Barkings! | The SmallDog Apple Blog

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Recently, I’ve written about RokForm, the Just Mobile Deluxe Car Kit and Belkin’s Car Tune in Kibbles & Bytes as solutions to mount your iPhone in the car. However, I found that like most accessories, it’s all about what fits the user and in this case, your vehicle.

While manufacturers list most accessories as being universally compatible, we all know with the way cars are set up, that just isn’t the case. Some cars’ cigarette/DC power ports are no longer openly accessible, but rather, tucked away in the center console. The suction cup on the Just Mobile is great, but not for use on all windshields or dashboards. Side note: A friend of mine forgot his phone in it one summer day and it overheated, disabling the phone until it cooled back down (if you’ve had this happen, there’s a specific “temperature” screen that appears).

As a product manager, I have to know all this, and in turn, find a solution for everyone. I tried the Nite Ize Steelie Car Kit and I was skeptical at first — a magnet and my iPhone? Hmm… Well, go figure; it is one of the best iPhone accessories I’ve ever used, and not just for the car, but everyday use. The car kit comes with two pieces: a metal ball that mounts to your car and a magnet that mounts to your iPhone (or a to the case on your iPhone).

Mounting the ball is simple; just use the included alcohol wipe to clean the spot where you want it, dry the surface, and mount the metal ball. This metal ball is what the iPhone will attach to, ensuring you can use the iPhone at any angle or tilt, in landscape or portrait view. I mounted mine pretty high since I mainly use it for GPS. If you mainly use your phone for music or hands-free calling via Bluetooth, I suggest mounting it more out of the way. Next, attach the magnet to the center of your iPhone. I will admit that I didn’t center mine and I regret it; luckily, you can buy replacement pieces if needed. Once you have attached both pieces via their 3M sticky, you’re ready to go.

The phone easily attaches to the metal ball and allows for great viewing at several angles. It’s very secure (well tested on our VT dirt roads), and looks stylish when not in use. I’ve taken a few car trips using the GPS and it’s great; in line view so you don’t take your eyes off the road, and easily removed when you get out of the car. Now here’s the best part: there is a magnet on your phone, so it can now stick to any metal surface.

So why do I need a magnet on my iPhone? Think about it — in the kitchen, we need a timer or recipe up, so slap it on the fridge! In the garage, you may want to look at directions, so slap it on the tool chest out, of harm’s way. Working on the car? You guessed it, slap it on the car and watch the YouTube video on how to change your oil. It’s fantastic!

I understand that you may not want this magnet on your phone all the time, so we’re going to give you a free sample case to stick it on if you prefer, and you’ll get free shipping on both! Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

SPECIAL: Get a free Lake Monsters slim case for iPhone 5/5s when you purchase a Steelie Car Mount. See it here.


Summer is upon us, that means we’re all playing outside in one way or another. Biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, camping or just straight chillin’ and grillin’. Either way, some of us can’t go without tunes filling in the soundtrack to our outdoor fun. I have been out camping already this season and found that, being the nerd/techie I am, I camp a little differently.

The serenity of looking at the stars and “being away from it all” is great. However, I enjoy a little music and Netflix before bed. On my last few adventures, I’ve carried a backup battery from Goal Zero and the Turtle Shell from Outdoor Tech.

I’m not claiming to be an audiophile, but all my friends I was camping and chillin’ in the backyard with were shocked at the sound coming from this small, oddly-shaped orange boombox! The Turtle Shell connects via Bluetooth to my iPhone 5 easily and has a great battery meter to tell me how the Turtle’s battery is doing. Note: I always have an 3.5mm AUX cable with me so I don’t have to pair/re-pair my friends phones.

The speaker has two tweeters and a bass battery. What is a bass battery? Well, some genius figured out that you can use the battery as a sub — genius right? The sound is great, with clean highs and thumping lows. For camping, it was mostly that hippie music — Phish, the Dead and other jam bands. But for the backyard party, it was everything from Miley, Jay-Z, DMB, Miranda Lambert (don’t judge). You name the genre, it came up (OK, maybe no slow jams); the Turtle Shell’s sound stayed true through them all.

But, that’s not even the best part. Sounding good is important, but what if you’re having so much fun that you either spill on it or worse yet, forget about it altogether? Sure enough, I forgot it and accidentally left it outside all night — it rained, poured and may have been struck by lightning (probably not, but maybe). I woke up to it sitting in the grass beside my tent…! It’s advertised as being “shower, rain and generally any other liquid proof,” but come on, for real? Yep, for real — it turned it on right away (not recommended for most wet electronics) and the jams kept pumping. “Party on, Wayne!”

With much of summer left, I’m happy to know that come rain or shine, my Turtle will be bumpin’. Enjoy your summer!

Beats by Dr. Dre has introduced their new lineup for 2014 and we are very excited to be offering these in our stores.

Beats Electronics was founded in 2008 by Luke Wood, Jimmy Iovine, and Dr. Dre, and their debut Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones were renowned for style and quality sound, cementing their solid reputation.

Beats Studio Wireless headphones
What’s in a name? The Studios — the headphones that made headphones cool — have a new look and have added a wireless version, among other new features. The new Studio series was released on June 1, and they’re already getting attention for their sleek new design and rechargeable batteries that are expected to give listeners 20 hours of audio bliss.

