Reviews ▪ August 12

AAPL: 115.24

1.75
Stock Chart

Spigen already created one of the most minimal and affordable Apple Watch charging stands with the Apple Watch Stand S330 — a design that fits right in next to an iMac, and works with both open and closed bands. But then Apple announced watchOS 2 and Nightstand Mode, which will will turn the Apple Watch into a proper alarm clock during charging, but only when it’s positioned on its side with the Digital Crown and side button facing up. Spigen’s new Apple Watch Night Stand S350 ($20) offers an even more minimal design with Nightstand Mode support, and an especially budget-friendly price. Check out my impressions below…

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Reviews ▪ August 8

AAPL: 115.52

0.39
Stock Chart

Early in the life of the Apple Watch, offering a single, nicely-designed stand was enough for most developers; our guide to the best Apple Watch Stands compiles many such options. Just Mobile’s first entry was the aluminum, tube-shaped TimeStand, which I reviewed last month, and now the company’s back with a second and entirely different stand called the Lounge Dock ($40). Lounge Dock addresses TimeStand’s most conspicuous omission, adding support for watchOS 2.0’s upcoming Nightstand Mode, while adapting Just Mobile’s classic iPhone and iPod stand Lounge for a smaller Apple device.

Unlike TimeStand, which machined a single piece of aluminum into a tube-like stand, Lounge Dock is a multi-piece design connecting a silver metal base to a silver metal arm and a black plastic Apple Watch holder. Just Mobile’s primary pitch is that the plastic holder pivots, letting you adjust the Apple Watch’s screen angle for easier viewing while charging. If that’s appealing to you, or you want to use your Apple Watch as a small bedside clock with Nightstand Mode, you might like this new design…

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Reviews ▪ August 7

AAPL: 115.52

0.39
Stock Chart

While I wasn’t immediately convinced of the need to ever hide a beautiful Apple Watch under an arguably unattractive protective case, seeing my wife’s experience accidentally damaging the sapphire display solidified my spot in Apple Watch Case Camp in some contexts.

Because Apple Watch materials — aluminum, stainless steel, gold, Ion-X glass, and sapphire glass — are strong but not entirely resistant to scuffs, scratches, shatters, and all the same ailments that strike our iPhones in normal use, it makes sense that accessory makers want to apply the same formula used to produce iPhone cases when making protective solutions for Apple Watch.

But Apple Watch has to look good, so does porting that same formula actually work? That’s the question I’ll tackle with my hands-on experience with Speck’s $29 CandyShell Fit hard shell case for Apple Watch.
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Reviews ▪ August 5

AAPL: 115.40

0.76
Stock Chart

I’m not a fan of hyperbole, nor am I the type of reviewer who long ago ran out of new synonyms for the word “great.” In fact, I could count the number of truly stellar products I’ve tested in the past year on one or two hands. So when I say that Enblue Technology’s new Premium One W3 ($135, also sold in $65 W1 and $115 W2 forms) is the best stand I’ve yet seen for the Apple Watch, and quite possibly the best multi-Apple device stand I’ve ever tested, that isn’t idle gushing. Yes, the Premium One stands are expensive. No, they are not perfect. But having seen a lot of companies try and fail to do what this German developer has accomplished, I’m certainly very impressed.

Each Premium One stand uses nicely machined aluminum dotted with small plastic pads to hold and charge your Apple Watch. The entry-level W1 model is Watch-only, while the mid-range W2 holds a Watch and iPhone, and the top-of-line W3 is a Watch, iPhone, and iPad charging station — the most elegant multi-device charger I’ve seen since Apple introduced Lightning connectors. It’s ideal for minimalists, and amazingly, completely case-compatible. If the price doesn’t bother you, and you want to charge your Apple Watch along with other devices, this should be at or near the top of your shopping list…

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Reviews ▪ August 4

AAPL: 114.64

-3.80
Stock Chart

tidyingupipad

Like many other people right now, I’m in the midst of watching my house transform as a direct result of Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. As the title suggests, the book powerfully explains how to properly keep any room tidy, in the process helping you resolve lingering issues in your life. Thanks to positive press, strong word of mouth, and surprisingly tangible results, Tidying Up is rapidly taking minimalism mainstream, bucking an age-old trend towards hoarding untold quantities of stuff and leaving it scattered around one’s living and working spaces.

As a long-time minimalist, it’s refreshing to see decluttering catching on. But Kondo’s KonMari system — keep only those items that “spark joy” and are actually being used, discarding everything else — has created a problem for tech-savvy readers. No matter how necessary they’ve become in our lives, Apple device chargers don’t “spark joy.” In Kondo terminology, their cables are untidy; particularly if you’ve purchased inexpensive third-party options, they’re not particularly nice to look at.

I knew this was a problem when my wife, inspired by Tidying Up, nearly tossed out the multi-iPad charger our family has used for years. Yes, the charger was creating visual clutter, but we needed it — or something better — to keep everyone’s iPads working. My hunt to find minimalist solutions to our daily charging needs inspired this article. Below, I’ll run through a few options that will help you tidy up your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, and Mac spaces, so you (and/or your significant other) can achieve minimalism without giving up your favorite devices…

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Reviews ▪ August 1

AAPL: 121.30

-1.07
Stock Chart

Pixelmator is one of the best Photoshop alternatives available on the Mac App Store. I’ve been using it for quite some time now, but mostly just using a trackpad or mouse to manipulate layers, access tools and edit functions. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts. And if I had the time or patience to learn them all, I would have. Needless to say, I didn’t. So when I got the chance to check out EditorsKeys keyboard specifically designed for Pixelmator, I jumped at it.

To cut it down to the very basics – This is essentially a wired Apple keyboard with numeric keypad. Except it has custom keys to clearly label the Pixelmator keyboard shortcuts, making photo and image editing much quicker and easier. Simply put: If you use Pixelmator on Mac and you don’t already have a grasp of all the shortcuts, you should get this keyboard.

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