Sunday, August 21, 2016

iphone Famous Widgets

With the Dashboard X tweak hitting Cydia recently, and looking forward to become one of the most popular packages we have seen for quite a while, the question which is surely going to be asked is  – what widgets are currently available for Dashboard X? There are very few, in fact only two, I believe, at the time of writing, widgets that were actually created specifically for Dashboard X. But luckily for us all, the majority of Notification Center widgets work flawlessly with Dashboard X.

Every user will obviously want different things from their device, and will certainly have their own vision of how to effectively use their home screen space considering now that it can house widgets. With that said, I have listed seven of the best widgets for Dashboard X which I find extremely useful.

NCSettings is one of the most accomplished and highly polished widget that has been made available for Notification Center. The package is essentially the one that allows a number of different system settings to be toggled on or off, or tweaked to quickly suit users tastes. The NCSettings widget comes with its own preferences bundle with the Settings app that allows individual entries be edited to display them in the order of prominence, or most useful to the user.

When installed and used through Dashboard X, users will have the option of gaining quick access to things like Wi-Fi, 3G data, Bluetooth, a flashlight, orientation lock, airplane mode device volume, amongst numerous others. NCSettings is available as a free of charge download from the ModMyi repository.


Dashboard X wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory Twitter based widget that allows users to quickly send out tweets directly from their Springboard pages. The Dashtweet widget is built around the native iOS 5 Twitter framework that Apple added in October, meaning that it provides users with the benefits of being deeply integrated into the OS. The widget obviously offers the ability to post a quick tweet, but there is actually quite a more to it when you dig below the surface.

Dashtweet removes the need for users to give access to a Twitter account as it takes the information directly from the Twitter accounts that are specified through the native Settings application. The user interface features a character count section as well as settings to be able to change the text color of the tweet to suit any potential theme that may be running on the phone. Finally, the widget offers integration with the Pastie service to allow tweets longer than Twitter’s standard 140 characters. The Dashtweet widget is available as free of charge download from the BigBoss repository.

WeeKillBackground Pro

WeeKillBackground Pro allows users to access the multitasking aspect of the device and quickly terminate all currently running applications with a simple tap of one button. For one reason or another, Apple decided to only allow users to natively remove apps from the background by manually putting the icons into edit mode and then deleting them one by one. One of the main benefits of this type of device house-keeping is freeing up RAM for better performance.

When installed, WeeKillBackground Pro comes with a number of configurable options that allow users to change the look and feel of the button that appears on the widget, as well as the behavior of the tweak itself. WeeKillBackground Pro is available as a commercial tweak from the BigBoss repository.

Calendar Widget

The calendar function of any mobile device is by far one of the most useful and most used but sometimes having to go through the native calendar application is just time consuming. The Calendar widget is an attractive, simple and engaging option for those who want quick access to their schedule through Notification Center or Dashboard X.

The widget has no actual configurable options, but fits in very nicely with the good looks of the iOS interface. After installation, it displays a month view with the option to swipe left and right through the next and previous months. Calendar for Notification Center is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repository

SlyCam Widget

SlyCam, originally developed for use within Notification Center, is a very useful but somewhat unique piece of work. SlyCam essentially provides users with the ability to take photographs in a covert fashion. I am pretty sure we have all been in a position where we wanted to take a sneaky picture without making it too obvious and SlyCam helps users achieve that.

When activated, a simple ‘+’ button activates the camera with a live view finder actually appearing within the widget interface itself. Tapping the ‘+’ button for a second time snaps the photograph and saves the image directly to the device camera roll. SlyCam is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repository.


Google, YouTube, Wikipedia – when searching for information, the number of available resources can be quite overwhelming. The WeeSearch widget offers a quick and simple search solution, making use of a segmented control to allow users to specify a particular site to search.

After tapping’ Search’, the specified criteria is opened up within Mobile Browser with the returned results. The purpose of this particular tweak is to be able to quickly search the world wide web while saving space and time. The WeeSearch widget is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repository.

Clock Widget

We all lead extremely busy lives and therefore need to keep on track of the time to make sure we don’t miss any important appointments, or the latest episode of our favorite TV show. In those instances where the tiny 20-pixel clock on the status bar just won’t do, the Clock Widget for Dashboard X should satisfy those time-telling needs. The tweak is very simple and comes from the developer of Dashboard X himself to accompany his popular new Springboard tweak.

When activated, the Clock Widget displays a very nice looking digital clock on the Springboard, featuring the hours and minutes only. Aesthetically, the clock looks like it borrows some of its attractive visuals from those that are currently found on Android smartphones, but with them being so popular and attractive that can’t be a bad thing. The Dashboard X clock widget is available as free of charge download from the ModMyi repository and obviously depends on Dashboard X being installed.

Most Popular iphone Models iphone 7

For years, Apple remained steadfast in its position that smartphones with bigger screens were unwieldy and not user friendly. In fact, Apple in 2012 released an iPhone 5 commercial boasting that the device, on account of its 4-inch form factor, could be operated comfortably with one’s thumb.

Despite Apple’s best efforts to persuade people that larger screened devices were unnecessary, it eventually became apparent that Apple could no longer continue to ignore a market that was seemingly itching for devices with huge displays.

And so Apple in 2014 decided to dive in head first into the world of larger screened smartphones, unveiling the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

Since then, Apple has broken numerous iPhone sales records as consumers flocked to these bigger devices in unprecedented numbers. Indeed, Apple’s larger iPhones proved to be so popular that we haven’t even seen the release of a more accommodating 4-inch iPhone model in nearly two and a half years.

With that said, one might reasonably assume that no one is really using smaller iPhone models anymore. Recently compiled data from Mixpanel, however, reveals that older iPhone models that predate 2014’s iPhone 6 are still in use and, in fact, quite popular.

