Apple’s Quiet Release

Yesterday, March 21st, Apple came out with some new products.

Early in the day, Apple shut down the online Apple Store saying it would be down until 5am Pacific Time.  This is usually a good clue that new products are arriving.  Shortly after 5am the store was back up and running with little to no surprises.

Which is fine.  I am glad they didn’t fly out everyone to Cupertino for a small release.  This was very much an upgrade day.

iPhone

About the only announcement that got people talking, even my non-techy friends messaged me about it, was the (Product) RED iPhone.  After months of rumors, yes, we finally have a red iPhone!  I do have to say, if I was in the market for a new iPhone 7, I would probably bite the bullet on this one.  It looks fantastic.  But…the front.  Apple went with a white front. WHY!?  A black front would of been so much nicer.  Oh well. At least we got a red iPhone, right?


The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus go on sale Friday, March 24th.

The iPhone SE also got a nice upgrade.  Apple doubled the the storage on the smaller iPhone to 32GB and 128Gb all while keeping the prices the same.  The iPhone SE is still one of the better buys when it comes to Apple devices.

According to Apple’s website, this also will be available to order the morning of March 24th.

iPad

Next up, Apple announced a “new” iPad.  Guess what it is called? iPad. Plain and simple.

This iPad is replacing the current iPad Air 2.  They kept most of the specs the same, coming from the iPad Air 2.  They did put a new, faster A9 processor in the new iPad.  The funny thing about this iPad is that they made it a tad thicker and heavier.  I would of thought they would at least keep the slim size of the Air.  I guess that is why this is the “iPad”.


The best thing, in my opinion, is the price.  The 32GB (YAY, no 16GB!) starts at $329 for the wifi model and $429 for the 128GB option.  Those are perfect prices for someone to get introduced into the Apple ecosystem.  For someone who doesn’t need the Pro models, these will be a fantastic buy.  Shoot, I am still rocking my Air 2 and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

The iPad goes on sale March 24th.

Accessories

Apple did sneak in a nice little accessory lineup.

They refreshed pretty much all of the Apple Watch bands to some extent.  You can now purchase the Nike Apple Watch bands separately from the Nike edition of the Watch.

I love cases. Particularly the Apple branded leather cases.  So I was pretty stoked seeing some new options that I will probably be picking up.

They added three new colors for the leather cases for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:  Berry, Taupe, and Sapphire (pictured below in order).

Along with the leather cases, they added a couple of more colors to their silicone cases:  Camellia, Pebble and Azure.


I dont have too much more to say about all of it.  Again, this wasn’t a huge release, which we shouldn’t of expected it to be.  I am excited for a red iPhone, the iPad is a good price and we got some cool cases and watch bands.

Thanks for visiting.  See you soon!

(All images courtesy of http://www.Apple.com)

Apple AirPods – Unexpectedly Great

When Apple announced the AirPods back in September 2016, I wasn’t impressed.  They were Apple’s current EarPods with the cable cut off.  At least that was my impression.

Maybe I was blinded by the new iPhone 7 and the new Apple Watch Apple announced as well.  But I just was not excited for these.  At the time, I said I wasn’t going to buy them when they were released.

Boy, am I glad that I did.

Design

If you own an iPhone more than likely you are familiar with Apple’s EarPods that come packaged in the box with a new iPhone purchase.  There are a couple of different sensors on the AirPods and a couple flashes on shininess.  Other than that, they are nearly identical looking to the EarPods.

At first I was telling people that if the EarPods do not fit in your ear, neither will the AirPods.  While that still may be true for some people, that is not a fully encompassing statement.  The fact that these AirPods are wireless, the lack of cord makes a huge difference in how well they stay in your ears.  I can write about it all day, but until you try them, you wont fully understand.


One negative and this will vary from person to person, is the way they look when you wear them.  It took me a lot of courage to wear these to the gym for the first time. This was right after my mom laughed at me when I showed them to her.  They honestly look goofy.  Eventually, this will be the norm and everyone will have them.  But as of right now, in a place that is slow to adopt new technology, you may get a couple of silly looks while wearing these in public.

Performance

I am by no means an audiophile.  Though I love my music, when it comes to quality of sound in headphones, as long as it sounds “good” it is ok by me!

The AirPods are powered by Apple’s new W1 chip.  What is fascinating about this chip is that it allows you to pair your AirPods across all of your devices (that is signed into the same iCloud account) with little to no effort.

The software integration is very neat too. You can ask Siri what the battery life is or you can check the battery widget to see the status of the battery case and the AirPods.


