Author Archives: Nate Swanner


The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The 5 best power packs for the new MacBook Pro (right now)

The new MacBook Pro has a very cool trick you may not be aware of. In addition to those USB-C ports being the future of connectivity, they can also charge your computer. That means you now have four different ports to charge from! And maybe the best part: you don’t need to plug in. Those ports also accept charges from battery packs, which makes your new MacBook Pro the ultimate in portability. Here are a few packs you should consider slipping in your bag.

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Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

Why the MacBook Pro reviews are all wrong

If you take a look around the web, you’ll already find plenty of reviews about the new MacBook Pro. To date, only the non-Touch Bar 13-inch model has been made available, with other models arriving sometime next week (if you ordered early). All told, the reviews are less than glowing, with many likening the computer to a farce foisted on us by Apple. That’s certainly one way to look at it, but there’s probably something a bit more obvious at play.

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Apple’s reality distortion field made USB-C cool

Apple’s reality distortion field made USB-C cool

Remember when USB-C was a bad word? It wasn’t long after the original 12-inch MacBook landed that we began our love-hate relationship with USB-C. It was universal, which is great, but without the lineup of our favorite ports on the MacBook, many started to consider life a dongled hell. With the new MacBooks Pro, Apple did its best to change all of that, and its famed reality distortion field helped assuage much of our contempt for USB-C.

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Reasons why Google’s Pixel 2 could be the best phone ever

Reasons why Google’s Pixel 2 could be the best phone ever

As we’re busy heaping praise on the Google Pixel, one interesting factoid has come out that suggest what Google does next might really blow the iPhone away. It’s not new camera features; many would argue that’s not necessary anyway. It’s also now a new processor, though we’re entirely sure that’s coming as well. Next time, it’ll be all about partnerships and how much time Google has to focus in on how to build what could be the best phone ever, hands down.

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In defense of dongles on MacBooks

In defense of dongles on MacBooks

It’s pretty fashionable to hate dongles the past year or so. Since Apple introduced its USB-C reliant MacBook (you know, the 12-inch model), people have been lamenting the existence of cable add-ons. It’s a fair criticism, considering we’d gone so long with the spoils of ports donning the side of our MacBooks Pro and Air, but it’s time to turn the corner. In many ways, dongles are better than ports. No, really.

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How the new MacBook Pro made me rethink the Apple Watch

How the new MacBook Pro made me rethink the Apple Watch

When the Apple Watch launched, I eagerly bought into the hype and ended up with the wearable on my wrist. It was easily the best wearable I’d ever tried (I’d sampled plenty of Android Wear devices with Nexus handsets ahead of then, and no thanks). Over time, my excitement waned, and the Watch felt a lot like some sort of burden; another device to charge nightly. Now that new MacBooks Pro are here, I’m confident I’ll never buy another Apple Watch.

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When to use Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus iOS 10.1

When to use Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus iOS 10.1

If you’ve updated your iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 10.1, there’s a cool new tool you can take advantage of. In the camera app, a new ‘Portrait’ mode adds a faux bokeh effect to your images that can really make your images pop like never before. It’s a fun feature, but many are complaining the feature blurs parts of the image that shouldn’t be. It’s a fair criticism, but the real problem is that Portrait mode isn’t good for every circumstance, and there are some heavy caveats we’re not paying attention to.

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Let’s get real on iPhone 8 rumors

Let’s get real on iPhone 8 rumors

Even before the iPhone 7 came out, people were speculating on what’s next for Apple’s 2017 iPhone. Some even believe Apple will skip it’s tried-and-true tick-tock release cycle and skip ahead to the iPhone 10 to coincide with the iPhone’s 10th anniversary (2007-2017; time flies). And there’s speculation the iPhone as we know it will turn into something completely different — something less like a phone and more like a pocket projector. And it’s all nonsense.

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The Apple Tax – A concept of economics

The Apple Tax – A concept of economics

For those who’ve been monitoring consumer technology long enough, the term ‘Apple Tax’ will be familiar. It’s a phrase coined in the late aughts to cleverly describe the high price tag of Apple devices, like the Mac. Prices are still high, but with other manufacturers creating similarly beautiful and expensive machines, ‘Apple Tax’ has slipped out of our vernacular. Without us paying attention, Apple resurfaced it as a real tax levied against how you use your devices.

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Apple Dongles A Go-Go

Apple Dongles A Go-Go

Apple’s newest offerings, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, are really nice phones. Its latest computer, the MacBook, is also a very good piece of hardware. Unfortunately, they both have an issue: ports. The iPhones rely on Lightning for wired connectivity, and the MacBook leans on USB-C. Incoming MacBook Pros are believed to depend on USB-C, too. While it may not have meant to, Apple has created a dongle problem for users, and it’s getting out of hand.

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Apple should acquire Twitter

Apple should acquire Twitter

With Google and Disney bowing out — and Salesforce throwing cold water on a deal — Twitter’s acquisition hopes seem dead on arrival. Though an internal struggle over any acquisition may be bubbling, there’s one company that remains a dark horse; a company that has every reason to want a news platform that moves at the speed of light, but has a social layer attached along with some streaming media add-ons. Yup, we’re talking about Apple.

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The Best iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Cases in 2016

The Best iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Cases in 2016

While we like to fawn over the design and finish of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, there's a cold hard truth most of us don't want to address: we're just going to stick it in a case. That's especially true if you have (or plan on buying) the Jet Black model, which even Apple says scratches far too easily. Don't worry, though; your premium phone deserves a premium case, and we've got a few suggestions for your new iPhone cover.

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