I'm tired of waiting for Apple to come out with its much-rumored iWatch. So I bought a Pebble at Best Buy. It's far from perfect; check out my Pebble review on CIO.com. But I like all the watch faces you can upload and toggle through. The Vine video below will give you a quick (6 seconds, to be exact) taste.
That's exactly what Tumi has cooked up with its limited-edition Tumi X Vice Brief Pack, a $495 backpack in its Alpha line. The backpack design was influenced by Vice, a noted DJ, which explains why the main compartment features LED lighting with three power levels.
Though the LED lights sound a bit gimmicky, the idea of actually being able to see inside your man bag in dim lighting could benefit people besides DJs and other club denizens. Think: business professionals on a late-night flight. Fidgety conference attendees during someone's tedious PowerPoint presentation.
Apparently Vice has a thing for neon green, so the Tumi bag's interior is lined in said color. I suppose that's better than the bright orange I've seen inside some Briggs & Riley bags.
What's next? A Virgin America-branded backpack with interior mood lighting? Yes, please.
On my last cross-country flight, Delta forced me to check my carry-on bag at the gate. It's not going to happen again.
I had two carry-on bags: a Victorinox Avolve 22 four-wheeled bag plus a Briggs & Riley backpack. A Delta rep at the gate eyed my Victorinox bag, which admittedly was a bit overstuffed, and made me try to squeeze it into the metal frame that approximates the acceptable size of a carry-on. Had Delta shrunk that little frame? It certainly seemed that way, because my bag wouldn't fit into Delta's tight little girdle. FYI, the Avolve 22's dimensions are 14.5 inches x 22 inches x 9.5 inches. Delta's 'size check' girdle measures 14 inches x 22 inches x 9 inches--a total of 1 inch smaller than the Avolve bag.
And so, I had to check the Avolve bag. My only consolation was that I didn't also have to pay $25 for the privilege.
I loathe checking my bags because I detest waiting for them on the carousel. When I arrive, I'm ready to get on my way, chop chop. And so, my experience with Delta had me thinking: How can I beat the airlines at their game?
By buying two new bags, of course.
My new strategy is to carry on two similarly sized bags, instead of one big one and one small one. The two bags I bought were in Briggs & Riley's Baseline collection:
A patent filing discovered by Patently Apple reveals that Apple may be developing “a killer 3D imaging camera” for still and video photography. Meanwhile, rumors about what to expect in the iPhone 5 are starting to heat up (yes, again).
According to the patent filing, the cameras Apple is developing would use depth-detection sensors such as laser, RADAR, and LIDAR to create 3D images. The cameras will also incorporate advanced chrominance and luminance sensors for enhanced color accuracy; facial recognition; and facial gesturing recognition.
Of course, just because Apple has filed a patent for 3D cameras doesn’t mean the company will incorporate that technology into a future product. And even if Apple does add 3D imagery, the technology might not show up in the next iPhone.
Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Times is reporting some of the latest iPhone 5 rumors. Among the expected features are:
* iPhone 5 production is expected to begin sometime in June. Then again, it might be fall.
* The next iPhone is likely to have a larger screen, anywhere from 4 to 4.7 inches (compared to the current 3.5 inches).
* A 4G iPhone 5 is pretty much a no-brainer.
* A quad-core processor, replacing the current dual-core chip.
Here's hoping the next iPhone has a bigger screen. Now that I also have a Samsung Galaxy Note, my iPhone looks miniscule in comparison.
As expected, Apple unveiled its new iPad in San Francisco on Tuesday. While the release of a new iPad was predictable, some of its features—and missing features—were surprising. Here’s a look at three eyebrow raisers.
1. The iPad’s minimalist name. Apple went simple this time around, choosing not to call its latest iPad the iPad 3 or iPad HD, as had been rumored. Given that Apple plans to continue selling the iPad 2, this no-name strategy seems a bit odd. And how will we effectively do Google searches for the new iPad, without having to see results for previous iPads too? For now, typing new iPad into Google weeds out earlier models. But what happens when the new iPad is no longer new?
2. The improved but still-not-great cameras. The new iPad sports a significantly improved rear-facing camera, capable of 5 megapixels, compared to the iPad 2’s similar camera, capable of just 0.7 megapixels. Apple says its rear-facing camera is also capable of capturing 1080p video, while the previous iPad could only record 720p. Even so, Apple has left the VGA-quality FaceTime front-facing camera unchanged with the new iPad. And the new iPad’s rear-facing camera still lags behind the iPhone 4S’s 8 megapixels. Why not bring the iPad’s cameras up to par with the iPhone? Admittedly, far more people are likely to use an iPhone as a camera than an iPad, due to the sizes of the two devices. Apple could truly disrupt the filmmaking industry by adding truly awesome video and audio recording capabilities to the iPad—which, with its new 9.7-inch Retina display, would make one hell of a viewfinder.
3. No Siri. Since Steve Jobs’ bio hit stores, rumors have swirled that Apple is working on a smart TV that will be controlled by Siri, the virtual assistant technology Apple acquired and added to the iPhone 4S. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense for Apple to get more people accustomed to Siri before the smart Apple TV is introduced? And if so, wouldn’t the new iPad have been an ideal opportunity to acquaint more users with Siri? On the other hand, Apple is fighting a formidable competitor in the smartphone market—Google and its Android platform. Siri is a strong competitive differentiator for Apple’s smartphone, so maybe that’s why the folks in Cupertino decided to keep Siri exclusive to the iPhone 4S. After all, if Siri were also available on the iPad, could that diminish demand for the 4S in some way? It’s possible.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was a vocal opponent of stylus input. And he was none too pleased with Samsung, the company with which Apple has been embroiled in various patent disputes. With apologies to a man I greatly respected, I must admit that I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note the first day it was available (last Sunday), and so far, I'm really enjoying it.
