Reviews

Review: Mophie's Juice Pack Air Doubles Battery Life for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and X in a Slim Case

Earlier this summer, Mophie announced and launched a new line of Juice Pack Air cases for the iPhone XS and XS Max, which promise to add extra hours of battery life to your iPhone while providing drop protection. The cases offer many of the same features as Apple's 2019 Smart Battery Case line, but there are a few key differences that I found in terms of their physical design and day-to-day usefulness. Performance In regard to daily battery life, I found the ‌Smart Battery Case‌ and Juice Pack Air similar in terms of performance, with an edge given to Apple's case. The Juice Pack Air has a 1,720 mAh battery, while the ‌Smart Battery Case‌ has two 1,369 mAh batteries that allow it to run at a higher voltage to yield a total of 10.1 Wh of energy. On average, the Juice Pack Air lasted until 4 p.m. during a day of normal use, and one day when I was streaming music from my iPhone to my HomePod for a few hours in the morning, the case died at 1 p.m. that afternoon. Although I found that Mophie's accessory died a bit too early in the day, my iPhone's battery was always able to make it to bedtime so I still never had to worry about finding a charging source at night, which is the entire point of battery cases. Still, in terms of all-day battery Apple's case routinely beat Mophie's in my testing. The ‌Smart Battery Case‌ usually died around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. on my normal usage days, and I'd go to bed with my iPhone at around 70-80 percent battery, compared to 30-50 percent battery with the Juice Pack Air. On the plus side for the Juice Pack Air, it never faced repeated

Review: Satechi's Dual Smart Outlet Offers HomeKit Compatibility and Power Monitoring

Satechi this summer launched its first HomeKit-compatible product, the Dual Smart Outlet, a HomeKit plug that turns dumb appliances and electronics into smart electronics that can work alongside other ‌HomeKit‌ products. There are quite a few HomeKit-enabled smart plugs on the market, but Satechi's version is relatively compact and offers some bells and whistles that not all ‌HomeKit‌ plugs provide. Design wise, the Dual Smart Outlet is made from an unobtrusive white plastic, and it offers two separate ‌HomeKit‌ plugs. It plugs into a standard socket horizontally, leaving the other socket of your standard dual socket outlet free to use. Satechi's Smart Outlet is one of the better space saving plugs on the market, even though it's not exactly small. Other options from companies like iHome or Wemo take up similar amounts of space, but offer just one smart outlet. There are some smaller single plug options on the market that are better picks if you only need a single smart outlet, but Satechi's is a good way to connect two devices.

Review: Twelve South's USB-C StayGo Hub Offers Plenty of Ports and Two Handy Cable Sizes

Twelve South recently launched the StayGo, a portable USB-C hub that's designed to add additional ports to USB-C MacBooks and MacBook Pros. There are a lot of hubs out there on the market, but Twelve South is known for its high-quality Apple accessories, so I thought I'd take a closer look at the StayGo. Design wise, the StayGo offers a simple but attractive design that's slim, portable, and easy to carry so it can go wherever you need it, but it's not quite as slim as some other USB-C hubs on the market. The StayGo is made from a black aluminum material with a dot design on the front, and it measures in at about five inches by 2.5 inches and it's half an inch thick. There are four little rubber feet at the bottom so that it's stable and won't move when on a flat surface, and on the whole it's about as attractive as you can expect a USB hub to be. The rectangular shape of the StayGo houses multiple ports and a short built-in USB-C to USB-C cable so that you're never without a cord to use the StayGo with a Mac notebook. There's also a longer USB-C to USB-C cord included for when you need to position it further away from your Mac. The longer USB-C to USB-C cable is meant to provide users with a way to tidy up the cables on their desks while also providing additional ports, which it does successfully. The idea is to set it up away from where the Mac is, hiding most of the mess of the cords for a tidier workspace. The built-in cable is a unique feature that other USB-C hubs don't include, and I appreciated always having a USB-C to USB-C cable on hand.

