New Season Brings New Apple Watch Bands

After a pretty intense winter season, Spring is finally upon us and with that new Apple Watch bands. A trend started the year Apple first launched the Apple Watch when all thought a second generation was due here we are again. More often than not, Apple tends to throw out the old and bring in new colors and styles to give customers more options to make their watches as personal as possible.

In an article on Techcrunch, these new bands include the now cult classic Sports bands, Woven Nylon, Nike bands, and Hermès Bands.

For those not already familiar, there are two ways to go about getting these new bands. The first is purchasing a new Apple Watch accessorized with one of the new bands or purchasing them individually.

This spring the Woven Nylon is focused on stripes alternated with white with black, blue, gray and pink. Sports Bands will now come in Denim Blue, Lemonade, and Red Raspberry while the Sports Loop will come in Flash Light, Hot Pink, Marine Green, and Tahoe Blue. The Classic Buckle will also come in Spring Yellow, Electric Blue, and Soft Pink.

Alternatively, the Nike Sports Loop are now, thankfully, sold separately in Black-Pure Platinum, Bright Crimson-Black, Cargo Khaki, Midnight Fog and Pearl Pink. Nike Sports band will come in Rose-Pearl Pink, Black-White and Cargo Khaki-Black.

The more premium Hermés (the French fashion design house) will also offer Indigo or Blanc with a rough H polished edge and contrasted loop for their 38mm Double Tour band. Their 42mm Single Tour Rallye band will also come in the same colors.

Here in the United States prices will vary where the Sports, Sports Loop, Woven Nylon, Nike Sports, and Nike Sports Loop bands will come in at $49 each, the Classic Buckle at $149. On the other hand, the Single Tour Rallye will cost you $439 and the Double Tour will set you back $489. It’s also worth noting that a new Apple Watch with one of these bands will cost starting anywhere from $249 to $1149. Depending on the watch case fit and finish, the price could also vary from there, but there is no shortage of options for you to personalize your watch style to your heart’s content.

Who Would Have Thought Apple AirPods Were For Audiophiles

Fourteen months ago, and counting, Apple released their AirPods. A Pair of wireless earbuds said to surpass the sound quality of their wired brethren. Personally, I didn’t want to believe this, because I love my wired EarPods. On the other hand, as a self-professed audiophile on a budget, I’ve always wanted a pair of wireless earbuds to go with my iPhone. What was I waiting for? Well, a proper review from another audiophile to better get a sense of the experience. That day is upon us as I came across a review on the Verge by their resident headphones obsessive.

Described as so much more than wireless EarPods, Vlad Savov states they sit flush with his face and remained anchored in his ears throughout various vigorous activities, push-ups, and lifting of weights. Neither of the AirPods came close to falling out, a relief to say the least. I like to move around while I listen to music and don’t want to be bothered with keeping them in my ears like with the EarPods.

Then he peaked my interest when mentioning the sound. An avid user of Audeze MX4, Savov described Apple’s sound as good enough for most people, himself included. They convey a full sense of mood while listening to music. They don’t outshine earbuds priced 2x or more, but they did put him in a wistful longing mood. When I listen to music I want to hear the full track to pick out certain aspects, and in his review, he put these fears to rest too.

With their design, AirPods reproduce the stage in which a given track is presented. Most Bluetooth earbuds fall short when it comes to this sort of reproduction over a wireless connection. It seems AirPods are designed for function where the battery and wireless electronics are located in the stems leaving the earpieces to produce great sound overall.

I would highly recommend checking out Savov’s full review but would add that AirPods aren’t for everyone. Based on his review though, I would bet if Earpods fit in your ears comfortably you will have no issue with AirPods. The lack of wires helps create a worthwhile experience, and at $159, I think it’s about time I try them out myself.

