Apple Watch Review: The one worth watching

Apple Watch

Not since the first iPhone has Apple released such an ambitious product. Back then, it was a different company, one whose name still included Computer. This is a different Apple and a different time. Smartphones are no longer a niche product and estimates have Apple iPhone users in the U.S. eclipsing 65 million. One could say that the Apple Watch is the first truly new platform since iPhone. That's if you'd accept the argument that the iPad, while offering unique software experiences, was largely a versioning of the iPhone. The lines between those two product lines continue to blur with the iPad mini and iPhone 6 Plus, both from design and software. But enough about phones and tablets, it's 2015, marking the debut of Apple Watch. For the … [Read more...]

Belkin WeMo Light Switch Review

Belkin WeMo Light Switch

Belkin continues to expand their line of home automation products with everything from a smart Crock Pot to smart LED lights that are virtually plug and play. Connected light bulbs, much like the Philips Hue kit, are an easy way to get started with home automation. If you are looking to connect your existing lighting, the Belkin WeMo Light Switch replaces your existing switch, offering you a number of ways to interact and control your lights. I've been using a pair of WeMo Light Switches for over 6 months and have found them to be a fantastic addition to my smart home. … [Read more...]

Zagg InvisibleShield Glass for iPhone 6 Review

Zagg Glass Review

Since the existence of smartphones, screen protectors have been a necessary evil to protect displays from unwanted scratches. Often made of plastic, these still remain highly effective for the intended task. Over the years, manufacturers have expanded their offerings with different styles. You can purchase versions that offer a matte finish and in some cases, there are different price points for higher quality options. These are still available and prices have come down incredibly low, with a 3-pack often costing less than $10. In my experience, the Corning Gorilla Glass on the iPhone has seen vast improvements. Scratch protection is a smaller battle when looking to keep your iPhone in pristine condition. Of greater concern is protecting … [Read more...]

Apple iPhone 6 Leather Case Review

Apple iPhone 6 leather case review

With any new iPhone, especially one that introduces a new form factor, there is a race to deliver new cases. The iPhone 6 is an absolutely stunning piece of aluminum and glass, but it's not impervious to scratches. As the manufacturer, Apple of course has advanced access and can spend time 'perfecting' their accessories. When it comes to cases designed by Apple, there are two distinctly different options – leather or silicone. Both command a slightly higher premium compared to third-party accessory manufacturers. I've spent time evaluating the Apple iPhone 6 Leather case. Does it hold up to the demands of every day use? Is it the perfect accompaniment to the iPhone 6? … [Read more...]

iPhone 6 Review

iPhone settings

The introduction of new iPhones always bring great expectations. None bigger than this year, when it was largely anticipated that Apple would drastically increase the size of the display, bringing them more in line with the offerings from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Nokia. Every year, like clockwork, Apple releases a new iPhone. Every two years or so they make major changes to the design, with last such change ushering in the iPhone 5. In 'off' years, S models offer significant refinements and new product features. In recent years, we've seen Touch ID, Siri and faster networking among other improvements. Despite a steady stream of iPhones that have up to this point, have been well received and reviewed, not a one was offered in … [Read more...]

Amazon Fire TV Review: Does it beat out the Apple TV, Roku or Chromecast?

Amazon Fire TV

You can add one more to crowded field of media streaming set-top boxes, with online retailer Amazon jumping into the fray with the new Amazon Fire TV. The battle for the living room continues to heat up with incredibly capable sub-$100 boxes that combine support for a large number of content channels, promising an easy-to-use device coupled with simple remotes and in some cases, gaming. Beyond the boxes, all of the major players have either their own stores or partner with providers, hoping you'll spend money renting or purchasing movies or TV shows. In the case of purchases, it's a lock-in to their platform, since content cannot be transferred between platforms. Amazon being one of the largest online retail stores, it's hardly surprising … [Read more...]

Celebrating 30 Years: Memories of my first Mac

Happy Birthday mac

Today marks a birthday worthy of major celebration as the Macintosh turns 30. It's kicked off some amazing retrospecitives and personal stories of how Apple computers have completely transformed our lives. Long before the iPad, iPhone and iPod, there was the Mac. Born in 1984, under the bright glare of one of the greatest Super Bowl commercials in history, the Macintosh was designed for people and the love affair continues to this day. I remember my first Mac experience. As a college student in 1989, the 'computer lab' had rows of the Macintosh Plus. Back then, if you had to type a report, you needed to bring your floppy disks with you to the lab. Most, if not all, students would type their papers in the lab. It was incredibly … [Read more...]

Philips Hue BR30 Starter Pack Review

Philips Hue Starter Kit

The Philips Hue lighting system has been around for over a year. First introduced in late 2012, the lighting option were A19 light bulbs, the standard size you'd find in most lamps and fixtures. They have since expanded their product offering, offering customers an option as to their preferred 'starter pack', an option for those looking to either get started or expand their home automation. The Philips Hue BR30 starter pack targets consumers looking for energy efficient, wireless lighting to replace their BR30 incandescant bulbs, typically used in recessed lighting. … [Read more...]

Beats Music Preview

Beats Music Preview

The crowded streaming music service market that includes Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, iTunes Radio and others can add Beats Music among the available options to consumers. After pre-launch marketing that included the 49ers Colin Kaepernick and the infamous Richard Sherman, timing could not have been better for the Tuesday launch of the new service. Beats Music hopes they can wedge themselves in between the other services by being different. For one, there is no ad-supported version of Beats Music. It's a pay to play service, priced at $9.99, which is in line with the others. A partnership with AT&T lets their customers sign up for a discounted family plan, which costs $15 per month. AT&T customers can also take advantage of a rather … [Read more...]

iPad Air Review

iPad Air

Apple's full-sized iPad is back in a big way, with a major reduction in size, and a new name. eo help drive home the drop in weight, the 5th generation is being marketed as the iPad Air, all part of a reboot of their 9.7-inch tablet. When the third and fourth generation iPads were released in 2012, they were the only retina models available, providing them with a definitive advantage when compared to the iPad and later in the year, the iPad mini. For some customers, that wasn't enough, forgoing the retina display for the diminutive mini, which has had a smaller, non-retina display. Hoping to equal the playing field within its own product line, Apple has brought much of what people love about the iPad mini, to the iPad Air. It has also been … [Read more...]