Review: Ultimate Ears' Wonderboom 2 Speaker Offers Louder Sound, New Outdoor Mode and More

The Wonderboom is one of Ultimate Ears' most popular speakers due to its small size that doesn't compromise on sound, and earlier this month, Ultimate Ears launched the Wonderboom 2, an updated version of the Wonderboom with some new functionality. Design wise, the Wonderboom 2 features the same general size and shape as the original Wonderboom, though it's a bit taller. Ultimate Ears says the design was kept the same because customers loved the look of the Wonderboom. The Wonderboom's small size, affordable price tag, and big sound have always made it my favorite speaker in the Ultimate Ears lineup, and now the Wonderboom 2 is a new favorite. Ultimate Ears kept everything that was great about the Wonderboom in the Wonderboom 2, but added some useful new features like better weatherproofing, stereo sound capabilities when using two speakers, and better sound both indoors and out. The Wonderboom 2 measures in at about four inches tall and about 3.75 inches wide, so it's just about palm-sized. There are big volume control buttons at the front (an Ultimate Ears signature look), a stretchy loop for hanging it up at the back, and a covered micro-USB port for charging purposes. Physical controls for playing/pausing music, activating features, and powering the speaker on and off are located at the top. Ultimate Ears didn't change the size or the shape of the Wonderboom 2, but there are new colors and a new two-tone knit fabric that looks more premium than the fabric used for the Wonderboom. It comes in Deep Space Black, Crushed Ice, Radical Red, Bermuda Blue, and

Review: The AirUnleashed Wireless Charger Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods All at Once

Apple wanted to make a wireless charger, the AirPower, that could charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once no matter where the devices were placed on the charger, but ultimately, the idea didn't work out and the ‌AirPower‌ was shelved. That's led multiple companies to come out with AirPower-style charging accessories that are able to provide power to multiple devices at once, and the AirUnleashed is one such product. Priced at $99, the AirUnleashed promises to charge the iPhone, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌ all at the same time with a single oval-shaped wireless charging mat. The catch is that the devices need to be placed in specific spots on the charger rather than anywhere. Design wise, the AirUnleashed is a simple flat wireless charging mat with a suede-like microfiber coating. Two "+" icons let you know where to place the iPhone and the ‌AirPods‌, while the indentation at towards the middle right lets you know where the watch needs to go. The ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to be specifically placed in this spot because the ‌Apple Watch‌ uses a magnetic inductive charger (underneath the mat's surface) and is not able to charge via Qi wireless charging. The larger charging spot on the left side of the mat is designed for the iPhone, and the smaller charging spot is meant for ‌AirPods‌. The AirUnleashed has a design that's reminiscent of the ‌AirPower‌. In fact, it straight up copies the ‌AirPower‌'s design, which would have been an issue had the ‌AirPower‌ ever launched. It's a fine design -- Apple came up with it after all -- and it doesn't take up too much room

Review: Twelve South's New 'HiRise Wireless' Converts From Stand to Mat for Charging iPhone and AirPods

Twelve South today announced its latest HiRise accessory, called the "HiRise Wireless," and it's available to purchase now on Twelve South's website. The new accessory is a multi-purpose wireless charging stand with two distinct positions: you can charge your iPhone upright in a traditional stand position, or pop out the Qi-certified Power Disc for a miniature device that's perfectly sized to charge AirPods, or to bring with you when you travel. The Power Disc is also USB-C compatible, so that when you bring it on a trip you can leave the included power cord at home and use the USB-C cable that comes with the latest MacBook and iPad Pro models to charge your iPhone or ‌AirPods‌ on the mat. Twelve South built the accessory with size in mind, ensuring that it has a small footprint in both charging positions: the main base of the accessory measures 3.5 inches across all sides, while the Power Disc is an oval that measures 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. Design I've had a chance to use the new HiRise Wireless stand over the course of the past week, and it's quickly replaced the previous Choetech wireless charging stand I had next to my iMac. The design of the accessory matches the quality of Twelve South's previous HiRise products, with a soft-touch leather padding that looks nice alongside the device's chrome detailing. The HiRise Wireless is reliably sturdy, and there's a small bump on the base to keep your iPhone upright when it's charging. The stand has a nice heft to it, which helps ensure that it won't budge when you interact with it; a rubberized coating under the

