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 -
As we close out Device Theft Awareness Month, we wanted to talk about laptop security. We've already covered the device theft statistics, alongside a bunch of ways to protect yourself from smartphone theft. Some may argue that notebooks are even more of a danger to lose than a smartphone, due to the vast amount of personal data stored on them that can be lost or fall into the wrong hands, as well as the cost of replacement. Let's talk about some of the ways to protect both your investment and your data.
1. Password protect your computer. Regardless of whether you use a PC, Mac, or Linux, you have the option of settings up a lock screen barrier where you'll need to enter a password, custom swipe, image touch, or other secure option. It's a small step that some may find to be an annoyance, but it's an easy (and free) first line of defense in case someone is able to snatch up your device.
As we mentioned last week, we're celebrating Device Theft Awareness Month in conjunction with Absolute LoJack. We gave you a rundown of just how big a problem device theft is nowadays, with over 3 million people becoming victims of smartphone theft just last year alone. It's a growing problem that you can protect yourself from, and this week we wanted to share three tips that you can do to avoid permanently losing your device or data in the event of loss.
1. Create a passcode for your device. This is a simple method of protecting the data that lives on your device in the event of loss or theft. Some Android devices will allow you to set a pattern instead of an alphanumeric code, and the iPhone 5s and later lets you use Touch ID fingerprint recognition. Any of these are a better option than not protecting the home screen of your device, which will let prying eyes get to anything on your product.
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