The AirPods aren’t just for iPhones or Apple devices. These also use standard bluetooth technology to connect to your Android phone or tablet.  I’ve come across a couple of hardcore Android users online that have been using these as their primary listening device.

Charging these are fairly easy and uses Apple’s standard lighting port..  It comes in a little dental floss-looking charging case that you store the AirPods in while not in use.  The charging case, according to Apple, gives you up to 24 hours of battery life.  On a single charge the AirPods will give you five hours of battery life.  Apple also advertises, after putting the AirPods in the charging case for 15 minutes, you will get three hours of battery life.


I wear mine a lot at night and when I wake up they still have a little juice in them.

Price

The AirPods can be bought for $159.00.

VERDICT

The AirPods are the first Apple product in years that I can outright tell you to “go buy right now”.  These little pods of joy are amazing. From the way they pair with all of your devices to the way they feel weightless while wearing them.  I was very surprised how something like this pulled me in and didn’t let me go.  The only reason, I would say one wouldn’t like them, is if you didn’t like the fit in your ears.

So, go out, buy them and let me know what you think about them!

Thank you for swinging by!

See you soon.

How smart is the Apple Smart Battery Case?

Have you guys heard of the Smart Battery case from Apple?

I feel like a lot of people don’t know about this little gem.

Apple introduced the Smart Battery case last December for the iPhone 6 and 6s.  To me, it was one of those random releases.  I woke up one morning and noticed it available to buy.  I already had the mophie battery case for my iPhone 6s at the time, as I buy those for every new phone.  The case from mophie, is everything I needed in a battery case.  It gave me over 100% extra battery so I never had to worry about being plugged into a wall or vehicle charger.

Where Apple won me over right out the gate was this:

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The Lightning port. This is Apple’s proprietary charging solution that was introduced about 4 years ago.

All of mophie’s cases use, well known to Android users, the micro USB charger.  There isn’t anything wrong with that but it is a pain in the butt carrying multiple cables around.

Enter, Apple’s Smart Battery case.

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Design

Apple went out on a limb with this design.  It is far from Apple’s most beautiful product.

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A lot of people are calling this the “hunchback” case.  I really do not like the way this looks.  In true Apple fashion, it does stand out but not in the way we are used to.

This case does feel a little heavier than other battery cases I have used in the past.  Considering you are strapping a battery onto your phone, a little heftiness isn’t too surprising.  Staying with the way it feels, remember that “little” hump? That “little” hump makes holding the phone a whole lot easier. The way it is made, your hand just kind of gets nestled on the back and it is very nice to hold.

If you have ever used Apple’s silicone cases, the material of this case will be a welcoming feature.  This is the same silicone material used on Apple’s regular silicone case.  Personally, I am not a fan of the silicone cases.  I don’t like the texture of it. Pulling it out of your pockets can cause the lining of your pocket to come inside out.  Also, you will notice this thing will be covered in pocket lint. Which is very noticeable on the black colored case.


I am sure everyone is aware by now that Apple has removed the headphone jack with the iPhone 7.  If you didn’t know, SURPRISE!! With that being said, to the best of my knowledge, this is the only battery case that will allow you to listen to audio through the lightning port.  If you have not moved onto bluetooth yet, this is a huge win!

Performance

As mentioned earlier, this uses Apple’s lightning port which is very convenient. You only have to worry about carrying one cable which is a huge relief.  This also integrates with iOS and gives you a cool widget so you can see how much charge the case has left.


The case is always on.  That means that this will keep your iPhone at 100% until the case is depleted.  Personally, I like other battery cases that have an on/off switch and can use it when you need it.  But that is not an option here. It is Apple’s way or the highway!

When you plug in the case with the phone in it, it will charge both phone and case simultaneously.

Price

The Apple Smart Battery case costs $99 and comes in a couple of different colors.

The case for iPhone 6/6s come in a white and a charcoal gray color.
*Affiliate Link* Apple Smart Battery Case – Charcoal Gray

*Affiliate Link*  Apple Smart Battery Case – White

The iPhone 7 case comes in white, black and red.
*Affiliate Link* Apple Smart Battery Case – Black – iPhone 7

*Affiliate Link* Apple Smart Battery Case – White- iPhone 7

Apple Smart Battery Case – Red – iPhone 7

VERDICT

I love this case.  Yes, it is smart.  It integrates well with iOS and uses all of those lightning cables you already own.  It keeps you charged up all day long by more than doubling your battery life.  While I don’t care for the material it is made out of or the way it looks, it does the job. So if you are looking for a case that gives you extra battery power to get through the day I say this is the one!

