Reviews

Soundfreaq Pocket Kick Review: Nothing pint-sized about the sound of this speaker

Are you looking for a pint-sized speaker with gallons of sound? Time to get your Soundfreaq on.

Portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime-a-dozen these days, which makes differentiating them even more difficult. At a reader's behest, I recently checked out Soundfreaq's offerings; their Pocket Kick is an impressive speaker that's truly small enough to fit in your pocket.

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Leather Loop band for Apple Watch review

The Leather Loop band for the 42mm Apple Watch is made of quilted Venezia leather from Arzignano, Italy, and has a magnetic closure, making it both comfortable and endlessly adjustable.

I ordered the black version of the Leather Loop the same time I ordered my Black Steel Apple Watch. I just loved the way it looked at the Apple events and was eager to try it out. The Loop arrived a couple of weeks before my watch, but I had a stainless steel review unit, so it gave me a chance to try that pairing first. Since then I've been wearing the Leather Loop, off and on, for almost a month now and under a wide variety of circumstances. So, how's it holding up?

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Jumpstart your creative writing with Haven for Mac

If you suffer from writer's block or just want to try a different approach to writing, you might want to give Haven a try.

Text editors and word processors for the Mac abound, but Haven is different. Pitched as "a creative writing tool," Haven offers a meditative and immersive environment to help your ideas flourish. It gives you inspiration and insight when you need them and gets out of your way when you don't.

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Review: Fugoo blasts other Bluetooth speakers out of the water

Waterproof, dustproof, portable, and classy: Fugoo is a fantastic Bluetooth speaker for your indoor and outdoor needs.

The $179 Fugoo speaker and I were first introduced back in January, when, during a tradeshow, I heard the boom of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, a splash, then an exclamation: "It's playing underwater!"

When I turned to look, I found a member of Fugoo's staff smiling and chatting with the aforementioned exclaimer. Both stood around a large fish tank, where several other staff members were dunking active Fugoo speakers, then tossing them on the floor with abandon. On an otherwise sleepy day, the booth was a beacon of sound and life.

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Apple Watch: The definitive review

Apple's attempt to bring the watch into the computer age — and computing into the age of wearables.

We've seen it countless times: A starship reaches orbit, then launches a smaller ship. Enterprise. Executor. Galactica. They're meant for the bigger jobs, the longer jobs, the harder jobs. But the small jobs — the brief yet important ones — are better left to something lighter and more agile. So too, the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch, however, isn't just a smaller, lighter, more wearable iPhone. With the iPhone, Apple sought to emphasize the mobile computer. With the Apple Watch, the company has chosen to focus on the watch.

This reflects the reality of how we've traditionally worn technology on our wrists — from mechanical to digital, from chronograph to calculator. By incorporating all the benefits of modern mobile computing, including communications and control, tracking and payments, it gives us more: It gives us our dreams.

We've read and watched them since childhood. Dick Tracy. Michael Knight. James Bond. They've been in the pages of our comics, and on our TV sets and movie screens, tantalizing us with just exactly those features.

That makes the Apple Watch a unique challenge. To succeed it needs to balance both past and future, tradition and technology, expectations and power efficiency. It needs to satisfy both reality and our dreams. So, does it?

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MacBook (2015) Review

For any MacBook owner who has ever looked jealously at an iPad, Apple has made your dreams a reality.

When The Terminator first arrives in our time, he's naked. The lesson to be drawn from that is this — you can have the future right here, right now, You just can't have anything extraneous along with it. So too, the new MacBook.

Every few years Apple likes to redefine what it means to be a laptop. The company has done it with plastics and metals, and even with envelopes. Drives have come and gone and so have ports. With this latest MacBook, the first to bear just that simple name since 2011, even the constants of screen, keyboard, and trackpad have changed. They've gone Retina, butterfly, and Force Touch respectively. They, each of them, have once again become the state of the art. It's whether or not those changes ultimately benefit the customer that remains in question, or more accurately — what kind of customer do they benefit?

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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus review: Six months later

It's been six months since we published our original iPhone 6 review and iPhone 6 Plus review, and ninety days since we revisited it in our three months later review.

We've now lived with Apple's big and bigger new iPhones for a half a year. We've taken a ton of pictures. We've pushed the Apple A8 processor and we've charged and discharged the battery over and over again. We've kept them in our pockets and we've dropped them on our floors. We've roamed with them. We've talked to and with them. And we've stared at their screens. A lot. As such, we've had time to evolve our initial thoughts and feelings. And that means it's time to take one more look at the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iMore roundtable, six months later…

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Napkin, the best annotation app for Mac, just got better!

Forget Skitch: My favorite screenshot annotation app is Aged and Distilled's Napkin.

Not only does Napkin let you annotate single screenshots, but you can also arrange multiple Retina-quality screenshots on a single canvas and export them accordingly. That might sound like niche software, but it's essential for those of us who need to annotate screenshots for articles, books, interface review, and other jobs involving design or production. Its latest updated, version 1.5, adds a bunch of must-have annotation features including redacting images, cropping them, and new arrow and fill shape styles.

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VisionTek Wallet Drive review: Great looking, great storing

Having a 2.5-inch hard drive/SSD sled comes in really handy. When it looks great, it's even better.

Whether you're a field tech or an armchair computer mechanic who occasionally has to do some triage on a hurting system, having a 2.5-inch USB drive sled in your tool kit is mandatory. VisionTek's new Wallet Drive combines plug-and-play simplicity with executive looks.

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iOS 8 review: Six months later

Six months ago Apple released iOS 8, the biggest update to the company's mobile operating system since the advent of the App Store in 2008.

Six months ago Apple released iOS 8, the biggest update to the company's mobile operating system since the advent of the App Store in 2008. We reviewed iOS 8 when it went live in September, and took a second look at iOS 8 three months later in our roundtable. Now it's been half a year, iOS 8.2 has been released, iOS 8.3 is already in beta, and adoption is inching close to 80 percent. So, it's time to take another look, six months later…

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