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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who works in a noisy environment or flies a lot can tell you that, when it comes to headphones, nothing beats active noise cancellation. I have a set of IFROGZ Impulse Wireless that have “passive noise isolation,” which is just a fancy term for padded cups that seal off low-level noise. They do a good job, but nothing beats combatting noise pollution with software and circuitry.
A few years ago, when Samsung started their big advertising push in support of the Galaxy S line of phones, one of the focuses of those commercials was that the iPhone was old and passé. The Galaxy S was billed as the “Next Big Thing,” while the iPhone was set up as the phone for your parents. We all know what that means by association- the iPhone isn’t cool anymore.
As much as I have been a fan of the Apple Watch right from the beginning, I have also been critical of Apple’s handling of Apps on watchOS from the start. Apple overplayed their hand with apps on the original Apple Watch, and when WatchKit and the setup with watchOS 1 and the OG Watch couldn’t deliver on that promise, users lost interest in the concept very quickly.
Between user dissatisfaction and the frustration of getting apps developed and working properly on a new platform, many devs quickly abandoned their efforts. Still, I keep holding out hope that the Watch will fulfill its promise as a robust platform for the right kinds of apps that are properly geared toward the small screen.
Our favorite Apple analyst (and probably the most accurate one, as well) is at it again. In his latest report, Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the iPad Pro will be the next device to get Apple’s new TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology. This move would make perfect sense, bringing one of the latest and greatest features from one new Apple flagship device to another. TouchID similarly started with the iPhone 5S and then appeared later on the iPad Air 2, so Face ID coming to the Pro seems like the natural next step for Apple.