Editorials

There’s a Dark Side to the Apple Watch Series 8’s New Feature

We discussed our concerns regarding privacy and period-tracking apps a few months ago. It’s still unclear whether that’s a legitimate fear or just a terrible hypothetical, but it is within the realm of possibility, which makes Apple’s newest Watch feature even more perplexing. If there’s concern about the safety of cycle-tracking, do you really want your Apple Watch Series 8 automatically monitoring it?

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Call Screen Is Google Pixel’s Killer Feature, and It Will Completely Spoil You

There are plenty of good reasons people develop a fondness for a particular brand; maybe it’s because the company’s hardware is always top-notch, their pricing is reasonable, or they have excellent customer service when something goes wrong. But the singular feature that’s made it hard for me to consider using any smartphone other than a Google Pixel as my daily driver isn’t related to hardware, pricing, or customer service. As I mentioned in our Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 5 reviews, beyond Pixel’s excellent cameras and pure Android experience, their killer feature is Call Screen.


Convertible Laptops: Lenovo’s Yoga Line Has Changed My View on Them for the Better!

Has anyone ever really looked at their laptop and thought, “man, if only this could also be flipped into a tablet!”? I’ll admit, I’ve always seen convertible laptops as a cool idea but one that seemed to be a solution in search of a problem. But I’ve learned the error of my ways this summer, as I experienced a few times where convertible laptops offered so much flexibility that it completely changed my workflow!


Think Before You Share That “Deep” Quote on Facebook

Recently my attention was drawn to an issue on social media that I have a feeling many of us may have experienced. A friend of mine had reposted a statement that resonated with them on their Facebook page. Someone else attempted to rebut that statement by using a quote that they misattributed to Voltaire when in fact, the quote came from a neo-Nazi. Here’s the statement that started the exchange.


Freedom Phone Is a Dumb Purchase, but You Do You

Here’s a fun fact for you: Toyota designs their Lexus and Toyota logos to be the same size; it’s so they can easily swap the designs. Yes, a Lexus will be nicer, but why design two different steering wheels if the same dimensions can work for both brands? At the same time, you’d probably feel pretty dumb and angry if you bought a Lexus from a dealer only to discover they had charged you Lexus prices for an old Corolla with a Lexus badge. And if that sounds far-fetched, well, just ask anyone who was suckered into buying a Freedom…


Could the M1 iPad Pro Function As Your Only Computer?

When Apple announced that the latest iPad Pro has the same M1 chip as the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro, I had some thoughts about that, and I figured the rest of the Gear Diary team might too. Is the iPad Pro finally ready to be a stand-alone computer or perhaps function as your only computer?




Buyer Beware: Amazon Reprints Some Books Poorly and Without Disclosure

I’ve always liked is Star Trek: The Next Generation. I like the show so much that in 1991 when Pocket Books brought out the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, I had to have it.  I bought it and thumbed through it so often that I eventually wore it out. I recently ordered a replacement copy from Amazon. However, what I got was different than what I expected; it wasn’t the original book or even a proper reprint. Evidently, Amazon reprints older books themselves, and it’s not the quality you might be led to expect.


Apple Is Blowing an Opportunity by Ignoring the Education Market

I’m going to preface this with the disclaimer that I’m typing it on a MacBook Pro and I own an iPhone, just to head off any accusations of me being an Apple-hater. But I watched Apple’s iPad announcements this week, and then I helped my son with some schoolwork, and I realized Apple is about to lose an entire generation.


Apple Unveils $100 Million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

Recently we have taken Apple to task for their lackluster take on racial justice and for making a tone-deaf product launch just as the pandemic was spiraling out of control in the US (and honestly since they were already leading with financial commitments, had they just said ‘we’re launching these products and are dedicating X% of every sale to COVID-19 relief efforts’ it would have made a big difference in perception).


UPDATED: Apple Makes the Difference Between Empty Promises and Real Action Very Clear

I think it’s safe to say that all of us have watched the news over the last eleven days with broken hearts. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other people of color are a national tragedy. People everywhere are rightfully using their first amendment rights to seek change; corporations are jumping on the bandwagon, sometimes with mixed results.