Many months ago The Mac 512 reported that Starbucks was offering free songs and apps when you visited your local Starbucks store. That ended after many weeks but continues in their iOS app
So do yourself a favor and download the Starbucks app, sign in, and wait for the messages section to alert you when the next free app or song is ready to be redeemed.
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With my busy schedule I find myself traveling around the U.S. quite often. Sometimes I travel Internationally.
My latest trip took me to Europe and I needed to find a solution that did not give me tons of different power adapters as the extra weight nowadays can cost you in extra baggage fees. I found the perfect solution, Apple World Travel Adapter Kit!
The kit has the proper plugs for everywhere in the world included. A Best Buy Agent tried to convince me to save $5 by getting a multi-plug kit instead. I asked him why would I when the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit would give me interchangeable plugs for my MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad Mini? He seemed clueless as he was trying to steer me away from the best product for the best money. He stated that all Windows people use the Belkin product. I nicely informed him that not all Windows people do (remember I use Windows for Ultima Online and will be for the new Shroud of the Avatar MMORPG game in 2014).
Walking away with my purchase I put it to the test. The Apple World Travel Adapter Kit worked flawlessly. I used two plugs (UK and Continental Europe). Now making sure 5 devices were in constant full charge was a step in mastering the art of balance. Wait, I thought there was only 3 devices? I had to add in a Sony DSLR camera and another iPhone (not mine) into the mix.
Most of the time the freshly reloaded MacBook Air was used only to provide power for other devices and as a SD Card backup device. The whole fact that the MacBook Air is the perfect travel companion due to it’s lack of weight, meant it would charge the camera (or iPhones or iPad Mini). The MagSafe adapter took the proper World Travel Adapter by taking the US one out and snapping in the UK or Europe one. Once the camera or iDevice and the Air were charged I then snapped into the iPhone adapter (that came with the kit) and away I went with next device to be charged.
By the time came when the trip was over this simple and inexpensive solution (Apple World Travel Adapter Kit) saved the day!
See more information about the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit at http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit and http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4341
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Google Now is now available for your iOS device. Google Now promises to make your iPad Life or iPhone Life better by providing information when you need it.
I am in a snarky mood today so this app will feel it. Feel free to take this as a disclaimer before reading the rest of my review.
The first quest in order to use Google Now is to realize it is part of the Google Search app and not a new separate app like Google Translate. Once you update Google search you will see a introduction video of Google Now staring you in the face.
My first experience with Google Now was watching the introduction video. Google Now would not switch to my already connected Bluetooth headphones but insisted to play the video sound through the internal iPhone speaker. When I halted the video and manually changed to the headphones Google Now ignored that change and switch the audio back to the internal speaker. Annoying. Lets hope the rest of Google Now works when commanded.
Google Now promises that once you enter in your Google account information you can view on cards weather where you currently are, traffic with directions, flight status, Calendar, Google Translate in-addition to their external Translate app, currency conversion, and what time it is at home when you are in a different time zone (and are not skilled at subtracting a few hours in your head). Yea, I agree that the last one I was kind of annoyed with that as a “feature”, I have not been to a part of the world where It was more than 24 time zones away from my home time zone.
Since you have to sign in with a Google+ account (don’t worry if you don’t have one and sign up with your YouTube account Google Now will create you a Google+ account to pad their numbers in hoping to overtake Facebook with this shotty fraud scheme Google has going on). This way Google can learn from your data and provide more information that you may like.
There is a bottom area that entices you to tap for more cards that bring up random information like that Chinese restaurant close to home
Since Google Now on iOS brings the best of Google Now but not all of Google Now, it is a “I will be happy with what they give me now but not everything” attitude. If Google treated iOS as a brother of Android and not this “iOS is beneath Android” I could get more excited of Google Now addition to the Google Search app. To me Google is trying to make it more difficult to use their services on iOS through confusion. No other iOS developer currently does this.
I will use Google Now in the next month and report back how well it is going to make my life easier.
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Lord British is back with the continuing saga (unofficially from what I read) of the Avatar from the Ultima Series from his creative imagination. This version will be available on the Windows PC platform, Macintosh, Linux, and in the future maybe iOS.
Since Shroud of the Avatar has reached their $1 million goal by reaching $2 million their fans are getting a lot of extras when the game ships late 2014. I was one that pledged as I love the Ultima worlds the Lord British (Richard Garriott) created.nI have bene playing Ultima Games since the early 1980′s with Ultima II (followed by Ultima II, I, then IV – Ultima Online).
If you missed the Kickstarter campaign don’t worry as the game will be out before you know it late 2014. Foe the early backers access to the Alpha and Beta builds will begin this year if you pledged $400 or more for that access.
The best part of SotA is the online mode, offline single player mode, and the DRM-free media. If you play Ultima Online and you can want to “keep you content” you have to download a RunUO server app, download a custom Razor app, patch it and set it up from scratch. With SotA you will be able to play for a bit and get the same experience as the server part is already running on your system. Awesome!
A great upcoming site that will have tons of SotA content is ultimamuseum.com , I would check them out.
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Ultima Forever for iOS is one game I have been waiting my whole life for. My friends know how much I love the world of Ultima as I have been playing this game since the early 1980′s when I was looking for a computerized version of Dungeons and Dragons. Ultima III was just that.
iMore.com has written and posted a video of their experience with Ultima Forever from the 2013 Gamers Developers Conference. In short they said that game was awesome that did not take too much time for battles and adventuring. This is perfect as I will be able to adventure and battle dragons when I have 10 – 30 minutes of time available. All of the demos and iMore’s video really showcases the fun of Ultima that this game possesses.
I am looking forward to this game’s release and it will have my attention when I am not playing Ultima Online. From the looks of it I think that Ea has a hit
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In my last article I wrote about why the Chrysler 200 Limited caught my heart over these other four luxury cars.
All of the contenders matched most of what I wanted in a luxury car and in every case a few more options. My list included: 4 door sedan, sun/moon roof, heated front seats, leather seats all around, nice dash, beautiful color, chrome accents all around, safety features, remote start, iPhone Bluetooth integration, good speakers, Dual exhaust, and a powerful V6 engine.
The “more” in the contenders is what bought the price up and ultimately price won. Not all of them had a V6 engine which disqualified some of them as I like the power of a V6 engine. There are some features I would of liked including day running lights or ambient lighting, those features I can add for a little additional cost.
Why did these cars not make the grade?
Buick Verano - The seats are too small width wise. Taking a test drive proved that this is real uncomfortable after 2 minutes of being in the vehicle. The cheapest engine is offered as standard, the 2.4L DHOC 4-cyclinder VVT engine at 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency is 21 city and 30 highway.
The extras I see above what I was looking for include: rear parking assist ultrasonic, 18″ wheels, OnStar pay service, and a rear spoiler. This was a IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2012. Additional options available in other models include:
Nathan the Buick sales consultant said that the LaCrosse is today’s equivalent of the LeSabre in terms of what luxury is offered. He quickly told me that the Verano and the Regal were introduced as cheaper models to get the price point down. Nathan also mentioned that the interior wood is not real wood but a wood laminate over plastic. Same as my 16 year Buick LaSabre.
Price was $31,675 to get close to the options I want. No V6 engine is available. The dealer would give me $500 off plus a manufacturer incentive of $500. The only downsides was the engine and the small uncomfortable seats.
Cadillac ATS - I do like this car and the seats fit fine and are comfortable. In fact, this sport luxury sedan in Cadillac’s line up fits almost exactly like the Chrysler 200. The engine is a 3.6L V6 DOHC VVT at 321 hp and 264.4 lb-ft of torque. Standard ATS models have a 4 cylinder, the V6 is a optional add on. Fuel efficiency is 18 city and 26 highway. Test driving this car was a joy.
The extras I see above what I was looking for include: All Wheel Drive, OnStar pay service, back seat cup holders, front and rear ultrasonic parking assist, rear backup camera, and daylight running lights. The radio system CUE was good with voice recognition and climate controls. Additional options available in other models include: driver awareness package, illuminating door handles, heads up display, sunroof, rain sense wipers, Wood laminate in higher priced models, carbon fiber trim, and dual zone climate.
Dave the sales consultant mentioned that unlike other car manufacturers Cadillac thinks the ATS is the only true competitor from the Detroit Big 3 that matched the BMW 3 series. Dave also said that Lincoln and Chrysler is not at the same level as the Cadillac. My personal opinion is GM can try to make their luxury brand more elite but the details does not show that.
Price was $47,725 and a $0 manufacturer incentive and the dealer discount of $0. This car is a good choice if you needed many of the extras. The interior reminded me of the Chrysler 200 with a nice feeling black interior and chrome accents. No wood in the interior on this model.
Chrysler 300 - This car fits me perfectly, the seats are large and in charge for comfort. This has everything I am looking for including the 292hp 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT engine with 260 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency is 19 city and 31 highway. Test driving this car was a joy.
I was going to select this car until I saw the 200 Limited. Plain and simple. This car offers a lot of what I was looking for out of the gate in the base model. The 300 has wood inside which Art the sales consultant said was real wood, so it probably is a wood laminate.
This was a IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2013.
Extras above what I was looking for include: Dual-pane Panoramic Roof, Dual zone temperature controls, anti-whiplash front head restraints, Real wheel drive, rear backup camera, front and rear park assist, forward collision warning, adaptive forward lighting, and HID headlamps.Additional options available in other models include: Keyless entry and start, Beats Audio system, illuminated cup holders, heated, rear seats, Nappa ventilated leather seats, LED interior lighting, hill start assist, rear sunshade, SD card slot, and rain brake support.
The uConnect system in the Chrysler 300 is the next version above what the Chrysler 200 Limited has available as it has more options like climate and other controls.
Price was $32,485 and a $2,500 manufacturer incentive and the dealer discount of $995.
Lincoln MKZ – The seats are too small width wise. Taking a test drive proved that this is real uncomfortable after 2 minutes of being in the vehicle. This is with the 2.0L I-4 engine giving 188 hp and 270 lb-ft torque. Fuel efficiency is 22 city and 31 highway.
The extras above what I was looking for include: dual zone temperature controls, rear beverage holders, 18″ wheels, collision warning, HID headlamps, and one more 12V powerpoint. One thing that is cool is there are buttons for putting the car in Drive, neutral, reverse, and park; instead of a drive shifter. Additional options available in other models include: keyless entry with push button start, heated steering wheel, all wheel drive, active park assist, composite video input, SD card slot, and power rear sunshade.
Missy the Lincoln sales consultant let me know that many people forget to put the car in park as it is a push button on this model instead if a stick shift. Also opening the door which the car detects and slams the car into park. Many times this causes interior head or shoulder injuries as customers forget to push the Park button first. Missy also mentioned that the interior wood is not real wood but a wood laminate over plastic. Same as my 16 year Buick LeSabre.
The Lincoln MKZ also wes awarded the 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
Price was $40,915 with the dealership giving out a $200 rebate on top of Ford/Lincoln’s $2,500 manufacturer incentive. The downsides of this price has no V6 engine, the small uncomfortable seats, and the Sync radio system is just ok.
Overall these are not bad cars. They have a premium price with many extras going above the Chrysler 200 Limited and what I need for my driving pleasure. The extras that I would want I can add to the Chrysler 200 Limited for under $2,000 total like daylight running lights, rear view backup camera, ultrasonic back sensors, composite video input, iPhone 30-pin plug, ambient interior lighting, and larger rims.
** Disclaimer: In all the cars I test drove may not have had all of the options that I have listed above. This is not a comprehensive definite list. Optional accessories may be available that I missed from looking at the dealer brochures and talking with the sales consultants.
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After many test drives and looking over many luxury cars, the decision is made.
Five cars became contenders: Buick Verano, Cadillac ATS, Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, and the Lincoln MKZ.
From my last article, “The list of Luxury Cars“, I listed the main points I needed in my next luxury car. My next luxury car is the Chrysler 200 Limited. What made this car stand out it the looks, the power, the interior, and the price. Integrating with my iPhone was important too.
Why the Chrysler 200 Limited?
If you pair down the main points I wanted my my next luxury car they all are there in the Chrysler 200 Limited:
- 4 door sedan
- Sun/moon roof
- Heated front seats
- Leather seats all around
- Nice dash – The soft touch feels nice and looks premium. This dash can stand up to the other luxury cars I was looking at.
- Beautiful color – The True Blue Pearl is tops.
- Chrome accents all around
- Safety features – Starting in 2012 earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick, plus awarded the 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Honor. Plus made Forbes 13 Safest Cars for the Money list.
- Remote start
- iPhone Bluetooth integration
- Good speakers – The 276W Boston Acoustics 6 speaker set sounds awesome.
- Dual exhaust
Powerful V6 engine – The 283hp 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT engine has power when you need it with 260 lb-ft of torque. When I try to pass a semi on the highway I zoom past it immediately. No hesitation from the engine or the transmission. Fuel efficiency is 19 city and 29 highway.
The stereo has a 6.5″ LCD screen with touch capabilities. Voice recognition, Bluetooth streaming and iPhone connectivity are all in there. Like all of the other stereos they can pair with your iPhone and you can make calls, download your contact list, and read and send SMS text messages. All have Navigation, the Chrysler 200 Limited has Garmin which I am very familiar with. USB ports for syncing and charging any iPhone, iPod, and iPads. Sirius and TravelLink are included for a year. All of the cars I looked at in this posting have these capabilities so this was basically even.
Features that came with the Chrysler 200 that were above my list include: Heated Mirrors, auto dimming rear view mirror, floor mats with “catchers” so they don’t move, leather wrapped steering wheel, Universal garage door opener, anti-whiplash front head restraints, and a theft-deterrent system. One thing I am glad I don’t have is the push button ignition start button. I like the extra control of having a key that needs to go into the socket to get the car to move.
The Chrysler 200 Limited does share some of the same underbody as the Dodge Avenger. Buick, Lincoln, Lexus all do this to save on costs. The same can be said for many of the computers we purchase today by reusing parts and chassis for the next big thing.
The horsepower is large and the torque is good. When I accelerate it feels very responsive and shifts quickly, the torque is260 lb-ft. The car can go from 0 – 60 in 6.2 seconds shifting through fast and smooth.
There is one point that I left open to see if the Big 3 in Detroit could deliver large luxury for little price. With the Chrysler 200 Limited, Chrysler did just that. My car listed at $27,420 and a $3,500 manufacturer incentive and the dealer discount of $425 brought the whole car down to $23,890. None of the the other top 5 cars were within a few thousand dollars. The one that was the closest is the Chrysler 300 costing $7,100 dollars more. In my next article I will cover the other contenders in more detail.
Why did price win out over extra features I did not want? In every case the extra thousands of dollars was not needed to be spent to achieve luxury. In today’s recession that continues on and on. Why spend more money that you have to? Aftermarket accessories can add wood laminate to the interior, a push button start system, ambient lighting, rear view camera on the touch screen stereo with ultrasonic sensors, and day running lights.
The Chrysler 200 Limited is the Sport luxury model in Chrysler’s line up.
Everyone has their own level of luxury that is a “must have”. I could of wanted a panoramic sunroof or all wheel drive. I have been driving front wheel drive vehicles for about 20 years now and can control that car with the best of them. A regular sun/moon roof works for me. A larger sunroof is not needed as I don’t plan on having many passengers that will sit in the rear section. I looked at what I wanted and found the perfect luxury car that matched that.
I believe that you can get the most luxury for not a lot of money. Chrysler has stepped up to build quality cars at reasonable prices. A relative of mine has had a Dodge Grand Caravan since 2009 with 55,000 miles; no mechanical problems in this vehicle. From feeling and driving the Chrysler 200 Limited it feels like quality went into this vehicle inside and out. The Chrysler 200 Limited is a testament of the future of American Luxury cars.
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Now that we have seen what is possible with many of the currently luxury cars with options to sync your iPhone in my past article, “Luxury cars and iPhone accessories“. Now is the time to look at all of the cars I considered when finding the right luxury car for the right price. All of these cars are good in their own right and I would love to have bought any of them. My main criteria includes: iPhone integration, luxury interior, stylish exterior. and engine performance.
I like a car that is as luxurious as my smart phone and my tablet. Made from quality materials that are nice to the touch and looks great. One thing that I know is all Apple products look great, even the old ones that Apple gave that special extra. That includes my many collectible Macintosh models including the 1984 original 128K Macintosh, my Mac IIfx with wicked-fast uber technology that uses custom performance enhancing chips, and the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh with Bose speakers and leather keyboard palm rest.
I priced each luxury car to the specifications of things I want. These included: 4 door sedan, sun/moon roof, heated front seats, leather seats all around, nice dash, beautiful color, chrome accents all around, safety features, remote start, iPhone Bluetooth integration, good speakers, Dual exhaust, and a powerful V6 engine. I don’t have unlimited money to purchase my new luxury car. I am looking to get the most luxury for the least amount of cash. Plus I don’t want the cheapest looking car so Chevy’s, Ford’s, and Dodge’s are out as they don’t ooze luxury. If it can be a bit sporty that is an plus too (not required but fun).
Models I looked at
From my prior article: “2013 luxury has changed a bit as the main points are a sleeker car, leather seats, Sun/Moon/Panoramic Roof, a nice interior made from quality materials, exterior chrome, a bluetooth enabled stereo that connects to an iPhone, and a V6 or larger engine that gives awesome performance.” What I found is many luxury cars that embraced these points as standard equipment.
BMW 128i Coupe - $37,845 – I had no choice but to choose the coupe 2 door model as the 3 series 4 door model cost $4,000+ more. The engine is subpar in performance at 230 hp V6. The interior is ok. Even if I selected the 3 series I have never been impressed with BMW. I have test driven a few in the past 8 years and I always looked at something else. Maybe it it was 1980 then the BMW would be cool, in 2013 every 16th year old drives their Dad’s old one while he moved to something better.
Buick Verano – $28,550 – This car feels like a Chevy Cruze. I am not that impressed. The 180 hp 4 cylinder really lags and I am afraid to pass any semi with this car. The interior is good and as in all Buick’s the simulated wood trim is not real wood. If I want wood trim I prefer real wood now, not plastic overlay. My Buick LeSabre is my comparison car and I have mixed feelings with Buick’s new line up after killing off the LeSabre. The LeSabre for an entry level luxury car had a great powerful engine and was big and bold, this one does not have any of it. This saddens me. Sure I could get a more expensive Buick, I need to keep the price reasonable. My first Buick cost me $22,000 16 years ago. Bonus points for being an American car from an American manufacturer.
Cadillac ATS - $45,035 – This is an awesome car and I love the powerful 321 hp 3.6L V6 VVT engine. The styling inside and out really appeals to me, even though the seats felt a bit snug. The new CUE stereo system is nice but sometimes seems unfinished. Bonus points for being an American car from an American manufacturer.
Chrysler 300 - $35,985 – This is an awesome car with the powerful 300 hp 3.6L V6 VVT engine really zooms when I need it. Paired with the 8 speed transmission this is smooth shifting and responsive when driving. This car has a sports car Dodge Charger inside it’s soul. The interior is great. The UConnect is good and it has a lot of features. Bonus points for being an American car from an American manufacturer.
Chrysler 200 – $27,420 – This is an awesome car and has been awarded the 2013 IIHS Safety Award. With the Sun/Sound group added to the Limited edition you really get the a lot of accessories for little cost. The powerful 283 hp 3.6L V6 VVT engine gives it that punch you need when you need it. After looking at the 300 I had to check this model out too. Sporty and Luxury meets. Bonus points for being an American car from an American manufacturer.
