My Pixelbook Experiment Was a Bit of a False Start

So I ended up returning the Pixelbook that I picked up to review and wrote about a couple of weeks ago. This was more of a false start than a failure, though. I hit day 14 (BestBuy’s last day to return) without being able to say if it was something I would be willing to part with $1000 for, or if I would even be able to take a small monetary hit to have it for a while and then sell it for less. The fact is, I just wasn’t able to spend as much time with the device as I had hoped, and couldn’t be sure about it. It’s better to safe than sorry in that case, but I can’t say that I won’t go back any try again later on.

Here are a few things that I did glean from my brief time with the device:

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple Needs to Make Siri Great at Something

With the HomePod showing up on my doorstep next Friday, I’ve been doing some thinking about Siri lately. Why is the overall impression of Apple’s digital assistant so negative? There are recent surveys and tests showing it as being competitive with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana in some areas. There is real evidence that many “normal” users aren’t as dissatisfied with it as we in the tech community and the “Apple bubble” are. So what is the problem? Where is the disconnect?

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: Rearview Eye Level In-Car Smartphone Mount

If you use your phone for navigation while driving, or tend to take a lot of phone calls and messages (using Siri, of course), then you know that positioning your phone securely where you can see it clearly, but it also won’t get in the way, is essential. If you don’t do this, then any potential safety benefits of going handsfree in the car go out right the window.

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: iRest Lap Stand

Have you ever gotten tired of holding your tablet while using it? Yeah, that’s going to be everyone who’s ever used one. Well, here’s a versatile stand for users who want the flexibility to hold their tablets on a table, or on their laps.

Continue reading

Share This:

Analysts Are All Over the Place Leading Up To Apple’s First Quarter Earnings Call

Between the glowing reports of recent massive successes and predictions of impending doom and gloom, it’s hard to get a feel for what is actually going on with Apple, and how their First Quarter Earnings will be perceived. One consensus seems to be that Apple’s past quarter will be the biggest in company thanks to strong iPhone X sales, as well as solid Mac, iPad, and Watch sales and Apple’s growing Services business and sales in China.

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: Nut Find 3 Smart Tracker

One of the problems with mobile electronics is that they are, well, mobile. Anything that is mobile will inevitably be misplaced or lost. That is a painful thing to think about when you consider how expensive mobile electronics can be. Of course, gadgets aren’t the only small items that are easily lost or misplaced, and while your car keys may not cost as much as a phone, the inconvenience can be just as painful.

Continue reading

Share This:

Review: Ztylus Revolver M6 Series Lens Kit for iPhone X

I’m always intrigued when a company takes a successful existing design and sets it aside in favor of something that they believe is better, rather than continuing to iterate on what they already have. It is often a brave decision that leaves the safety net behind and shows a company’s conviction in their ideas and designs. A notable example of this from the tech world would be Apple and Steve Jobs’ decision to kill off the wildly successful iPod Mini in favor of the new iPod Nano in 2005.

Continue reading

Share This:

The Reasoning Behind the HomePod’s Design and Marketing is Surprisingly Simple

I’ve seen an interesting combination of concern, complaints, dismissiveness, and derision over the HomePod across Twitter, Apple blogs, and tech sites over the past few days. The preorder and announcement of the final release date for the device, as well as a lack of any other substantive Apple news at the moment seem to have stoked the fires of discussion and opinion.

I can understand many of the reasons, and I even agree with many of you that Siri isn’t on par with other digital assistants in many ways, that the HomePod’s high price could be a limiting factor, and that it is showing up more than fashionably late to a fast-moving party. However, despite the concerns and complaints, the reasons behind the design and focus of the HomePod still make sense if you look at Apple’s recent hardware and software efforts.

Continue reading

Share This:

Apple’s HomePod Details Now Clearly in Focus as Preorders Begin at 12AM Pacific [Or Not]

[Update: The HomePod did NOT go on sale at 12 AM PST as most Apple news outlets and I expected, breaking the usual iOS-based device release mold. Apple didn’t shut down the online Apple Store last night and the HomePod still isn’t available for preorder. Apple has not made any official statement, but it has been mentioned by several people on Twitter that Apple does an automatic refresh of their website at 6:01 AM PST every day. It is now expected that the link to preorder the device will show up then, but who knows? It’s also possible that Apple is running a massive social engineering experiment to see how well it has conditioned its fans to get up at odd hours to preorder devices. If so, then based on the number of comments I saw on Twitter early this morning, I say well played, Apple. Well played.]

[Update 2: I was able to order the HomePod with launch day delivery. I’m not sure when exactly it hit the Apple Online Store for preorder, but I know it was before 8 AM CST because I checked while stopped in rush hour traffic on the way to work, and there it was. I completed my order around 8 AM CST, but it was released between 10 to 30 minutes before that  I hope Apple avoids being this random with future preorders, but it is what it is.]

HomePod preorders begin in a little over four hours [nope], so if you live in the Eastern or Central Time Zones and are planning to get up super early, it might be a good idea to turn in early, or at least catch a nap if you can [a nap sounds somewhere between good and necessary today]. With this new hardware finally coming into clearer focus, now is a good time to recap some of the additional information that has come to light since the countdown to release started ticking earlier this week.

Continue reading

Share This:

Deals: Final Draft 10

Final Draft 10 is the gold standard when it comes to screenwriting and script software. It is used by 95% if all film and television producers, as well as the top studios, including Disney, Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal, MGM, Paramount, ABC, the BBC, and more. Final Draft 10 has also gained high praise in reviews from Macworld, PC Mag, 9to5 Mac, and CNET.
Continue reading

Share This:

Apple’s HomePod Arrives on Feb 9, but it’s Still Not Quite Finished

Apple has finally lifted the veil on its newest hardware platform. The company announced today that the HomePod will arrive on February 9, with preorders starting on Friday! However, it’s not all good news, as a couple of features are still delayed until later this year.

Continue reading

Share This: