Do You Need A New Mac Studio? Maybe

Mac Studio

Apple just took the wraps off the first new Mac in years. The Mac Studio aims to fill the place between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. Based on the newest Apple Silicon chips M1 Max and brand new M1 Ultra makes this new Mac the fastest Mac available to date. I really like the specs and the design. Having had Mac Pros in the past, a Mac mini Server, and iMac 27″ desktops, this is a great fit for the intended audience.

Do you need a new Mac Studio?

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How to Add Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card to Your Apple Wallet

Apple Wallet Vaccination Card
Apple Wallet App

Depending on where you live and the places you like to go, you may be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status.

Apple took a step towards making this easier with iOS 15. When this feature first rolled out I was kinda out of luck because Walgreens (the pharmacy where I got my shots) didn’t have support for digital vaccination cards. Oh well. I moved on and just used Clear to store my card. Not as convenient, but it was better than nothing. I figured one day pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, etc. would get on board and there would be some big announcement when they do. Well, that wasn’t the case! Walgreens quietly added support that I just discovered.

How to Add Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card from Walgreens to your Apple Wallet

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Why Apple Needs to Dump the Lightning Port on the Next iPhone Pro

Before you pick up your pitchfork, here me out. There was a rumor floating around that Apple was considering removing the Lightning port altogether and that is NOT what I’m proposing here. I actually think there are times where using the physical port is better/faster than doing things wirelessly. We can certainly debate this at another time.

It’s time for Apple to switch from Lightning ports to USB-C ports on iPhone

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Searching for the perfect 3-in-1 Wireless Travel Charger

I have three devices that I charge every night. My iPhone 12 Pro Max, my AirPods Pro and my Apple Watch. Each one of these devices can charge wirelessly. At night I simply want to set all three devices on a single charger and wake up fully charged. This is easy at home. As a matter of fact I have two favorites:

Logitech Powered 3-in-1 Wireless Charger

The best all around 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is the Logitech Powered 3-in-1 Dock and the Belkin Magsafe 3-in-1 Charger (for iPhones with Magsafe).

Belkin Magsafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger

I would have no problem recommending either of these two chargers because they work. However, both are designed to be stationary on a nightstand or a desk. They are NOT designed for travel and frankly they are just too big and bulky for travel.

What makes a perfect 3-in-1 Wireless Travel Charger?

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Don’t Use an Apple AirTag as a Pet Tracker – Use a Whistle Instead!

Apple introduced their AirTag (a Tile competitor) for those looking for an easy way to keep track of things like keys, purses, wallets, etc. However, many have been tempted to use them on their pets too. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with this thought process, but it really depends on your situation and where your pet may go missing.

How do AirTags work?

With an AirTag there is no subscription fee, no WiFi, and no GPS. It works with Ultra Wideband technology to show itself to the Find My app on your iOS devices. In order for your lost/misplaced/stolen object to show up on the Find My network it would have to be within range of another Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad or Mac. Let’s say you left your backpack with an AirTag attached to it/in it, in the library and you drove home. Now you’re miles away from your backpack.

You are way out of the range of bluetooth or even the 800 foot range of Ultra Wideband technology. However, if someone else is in the library near your backpack with an iPhone, iPad or Mac your backpack AirTag would automatically be picked up by the Find My network and show its location in the Find My app on your iOS device. Luckily the people near your backpack don’t need to do anything special. There’s nothing they need to install or activate. It all happens in the background. Your AirTag in your backpack would privately be detected and shown on the Find My network just being near another Apple device. Cool!

This is not ideal for pets depending on where they may get lost

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My New M1 MacBook Air

Gold MacBook Air

I’m fortunate that I get to use great Macs and PCs for work. Usually, the longest I have to wait for a work upgrade is three years unless there is a compelling case to upgrade sooner. Also, companies like HP will often even send me a new laptop to show off the latest capabilities with our latest apps at work. That’s all fine and good for my work systems, but what about my “personal computer?”

