The $200 Apple Watch

It’s sad to even write this because I love Fitbit. They have done nothing wrong. Well, except for not being an Apple Watch.

On Tuesday’s event, Apple announced the Series 5 Apple Watch. You can read all about that here.

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.

Go pick up the Apple Watch Series 3!

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.

iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

Another September and another slew of iPhones were announced. For the second year in a row, Apple graced us with three new iPhones. Rumored for months, the new names of the iPhones are the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Courtesy of Apple.com

iPhone 11

Last year’s iPhone XR was a hit amongst consumers. The naming scheme made it seem like an afterthought though. Last year, we also had the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max as the “premium” models. With the iPhone XR thrown in there, at a lower-cost, this was automatically seen as a budget iPhone. When in reality, it was a top-notch device.

This year’s naming line-up gives more credit to the “lower-cost” iPhone, the iPhone 11. With a new name, the iPhone 11 just seems like part of the family as it deserves.

The iPhone 11 is the upgrade from the iPhone XR. It has the same 6.1-inch LCD screen. So what’s new with the iPhone 11? A lot.

Per usual, the iPhone 11 gets the new A13 Bionic processor making it one of the fastest smartphones on the market. Also, it gets a second camera. Last year’s XR only had one camera, which was kind of a disappointment. The second camera on the iPhone 11 is an ultra-wide lens that allows you to fit more into the frame when taking the picture. To put it simply, you aren’t going to take a bad picture. Pretty much taken from the Google Pixel, the iPhone 11 gets Night Shot. This allows you to get those shots where there is little light. The difference that was shown off was amazing. Take a look below:

Courtesy of Apple.com
Courtesy of Apple.com

Another upgrade in the camera department is that you can finally take portrait photos of your pets with the iPhone 11. This was a lacking feature in last year’s XR. I am not sure if this is something people are into, but now you can take slow-motion video on the front camera…or as Apple called it…”Slow-fies”.

According to Apple, the iPhone 11 will get 17-hours of video playback on its battery. This is one hour longer than last year’s model Surprisingly though, it no longer has the best battery in an iPhone. We will talk about that later on.

The iPhone 11 has a water resistance of up to 2 meters for 30 minutes.

The price of the iPhone 11 is the biggest selling-point, in my opinion. Yes, it has lower quality components and materials than the other models discussed later, but starting at $699 is amazing in a world of $1,000 smartphones.

Here are your pricing and storage options:

64 GB – $699

128 GB – $749

256 GB – $849

Along with those storage options, the new colors are white, black, green, yellow, purple and red.

Courtesy of Apple.com

The iPhone 11 will be available for pre-order at 5am PDT or 8am EST on Friday, September 9/13 with a release date of September 20th.

iPhone 11 Pro

As with last year’s iPhone XS, the iPhone Pro is the new premium iPhone. For simple clarification, the iPhone 11 Pro is the direct upgrade from the iPhone XS. Along with the 5.8-inch sized iPhone 11 Pro, Apple also made sure big-phone lovers were served. Similar to the XS Max from 2018, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is now the big 6.5-inch iPhone.

Courtesy of Apple.com

Like the iPhone 11, the Pro gets the A13 Bionic chip, Night Shot camera feature but also has a lot different with it.

Let’s take a look at the camera first. This is the first iPhone with a third camera on the back. What does this third camera get you? It adds that ultra-wide viewing angle that the iPhone 11 gave us but also keep the telephoto lens so that you can zoom in 2x.

With up to five-more hours than the XS Max, you get the longest-lasting iPhone battery available, with the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The smaller 11 Pro also gets a nice battery upgrade gaining four-more hours than last year’s XS.

Another difference in the Pro models is that they get better water resistance with being protected up to 4 meters for 30 minutes. Also, for the first time, Apple is supplying an 18-watt charging brick in the box. Finally, we are getting a faster charger right out the gate. For the price, it is about time.

Here are your pricing and storage options for the 11 Pro/Pro Max:

64 GB – $999/$1099

256 GB – $1149/1249

512 GB – $1349/1449

With new models, come new colors. There are now four colors: midnight green, silver, space gray and gold Along with new colors, the back of the 11 Pros will be a matte-glass material.

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max will be available for pre-order at 5am PDT or 8am EST on Friday, September 9/13 with a release date of September 20th.

I will follow this up with my thoughts after I let this sink in a little. But for now, here is all the basic information you need for today’s iPhone announcement.

Are you planning on getting any of the new iPhones? Let me know on twitter and Instagram!

Apple Card

When I started this blog I never thought I would be writing about an Apple credit card. But, here we are. I have been using the newly-released Apple Card over the last week and a half all without using a physical card.

If you need an explainer of what the Apple Card is, check out this article here.

With that being said, I love the software part of this “card”. I haven’t even activated the physical titanium card yet. I have solely been using my phone via Apple Pay when using the Apple Card.

The layout within the Wallet app on the iPhone is very cool. It breaks down where you have been spending money and also changes the color of the virtual card based on your spending habits. To no one’s surprise, my entire card is an orangish color because it is all mainly food…anyways…when you pay off the card it will go back to its crisp white color within your Wallet app.

Apple’s goal with the Apple Card is to make the user more aware of how credit cards work. Now, during the introduction, Apple said there would be no fees associated with the card, which is great. But that doesn’t mean you are free from interest rates. Depending on your credit, Apple will attach an appropriate interest rate to your card.

The reason everyone should be okay with using this card is because of the privacy that this card offers. I can take pictures all day and no one would know my card number. Only the user of the card can access the card number within their Wallet app on their iPhone. Even then, if you want a new card number, you can simply request a new one. As a reminder, when you use Apple Pay, your cards are protected even if the merchant has been compromised. I can confidently say that the Apple Card is the most secure credit card you can find.

Now, some disclaimers:

  • Do you have credit card debt? If so, do not apply for this card.
  • Do you keep a balance on your credit cards and pay interest? If so, do not apply for this card.
  • Are you an impulse shopper? If so, do not apply for this card. Especially for how easy it is to have a new credit line at your fingertips in minutes.
  • Do you already have a credit card that gives you points or cash back? Compare the points and see how you can manipulate each card for the most cash back and see if it is worth it to you.
  • Do you pay your balance on your credit card every month and love Apple? Do it! You will get 3% back on all Apple purchases through Apple. This also includes apps and your Apple Music subscription.

Bottom Line

Alright folks, this is a credit card. Nothing more. Of course I love Apple and knew I was applying for this as soon as Apple announced it. This is not my primary card but I will only be using it for my Apple and Apple Pay purchases to maximize my cash back. I have another credit card that gives me similar or better cash back depending on the type of purchase.

Just be responsible. One day I will publish my draft talking bout debts and credit cards that has been sitting there since May. Until then, be smart about your credit and debts. To put it simply, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy.

Are you applying for the Apple Card? Let me know on twitter and Instagram!

Best Buy and Apple team up for repairs

When I lived in Montana, I was about six hours away from an Apple Store. Still, today, I am an hour away from one.

How close is the nearest Best Buy? 10 minutes.

That’s why I love this news.

Best Buy can now perform Apple-certified repairs. This includes same-day iPhone repairs. Being a certified repair is a big deal because it will keep your warranty in-tact.

Repairs can be requested at support.apple.com/repair.

Apple’s press release is here.

Apple’s New iPod touch

It took me a little bit to wrap my mind around this one because I wasn’t satisfied with the news. Last week, Apple announced a new iPod touch. The iPod hasn’t been updated since 2015…and it shows.

Courtesy of Apple.com

The biggest updates are a new processor (the same A10 chip from the iPhone 7), new colors and updated storage options. Not very exciting.

I was so bullish on it at first because it is not for me.

But, this is the cheapest option to get someone into the Apple and iOS ecosystem. At $199, this allows kids, Android users, developers and those who are curious, join in the Apple fun. Also, as a designated music player, it isnt a bad idea to have something this small. With a 4-inch screen and super slim body, I can see the benefit of going out for a run with something like this.