Review: 2019 Subaru Forester Pairs CarPlay With a Great Multi-Display Infotainment System

Subaru is experiencing growing popularity in the U.S., developing a strong reputation based on emphasizing safety, all-wheel drive operation, and technology. The redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is no exception, offering standard all-wheel drive, a roomier cabin, and new DriverFocus technology that uses facial recognition and monitoring to not only save your driver presets but alert you if it detects drowsy or distracted driving. The 2019 Forester includes Subaru's STARLINK infotainment system with standard CarPlay support, with lower-level models coming with a 6.5-inch screen while higher-level trims are upgraded to an 8-inch screen. I've had a chance to spend some time with a top-of-the-line 2019 Forester Touring in Horizon Blue Pearl, so read on for details about how all of the technology comes together for iPhone users. STARLINK Infotainment Subaru's STARLINK Infotainment systems offer all of the functionality you'd expect, starting with AM/FM radio with HD support, SiriusXM, USB and Bluetooth media device support, hands-free phone connectivity, and a CD player. All trims also include support for ‌CarPlay‌, Android Auto, and app integration with Pandora and Aha. They also support cloud apps like Yelp, iHeartRadio, Magellan, TomTom, and more. Subaru's STARLINK home screen The base, Premium, and Sport trims all come with a 6.5-inch display, although the Sport trim can be upgraded to the larger 8-inch display. The Limited trim gets the 8-inch display standard with an optional upgrade to embedded navigation from TomTom, while the Touring trim gets the

Review: Throwboy's Iconic Pillows Let You Decorate With Classic Apple Product Designs

Throwboy makes a variety of Apple-themed pillows, including the Iconic Pillow Collection, which started out as a Kickstarter but is now available from the Throwboy website. There are five pillows in the Iconic Pillow Collection, which have been designed to look like some of the most important products Apple has released over the years, including the Apple II, the original Macintosh, the iMac G3, the iPod, and the iPhone. All of the pillows are made from a soft plush material with a short pile, though displays and other accents are often made of felt or are embroidered on. The fabric is fuzzy and fun to touch and hold, and the stuffing inside is pliable with just the right amount of plushy give when squeezed. The pillows are all priced at $39.99, but come in different sizes. The Macs, for example, are a good deal larger in volume than the iPhone and the iPad and take up more space. Given the size differences I'm surprised the pillows all have the same price point, especially because some of the Macs are also more detailed just due to the greater number of components that needed to be replicated. Throwboy's iPhone pillow is modeled after the original iPhone, which was released in 2007. That iPhone featured a silver body, and so the body of the pillow is made from a silver-gray material. The top and the bottom bezels are constructed from the same plush material in black, while the screen is a slightly different material with a different shade of black to make it stand out. I think the iPhone pillow would stand out more with icons on the display, but

Review: The Brydge Pro Keyboard for iPad Offers a MacBook-Like Experience

Brydge, known for its line of keyboards for the iPad, recently debuted its newest keyboard, an updated model designed for Apple's 2018 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. The new Brydge Pro has been highly anticipated by ‌iPad‌ owners who have used Brydge keyboards in the past and prefer the bulk-free Brydge keyboard style. I've teamed up with MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera to review the Brydge Pro, so make sure to check out his hands-on video below to get a visual overview of the keyboard and read on for my own review. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design If you're familiar with Brydge keyboards, the Bluetooth-enabled Brydge Pro features the same general design as past Brydge options. It is the least bulky of the third-party keyboards for the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models that I've used, and it's my favorite third-party keyboard design by far. There are two rubber-lined hinged clips on the keyboard that your ‌iPad Pro‌ fits into, which hold it securely in place and mimic a MacBook setup. The clips move forwards and backwards so you can fold it up just like you would a laptop (and when you close it, there are little rubber nubs to prevent the keys from touching the display). Because of the rubber lining, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is secure and stable in the Brydge Pro, but I have noticed that the weight of the ‌iPad Pro‌ can cause to it flip backwards a bit when I pick it up using the keyboard portion. The hinges are tighter than a MacBook hinge, but it's still easy to open and close the keyboard and the ‌iPad‌, and when you close it up, the ‌iPad‌'s

