The Prong case was one of the most promising cases when it debuted at CES 2014 a little over a year ago. It was the first, and only, case to include retractable prongs allowing it to plug directly into a wall socket. No need to carry a microUSB or Lightning cable.
On a very special Modern Family, Apple products played a very important role. The entire February 25 episode was filmed using Apple gear, and tools like FaceTime were integrated into the show. This was a bit of an experiment and there are no signs that this will be a recurring theme although iPhone footage has been used in the past. Apple provided the equipment but did not pay any other promotional consideration for being included. It could have been dismissed as a gimmick, perhaps to get ratings from the Apple fans and news coverage, but the show is doing pretty well on its own. Rather, the novel approach reminded me of the "Point of View" episode of MASH that was shot from a patient's view. It gives the viewer another way to appreciate the show, and the characters, from another perspective.
I've written often about Olloclip and their clip-on lenses for iPhones. Their latest batch supports both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, using an insert for each phone. This is great if you have both types of phones in your household, or if you might upgrade later. We have a few iPhone 6 phones in the family, but might add a 6 Plus to the household, so it's always nice when accessory makers keep multiple devices in mind.
Apple does a great job with apps in addition to hardware, and several of its "extra" iOS apps are must haves—Keynote and Pages are two examples. But the company should have included a conversion app, either as part of the calculator app or as a standalone one. Fortunately, there is Convoto, an elegant tool for conversions. The interface is nice and clean, clearly inspired by Clear, the to-do app. Rather than garish buttons, a swipe interface is used. Multiple rainbow-colored selections distinguish the numerous conversion options.
If you want the latest technology, like I do, and you long for the old-school attention to detail of days gone by, as I do, you'll appreciate the line of microphones and speakers from Samson. The Meteor M2 speakers remind me of drive-in movie theater speakers, but with much better sound. The speakers come as a pair, offering stereo sound unlike those old drive-in models. But their heft, thanks to the zinc die cast construction, harkens back to a day when things were built to last.
Apple could add $5 billion to its coffers each quarter in sales of the gold version of their Apple Watch. Expectations are that as much as 17 percent of the Apple Watch sales will be of the pricey gold version, which would translate to one million sales, per quarter, of a wearable expected to sell for $5,000. Are there 4 million wealthy Apple fans who are willing to pony up for that pricetag? If so, it could explain Angela Ahrents bonus of $73 million for leaving the CEO spot at Burberry to run Apple's retail division. That incentive seemed outrageous originally, but she gave up a comparable amount at Burberry. Now she has to work her magic to make sure that number is noise compared to the revenue she may bring in. It may be paying off, as Self magazine is already showcasing an Apple Watch on their cover worn by supermodel Candice Swanepoel.
I love the juxtaposition of wood and high technology. I'm surrounded by the latest gear, so it's nice to have a little old-world influence in a gadget. Several examples of wooden "artisanal" gadgets arrived in my mail recently, and they are a pleasure to behold.
We will be getting the Apple Watch soon, but it may not be the watch we could have had. As powerful as the Apple Watch will be, Apple reportedly had more ambitious plans for their first generation wearable, but they were axed
for several reasons, including regulatory approval. If Apple were to start making medical claims, they would need approval from the FDA. While the watch will have a heart rate sensor, the dropped features include tracking of blood pressure and stress levels. Apple apparently couldn't guarantee accurate results, as there are too many variables, such as how tightly the watch is worn.
It turns out that flip phones are still popular. Who knew? Actually, I did, as I often run into users with Flip Phones at trade shows where I'm promoting my apps. Nothing shuts down an app developer like "I use a flip phone!" But it turns out that while there are many users who just want a simple phone, without apps or a fragile, exposed touchscreen, there are flip phones that are quite advanced. And they're big in Japan.
Apple's iOS has been playing second fiddle to Google's Android in terms of market share since 2012. While Apple was doing quite well in terms of profits, they had been losing on volume to Android devices which tend to be much cheaper and even free with a contract. But a new report indicates that has changed with the larger iPhone 6 (and more affordable iPhone 5 models.)