All posts by jhrogersii

Be Wary of Insurance Providers Offering Cheap Apple Watches

There is news this week that insurance company John Hancock is offering their Vitality life insurance policy owners the opportunity to get an Apple Watch Series 3 for only $25. This is a whopping $304 off the normal retail price, which is a pretty amazing deal. So what’s the catch?

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Deals: Twist World Charging Station

Powering your gear while traveling in the US is enough of a challenge, but world travel adds an extra layer of complexity. This is often accompanied with even MORE gear to get around the different types of plugs used in different countries. Enter the Twist World Charging Station from Konnext, which combines 4 USB charging ports with an array of interchangeable international plugs, all in one small package.

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Report: Apple Had to Downgrade Face ID Specs to Meet Ship Deadline

So it looks like Bloomberg has a pretty big scoop on the iPhone X production troubles here. Normally I would take a story like this with a big grain of salt. However, Bloomberg is a pretty solid source for Apple news, even though the company has waged a war of secrecy against them recently. They still have their sources, and don’t tend to just run with wild rumors like many other media outlet, so there is a high likelihood that this report is as least partially accurate. Also, I have to give Alex Webb and Sarah Kim of Bloomberg credit- this is a well-written and balanced article that provides a lot of insight into the entire situation. There are a lot of good details, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing. This is definitely not just a click-bait Apple hit piece. Kudos to the authors for that.

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Apple is Making the iPhone X Available In-Store on Nov 3

Apple is turning back the clock to the days of the Launch Day Lineup

With a sneaky little press release this morning, Apple has shaken up the iPhone X preorder process again. After already bending it somewhat in favor of existing iPhone Upgrade Plan customers, the company has decided to make the iPhone X available in its stores on launch day, as well. This should go smoothly. Stores open at 8 AM local time according to the press release. I especially like the line that encourages walk-in customers to arrive early. I think some people will take that to mean this afternoon.

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Deals: ZeroLemon PowerCube 50,000mAh Portable Power Station

The PowerCube 50,000mAh Power Station from ZeroLemon is the portable battery for people who aren’t messing around. Do you need to be able to recharge multiple devices while tailgating for your favorite team? Done. Do you want to have plenty of backup power for a camping trip, and aren’t sure how easy it will be to get access to an electrical outlet? Easy. How about keeping your smartphones topped up while boating so you can take pictures? No problem.

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Are Apple’s iPhone 8 Production Cuts a Red Flag, or Business as Usual?

I wrote about iPhone 8 sales a few weeks ago, as reports were beginning to infer that the device was performing poorly so close to its launch. There is more grist for the rumor mill this week, as there are reports that Apple has scaled back production by more half. On the surface, this move seems to indicate that the phone is selling well below Apple’s expectations, especially when paired with Reuters’ report that the iPhone 7 is outselling the 8 right now. However, these individual reports still can’t be viewed in a vacuum. Let’s step back from the ledge for a second. and try to put everything in context.

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Tips and Tricks: Synching Music to the Apple Watch

One of the reasons that I’ve never mentioned this tip before is because, until recently, I hadn’t used this feature myself. Until I got the Apple Watch 3 with LTE, that is. I used to use the Watch as a way to control my music on my iPhone, but thanks to the device independence that comes with a stand-alone Cellular connection, I am now using it to listen to music with my AirPods on occasion, as well.

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Review: The Power Packer

A few months ago, I wrote a Cool Things article about a Kickstarter product from Side by Side called the Power Packer. It is a compact zippered carrier designed to hold all of a user’s most important mobile accessories in such a way that they are kept safe and secure, and also remain easy to access. Considering that I carry a ton of gear around with me every day, I knew this was a perfect accessory for me.

I backed this product soon after writing the article, and I finally received it a couple of weeks ago. After finally taking some time out of my recently very busy schedule to load it up with a backup battery, charging bricks, charge cables, watch bands and other odds and ends, I’ve been carrying it with me every day since then to give it a shot. Let’s take a closer look.

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Deals: Dash A Bluetooth Speaker

Soundmatters, the manufacturer of the Dash A, makes the bold claim that their portable Bluetooth speaker is the world’s flattest. Bold claims are nothing new in advertising, but with a height of only 0.62”, they may actually be right. The device measures 6.5” X 2.1” X 0.62” and weights in at only 6.9 ounces, so the Dash A is small all-around, and as portable as any Bluetooth speaker you will find. In fact, it is so small that Sountmatters refers to it as a soundbar, rather than a speaker.

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It’s Time for Apple to Revamp the Preorder Process

Let me rephrase that- it’s PAST time for Apple to revamp their arcane preorder system. Apple asking people to wake up between midnight and 3 AM (depending on where they live) and fight their way into the queue to get the latest gear within a month or two of launch has just gotten more and more ridiculous as time has gone by. When the iPhone went on sale over ten years ago, people went and camped out and stood in long lines at Apple Stores, carrier locations, and other retailers to get their hands on one early. However, Apple gradually did away with the mass lineups using the preorder process. Now we have ample evidence that this system, at least as it is currently implemented, has also reached its logical limits.

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The iPhone 7 Surprisingly Topped All Smartphones in the First Half of 2017

According to a report from market research firm IHS Markit, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus not only sold better at home in the US, but also outsold all comers worldwide in the first half of 2017. To be honest, I found this report to be a big surprise. Apple has always been able to hold serve in North America, but worldwide sales of current gen iPhones has been an issue for them in the past due to pricing. In fact, Apple continues to struggle to gain a stronger foothold in China, and is still trying to get off the ground in India. Add to this the fact that the rumor mill for the iPhone X was absolutely insane, keeping many from upgrading last year, and you have surprising sellers in the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus.

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