Hands-on With Boss Audio's Latest CarPlay Receiver (With Exclusive Deal for MacRumors Readers)

A couple of months ago, Boss Audio debuted its latest aftermarket CarPlay receiver, the BVCP9685A, offering a relatively low-cost way to add wired ‌CarPlay‌ (and Android Auto) to your existing vehicle. The BVCP9685A is a double DIN unit with a 6.75-inch capacitive screen and a vertical strip of capacitive touch controls along the left side. With an external microphone and support for steering wheel controls and backup camera input when paired with proper auxiliary wiring, the BVCP9685A can integrate with much of the existing technology in your vehicle. Boss Audio sent me a demo unit of the BVCP9685A to test out, and I've come away pretty impressed with its ability to deliver ‌CarPlay‌ functionality at a budget price point, which is currently even lower with an exclusive 5 percent discount code for MacRumors readers. The BVCP9685A demo unit I received is a relatively self-contained package, hooked up to a standard AC power plug and a small external speaker. That makes it easy to test out the unit without needing to install it in a vehicle, which can be a bit tricky depending on your level of experience and the types of connections you need to make. On the flip side, the demo unit doesn't give you the full experience, so this is more of a hands-on look than a complete review as I haven't been able to test its sound quality with a full car speaker setup, integration with steering wheel controls and rear camera, and some other features. Overview Boss's BVCP9685A offers a relatively clean look dominated by the large screen, although it does have a bit of a

Review: Eve's Energy Strip Gives You Three HomeKit-Compatible Outlets

Eve, a company that makes HomeKit-enabled smart home products, launched its latest accessory, the Eve Energy Strip, in April. The Eve Energy Strip offers three HomeKit-connected outlets, each of which can be controlled independently through the Eve app, the Home app, and through Siri, so you can make standard home products and appliances smart. Design Design wise, the Eve Energy Strip feels a bit large and overly thick for a three outlet power strip, but it has an attractive and well-made aluminum enclosure with a black plastic top, so it looks sharp enough that it doesn't need to be hidden away. It measures in at 10.9 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, and 1.3 inches thick. There are three well-spaced sockets on the Eve Energy Strip, which are placed far enough away that even multiple larger power adapters can fit as long as you're careful with placement. As with most power strips, horizontally oriented power adapters have the potential to block other outlets, depending on position. There are indicator lights for surge protection and grounding at one end, along with three power buttons and LED status indicators. Each button has one, two, or three dots, corresponding to each of the sockets on the Energy Strip. There's a thick 6.3-foot black cable at one end, which is about standard for power strips. 6.3 feet is long enough that it can be placed behind a desk or TV stand while remaining accessible for use. With app and ‌Siri‌ controls available for remote access, the Energy Strip does not necessarily need to be put in a fully accessible place. Standard

Review: Anker's Compact PowerPort Atom PD 2 Offers Up to 60W of Power for Charging Your Devices

