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The Apple Effect on Smartwatch Competitors

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The Apple Watch may be in short supply, but its very existence is having an effect, let's call it the Apple Effect, on competitors. As Apple enters a market, it legitimizes that market but also raises the bar on design and features. Competitors have to adjust prices, at first, while they try to match Apple on style. We've seen it with smartphones, tablets, and now smartwatches.



Ztylus Metal: A Clever Camera Case

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With a name like Ztylus, I was expecting a stylus, but instead Ztylus gave me the Ztylus Metal Camera Kit ($114.95) to try, which includes an iPhone case and 4-in-1 revolver lens. I came away impressed. 



Here's How Apple Is Using the Hidden Apple Watch Port

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Apple may not want third parties to take advantage of the hidden diagnostics port behind the Apple Watch's band connector, but that hasn't stopped Apple from using it. In some leaked photos, a Brazilian blog (blogdoiphone.com) shows how Apple's own display stands keep those Apple Watches charged while running demos.



Apple Watch to Hit Apple Stores in June

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Apple is still trying to meet the backlog of online Apple Watch orders, but 9to5mac asserts that Apple Watches will be available in Apple retail stores in June, per Apple CEO Tim Cook, during his China tour. This could be a curious situation for those who ordered a watch with delivery scheduled in late June. Of course "in June" could be June 30.



Apple TV Update Appears Imminent

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Ever since Steve Jobs was quoted in Walt Isaacson's Jobs biography as having "nailed" the television dilemma, and really before then, Apple watchers have been looking for an integrated Apple television set. I never thought it was practical, as the TV set market is pretty cutthroat, with newer entries like Vizio driving sizes up and prices down. It's hard for Apple to enter that market, make a difference, and charge a consistently profitable price. But where they could leverage their expertise is in user interface, remote control, home automation, and thanks to their acquisition of PrimeSense (the Israeli firm behind Kinect), gestures and gaming.



Marshall Offers High Performance Headphones at a Reasonable Price

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I'm a fan of Marshall amplifiers, so when I had the opportunity to try Marshall Headphones Model Major II ($119) I jumped at the chance. As you would expect from the leader in rockstar amps, sound is the primary focus and it shows. The headphones deliver full range without distortion and compete favorably with headphones priced twice as high. In fact, Marshall's previous generation products are currently on sale for half price which means you can pick up some great cans for $50!



The Stealthy Selfie Stick for Spies and Stars

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Selfies are big and a selfie stick is the only way to get a good shot without your arm being in the way. Even Tom Hanks took an epic selfie with David Letterman, but to make it a nice photo, he used a selfie stick. Now some museums and events have banned selfie sticks, including Apple's own Worldwide Developers Conference. So if you're going to bring a selfie stick, you will want an ubtrusive stealthy model.



What I Learned While Writing Apps for the Apple Watch

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It seems like I have been waiting for an app-enabled smartwatch since my calculator watch days in the early 1980s. I'm still waiting, because while the Apple Watch runs apps as extensions of the iPhone's screen, those apps still run on the iPhone. Apple has said that developers will be able to write apps that run natively on the Apple Watch, but it hasn't committed to a date. Perhaps June's Worldwide Developers Conference will shed some light on this limitation.



Life n Soul Offers an Affordable and Adorable Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker Just in Time for Summer

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I had the opportunity to try BM101 Mini Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker ($24.99) from Life n Soul. It is a teeny tiny adorable speaker about the size of two dozen quarters, stacked on top of each other. When placed on its side, it almost looks like a jet engine. There are two small metal hooks on the side that you can attach a small lanyard to, for use on the go.



Add Power to your iPhone for Just $10

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Act fast, because until May 16th at 11:59pm (ET) only, PowerSkin is offering their PoP'n for just $10 shipped. Technically, it's a penny with $9.99 shipping, but however you slice it, it's a good deal, since it normally lists for $49.99 plus shipping. The PowerSkin PoP'n latches on to the Lightning port (or microUSB if that's what you order) of your iPhone and sticks to the back of the phone or case. Not all cases will work with it, as you need some clearance around the lightning port, but you could always remove your case if needed. Their website lists the iPhone 5/5s/5c, but it should work with an iPhone 6.



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