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Accessories

Seconds Play a Role in Last Minute News About Apple Watch

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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!



Android Wear Watches to Work With iPhone?

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Google, Microsoft, Pebble, and other smartwatch makers think there's room for them on the wrists of iPhone owners. Apple has left an opening by charging $349 minimum and compromising on battery life and other features. This means there may be an opportunity for other watch makers to sell to iPhone users, if only they could make their devices work with iOS. Microsoft already does, with their Microsoft Band, and Pebble always has. Pebble just launched a color version, called Pebble Time, that is attractive and offers a week or more of battery life, thanks to e-Paper display technology. They also launched a $250 steel version including the option of a gold color case, which is a lot more affordable than Apple's gold Edition will be!



LifeCharge JuicyPACK Offers Best of Both Worlds

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Great on their own, but even better together. That appears to be the concept behind the JuicyPACK from LifeCharge ($69.99). I've written about LifeCharge's iPhone cases, but I was pleased to see that they also make a stand for iPads. They also make a battery pack for iPads. Actually, it's the same thing.



ZAGG Pocket Keyboard Review

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Portable keyboards are often small yet awkward to carry around. They are cramped and often flimsy, and sometimes not worth the materials used to make them. The ZAGG pocket keyboard ($69.99) admittedly uses much of the same light materials, and though it isn't as sturdy as some less flexible keyboards we've tested, its smart design allows you to fold it up like origami for easy stowage.



Apple Watch Tells Time, Even in Low-Power Mode

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The first thing a smart watch should do is tell time. Of course, the Apple Watch will do that, but given the concerns about sub-24-hour battery life, this could be a concern. The New York Times is reporting that Apple's watch will have "Power Reserve", a low-power mode that strictly displays the time. That's reassuring and understandable. Laptop makers have been offering low power modes for years, decreasing brightness, powering down disk drives, etc., to squeeze every last drop of power out of the battery.



Apple Watch Sightings Continue

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Just as politicians are showing up in Iowa ahead of the upcoming Presidential election, the Apple Watch is starting to pop up in fashion magazines around the world as the Apple Watch announcement nears. Angela Ahrendts, Apple's new head of retail and former CEO of Burberry, is pulling strings (threads?) to get the watch seen in fashionable places. It's probably not much of a sales job... what fashion or style magazine wouldn't want early access to the most anticipated fashion accessory of 2015?



Prong is Back, with a Battery This Time

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The Prong case was one of the most promising cases when it debuted at CES 2014 a little over a year ago. It was the first, and only, case to include retractable prongs allowing it to plug directly into a wall socket. No need to carry a microUSB or Lightning cable.



Olloclip Does it Again, Big Time

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I've written often about Olloclip and their clip-on lenses for iPhones. Their latest batch supports both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, using an insert for each phone. This is great if you have both types of phones in your household, or if you might upgrade later. We have a few iPhone 6 phones in the family, but might add a 6 Plus to the household, so it's always nice when accessory makers keep multiple devices in mind.



Samson Combines Retro Style with Modern Tech

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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.



Gold Edition Apple Watch Could Add Billions to Apple's Revenues

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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.



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