Aluminum Stories April 4, 2016

Satechi-Wireless-Keypad

Satechi’s new Aluminum Wireless Keypad is the numeric keypad add-on Apple doesn’t make for its own wireless keyboard. Apple has a truly full-sized keyboard with the number/keypad option, but it’s only available as a wired keyboard. Its wireless Bluetooth keyboard, however, which it bundles with its Mac desktops and also sells separately, is shorter and doesn’t come with the old number pad.

That’s probably because the majority of users probably don’t miss it with the top number row suffice for occasional number input, so it’s understandable why Apple doesn’t pay much attention to it. But I personally like and miss the speed of using a keypad for quick commands in pro apps like Logic and punching in numbers in spreadsheets (it’s tax time…), so I’ve been testing Satechi’s new Aluminum Wireless Keypad that recently arrived.

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Aluminum Stories August 18, 2015

Speedo Shine 21

Fitness device maker Misfit and swim-accessory expert Speedo are hitting the pool together this summer to create a special version of the fitness tracking Shine wearable made especially for swimmers. The Speedo Shine is enhanced for workouts in the pool thanks to “proprietary lap counting algorithms with industry-leading accuracy” that swimmers should appreciate. Data captured by Speedo Shine syncs up wirelessly with Misfit’s iPhone app over Bluetooth for evaluating workouts in the pool and hitting swim goals. And while the water resistant Apple Watch with non-leather bands plays nice with some water, Speedo Shine is made with swimmers in mind and waterproofed to 50 meters. expand full story

Aluminum Stories July 4, 2015

I manually cropped the image on Mpix's web site for the 30" x 20" print
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metalprints21

Apple knew it had something special to share with the world when it released iPhoto in 2002: in addition to printing 20″ by 30″ poster-sized photos, the original iPhoto’s “most stunning feature” (according to Apple) was a page layout tool that quickly turned digital photo collections into printed hardcover books. These were Apple’s acknowledgements that tangible photos still had value in a digital era, and it subsequently added calendars, greeting cards, softcover books, and letterpress cards to iPhoto. Apple’s newer app Photos for Mac hides these options under the File menu at the top of the screen, and hasn’t expanded on them, a shame considering how nice the results look.

But apart from including the poster options in 2002, Apple never added “large-format art” to the list of things its photo apps could produce. Back in 2002, digital cameras were so low-resolution that they struggled to produce pixel-free 4″ by 6″ photos, so it’s no surprise that Apple wasn’t trying to build a market for large prints. Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. Canon currently sells two 50-Megapixel cameras, Sony has one 42-Megapixel camera, and Nikon offers four 36-Megapixel cameras. iPhones and iPads can create up to 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas. A large, properly-composed print from any of these cameras (or even the more common 20- to 25-Megapixel cameras people are using today) will look amazing hanging on the wall of your home or office… if you know how to do it.

I wanted to see what the best options were for large-format photography, so I reached out to a collection of excellent art print services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — materials Photos doesn’t offer. In Part 1 of this How-To guide, I’m looking at large-format metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces, with results as saturated as Apple’s famous “nanochromatic” iPod nanos. A new Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. Read on for all the details…

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Aluminum Stories April 3, 2015

Screenshot 2015-04-03 11.22.29

To go along with the premium $10,000 and up pricing of the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, Apple will charge up to $999 for the Apple Watch Edition’s AppleCare+ Protection Plan, 9to5Mac has learned. The Apple Watch Edition notably has very different AppleCare coverage from other Apple Watch models, coming with two years of 24/7 support and a special setup hotline right out of the box. AppleCare+ will add a third year of technical support and support for up to two incidents of accidental hardware damage. More affordable AppleCare+ coverage will also be offered for the aluminum Sport and stainless steel standard models, which will cost $59 and $79 respectively, adding a second year of technical support to the included one year, plus support for up to two incidents of accidental hardware damage…

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Aluminum Stories March 23, 2014

Review two-pack: Just Mobile’s latest iPhone accessories have form, little function