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the second most used iPhone on the planet is the iPhone 5s, a device that was released all the way back in 2013.

Broken down by model, here are the most used iPhone devices as of Saturday, February 6.

iPhone 6 – 35.06%
iPhone 5s – 19.1%
iPhone 6s – 13.73%
iPhone 6 Plus – 8.54%
iPhone 5 – 7.64%
iPhone 5c – 5.87%
iPhone 6s Plus – 4.27%
iPhone 4s – 4.03%
iPhone 4 – 1.74%
Older iPhones – .03%

Is the iPhone 5s’ enduring popularity the result of people not wanting to trade up for a larger model? Or, perhaps, does it speak to the durability of Apple hardware, which is to say most iPhone 5s models are still running smoothly, thereby negating any performance issues that typically motivate an upgrade?

Either way, the data here is interesting and perhaps suggests that smartphones have advanced to a degree such that upgrade cycles are now a little bit longer than the traditional 2-year time frame we’ve known since the original iPhone was introduced back in 2007.

What will really be interesting to keep an eye on is how the public takes to the iPhone 5se. If iPhone 5se sales come in at the high range of expectations, it would indicate that the market for 4-inch iPhones is much larger than people might have otherwise assumed.

Top Famous Androide Phones

There's no shortage of great Android phones on the market if you're looking to switch, buy your first, or upgrade. Even so, there are certainly some phones that stand above others, either because they have great specs, include good software, get fast updates, or are just a joy to use. Here are five of them, based on your nominations.

There are so many things to consider when buying an Android phone. Sure, you can run down all the standard specs and features and look for the ones with the highest numbers—processor speed, number of cores, display size, display resolution, battery capacity, all that stuff—but high scores doesn't add up to a great phone that's actually comfortable and fun to use day in and day out.

The HTC One M8 is the successor and update to last year's most popular phone, and it still brings a lot to the table to love. The One M8 is largely an improvement on its predecessor in every way, packing a 5" Super LCD3 display that 's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass3 and packs 1080px x 1920px resolution, a Qualcomm's 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor under the hood, a 2600mAh battery, a micro SD slot for up to 128GB of expandable storage, 2GB of RAM on-board, and HTC's updated Ultrapixel cam on the back and a 5 MP camera on the front, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless, NFC support, Bluetooth 4.0—you get the drive. Just about everything you would expect in a high end Android phone is under the hood here.

The HTC One's all-metal design deserves special mention as well—even moreso than last year's version, the HTC One M8 starts off with a single block of aluminum and is machines into the chassis for its components, ditching that plastic feel that many Android phones have. The HTC One M8 also sports those two large BoomSound speakers in the front, which are some of the most powerful you'll find on just about any phone. From its sound to its build quality to its features, the One M8 is a solid, high end Android phone, one that offers a mostly stock Android experience, with HTC's Sense and BlinkFeed software in the mix, but easy to either use when you want or turn off entirely if you choose.

THe HTC One M8 is available in all four major US carriers (approx $250-$200 depending on plan, and on contract) and available unlocked ($650) with no strings attached. Those of you who nominated and praised the HTC One M8 highlighted its build quality, for one, explaining that it's one of the sturdiest, most high-end-feeling Android phones you've ever used. A few of you went back and forth on the issue of battery life—some of you said you wished it were better, others noted that you didn't have a problem getting more than a day or so out of the included non-replaceable battery. Some of you noted that HTC's QuickCharge technology helps you get a power boost on the go, but you need the proprietary charger for it. A few of you lamented that the Lollipop upgrade for it has been delayed, but it's still on the way. Others of you noted that it sounds terrific too, thanks to those speakers.

The Moto X may very well have been the device that put Motorola back in the running as a leading Android phone manufacturer, and even though it's no longer a Google company (and is now in the hands of Lenovo) the original Moto X and the current, 2nd gen Moto X both launched to upbeat reviews and praise. It's not a perfect phone, but it brings a lot of high-end features, great customization options, and a pure Android experience to the market at a budget-friendly price that everyone can love. The current model of the X packs a 5.2" Super AMOLED display that's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 at 1080px x 1920px resolution (a step up from the original's 4.7", 720px x 1280px display), a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, a 2300 mAh battery, 2 GB of RAM, a 13 MP camera on the back and a 2 MP camera on the front. The Moto X also sports NFC and Wi-Fi up to and including Wireless AC.

Beyond its specs though, the Moto X is well regarded for its battery-saving features, like active notifications, which only lights up the pixels on the screen required to show you a notification instead of waking your whole display, smart features that let the phone know when you're holding it, charging it, or its face down or in your pocket. The original Moto X was a modest size, and while the new one is bigger (much to the chagrin of some, who preferred the smaller screen size), it's not horribly unwieldy. Both models feature voice controls that are personalized to your voice, and make it easy to use the phone to launch apps, get messages, issue commands and reminders, and more while you're on the go, without touching the device. The X isn't the only phone that supports those notifications, of course, but it was certainly one of the first. If you like personalizing your phone, the X's rubberized, non-slip back is still available in tons of colors, various wood backings, and more. The Moto X is host to a number of unique features, and all of them are pretty great.

The Moto X is available in 16GB and 32GB flavors, and while the original is available on all US carriers, the 2014 model is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, US Cellular, and unlocked. (Starting at $100 on contract, and approx $500 unlocked.) It's available running Kit Kat, and Lollipop is coming very soon, according to Motorola. Those of you who nominated it (full disclosure, I nominated it) noted that it may not have the highest-of-the-high end specs, but it's a perfect example of a phone that can not hit the top of the charts but have other features that make it a compelling buy. Its near-stock Android experience, voice commands and Moto-exclusive features like Assist and Migrate (not to mention the gestures, like shake-to-launch-camera) make it a great phone in general, and its bright display, great battery life, and solid build quality are more pluses in its favor. You can read more in its nomination thread here.

We should also note that the Moto G by Motorola also earned a number of nominations, enough that it could have made the top five, but in the interest in variety, we opted to mention it here—after all the Moto G is an affordable, slightly lower-end version of the X, with a few of the X's flagship features pulled off. It has the power where it counts though—it may not be a super-high-end phone, but it's more than powerful enough to get the job done, and is super affordable, especially for people not interested in contracts.

The Nexus 5, manufactured by LG, is the previous generation Google Phone—it may be surpassed by the newly released Nexus 6 by Motorola, but it wasn't the 6 that earned your nominations (although the 6 did get a fair number of nominations on its own.) The Nexus 5 hit the sweet spot for a lot of people, and since Lollipop is already available for it, many of you are already running Google's latest mobile operating system. The Nexus 5 packs a 5" (4.95" to be exact) True HD IPS+ display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 at 1080px x 1920px resolution. It has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor under the hood, 2 GB RAM, a 2300 mAh battery, an 8 MP camera on the back, and a 1.3 MP camera on the front. Like any other high-end Android phone, it packs NFC, Wireless up to and including Wireless AC, and more. You can read more of its specs at GSM Arena here.

The Nexus 5 may be a little over a year old, but when it launched it got great reviews, and since the Nexus 6 is still relatively new, the 5 is a great and affordable option for people who want a pure Android experience in an unlocked, hackable device. I have a Nexus 5, and the screen is big and bright, the camera is solid, and it runs Lollipop smoothly with no issues. Its sound is definitely on the weak side (with my older Moto X sounding much better), but it's fast, customizable, offers pure Android, and is hackable if you want to get your ROMs on.

The Nexus 5 is available in 16GB and 32GB flavors, on all of the major US carriers with the sole exception of Verizon Wireless, and unlocked directly from Google. (On-contract price will vary by carrier, but at this point it's close to $100, unlocked you'll pay $349 or $399 for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively.) If you shop secondhand (like I did), you can find even deeper bargains. Those of you who nominated the Nexus 5 praised it for being a value buy at this stage, offering fast, powerful hardware at a mid-range phone's price, and free of bloatware from carriers. Google does support Nexus phones, and while it ships with Kit Kat, upgrading to Lollipop is a simple matter. Some of your griped about the N5's battery life, others of you mentioned that it's on the way out now that the N6 is a thing, but more of you praised it for being a great, hackable piece of hardware that still performs strong and is super fast.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is a brilliant Android phone that comes in a couple of sizes. The Z3 Compact earned high praise from Gizmodo and from many of you for being an Android powerhouse without being a huge, pocket-bursting phone like we've seen so many of recently. The Z3 Compact features a 4.6" LCD IPS display at 720px x 1280px, a 2600 mAh battery, a 2.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 under the hood, 2 GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a whopping 20.7 MP camera on the rear and a 2.2 MP camera on the front. That's a lot in a tiny package, especially considering it's getting Lollipop in the near future. The larger Z3, which comes in a Z3v variant for Verizon Wireless and a Z3 for everyone else, packs a 5.2" display at 1080px x 1920px, a micro SD card slot for up to 128GB additional storage, 3 GB RAM, the same quad-core processor inside, a 3100 mAh battery, and the same powerful camera on-board. Both models pack Wi-Fi up through and including Wireless AC, NFC, and more

Considering previous years' roundups have been devoid of Sony phones mostly only because they're difficult to obtain in North America—especially flagship phones—the inclusion of the Z3 is a welcome change. It's more than worth the slot, too—the Z3 (and its predecessor, the Z2) is a great device. The Verizon Wireless variant offers wireless charging and a few design tweaks, but beyond that the differences are minimal. The X3's camera really stands out as well, and it offers a speedy, near-stock Android experience that Sony fans have known and loved for years. It doesn't hurt that Sony's Xperia line is generally waterproof (or at least extremely water-resistant) and dust slides right off the chassis.

The Xperia Z3 is available for T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless (Z3v) at about $200 on contract, and around $600 unlocked SIM free. The Z3 Compact will set you back $530 unlocked to take to your preferred carrier. Those of you who nominated the Z3 called out its waterproof, dust-proof chassis, the expandable storage which seems to be all too uncommon these days, even the built-in equalizer earned specific praise from at least one of you. A few of you mentioned that the Z3 can get a little warm, but almost all of you had good things to say. Some of you called out the Compact specifically for offering a great form factor without compromising on the innards or the camera that the Z3 features.

The OnePlus One was designed to be an Android phone with flagship specs from an independent team. Think of it as an Android phone made by and for Android fans, at a rock-bottom, unlocked, and carrier-free price. The OnePlus One certainly delivers, and earned incredible praise from our friends at Gizmodo. It's the first phone to run CyanogenMod out of the gate, having been built with it in mind, packs a 5.5" LTPS LCD display that's protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and comes in at 1080px x 1920px, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB RAM, a 13 MP camera on the rear with a 5 MP camera on the front, a 3100 mAh battery, and a ton of custom features designed specifically to integrate CyanogenMod with the OnePlus One. That's not to say that it doesn't bring the best of Android to the fore either—CyanogenMod is a killer ROM, and offers more features than you probably get with stock Android, and certainly more than you'll get with a carrier-specific ROM. You can read more about the OnePlus One's hardware over here at GSM Arena.

The beauty of the OnePlus One is that it's designed to run CyanogenMod, but it's also designed to be tweaked and hacked by its users. The phone started as an invite-only kind of thing, and there are still invites floating around (before you ask, I don't have any), but the team behind it has moved to a pre-order system where you can get in line to purchase yours and they'll get to you in turn. They process pre-orders in batches though, so it may be a while. The device itself is a joy to use, complete with a textured back and tons of pre-built gestures for quick commands like turning on the flash as a flashlight, opening the camera, and more—not to mention the power of Google Now rolled in as well. All in all, it's a well-polished piece of tech that'll please Android enthusiasts and hardware lovers alike—as soon as you can get your hands on one.

The OnePlus One is available in 16GB (white) and 64GB (black) versions, at $300 and $350—extremely well priced for such high-end hardware. It's GSM-only and comes unlocked, which means you can bring it to T-Mobile or AT&T (or any pre-paid carrier or MVNO that rides their network and accepts it) and activate it. Many of you noted that it may be slowly outpaced by more recent releases, but it's still an amazing device, well crafted with great software, and while the invite-only/batch pre-order scarcity is a pain, it's hard to understate how exciting it is to have a device like this on the market and support it. It's customizable, it's well built and well designed, and it's affordable while being completely unlocked.

This week's honorable mention goes out to the newly released Droid Turbo on Verizon Wireless, which is, in many ways, a supercharged Moto X crossed with a Nexus 6. It's a high-end phone, to be sure, packing top-of-the-line specs everywhere from processor to battery life, and a textured nylon back that's well built and well designed. Verizon Wireless users should definitely consider it, and those of you who supported its nomination highlighted its battery life, custom gestures, and more.

The other honorable mention we should highlight goes to a company we're surprised didn't earn more nominations from you, Samsung—specifically the Galaxy Note 4. We were surprised more Samsung devices didn't earn your nominations (the Galaxy Note 4 and its predecessor, the Note 3, were the only ones to get nominated at all), but the new Note earned your praise thanks to its 5.7" display, its great daylight and direct-light performance, among other things.

I’m going to remember 2014 as the year phone makers got most things right. Oh, sure, the Amazon Fire phone, Asus PadFone X, and a few other models from the Department of What Were They Thinking had us scratching our heads for the brief time they were with us.

But on the whole, this is the year Samsung, LG, Sony, Motorola, and others dropped or downplayed some of the eye-blinking, file-beaming, photo-tweaking features nobody asked for, and instead focused on the issues that frustrated users most, including battery life, durability, and ease of use.

And Apple, which has been playing it safe with barely noticeable updates to its iPhones in recent years, caught up to the competition with two refreshing models boasting larger displays and decent battery performance.

Here are Consumer Reports' picks of the best models of 2014, in alphabetical order.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple begins with the letter “A,” so we’ll kick off our Top Five with the iPhone 6 Plus. This phone's "phabulous" dimensions may limit its appeal to portability-focused users, but its excellent-quality 5.5-inch, high-definition (1080p) display is a fantastic showcase for multimedia and makes document details harder to miss. And despite the 6 Plus's palm-prying width, its slim design and smooth, rounded edges, reminiscent of earlier iPhones, make this model relatively comfortable to hold. The battery, a traditional weak spot for iPhones, provides more than twice the talk time of any iPhone that came before it.

The iPhone 6’s fingerprint reader, familiar from last year's iPhone 5s, is much more potent now, enabling a significant step forward in mobile payments. When set up with Apple’s iCloud service, it lets you safely and quickly unlock the phone's screen or authorize an iTunes purchase with just a light press of your finger. On the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the system can also authorize purchases at store registers via the Apple Pay mobile payment system.

The LG G3 has a 5.5-inch quad HD display, whose 2560x1440 resolution presents photos, videos, web pages, and other content with more than 530 pixels per inch of detail. Not everybody will notice those extra pixels in everyday use, but you'll certainly notice the virtual keyboard, one of the best we’ve seen. Its height and layout can easily be adjusted to the user's liking, and you can even split it in two to access items behind it. Of course, you also get Dual Window and other LG multitasking tools that let you conveniently access multiple apps without leaving the screen, an IR Blaster for controlling home-theater setups, and a great camera that can record video with Ultra-HD resolution. However, LG put the power and volume controls on the back of the phone instead of the top or sides, which some users may not like.

Motorola Droid Turbo
The Motorola Droid Turbo has some of today's most appealing smart-phone features, including a mammoth battery that provides more than 24 hours of talk time on a single charge. What's more, a near-dead battery can be resurrected to roughly 30 percent in about 30 minutes using its included charger and cable. Droid Turbo is always ready to respond to spoken commands even if you don't touch it or wake up its screen. And you can easily program the phone to automatically change settings, notifications, and other items based on where you are and the time of day. For instance, hold all but the most important calls after midnight or automatically switch to silent mode when you’re in a meeting or at a museum. See one of life’s precious moments unfolding before your eyes? Just a flick of your wrist launches the camera.

Samsung Galaxy S 5
This is the Android world’s Most Valuable Player, blending toughness  (it can survive a 30-minute dunk in about 3 feet of water) with superb performance in all the important ways people use their smart phones. For instance, its terrific 15.9-megapixel camera has an impressive number of options for tweaking photos and videos to anyone’s liking, yet it has simplified access to controls and effects people use most. And there’s a mode that can stretch the phone’s already great battery life even more in case of an emergency. The phone’s simple operation belies the fact that it’s brimming with the latest technology, including a fingerprint scanner for unlocking the phone or authorizing purchases as well as a heart-rate monitor mounted next to the main camera's LED Flash. Like a Swiss Army knife, the Galaxy S 5 has features to address any situation, such as split-screen app access for multitasking, an IR blaster for controlling entertainment gear, gesture controls for when you can’t touch the phone, a ton of options for wirelessly beaming content to and from the phone, and even a “panic button” that can automatically send for help if you get into an accident.