A Closer Look At The Newest Specs Of The iPhone X

It has been 10 glorious years since the launch of the first Apple iPhone. There were a few bumps and hiccups over the years but Apple continues to lead as the key innovator in the realm of smartphones. It is no surprise that their latest addition has all of the elements that Apple users practically begged for, a sleek glass and stainless steel design that is jammed-packed with the all of essentials and then some. The new iPhone X has rid itself of the fingerprint sensor as well as the home button. Since the home button was omitted, users will have to remember a couple of new but simple combinations to remember while operating certain features. For instance, if you want to use Siri you will need to hold the sleep button down for a few seconds. The sides of the iPhone X has the volume control, trusty sleep or wake button and a mute switch that we have all grown accustomed to. Apple has launched its new facial ID system within the iPhone X and users will rejoice at how convenient it is to unlock their smartphone. The front has no bezel, which is great for more screen space but that means that there still is no room or use for a headphone jack.

There are only a couple of colors to choose from, space grey and silver. The iPhone X’s overall display size is 5.8 inches with resolution so tight and crisp you won’t even believe how much the phone has improved itself from its previous models. The rear facing camera packs a mighty twelve megapixels and the front facing camera now comes with a special portrait mode because of the TrueDepth sensors. Photos and videos are now extremely high-res and wonderful. To calibrate the new Face ID system for the first time, you will be prompted to move your face in a complete circle few times before the system give you an okay. Your phone will now recognize you and unlock itself even if you are wearing sunglasses, just as long as they can pass infrared lighting. The iPhone X is currently operating on iOS 11 and navigating with the 3D Touch has become a much better experience that runs smooth like butter.

After a Three-Year Gap, the Mac Pro Will Be Back in Action

In a rare move this week, technological behemoth Apple summoned a small corps of tech journalists to its headquarters where they revealed details about a new model of the Mac Pro, slated for release sometime next year. The Mac Pro, thought to be long dead, is an all-in-one workstation that first made its debut in 2006. Later models were capable of incredible computing feats, with the ability to house as many as eight processor cores out of the box. Unfortunately, this was almost meaningless as the hardware was not up to contemporary standards.

Apple hopes to rectify the mistakes it made with previous version of the Mac Pro by reinventing it from the ground up. One of the company’s mistakes, according to Apple executive Craig Federighi, is that the Mac Pro was inflexible in its design. The iMac, on the other hand, catered to customers’ needs more adeptly and for less, ultimately rendering the Mac Pro pointless to many. Worse still, the Mac Pro didn’t even come with any kind of display, an oversight Apple plans to fix. Interestingly, there are no plans for a touch display.

Apple has not abandoned current Mac Pro customers, however. To tide them over until the newer model releases, Apple is offering new six core and eight core models of the current Mac Pro for $2999 and $3999 respectively. These updated 2013 models feature technology that probably should have been present initially, including Intel Xeon processors and AMD FirePro GPUs. There is no information on how often these will receive software and hardware updates, however – a major complaint among many Mac Pro users. Still, they provide at least some way to upgrade their workstation, albeit a pricey one.

It is unusual for Apple to hold such a lowkey event to announce a new product. As most can tell you, they’re quite well-known for a bit of theater whenever they announce something they feel will be a big hit. Just look at this reveal video for the iPad Pro. This secrecy makes people curious as to what they have in store for the Mac Pro.

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AirPods Finder Is A Thing of The Past

AirPods have been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of success for Apple. They have been lauded for their wireless functionality and ability to detect audio input. However, many of complained of poor sound quality and their ability to stay in place.

AirPods are another great invention by Apple that offer a way for us to untether ourselves. It removes the cumbersome mic and headphone cable that many of us are used to. The microphone input for the AirPods is definitely an improvement compared to the cable method.

They also hold an impressive charge for such a small size. The labeling states they will last up to five hours when fully charged. This makes them a great choice for taking out on a job or a quick bike ride.

However, the small size of AirPods makes them subject to one massive design flaw. That flaw is how easily you can misplace one or both of the earbuds. Thankfully, an app was developed to solve this problem.

The app, Finder for AirPods, was released as an option to track down your wayward buds. Unfortunately, it looks like the app’s success was very short lived. Apple has already removed it from the app store in less than two weeks.