As we have previously noted, Just Mobile sells a variety of premium accessories primarily for Apple products that are made out of aluminum. These designs and materials are similar to what Apple makes for its own products, so Just Mobile’s accessories are popular items for fans of Apple’s product design. For the past few weeks, we have been testing out some of Just Mobile’s latest iPhone accessories: the AluFrame and the AluCup Grande. You can find our full reviews below:

Aluminum Stories October 8, 2013

Last month we reported that Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ive had teamed up with designer & friend Marc Newson to create one of a kind pieces for Bono’s (Product) RED charity auction scheduled for November 23 at Sotheby’s New York. Those pieces included one-of-a-kind 18k sold rose gold Apple EarPods, and Steinway & Sons piano, and other unique items designed by the pair. Today we get a look at another beautifully designed product set to go up for auction next month.

In the gallery below we get a look at the gorgeous aluminum Leica M for (RED) designed by Ive and Newson that features “a laser machined aluminum body and an anodized aluminum outer shell.” The one of a kind camera took 85 days to create with the team going through 561 models and nearly 1000 prototype parts: expand full story

Aluminum Stories August 28, 2013

Logitech announces Ultrathin multi-touch Bluetooth mouse made to match your MacBook

Logitech is announcing a line of new super slim, touch enabled Bluetooth mice today that might finally give Mac users a great alternative to Apple’s own multi-touch Magic Mouse. While both mouses feature the same specs and multi-touch enabled surface, Logitech is marketing the black version for Windows Ultrabook users, while the white version has been made specifically for OS X users to match the all-aluminum body of MacBooks.

“Whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone or touch-navigation device, people are looking for thin, modern design that works fluidly,” said Charlotte Johs, Logitech global vice president of brand development. “We created the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse to give people an ultraportable mouse that complements today’s MacBook and Ultrabook computers.”

The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac (as well as the T630 for Ultrabooks) features a brushed metallic body, “feather-light” design at 70g, and comes in at 85 mm x 59mm x 18 mm. It also includes USB charging, Logitech’s Easy-Switch Bluetooth technology for switching between devices, and optimizations for OS X touch gestures. The company says you can expect to get around 1 hour of use from 1 minute of charge time.  Logitech clarified that the mouse gets around 10 hours max battery life on a full charge:

the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse is much longer than one hour — it can last up to 10 days on a full charge, based on typical user experiences. It charges very quickly, and just one minute of charge time will give you up to one hour of power.

The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac in white  will be available in the US and Europe in November, while the Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 in black will be available in both markets starting in next month. Both will sell for $69.99 and are available to preorder now through Logitech’s website starting today.

Aluminum Stories August 11, 2013

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Product:

The Twelve South HiRise, which was announced last week, is an aluminum stand and docking/charging station for Apple devices that include a Lightning dock connector. The HiRise supports the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, seventh-generation iPod nano, and the iPad mini (the 4th-generation iPad is too large). Unlike the typical iOS Device dock, the HiRise, as the product name implies, raises your device a few inches high in the air. Twelve South also ships versions of the HiRise for the MacBook (review) and iMac (review)…

Features/Performance: 

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Aluminum Stories May 27, 2013

Just Mobile’s aluminum AluBase, HeadStand, and AluRack reviewed

As we previously noted, Just Mobile sells a series of accessories, mainly for Apple products, made out of carefully crafted aluminum designs. These designs and materials are akin to what Apple builds for its own products, therefore Just Mobile accessories are at the top of the wish lists for many Apple product design fans. For the past few weeks, we have been testing out Just Mobile’s latest accessories. Find our reviews below:

Aluminum Stories April 10, 2013

Kickstarter: ZenBoxx promises to help eliminate desk clutter with the MacBook ZenDock

If your desk looks anything like mine, seen above, then you probably know the joys of constantly connecting and disconnecting a handful of cables every time you need to move your MacBook away from your desk or put it back.  In my case, I have to fiddle with these cables every few hours when I take my MacBook downstairs to work in the living room or bring it back upstairs to plug it into my monitor. I hate it.

The ZenDock, which hit Kickstarter today, promises to help eliminate most of this problem for me, and from the looks of it, the folks at ZenBoxx might just be on to something. The ZenDock comes in two varieties: Pro and Retina. As you might imagine, the names correspond to the MacBook model that the dock is designed to work with.

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