Review: JBL’s portable speaker line (OnBeat Micro, Flip, Charge) begs the question: Lightning dock or Bluetooth speaker?

IMG_6164

JBL’s $99 Flip, $99 OnBeat Lightning Dock and $149 Charge

When we did our Best Bluetooth speaker mega-review (TL;DR: Overall WinnerBest ValueBest SoundBest Portable/SoundApps/Updatesmore) a few weeks ago, we neglected to test JBL’s very capable ($99 Flip) and $149 Charge; something our commenters immediately questioned. Not even a day after the review went up, JBL sent us a box full of their new speakers to test against our recommendations (sometimes this is a great job!). JBL also sent us the $100 OnBeat Micro Lightning Dock to compare against so it might also be worth asking the question: Should you get a Bluetooth speaker or a Lightning dock speaker? Read more

Review: Currency, a streamlined conversion app for your iPhone that may be a tad too simple

photo 4 copy

Conversion apps feel like a design playground, with so much potential for uniqueness and variety in their interfaces. The trend has been towards multifunction, multi-purpose Swiss-army knife apps that attempt to cover a whole range of disparate measurements. In my experience, as a result of racing to add one more ratio to their feature list, the simplicity of these apps suffer.

Currency sidesteps this battleground entirely and, as the name implies, focuses solely on converting amounts of money. The app touts support for over 160 currencies from around the world, which was more than enough to satisfy my needs. The app surfaces a handful of common currencies at first launch, each accompanied with a beautiful representation of its respective country’s flag.

Read more

Analysis: That sub-$400 AAPL share dip – what does it really mean?

1-day

Predictably, AAPL’s brief dip below $400 yesterday is resulting in a lot of excited reporting in the press, but how much does it all really mean?

The 5.5 percent slide yesterday was a combination of two factors. First, yesterday was a bad day for the market as a whole, with broad selling across a range of US stock triggered by the government reporting slower growth in hiring than the market had expected (via The Economic Times) … Read more

I watched “iSteve” so you wouldn’t have to

title

Steve Jobs sits alone in a dark room, reading notes from a set of index cards and a MacBook Pro. The janitor walks in and tell him he should go to sleep. Steve replies, “Yeah, I will, I will. I just need to rehearse this keynote speech for tomorrow.” The janitor laughs. “That’s what you told me four hours ago!”

This is the opening scene of “iSteve,” Funny Or Die’s new Steve Jobs biopic-comedy. It’s also the closest thing to reality you will see over the next seventy-eight minutes.

Watching this movie felt a lot like using a PC. I spent half the time staring at the screen in utter bewilderment, and the other half desperately trying to figure out how something so void of any semblance of taste was actually OK’d by anyone at any level of the production.

Read more

Former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch’s rocky relationship with Apple made him an unlikely candidate for executive role

Chief Executive Tim Cook’s third big hire after the short-lived Mark Papermaster (during Steve Jobs’ second leave) and unpopular John Browett is former Adobe CTO and Flash advocate Kevin Lynch, who will report to the SVP of Technologies Bob Mansfield. It would seem Lynch is pretty set up because Mansfield is set to retire next year and Lynch carries the same VP of Technologies title.

The hire seems to be a very interesting choice, however.

Lynch is a long-time Adobe veteran who came over when the company purchased Macromedia in 2005, largely for its Flash technology. Interestingly, Apple SVP Phil Schiller was the Vice President of Product Marketing at Macromedia, Inc. from December 1995 to March 1997. Lynch served as President of Macromedia Products and then as General Manager of Web Publishing from February 1996 to June 2000. The two likely spent some time together, although it was admittedly a decade and a half ago. Still, the relationship seems to be cordial.

However, Lynch’s recent dealings with Apple haven’t been so friendly…

Read more