Five products from 2014 I can’t live without: Kelly Hodgkins

With 2015 right around the corner, the team at TUAW has been looking back at 2014 and reminiscing about their favorite apps and products of 2014. It’s my turn to chime in, and I’ve decided to combine the best of both world’s by including apps, Apple hardware and Apple-related accessories in my list.

Osprey Axis Daypack

Osprey makes great backpacks and its “All Mighty Guarantee” can’t be beat. I purchased the Axis this spring and have been using it as a daily bag to tote around my laptop and iPad when needed. The pack has two internal sleeves that fit a 13.3-inch MacBook and iPad perfectly. Besides a daily carrier, the Axis is the perfect size for a small day hiking bag and snug fitting enough to wear it while mountain biking. If the Axis isn’t your style, Osprey makes a variety of packs for outdoor and urban use. You can’t go wrong with the size and color that suits your needs.


iPhone 6 Plus

I didn’t like the iPhone 6 Plus after I first bought it — it was big and difficult to carry around. Now that I’ve had the large-sized phone a few months, I’ve adapted my lifestyle (aka my pockets) to accommodate the phone. Now, I can’t live without it the large screen. I have an iPhone 5s kicking around and wonder how I ever managed to type and browse the web on that tiny screen.


Kenu Airframe +

Small but strong, the Kenu Airframe + mounts quickly to your smartphone and allows you to attach your iPhone 6 Plus to your car’s dashboard. It clips into your heater vent and expands to fit an iPhone with case up to 6-inches in size. You can place your phone at arm’s length and turn it for use in either landscape or portrait orientation. Great for navigating in older cars that don’t have a built-in system.

Fitbit Flex

The Flex is not the fanciest fitness tracker on the market, but it is reliable and has a fantastic battery life. The best part is that you wear it, forget about it and go. I do wish it had a display with full notifications support, but that feature is a mixed blessing. I’ve tried a few fitness trackers with notifications, but they just don’t work reliably — frequently dropping the connection to the phone and missing notifications as a result. Hopefully, a manufacturer — “cough, Apple, cough” — will be able to add notifications to a fitness band in a reliable and useful way. Until then, I will motor along happily with the Flex.


Monument Valley

I had to include this game for its stunning visuals, mysterious storyline and wonderfully complex puzzles. I love Monument Valley, gladly paid for the Forgotten Shores update and look forward to even more levels if Ustwo adds them in the future.

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