The HomePod is Selling Better But Not Gaining Ground

The HomePod story over the 2019 Holiday quarter was a double-edged sword for Apple. On the good news front, sales of the HomePod grew an impressive 62% year over year in the 4th quarter. Not so good is the fact that Apple still isn’t making up any ground in the smart speaker market, as they remain in 6th place with only 4.7% of the current market.

Continue reading

Share This:

Pandora Adds Independent Streaming to their Apple Watch App

A lot of Apple Watch fans wanted an always-on display and got their wish last year with the Series 5. Others want sleep tracking. Some want a slimmer design without losing any battery life. While I am good with all of the above, what I really want to see next is independence for the Apple Watch. In my opinion, de-coupling the Watch from the iPhone for setup and basic operation is the last major step in the platform’s evolution.

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple May Be Developing a Lite Version of the AirPods Pro

DigiTimes may not bat 1.000 when it comes to Apple rumors, but they do know a fair amount the supply chain and devices that are in testing and development. What they don’t usually have is definitive information or context to go with these leaks and bits of information, but there is usually some amount of truth in their reports. The hard part is figuring out where that truth is.

In one such report this week, DigiTimes predicts that Apple is getting ready to produce a new “lite” version of the extremely popular AirPods Pro in Taiwan.

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: Smartphone 2-in-1 Shower Case

While most smartphones manufactured over the last few years have some level of waterproofing or water resistance, the reality is that they still aren’t meant to be repeatedly submerged for long periods of time. And if you have an older smartphone, ANY contact with water comes with risk.

If you want to be able to safely use your smartphone in the bath or shower, or somewhere even more risky, like at the beach or on a boat, then we have just the thing.

Continue reading

Share This:

New Conflicting iPad Pro Rumors from DigiTimes

There have been a few different rumors regarding new iPad Pros coming in 2020 going back to last year. The most common is that Apple will refresh their lineup soon, possibly as early as next month. That timeline matches up with the typical 18 month life cycle for the Pros, so it seemed to make sense.

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple Pay is Moving On Up

According to a Bernstein analyst report cited by Quartz, Apple Pay already accounts for 5% of global credit card transactions, which is pretty solid when you consider that the service is only five years old. That easily outpaces other mobile provider networks, such as Samsung Pay and Google Pay, and is starting to encroach on territory that PayPal has owned for many years.

Continue reading

Share This:

The iPhone 9 is On the Way. Will Coronavirus Slow it Down?

There have been several reports that Apple is prepping the iPhone 9, their smaller, lower-cost follow up to the iPhone SE, for a March release. However, there just so happens to be a novel virus running rampant through China that is likely to gum up the works.

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple News+ Needs Some TLC

We’ve been here before. iCloud had its struggles all the way back to MobileMe before finally finding its footing recently. The Apple Maps app itself was fine from the beginning, but the stitched together maps and second-hand POIs were rough until Apple put in the work themselves. Apple Music’s content was good, but the interface was a flat-out mess when it was rolled out. Conversely, Apple News was just bad all the way through when it was released. Despite all the rough beginnings and growing pains, though, it’s good that Apple stuck with all of the above and made them all into strong services and apps in the long run.

I keep thinking Apple will learn from their previous false starts, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Apple News+ has taken the same path iCloud, Maps, Music and News before it. News+ has easily been the poorest received of all of Apple’s new paid service offerings and it culminated with the head of the service leaving the company this week.

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: 15W Qi Wireless Charger

Do you want the convenience of wireless charging on the go? If so, this folding15 Watt Qi Charger may be exactly what you are looking for.

Continue reading

Share This:

Music Notation App StaffPad Brings Pro-Level Composition to iPadOS

In what sometimes seems like another life, I was a music student and then a professional musician (for a little while) and a teacher (for longer). I was a percussionist all through middle and high school and absolutely loved it. I won some awards over the years and made several honor bands, including All State my senior year. I got scholarship offers to several schools and ended up attending Louisiana State University for four years to study music. I got a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and then got my Masters’ Degree from Florida State after that.

Continue reading

Share This:

The Improvements to Apple Maps are a Big Step Forward

For all of Apple’s great products and software, no company can lead in all areas, all the time. However, Apple has proven that, when properly motivated, they can get things into gear and play a mean game of catch-up from behind. A notable recent example of this would be in smartphone photography.

While Apple was the one of the first companies to prioritize the smartphone camera hardware and software, they eventually lost that lead to more aggressive companies like Samsung, and later Google and Huawei, over the course of a few years. However, Apple showed a willingness to invest and apply their resources to get back into the smartphone camera game in 2019. The new three lens camera systems on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max and the improved camera app have made huge strides in computational photography, especially in low light.

Continue reading

Share This: