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My impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and more
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It's been several weeks since I last blogged and I wanted to share my impressions of several new devices I purchased:


Apple iPhone 7 Plus (black, 128GB, Verizon)
I had been using a 2 year old iPhone 6 that was due for an upgrade. While it took almost 2 months for my iPhone 7 Plus to arrive, it was worth the wait. I like the size, form factor, performance (3GB RAM), battery life, screen, haptic TouchID sensor, dual camera and new portrait mode with iOS 10.1. I'm not missing the headphone jack.

I splurged for the Apple iPhone 7 Plus black silicone case ($39) and I'm really glad I did. It looks, fits and feels amazing.

I also signed up for the Barclaycard Visa with Apple rewards to earn 3x points for purchases at Apple as well as special financing. I already earned my first $25 iTunes gift card.  Even the employee at the Apple store was impressed when I cashed out via ApplePay on my Apple Watch with the Apple credit card.


Apple Watch Series 2 (42mm with Silver Aluminum Case with Pearl Woven Nylon)
I had been using the original Apple Watch since it was first released last year and liked it. Earlier this year, IBM began offering a free Series 1 38mm Apple Watch to all US employees with a high deductible/HSA insurance plan to encourage fitness. The "Vitality Today" app even tracks your steps which you can redeem for prizes (e.g. iTunes gift cards). The only charge to IBMers is a $80 tax withholding. I decided to take advantage of the offer and purchase the Series 2 42mm for $135 additional. A little more than a month later, the watch arrived.

The Series 2 watch is slightly thicker than the original but offers much faster performance opening apps and is waterproof. Thankfully, the bands are interchangeable with the original. My favorite band remains the Penom Milenese Loop - a steal at only $10.99 on Amazon with free Prime shipping.


Amazon Echo Dot (second generation)
Another Amazon purchase and a steal at $49.99 with free Prime shipping. The Echo has found a home in my kitchen and is perfect when I'm cooking and have my hands full. The voice recognition is amazing.


Redesigned Apple MacBook Pro
Apple released new thinner, more powerful Apple MacBook Pro laptops with a new Touch Bar at an event last week. My current MacBook Pro, purchased last year, works just fine and I don't plan to upgrade. My all time favorite laptop, a 5 year old MacBook Air 11.6 inch remains my trusty backup laptop.


New TV app for Apple TV
At the same Apple MacBook Pro event last week, Apple announced an upgrade for the Apple TV due out in December. The upcoming TV app provides a portal through which you can browse movies and TV shows across content providers. Apple didn't specify which providers would be included but Netflix announced that they would opt out of the new TV app. Perhaps Netflix doesn't want to share their usage data with Apple. The standalone Netflix app will still be available. I always carry an AppleTV in my work backpack as it remains the best device to view Apple content or deliver a client presentation wirelessly.


Google Pixel
I'm a big fan of my Nexus 5X but I was a bit disappointed with the price of the new Pixel smartphones. While the Pixel is clearly a big step up from the Nexus, they lack key features like waterproofing and a removable SD card. I was also bummed that Nexus users won't be getting the new Pixel launcher and Google Assistant with Android 7.1. I wish Google had continued to make a lower cost Nexus/Pixel phone. I'm in no rush to upgrade the Nexus 5X I purchased earlier this year.

