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Apple Lost My Heart to Google in 2015

Whoa, the difference a year makes: On Jan. 1, 2015, my main computing devices were 13.3-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display, iPad Air, and iPhone 6—oh yeah, Apple Watch, joined them six months later. My mainstays at the start of 2016: Chromebook Pixel LS, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Huawei Watch. I abandoned Apple and there are no plans to return. I choose the Google lifestyle instead.

I have changed computing platforms too often during the past two decades. From the December day in 1998 when carting iMac out of CompUSA, no matter what the switch, I always returned to Apple products, even after boycotting the company during second half 2012. My last rally was months ago, before giving up Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 Plus, the 6s Plus (for a single day), and MBP. I don’t expect to ever go back. The allure is gone. 
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Last-minute Tech Stocking Stuffers

Here we are, days before Christmas, and you’re thinking about last-minute stocking stuffers. I’ve got an eclectic selection of things I would want to get or give for December 25th. Some of them will demand rushing online to take advantage of last-minute shipping offers. Others require no shipping at all, like music subscription services. Confession: Some items will require a larger stocking but no wrapping.

I present the list alphabetically, and in no order of preference. 
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Apple Watch vs Huawei Watch

If you are thinking about buying a new iPhone to get Apple Watch, reconsider. Hard. There’s a new Android Wear timepiece that is just as stylish, if not more, but costs much less. If Huawei Watch isn’t the Apple Watch killer, it foreshadows what could be.

For the comparison today, my quick review focuses on the two smartwatches that I purchased, with which materials and attractive designs are most similar (other than their shapes—squairsh vs circular). To reiterate: I paid for both devices. Neither manufacturer sent a loaner for review. The one came from Apple Store and the other from Amazon. 
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Huawei Watch First Impressions

WOW. I needn’t write more (but do feel obligated). My smartwatch arrived from Amazon about 10:30 this morning. Reading reviews beforehand spoiled some surprise, but the out-of-box experience nevertheless stunned. The box itself is superbly crafted and booms fine jewelry. If Huawei’s objective is to impress craftsmanship and artistry, goal accomplished.

In January 2004, when working as analyst for Jupiter Research, I wrote about Microsoft and its partners’ early push into the smartwatch market: “A wristwatch is more than just a timepiece. It’s a piece of jewelry. Jewelry is a status symbol, too—think Rolex watches in some circles and body piercings in others, or both”. The tech has to look good, too. This attribute is vital because of precedent. Watches are worn as much for their looks as function, and appearance often matters more. 
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