All posts by jhrogersii

Deals: HyperDrive USB-C Hub with 4K HDMI Support

While the “dongle life” has become a way of life for many MacBook and MacBook Pro users, there is an easier way to get multiple devices connected using the built-in USB-C ports. A USB-C Hub cuts the number of dongles needed to connect all of your legacy accessories down to just one.

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New Sixth Generation iPad Release Likely to Come Soon

According to French site Consomac, Apple has registered two new devices with the Eurasian Commission for their database. It seems that any device that uses encryption must be registered there ahead of release. This should prove to be a very accurate indicator of an imminent arrival, since previous Apple device releases have been predicted based on registrations here, as well. While there have been some rumors of new iPad Pros with Face ID, no Home Buttons, and slimmer bezels since late year, the lack of any supply chain rumblings ahead of this Eurasian filing points to a simple refresh of the lower-cost iPad now, with the new Pro devices coming later in the year.

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Is Apple FINALLY Going to Take a Major Step into Home Gaming with the Apple TV?

If you’ve been reading this site over the last year, you may have come across one of my many rants on the Apple TV. It’s a platform that I used to love. A device I thought had so much promise just a few years ago. I was excited to get one back in late 2015, when Tim Cook told us “The future of TV is apps.” I thought that, at long last, Apple had finally taken the next step with their television platform.

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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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