Introducing our Holiday Gift Guide for 2013. Of all the work that we put in year ’round, I can’t think of a piece we enjoy more. These are things we’d buy for ourselves or for others if we had an infinite bankroll. We also tried to avoid the obvious recommendations like Apple products or the latest console as, well, you know. The lineup ranges from menswear and leather accessories to footwear and gadgets.
Jawbone has released the latest iteration of their UP line of activity-tracking wristbands. The Jawbone UP24 looks just like its predecessor but brings some enhanced features and a reworked app to match, making this fitness tracker worth checking out. The UP24 leverages Bluetooth Smart to sync data to the app in real-time, giving you feedback down to the second. This will be addicting for some, or should we say most. It tracks reading on your motion and sleep and you can add things like meals and mood, and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.
All data collected is brought to you via the UP app, which can send push notifications letting you know pretty much anything you want, even as simple as pinging you when you’re close to hitting a goal. The UP 3.0 app brings a massive upgrade and delivers a ton of new features. One thing that stands out is “Today I Will” which leverages all the data its tracking by sending you mini-goals to give you an added boost. You can also add to the UP experience by connecting to other apps within UP. That means you can track your weight or map your bike rides and have that data seamlessly integrate into your UP feed, lifeline and trends.
The Jawbone UP24 costs $149.99 and is available in three different sizes — small, medium, and large – and in either a black or orange shell.
We like things to be simple. Some of our favorite wallets and card holders are made from high quality leather but come in very sleek silhouettes that don’t bulge or become more of a burden than a much needed convenience. The truth is though that we don’t own these wallets and card holders because they usually have 2-3 card slots, about 5 less than what we need given all the cards we keep on us on a regular basis. That’s your license, credit cards, bank debit card, and possibly your loyalty cards as well.
The folks behind Coin have swooped in to solve a real problem. They’ve built a card that’s about the size of a standard credit card but with some enhanced features that allow it to house multiple debit, creditm even gift cards. The bluetooth-connected Coin has a small black and white e-ink display, a single button to swipe through the cards, a two-year battery, and a magnetic stripe that can pretend to be any of the cards you’ve uploaded via the iOS or Android app (via an included compact dongle).
Google’s officially started rolling out the second generation of Google Glass. The redesign features a new hardware update that allows for compatibility with existing prescription eyeglasses, and implements an external mono earbud in place of the previous bone-conduction speaker from the first prototype. The Explorer program is expanding as well as existing Glass users can now invite three of their US friends to join the program.
Over the years, Monocle has been able to forge some pretty impactful relationships through several collaborations and they’re not showing any signs of letting up. Jawbone’s their latest partner in making something beautiful as they’ve released a limited edition version of their popular Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker. Normally available in a range of colors, it now gets the Monocle treatment with an all-black finish that features bespoke sleeving and other minimalistic details. The Monocle x Jawbone Big Jambox can be purchased for about $414 USD, though it’s limited to just 170 units.
Though expected, Apple has announced the iPad Mini with the company’s vivid, pixel-packed Retina Display. The 7.9 inch display gets a boosted 2048×1536 resolution which is powered internally by their A7 chip. Battery life is being held at up to 10 hours so you can get things done, all atop Apple’s latest iOS 7 design. The iPad Mini with Retina Display starts at $399 USD with a release date of late November.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of their iPad lineup, which the iPad Air being the latest addition. It features an aluminum unibody design that weighs a pound and is 20% thinner than the previous iPad and with 24% less volume. Apple’s high-def Retina Display delivers a 2048×1536 resolution and 3.1 million pixels, with internal goodies including their A7 chip and M7 coprocessor which effectively brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to the tablet. If all this wasn’t enough to win you over, the iPad Air also features two antennas and MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology which brings double the Wi-Fi performance with download speeds of up to 300 Mbps.
At the keynote address, Apple also announced that all iWork and iLife software like iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, Pages, Numbers and Keynote would now be available for free. The iPad Air will be available through Apple Stores starting November 1st with prices starting at $499 USD.
From GoPro comes the HERO3+ Black Edition, the latest in their suite of unbelievably versatile cameras. It’s smaller and lighter than any of the HERO cameras before it and features video resolutions up to 4K, 12MP photos up to 30 frames per second, built-in Wi-Fi, SuperView™ and Auto Low Light modes for vivid nighttime capturing. SuperView is next level as the new video mode captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective. Capture more of yourself and your surroundings in the shot—resulting in captivating, ultra engaging footage. We’ve taken our GoPro’s to the track and we’re really exciting about the upgraded audio performance that will bring even more audio detail to our captures.
Jack Dorsey’s Square has added a new product to their lineup dubbed the Square Stand. The SF-based startup is working with Apple to bring a new Point-of-Sales system to market that will be featured in Apple retail stores. With the Square Stand, you can turn an iPad into a credit-card terminal and full POS system that works with Square’s Register app and other external devices such as cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners. Price is set at $299 and is available to ship starting today through Square’s website, with availability in-store at US Apple Stores on July 9th.
With the E3 Expo fully underway in sunny Los Angeles, one of the most highly anticipated announcements of the day was the official unveiling of Sony’s PlayStation 4. It features powerful graphics and speed mixed with intelligent personalization and deeply integrated social capabilities that take advantage of the second-screen phenomenon. The games are said to be explosive and there’s a strong lineup of PlayStation exclusives that will make this purchase decision even easier. Some titles already announced for the PS4 include Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous Second Son, Driveclub and Knack as well as partner titles Destiny, Diablo III, Deep Down and Watch Dogs.
Some standout features of the PS4 include the new DUALSHOCK 4 controller with touch pad, three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope, and rechargeable battery. There are also two high-sensitive cameras with 85-degree diagonal angle views for enhanced depth perception. The controller’s connection powered via Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR while the system also features 802.11 b/g/n wireless network connectivity, Ethernet, and USB ports.
The Sony PlayStation 4 is due to release on December 31st but you can pre-order the console now through Amazon.