Apple Watch Sport Review

apple_watchAs fate would have it, by the time I got around to writing a review of the Pebble watch I’ve been using for a year, I go out and get an Apple watch. You might be asking yourself “how in the heck did that happen?” Or, you might be thinking, “just tell us already.”

Well, like most people, I was just sitting around looking for deals on Craigslist. When suddenly, I came across an ad from a guy wanting to sell his Apple Watch. Not only did he want to sell it, he wanted to sell it for cheap. After a quick consultation with the wife and a few short emails and text messages with the seller, I was on my way to pick it up.

After I spent some time getting it set up, updated, and connected to my iPhone, I was ready to roll. From the start, I immediately noticed that the build quality of the Apple Watch was far superior to the Pebble Classic. It also integrates better into the Apple ecosystem as you might expect. But, to be fair, the Pebble Classic came out about two years before the Apple Watch was even announced. Therefore, it’s not exactly fair to compare these two items as equals. Instead, I’m going to spend this time telling you what I like about Apple Watch instead of telling you what I don’t like about Pebble.

The model I purchased is the Apple Watch Sport. It’s body is milled from an aluminum alloy and is anodized with a dark gray coating. The watch band is black and is made of a poly-elastomer material. It’s comfortable to wear and great to look at.

With watchOS 2, Apple Watch received a host of new features. Most notable was offering app developers the option to include customized complications. Complications are tiny bits of information that can be added to the watch-face. They include things like weather, stock prices, and calendar events.

Having the ability to customize the watch-face is what I like most. With a quick glance I can see the time, date, temperature, or even look at my next upcoming calendar event. When I touch one of these areas, I am whisked away to the appropriate app to even more information.

I also like being able to see incoming notifications from my phone right on my wrist. Right now, I have incoming email messages, text messages, and even some game notifications set to appear on my watch. With text messages, I can even reply by choosing a stock phrase or use Siri to dictate one of my own.

Overall, I am very pleased with this device and do not regret my purchase. If I had paid full price, I may have not have felt the same way, but I got a deal and am making the most of it. Because watchOS 3 is currently in development and new hardware may soon be on the way, I am confident that apple Watch will become even more appealing those who have yet to buy one.

Last minute stocking stuffers for the iPhone lover on your list

iPhone-StockingChristmas is just a week away. I can’t believe it, I literally thought we had another week just this morning. Based on the statistics, there is a good chance there is an iPhone lover on your list. While a new iPhone would look great sticking out of the stocking, I am guessing the chances of that happening are about the same as a new Acura appearing in our driveway like the commercials suggest.

 

pill-case

There are plenty of ridiculous gifts out there too, I decided to do this list after seeing someone talking about this crazy accessory online. Why any one would want to keep their pill hanging off their phone I could not imagine. There’s also this iPhone case with skateboard griptape on the back, oh the chafing. Let’s look at some more practical options this holiday season.

 

Here are a few smaller items that any iPhone owner would love to see in their stocking:

Apple Lightning Cable

Apple Lightning Cables – $6.95

If you have a newer iPhone, you probably are short on the new lightning cables. These are authentic cables are only $6.95 at the time of this post (The price fluctuates but you wont find a better one). They don’t come in the fancy Apple box, but that price includes free shipping. It’s time to invest in a few more of these.


NomadKeyNomad Keychain $29 (15% w/ this link)

I bought a few of these back when they were on Kickstarter. I cannot tell you how many times the one I keep on my keychain has bailed me out when I needed a charge.


 

Anker ChargerAnker Lipstick Charger $19.99

Great small charger when your on the go, again, a life saver.

Here is a higher capacity unit for longer trips away from an outlet.


Gifts Under $20
ThinkGeek has all kinds of tech goodies!

300x300 iB85 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Speakers or headphones from iHome

Gift Guide
iPhone Protection

PC Case with Soft Sand Finish for iPhone 5/5s -  Brick Red
Monoprice.com for all kinds of iPhone accessories!

iTunes Gift Card

 

 

iTunes Gift Cards always work!

