Once again, Apple watchers (not to be confused with Apple Watches) are getting giddy about the concept of an Apple car. Every so often this prospect gets some traction, in part because of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive's appreciation for cars. There was some work with Volkswagon, dubbed the iBeetle, but that was more of a branding promotion. The reason people think Apple might be making its own car, now, is that they have been trying to poach employees from Tesla. This is hardly a reason to draw such conclusions, however.
The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.
We are learning more about the Apple Watch, in part thanks to a conference call Apple CEO Tim Cook had recently with analysts. We already knew that the battery life (about 19 hours with light use) would prohibit sleeping with the watch on. This, and its size, make it less suitable as a sleep tracker. So don't expect the Apple Watch to tell you how you slept. In fact, it looks like the watch will discourage you from being still! There is a mode that beta testers have been using that will remind you to get up and stop being so sedentary.
Apple made a rare move when it publicly announced the Apple Watch many months before it would be available. But this may have been designed to discourage potential customers from purchasing competing smart watches. If so, it worked, as only 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped during the last six months of 2014, the time period when it was available. Users might not want to spend $200 to $350 on a watch, and if they do, they will want to keep it a while, rather than upgrade every year or two. This means it was wiser to wait and see how robust Apple's offering would be.
As Apple hits new sales and revenue records, selling more iPhones than ever, owners of those new iPhones are losing fewer of them to theft. Apple's iPhones have long been a target of thieves. People use their expensive devices in public, listening to music, chatting, texting, etc., and aren't always paying attention to their surroundings. This behavior combined with the high resale value of Apple products, has resulted in a lot of thefts; in some jurisdictions, more iPhones are stolen than any other item.
Apple should be releasing iOS 8.2 (or 8.3) to the public soon, when the Apple Watch ships;, but eyes are already on iOS 9, which would likely be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. The next version of iOS has a code name, apparently, called Monarch. Rather than a nod to royalty, this could be a reference to the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon. That would be an appropriate analogy, as signs say this version of iOS is not going to be focused on new features, but rather finishing touches like stability. This is similar to how Apple's Swift didn't really offer new functionality, but instead was a cleaner, more efficient way to create apps. Such a shift should help iOS's performance on 16 GB devices.
The hard part about choosing a case from Verus
is that there are so many choices. And the difference between the cases are subtle but significant. I had the opportunity to try several of their cases, for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it was quite difficult to pick a favorite. So let's start with what they all have in common. They offer all-around protection, which includes the bottom of the iPhone, where many cases leave the phone vulnerable.
Apple's plans for moving to sapphire fell flat when their supplier GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy, but there may be an alternative on the horizon. Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, announced Project Phire this week. Apple hasn't confirmed that they use Gorilla Glass, but it's a poorly kept secret. While Corning has made improvements, Gorilla Glass still has a way to go. There has always been a tradeoff in drop protection and scratch resistance. Sapphire is extremely resistant to scratches, which is why it is used in many watches, as it is second to diamonds in hardness. However, sapphire can be brittle and crack in drop testing.
There is no excuse these days to have boring accessories thanks to companies like Lepow who are making elegant, colorful, minimalist gear to enhance the daily use of our phones and tablets. These gadgets have become an intimate part of our lives, so we need to keep them charged up and ready. Lepow understands this and makes chargers and other gear that fits right in with our fashion and travel needs.
I've tried vent clips before as a way to keep my phone in place in my car, but many of them have springs or plastic clips that don't do a good job or break. If that leads to a phone falling, that could be an expensive problem. So my phone usually ends up in a cup holder, which makes it harder to access for GPS navigation, music control, or phone calls. Of course, make sure you don't drive when distracted, or let yourself be distracted while driving!