I went with Bluehost.com for all my web hosting needs

hosting

I haven’t been happy with my web hosting for a long time now. Let me give you a little history of  the sites I have and the various hosting providers I’ve been through. I currently manage:

terrywhite.com

terrywhitephotography.com

bestappsite.com

macgroup.org

creativecloudtv.com

and a site for my family reunion/tree.

When I first started doing web hosting I had it all under one roof (except creativecloudtv.com because it’s hosted by my podcast hosting company libsyn.com). I was using Network Solutions for all of it including email. While Network Solutions did all I needed technically, they were more expensive than other providers. I was even willing to overlook the higher cost because the service was good. Then one day my sites all got hacked. Malware, spam and just tons of stuff to clean up. Once the clean up happened, the attacks continued to the point that I ran from Network Solutions as fast I could because I couldn’t handle the daily hacks. I ended up moving terrywhite.com, bestappsite.com and macgroup.org to Godaddy. I know, I know, but I didn’t know at the time. Anyway, yes Godaddy. The price was right and everything seemed to work at the time. However, of the three sites I moved over, two of them were always having issues. terrywhite.com got hacked there too. Not as often, but it happened. Bestappsite.com got hacked too. Then it seems like Godaddy has too many sites on the same shared servers. Bestappsite.com was constantly having performance issues. It was like throwing the dice on whether or not the site would load or it would just be a blank white page. I called support and got the usual, “everything seems fine on our end, try reducing the number of plug-ins on your wordpress site. You seem to running out of memory.” Next I moved terrywhite.com to VPS.net. They came highly recommended and my site hadn’t been there for a week and their servers went down. I couldn’t believe it! Their data center had a “power outage”. Really? No backup power? No rollover to another data center. My site was down for hours. Ok stuff happens. If you run an internet service of any kind, it will go down at some point. However, my site was down again within a few weeks after that and again for hours. I complained and they moved my site to another data center. Things got better for a few months and next thing you know my site was down again. It wasn’t down for long, but it was down! Internet providers usually aim towards a 99% up time. I can’t say that I experienced that rate with VPS.net. Also I was paying the MOST with my plan with VPS.net.

Time to move on!

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I had some time out of my busy schedule and decided it was time to get my sites under control again. Bluehost.com came highly recommended. However, this time I did a little research before simply moving over. Bluehost.com is HIGHLY rated and one of the top ranked hosting providers for wordpress. Their prices for regular hosting and WordPress managed hosting was very reasonable and less than VPS.net. Cost wise it was a no brainer. Once I did my research and signed up, then it was time to move over. I moved over my photography site first. It was still at Network Solutions and not having any issues, but again I was trying to consolidate. Then I moved my family reunion site over and everything was working perfectly. Now it was time to move over my three wordpress sites: terrywhite.com, macgroup.org/blog and bestappsite.com. For this I needed the help of my web guy, Erik Bernskiold. Erik did all the backend magic of backing up and transferring my databases over from VPS.net and Godaddy.

Everything just works!

Now that I’m on Bluehost.com, (knock on wood) I haven’t had a single issue. The sites that weren’t working well on Godaddy are working fine now. Same database, same content and same plugins. I’m using Bluehost’s Managed WordPress hosting and so far it’s been GREAT! I did have a couple of initial questions and Bluehost prides themselves on having 100% of their tech support based here in the U.S. The techs knew their stuff.

You can check out Bluehost’s services here.





I accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

My buddy Scott Kelby called me out on The Grid yesterday and challenged me to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I did. I also donated to ALS a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease (and Adobe did a 100% match to my donation) and you can too right here. I challenge my good friends Paul Trani, Jason Levine and Willie Blue. Can’t wait to see your videos guys :-)

Enjoy the video and thankfully it was a warm day :-)




What’s In My Bag?

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The good folks over a shotkit.com recently featured me on their site and the contents of my camera bag. You can see all the other photography gear that I use here. People are always asking what kind of gear I shoot with. On the flip side of that coin when I’m out on tour people are always asking about the gear I use on stage to do my presentations. So I thought it was time for a “What’s in my bag?” update. My backpack weighs a ton. Every now and then I take everything out and try to only put back in the things that I’m using on a regular basis. That time has come again and this past weekend while everything was out I decided to photograph it and detail it here:

