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Nomad ChargeKey review: a must-have iPhone charger for your keychain

ChargeKey_hero-3When it comes to my phone, I’m not a big accessories guy. I own a spare charging cable and way too many cases, but no crazy docks, speakers, camera lenses, alarm clocks, styli, or game controllers. However, after spending a week testing Nomad’s ChargeKey, it has become the one iPhone accessory I will never leave home without.

Simply put, the ChargeKey is a tiny Lightning cable for your iPhone 5 or 5S. It’s designed and shaped like a house key, and it’s meant to live on your keychain so you always have it with you. It’s an emergency charger for those panic moments when you’re out and about and your battery hits the red. On one end is a standard USB to plug into a computer, external battery pack, or even a wall charger, and on the other end is an Apple-certified Lightning connector. Plug the ChargeKey into your laptop, connect the Lightning end to your phone, and voila – you’re charging. Plain and simple. The ChargeKey also works with most other Lightning-equipped Apple devices, including the iPhone 5C, the iPad Air, and iPad mini.

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Evomail+ 2.0.1 update brings iPad support, bug fixes

EvomailPlusiPadFollowing the app’s launch last week, Evomail+ has been updated to version 2.0.1 today. The standout feature of this release is iPad support; though not a dedicated experience – for now the iPad UI is a blown-up version of the iPhone app – the app now runs fullscreen on an iPad, and Evomail believes it still delivers users a “quality experience” for the time being. The company is planning a customized iPad UI for a future update. Furthermore, Evomail says they are busy improving their EvoCloud backend, noting that they’ve added a number of new servers since launch. A good sign that will hopefully help improve their server-side infrastructure, as I noted some issues with EvoCloud in my review last week.

The update also includes your standard bug fixes and other improvements. Evomail+ for iOS 7 is available for free on the App Store.

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Staying Charged at CES

CES-2014

I went to CES last week. Unlike last year when we descended on Las Vegas for the full six days required for journalists to fully exhaust themselves among a flurry of PR pitches and devices that won’t make it out of January, I decided it was a good idea to get everything done in one day.

To accomplish this, I would need to assemble a setup that could survive 9 hours of flights, 11 hours on the ground with no extended outlet access (more than 10 minutes), and that was light and small enough to carry around in one bag. This wasn’t going to be your typical journo-mega-conference bag — I had to narrow my choices down to five devices. An iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, 13” Macbook Pro with Retina Display (late-2013), Anker Astro Mini, and a ChargeKey.

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Evomail+ for iPhone arrives as a rebuilt, redesigned email client for iOS 7

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I think it’s safe to say we all have a love/hate relationship with our email. We either get too much of it to deal with, we hate the way it works, or we hate the app we are forced to use to get it. Personally, I don’t hate email itself, and I usually don’t get very much of it. But like many people, I hate the apps I have to use to get my email. Apple’s Mail.app on iOS and OS X is barebones, tired, and does not support modern email features like labels and stars. I don’t like web apps, so I refuse to use Gmail, Hotmail, or IMAP in a browser. Google’s Gmail app for Android is pretty good, but their stock “other” Mail app leaves much to be desired. And don’t even get me started on Microsoft Outlook.

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Design Thoughts: The Edit Menu

A few weeks go, it was brought to my attention again, through a conversation with my grandmother, that editing contacts or other items such as mail messages seem to be an odd practice at first and not intuitive. Even in the previous iOS 6 interface, this button always appeared to be an odd concept. Odd in the sense that new users, the thousands I’ve worked with, have a difficult time distinguishing what its purpose is. It may sound obvious to a common computer user, because the edit menu is where we go to cut, copy, and paste such as in word processing. However, many newborn users of iOS, even after reading the edit button, exploring for options, reading a manual, etc., do not know what the word means on a mobile device or why they should edit in the first place.

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And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone’

Fred Vogelstein, The New York Times:

It’s hard to overstate the gamble Jobs took when he decided to unveil the iPhone back in January 2007. Not only was he introducing a new kind of phone — something Apple had never made before — he was doing so with a prototype that barely worked. Even though the iPhone wouldn’t go on sale for another six months, he wanted the world to want one right then. In truth, the list of things that still needed to be done was enormous. A production line had yet to be set up. Only about a hundred iPhones even existed, all of them of varying quality. Some had noticeable gaps between the screen and the plastic edge; others had scuff marks on the screen. And the software that ran the phone was full of bugs.

A fantastic, behind the scenes recount of what took place in the years, months, and days leading up to the original iPhone unveiling on January 9, 2007. This is like the missing chapter from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography – all the cool stuff us nerds wanted to know about how the first iPhone was developed and launched. A definite must read.

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So where’s the 5-inch iPhone?

Rene Ritchie, iMore

When people said they wanted a netbook, Apple understood they wanted lighter and smaller, and gave them the MacBook Air, and cheaper, and gave them the iPad. When people said they wanted multitasking on iOS, Apple understood they wanted to play Pandora while surfing the web or answer Skype calls while checking their email, and gave them specific API for just that. When people say they want bigger iPhones so its easier to read and they can see more content, Apple might, for example, give them iOS 7 Text Kit and deference and call it a day.

People tend to describe the solutions they think they need rather than the problems they’re experiencing, yet many companies respond to the former rather than doing the much harder job of figuring out the latter. Not Apple. Apple figures the hell out of that type of stuff.

Well put, Mr. Ritchie! One of my favourite Steve Jobs quotes is, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”, which is a philosophy to live by at Apple. Rather than going for the most obvious solution, Apple aims to find different and often times better ways of fixing a problem. They took their first stab at addressing the “more content” problem with the taller 4-inch Retina display last year. iOS 7 takes that one step further by introducing shrinking and disappearing nav bars and UI elements, allowing even more of the chrome to get out of the way of the content. Just imagine how great the larger screened iPhone will be when it finally does appear, coupled with a comfortable 16:9 aspect ratio and the space-savvy iOS 7 UI.

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Apple Will Refresh The iPhone 5 With Colorful Plastic

The world’s biggest technology company has another trick up its sleeve. Making a slight shift from its one iPhone per year schedule, Apple will unveil two iPhones this year. According to our source, along with its customary brand new iPhone, Apple will refresh the iPhone 5, adding a colorful touch. The refreshed iPhone 5 and the new iPhone will be announced at a September 18 event, a date previously reported by CE: The MagazineUpdate: First reported by AllThingsD, multiple sources have indicated the event date is September 10.

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