Thank you for stopping by!

See you soon.

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Do you need an Apple Watch?

In short, NO!

But I hope you came here for more than that.

I have had an Apple Watch since day one.  The anticipation for this new device from Apple was so high.  It was the first new product category from Apple since I was really turned on to Apple a couple of years ago. So I was pumped.


I got it. Had it for about three weeks or so and decided to sell it because the demand was so high at the time.  I was able to make about $240 dollars off of it on Ebay.

I did enjoy what the Apple Watch did for me but I was not blown away.

Fast forward about three months or so and I went to Disneyland. When I was there, I could not believe all of the people with Apple Watches.  We were within 6 months of the release and there were already more of those than there were of any other smart watch, excluding Fitbit.


It made me miss mine.  I hate to be “that guy” but Apple definitely has that cool factor.

So when I got home from Disney, I bought my girlfriend and myself two new Apple Watches.

I did find a new love for mine.  I have always wore a watch so having something on my wrist all day long was natural for me.  That is one complaint I hear from people who aren’t used to wearing watches.  Getting notifications on your wrist throughout the day was awesome.  If you are at work or driving, you can take a quick glance and see if it was something important that needed your attention right away.  The voice dictation for texting back worked just as good as if you used it on your iPhone.  I found that extremely useful on long road trips where you didn’t stop for hundreds of miles at a time.  Dictation is never perfect but it always gets your point across without having to text while driving.


Another thing I enjoy about the Apple Watch is music controls.  Again, while driving when you shouldn’t be playing around with your phone, a simple tap on the screen with your eyes still on the road you can skip a track or lower your volume.  It is less interaction that messing with your vehicles built in entertainment system.  I find a lot of value in that.

Another one of my top uses for the watch is fitness.  The fitness tracking is top notch.  I have used Fitbits for years and they have been fine with step counting.  The Apple Watch does so much more.  One thing that is neat is that you can tell it what kind of workout you are about to complete.  It has options for indoor/outdoor walks/runs, indoor/outdoor cycling, rowing, stair steppers, swimming and my favorite elliptical.  So it knows what kind of activity you are doing and can tailor your stats/results based on what you have told it you were doing. Plus, it gives you these cool colorful rings to fill for your daily goals. It is very motivating and I get a lot of value out of that feature alone.


So now the part where I have to stop being lovey dovey.  I tried interacting with the applications but it was always unbearably slow.  I tried checking into different venues using the location based app Swarm, and it took FOREVER.  It was silly.  Why would I wait for this app to load on my watch when I can pull out my phone and do it in less than 30 seconds?  You wouldn’t. Plain and simple. That was for every app that I tried using.  I gave up on it.

To me, this is a watch.  In that respect, its darn near perfect.  This is one of the most accurate time pieces you will find.  When I test out different Android devices, I still use it as a watch.  It is just so tough for me to recommend one to someone.  As mentioned above, I do find some value in it.  But in reality, if I were to forget my watch at home, I wouldn’t turn around and go back and get it like I would my phone.  Even using one of the newer Series 2 version that has the faster processor, I wont use the apps.  For what it is, I like it.  I wear it everyday.  But you don’t need it. If you are fortunate enough financially to purchase one, have at it. If you are worried about getting the next iPhone when it comes out and don’t know if you can afford the 128GB over the 32Gb, save your money and get the iPhone you really want.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you soon.

(How To) Delete Multiple Contacts on iOS

Something that I wish that was native in iOS, is the ability to delete multiple contacts from the phone.  Without a computer, you have to click the contact, click edit, scroll to the bottom and click delete.  That is a fine implementation but not if you need to clean house and get rid of all of those people you haven’t spoken to from high school or three jobs ago.

The following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete this daunting task.

Step 1:

Download Groups from the App Store.  This app is free and needed to do this.

Step 2:

Open up the Groups application.

Step 3:

Click “All Contacts”

Step 4:

Click on the circle to the left of every contact that you want to delete.

Step 5:

Click “Choose Action” in red at the very top.

Step 6:

Click “Delete Contacts” and you will see a dialog box asking if you are sure about this. Click on, in red, “Remove from my iPhone!”


All done! Pretty easy huh? Again, this is something Apple should implement into their iOS software out of the box in my opinion because a lot of people could/would use it.

If you found this useful, share it with your friends and family.

See you soon!