My personal computer choice is a MacBook Air

I’ve always liked the MacBook Air for my personal needs, mainly because of its size and weight (or lack thereof). When I do personal travel, I want to take a computer that weighs next to nothing but still gets the job done. My last MacBook Air was the 2012 Core i7 model with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. While this system still works nine years later, it’s starting to show its age when you put the latest operating system on it and the latest applications. I knew it was time to upgrade, and luckily Apple had just introduced Macs with Apple’s new chips. The M1 chip is Apple’s first microprocessor to power a Mac.

This is not the first time Apple has switched Mac processor suppliers.

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Belkin Gets it Mostly Right with This New Wireless iPhone Charger

Belkin BOOST?CHARGE PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charger with MagSafe

I have been on a quest to find the ultimate wireless iPhone charger for my nightstand. After upgrading to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I added MagSafe to my list of requirements:

  • Has to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously
  • It should come with the Apple Watch charger already built-in and not require me to use my existing Apple Watch charger.
  • It should have one cable and one power supply
  • While the Apple Watch is charging it should be easy to see at night in Nightstand Mode
  • MagSafe Charging (if you have an iPhone 12 series)
  • No annoying LED status lights
  • The Apple Watch charger has to accommodate bands that don’t open!

There are several wireless chargers out there. The problem is that most of them get the design wrong. I’ve gone through a few models and all but the last two I tried were complete disappointments. Again, this is mostly due to bad design. Also, it seems harder to find ones that will charge all 3 devices. Many will charge the iPhone and Apple Watch or the iPhone and AirPods case.

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The Ultimate 2020 Stocking Stuffer

2020 has sucked for the most part. There’s no other way to say it. However, I feel that better days are on the horizon. With that said, people look to me for holiday gadget recommendations, and quite frankly I haven’t really been in the mood to flaunt gear with so many people out of work and struggling due to the pandemic. So this year, I’m going to keep the list short and relatively low cost.

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SliceCharge Pro – the wireless charger you’ve been waiting for

Apple’s AirPower was supposed to be the only wireless charger you would need. One charging mat that lets you charge an iPhone (or Android), Apple Watch and AirPods. Apple decided to cancel the AirPower before it ever shipped. They sited quality/technical difficulties. I can only imagine that this was because you would have been able to put your phone, watch or AirPods anywhere on the mat. Since the Apple Watch doesn’t use a standard Qi charger I’m sure it was hard to make it work when placed anywhere on the mat.

There are lots of Qi wireless chargers on the market. Some are designed just to charge a phone while other bigger mats are designed to charge two to three devices. I originally went with the Nomad Wireless Charger as it was one of the first to have an integrated Apple Watch charger. The Nomad solution works fine, but what I didn’t like about it was that it was one configuration. You lay your phone on it either vertically or horizontally and you put your watch on the dedicated spot. If you want to charge a third device then you put the phone vertically in the middle. What I don’t like about this is that you have to put the phone on it just right (not to far forward and not too far towards the front) or it won’t be on one of the three charging coils and therefore it won’t charge. I have woke up on occasion only to realize that my phone didn’t charge because it wasn’t sitting on it just right.

SliceCharge Pro offers six high speed charging coils instead of three or four

inside view of the 6 total charging coils

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Apple Card – 1 Month Later

It was just over a month ago that I applied for the NEW Apple Card. I got approved and documented the whole application process here:

What’s so special about Apple Card?

This was the first question that my friends and fans started asking me. After all, it is just a credit card right? On the surface, it is a credit card. You apply and if approved you’re assigned a limit and you receive a physical card in the mail. However, that’s where the similarities stop.

Apple Card in My Hand

The first thing that makes Apple Card different is the way you apply. If you watched my video above, you’ll note that the entire process happened in the Wallet app on my iPhone. Yes, you can apply for other credit cards on your phone in a browser or a dedicated banking app, but once you’re approved you’re likely to still need to wait for a physical card to show up in the mail. Once approved for the Apple Card it’s immediately available in your Apple Wallet app. You get to use it with Apple Pay immediately. Even if you don’t use it with Apple Pay you can still look up your Credit Card Number, CCD and Expiration Date in the Wallet app so that you can start using it online with places that don’t yet accept Apple Pay.

A titanium card with just your name on it

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