Anker in late April announced the launch of its latest power adapter for charging Apple devices, the PowerPort Atom PD 2. Anker's newest PowerPort offers two USB-C charging ports and up to 60W of power in an enclosure that's smaller than standard stock laptop chargers. The PowerPort Atom PD 2 uses Gallium nitride or GaN, a new material that allows semiconductor components to be shrunk down, leading to smaller charging accessories. Anker has been updating its power adapter line with GaN, bringing more compact charging options that take up less space. Design wise, the PowerPort Atom PD 2 is smaller than your standard 61W or 87W charger for the MacBook Pro, but it's not as small and compact as the lower power 30W PowerPort Atom PD 1. It measures in at 2.68 inches by 2.72 inches and it's just over an inch thick. Comparatively, Apple's 61W USB-C Power Adapter is 2.85 by 2.85 inches, and it's about the same thickness, so you're not saving a lot of space with the PowerPort Atom PD 2, but as explained below, it's a lot more versatile. It's made from a shiny white plastic material with a gray face, an Anker logo at the side, and a charging indicator to let you know when it's in use. At the back, there's a set of retractable prongs that you can fold up when the power adapter isn't in use to make it easier to carrying around. There are two USB-C ports built into the PowerPort Atom PD 2, which none of Apple's chargers can boast. With two USB-C ports, you're not limited to charging one USB-C device at a time. There are no cables included, so you're going to need to

Review: Cozy's 'Drink Different' Molds Turn Your Ice Into Vintage Macs

Cozy, a company that has a variety of clever solutions for managing Apple accessories, recently released its latest product, a whimsical "Drink Different" ice cube tray that makes ice shaped like a vintage Mac. Cozy sent me some of the Mac molds to test out, and I can confirm that they work well and result in Mac-shaped ice cubes that Apple enthusiasts are sure to like. The $12.99 Drink Different molds are made from a malleable food grade silicone material, which you fill up with water and then put in the freezer, much like a standard ice cube tray. These are larger than the standard cubes that you get with an ice cube tray, so one or two are ideal for a regular cup. For something like a glass of whiskey or scotch, one will suffice. On the outside, the molds read "stay thirsty" and "stay foolish," and on the inside, there's Mac detailing that creates the classic Mac shape, which includes a "Hello" script, an indentation for the display, and small cutout for the disk drive. You can get the mold in three colors: space gray, classic beige, and granny smith green, all of which are identical and make the same shape. Once frozen, you can peel away the silicone to get the ice out. It's not quite as easy as cracking ice out of an ice cube tray, but it's not much more involved, either. The mold results in a fairly accurate representation of a Macintosh Classic in ice form. Mine didn't look quite as perfect as the ones in Cozy's photos, but the cubes weren't too far off. I think it takes a little bit of trial and error with water level to get the ideal shape

Review: Withings Sleep Provides a Simple Way to Track Your Nights for $50 Cheaper than Apple's Beddit

Sleep tracking has become a popular activity for many people, since the practice can result in major benefits to your daily wellbeing, restfulness, stress levels, and mental health. There are many ways you can go about tracking your sleep, and Apple itself sells a few products that can help, including the Apple Watch (paired with a third-party app like Pillow) and the Beddit Sleep Monitor. Withings' solution to sleep tracking is similar to Beddit's, coming in the shape of a slim mat that you place beneath you as you sleep to automatically track and assess your sleep quality, heart rate, snoring, duration, and more. With the latest update, Withings Sleep can even detect breathing disturbances, and later this year the device will add an ability to detect the symptoms of sleep apnea. Design and Setup Withings Sleep is a 25" x 7.5" mat that has a straightforward design with a very nice and premium fabric finish, which matches well with the braided power cord. In reality, you don't ever really see Withings Sleep once it's placed where it needs to go, but it's easy to see that the company strived to make a nice-looking product despite the fact that it's not something everyone coming over to your house will see. Withings Sleep is also super easy to install: you simply unroll the mat from the box, plug in the included USB power adapter into an outlet near your bed, and place Withings Sleep underneath your mattress at chest level. This is a crucial difference between Withings and Beddit's sleep trackers, since the Beddit Sleep Monitor sits right below your fitted

Review: Seagate's New Backup Plus Slim and Backup Plus Portable Offer Lots of Storage at Low Prices

