Barkings! | The Small Dog Apple Blog

A blog about our business, our industry, and our lives. You'll find posts from everyone at Small Dog and if the dogs could blog, they'd be here, too!

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Travel in Style

We’ve added a great new brand to our line up: Welcome Osprey!

Osprey is known for their passion for the outdoors and for making some of the best bags available for any use, including lugging your Apple gear and accessories. We are happy to have their new line of electronic/iPad specific products in-stock. Their Port series features a laptop compartment for up to a 15 inch MacBook Pro Retina as well as a Port for your iPad. This Port is a clear plastic panel that allows you to use the iPad while still in the compartment. Great for the constant traveler, several compartments/pockets allow for storage of all your chargers, cables, iPhones, and other electronic devices and accessories. Of course it will also accommodate your daily needs. For us here in the Northeast that means extra layers, gloves, hat, etc… The best part is that Osprey also stands behind their products with the “All Mighty Guarantee”:

“Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect in our product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday.”

Can’t beat that! Check out the whole line by clicking here

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There's an App for That!

As the poet said: “There’s an app for that!” Sure there are LOTS of apps out there but which one should you choose? Since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend is a big weekend for getting out on the slopes, I’ve decided to focus on some of the most popular ski and snow apps out there. I can’t take all the credit as we have quite a few outdoor pups here at Small Dog headquarters. Keep an eye out if you’re at Sugarbush this weekend as that is where we like to go play. If you’re planning on staying right here in Vermont Ski Vermont has highlighted some fun events as well as deals in their latest blog post here and I thought it was worth sharing.

Find My Friends

No matter how hard groups try to stay together on the mountain, inevitably, at some point during the day, somebody’s going to get lost. After all, it can be hard to keep up with quick friends who fancy themselves racers (I’m looking at you, Will), foggy conditions make it hard to see, and sometimes, people just want to ski different trails or get inside for a quick beer break. This app uses GPS tracking so you can locate friends and family on a user-friendly map.

Instagram

Although this app doesn’t necessarily offer ski-specific features, it sure is a great way to daydream about the slopes and keep your followers updated about all the great tracks you’re making. Explore hashtages like #skiing, #powder, or even find pictures of your favorite mountain. It’s a fun way to see awesome pictures of the slopes, document your own travels, and even meet other skiers and riders. Be sure to follow us @hellosmalldog!

VSCO

VSCO Cam has quickly emerged as the premier mobile photography app for iPhone photography, and hasn’t dropped out of the top 15 in the App Store’s Photography and Video category since it launched. If you are looking for a way to make your photos come to life before posting on other social media sites this is the app for you. VSCO Cam is the best way to shoot, edit, and share your photographs. As one app reviews states: “it provides a more thorough photo editing and filter options than photo sharing apps.”

SkiTracks

Using your phone’s map and GPS tracking abilities, this 99-cent app shows you exactly where you’ve skied on a satellite map, while also tracking distance, speed, altitude, duration, and more. Plus, its uses a minimal amount of battery life, so you can keep it running and still attend to your texts and calls, without worrying about running out of juice.

Resort Specific Apps

Many larger ski resorts have developed their own free apps. These usually offer a lot of the same tracking and snow report features as the general apps. However an app such as the Sugarbush app can help you navigate your way around the slopes, lodges, activities, weather reports, live camera feeds, and much more.
Example: I always check the Sugarbush VT app before heading to the mountain so I can see which trails have been groomed, lift statuses, the lines, as well as weather and most importantly the wind chill so I can layer accordingly.

Maprika

Maprika lets you see where you are on real maps, like the ones that say “you are here” at the top of the lift. Easily locate your friends and family, and stay informed about the places you’re going. The coolest part about this app is that Maprika maps are saved to the phone’s memory, allowing for use in out-of-service areas. This app also allows you to find nearby businesses. As Dean says “it’s kind of like Yelp! for ski resorts, great when you are trying to get to know a new resort’s trail map.”

Liftopia

Purchase your lift tickets and or rentals in advance and save. Select from more than 150 resorts. This free app, “Liftopia Ski Reports, Snow Conditions and Ultimate Lift Ticket Deal Engine for iPhone and iPod touch,” though hard to remember provides an easy tool for showing a receipt at the ticket window, rather than having to deal with printing out a paper voucher (welcome to the 21st century!). Be sure you read the fine print for blackout dates before you show up at the mountain to redeem your deal. With deals like these, why not try a new mountain out!