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http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/chrispepin/rss/~3/H7-kTDQgn7w/my-impressions-of-iphone-7-apple-watch.html
Nov 02, 2016
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Recent Blog Posts
96
Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 12:26p   Christopher Pepin
I've been using the new Apple AirPods headphones for a week now and I'm a fan. I ordered the Apple AirPods online on December 13, the first day of preorders. The delivery date was January 12 but the AirPods arrived at my home early on January 4. The AirPods fit my ears perfectly like the similar wired Apple EarPods. I've used the AirPods at the gym and in my home office on conference calls and find them comfortable to wear. Sound and microphone quality is a step above the stock Apple EarPods
12
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 9:38p   Christopher Pepin
In no particular order, the following are my top technology hits and misses for 2016. Mobile was hot in 2016 led by the exploding Samsung Note 7. The iPhone 7 offered incremental improvements and Google double-downed on smartphones with their new premium Pixel smartphones. My most used apps include Messages, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Super Mario Run, YouTube, Netflix and Waze. From a business perspective, my favorite apps of 2016 included IBM Connections, Box
3
Star Wars Rogue 1, Super Mario Run, Man in the High Castle season 2 and Apple AirPods
Fri, Dec 16th 2016 6:16p   Christopher Pepin
This was a big week with four major milestones of interest to me: Super Mario Run app for iPhone and iPad was releasedThe premier of Star Wars Rogue OneSeason 2 of The Man in the High Castle was released on Amazon PrimeApple AirPods wireless headphones were releasedSuper Mario Run is now available for free for iPhone and iPad. The game includes 3 free levels and all the additional levels can be unlocked with a $9.99 in app purchase. I'm not very good at it, but it's a fun game the can be playe
8
My impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and more
Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 10:50p   Christopher Pepin
It's been several weeks since I last blogged and I wanted to share my impressions of several new devices I purchased: Apple iPhone 7 Plus (black, 128GB, Verizon) I had been using a 2 year old iPhone 6 that was due for an upgrade. While it took almost 2 months for my iPhone 7 Plus to arrive, it was worth the wait. I like the size, form factor, performance (3GB RAM), battery life, screen, haptic TouchID sensor, dual camera and new portrait mode with iOS 10.1. I'm not missing the headphone jack
4
My visit to the US Open Tennis 2016
Wed, Aug 31st 2016 7:02p   Christopher Pepin
Earlier this week, I attended the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, NY with my son. IBM is a sponsor of the event and I also volunteered at the IBM Cognitive Court, an interactive event showcasing Watson technology. I attended the Monday evening opening ceremonies in Arthur Ashe stadium with its new high-tech retractable roof . Phil Collins performed "In the Air Tonight" and Leslie Odom Jr performed the national anthem to a capacity crowd filled with celebrities. Novak Djokovic, the rein
6
Apple schedules September 7 event; expected to launch new iPhone 7
Mon, Aug 29th 2016 3:30p   Christopher Pepin
Apple sent out invites to members of the press of its September 7 event earlier today. While Apple didn't specify on what would be announced, its widely expected that the new iPhone 7 and iOS 10 are likely to take center stage along with macOS "Sierra" Not attending the event in person? The event can be streamed online at Apple.com the Events app on and Apple TV
7
Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta
Tue, Aug 2nd 2016 6:23p   Christopher Pepin
Apple watchOS 3.0 beta offers a number of new features including improved app performance (faster app launches), a new app launcher, activity sharing, new Breathe app, new watch faces and Face Gallery, scribble feature feature to reply to text messages. Additional, watchOS offers a new "Tap to speak time" feature for both the Mickey and Minnie Mouse watch faces as shown in the video below Enable this feature by opening the Apple Watch app on an iPhone running iOS 10 beta and enabling "Tap t
8
Apple WWDC 2016 and iOS 10
Mon, Jun 20th 2016 8:28p   Christopher Pepin
Just one month after Google IO, Apple's World Wide Developer (WWDC) conference took place in San Francisco last week. Watch the videos on Apple.com. Key announcements included: iOS 10 includes a redesigned lock screen, Siri SDK, a new an improved Messages app with a new app store, HomeKit app, improved Apple Music and Maps app, the ability to delete several iOS installed apps, Cisco VoIP integration (Enterprise)watchOS 3 includes improved app performance (faster app launches), a new app launc
2
Google IO 2016 and Android N
Tue, May 24th 2016 8:57a   Christopher Pepin
Google hosted its annual developer conference, Google IO last week. Key announcements included: Android N: successor to MarshmallowGoogle Assistant: replaces Google NowGoogle Home: smart speaker system (similarAmazon Echo)Allo: messaging (similar to Apple iMessage)Duo: video chat (similar Apple FaceTime)Daydream: virtual reality (similar Oculus Rift)Android instant apps: use apps without downloading themAndroid Wear 2.0: connect to wi-fi, support for iOSThe following infographic has a great sum
3
Android Nexus 5X smartphone - thumbs up!
Mon, May 23rd 2016 12:30p   Christopher Pepin
I recently purchased a new, Nexus 5X 16GB unlocked smartphone on eBay for $229 (deal of the day). The phone itself is made by LG and uses Google's Android reference architecture including a native Android 6 Marshmallow experience. After using the Nexus 5X for over a month, I'm a fan. The new Imprint fingerprint reader is easier to setup and quicker to use than Apple TouchID. Initially, I didn't like the placement of the fingerprint reader but I quickly got used to it. Using Imprint to unloc




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