Trending February 2024 # Google Ceo Asserts That Apple Is Selling Privacy As A Luxury Good # Suggested March 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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When it comes to technology, privacy wants to be universally accessible and useful to everyone, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has argued in an op-ed written for The New York Times, which was published yesterday following the I/O keynote.

Apple has used its privacy stance to market its products and although Pichai’s op-ed doesn’t specifically mention Apple, it’s pretty clear who he had in mind when writing these words:

‘For everyone’ is a core philosophy for Google. It’s built into our mission to create products that are universally accessible and useful.

[…]

Our mission compels us to take the same approach to privacy. For us, that means privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services. Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world.

Google tried premium pricing with the Pixel line. When that didn’t work out as planned, they released a $399 phone rivaling the $749 iPhone XR. But you can’t put a dollar value on privacy. Sundar reiterated that Google will never sell any personal information to third parties and outlined the three basic ways people can decide how their information is used.

So far so good.

Second, products use anonymous data in aggregate to be more helpful to everyone. Traffic data in Google Maps reduces gridlock by offering people alternate routes. Queries in Google Translate make translations more accurate for billions of people. Anonymized searches over time help Search understand your questions, even if you misspell them.

So, Federated Learning is just your version of Differential Privacy?

It allows Google’s products to work better for everyone without collecting raw data from your device. Federated learning is how Google’s Keyboard can recognize and suggest new words like ‘YOLO’ and ‘BTS’ after thousands of people begin typing them—without Google ever seeing anything you type. In the future, AI will provide even more ways to make products more helpful with less data.

So you took a page from Apple’s book there, got it.

Keeping content on the web free for everyone comes at a price. The vast majority of non-techies who sign up for Gmail or Search or some other Google service don’t really have an idea they’ll be tracked across the web. People like my Mom are unaware that Google is constantly building comprehensive profiles on them because Google is intentionally keeping them in the dark as to tree nature of its data collection.

Sundar went on to argue that people today are rightly concerned about how their information is used and shared, “yet they all define privacy in their own ways.”

I’ve seen this firsthand as I talk to people in different parts of the world. To the families using the internet through a shared device, privacy might mean privacy from one another. To the small-business owner who wants to start accepting credit card payments, privacy means keeping customer data secure. To the teenager sharing selfies, privacy could mean the ability to delete that data in the future.

People may “define privacy in their own ways” but I think it’s pretty clear what it entails, and no one has defined privacy better than Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs who said privacy is about “people knowing what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly.”

“I’m an optimist,” he said at the D8 conference back in 2010. “I believe people are smart, and some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time.”

Earlier this week in an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, Tim Cook underscored that privacy is an integral part of Apple’s business because Apple “works for the consumer”.

We don’t want to use you as our product. And we just have a fundamental issue with doing that. And we’ve always thought that the building of a detailed profile about your life could result in tragic things. Whether it’s a breach of your own privacy or something where the data itself could be used in a nefarious way. And so, we’ve never thought it was right to do it, and we’ve always thought that you owned it.

“We don’t traffic in your data,” he went on to say. “We very much are on your side. We also curate our platform.” Watch the relevant part at mark 11:13 in the video embedded below.





Seeing how Apple’s been banging the privacy drum relentlessly, competitors who have been collecting user data en masse for years have overnight decided that protecting user privacy is important to them. Facebook, of all companies, recently announced a pivot to privacy which will result with a unified end-to-end encrypted messaging service coming in 2023.

Google on its part announced some privacy-related initiatives at I/O.

For example, Google Search is getting Incognito Mode that prevents your searches from being saved in your Google Account. Incognito Mode is also coming to Google Maps for those times when you’d like to receive directions without sharing data with Google. And as of recently, you can view YouTube as a logged-in user or in Incognito Mode.

Moreover, Android Q includes new iOS-like privacy controls designed to limit what developers can do with user data. That being said, I don’t really trust Google when it talks about privacy. To me, Pichai’s op-ed is a futile attempt in undermining its competitor’s messaging.

How do you feel about Sundar’s definition of privacy?

Illustration by Yoshi Sodeoka, based on photograph by Max Whitaker

You're reading Google Ceo Asserts That Apple Is Selling Privacy As A Luxury Good

Apple Ceo: A Tough Act To Follow

And they don’t need to.  Nothing has really changed.  I imagine bigger changes were slowly happening behind the scenes a few months ago when Operations VP (incidentally, Tim Cook’s original title) Jeff Williams was promoted to the Executive Bios page.  He probably began doing the work of a traditional COO at around that point and, of course, Tim Cook has been acting as a traditional CEO on and off for years.

As Cook’s email to the troops this morning explained, Apple is not going to change – drastically, that is.  As any company, Apple is always changing.  But Jobs has set up an internal ‘University’ program run by a former Yale dean to make sure that his and other leaders’ values continue to be passed down to Apple’s new VPs and employees.

Steve Jobs hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run the Apple University, an internal group also featuring business professors and Harvard veterans that are writing a series of case studies to prepare employees for the life at Apple after Jobs. These case studies focus on Apples recent business decisions and internal culture, they are exclusive to employees and taught by top executives like Tim Cook and Ron Johnson.

As John Gruber made note, Apple the company is as meticulously designed as any Apple product:

Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.

