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Accessories

Celebrate Star Wars Day With Some Inspired Gear

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May 4 ought to be a national holiday. That day is known as Star Wars Day, as in "May the Fourth be with you!" Fortunately, there are a ton of accessories that can get you in the spirit of Star Wars. A year ago, I reviewed the SMS Audio Boba Fett headphones and I still use them, so I can report that they have held up well. It was nice to learn that SMS has expanded their Star Wars-themed offerings to include Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Tie Fighter, and R2-D2 versions. They are adorable and each one has a unique design that will be appreciated by any Star Wars fan. The headphones are packaged in a gift-worthy box that includes a carrying case, poster, sticker, cleaning cloth, and certificate of authenticity that extend the Star Wars theme. These new headphones are available for pre-order, and early adopters will receive a free t-shirt as well.



iPad Pro Could Use Stylus, Force Touch and More

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If the rumors are true, the upcoming iPad Pro could incorporate a stylus and Force Touch, like the new MacBook and Apple Watch. Both Force Touch and a stylus would make it possible to create more artistic content thanks to pressure sensitivity. Fifty Three is one third party that released a Bluetooth stylus dubbed the Pencil which works with their Paper by Fifty Three app for the iPad. The combination allows for pressure sensitive drawing where the harder you press, the thicker the lines are. The Pencil uses Bluetooth, whereas an Apple offering could rely on Force Touch or Apple's version of Near Field Communication or some combination of those technologies.



Apple Watch Heartrate Monitor On Par With Human Expert

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I gave blood today. No need to thank me, I did it for the free snacks and t-shirt. But seriously, it was an opportunity to get my heart rate measured by an expert and compare it to my Apple Watch. The good news? Both the watch and the American Red Cross nurse said my heart rate was fine. The nurse measured me at 68 Beats Per Minute and my Apple Watch measured 67 BPM, which is well within the margin of error. So I've got that going for me!



Apple Watch Unboxing Animation

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Instead of a traditional unboxing video, I thought I'd compile some photos I took last Friday when I received my Apple Watch and turn them into an animated GIF. I did the same with the screenshots from the Apple Watch App installation process. Enjoy!



Apple Watch Struggling with Tattoos

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The Apple Watch uses some clever algorithms to detect if it is on your wrist. For example, through the use of sensors, including a camera, the Apple Watch can detect blood flow and react differently than if it was on your desk. This is important for Apple Pay and fitness notifications. When the watch is removed from your wrist, you need to re-authenticate on your iPhone to use Apple Pay. This way, if the Apple Watch is stolen, it cannot be used indefinitely to make payments.



LifeProof frē Case is Water/Dust/Dirt/Shock Proof But Not Dock-Proof

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I had the opportunity to try LifeProof frē Case ($79.99). LifeProof also makes a more expensive nüüd line which does not use a screen protector yet manages to be waterproof just the same.



Apple Watch is a Real Sport During this Torture Test

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It was painful to watch, but CNET put the Apple Watch Sport through a torture test I wouldn't wish on a $10 watch, let alone a hard-to-get $349 Apple Watch. The watch is put through a series of likely and unlikely tests like water, boiling water, a cheese grater, drops, stomps, and more. I held my breath for most of the video!



Apple Watch Charger May Not Be Proprietary After All

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Apple often likes to go their own way. If there is a standardized solution that meets their needs, like USB-C, they may embrace it as they did with the new MacBook. Apple has also been known to work with companies like Intel to develop technologies such as Thunderbolt and Firewire. But other times, Apple is happy to blaze their own path, as they did with Lightning. Initially, it looked like the Apple Watch's magnetic charger might be as proprietary as Apple's MagSafe chargers. It now appears that the circular watch charger is based on the Qi open standard, although Apple has not confirmed this.



Find Your Killer App for the Apple Watch

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In preparation of worldwide availability of the Apple Watch, Apple has published a web page showing some of the third-party watch apps. The iPhone-based Apple Watch app also lists such apps. With 3,000-plus Apple Watch apps available, Apple is focusing on the brand-name apps that will appeal to most users.



Scratching the Surface of the Apple Watch

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The entry-level model of the Apple Watch, a.k.a. the Apple Watch Sport, will not use a sapphire screen, unlike the higher-end models. But Apple claims this is an ion-infused glass that should make it more durable than traditional glass. A video has been released claiming to show a scratch test of the actual components. Lew at Unbox Therapy put the samples through the wringer, abusing the screen with a key, a knife, and steel wool, but no scratches were found.



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