Apple has not commented on their reasoning for removing the app yet. It may be due to the app’s unreliable method of locating AirPods. It used their Bluetooth signal to help gauge if you were getting further or closer to them.

While this method was not perfect, it did at least offer an option besides buying another set. Hopefully, Apple will comment on their decision to remove the app soon. Until then, it’s probably best to keep your AirPods in a secure location. If they are lost, your recovery options are just as limited now as they were at product launch thanks to Apple’s decision.

Apple Deals with Strange Battery Indicator Issue

Apple is a company known for its continual success stories in the world of technology. The huge company is known for its many hits and success stories. Not all endeavors by Apple, however, turn out to be successful ones. Minor glitches do arise now and then as well. Those running Apple do realize quick responses to customer concerns and complaints do have to be addressed and done so quickly. The fast response of Apple is typified in the way the company moved to deal with the “time remaining battery” issue associated with the macOS update.


With MacBook Pros, the battery life on the device has proven unpopular with users. Battery life does not seem to be what it should be. Or is it? The ambiguity of available and remaining battery life is a major concern among using the MacBook Pros. The battery indicator may show the power source is running extremely low. Yet, the actually remaining power may be higher than what the battery icon is showing. Reporting indicate this is due to the strange way power is regulated through the processor. The readings simply might not be accurate ones, which can cause headaches for those trying to figure out how much longer their batteries are going to last before needing recharging.


Apple has made a rather unique decision in the matter. The company has chosen to eliminate the time remaining indicator from the most recent macOS Sierra versions. Eliminating the time remaining indicator does not solve the problem, but it could eliminate complaints from customers — or at least that seems to be what Apple is hoping for.


Likely, customers are going to be annoyed that they won’t be able to check out the time remaining on their laptops. Complaints are sure to roll in. Apple is likely hedging that people won’t worry about the time remaining if they do not have a constant reminder from the battery icon.


Honestly, it is hard to see how Apple is making the right decision here but the company does not have much of a choice. Recalls of these particular MacBook Pros for a minor glitch wouldn’t make sense. Eliminating the indicator does make sense since it is not working in the preferred or desirable manner.


Apple Air Pods to be Released in Time for Christmas (Finally!)

With Christmas just days away, the highly sought after Apple AirPods will hit stores just in time to make a fabulous stocking stuffer. The AirPods, which are being touted as Apple’s answer to the BeatsX, are available for online ordering now with a ship date of December 21st. This announcement comes just in time for that last minute holiday gift rush.


The AirPods were announced in September along with the new, highly antipated iPhone 7, which is Apple’s first phone that does not feature a headphone jack. The reason for the delay in the release of the AirPods is unclear and sources from Apple are declining to comment. There is some speculation that issues could range from sound quality to battery life. Speculation from the Wall Street Journal includes the issue of the 2 independent sound signals that the pods receive from the device they are paired with.


One of the major features of the new AirPods is the enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. The addition of the new Apple W1 chip is reported to eliminate some of the traditional issues that other Bluetooth headsets have, along with optimum battery life management and a sound system that can filter out background while listening to music or talking to Siri.


The five hour battery life of the new AirPods is another feature that makes them highly desirable. This is a longer battery life than other competitors, plus the wireless carrying case holds an additional 24 hours of charging power. If the AirPods start to lose battery life, then all it takes is a fifteen minute stint in the carrying case for an additional three hours of listening.


Something that sets the Apple AirPods apart from the other Bluetooth headsets before them is the fact that both pods are set up to receive sound. In other Bluetooth sets, the sound is only transmitted to one of the ear buds and wired across to the other. Since the AirPods are completely wireless, additional technology and development had to happen for the sound transmission.


You can read more about the AirPods’ highly anticipated release and what makes them the perfect gift here.