Disclaimer: You buying some of these items via the provided links might result in my receiving a few pennies in referral fees.

What can you win from layPhone.com?

Update: I am no longer running the giveaway. If you want any of the items let me know and we can work something out. I am planning more giveaways in the future.

It is time to start the first layPhone.com weekly giveaway! I want to give make your iPhone life a little easier with the “official” layPhone prize pack. Now what does this pack include you might ask, well here you go:

1. Retractable Cable – Great to have around and doesn’t get all tangled up.

2. Extension Cable – When you need a few extra inches to get your device charging. A great accent to the battery pack.

3. Battery Pack – An external battery pack when you need some extra juice and don’t have an outlet. I reviewed it here.

4. Keychain Cable – This thing is pretty compact. A good backup for your backup.

Now the real question, how do you pick up this goodie bag? It’s easy, interact with and get the word out about layPhone. Here are your options:

  • Share, post, like, comment, ask a question on Facebook or get your friends to do any of those and mention you
  • Tweet something iPhone related and include @layphone in the tweet or follow us
  • Comment on any post on the layPhone site or ask me a question via the site
  • Basically anything that gets the word out about this site to which I can track you down for it.
The rules and regulations:
  • One prize pack will be given away each week to a random person who does any of the above options. Each option completed will count as an entry, no limit on entries unless it gets annoying.
  • Contest ends at midnight Pacific time each Saturday.
  • No purchase is necessary, duh I don’t have anything for sale…
  • Contest is open to U.S. residents only, unless you win and you’re not in the U.S. and I feel like being generous.
  • No cash value. I got some sweet deals that I will share later, I paid about $15 for each pack but the value is PRICELESS.
  • The rules can change at any time if people find away to make it not fun.

Want an ironic iPhone case? [Earonic]

As always I am searching to the ends of the interwebs to find you the most interesting cases for your iPhone. This one is quite cleaver, the Earonic, by CollabCube definitely fits the bill.

They have 5 different cases each with a different ‘ear’ which makes for some hilarious double takes I am sure. I am quite partial to the ‘Nick’ model (pictured) featuring a sweet bluetooth earpiece. I find this one fascinating because I just can’t bring myself to wearing one for real so this would give me the option to take my coolness factor to the next level. I wonder if this might help you avoid those stupid hands-free driving laws as well.

You can head over to www.collabcubedshop.com and pick one up for $20!

Need a unique iPhone case?

One thing there never seems to be a short of is iPhone cases and with that come some very unique cases. Here are a few I have come across recently:

The iHit [$20]- This the brain child of some guys who are trying to raise about $10,000 (off to a slow start) to produce their case. The thought behind it? It has a compartment to hold a one hitter, which not being a smoker of any sort didn’t mean a whole lot to me. Turns out it is a device for taking one hit of whatever substance you are looking to smoke. They also mention that you could use it to hold pills or whatever else would fit.

Jelly Belly Cases [$15]- The company that brings us the amazingly irresistible Jelly Bellys recently announced that they were jumping into the iPhone case market with scented, yes scented, cases. I put this down as a total novelty because it seems like it would get annoying pretty quickly, unless it was my favorite, hot buttered popcorn. But if you are true fan, this might be the case for you! (via Engadget)

Tasty iPhone Cases [$who knows]- Came across this random gallery of some truly ridiculous cases. Don’t know where you could track these down and I am not sure I would tell you if I did. But hey, they are fun to look at. (via TechEBlog)

 

iPhone 4G DIY Case [$18]- I posted this on Facebook and Twitter but figured I would mention it again here. It is a case where you can cross-stitch your own design on the back. Not a case for me but I could see that this would be cool for the crafty.

 

That is what I have for now, but I am sure there will be more. There is a case for just about anything, just check out the Amazon iPhone Case Search. If you are looking for a certain kind of case let me know in the comments.