  1. Let’s start with the bag itself. My FAVORITE computer backpack is the Tumi Alpha T-Pass. This backpack has really held up well with the load I put on it and shows no signs of wear. I was going through backpacks about once a year before this one. While it’s more expensive than I’m used to, it’s been worth it thus far. Also can beat the T-Pass feature for TSA checks at the airport. It unzips in half so that you don’t have to take out your laptop. Get it here.
  2. I shoot on the road and that means I need to retouch on the road. I couldn’t imagine retouching a picture in Photoshop without my Wacom Intuos Pro Small tablet. Get it here.
  3. In addition to the regular pen that comes with the Intuos Pro I have the Wacom 6D Art Pen for drawing in Illustrator. Get it here.
  4. My favorite international travel adapter. It covers most countries and has a smart design. Get it here.
  5. Nikon WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter. This allows me to transfer images from my Nikon D600/D610 to my iPhone or iPad wirelessly. Get it here.
  6. Adobe Ink & Slide – Pressure sensitive pen and digital ruler for drawing on the iPad. Get it here.
  7. Nikon D600 – I travel with either my Nikon D600 DSLR or my smaller Sony NEX 3 mirrorless camera. I love them both, but the DSLR is considerably bigger and heavier. Get the Nikon D610 here. Get the Sony Alpha NEX 6 here.
  8. Nikon ME-1 Stereo Micophone – You can’t have good video without good audio. The built-in microphone just doesn’t cut it. Therefore I use this one for those on the go interviews and recordings. Get it here.
  9. iPod touch – Although I have an iPhone and an iPad. I still prefer having a dedicated device on stage to play music and to run my presentation timer app. I’m usually using the iPhone and iPad in my demos. This way I have a dedicated device to do the tasks I need. Get it here.
  10. Oops – I left out #10. So let’s move on to number 11. :-)
  11. Nikon 28-300mm lens. This is my main travel lens and while I do have better lenses, this one covers a nice range and it has a good quality. Perfect for travel. Get it here.
  12. I have to charge all these devices. My main cables are the 6 foot Lightning cable by Apple – Get it here and the nice and short Lightning cable by CableJive. Get it here.
  13. iPad Air with Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio. I use my iPad Air all the time and now on stage to demo mobile apps. Get it here. I couldn’t imagine not having my Logitech ultrathin Keyboard Folio. Get it here.
  14. RavPower Battery – Sometimes my iPhone doesn’t make it through a long day of heavy use without another charge. I’m not always near an outlet. This RAVpower Battery can easily charge it twice. Get it here.
  15. I gave up fighting for additional outlets in hotel rooms and airports. Now I just bring this ultra compact 3 outlet powerstrip with me. Get it here.
  16. Charge 5 USB Devices at Once (including 2 tablets) with this slick 40w Anker 5 port charger. Get it here.
  17. Bose QuietComfort 20i Noise Cancelling Headphones. These need no explanation other than I gave up the full size pair for these because they do just as good of a job and take up a fraction of the space in my bag. Get them here.
  18. If I rent a car I want to be able to charge my iPhone and possible my iPad while I drive. This car charger gives me 4.2 Amps on BOTH USB ports. Get it here.
  19. Verizon 4G LTE Hotspot. I’m grandfathered into an unlimited data plan with AT&T on my iPhone and the only way to get the mobile hotspot feature on my phone is to give up that plan. I refuse to do that, so I have a separate hotspot to give me WiFi access in places where there is none or hotels where their internet is soooo slow that it’s unusable. Get it here.
  20. Apple Magic Mouse. It’s low profile, bluetooth, has a touch pad on it for smooth scrolling and gestures. It works. Get it here.
  21. Apple AirPort Express. I love creating my own WiFi network. This makes it easier to share a single connection on stage or in a hotel room and easily allows all my devices to talk to each other on the same subnet. Get it here.
  22. Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina Display Mid 2014 – This is probably the most important item in my bag. It’s my main work computer and it has enough power to handle everything I do. Get it here. The skin on top is a custom skin from Gelaskins. Make yours here.
  23. Wacom Bamboo Stylus Pen for writing and digital signatures on mobile devices. Get it here.

Not Pictured (forgot that these items were on my desk when I cleaned out my bag)!

Forgot the external hard drive that I always carry, but wasn’t in my bag at the time when I took everything out. I carry two G-Drive 1TB 7200 RPM External Thunderbolt, USB 3 Drives.

Also my favorite smartphone tripod mount.

My Hoodman USB 3.0 CF/SD Card Reader.

And my favorite cable bag to keep it all straight in my bag.