Spotify

If you are one of those people that like to listen to tunes in the background while safely carving some edges I guarantee Spotify has a playlist for you! You can browse playlists for every mood and genre. The discover page will constantly suggest new music for you based on what you’re listening to and it’s all free! With playlists like “Ski” with over 500 songs, how could you go wrong?

Editors note : Your iPhone is just like you, it really hates the bitter cold. When the temperature drops below freezing, iPhones can start malfunctioning: Your smartphone might not sense your touch, the battery dies faster and, if it’s cold enough, it will simply shut off. On its website, Apple suggests that you only use your (4th generation or later) iPhone in environments between 32º and 95º F, since “low- or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to alter its behavior to regulate its temperature.”

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AppleCare + is an Essential Value

You may have received an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch for the holidays. These devices all come with a 1-year warranty and 90 days of free phone support from Apple. AppleCare+ is more than an extended warranty and it would be a good New Year’s gift to yourself. AppleCare+ extends the 1-year Apple warranty to 2 years but the protection does not stop there. You also receive 2 years of free technical support which includes answers to your questions on Apple software including iOS, iCloud, wireless network setup and Apple-branded Apps.

AppleCare+ adds one more important feature for your mobile device. It covers, subject to a service fee, two incidents of accidental damage. So if you drop that iPhone into the ocean and fish it out you can get it replaced or repaired for only $79 (twice!). The fee for the iPad is $49 and the iPod touch is $29. Screen repairs and water damage can cost you dearly so the protection of AppleCare + can be a lifesaver!

You can purchase AppleCare+ within 60 days of the purchase of your iOS device directly from Small Dog Electronics or any Apple store. We will have to confirm the purchase date and run a diagnostic test to confirm that the device has no pre-existing damage so you will have to bring it to one of our stores.

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Small Dog Gift Guide - Part 2 - 2014

We’ve asked a few of our employees what their favorite gifts are this season – either to get or to give, of course – and we have highlighted a few of the best!

Don, President and Top Dog:

  • The Nest smart thermostat is a great holiday gift! I use them in my home and am saving money daily as the Nest learns my habits, turns the heat (or AC) down when I am away and back up when I get home. It learns that I like it cool when I sleep and warm in the morning. It reduces your carbon footprint by only providing heat or cooling when you need it. While it is super easy to install and operate, Small Dog Electronics can come to your home to help with the installation, too! The Nest thermostat is a thoughtful gift and keeps giving.

Hapy, President and CFO:

  • I would recommend the EZQuest battery backup charger for iPhone and iPad (and most other USB devices). This sleek battery can charge your iPhone and your iPad at the same time if needed, and can store multiple charges. Never be left without a charge on your phone ever again! This has saved my bacon numerous times. Be sure to purchase an extra lightning cable to go with it (the 6-inch Belkin cable is ideal).

  • Secondarily, I always recommend the Kensington Slimblade trackball to anyone who uses a desktop machine and has a messy desk like mine, or just can’t stand the mouse. The trackball allows pin point accuracy and lightning fast scrolling combined with customizable buttons to get work done without any wrist strain and takes up minimal space on your desktop. It does take a little while to get used to a trackball, but once you do, your productivity will skyrocket and you can say goodbye to your aching mouse wrist.

Rob, Business Solutions Manager:

  • This year we added the Sonos line to our offering and I picked up a few speakers for my house and they are awesome! If you’re not familiar, Sonos is wireless speaker system that you connect through your wireless network that allows you to stream music to any room in your house from an iPad, iPhone, computer, and more. You can have reggae in the kitchen, jazz in the den, and blues jamming in the garage. It allows you to access your music streaming services like iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and Rhapsody as well as giving you access to radio stations around the world. If you’re like me and have a large music collection stored on an external drive you can access all that music as well. The best thing about Sonos is not the speakers themselves, but the app and how simply it brings all your music into one simple control panel. If you like the idea of using this app and already have a nice speaker setup, you can add the Sonos connect which connects your existing stereo system to your Wi-Fi network. Available for purchase in our retail stores only.

Will, Product Manager:

  • My favorite product this Christmas to gift is the Goal Zero Torch 250, which is simply great for anyone who spends their winter in VT. It is a flashlight and floodlight, a backup battery, and includes a solar panel for recharging if the sun were ever to shine through. We’ve already had gnarly driving conditions and power outages…and it is only December. The best is yet to come! This is a great backup to have in the car, at home, or in your Y2KMayan cataclysm…zombie apocalypse shelter. 

