China, which has become a hugely important market for Apple.

But if iOS 6 is about Apple and the future, what does that mean for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users today? Is there still enough here, individually and in sum, to make it a compelling and competitive update?

Let's find out...

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