The sun will set on 2014 in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, with the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The launch of the WWE Network was also groundbreaking, and our walkthrough proved to be the second most popular video of the year. Other items, like a tutorial on upgrading Xbox One controllers, a look at the Fitbit Force, and a how-to on installing the Nest Protect also proved popular as well.
A few weeks ago, Gear Live threw down and kicked off the holiday season with the 2014 Gear Live Holiday Bash, and now we've got the pictures to prove it. At the event, I presented my picks for the best holiday gadgets, along with help from my friends Jess Estrada (of FreshJess), GeekWire, Drew Morrison, and New Tech Seattle. We had Seattle's VellVett perform, as well as "Kid Sensation" Xola Malik. Blitz, the mascot for the current Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, made an appearance as well. It was a great night full of food, music, and gadgets giveaways.
We've got to give a warm shout-out to the sponsors who helped make the 2014 Gear Live Holiday Bash possible, and sending the attendees home with awesome gifts: Monster, AT&T Seattle, and Rhapsody.
Click on over to check out the full 2014 Gear Live Holiday Bash photo gallery.
It's Christmas morning, and it's a Thursday, which means you have the whole day to play with your new toys (barring any crazy family functions that aim to pry you away!) while taking a day off. We just wanna know one thing--what'd you get? Anything that was listed on our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide? Anything obscure? Any straight up ridiculous gifts that seemingly came out of left field? We wanna hear it all! Lay it on us in the comments!
It's time for our next holiday giveaway, and today we've got two! We're giving away an Orbotix Sphero 2.0, along with the brand new Orbotix Ollie. These two little robots are controlled over Bluetooth using your smartphone or tablet, and are fun for people of any age. While Sphero 2.0 lets you play, learn, and explore, Ollie is the robot driven by adrenaline, engineered for speed.
Here's how this is gonna go down: First place gets the new Ollie, and the runner up walks away with Sphero 2.0. Ready to enter? Go get it:
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
Honorable Mention: Roku 3 Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
SOL REPUBLIC Tracks are the first interchangeable on-ear headphones featuring V8 Sound Engine speakers, switchable cables, and "Sound Track" headbands. SOL REPUBLIC engineers developed a proprietary new polymer called FlexTech, which makes them virtually indestructible, and we're recommending them in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. the company actually stands behind that claim, as you get a 1,000 day warranty on each SOL REPUBLIC headband. they just won't break. For total comfort, the team designed the Tracks ear cushions to be large and lightweight. Tracks offer the optimal balance of size, style, sound and comfort and are available in black, white and red. You can pick up a pair on Amazon for $99.
Read More | SOL REPUBLIC Tracks headphones
We're music fans here at Gear Live (seriously, check out the Gear Live Rdio channel!) so we wanna make sure to include great music gadgets in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos PLAY:1. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos PLAY:1 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos PLAY:1, which itself you can get for $199 from Sonos, or order from Amazon and get a free Sonos Bridge included with purchase!
You can use a pair of Play:1, Play:3, or Play:5 units to create wide stereo sound as well!
Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop you can enter our iPhone 6 giveaway! The device is hard to come by in stores, is backordered online, and is the most popular smartphone on the market right now. And we're giving one away.
Here's how this is gonna go down: The grand prize winner will walk away with a $650 Apple Store gift card, which will allow you to select the iPhone 6 of your choice. Ready to enter? Go get it:
iOS 8 is the follow-up to last years radical redesign of Apple’s mobile operating system. After the visual overhaul, the company went to work on adding a bunch of features that would make its devices more open with features like extensions and third-party keyboards, yet more secure with improved permissions and more widespread Touch ID integration. With iOS 8, Apple looks to refine the experience that was introduced last year, while allowing features for the power users of the world to shine.
It’s been shown that Apple follows a two-step release process with its iOS device hardware and software. For example, one year the company will release a new design for the iPhone, and the following year it’ll keep that design and refine the device, releasing it as an “S” class upgrade. iOS seems to follow a similar pattern, especially this year, which follows last year’s big redesign. With iOS 8, Apple has introduced a layer of polish on top of its mobile operating system, bringing with it a bevy of new features. The question remains, do all the changes come together in a meaningful way? Join us for our full iOS 8 review as we explore the answer.
There are few things in a home that say “sophisticated class” like a home bar when it’s done right. Rather than meeting at the local bar, invite some guests over to your place for drinks, and show them that there’s more to it then the simple choice of shaken or stirred. Each of these items is sure to impress at your next cocktail party.
Izola Measurements Cocktail Shaker
When upgrading your at-home cocktail setup from "dive bar" to "high-roller club,” remember that a well-prepared drink is what matters more than anything. We’ll get to the other cool stuff in a moment, but we had to start off with the Izola Measurements Cocktail Shaker. Izola’s vessel has a list of the most common drink measurements engraved into the steel, so your Vespers are sure to be Bond-worthy every time. $36 -