August 2014 Update: 3 NEW Features in Adobe Muse CC

Muse-totem

 

Right on the heals of the 2014 Release of Adobe Creative Cloud in June, the Adobe Muse team has already come out with a NEW feature update for August 2014. In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, I’ll show you 3 NEW features in Adobe Muse CC for this August 2014 Update.

muse-8-2014-features

While you’re here, check out this video on How To Create Custom Page Navigation Menus

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:

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I Built My Photography Website with Lightroom and TTG

twp-ttg-ce4-web-publishing-Lightroom

As much as I love using Adobe Muse CC to create websites like macgroup.org, I have one website that was better to build using Lightroom 5 and the NEW CE4 Web Publishing Suite from The Turning Gate. My terrywhitephotography.com site is built 100% from Lightroom and the plug-ins from The Turning Gate. While I can certainly have a more customized site using Adobe Muse CC, the one thing that makes it better to do this site in Lightroom is the ease of updating it when I have new photos and videos.

It starts with Collections

TTG-collections-publisher

Each of my Portfolios are Collections in Lightroom and from there I can sort images, add, and remove images at any time. My website has a slideshow on the home page and again that’s simply controlled by another collection that I can change at any time. One of the BEST features of the CE4 Web Publishing Suite is the “Publisher” plug-in. Once you set this up all you have to do to update your website is add/remove images from the Collection and hit the Publish button. Behind the scenes the images are uploaded to your hosting provider and put right into your galleries. I can’t believe how easy and fast it is to update my website at any time. This is the main reason why I prefer Lightroom for this site instead of Muse. I’m constantly changing my “Recent Work” gallery and it’s so easy to do it with the collection in Lightroom and hit the Publish button as opposed to manually exporting the images and having to update a slideshow in Muse. Again I LOVE Adobe Muse CC, but this workflow rocks in Lightroom!

 

Yep it’s Responsive

twp-landscapes-iphone

All of the modules/plug-ins used in the CE4 Web Publishing Suite use modern web technologies such as Responsive web design/CSS that looks good on desktops, tablets and mobile phones. This way I know that visitors to my site will see my work the way I intend them to no matter what device they view it on. My photos and videos playback great on all platforms. Even my landscapes will show the location where they were shot if the use taps/clicks on the location icon.

 

It works with Videos too

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The CEW Web Publishing Suite supports HTML 5 video that you host on your site or videos from YouTube and Vimeo. You can even mix them as I have some in HTML 5 and one from YouTube. Again using the Publisher plug-in I can add new videos with ease.

Watch me do a LIVE update to my site in this short clip

 

A GREAT Client Response Gallery

TTG-CRG-chrome-mac

Although it’s not a part of my main site, another one of The Turning Gate plug-ins that I couldn’t imagine life without is the Client Response Gallery. This is the one that I use when I want to send a client their proofs and have them make their choices/selections on the web and send them back to me from the site. Even if you’re not going to build your website with the CE4 Web Publishing Suite, you should still check out the Client Response Gallery Plug-in for Lightroom.

 

The Bottom Line

My photography is my hobby and my way to express my creativity. Since I don’t have a staff or web team I have to do everything myself. The CE4 Web Publishing Suite from The Turning Gate makes my life so much easier and as I always say, “If a website is easy to update you will update it more often, if it’s not you won’t!” My photography website is always up to date because I manage all my photos with Lightroom and updating my website is as easy as clicking a button.

Learn more about The Turning Gate CE4 Web Publishing Suite here.

 

Great hosting matters too

I’m going to do a separate post on my recent move to Bluehost.com, but they totally ROCK! I moved all my main sites there and haven’t had a single problem. It’s such a relief knowing that my sites are UP and that if there is a problem they have 24/7 phone support with people located here in the U.S. Highly Recommended!






How to Use Photoshop Generator to Make iOS Webclip icons for your site

PS_CC_totem

 

In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, I’ll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop Generator to make webclip icons for your website so that when people bookmark your website to their home screens on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch they’ll get your custom icon.

webclip-apple-touch-icon-iPhone5s

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:

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Thank You for Attending the 2014 Adobe Create Now World Tour!

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On behalf of Jason Levine, Paul Trani, Terry Ryan, Andrew Trice, Rufus Deuchler, Michaël Chaize, Dennis Radeke, our other co-presenters, organizers and staffers, we want to give you guys a big THANK YOU!

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The Adobe Create Now World Tour for the 2014 Release of Creative Cloud has been a tremendous success and we’ve been on the road non-stop since June 18th.

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It was great seeing so many of you in person and having you come up to me and tell me how much you enjoy my content.

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While it’s always flattering to be asked to sign autographs, I was floored when a fan wanted me to autograph his laptop.

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Some fans came from half way around the globe, even Asia Pacific.

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It was also a pleasure showing you many of the cool new things in the 2014 Release of Create Cloud! The cheers, the oooohs, the ahhhhs, and the clapping were greatly appreciated.

