Review: Budget Lightning cables from iSmooth (Updated)

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 11:02
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, Opinion, Review

LIGHTNING2MCABLEMAIN_mediumBefore I upgraded from my iPhone 4S to the new 5S, I wanted to be prepared. Unlike previous iPhone upgrades, I had to deal with the switch from the 30-pin to the Lightning connector which was introduced with the iPhone 5. Over the years I had collected a stash of chargers and cables as well as accessories, such as the Mophie Juicepack, which I had grown dependent on, and now had to replace. Not an inexpensive endeavor, especially with Apple’s premium price for replacement Lightning cables ($19-$29). Not expecting to find anything, at least not of great quality, I hit Amazon.com to see if there were some cheaper alternatives. After some exhaustive reading of reviews, I settled on cables made by iSmooth.

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Apple adds 2 more channels to Apple TV

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Features, iTunes Radio, News, Software, Television

appletv2Apple hasn’t done much with the Apple TV hardware lately, although an update is rumored to be coming soon, and a beta of the next major software update has been seeded to developers. However, Apple has been updating features pretty regularly. At the beginning of the year, we discovered that Apple could sneakily add channels to the Apple TV in the background, without a major software update. The first channels added allowed users to access Hulu Plus and HBO Go services, and later, other channels including sports, Disney content, and recently iTunes Radio. The most recent additions are channels for PBS and Yahoo Screen, which offers content from “Saturday Night Live,” Comedy Central, as well as Yahoo Originals. It also features live news, events, and music. I love that all this content is being made available, but honestly, I only have interest in maybe half of the channels. My fingers are crossed that Apple adds a way to let users hide channels we don’t use. That Apple TV front page is getting a little crowded.

Apple’s recycling program gives a leg up to e-waste business

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:33
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Environment, Retail Store

green-recycling-symbolBack in September, Apple began rolling out its in-store iPhone trade-in service in US Apple retail stores as part of their Reuse and Recycling Program. In October, this program extended to the UK followed by other European retail locations. This program allows customers to walk into a store, have the value of their current iPhone determined by an Apple employee, and receive an Apple Gift Card for that amount to be applied toward the purchase of a new iPhone. It’s important to note that the gift card can ONLY be used toward a new iPhone, not other Apple products. This can also be done online, where you will be sent a box to send in your device in exchange for the gift card.

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Did Apple mess up with the Retina iPad mini?

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 08:46
Category: Benchmark, Consumer Electronics, Features, Hardware, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, Opinion, The Apple Core

ret-ipad-mini-fanToday I broke down and bought one of the new Retina iPad minis. That is one of the dilemmas of living in a city with multiple, easy to get to Apple Stores. I’ve been watching the local stores’ inventories fluctuate using the Apple-Tracker web site, and noticed that there were several of the model I wanted in stock, so I ordered one for Personal Pickup and had it by this afternoon, which was rather impulsive considering I hadn’t spent any time with an iPad mini. One of the key factors of getting a new iPad was to upgrade to a Retina display, since I do a lot of reading on the iPad. Comparing some my iBooks between my iPad 2 and the iPad mini, there is a noticeable difference in the text, but so far I haven’t noticed the same difference in other graphics.

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