Reviews ▪ Today

AAPL: 112.12

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[Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Lontih Khatami who [disclosure] works at the same studio, Universal, that produced the film but did not work on the film. Spoiler: it’s better than iSteve]

Interested in seeing the new Steve Jobs movie that Universal is releasing this weekend in select markets (with wide expansion set for October 23)? Well, me, too. Only I’ve already seen it five times within the past dozen days. And I eagerly await my next few viewings.

You’re probably wondering how I’ve been able to see this inevitable Oscar contender so many times prior to its initial release. The more important thing to ponder, though, is “Why would anybody WANT to see it so many times in such a short timeframe?” The answer to that question, quite simply, is because the movie is masterfully made, and it works on so many different levels. Not unlike so many of the products the title character brought into this world… expand full story

Health accessories for iPhones, iPads, and iPods have become more numerous and diverse over the years, evolving from Apple’s early Nike+ run sensors to heart rate monitors, increasingly complex Wi-Fi scales with body fat and ambient room sensors, blood pressure cuff docks… and even Bluetooth toothbrushes. Some health accessories are undeniably useful, but others raise the question “why?” — why pay more to see my weight on an iPhone rather than the scale’s built-in screen? Why track daily tooth brushing, body fat percentages, or the humidity of one’s bathroom? People survived for thousands of years without charting every seemingly minor blip on their personal radars.

My perspective changed last month when my wife was diagnosed with a serious cardiac condition. One of those “seemingly minor blips” that can now be constantly monitored is your heartbeat, and when something’s wrong with your heart, advance knowledge literally makes the difference between living or dying. As it turns out, a San Francisco-based company named AliveCor is now on its third-generation version of an iPhone accessory that helps people with cardiac conditions. The AliveCor Mobile ECG ($75) is an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that can record and share your heartbeat directly from your iPhone. Measuring roughly 3.2″ by 1.3″ by 0.2″, Mobile EGC can self-attach to your iPhone’s back, or integrate with a bundled custom iPhone 6/6s case for only $79. Given my family’s sudden need for quick access to ECG data, keeping it with an iPhone makes sense, as this is an accessory we’ll want to have on hand whenever it may be needed…

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Reviews ▪ Yesterday

AAPL: 109.50

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This year’s iPhone launch week is over, so the earliest 13 million or so adopters are already playing with and forming opinions on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Past history suggests that Apple will sell over 100 million of these phones over the next year or so, which means that there are a lot of people still deciding on which model to buy.

If you’re still on the fence about buying one of Apple’s latest and greatest smartphones, there are a few important things you need to know. On the surface, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus look nearly identical to their predecessors, as we’ve come to expect with “s” models, but there’s a lot of new tech inside that makes these models different. Will any of the changes justify this purchase for you? Or will you be better off with last year’s (now cheaper) iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? Let’s find out…

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Reviews ▪ October 6

AAPL: 111.31

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The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 headphones ($49.90) are not especially meant as a replacement for EarPods, but that’s how I see them. Apple’s bundled EarPods have a lot of positives. They are ‘cheap’, lightweight and small. You can chuck them in a bag or pocket without worrying too much. This is in stark contrast to Beats on-ear and over-ear headphones, for example, which are expensive, bulky and heavy. However, EarPods leave much to be desired in regard to sound quality.

It turns out the Rock Jaw Alfa’s fill this gap nicely. They have the same portability as EarPods but with a focus on also providing great sound to listen to. They aren’t perfect but they are pretty great value earbuds. Read on for our full review …

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Reviews ▪ October 5

AAPL: 110.78

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I’m an Apple guy. I have enough Apple hardware around my house to serve as a mini-museum and I use Apple’s software and services every single day. But when Google makes something interesting like Chromecast Audio, I can’t help but want to try out the new toy.

Sold for just $35 (Google Store, Best Buy), Chromecast Audio lets you stream audio over the Internet from services like Spotify and NPR to old speakers. This varies from Apple’s AirPlay in that audio streams directly to the Chromecast Audio rather than from device to device, using your iPhone or iPad only as the remote. In practice, Chromecast Audio is most similar to Sonos, but with Google’s accessory selling at a much lower, irresistible price as it relies on your existing speakers rather than all-in-one units.

So what exactly is Chromecast Audio and what can it do for iPhone owners? Read on for details… expand full story

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