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Thanks for taking the time to hang out with us after the events…

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There’s so much talent out there and it was great hearing about all the cool things you guys do with our products. We look forward to seeing you all when we hit the road again! Be sure to check out my videos here.

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Paul Trani in action!

 

 


Adobe Lightroom 5.6 and Adobe Camera RAW 8.6 are here with Nikon D810 support and more

nikon_d810

I actually have a Nikon D810 on loan for review and I’ll be posting my initial impressions of it soon. One of the things that’s going to make it much easier for my to take the D810 through its paces is having Nikon D810 native RAW support in both Lightroom 5 and Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). Well that wait is over as they are now available. Here are the release notes from the team:

Lightroom 5.6

Lightroom_totem

is now available as a final release on Adobe.com and through the update mechanism in Lightroom 5. The goal of this release is to provide support for additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.

Release Notes

New Camera Support in Lightroom 5.6

  • Nikon D810 (Yay!)
  • Panasonic LUMIX AG-GH4
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom 5.6

 

 Mount  Name
 Canon  CanonEF-S10-18mmf/4.5-5.6ISSTM
 Canon  CanonEF16-35mmf/4LISUSM
 Canon  Tamron28-300mmf/3.5-6.3DiVCPZDA010E
 Canon  Tamron18-200f/3.5-6.3DiIIIVCB011EM
 Nikon  Nikon1NIKKORVR70-300mmf/4.5-5.6
 Nikon  Tamon28-300mmf/3.5-6.3DiVCPZDA010N
 Pentax  Sigma18-35mmf/1.8DCHSMA013
 PhaseOneA/S  SchneiderKreuznachLS40-80mmf/4.0-5.6
 SonyAlpha  Sigma18-35mmf/1.8DCHSMA013
 SonyAlpha  Sony28mmf/2.8
 SonyAlpha  Sony16mmf/2.8Fisheye
 SonyAlpha  Sony100mmf/2.8MACRO
 SonyAlpha  SonyDT16-105mmf/3.5-5.6 
 SonyAlpha  SonyDT18-200mmf/3.5-6.3
 SonyAlpha  SonyDT18-250mmf/3.5-6.3
 SonyAlpha  Sony70-200mmf/2.8G
 SonyAlpha  Sony70-300mmf/4.5-5.6GSSM
 SonyAlpha  Sony70-400mmf/4-5.6GSSM
 SonyAlpha  Sony70-400mmf/4-5.6GSSMII
 SonyAlpha  Sony135mmf/2.8[T4.5]STF
 SonyAlpha  Sony300mmf/2.8GSSMII
 SonyE  ZeissTouit2.8/50M

Please note – the profile for the newly added Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens is not automatically located when applying lens profile corrections. This is a bug and we will fix it in an future release. The workaround is to:

- Manually select the profile and choose “Save New Lens Profile Defaults” in the Setup menu on the Profile tab. From then on, the lens should automatically select when the profile is enabled.

Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 5.6

  • Collections with a custom sort order would sometimes not properly sync with Lightroom mobile.
  • Updated the “Adobe Standard” color profile for the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacts customers who used Camera Raw 8.6 or DNG Converter 8.6 to convert NEF raw files from the D810 to DNG
  • Star ratings set in Lightroom mobile did not properly sync to Lightroom desktop. Please note that this only occurred on images that were added to Lightroom mobile from the camera roll
  • Resolved the issues causing the persistent “Syncing … images” state that some of our customers have reported.”
  • Star ratings would sometimes not sync from Lightroom desktop to Lightroom mobile. Please note that this only occurred when attempting to sync a Collection that contained more than 100 photos that already contained star ratings.
  • Added information to the “System Info” dialogue to help designate if the customer installed Lightroom from the Creative Cloud.
  • Unable to open sRaw files from the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacted customers that converted D810 sRaw files to DNG in either Camera Raw 8.6 RC or DNG Converter 8.6 RC.
  • Images with invalid GPS coordinates would not properly sync with Lightroom mobile
  • Lightroom occasionally crashed when changing image selection on Windows. Please note that this only occurred on the Windows platform.
  • JPEG files exported from Lightroom would not open or be available to edit within Canon Digital Photo Professional application software.
  • Lightroom would run in reduced functionality mode when it should not.

Download Links:

Lightroom 5.6:

Mac | Win

Camera RAW 8.6

Adobe Camera RAW 8.6 has the same camera support and lens profile support listed above that Lightroom 5.6 has. Camera Raw 8.6 is now available as a final candidate on Adobe Labs for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC. This release improves performance when batch processing images, both through the Save button in Camera Raw and when converting images to DNG in the DNG Converter. DNG Converter 8.6 is provided for customers using versions of Photoshop older than Photoshop CS6. As mentioned here, updates to Camera Raw 8 for Photoshop CS6 only include new camera support, lens profile support, and bug fixes. The new features listed in the release notes are only available in Photoshop CC.

