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.)
My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.
Groucho Marx used to say "Live every day as if it were your last, because one day, you're going to be right." Likewise, Piper Jaffray's Gene Muster is always proclaiming that "this year" is the year Apple will ship its own full-size Apple TV and not just a hockey puck-sized set-top box. He still thinks a full-fledged television is coming from Apple, but in the meantime, an updated Apple TV should ship in 2015. That is a safer bet (and a far safer one than Apple shipping an automobile.)
Whenever Apple releases a new major version of iOS, it sends developers scrambling. They have to make sure their apps are compatible and aren't relying on "deprecated" code that no longer works or will stop working soon. But sometimes Apple changes things just enough in ways that don't break an app, but have an impact nonetheless. Twitter has just found this out the hard way.