  • Then it comes to what gift I would get for myself…never an easy question to answer. I think it would have to be the Olloclip for the iPhone 6. I bought my first iPhone for many reasons but the biggest being that I would always have an amazing camera with me. The Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit for iPhone 6 includes wide angle, fisheye, and two macro lenses at 10x and 15x…a great addition for those that love to take photos! For me the fisheye plus the new 240fps slo-mo feature makes for a great video camera. I can only expect more likes on my Instagram account. 

Morgan Director of IT & Development:

  • I had a well-loved pair of Urbanears Medis that finally succumbed to years of wear and tear that I’d love to have replaced. Not only was the sound quality exceptional, and the design simple, but they were very comfortable. I’ve tried numerous in-ear headphones over the years and the ones that fit into your ear canal become uncomfortable after a short period of time and most that just “sit” in your ear tend to fall out of mine. The Medis are unique in that they have special “EarClick” technology (replaceable rubber pieces) that hold it at rest—sort of suspended—in your ear and it can’t fall out. Better yet, since most people’s ears aren’t all the same size or necessarily symmetrical, they come with a few differently sized sets of the rubber bits so you can customize them for comfort in your ears. An added bonus for comfort and audio quality is that the cords are wrapped in cloth. You’re probably thinking, “Audio quality?!”. Yes, there’s a fair amount of vibration transmitted along headphone cords that interferes with what you hear, but that is absorbed and muted by the cloth.

Jim, Phone and Web Sales

  • On my holiday wish list this year is the iON Air Pro 3 Waterproof Camera. With 1080p video and 12 megapixel still photography, the picture quality is unbelievable and the housing is waterproof for up to forty-nine feet deep. Great for the trips with the pups to the dog friendly beaches down south, or for hitting the slopes up north!


For more holiday gift ideas and specials, visit smalldog.com/macthehalls or come into one of our retail stores. Our South Burlington store is offering extended hours now through Christmas eve.

No matter what you’re getting or giving this holiday season, be sure to share it with family and friends!

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Small Dog Gift Guide - Part 1

We’ve asked a few of our employees what their favorite gifts are this season – either to get or to give, of course – and we have highlighted a few of the best!

Joe, Key West Retail Store Manager

My favorite product is the Chill Pill Chillbox. It has great sound from its aluminum case and is so portable and lightweight. The battery seems to never die and the price is hard to beat. Every member of my family has one and I feel this gift would be great for anyone. And right now as part of our Mac The Halls holiday sale you get a free Chillbox with the purchase of any MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac with AppleCare.

Lonnie, Inventory Controller

I play a ton of games on my iPhone and my iPad, and every once in awhile I think to myself, “It’d be pretty awesome to play this game with a controller.” Only problem is that most controllers need to be physically connected to your iOS device, and I’m not a huge fan of attaching a bulky case to my phone just to have a controller with buttons on it. So that’s why I would like the Steelseries Stratus controller. It’s small, light, and connects to your iOS devices via Bluetooth, so if you have a case you’re attached to you don’t need to remove it. The battery lasts 10 hours between charges and can be recharged through USB. It’s compatible with a number of games, from Bastion, to Badlands, to Metal Slug 3, and the list continues to grow. So if you’re really into iOS gaming, what are you waiting for? The perfect controller is here!

Tony, Business Solutions

Last spring I purchased a new iPhone 5S and prior to making the purchase I looked at all of the available protective case options on the market. I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast and am often found hiking in the rain, backcountry skiing in wet snow and riding my fat tire mountain bike in sub-freezing conditions during the winter months. I settled on the LifeProof fre iPhone Case which has received thorough testing in all types of weather conditions that would have destroyed an unprotected iPhone. My phone, on the other hand, still looks and operates as if brand new. This case is thin, lightweight and I highly recommend it.

Scott, Developer

I think the Belkin NetCam HD WiFi Camera with Night Vision is pretty awesome. I’d like one to monitor the home while away. They are easy to set up, provide quality pictures, and I really like that it can be used with WeMo switches. You can get an instant e-mail when motion is sensed. I would feel safe leaving my home this holiday season, and this camera is on sale now, for $30 off the original price.

Jamie, Rutland Retail Store Sales Associate

I would like a pair of the Urbanear Plattan Headphones because they produce great sound and come in many different colors. They also are very portable and fit nicely on your head. Thanks to the remote control built into the cable you are able to pick up calls and fast forward or rewind your music. These headphones really have it all, and through the month of December are $15 off!

For more holiday gift ideas and specials, visit smaldog.com/macthehalls.

No matter what you’re getting or giving this holiday season, be sure to share it with family and friends!

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