For years I have had an internal battle with which iPhone to buy. Should I get the 6 or the larger 6 Plus. Should I get the 7 or dual-camera 7 Plus. Should I get the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro-with three cameras instead of two. And so on and so on. We are spoiled and most times we don’t even know it.
If you are reading this, more than likely you like getting the new gadgets every year. I do too. Since I was little, I always enjoyed technology. But have we gone too far with getting the new iPhone every year?
What if, due to the global pandemic, Apple scrapped its plans for its iPhone 12 this year? What then? Miraculously, our iPhone 11’s would survive another year. Of course, after all of the podcasts and news articles are released about how Apple is doomed, we would move on with our lives. Eventually, the rumor mill would ramp up again and we would start to hear what the next iPhone is going to be like. Then, before you know it, it will be September 2021 and we will be waiting for the newest iPhone.
Would I be bummed? I don’t think I would. It would allow the entire tech community to take a breath and take a step back. Trust me, I don’t wish for this. I am ready for the world to get back to normal just as much as the next guy. I absolutely love what Apple has done over the years. It is the one thing in life that I like to splurge on.
But, just thinking out loud, maybe this is the year Apple could give us permission to skip an upgrade. I honestly think it would build that anticipation for a new iPhone more than ever before.
Saying all of that, I do believe there will be an iPhone 12 this year. How when, and where Apple announces it is a different story. My optimistic side hopes and prays for an end to all of this craziness very soon.
My sweet wife told me to pick out an iPad for my Christmas gift this past year. She knew I had my eyes on the 11-inch iPad Pro since its launch in 2018. Best Buy had an amazing deal, so I bought it.
Almost 3-months later, here I am, typing this on a $250 7th-generation iPad while the iPad Pro is back at Best Buy. Here is why.
I really love the look of the iPad Pro. The flat edges wrapped the entire way around the device takes me back to the iPhone 4 and 5 days, which in my opinion, were the best looking iPhones.
But it was just that, the look. It is still an iPad. My battery on my iPad Air 2 was quickly diminishing and definitely wanted an upgrade. As I was using the Pro, I couldn’t help but notice that it felt like, and performed like-for my workload- my current 5-year-old Air 2.
If I was editing video or my podcasts on the iPad, yes I know the Pro would show significant speed advantages. But I don’t.
A lot of the time I use my iPad for consumption. Scrolling twitter, catching up on some of my favorite blogs, YouTube, and general web browsing. I just couldn’t justify the price difference between the Pro and regular iPad for how I use the iPad
Like I said, I was able to pick up the iPad Pro for a really great deal, at $650. At the same time, Best Buy dropped the price of the 7th generation iPad down to $250. For how I use an iPad, It would have been silly to have kept the Pro for a $400 price difference.
A few months in, I am loving the 7th generation iPad. I picked up Apple’s Smart Keyboard and have started writing on my iPad, which is something I wanted to do for quite some time. The upgrade in screen from the Air 2’s 9.7-inch screen to the new iPad’s 10.2-inch screen is very noticeable and welcoming. The battery isn’t the greatest which is kind of surprising to me. I remember when my Air 2 was new, it seemed like you couldn’t kill the battery. For some reason, and maybe it is because I am using the iPad more than ever, the battery isn’t as impressive. I did pick up the Apple Pencil but have not found a good use for it yet. I do plan on editing me and my wife’s podcast on the iPad once we start recording again.
All in all, for $250, this iPad is amazing if you want an iPad for your day-to-day use. Even at the regular $330 price, I would purchase this one again.
Do you really want to read about another battery case? If so, go check out my review of the Smart Battery Case for the iPhone XS. It all essentially pertains to this case as well. For everything new, please read on!
The one difference with this case is the camera button on the side of the case. Yes, a button. This is a nice addition to the Smart Battery Case. If you hold in on that button it will immediately open the camera. Not once did I accidentally trigger this feature. Which is surprising. Apple knew what they were doing when designing this case. This will remind you of your old point and shoot camera that you used to carry around with you before smart phone cameras were so good.
There are very few people who actually need this case. As someone who buys multiple battery cases, and has relied on them over the years, the iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t need one. If you are constantly traveling, or away from power outlets all day, ok, you may need this case. For $130, and the amount of times that I needed it, the value just wasn’t there. For how much I would use a battery case, I would be better off buying the mophie Juice Pack Access. If you hold onto your phone for multiple years, this will be a great acccessory in a year or two when your iPhone 11 Pro battery is degrading. Plus, you will be able to find it significantly cheaper.