Jaguar XF – $46,975 – This car is pretty good and handles nice. The engine 240hp 2.0L I4 Turbo does not offer immediate power but catches up once the turbo has engaged. The radio options are a basic CD/MP3 radio with no bluetooth or internal hard drive. The interior is nice with wood trim inside. I looked at Jaguars 8 years ago and now they seem to be focused on making expensive cars with very little value since being acquired by Tata Motors. Disappointed.
Lexus IS 350 – $41,215 – The engine is peppy with the 306hp V6. Surprising it lacks One Touch Driver Auto Power Window. This surprised me as my old Buick has this, but looking at the specs with the “build and price” on their web site says it is not available. The interior feels small and tight. If this is luxury Lexus, err Toyota needs to share what they are smoking.
Lincoln MKZ – $39,745 – A nice interior with wood trim paired with a powerful 3.7L V5 300hp engine. Ford did a good job with this car except it feels like a Ford Fusion too much. I have mixed feelings like this is Ford/Lincoln’s “X-Type”. The X-Type was Jaguar’s new low end car when Ford acquired them. Jaguar purists don’t even consider the X-Type a true Jaguar, what a beating Food took in back lash. Ford did not learn and repeated the same mistake with Lincoln. Maybe getting rid of Mercury was not the best decision as they are obviously cheapening the Lincoln brand now. That is real bad. Bonus points for being an American car from an American manufacturer.
Mercedes Benz C250 Luxury – $38,915 – This car is pretty good. The 201hp I4 Turbo has that slow pickup until the turbo kicks in. The pickup from a V6 or V8 has that immediate punch that the I4 lacks. What do you expect from an entry level car? A power V6, that’s what. The interior is nice with wood trim. I don’t think these features can save this car.
Bonus points for American made cars. Aren’t all of these cars made in America nowadays? There is a difference between assembled in America (Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz) and made in America (Chrysler, Cadillac, Lincoln). The Big 3 from Detroit employs more Americans than any of the foreign car manufacturers. Plus more parts are made in America instead of the majority being imported from overseas. So when you buy a car from the Big 3 from Detroit more of your money stays here at home in America. That is worth something to me. For more info on this see: http://autos.yahoo.com/news/top-10-most-powerful-four-doors-under–30-000-214105441.html?page=all
What did I choose? That is coming up in the article. You won’t want to miss it.
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In my previous article, “Luxury Cars and the Apple Connection” we dived into many things that encompasses a luxury car. Since my iPhone is my lifeline (contacts, social media, research, entertainment, etc) it is important that my next luxury car can integrate with it. My 1997 Buick LeSabre did not have this option so I added it somewhat by adding an external speaker that clipped on my visor.
The one I chose was the Jabra Drive. This includes a single large speaker, a button to signal the iPhone, and volume buttons. There is a larger model that includes two speakers for stereo, I figured the speakers are smaller and next to each other it really did not give me stereo like I expected. I picked the cheaper model and it has worked pretty good. Siri works, calls work, music works. Since I was using this for calls and Siri it worked out great as the speaker was on the driver’s visor. I could of bought a different stereo with Bluetooth, a faceplate kit, and removed my car’s dash front to install it. The Jabra Drive was way cheaper and took less time for what I needed it to do. In my next Luxury car I won’t be using this.
Another thing my Buick LeSabre did not have was a way to mount the iPhone where you could see the screen at all times. I have seen many attachments to attach the iPhone to the windshield, the drivers visor, or the vents. I did invest in one that worked pretty good and the cradle could be attached to the dash through a suction cup or to a vent. by using this I was able to use my iPhone’s Map app for directions or record in front of me while driving. Since I did not own a Garmin, this worked out pretty good. I used the Rocketfish Mobile Vehicle Mount. This product let me choose to either suction it to the windshield or add it to your vents. The vent option did not work at all as the vent would tilt to the bottom due to the weight. My car did not have the right vents so the suction cup way was the way to go. The benefit of this is the ability to hold any iPhone in portrait mode. If you use a case and want to use your iPhone in landscape mode only the case will limit this in the cradle. I may be using this depending on my options in my next luxury car. This won’t look bad in a luxury car ether.