Obviously previous generations of the iPod touch were selling enough for Apple to put out a new one. Just because I dont have a use for it, doesn’t mean that it is a lame product. So, there is a use for the new iPod touch.

Do you have any intentions on buying the new iPod touch? Let me know on twitter and Instagram!

Check out the iPod touch here !

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.

mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X – Review

I have been expecting this case for well over nine months now and finally, it has arrived.

In the past, mophie has released their Juice Pack battery case for new iPhones within three months or so of the newest iPhone’s launch. The iPhone X Juice Pack launch went a little different.

A year later, it is finally available. You may see posts that say that mophie released a product that is already discontinued, and yes, while this is true, this battery case will also fit your new iPhone Xs. So it’s not for nothing. Let’s check this thing out.

Size

I will come right out and say it, this is the best size battery case that I have used on the iPhone X/Xs. It is slimmer than any I have used before and fits in the hand perfectly. I can’t promise that it is the slimmest case on the market but compared to those that I have used, it is a welcoming size in the battery case world.

Performance

This case has a 1,720 mAh battery capacity. What that means is that it should charge your iPhone X around 63% and your iPhone Xs – 64%. Of course, this is in a perfect world. After doing that math, I really thought I would get at least 60% extra battery by charging from 20% to 80%. I did my test and in just over in an hour, with my phone connected to wifi and not being used during that time, my phone charged from 24% to 64%. 40% is all that I got out of this case. Frustrated, I completed another test. This time I got from 20% to 64%. So it wasn’t a fluke.

Compared to other cases on the market, a mere 40% is ridiculous. Unless my case is a dud, I can confidently say you will only get 40% extra charge with this case.

Charging

The Juice Pack can charge two ways, through QI wireless charging and Micro-USB. Yes, unfortunately, Micro-USB is still a thing. I thought by this time, mophie would have switched all of their cases to USB-C. I am thankful that you can charge this case wirelessly as that is how I primarily charge my iPhone these days.

The other thing to think about is if you use Apple CarPlay. Since you can’t use Apple’s lightning cable with this case, you have to rely on a Micro-USB cable in the car. Fortunately, CarPlay does work when the case is on your phone. This is a big win because the only other Apple certified battery case, from Moment, does not work with CarPlay.

Price

The mophie Juice Pack for the iPhone X is $99.99.  The case comes in black and blue.

Like Apple products, mophie is a premium brand with premium prices. I am not saying they are perfect but I have never had any quality issues with mophie in the past. They are a brand that you can trust.  How you spend your money is up to you, all I can tell you is that this case works as advertised. Is the $100 price tag a bit much? In my opinion, yes. But this has been mophie’s going price for these devices for as long as I have known about them.

Let me know if you plan on picking up this mophie Juice Pack or already have a favorite battery case!

Follow me on Instagram and twitter!

Disclosure: Some 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.

 

The New iPad Pro

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We all knew a new iPad Pro was coming, but wow. This blew me away.

The new iPad Pro still comes in two sizes, 12.9-inches, and a new 11-inch model. The 12.9-inch model comes in at a significantly smaller size because now the iPad Pro extends the screen further to the edges. The 11-inch model keeps the same footprint as the previous year’s 10.5-inch.

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Along with the difference in sizes, the iPad Pro takes on a brand new look around the entire device. Its square edges are flat and remind me of the old iPhone 5 design. That design was always one of my favorites on the iPhone, so seeing it on the iPad is most certainly welcome.

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Since the screen has been expanded, this is the very first iPad without a home button. If you are someone holding onto the home button on the phone, this is a clear sign of the direction that Apple is going in the future. So, like the iPhone X, Apple has added Face ID to the new iPad Pro. I don’t hate the notch on the phone, but it is great to see an iPad without a notch but still have Face ID.