Some may care, some may not. But I havn’t been writing as much. I’ve been enjoying my time with my family and putting technology to the side for a bit.
Our little boy is 4 months old now and has so much personality. It has been so much fun seeing all of the changes. I have had a lot of time off with him, which has been great and it leaves little time for writing.
My wife and I finally have our evenings together-now that the little one falls asleep on his own. Once he is in bed for the night, we have been enjoying reading and catching up on shows that have been neglected. It has been great being able to focus on our still-new marriage.
Most of my free time outside of family stuff goes towards my school work. I will have my Masters competed in September. I cannot wait to be finished!
After September I really want to focus on writing again. Whether it is technology or not, who knows.
But that’s what has been going on here. Doesn’t sound like a lot but the most important things take up a lot of time. Life is good.
The mophie Juice Pack Access is mophie’s latest battery case for the newest iPhones. They made them for the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
The cool thing about the Juice Pack Access is that the bottom of the case is open to allow you to use the Lightning cable that came with your iPhone.
To charge the case up, you can plug in the the included USB-C cable or sit it on your wireless charger. Either way, when you charge the case, it will also charge up your phone.
To use the battery portion of the case, which is the entire point of it, there is a button on the lower-back of the case. Pressing and holding the button will turn on the case and in turn, start charging up your phone.
In my tests, I got about 36% extra charge using the mophie Juice Pack Access. This isn’t very impressive but if you know the iPhone 11 series batteries, you really don’t need too much extra.
The cases come in black, blush pink, and red.
The case is normally $80. Is $80 worth an extra 36% battery? That is up to you. But if you act quickly, you can actually get this battery case for around $48 through mophie.com. They are running their post-Black Friday deal and for $48, I say go buy this case.
What do you think about the mophie Juice Pack Access? Will you be picking one up? Let me know on twitter or Instagram!
The iPad has gotten some great improvements with the iPad Pro and has really hit the sweet spot in price with the 7th generation iPad.
Over the three years, I have learned a lot. I have gotten my first paid gig. I received my first products to review from very gracious companies. And, I have also made a few bucks from affiliate programs.
I have felt pretty nostalgic lately—about a lot of things. From video games, to TV shows, to older technology that has come and gone. But more recently, I have been thinking a lot about Tech TV. Remember Tech TV? It was a network that had a slew of tech programs. One of the lead hosts at Tech TV, Leo Laporte, started his own podcasting network over at TWiT.TV and that has been as close as anyone has gotten to the old Tech TV days.
I miss the shows like Call for Help, The Screen Savers, and the video game review show, X-Play. Now, I’m not going to start my own tv network. But I have been thinking more about legacy. I am not doing the blog for money, though I’m not turning it away either. This is my outlet to talk about the things that I love. 10 years from now, I want my audience to have grown and look at me as someone they can trust with my opinion and thoughts on tech. This is a marathon and I am enjoying the ride.
There have been so many times over the last two years that I have wanted to give this up because I am not putting out as much content as I would like. But I would rather put out quality content over quantity and trying to keep up with news outlets. Because that is impossible. Then, each September, I have folks send me a message asking which iPhone they should get and what the best value is. I love that. That keeps me going.
So, where does The Mealy Apple go from here? I am going to keep up what I have been doing with reviews and the random thoughts on news. Could there be a podcast in the future? It is possible. With all of the tech podcasts currently out there, I would want to try something different that would set me apart. So until then, I will keep thinking on that part. I thought about putting out an audio version of each blog post that I put out. I know YouTube is a happening place, but I have never thought seriously about video. Writing is where I wanted to start and that is where I plan on keeping my focus over the years to come.
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by the blog over the last three years. You are all awesome.
Come give me a follow on twitter and Instagram so that we can connect and you can let me know what you like or don’t like!
I came home with no idea what was going to happen. Fortunately, I have an amazing family that wouldn’t let me fail.
Over the next few months I was employed with a promising career and reacquainted with my family.
A few months later, I moved out on my own again and was ready to start dating. That was weird. Thankfully it didn’t take long to find the girl of my dreams. I knew right away that I wanted to marry this girl. Nearing 30, we did not want to waste time. I proposed.
Soon after, we got married, our nephew was born and news of a baby of our own, was on the way.
A month and a half ago my world changed again. Maverick was born. And what a whirlwind it has been. I still can’t believe we made someone so perfect.