Sony Xperia Z3
This phone is an all-around winner, beginning with its excellent-quality 5.2-inch, high-definition (1080p) touch-screen display, which is easy to see in bright light. But its true standout qualities are water resistance and camera performance. Our tests confirmed the Xperia Z3 could handle immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to about 5 feet of water, while the camera takes excellent still images, even under low light conditions, and very good video—a rarity for phone cameras. This phone, which supports Sony's PlayStation 4 console and accessories, is also smart enough to launch or shut down apps or features at just the right moment. For instance, it will launch the music app when you plug in headphones, or turn off Bluetooth and the phone's ringer after 10 p.m.

Monday, March 12, 2012


One word to describe this past year in tech: remarkable. Not only did we see some amazing mobile software hit the scene (peep the 50 Best Apps of 2012), but the market was also blessed with cutting-edge products from the industry’s titans. Apple released new models for each of its primary product divisions. Google earned critical praise for its recent wave of Android devices. Microsoft caught up with the competition and proved the Windows 8 platform is a force to be reckoned with. TDK set the standard for wireless audio streaming and Nike gave fitness freaks a gizmo that's changed the way people think about fitness.

Smartphones became, well, smarter and more advanced. Televisions took on colossal dimensions and are now producing IMAX-like visuals. And 3D printers opened us up to a world of insane and innovative inventions. So as we approach the New Year and anticipate the next generation of game-changing devices, it's only right we look back and rank the best gadgets of the 12 months.

50. Jawbone Big Jambox

Jawbone literally took the phrase “Bigger is Better” to heart when assembling the successor to its popular portable speaker. The new Jambox sports a larger form factor, improved sound quality, and longer battery life to keep the party jumping in your living room or work cubicle. Smartphone owners can use it as a speakerphone, too.

49. Plantronics Voyager Legend

With smart call routing, enhanced voice commands, and the ability to locate your headset when misplaced—the Voyager Legend truly lives up to its “world’s smartest headset” maxim. Once placed on ear, you can hear who’s calling and check other notifications such as the connection status and battery life. Audio is clear and the boom mic minimizes environmental noise to improve wireless calling. If lost, you can track the headset from the last place it was used via map by downloading the MyHeadset app from Google Play. That's the move.

48. The Hopper by Dish Network

Why bother installing a DVR service onto your HDTV? The Hopper can store recordings and provide playback on any TV in the crib. Ad-free. With 2TB of internal memory, there's more than enough space to save an entire seasonal lineup of hit television programs.

47. mophie OutRide

Companies like GoPro and Contour have ushered in a new breed of portable action sports cameras, though the favorable device for capturing on-the-go video still remains the smartphone. Charging case specialists, mophie, introduced a new wide-angle lens that transforms your iPhone 4/4S into an awesome shooter for recording outdoor adventures. Pairing the device with the OUTRIDE app allows users to edit and share footage on the fly via social media, plus the creation of customized playlists automate searches for new content.

46. Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD

The battery efficiency demonstrated on the original Droid RAZR Maxx had Verizon subscribers on cloud nine. So what did Motorola do for an encore? Release an HD version with an even bigger battery and more vibrant display. A 3,300mAh cell and Moto’s patented Smart Actions app boosts phone vitality; squeezing out around eight to 14 hours on heavy use and more than a full day on moderate use. The RAZR Maxx HD produces high-quality visuals through its sharp 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD screen, along with fast data speeds and processing power.

45. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter

Parrot’s second-gen drone flew in under the radar at this year’s CES and had every toy enthusiast on another high when it launched in Q2. The smartphone-controlled gadget features 720p HD video recording, an improved control system, and the ability to create its own Wi-Fi network to connect with an iDevice. Reinforced hulls come bundled in the package: one for outdoors with exposed blades and another for indoor flying that protects blades from colliding with objects like bookshelves. The estimated horizontal range on this baby is  95 feet, which means you can leave the kite at home moving forward.

44. TDK IE800 Dual Driver In-Ear Headphones

TDK has been on a tear as of late, releasing a slew of excellent stereos and headpnones that are reintroducing the storied brand to a new generation of users. One of our favorites this year was the company's dual-driver (one for bass, the other for mid and high ranges) in-ear headphones which, when paired with the right ear-tips, deliver a warm and sumptuous sound.

43. PlayStation Vita

Sony's second-gen handheld might be far behind the 3DS in sales, but there’s no denying the Vita’s raw graphics power and cross-platform play. Games and video playback look marvelous on Samsung’s 5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. Touchscreen input is responsive, while accommodating the manufacturer’s iconic control scheme. Throw in some game franchise exclusives and app support (Netflix, Skype), and Sony has a portable monster that’s far more deserving of a bigger reception.

42. Philips Hue Smart LED Light Bulbs

These innovative light fixtures provide a remote way of maintaining energy control in the household by granting the option to adjust and schedule lighting from a smartphone app. Each bulb supports a number of color schemes that can be chosen from a color palette. Brightness levels peak at 600 lumens and energy consumption is measured at 8.5 watts, which should bring down electricity costs. Let there be light.

41. Sonos Sub

Sonos’ huge TV campaign has brought public awareness to its awesome (and overlooked) Play3 all-in-one wireless music player. And if you’re one of the many audiophiles (along with Janelle Monae) to own the sound system, then investing in the company’s first wireless subwoofer is a must. The Sonos Sub relies on two subwoofers and class-D amplifiers to blast powerful bass and treble through its drivers, promoting an astonishing sound stage. Bang, Bang!