The Beats Studio series has dual-mode Adaptive Noise Canceling (ANC) to give you some control over the extent to which the headphones cancel external noise. And the aforementioned rechargeable batteries are complemented by a Battery Fuel Gauge to keep you apprised of the battery level.

Another nice touch? The headsets have a micro USB port to make it easier to find a power adaptor when you leave your charger at home. The new design also makes the headphones lighter and, according to Beats, more comfortable. When the headphones are available, you’ll be able to pick up your pair for a mere $299.99.

Beats Solo 2 headphones
The latest edition of the Beats Solo is the Solo 2 line — like its predecessor, Solo HD Drenched in Color, they feature a smaller size than the Studio line and high quality sound with clean, crisp bass, but with an all-new design, better audio and more comfort, specifically in the ear cans.

The Solo 2 line, released June 1 and in-stock, is available in White, Silver, Red, Pink, and Black, and retails for $199.99.

More on the Solo line’s general specs and info:

  1. Proprietary titanium-coated driver technology, ensuring the headphones preserve sound and accurately reproduce all the details of your music
  2. Crystal clear highs and deep, rumbling lows in high-definition quality, making these lightweight headphones perfect for long‐lasting sessions
  3. Every pair is constructed with super-durable, flexible material, reinforced with a metal strip
  4. Unique folding system and compact design make these perfect for on-the‐go use
  5. A cable to easily switch between songs and incoming calls for a seamless transition

Beats Pill 2.0
The new Beats Pill has the same capabilities of the Pill XL, but in mini form and with supercharged features. It has wireless capability with included Bluetooth, and you can even connect to another Pill with NFC (near field communication).

It is extremely lightweight — even lighter than some of those portable mobile chargers — making it easier to carry around. Other features include a long battery life, and a 5-light LED battery fuel gauge to indicate how much charge is left. The Beats Pill 2.0 is available in Red, Black, White, Silver, and Blue and retails for $199.99.

For a limited time, we also have all previous Beats models on clearance while supplies last, so hurry in to your closest Small Dog Electronics. Check out the entire Beats Audio line here.


For a long time, Don and I had an agreement when it comes to new Apple products: He gets all the new mobile products, and I get any new desktop workstations to try out and use. This agreement went well for both of us for the first 15 years of Small Dog’s life, but in 2010, Apple didn’t have any regular updates to the Mac Pro lineup. I was fine with it, as my old Mac Pro tower had plenty of life in it, but was definitely envious every time Don received a new MacBook while I plodded away with my old system.

Finally, in the summer of 2013, Apple announced the new Mac Pro! Unfortunately, I had to wait until October before I could order one. Then, when I could finally get one on order, they were on heavy allocation at our distributors, so I had to wait while we filled all of our customer orders first (of course)! Finally this month, nearly six months later, my shiny new Mac Pro has arrived!

I decided that I wanted to try to take advantage of all the new machine had to offer, so I purchased a couple of 1080p television monitors and mounted them to the wall behind my desk. Prices have come down on these monitors so much, so it was worth the investment to have some extra screen options.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I would use these displays for, but figured they would be good for having a sporting event on, and I could load on some tickers for various business processes on them as well. Currently, I have settled on Google Analytics for our website, a stock ticker, and my weekly calendar. Do you have any other suggestions for what I could put on these? Email me!

I opted for the base model Mac Pro, but got the 512GB of PCIe flash storage because trying to compress all my files into 256GB just didn’t seem possible.

We have one used 30-inch display in-stock — if you are interested in sporting a similar configuration to me, here is a special deal for you! Note: There’s only 1 available!

It includes:

  • Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-core 12GB/512GB/D300 CTO
  • Apple 30” cinema display (used)
  • Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI Adapter
  • 2 x Hammerhead Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Cable – 6ft
  • 2 x ViewSonic VX2252mh-LED 22in Widescreen HDMI Monitor
  • 2 x Chief FTR-V Tilting VESA Wall Mount
  • Seagate Backup Plus Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive – 1TB Black
  • Kensington SlimBlade USB Trackball
  • Microsoft 4000 Egro Keyboard
  • AppleCare extended warranty on the Mac Pro (Note that you can’t add coverage to a used monitor)

All of this for just $4,799! Purchase Hapy’s special bundle here!

It happens regularly…technology breaks. Nothing is perfect, and in the age of constant change, that statement is truer than ever. It forces us to ask the age old question, “What is AppleCare and why do I want it?” Well, I can personally attest to the fact that AppleCare is a NECESSITY for anyone with an Apple product. To insure your computer is to ensure your future happiness with everything Apple. 

Apple’s product quality speaks for itself, but just like any piece of technology, regular wear and tear can (and will) take its toll at some point. One can understand the mindset of trying to save a few bucks, but what if I told you that it is actually in your benefit to purchase AppleCare? That’s right, folks — if you spend more money now, it’s extremely likely that you’ll save much more money later.

Most people know that AppleCare covers all parts and labor associated with your hardware issue. It also covers diagnostic fees and phone support fees with Apple that have been known to cost upwards of $100 without coverage. An extra benefit? Your Mac is covered should you travel outside of the US, something that the standard warranty does not.

So why do you want it? To ENsure a happy, and hassle-free future with your Apple product! AppleCare for your computer runs from $169.99 – $349.99 depending on your model and is available for purchase any time within the first year you own your Mac.

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