Camera Raw 8.6 adds camera matching color profiles for the following camera models:

Sony DSC-RX100 III

Sony A7S (ILCE-7S)

Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II (ILCA-77M2)

Camera Raw 8.6 introduces the following new features for Photoshop CC customers:

- Improved performance when batch processing images via the Save button (in Camera Raw) and when converting images to DNG (in DNG Converter). The performance improvements are available only on 64 bit systems.

Bug Fixes:

Fixed crash on launch in some cases on Hi DPI (Retina) systems.

Fixed crash when opening some Sigma SD9 raw files.

Fixed issue with JPEG images saved by Camera Raw not readable in some external applications.

Fixed automatic lens profile selection for Leica M (Typ 240) when using most recent firmware version.

Fixed issue with some Hasselblad H5D-50c and H5D-60 3FR raw images appearing slightly too dark. Unfortunately, this fix may affect the appearance of existing images captured with this combination of settings. It is recommended that you (1) purge the Camera Raw cache via the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, and (2) review previously captured images for unexpected brightness changes.

Fixed bug with converting Nikon D810 and Nikon D4S sRaw files to DNG.

Tweaked and updated the Adobe Standard color profile for the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacts customers that used Camera Raw 8.6 RC with the Nikon D810.

Please note – If you have trouble updating to the latest ACR update via the Creative Cloud application, please refer to the following plugin installation:

Download Links

DNG Converter 8.6

Mac |  Win

Thank You





This Battery Came in Handy During the Last Power Outage

HyperJuice 2

There I am at my desk at 5PM on a Sunday and I can hear the rain outside. Next I hear the wind really whipping by and bam, there go the lights. After a few seconds the lights came back on and then after a few more seconds they went off for good! Sure my APS UPS Systems kept my Server and Internet Router going for a while before they eventually ran out of juice. Since I was headed out of town the next morning I just decided to relax and take it easy for the rest of the evening. However, the one thing that I definitely wanted to keep charged and running the entire night was my iPhone. I have a battery that I keep in my backpack which is good for a couple of charges, but I had never tried to go all night with it. Also while I was sitting at my desk I hadn’t plugged my phone in so it was already down to around 40% battery left. That’s when I remembered my HyperJuice battery that was also in my office and fully charged!

DTE-iPhone

I commend DTE Energy for having a nice App to not only report the outage, but get status updates and see what other areas are affected:

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The HyperJuice  to rescue!

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This battery is really designed to power your MacBook for long periods of time when AC power isn’t readily available. However, it also has a USB port for charging/powering phones and tablets. I plugged my iPhone into the USB port and not only did I wake up fully charged 8 hours later, but the HyperJuice still had plenty of juice to top off my MacBook Pro as well! When I originally bought this battery it was for long flights and being at seminars where there were no plugs nearby. I hadn’t carried it in a while and never thought that I’d be using it to get me through the night because of a power outage.

You can get/find out more the HyperJuice here.

BTW, it’s 2014! Can’t we agree that power lines should be buried? Sigh…





Tired of dropping your iPhone?

kenu-highline

Chances are either you have dropped your iPhone or know some who has. Hopefully the case protected it and there was no damage. Unfortunately more often than not we know at least one person that has a broken screen right now. So far I’ve been lucky. I’ve had every model of iPhone since the original back in 2007 and I have dropped them all at least once, but no broken screens for me to date. Kenu, the makers of my FAVORITE smart phone car mount, the AirFrame have come out with a solution to cut down the chances of you dropping and breaking your iPhone or worse dropping it and not realizing you dropped it and you lose it. This product is called the Keuu Highline. It’s combination clear case (which I love) and a bungee cord that’s designed to attach to the bottom of the case. It has a quick release so that you can easily disconnect your iPhone/case from the cord. The cord can attach to anything from a belt loop to a zipper. Once attached you can drop your iPhone while in a standing position and the cord is short enough so that the iPhone won’t actually hit the ground. This is great especially if you’re going to be out and about, walking, taking pictures or sporting activities.

While I like the whole concept as a packaged product, what I found that I liked the most was the actually case. I love clear cases that don’t add a lot of bulk to the iPhone and this one has become my favorite. It’s just thick enough to add protection and yet then enough to not feel like your iPhone is in a case.

You can get the Kenu Highline here.

Also see it in action here:




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