40. Barnes & Noble Nook SimpleTouch With Glowlight

Time to ditch the clip-on light. B&N’s popular e-reader got with the times and welcomes edge lighting to brighten the viewing experience in any environment. The six-inch E Ink Pearl display is both responsive and supports up to six fonts for better reading. In addition, ePub compatibility and the additional memory card slot make it easy to sideload books in different formats.

39. Samsung Chromebook

If you live most of your life in a browser, the Chromebook is perfect for you. Lightweight, ridiculously cheap, and fast enough to handle everyday Internet activities, Google's new netbook/tablet-fighter is one of the most interesting products to drop this year. There are some setbacks: There's no file management system, so downloading files is out of the question. Everything is done in the cloud, so if you don't have an Internet connection you're SOL. The display is not on par with most ultraportable laptops or tablets. That said, it's a charming little machine, one that will undoubtedly get better as the years pass by and wireless broadband becomes more prominent.

38. 3M Streaming Roku Projector

Forget copping a $1,000 Epson projector or a standalone Roku box. This pico projector packs enough multimedia and hi-tech functionality to make it well worth the investment. Built-in, dual-band Wi-Fi and the integrated Roku stick provides access to a multitude of streaming apps including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, and more. It fits right in hand and projects DVD-quality onto any flat surface.

37. Sony MDR-X10 Headphones

Like every other celebrity-endorsed product to hit the market, we had our reservations about the Sony/Simon Cowell headphone collaboration. Then we took the premium sound cans for a test run and found its “full-range audio” to be stellar. The 50mm drivers dish out monstrous bass that bounces right off your eardrum, plus the snug ear pads feel like pillows on the head when kicking back.

36. MarketBot Replicator 2

With 3D printing shifting the face of the production industry, companies like Makerbot are making its mark with today’s creative class. The follow-up to its groundbreaking 3D printer dons a sleeker metal casing and bigger build frame that’s 37 percent larger than its predecessor. Control management is easier thanks to the larger LCD screen and new features such as “Cold Pause” allow builders to pause and resume where they last left off.

35. LG 84-Inch 4K 3D TV

This ginormous HDTV makes for the ultimate living room centerpiece—delivering insane 3D visuals and a 3840 x 2160 resolution onto its 84-inch display. LG’s four-mode Magic Remote serves as a mouse that features point-and-click and gesture commands, plus voice recognition for easier Smart TV navigation. A dual-core processor keeps multimedia streaming moving at lag-free rates, too. You might have to take out another mortgage on the house to get this in your man cave, but it’s a small price to pay to watch the Super Bowl like a bawse.

34. Pebble E-Ink Watch

The Kickstarter project raised over $10 million in funding and became a online phenomenon in a matter of weeks. Compatible with most iOS and Android devices, the Pebble flaunts an e-ink display that conveys time, calls, texts, and email subject lines onto the screen. A number of apps are available for the meta watch that concede music playback and much more, plus it supports an open SDK for aspiring developers to program the device to their hi-tech needs.

33. Libratone Zipp Wireless Speaker

Combining a charming design with striking audio quality, Libratone’s AirPlay speaker balances fashion and portable audio with the best of them. Powerful bass levels, along with crisp mids and lows make for great listening sessions, plus dope features like PlayDirect offer the ability to wirelessly stream media without a wi-fi connection. Top that.

32. Astro A50 Wireless Headset

Our favorite gaming headset manufacturer outdid itself by integrating wireless capability, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, and its patented MixAmp technology into the A50s. Gamers can now control volume directly from the receiver and switch between three EQ settings (Flat, Media, and Astro) that promote undistorted audio and high bass. Another dope feature is the headset's ability to enable mute mode when flipping up the attached boom mic. Consider it the must-have accessory for any FPS eccentric.

31. Nest Learning Thermostat

Household automation technologically is a market that’s creeping on the come up and this thermostat is leading the brigade. The Nest helps save money on your cooling and heating costs by adapting to preferred temperatures over time without the need of programming it. And if the urge is felt to adjust the thermal reading, jump into the iOS or Android app and control it straight from any smartphone or tablet.

30. Fujifilm X-Pro 1

The Japanese camera manufacturer had photogs dipping into their savings account to pick up its superior mirrorless shooter. Image quality is remarkable under the X-Pro1’s 16.3 MP 23.6 x 15.6mm X-Trans CMOS sensor, which uses a color filtration system to render great-looking photos. Fujifilm also retained its patented optical/electronic viewfinder and provides two magnifications to harbor interchangeable lens. 1080p video recording can also be found here. The $1,400 price tag might be heavy even for the professional crowd, but as we mentioned over the summer, its visual payoff is priceless.

29. HTC 8X

Microsoft failed to make the huge impact it projected with the Windows Phone 7 platform, mainly due to its hardware regulations and weak app selection. Learning from its mistakes, the company enlisted HTC to help build a Windows Phone 8 device from the ground up that would play off huge thanks to a cutting-edge design, the latest specs, and enhanced WP8 platform. Through this marriage, the HTC 8X was conceived. Amazing performance, great call quality, and awesome productivity features make HTC’s handset the best WP8 device, as well as one of the most impressive smartphones of 2012.

28. Logitech Ultimate Ears 900

Logitech's purchase of Ultimate Ears gave birth to some great portable speakers and headphones. But our favorite, and arguably the best of the new line, are the 900 headphones. Modeled after the stage monitors professional musicians use when performing, the 900s wrap around your ear for a snug fit that blocks out all outside distractions, leaving you with the beautiful sounds pumped out by its quad-armature driver design.

27. McIntosh McAire

When it comes to luxury sound systems, McIntosh is in a class of its own. The company's latest wi-fi stereo supports AirPlay streaming and features a dynamic soundstage that bumps serious bass from its loudspeaker set, which houses dual 4-inch woofers, 2-inch midranges, and .75-inch tweeters. Ethernet and RCA inputs are also present.

26. iPod Touch (5th Generation)

Once again, Apple’s updated its revolutionary media player with new features including a 4-inch Retina Display, iOS 6, a slimmer design, wi-fi syncing, and advanced dual-cameras. Each model also comes bundled with a pair of Apple EarPods. Many say it resembles the iPhone 5 without call functionality, but you can just refer to it as the best iPod Touch model ever conceptualized. Just sayin’.

25. Nike+ Fuelband

Nike’s hi-tech wristband looks to become the fitness wave of the future, encouraging users to stay active by throwing motivational jabs at them and measuring daily exercises through its unique point system called Fuel points. Built-in sensors measure the length and intensity of movement, while measuring step counts and calorie intake. The sleek-looking bracelet also syncs to the iPhone for on-the-go fitness monitoring.

24. Lenovo X1 Carbon

Lenovo celebrated the ThinkPad line’s 20-year anniversary in high fashion with the launch of the incredibly powerful and rugged X1 Carbon. Hardware remains the key principal of the series with a top cover dipped in carbon fiber and an interior roll cage built to withstand the serious damage. The Rapid Charge feature boosts battery life up to 80 percent in less than half an hour and the superior keyboard is without a doubt the best of any ultrabook or laptop on the market.

23. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Sporting the brightest back-lit screen of any e-ink electronic reader out there, the Paperwhite is the perfect companion for nighttime reading. The capacitive display is a major improvement over the IR touch technology featured on other devices, producing responsive and smoother results. Extended battery life and Amazon’s prime e-book selection place the device atop of the e-reader throne.

22. GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

Whether you’re climbing Mount Everest or cycling through heavy bike trails, this is the action sports camera you need on hand. The Black Edition is smaller, lighter, and delivers amazing image quality unmatched by its rivals. It’s also capable of 4K video capture, though you’ll need a high-end TV to view the recordings. Wi-fi is now built in to the 12MP camera and there’s a MicroSD card slot that takes up to 64GB of memory.

21. Logitech Harmony Touch Controller

The latest addition to the Harmony series brings a slew of upgrades highlighted by its bright and intuitive 2.4-inch QVGA touchscreen. Customize channel icons for faster TV viewing or take advantage of gesture-based controls to change channels and modify volume levels. The Harmony Touch supports up to 15 devices such as set-top boxes and gaming consoles. No living room or bedroom should be without one.

20. Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12

Don’t confuse the Beolit 12 for a fancy-looking picnic basket. B&O’s Airplay system dons one of the most gorgeous designs ever featured on a portable speaker and delivers clear, detailed audio that’s unrivaled by any other product in its price class. Wireless streaming should bring up to four hours of playback, where as a wired connection delivers up to eight.

19. Apple iMac (27-inch)

How do you improve the best all-in-one computer? If you're Apple, you figure out a way to remove all the unneeded elements like compact disc drive and work to make it thinner and lighter, as well as faster. All of that happened with the new iMac. Razor thin at the tips, with a new display that allows for better viewing angles, it's a remarkable upgrade. 

Performance is stepped up a notch thanks to the latest Intel chips and a new technology Apple's coined Fusion Drive which works to meld together the hard disk and the solid state drives to create one large hard drive that's leaps and bounds faster than traditional drives. Yeah, we call that an improvement.

18. Microsoft Surface

Everyone expected the Surface to be another massive fail for the PC giant. Wrong. Thanks to dynamic hardware, innovative add-ons (like the touchcover keyboard), and Windows 8 integration, the hybrid has bridged the gap between tablets and laptops, making it one of the elite options for either market.

17. Beats By Dre Executive

The brand known for its colorful models stepped it up a notch for its noise-cancelling model. Gone are the bright plastics, replaced by study, smooth aluminum, and supple leather. Dare we say these are the most comfortable Beats in the whole line up? If nothing else, they're most certainly our favorites.

16. Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung gave Apple a run for its money and shattered mobile sales records with its multimedia-heavy smartphone. Great processing power, vibrant screen resolution, and superior call quality are just a few of the touchstones highlighted on the GS III. But it’s the handset’s NFC-enabled attributes that won the hearts of most Androidphiles. We can only anticipate what the GS IV will bring come 2013.

15. Amazon Kindle Fire (8.9-inch)

A sharp hi-def screen, fast LTE speeds, and an incredible media ecosystem adds up to the best Kindle Fire model released yet. Amazon’s new interface runs smoother and the larger screen makes for a better viewing experience for travelers. The built-in memory card slot expands media storage, which becomes essential when switching between Google Play and Amazon’s video store downloads.

14. Sony Bravia XBR-84X900

Sony’s pushing hard to make 4K video the standard output for today’s television sets. One look at its gargantuan, 84-inch panel and you’ll be pleading for change more than the president. The next-gen Bravia pushes a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution, an output that's four times more than any regular HD TV. A 10-driver stereo speaker system is mounted on the edges of the display and bumps simulated 5.1 Surround Sound throughout your living room.

13. Leica M Monochrom

In a photography world ruled by vintage filters and black-and-white imagery, Leica’s $8,000 shooter fits right in and reigns supreme as the elite option for colorless portraits. Its 18MP full-frame sensor generates higher-detailed and sharper images by taking in more available light. Then there’s the sexy retro-styled body case, a fashion statement that's just as gorgeous as the photos captured on the camera.