Goodbye Lightning. The new iPad Pro is the first iOS device to ditch the lightning cable.  So, whether you like it or not, you cannot use your old cables to charge this iPad. Instead, Apple opted to put a USB-C port in this new device. Not only will it be faster but it also opens up a wide range of opportunities like connecting more peripherals to the iPad.  But this is the way of the future. Before long, our iPhones will probably end up with USB-C. I am excited that Apple has finally taken this step into the future. Something awesome Apple showed off was that you can now charge your iPhone by connecting it to the iPad Pro. I am not sure how often this will be utilized but it will definitely come in handy when you absolutely need it.

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The Apple Pencil got an upgrade today as well. The new Pencil has a new design and matte finish which should make it easier to handle while using it. The showstopping feature is that you now can magnetically attach the Pencil to the iPad Pro for storage but it will also charge the Pencil when it is connected. No more having to plug it into the lightning port waiting for it to snap off. The Pencil also picks up gestures. You can double tap the Pencil while using it to select different options within an app.

If you are in need of a new iPad, give this one a look. It is early so we will have to wait and see how the actual performance is. But at first glance, this iPad Pro seems like a no-brainer for those in the market for a new one.

The iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 64GB option and goes all the way up to 1TB of storage. The iPad Pro is available to order right now with a release date of November 7th.

All images courtesy of Apple.com

Apple Watch Series 4 Review- The 4 S’s

Size. Style. Speed. Safety.

These are the four S’s that I think the newest Apple Watch shows off the best. I have been using the Series 4 Apple Watch for two weeks now and it is a great improvement over my two-year-old Series 2 watch. Let’s take some time, and check this guy out!

Size

New to the Series 4 Apple Watch are two new sizes. Upgraded from previous years 38mm and 42 mm, we now have 40mm and 44mm options. When Apple announced this on-stage, I was terrified that previous Apple Watch bands wouldn’t work on the new sizes. Surprisingly, all of the 38mm bands will work with the 40mm watch and likewise if you are going from a 42mm to the 44mm. This is awesome for all previous Apple Watch owners. I don’t know how long Apple will keep this trend going but for now, I am happy about it.

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If you are used to the 38mm and 40mm, going up to the respective 40mm and 44mm sizes will not be an issue. Coming from the 42mm and going to the 44mm I was thinking it may be too big. It is not. I notice no size difference on my wrist. If people have thought the older 42mm has been too big and 38mm has been too small, this might be the year you downgrade to a 40mm and get a smaller watch. The only downside to that is that you will have to buy brand new bands if you’re making that size change. The best thing I can tell you to do is to go to a local retailer and check them out for yourself. I can confidently say that going from either the smaller or larger version from a previous model to the newer respective sizes, is a safe bet.

Style

I love the look of this watch. Unless you have been used to looking at an Apple Watch every day, most people will not notice a difference and assume it is just another Apple Watch. And that is fine. But to me, this thing looks brand new.

The edges of the screen are now curved into the body of the watch and also has a bigger overall screen size. Instead of the square outline that you may have noticed on older Apple Watches, the edges of the display just flow like a waterfall right into the aluminum body and eliminating a huge portion of the black bezels.

Since the screen is bigger, you can fit more onto the larger footprint. On the new Infograph watch face, you can have up to nine complications. Previously, you could only have six complications, at the most.  While this is a welcoming feature, this is the only watch face that uses more complications. I was really hoping for more watch faces would take advantage of the larger screen. Yes, it is bigger, but now it just looks like a blown-up version of the previous Apple Watches I have owned. If you are hard of seeing, the bigger text on the screen is awesome but doesn’t add much more information.

Again, if you are relatively familiar with previous Apple Watches, you will notice that this device is significantly thinner. What boggles my mind is that it is still thicker than the original Apple Watch. But overall, this is the greatest looking Apple Watch so far, in my opinion.

Speed

Apple said that the new Series 4 S4 chip is 2x as fast as last year’s S3 chip. And boy, can you feel it! Granted, I am coming from a two-year-old watch so I knew the speed improvements would be wild. But it is so much nicer to have a watch that is immediately responsive when you want it to do something. When starting a workout, my Series 2 would take 30 seconds to a minute to start the three-second countdown. Now, it is instant. I forgot what new felt like, and this is it.

