Deals: World’s Fastest Recharging Battery Pack

This may sound like an over-cooked marketing claim, but this 10,000mAh battery back from Yukuma actually recharges to full capacity in only 30 minutes. I’ve owned MANY portable battery packs, and most with this kind of capacity take a few hours to recharge, so really is quite impressive.

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Cool Things: The SonorPen is a Creative Alternative to Expensive iPad Styli

I’ve been using an Apple Pencil for a couple of years now, and I have never been anything but happy with it. It is incredibly accurate, tracks fast across the screen, feels good in the hand, and the battery life is just fine considering how well it performs. Lately, my wife and kids have also discovered how good the Apple Pencil, as they keep borrowing mine and pairing it up with the other iPad Pro in the house.

I know what that means- soon I’ll be out another $60-$99 (depending on whether I can find a refurb model, or not). However, if a recent Kickstarter delivers on its promise, then maybe that price will soon be a little lower.

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HomePod and the Apple Watch: Disconnected

The Apple Watch and HomePod share a connection in that they are the two most recent new hardware platforms released by Apple. Unfortunately, other than having a variant of iOS at their respective cores, this is all they share. What would seem to be an obvious partnership, with the Apple Watch able to play and control music through the HomePod via AirPlay, is currently an oddly disjointed relationship.

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Tips and Tricks: Resetting your Apple Music Listening Preferences

I signed up for Apple Music as soon as it was available to try it out, so I know it pretty well at this point. You would think it knows me by now, but more on that in a moment. I had been using Google Play All-Access before that at a discounted monthly rate, but never was super-impressed with the iOS app or the service’s features. It was a very bare-bones music streaming service at the time, and with my kids getting more interested in listening to music, the ability to add parental controls became a priority.

While Apple Music itself was fine outside of a confusing interface that first year, we did experience one irritating problem. We had set up Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing when it became available in iOS 8, but there were some issues and bugs with it over the course of the first year or so. One of these affected Apple Music Family Plans when the service was released. We tried to set up our kids’ devices to use Apple Music independently with Family Sharing a couple of times within the first few months, with no success. Their iPhones and iPods would not recognize that they should have access to Apple Music when signed on on their iCloud accounts.

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Deals: DIY Star Wars AT-AT Organizer

Is you desk or general work area overrun with charge cables, surge protectors, business cards, and the like? How about your Living Room? I know my kids have cabled and adapters EVERYWHERE until I force a clean sweep. If you are looking for a unique way to store the small things that can sometimes pile upon us, I have just the thing.

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Living with the HomePod: On the Road

The HomePod is really good at a few things. Unfortunately, working in a hotel room with hotel WiFi is NOT one of them. Just like the Apple Watch, that pesky interstitial WiFi login screen trips it up, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising. I’m going to attempt using Personal Hotspot sometime down the road and see if this can be bypassed. Until then, here are a few more observations on Apple’s new toy.

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Deals: Lofree Poison Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

One thing that many electronic products lack, especially inexpensive ones, is style. Other than higher priced gear like the HomePod, Google Home, or the Amazon Echo, most Bluetooth speakers are generic neutral color bricks. Well, not all of them.

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Living with the HomePod- Settling In

This is day four with my HomePod, and I think I have a pretty good feel for it at this point. We all know the basics- the sound is great, Siri is no so great. However, this is the point where users start coming across more of the details of a device, and the HomePod is no exception. Here are some more observations from the last couple of days of use.

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Tips and Tricks: Disable Explicit Content Playback on HomePod

One of the areas where Apple’s iOS has excelled since early days is in Parental Control options. While others have caught up and Amazon has even passed them when it comes to granular, on-device options, Apple is still at or near the top when it comes to restricting music streaming. In fact, several of their competitors have little to nothing in the way of content ratings restrictions for music.

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Living with the HomePod- Day Two

Today is day two for my testing of Apple’s new HomePod. While most of my time today has been spent playing around with Siri, I have plenty of additional observations on music playback, as well.

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Living with the HomePod- Day One

I was a little late getting started with my HomePod yesterday. I was in Boston for meetings all week, and my plane didn’t get in until 8:15 last night. By the time my family picked me up and we got home and I unpacked, it was getting late and I was beat. I did set it up and listened to a little bit of music, but my wife had to work today and needed to turn in, so I turned it off after a few minutes and got some sleep myself.

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