Seagate in January announced an updated lineup of its popular Backup Plus hard drives, debuting the Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable, both of which are now available for purchase and are ideal for those who need lots of storage space at an affordable price. The Backup Plus Slim and the Backup Plus Portable are your average, run of the mill hard drives. The Backup Plus Slim is the thinner of the two models as it has less storage space, measuring in at 4.5 inches by 3 inches with a thickness of just about half an inch. The Backup Plus Portable is about the same size but it's close to an inch thick and about twice as heavy (eight ounces vs. four). Neither one of these drives takes up much space, so they're ideal for backup or other purposes and can be tucked away in a drawer afterwards. Design wise, the two hard drives are made from a black plastic material with a brushed aluminum front plate. The test models I have are in silver, but these also come in black, a light blue color, and red. The Backup Plus Slim offers 1TB or 2TB of storage, and the Backup Plus Portable is available with either 4TB or 5TB of storage space. Both are formatted to work with either Mac or Windows. These hard drives are using standard USB-A cables to plug into a computer, which means that you're going to need a USB-A to USB-C adapter if you want to use them with one of Apple's modern Macs. USB-C hard drives aren't much more expensive than these Seagate Backup hard drives, so it's maybe not even worth picking one of these up if you have a USB-C machine unless

Review: Logitech's Slim Folio Pro Offers a Lower-Cost Alternative to Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Pro

Apple makes a keyboard designed for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, the Smart Keyboard Folio, but some people dislike it because of the thin keys, the lack of key travel, and the high price tag. For those who don't like the ‌Smart Keyboard‌, Logitech has designed the Slim Folio Pro, a new keyboard case available for the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models. Logitech's Slim Folio Pro is more affordable than Apple's ‌Smart Keyboard‌, with the 11-inch version priced at $120 and the 12.9-inch model priced at $130. For comparison's sake, Apple charges $179 for its 11-inch Slim Folio Keyboard and $199 for the 12.9-inch model. Design wise, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro is a lot thicker than the Apple Smart Folio Keyboard and it adds quite a bit of weight and bulk to my iPad. I am not and have not ever been a fan of thick cases that add a lot of extra weight to my devices, and for my iPads, I almost always go case free and use a Smart Cover. With my ‌iPad Pro‌, I've been using Apple's Folio, which is already more thickness than I like. If you're like me and prefer devices with thin cases or with no case, the Logitech Slim Folio Pro probably isn't going to be what you're looking for, but let me go into a bit more detail on how it works and how it looks on the ‌iPad‌. Like the Smart Folio Keyboard from Apple, the Slim Folio Pro is available in dark gray. It would be nice to have color options, but the gray is an appropriate neutral color. The Slim Folio Pro connects to the ‌iPad Pro‌ using Bluetooth, so you're going to need to set it up in the Settings app the first time you use it. After

Review: Sphero's Specdrums That Turn Colors Into Sounds Are Great for Kids

Sphero last summer acquired a company called Specdrums, which made finger-worn rings that are designed to turn colors into music. Specdrums are now being sold under the Sphero brand, and are now available in Apple retail stores. Specdrums fit on an index finger and are meant to allow kids and adults alike to play a musical note when tapping one of the rings against a specific color, creating music by using different colored notes. We tested out the Specdrums ahead of their Apple Store release to see if they're worth the $65 asking price. Design Specdrums are small, silicone rings that have optical sensors embedded into the front. The silicone is stretchy, so it can fit a small finger or a larger finger without issue. I have relatively small fingers and the Specdrums fit comfortably and snugly, and it was not a problem to wear it for a long period of music making. There's a slit at the bottom that allows the ring to expand if necessary. Specdrums are meant to be worn on an index finger with the optical sensor in the front facing downwards so that you can tap it on various colored surfaces to make sounds. On the side of the Specdrums, there's a micro-USB port that's used for charging through the included micro-USB cable that comes with it. At the top of the silicone ring, there's a Sphero logo, and at the bottom, the Sphero name. The optical sensor built into the Specdrums will light up when tapped against a surface, and the rectangular front of the sensor takes up most of the ring. It's comfortable to tap on things and was very responsive, easily

Review: Sony's WH-1000XM3 Headphones are the Best Noise-Canceling Cans You Can Get

