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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

10 clever tricks you can do with your iPhone earpods

The Unofficial Apple Weblog

That's what Apple calls them, by the way — "earpods." At least, that's what they call their newest ones. But John-Michael Bond's list of 10 things you can do with earpods (TUAW) will work with any of Apple's three-button headphone remotes. Fast-forward and rewind, handle incoming calls and more, all without pulling your iPhone from your pocket.

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Dozens of iPhone tricks you've probably never heard of

Boy Genius Report

Boy Genius Report called attention over the weekend to a pair of articles ticking off tons of iPhone tricks and features that you might not know are actual things — but that would save you tons of time and headaches, impress your friends and family members, make you the life of your next cocktail party, etc., etc.

Many are fairly well known. You can shake your iPhone to undo whatever you just typed. You can set up custom vibration alerts for your contacts, much the same way you'd set up custom ringtones. Others are probably more niche: You can teach Siri the correct pronunciation of words and names that she's been mangling, for example.

See if there are any tips in here of interest to you:

CNET: 20 iPhone tips you'll wish you knew all along

Wiki Pac: 21 things you probably didn't know your iPhone could do

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Sooner or later, it all comes down to power

Cobra's CPP 300 SP opens to expose two solar panels. It can also be charged using a build-in plug (left) that fits into a standard USB port on a computer or wall adapter. It can charge three devices at once, with a built-in 5V/1A micro USB cord (right) and two standard USB sockets — one that provides extra oomph (5v/2.1A) for charging an iPad or other tablet, and the other providing enough juice (5V/1A) to charge a phone or iPod.

Cobra Electronics Corp.

Cobra's CPP 300 SP opens to expose two solar panels. It can also be charged using a build-in plug (left) that fits into a standard USB port on a computer or wall adapter. It can charge three devices at once, with a built-in 5V/1A micro USB cord (right) and two standard USB sockets — one that provides extra oomph (5v/2.1A) for charging an iPad or other tablet, and the other providing enough juice (5V/1A) to charge a phone or iPod.

There are a couple interesting posts out there today about gadgets that can help power your phone or tablet when you're traveling or your home Internet during a power outage. I can't vouch for either of them personally, but I'm definitely intrigued.

The Wirecutter picked Cobra's CPP 300 SP as its best solar battery pack: "It gives you more power, faster charging, and a better-designed chassis than anything else currently available. Thanks to its dual-folding panels that you can angle towards the sun, it charges quickly in bright light and continues to charge late in the day, even under partly cloudy conditions and when obstructed from direct light. It also conveniently has built-in cords for input and output and the ability to charge two devices at once. What’s more, it was the only model equipped with a 2.1-amp port capable of charging high-draw devices like a tablet at full speed. Basically, it had the best design and the most complete feature set." …

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If you need something like Dropbox that's not Dropbox, here are a few ideas

Macworld.com

I love Dropbox. I've tried a few competitors — Google Drive, Box.com, SugarSync, SkyDrive (now OneDrive) — and I still use Box.com. But Dropbox is the only one of those services I'm willing to pay for. I just haven't found an easier, more reliable alternative for saving something on one doohickey and opening it on that other one over there.

All the same, Macworld's excellent Christopher Breen offers his thoughts today if you're looking for an alternative. One caveat: iPhone, iPad and iPod users might want to consider iCloud Drive — even though they won't get a gander at how it works until they see iOS 8, Apple's next operating system software upgrade due in the fall.

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