Safety

This is the most important part of my review, safety. Since the Apple Watch has been released, there have been numerous reports of the Apple Watch “saving peoples lives“. Of course, the doctors are the ones doing the life saving but the Apple Watch has become a great tool in alerting people of high heart rates when they are supposedly being inactive. Also, as an exercise tool, the Apple Watch has helped tons of people lose weight just by helping them be mindful of their activity habits. Go check out tech journalist, Jim Dalrymple’s weight loss story!

With the Series 4, Apple has stepped up their game. The Series 4 has an updated second-generation heart rate sensor to more closely monitor that ticker of yours. Later this year, Apple will be releasing an app that will let you take an electrocardiogram aka EKG or ECG. This is not to replace doctors or even a trip to the office but it is to help you stay more informed about your body and your life. I think it is about time that we can start to have these types of tests at our fingertips or our wrists.

Also coming this year, the new Series 4 will be able to detect irregular heart rate. I’m not going to into a medical lesson, because I am nowhere near qualified to speak about this kind of stuff. But I can tell you irregular heart rate is not good and should be checked out if you are diagnosed. To get a jump start and have this detected when previously it could not? Take my money.

The final safety point I want to focus on is fall detection. Yep, this thing can detect when you fall. Turned off by default for those under 65, this feature can truly be a lifesaver to those prone to falling often. If the watch detects a fall and you are unresponsive for at least 60 seconds, your watch will make an emergency call to emergency services and also message your emergency contacts with a message of your current location. Don’t worry,  the watch gives you an option to say that you are OK and will not start calling for an emergency unless you really want it to!

Verdict

Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 4 is quite the upgrade for most people. If you have the Series 3 from last year, I think that you could wait another year before upgrading. Apple does offer a cellular version of this watch for an additional cost. The battery life has been great and can easily get through two days.

Just like every year, this is the best Apple Watch, yet. Of course, it is. But seriously, if you have anything other than the Series 3 or just like to have the newest latest and great stuff, you will not be disappointed with the new Apple Watch Series 4.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter and let me know if you are buying the new Apple Watch!

Images are courtesy of Apple.com and The Mealy Apple.

Apple Watch Series 4

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The Apple Watch Series 4 was announced today!

Apple updated what was an already-great product with the Series 3, with the Series 4.

This is the biggest update we have seen since the Apple Watch launched. The new Apple Watch screen is more than 30% larger meanwhile keeping the real estate on your wrist to a minimum. Along with a bigger screen, the Series 4 also received a brand new processor with the S4 chip. The S4 chip allows the watch to move 2X as fast as the Series 3.

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The Apple Watch comes in two new sizes, a 40mm and 44mm size. Current Apple Watch users who plan on upgrading don’t have to worry, all of your older bands will work with the new Series 4 Apple Watch. There are a couple of new watch faces that will take advantage of these new screen sizes. We are still missing third-party watch faces but these new data-heavy faces will suffice for now.

That stuff is all great but the new health features are something you can only find the Apple Watch. The Series 4 has introduced three new heart features. The first being a notification if your heart rate is too low. The second heart feature is to notify you if the watch detects AFib or Atrial Fibrillation aka irregular heartbeat. Lastly, the Series 4 can run an on-demand Electrocardiogram (ECG). This is the first over-the-counter device to be offered to consumers to run an ECG. Surprisingly, and probably the only way Apple could ship this, these features are FDA approved. Finally, Apple is using updated gyroscopes and sensors to detect falls. You can have the Apple Watch notify emergency services if you are not responsive after it detects a fall. This is amazing stuff.

Apple Watch Series 4 is available for Pre-order 9/14 and available to purchase 9/21.

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The Series 4 comes in three aluminum finishes: Gold, Silver and Space Grey. Three stainless steel versions in Polished, Space Black and Gold Stainless. The Nike and Hermes brands are making a comeback for the Series 4 as well.

The Series 4 Apple Watch starts at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular model.

Are you picking up the new Series 4 Apple Watch? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

All images are courtesy of Apple.com.