Sony threatened to topple the apple cart in 2016 when it unleashed its flagship MDR-1000X cans on a headphones market which up until then had been dominated by Bose in the premium travel-grade noise-canceling department. Combining excellent wireless sound with active NC that made even QuietComfort fans sit up and take notice, Sony's awkwardly named headset proved that the Japanese company's extensive acoustic R&D had finally hit on a winner, giving rival NC headphone makers due cause for worry in the process. Unsurprisingly, Sony has sought to improve upon this winning formula in the intervening years, starting with another tongue-twisting rebrand of its flagship range (the inexplicably named WH-1000X series) and two follow-up models boasting incremental improvements, both of which have been well received. What's perhaps more surprising about these developments is Bose's lack of response to them, having released in that time only a tweaked version of its flagship QC35 cans with support for Google Assistant. Whether that's down to complete confidence in the quality of its existing noise-canceling smarts or just lack of innovation is a moot point, given that Sony's adaptive NC technology and sonic prowess has essentially overtaken the company, as these latest cans exemplify. The WHX-1000XM3's are essentially an upgrade to last year's 1000XM2's, featuring a series of minor improvements that Sony believes collectively justify a new model number. Let's take a look at them and see just how far the company's noise-canceling range has come. Design On the face

Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Gets a Boost From CarPlay Even on Lower-Level Trims

Volkswagen's Jetta compact sedan, a mainstay of the German automaker's lineup for 40 years, received a significant redesign for the 2019 model year, bringing a new platform, fresh new design, technology upgrades, and more. The Jetta is popular with car buyers looking for a cost-efficient daily commute vehicle, and the new Jetta starts at a little under $19,000 but can rise to around $27,500 if you opt for the high-end SEL Premium trim.. I spent some time testing out a relatively modestly specced 2019 Jetta SE, which is the second lowest of the five available trims and starts at just over $22,000 before any additional options. VW offers three different infotainment systems across the Jetta trims, starting with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system on the S, SE, and R-Line trims and moving up to an 8-inch Composition Media system on the SEL trim that adds features like voice control, CD player, and premium Beats Audio in addition to the larger screen. On the top-level SEL Premium trim, you'll find that same 8-inch screen but with what VW calls its Discover Media system that includes built-in navigation. As an SE trim, my test vehicle came with the 6.5-inch Composition Color system, which gave me an opportunity to see what a buyer with a relatively modest budget can expect to experience in a Jetta. Composition Color On its own, the Composition Color system is pretty basic. It includes AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity for media sources, Bluetooth phone support, and some vehicle efficiency data. Main FM radio screen on Composition Color

Review: Nomad's Titanium Band for Apple Watch is a Stylish and Cheaper Alternative to Apple's Link Bracelet

Nomad is a company that creates useful accessories built around rugged simplicity, and in the past it has released iPhone cases, Lightning cables, and Apple Watch straps. This year, Nomad launched its first metal strap for the ‌Apple Watch‌, called the Titanium Band, a full-metal link bracelet built with over twenty titanium links and a set of custom lugs, designed for the 44mm ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 and the older generation 42mm models. Design Similar in design to other metal link bracelets for ‌Apple Watch‌ -- including Apple's own accessory -- Nomad's Titanium Band has a series of metal links connected by a slim clasp system that snaps closed around your wrist. The Titanium Band comes in both Silver and Black, to match both metal finishes available for the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4. To adjust the fit, the accessory has up to ten removable links that lets you customize the band length so that it can fit any wrist, according to Nomad. On the clasp, which sits under your wrist, there is a small and unobtrusive Nomad logo, and the lugs on the band are designed like most other third-party ‌Apple Watch‌ bands, built to slide easily into the ‌Apple Watch‌ case. Adjusting Size The Titanium Band ships at the largest size, so most people will have to go through the size adjustment process before they're able to wear the band. I found this process to be lengthier and a bit more troublesome than I was expecting, and definitely not as simple as Apple's Link Bracelet. Nomad provides you with a link removal tool, which is a small metal device with a screw system that pushes