Review: Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Pro is a dream for media professionals and creators (Video)

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It would be silly to say that Apple’s latest iteration of the 15-inch 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the best MacBook yet, because that’s mostly the truth with every new model. Unfortunately, you won’t find a shiny new processor setup this time around, as Apple stuck with the trusty old Haswell configuration, but there are some nice improvements here.

The good news is, there’s a bump in clock speed across the board if that matters to you and we have a new GPU setup thanks to AMD in the high-end model. Even with these modest upgrades, the MacBook Pro I purchased is a beast for content creation…

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Ultimate Ears Roll is a tough, wearable speaker that hangs, swims and sounds great

 

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Over the weekend I got my hands on the new $99 Ultimate Ears Roll Bluetooth speaker — a durable and waterproof frisbee of a device that pumps the beats like the UE Mini Boom cousin it is replacing. The form factor is totally new however.

First up: The UE Roll sounds really good with significant bass emerging from that thin profile. Not quite as good as $200+ portable speakers like the Bose Soundlink Mini or even the full-sized UE MegaBoom but plenty good to fill up a room or for a few people to rock out with some background music on the beach for a volleyball game. If you find yourself in a quiet, still spot the sound really comes through clean even though the device with its bungee cord off the back lends itself to the great outdoors and physical activity.

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The Roll connects to Apple and other Bluetooth devices – even the Apple Watch – through a typical Bluetooth 4 connection, but Logitech offers some very premium features via the iOS or Android app that debuted with the Megaboom. With the app, you can set an alarm, “equalize” the sound, pair two or more speakers for stereo or do Sonos-like arrays in every room, check battery status and more with updates promised for the future… Read more

What to know before you buy the Apple Watch w/ Milanese Loop band

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I decided on the Apple Watch with stainless steel Milanese Loop band for a few reasons, but not before considering the benefits and drawbacks of Apple’s entire collection of straps and bands for Apple Watch. Budget will in many cases guide your decision, but going for the Milanese Loop was a no-brainer for me. There are a few downsides of the band compared to others, however.

Here are a few observations I’ve made after wearing it for the last couple weeks, including little talked about pros and cons you’ll want to consider before purchasing the Milanese Loop for yourself. Read more

12-inch MacBook month review: A great new Mac if you manage your expectations (Video)

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For the last month, I’ve been using Apple’s new 12-inch Retina MacBook almost exclusively. There’s no denying that’s it’s underpowered when compared to other models on the market, but is its portability worth the performance sacrifice? Can you really get anything done with a relatively small display, an Intel Core M processor, and more importantly, zero traditional USB ports?

This won’t be an in-depth review of features and performance (check out Zac’s take on the MacBook for an in-depth look), but instead, I’ve mainly focused on my personal experiences over the month I’ve been using it. Does the Retina MacBook live up to the hype? Let’s go ahead and find out…

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Review: Apple Watch as a design piece

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Precision. That’s the word that immediately came to mind the minute I picked up my Apple Watch for the first time. Something about this device felt different, on an almost subconscious level, from any other Apple product I’ve used before. Perhaps I was just caught up in the moment. After all, the Watch is the first totally new product to come out of Apple since the introduction of the iPad, which feels like so many years ago. On the other hand, I knew from the onset that I planned on buying the Apple Watch mostly for its design. I wasn’t so much interested in all of the software features it could offer me, I just couldn’t imagine not having this shiny little box on my wrist. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Apple Watch strictly as a design piece.

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Apple says it will reject Apple Watch apps that just tell the time, more first-party faces may be coming soon

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Apple has today added a new guideline to the App Store Review Guidelines, the first clause specifically targeted at Apple Watch development. This rule that Watch apps that only tell time will be rejected has actually been enforced since Apple started accepting WatchKit submissions as many developers complained to find their apps had been rejected for this reason. The documentation change now formalizes this rule into an official policy.

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Review: Is the added protection of the LifeProof Nüüd for iPhone 6 worth the trade-offs?

LifeProof has become a household name in the iPhone accessory world since debuting its first ultra-protective case in 2011. The company has continued improving its waterproof cases with each new version of the iPhone. With the iPhone 5, LifeProof introduced its Nüüd series, which offers protection from water, snow, dirt, and shock while still exposing the display. We took a look at it last summer, noting that its an excellent choice for the adventurous iPhone user, albeit a bit bulky. It’s still available for $48.

With the iPhone 6, Apple presented LifeProof with a new challenge. The large, thin form factor of the iPhone 6 meant that LifeProof would have to work incredibly hard to develop a case that maintained a manageable form factor, while offering the same protection that users of the case have come to expect. We reviewed the LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 6 earlier this year and pointed out that it was a well thought out option, but that the Nüüd model would be very much welcomed. I’ve recently been testing the LifeProof Nüüd case for the iPhone 6. Here’s what you need to know:

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Review: Dyconn’s i6 Power Case packs a 3,200 mAh battery and features wireless charging (Video)

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There are absolutely no shortage of battery case offerings for iPhone 6. Even though we’ve covered the best iPhone battery cases here, it’s sometimes overwhelming sorting through them all. The real winners are the ones with maximum battery capacity and some extra features to spice things up. Recently, I came across Dyconn’s i6 Power Case and was pleasantly surprised to find that it fits most of what I was looking for, but is it enough? Well, not only does this case pack a 3,200 mAh battery inside, it also features wireless charging. It’s not a must-have feature, but I sure do appreciate the convenience…

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Hands-on: Apple’s all-new Music app in iOS 8.4

With the release of the first developer beta of iOS 8.4 this evening, Apple gave us the first look at the oft-rumored redesign of the Music app. With the expected announcement of Apple’s streaming music service happening in June, the Music app redesign has been expected for several months now. The newly introduced Music app offers a handful of new features in the first beta of iOS 8.4, as well as a redesigned interface that’s similar to iTunes on the Mac. Let’s take a brief look…

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Apple now inviting all third-party developers to submit Watch apps to the App Store

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Apple has now opened the floodgates and is letting all developers submit Watch apps to the App Store. This means any of the 1.2 million apps can now submit updates including Watch apps (using the WatchKit framework), beyond the select partners Apple rolled out last week.

As a reminder, Watch apps come bundled as extensions inside normal iOS apps. This means customers can update the apps in the iPhone ready for the Watch’s release on the 24th. Apple is pointing developers to the submission reference guidelines for more information on this process.

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