In three years, a lot has changed. Well, it’s time for another one. Another big change.
So, here it goes. My first review of a baby product.
What is it?
The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is the second version of a sock that measures a babies heart rate, oxygen levels, and tracks their sleep. I was a little hesitant to put a lot of faith into a device such as this, but I will tell you right off the bat, I can’t imagine not having it.
At first, I didn’t think our newborn would care for having a device strapped to his foot all night long. And for all I know, he may not..he still isn’t talking to us at three-weeks-old. Weird.
But he really doesn’t fight it. It took a few nights to get it strapped on right, but after a couple of times, you get the hang of it.
The sock has a washable-fabric outer layer with a bulge from the heart rate sensor.
Who is it for?
In the box, it comes with three sizes of socks which are very easy to switch out as your baby grows. The socks are made to fit babies from 6 pounds to 25 pounds and up to 18-months in age. Out of the box, in our first week home, we had to go up to the second size. So, if it feels like it is too small for your baby, it probably is.
Base and Battery
Also in the box, is a base station. This is what communicates with the sock through bluetooth. The bluetooth range is up to 100 feet. I could not verify that distance but I think it is safe to say, it is correct.
One downside with the base is the light. The light has a purpose but boy is it annoying. When all is well, the base station lights up green. ALL NIGHT LONG. There is no option to turn this light off. I was wrong. Thanks to a couple of readers, you can dim the light by pressing and holding the base’s button. The reason for the lights is to notify you if there is an issue with heart rate, oxygen level, or disconnection. Along with the light, are the sounds. The sound I completely understand. It is ear-piercing and will wake you out of your sleep. I would really like if you could at least dim the light. Again, I was wrong on this.
The base is also how you charge the sock. In the box, you receive a micro-USB cable. To charge the sock, just plug it in every morning after taking it off of your baby and you’ll never have to worry about a dead battery. Owlet does say that you’ll get 18 hours of battery, which is nice to know.
How it works
Here is where the “smarts” come in. Of course this sock has an app. The Owlet Care app, which works for iOS and Android, is where you will see all of your babies readings. From there, you can see their heart rate, oxygen levels and the sock’s battery.
If the sock detects that your babies oxygen levels drop below 80%, the base and app will notify you. Also, if your babies heart rate rises above 220 beats per minute (BPM) or drops below 60 BPM, it will notify you.
To dismiss any readings, the base has a button on the top that you can press. The only readings we have gotten so far is from a “disconnection”. This is usually when me or my wife are in the process of changing or feeding him in the middle of the night and when he is wiggling like a wild man.
Something Owlet also advertises is sleep tracking. I’m not impressed by it too much. It is nice to see when you put the sock on and roughly when he woke up. But with all of the intermittent “naps” throughout the night, it kind of renders this useless. Maybe once he is waking once or twice a night this will be a handy feature. Three weeks in, it isn’t a selling feature.
My wife and I can’t imagine not having the Owlet Smart Sock in our lives so far. It allows us to get some sleep when he is sleeping. And we need it. We are still learning this whole parenting thing and this is not a substitute to pay attention to your child’s needs. So please, use common sense.
Disclaimer from Owlet : *The Smart Sock is an information-gathering product intended to assist in tracking the well-being of healthy babies from 6 to 25 pounds and up to 18 months of age. It is not a medical monitor or other medical device and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, alleviate or prevent any disease or health condition or investigate, replace or modify anatomy or any physiological process. You should always follow pediatrician-recommended safe sleep practices when using the Smart Sock.
Disclaimer – Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.
But what I’m here to tell you about is the drop in price of the Apple Watch Series 3. Yes, this watch is now two years old but it is also only $199. For everything that the Apple Watch does, $199 is an amazing deal.
Fitbit just released their Fitbit Versa 2 smart watch. It starts at $199 as well but when comparing features and quality of materials, the Apple Watch is the winner.
Some of the benefits that the Fitbit has is the amazing battery life, the newly-updated app, and the sharing with friends. Just like Apple keeps us in their eco-system, Fitbit has been around for so long that there are and always will be the Fitbit faithful.
With all that said, the Apple Watch gives you a top-notch build and features that go beyond just your normal step-tracker. And yes, it does that too.
My wife, mom, and sister all have the Series 3 and they dont have signs of slowing down. For $199, the Apple Watch Series 3 gets you a great smartwatch, an extremely accurate fitness device and a potential life-saver.