Category Archives: Cool Things

iPad Insight Garage Sale: Apple iPhone and iPad Cases Available- Just Pay Shipping

As promised in my last post, I have several cases that I have reviewed for older iPhones and iPads over the years that I am willing to send out to the first responder I hear from. Just pay the shipping to you plus a small handling charge of $5 to cover things like boxes, packing material and the time to get all of these packages out the door. Then it’s all yours.

Rest assured that, in spite of the tongue-in-cheek money bag above, this is not a money making venture for me. Feel free to check the retail prices of these cases, or what used versions go for on eBay or elsewhere. You guys are definitely getting the better end of this deal, but that’s fine by me.

I’m just happy to move these quality cases out of my house to people who will get some use out of them. I can’t just throw items this nice away, but I have also never felt good about selling review items that companies have given to me. It’s much better to hand those down or give them away if I’m not using them.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 Is About to Head Back to the Store

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

When I first bought both Microsoft’s Surface Duo and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2, I was open to the possibility of keeping one of them. It’s not easy to drop $1,400 to $1,850 on a device that won’t be my primary smartphone. However, I do get paid a small amount to do this and I have always had an undying interest in new technology. For all of their weirdness and flaws, dual-screen devices and foldables are definitely on the leading edge.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

An Apple User Tries Out the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

After kicking the tires on the Microsoft Surface Duo and coming away intrigued, but ultimately unconvinced, I figured that I also needed to take a look at this year’s other major foldable smartphone to get the full picture of what’s happening in this space. While Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 is also considered the same category of device, its design and the experience it provides are very, very different.

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Surface Duo Dual-Screens

An iPhone User Takes the Surface Duo for a Spin

Surface Duo Dual-Screens

So I bought a thing this weekend. My Apple Watch showed up Friday, so I’ve been spending some time getting used to the new features, but that wasn’t the only new device I got that day. I had been looking at Surface Duo reviews and, while somewhat skeptical, I was still intrigued by the concept. There’s no absolute guarantee that dual-screen devices will be anything beyond a high-end honeypot, but there’s still something new and interesting here for us tech fans to get into.

There’s no way to know what you think about new technology without going hands-on. I finally saw where a local BestBuy had a Duo in stock late last week and decided to take the plunge.

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Apple Health

It’s Time for a New Way to Write

Apple Health

I’ve been busier over the last two years than I’ve ever been. That’s mostly due to a project I’ve been focused on that often takes me well beyond the normal 8 hour work day. Thankfully, it is nearing its end, but I’m still quite busy and often get home from work late. And once I get home, I usually eat dinner and write something for this site. It’s been a vicious cycle that hasn’t been kind to me physically. Add in a fair amount of time on the road and there’s been enough of a toll taken that it’s time for some real changes.

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Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an Interesting Diversion

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

I’m a sucker for unique and interesting tech devices, and not just those from Apple, either. I can’t afford to own them all, but I do try as many as I can and keep the ones that really stand out. This is how I ended up with a Surface Go a couple of years ago (it seemed like a good idea at the time). I ultimately decided to keep it, but recently returned the follow up Surface Go 2 because it didn’t stand out enough to justify the higher price.

Sometimes these experiments are a hit and other times not so much. So far, my current test drive of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is trending toward the hit column.

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Surface Go 2 with Type Cover

Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 is Going Back Where it Came From

Surface Go 2 with Type Cover

Two years ago, I was really interested to see how Microsoft’s Surface design would translate to a smaller device that was more clearly aimed at taking on Apple’s lower tier iPads. I bought one and I still have it today. While my initial impressions of it, especially the hardware, were positive, they definitely diminished over time. At the end of the day, the poor touch user experience of Windows 10, lack of apps that are geared toward tablet use, and lackluster performance ultimately killed my interest in the Go.

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Microsoft Takes Another Direct Shot at the iPad with the Surface Go 2

Surface Go 2

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Microsoft is taking the old saying to heart as they make another go with the Surface Go. The least expensive member of the Surface family was originally released two years ago and was clearly positioned against Apple’s entry-level iPad. While it certainly wasn’t a disaster, when measured against the sales of Apple’s tablets, there’s no way it could be considered a major success, either.

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Cool Things: Paperlike 2 Screen Protector for the iPad

Two years ago, I covered an interesting Kickstarter product for the iPad Pro called the Paperlike. It was a screen protector that made the iPad’s screen feel more textured like a piece of paper. I backed the Kickstarter and reviewed the product after it arrived a few months later. It made a big difference for me using my Apple Pencil, as the added texture made writing and controlling the Pencil easier. I liked it enough that I kept it on my 2017 iPad Pro until I sold it last Summer.

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The Yin and Yang of the Apple Store

I have seen a lot of complaint articles and negative Twitter pile-ons about the current design and operation of Apple Stores over the past few months. Some of this was likely stirred up by the departure of Angela Ahrendts from the company. She had spent a lot of her time at Apple giving Apple Retail a new makeover, getting rid of some iconic features like the Genius Bar in favor of a more open and communal space setup.

There have been more recent comments made since the departure of Jony Ive from the company a few weeks ago. While Ahrendts was the driver behind the changes to the Apple Stores, Ive was the lead designer. As with Apple Park, his commitment to open spaces and environments is taken just about as far as it can go. Anything at the extremes like that tends to be polarizing, so most will either love it or hate it.

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HyperDrive USB-C Hub for the iPad Pro

It’s been a while since a crowdfunding project got my attention enough to make me part with some cash. However, I came across the HyperDrive last week and figured it was worth a go. This is the best looking expansion solution I’ve seen that is specifically geared toward the iPad Pro so far, so I decided to give it a shot.

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