Samsung Galaxy Note comes with a stylus, which you use to jot notes and add annotations to just about anything you see on the Android phone's screen. And speaking of its screen, it measures 5.3 inches, the largest of any smartphone on the market. It's not terribly easy to hold the device in one hand while checking email or making a call, but it can be done.
In other words, the Samsung Galaxy Note is big--but in a goofy, endearing sort of way.
It's also received mixed reviews. PCMag calls the phone “an unfortunate tweener,” while Engadget says “it’s one of the best phones of any size on the market today.”
Even so, I'm not complaining. I'm enjoying using the stylus and the S Memo app (included) to mark up web pages and maps. I may even doodle with it, should creativity (and time) allow. You can read my S Memo review on CIO.com, where I recently started a new mobile apps blog.
Did I mention I love the Galaxy Note's big-ass screen? When I type, the keys are bigger. When I shoot a picture or video, the viewfinder (so to speak) is bigger. When I visit a web page, I don't have to scroll quite as much.When I read an email, I don't have to squint (as much).
At a time when everything seems to be shrinking--the economy, for instance--it's refreshing to own such a big, bold device, a phone that dares you to slip it into your jeans pocket, a phone that refuses to conform, a phone that says, "Look at me!," because look at it you will.
OnlineMBA.com has created an infographic that deftly summarizes the best airports, airlines, and tech devices for frequent travelers, plus tips on how to speed through security. Some of the info may be obvious to a frequent flyer. Still, the infographic is worth a look. You might even want to print it out and keep it handy when you book your next flight.
This week was supposed to be all about the CES 2012 product announcements. And yet, rumors about Apple's next iPad are buzzing all over the net. Here's a quick roundup of the next Apple tablet, reportedly due in March.
* The iPad 3 is likely to look much like the iPad 2, just as the iPhone 4S is a kissing cousin to its predecessor. The iPad 3 may be slightly thicker, which could render existing iPad 2 cases incompatible. It’s doubtful the next iPad will be as thick as the original Apple tablet, however.
* The iPad 3 will have significant hardware upgrades, such as a faster A6 chip, improved front and rear-facing cameras, and a Sharp screen with 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. The iPad 2, by comparison, has an A5 processor, so-so cameras, and a screen resolution of 1024 x 768.
* Apple’s Siri virtual assistant technology is also rumored to be an iPad 3 feature, according to 9to5Mac.
* Speculation about a second, smaller iPad to compete with Amazon’s Kindle seems to be flickering out at the moment.
Holiday gift dawdlers. The malls are filled with them, and the Internet is abuzz with their last-minute clicks. If you're among those still shopping for gifts and you've got mobile gadgets on your list, take a deep breath and read on. I've got three tips to help you save money during the pre-Christmas rush--or any time of year, for that matter.
1. Use in-store QR codes. Increasingly, brick & mortar retailers are posting QR codes in stores, which provide more information—and sometimes lower prices—for products. For example, on a recent trip to a Best Buy in San Francisco, I discovered prices that were $30 or $40 higher for digital cameras than the prices on Best Buy’s site, which I quickly obtained by snapping the cameras' QR codes with my iPhone. In both cases, I showed the lower price to store employees, and they matched the lower prices.
2. Search for promo codes. Before you click to purchase that new gadget, do a Google search to see if there is a promo code you can use. If you’re planning to buy an HP laptop, Google the phrase hp promo code or hp coupon code. Similarly, you might check to see if there are promo codes for a particular retailer, like best buy promo code.
3. Always save the packaging. Given the short shelf life of today’s electronics, it’s a good idea to hold onto the box a gadget came in along with its contents (including DVDs, cables, and such). You’ll get more money for your device when you sell it later on eBay or Amazon.
Do you remember when airlines used to actually give bags to passengers? Neither do I. And the concept seems a bit curious. I mean, didn't you already have all your stuff packed into bags when you arrived for your flight?
At any rate, once upon a time, airlines did indeed give bags to passengers, usually in first- or business-class. You can still buy airline-branded bags for sale online. They might even make a cool holiday gift for travel buffs longing to relive the long-gone days of glamorous air travel.
* New Pan Am-brand bags are available from Panam.com. The TV show, which I stopped watching after two episodes due to its severe cheese quotient, has no doubt stirred interest in Pan Am merchandise. There are dozens of Pan Am bags for sale on this site. The bright white and blue bags don't particularly appeal to me, but I wouldn't balk if someone slipped the black Orion bag ($89), shown at right, under my Christmas tree.
* In Retro has about a dozen retro airline flight bag styles from Air China, Air India, Continental, KLM, and others. Prices listed are in pounds, so buyer beware.
* Virgin America, probably the only remaining domestic U.S. airline with style, sells two different Virgin-branded bags from its 'Swag Shop': the Rickshaw for Virgin America Messenger ($90) and the Rickshaw for Virgin America Weekender ($110). They're black (my favorite bag color) and have red interiors, so you can find stuff easily. And Virgin, which is based in San Francisco, says the bags are made in SF, too.