JVC gave me a set of Extreme Fitness HA-ETR40 earbuds ($39.95) to try. This sporty pair of earbuds with microphone should meet the needs of most athletes. It's waterproof and washable, so sweat won't be a concern. The customizable fit makes sure the earbuds will stay put during a workout.
Bracketron gave me an EZCharge ($24.95) Dual High-Speed USB Charger to try. It could be the best car charger you can buy, and I say that because very often, such car chargers are free, as promotional items. But in this case, you get what you pay for. This car chargers offers a lot of features that make it worth paying for.
The Apple Watch announcement is behind us and it's time to "spring forward" and look ahead to the next announcement! The huge focus on fashion in the watch product line may spill over to the iPhone. Originally, the iPhone was only available in an aluminum and black form. Later white was added, and then silver, space gray, and, of course, gold. The iPhone 5c brought plastic colors too, but those are on the way out. The iPod touch product line came in assorted colors, but that product line seems to have been abandoned. Now, just as former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts brought her fashion sense to Apple Retail and the watch offerings, she may be influencing Apple to go pink with their flagship iPhone.
At the March 9 Apple event, Apple introduced "Force Touch," which is basically a binary version of touch sensitivity, for the trackpad in the new MacBook as well as for the Apple Watch. Those devices can now distinguish between a touch and a hard touch. This isn't exactly the kind of touch sensitivity that a Wacom tablet would offer, where it recognizes multiple degrees of force. That can be great for artists who want heavier and lighter lines based on pressure.
We've "sprung forward." Now we know what the specs are for the Apple Watch, and most importantly, what it will cost, in each configuration. We know that the somewhat smaller watches with a 38 mm case (height) will cost $50 less than the 42 mm ones. We also know there is no functional difference between the smaller one and the larger one. For my money, I will probably get the smaller one. It should be somewhat less bulky and perhaps more importantly, $349 is closer to an impulse buy (at least as Apple products go) versus $399. As an app developer with several watch apps on the horizon, I know I need to own an Apple Watch. But that doesn't mean I need a fancy one.
Would you take fashion advice from Apple's Tim Cook, Eddie Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Phil Schiller or even Dr. Dre or Jony Ive? If so, you would probably wear an untucked dress shirt with a button undone or a slim fitting dark t-shirt all the time (except when getting knighted by the Queen.) Thankfully, their fashion sense didn't dictate our options for the Apple Watch.
Apple normally tries to be super secretive before an announcement, but the Apple Watch was an anomaly. Apple took the rare step of introducing it months before it was shipping or even finalized. As Apple did not have a smartwatch product line to protect, they could afford to do so. Plus, it froze consumer purchases of competing gadgets. Still, we didn't know everything about the Apple Watch, until today. And we still have more to learn, once it reaches consumers' hands (and wrists!)
It's almost time to set our watches ahead one hour, which could be the last time many of us need to do that manually, if we own an Apple Watch by this time next year. Last minute rumors coming out of Cupertino offer a little more insight into how the Apple Watch will be used. Apple has allowed a select group of developers into their secret laboratory in order to test their apps on the device. This is a top-secret lab that is harder to break into than a political candidate's private email, and certainly harder than Sony Pictures!
I had the opportunity to try a Wood and Leather iPhone Case ($129) from Grovemade, and I must say I came away impressed.
I liked the use of high-end materials and protective yet minimalist design. A wooden shell encompasses the iPhone and protects it, with openings in all the right places. The case opens up and can display the phone in landscape mode at three different angles. This case is beautiful and still functional.
As users migrate to tablets, in particular iPads, to replace their laptops, there has been speculation that Apple might bridge the gap between the iPad Air and the MacBook Air. An iPad Pro, at just over 12 inches, with some kind of a keyboard case or cover, like Microsoft's Surface has, could be just what the doctor ordered. There are also suggestions that a Pro version of the iPad might support USB 3.0 for faster data transfer and charging and even support for a wired keyboard. I had a Microsoft Surface with the magnetically-attached keyboard cover and that was a nice touch (no pun intended) that I'd like to see Apple mimic.