When an email came through the Apple World Today offices pitching yet another car charger, my first impulse was to yawn. I mean, you can buy these things at the dollar store for the purpose of plugging in your USB-powered devices for a quick charge in the car, so what’s the big deal? Well, a closer look showed that the Secur SP-4003 Six-in-One Car Charger (US$34.99) can do quite a bit more than just charge your iPhone or iPad — it could save your life.
While the video below can pretty much demonstrate all of the features of the SP-4003, here’s a rundown of the features:
- Car mobile USB device charger (5V, 1A output)
- 2200 mAh battery pack
- 150 Lumen LED flashlight with 4 hour life at full charge
- Flashing red emergency light with 10 hour life at full charge
- Emergency window breaker
- Emergency seat belt cutter
This is one device that could really help out if you’re stuck in a car that’s rapidly sinking into a lake! You grab the SP-4003, use it to cut yourself free from the jammed seat belt, take a deep breath, then smash the window to equalize the pressure and provide an escape route. Once you’re safely on shore, you can use the red emergency flasher light and LED flashlight to signal for help, or use the built-in battery pack to top off your phone to call for help.
Sure, the scenario sounds far-fetched, but wouldn’t you rather have a tool like this Six-in-One Car Charger to help you out in the unlikely case it does happen? And you probably need a new car charger anyways, am I right?
There’s a lot of good news for Apple fans on this summery Friday afternoon:
- Apple Pay begins its second year as an iPhone/Watch/iPad-based payment system
- Apple’s 10-Q holds some interesting data for those thinking about the next-generation iPhone
- Pandora hasn’t been affected at all by the launch of Apple Music
- Intel’s Skylake architecture could make upcoming Macs much faster and more efficient
Hate podcasts? Read the news in our text version below.
PhotoFast MAX (starting at US$79.99 for 16GB) is the latest incarnation of what used to be known as the i-FlashDrive. Take a USB 3.0 flash drive, add a Lightning adapter to one end, and toss in an iOS app to organize and view files, and you have an iFlashDrive. Let’s start this review with a bit of history.
Way back in the year 2009 (remember that year?), one nasty little problem showed up with the iPhone — if you wanted to move some large files between it and your Mac or PC, you were stuck trying to do it through iTunes. That didn’t always work, as there were certain file types that just weren’t recognized.
Along came the i-FlashDrive, which at that time had a USB 2.0 connector on one end and a 30-pin dock connector (remember those?) on the other. I found the device to be surprisingly useful, particularly when I wanted to transfer large video files to or from an iPhone.
Fast-forward to 2015, and PhotoFast has released the PhotoFast MAX. The idea is still the same, but now you’re looking at a speedy USB 3.0 flash drive and a Made for iPhone (MFi) compliant Lightning port on the other end. The new device is about two-thirds the size of its ancestor, and comes with covers to protect both the Lightning and USB connectors.
It just so happens that I have the perfect situation for testing a 16GB PhotoFast MAX. My wife just finished making a one-hour slideshow file in Photos for OS X that was exported as a .m4v video file about 1GB in size. I installed the free i-FlashDrive ONE app onto her iPad — the new app replaces the original i-FlashDrive HD app that is still available for those using the older hardware.
The newer version of the app offers connectivity to Dropbox and Google Drive, as well as YouTube. The latter is a wonderful idea, as it is now possible to discover videos and add them to the i-FlashDrive ONE playlist for later viewing.
PhotoFast i-FlashDrive ONE app slideshow
Today, we go around the world with Apple World Today. News stories from all over the globe include:
- Google+ profiles won’t be linked to other Google products in the future
- Apple Watches will soon be available at Best Buy
- Apple is adding 500 authorized resellers in India, which explains the odd image at the top of this page
- France and Sweden — or at least major cities in the countries — get visited by the Apple Maps vans starting on Saturday
- An iPhone counterfeiting factory in Beijing has been shut down
- eBay will be trimming the number of iOS apps it has
Don’t want to listen to the podcast? There’s text below.
It’s a classic for the iPhone and iPad, so it’s no wonder that it’s back at the top of the charts again. Minecraft: Pocket Edition ($6.99) has been updated to add The Nether and all of its inhabitants, ocelots, golems, and flower pots, among other goodies.
OK, I have to express ignorance in YouTube phenomenon PewDiePie, but he’s apparently done so well as to become a millionaire and have his own game. PewDiePie: Legend of the BroFist ($4.99) has been scraping in a lot of money for its namesake through a sidescroller adventure that is apparently as goofy and manic as his videos.
Mac OS X Apps / Updates
Octagon (free with in-app purchases) has been a hit on other platforms for a while, and now it’s available for the Mac. It is, as the App Store banner proclaims, a minimal arcade game with maximum challenge.
Along with upgrading a Mac to a new OS version comes a lot of concern about disk space, which is probably why Disk Doctor ($2.99) is doing well in the Mac App Store right now. This utility is one of several that analyze your disk for files that are taking up more than their fair share of space, then let you delete them if you so choose.
Our final OS X app of the day seems to be doing well in the Mac App Store since Apple’s improvements to the Mail app in El Capitan don’t appear to have impressed many people. AirMail ($9.99) is an alternative to Mail that is fast, intuitive and works with just about any email server out there.