12. iPad Mini

The product we all knew was coming delivered on nearly every front. Sure, there's no Retina Display, but when we finally got one in hand, we honestly didn't think twice about the lack of the high-res display. We were too mesmerized by the excellent build quality, and how good it felt in our hands. There are a lot of seven-inch tablets on the market, but none feel as good as the iPad Mini. Also working in its favor its familiarity. Any app that works on the largest iPad works on the Mini. Using the Mini doesn't feel like a major departure from the iDevice line up, it feels, well, like an iPad Mini. Mission accomplished, Apple. 

11. TDK Wireless Sound Cube

TDK continues to scream innovation with its portable, sleek-looking sound cube. Pair the sound blaster with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and take in rich (and deep) audio from the three large woofers housed on the front, left, and right. The two dials on the front offer access to pump up volume or adjust bass and treble for sound performance enhancement.

10. HTC One Series

Ever since our hands on with both One models (S and X) earlier this year, we developed an infatuation with HTC’s new flagship series. Aside from polishing up our favorite Android UI (Sense 4.0), the mobile manufacturer familiarized us with its gaming-changing camera technology powered by its ImageSense processor and capable of shooting photos at over four frames per second. Sleek ergonomics, improved Beats Audio, and an eye-catching 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display had the One X billed as the best Android phone of 2012 through the mid-year point. And just when we thought HTC couldn’t improve on its original creation, the company launched a faster and more powerful version in the One X+. 

9. Samsung Galaxy Note II

Consider the Galaxy Note II the Dark Knight of Android phones: bigger, bolder, and more badass thanks to its monstrous spec sheet. Samsung laced its phone/tablet successor with an immensely powerful 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor that delivers high benchmarks, along with a larger (and sharp) 5.5-inch display for great viewing angles. The manufacturer also transferred over multitasking features from its GS III and Note 10.1 models to liven up onscreen interaction.

8. Samsung Galaxy Nexus 10

Google already set the new benchmark for Android tablets with the Nexus 7 and its 10-inch model stands as the most promising iPad alternative yet. From its speedy performance to the stunning visuals produced on its Super PLS display, the Nexus 10 is an all-around performer. The inclusion of Jelly Bean welcomes exclusive features such as having multiples users on one device and the ability to switch accounts without logging off. Samsung’s premium design deserves recognition as well, a far step up from the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s inferior construction.

7. Bowers & Wilkins P3

Most companies fight for their over-ear headphones to be bigger and bulkier, as if their heft is some sort of signpost of sound quality. Bowers & Wilkins thankfully doesn't play that game and designed the P3s to be so light and comfortable you forget they're on your head. But don't mistake the lissome build for weakness. The P3s delivered some of the best soundscapes of any headphone, in any price range, that we tested this year. Bigger is not always better.

6. HTC Droid DNA

HTC’s track record with Big Red hasn’t been great. In fact, the first Droid Incredible stands out as the manufacturer’s only home run on the carrier. But after grazing several foul tips, the mobile giant has finally rounded the bases after re-branding its flagship Verizon series and producing its most powerful handset to date: the Droid DNA. Taking several cues from the One series, the DNA carries over the fantastic camera features of its sibling and combines the latest software (Jelly Bean, Sense 4+), along with a dominant hardware set featuring a 1.5GHz dual-core and the world’s first full HD display (5-inch FHD Super LCD 3). The Beast has awoken.

5. Nintendo Wii U

The Big N scared the gaming public after announcing its next-gen home console would have a tablet-like controller as its primary peripheral. Pessimism transformed into excitement the moment gamers finally got hands-on with the system, taking in its full high-def visuals and innovative gameplay features. Backwards compatibility for Wii games and its ever-growing lineup of eShop titles should hold owners over till the console expands its IP catalog. And with its TVii video-on-demand service coming down the pipe, the Wii U proves to be a rightful heir to the console that changed everything.

4. The New iPad

The device that defined the tablet market was given the upgrade everyone was waiting for: A shiny new Retina Display. Throw in a faster A5X processor, more memory, a better GPU, and you have the best tablet money can buy. Then seven months later, Apple decided that wasn't good enough and upgraded it once more with an even faster A6X processor. Sure, it's heavier than the iPad 2, but we'll take the extra heft for the outstanding performance. We're sure you do, too. 

3. iPhone 5

A larger Retina Display, stronger processing power, LTE support, and beautiful ergonomics make the iPhone 5 the best smartphone Apple's ever built. The inclusion of iOS 6 expands on Apple’s ecosystem and introduces new features that take advantage of the handset’s new size and speed. And, as promised, the iPhone 5 delivers longer battery life. Win, win, win.

2. Nexus 4

LG lucked out when it scored the manufacturing rights to Google’s new flagship phone. The end product: an amazing smartphone that boasts powerful benchmarks and a gorgeous look. Despite its lack of LTE support, the Nexus 4’s 1.5GHz quad-core picks up the performance slack by zipping through all onscreen interactions and delivering speedy results. Visuals look great on the 4.7-inch True HD IPS+, plus Jelly Bean integration makes for a smoother Android experience. One of the Nexus 4's best features, however, has nothing to do with its specs. It's the price. The fact that you can buy this phone for $300 unlocked is ridiculous. Buying a phone with competing specs without a contract will run you double the coin. Remarkable.

1. Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Apple loves nothing more than minimizing and removing. With each new product, weight and vestigial features are shed to make way for a more streamlined future. Such was the case with the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the laptop that outlined the future of Apple's laptop lines. It was only a matter of time before the company applied what it learned building the MacBook Air to building something for people who needed more processing grunt.

The result is a machine that's changed the game. Not only is it thinner and lighter, it's more powerful than ever before. The real highlight here, however, is the mind-melding Retina Display that needs to be seen in person to be appreciated. Like on the iPhone and iPad, pixels melt away giving creatives and users the best tool for working with images on the go. If you wonder what the future of laptops look like, just walk into an Apple store.