One thing that bothers me I saw it in a BMW car. I did not think on taking a picture of it at the time but luckily I did find one and attached it to the right of this paragraph. What is wrong with this picture? iPhones are not subject to stay one size or with the same connectors or the same port placement. The sales person seemed happy with this idea and promoted it as a benefit. I can see that if the customer never plans on changing his iPhone or plans on using the car short term like in a lease or just likes a new car every few years and does not mind the depreciation hit. I stay away from this set up as I like the latest and greatest iPhone when I can get it. I won’t be getting a car with this, that means BMW is lower on my list now.
That wraps up this segment of my quest for my next luxury car. Come back for more goodies in my search for my next luxury car.
Follow me to the next article in the series, “The List of Luxury Cars“.
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From my previous article, “Luxury and Apple” I defined what luxury is, what people think of luxury, and what products Apple has that are luxury (hint: all of them). I like luxury and most of the products I buy ooze with it. From my car, from my iPhone case, my iPhone 5, and my portfolio for work are all made with high quality materials that define luxury. I feel that the quality of these products are superior than their competitors, are made with quality materials and will last longer than regular products.
Many of my decisions are made from experience of buying and seeing where the chips fall. Apple computers last and last. The OS lasts longer before needing replacing or reloading from my experience of owning Macs since the mid 1980′s. Now that is reliable. My Mac Pro and MacBook Pro have not yet needed their OS reloaded even after 4-5 years of use. These Macs are used daily from server tasks, Internet surfing, running VMs, and game playing.
One thing that I love to drive is a luxury car. Why drive a plain boring cheap car that looks like everyone else’s common car? Most regular cars have cheap interiors, cloth seats, all body colored handles and mirrors. Yeech! If I want a plain jane car I can get 1 million of them being produced from Detroit, Korea, Japan, England, and Germany. Luckily, I like nice quality cars that make a statement when driven.
My last car I owned is my 16 year old 1997 Buick LeSabre that recently turned into an expensive project in it’s later years. It has 106,632 miles on it. In the past 9 months I have already put in almost $1,200 in maintenance and repairs. Repairs waiting to happen include: a valve gasket replacement, brakes, and needing new tires. This car served me very well. It was purchased new and was very reliable. Age and miles are the main culprits usually, in this case it was age more than miles. I keep my cars until it is time to retire them either due to mechanical failure or if they become a “money pit”. Unfortunately the Buick is turning into a money pit. If I have to spend $2,000 a year in repairs or regular maintenance to keep it running it is time to replace it and get a new luxury car.
Back then entry level luxury consisted of cloth seats, a large roomy interior, simulated wood paneling, and a nice V6 engine that gives awesome performance. You did not get a lot for the entry level luxury, I have not found a mid-size or larger luxury car that was worth the extra expense. The Mid-size and larger luxury cars always had leather interiors and nice dash paneling.
2013 luxury has changed a bit as the main points are a sleeker car, leather seats, Sun/Moon/Panaramic Roof, a nice interior made from quality materials, exterior chrome, a bluetooth enabled stereo that connects to an iPhone, and a V6 or larger engine that gives awesome performance. This stems from the entry level to the high end. I think the car manufacturers kept hearing that people want the entry level luxury to be more than just a regular car with one extra thing in it. Today some have provided that.
One persons luxury is different than anothers but the basics (like my list above) are usually represented. It is 2013 and the search has begun for a replacement that has ultra-luxury yet really affordable. Will look at cars from the Far East to Europe to Detroit. I have people telling me all the time what car to get, which is what they are driving now. I have looked at maybe 20 cars by now in the past 6 months and I have not found the one that spoke to my soul, until now.
One thing for sure the car needs to have a stereo system that I can seamlessly connect my iPhone to it. Stay tuned for my continuing journey.
Follow me to the next article in the series, “Luxury Cars and iPhone Accessories“.
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