Apple Pay Coming To A Transit System Near You

One hassle that people experience riding the public transit system is having the exact change to pay the transit system or having the right amount of money in their pockets to pay for a ticket, token, or card. Of course, this depends on the part of the country that you live in too. Some transit systems make it easy for you to pay your transit fare, while others are still in the stone ages. You walk up to a booth and must pay cash for a transit ticket. This involves waiting in long lines and usually missing your train or bus. However, Apple pay would like to make riding the public transit system much easier.


Apple Pay Coming To A Transit System Near You

The fact is that we are a mobile society. People are far more attached to their smart-phone than you might think. People stay in contact with others via their smart-phone. They check their email, surf the Internet, check web pages, check their social media page, or search for information via their smart-phone. Certainly, the smart-phone is a modern convenience. Wouldn’t it be great, if one could use their smart-phone to make a purchase or even pay for a ticket on the transit system? Well, Apple Pay might be coming to a public transit system in your town. A large number of public transit systems have decided to add mobile pay to their system.


Japanese Railway Goes Mobile

The idea of mobile payments on the public transit system is very exciting for people that are regular commuters on public transit systems. They no longer have to worry about having the required fare on hand for transit fare. Instead, they take their mobile device and swipe. Japanese railway JR East is going to start mobile payments with Apple Pay later this month through their Suica payment system. The upgraded Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and Apple Watch support the system. Meanwhile, New York commuters now have the ability to use the Apple Pay system with their MTA e Tix app.

Apple Says Either Taxes Or Jobs To The EU

Apple has made a statement towards the EU that stood against the tax arrangements. Apple has told the EU that they could either have taxes or jobs. Apple is not going to give them both. This came after Apple learned that the EU is expecting 13 billion euros from Apple in back taxes. Apple’s response is that paying that kind of money is going to be very harmful to the prospects of job development in Europe. While it is not meant as a threat, it will be seen as one by the politicians in the EU. After all, they are trying to get new companies into their country.

Back in the beginning of the 90s, Apple has made a deal Ireland that it would pay some low taxes if the operations were based in Ireland for Europe. Thousands of jobs have been created in Ireland for the 25 years that it has lasted. 2015 saw a total of 5,000 employees. There were plans for up to 1,000 more jobs when they were hit with the dilemma. As of right now, there is a plan to open a new site in Athenry. This would result in as much as 200 jobs for people in the ocuntry.

When Apple has made its statement to the EU about taxes or jobs, it was in fact honoring the original agreement about low taxes and jobs. Also, the taxes actually make it harder to hire people since jobs cost money. It is definitely not a threat, it is a limitation that they see in their budget. As of right now, Apple pays the largest amount of taxes in Ireland. Therefore, it can make the negotiations needed so that it can get what it asks for. Also, these arrangements were agreed to over and over by the Irish Government. Therefore, it is only expected that they will honor the agreement. This is actually a very sound move for companies. If they are taxed, they are not as able to offer jobs.

Apple’s New iOS 10 Lockscreen Has New Focus on Notifications

The beta version of iOS 10 was released this week, and there are some rather exciting developments to note. While the beta is still full of bugs, it offers benefits such as a redone messaging system, 3D touch actions, and the ability to delete some of those annoying pre-installed apps, and a Universal Clipboard feature which will allow you to copy text on one connected device and paste it on another.

The lockscreen has also received an upgrade, and the complete redesign is going to be one of the most immediately noticeable changes to your phone. With a new “Raise to Wake” feature, the phone is now designed to wake up as soon as you pick it up.

Swiping left-to-right no longer serves to unlock your phone–instead, it’ll bring up a new page of widgets giving you details such as weather, events, and nearby locations. Swiping in the other direction will open your camera, and to unlock your phone you’ll need to press the home button, which will either read your fingerprint with the TouchID sensor, or prompt you to enter your pin security number.

In the past, it was easy to totally miss your lockscreen, waking your phone and unlocking it in a single step. Because the phone now wakes as soon as you pick it up, those notifications on your lockscreen are a lot more likely to be noticed and grab your attention.

Whether you like notifications or not, this update essentially forces you to look at them, at least for the brief moment between picking up your phone and unlocking it.