Apple is the most valuable tech company in the world, an accomplishment that took fourteen years of fantastic long-term decision making.  That same intelligence and foresight has gone into the planning of life after Jobs roaming the hallways.  Compare today’s long-prepared news on Apple’s share price (none) with that of HP’s bungled earnings news last week on their share price (–20%).

Jobs isn’t just a technologist.  He built and directed Pixar into the greatest animation studio in the world ahead of anything Hollywood could produce.  He changed the music industry forever.

“For a guy who never recorded a song, or signed a band, or founded a label or a music festival, Steve Jobs has probably had more of an impact on the music world than any other person in the last quarter century – and possibly since Thomas Edison.”

He might have been the best, but for all of his greatness, Steve Jobs was not a perfect leader.  There have been a few flops and mistakes. Perhaps Jobs was too trusting of Google early on? Options back-dating happened under his watch. AT&T?

Obviously, the triumphs far, far outweigh the mis-steps.  As you look at a 55-year-old man in the body of someone decades older, it’s hard not to imagine what a healthy Steve Jobs with twenty years left at the helm might accomplish.  I wouldn’t compare the loss of Jobs’ ability to “move the world forward” to the burning of the Library of Alexandria, but it’s hard to find another such comparison that makes sense.  This is the man that ushered in personal computers, then did it again with the Mac GUI, then put iOS on portable devices and ushered in the smartphone revolution that we are in the midst of right now and finally re-invented the Post-PC personal computing device.  He might have even done things we don’t even recognize yet.  Perhaps he’s killed office park campuses with the Mothership HQ?  Maybe Apple releases a wearable device in a few months that changes watches like the iPhone changed phones?

What huge innovations will we miss decades from now?

Perhaps the knowledge of his own mortality pushed Jobs even harder.  You don’t need to listen to his famous Stanford speech to understand his appreciation for the opportunity he got as a cancer survivor.  He worked every day as Apple CEO, just like yesterday, his last.

So how is anyone supposed to follow Jobs, especially an Industrial Engineer out of Auburn who, comparatively, seems introverted and certainly not as innovative?

Give Cook some credit

Remember, Jobs hand-picked Tim Cook to be his successor.  What greater honor could you bestow on someone? Jobs didn’t just pick him out of the air, either: they’ve been working alongside each other for over a decade.  Jobs picked Cook to be VP of Operations just months after taking back the reigns at Apple in 1997-98. We’re talking 13 quality years working side by side every day here.

As we know, Jobs isn’t shy about telling people what he thinks or cutting people loose who aren’t meeting his expectations.  If there were a better candidate in the world for being the COO and now CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs would have found him or her.

Cook has managed Apple’s employees, partners, vendors and everything else during its decade+ renaissance.  Remember, Steve Jobs’ first round at Apple and subsequent venture at NeXT were mired in operational mis-steps.  Sure, Jobs learned from his mistakes, but I think Jobs would be the first to give Tim Cook credit for turning Apple into the operations machine it is today.

But can Tim Cook live up to Steve Jobs’ leadership? It seems silly to try to even imagine that.  Sure, Cook will do a great job, especially in the short term.  In fact, it is hard to imagine any significant differences in the next 3-4 years.

Where things get dicey are 5-10 years down the road.  Who is going to discover the next big thing?  The next Mac, the next iPod, the next iPhone, the next iPad?

The wearable computer? The iWatch? The Apple television set?  Those might already be on the way…but what’s after that?

Who is going to be around to say “no” to the other 1000 merely great ideas and yes to the next iPhone?  Who is going to have the energy to meticulously go through every aspect of a product until there is nothing left to change?  You can’t focus group the answers.  You can’t measure what doesn’t exist.  Steve Jobs is a ‘Technology Nostradamus’ not just because he can forecast the future, but also because he can create it.

And, to that end, who is going to get on stage and be able to genuinely share the intimate love for these new products and make the world, from Beijing to Bakersfield, swoon?

With all due respect to Tim Cook and the Apple executive team, it is going to be impossibly hard.

As they say often say in sports, “you can’t teach that kind of talent”, even with a hundred billion dollars in the bank and a Yale Dean doing the work.  But GE did OK after Edison.  Disney did OK after Walt.  More than even these two great companies, Apple will do well after Jobs.

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Is Cryptocurrency A Good Investment?

Is Cryptocurrency a Good Investment?

Cryptocurrency can provide astronomically high returns overnight; however, there is also a considerable downside

Written by

CFI Team

Published June 10, 2023

Updated June 28, 2023

Reviewed by

Andrew Loo

Is Cryptocurrency a Good Investment?

With trillions of dollars invested and all the hype in cryptocurrencies and new crypto projects being rolled out daily, the question that many investors are asking themselves is whether cryptocurrencies are a good investment. 

Despite investors losing most, if not all, of their investment in scams like the Squid Game token, TerraUSD stablecoin, and other altcoins, is it still wise to invest in cryptocurrencies? Even with the incredible volatility experienced so far and stories about crypto millions made or lost overnight, would a prudent investor still look at putting their money into the market? 

Summary

Cryptocurrency can be a great investment with astronomically high returns overnight; however, there is also a considerable downside.

Investors should analyze whether their time horizon, risk tolerance, and liquidity requirements fit their investor profile.

Investors need to do their homework, allocate an appropriate amount of their investment, and learn how to actually invest.

What to Consider First?

Before you decide on any investment, you should look at asset allocation. Simply put, asset allocation means spreading your investments across various instruments to provide diversified returns over the long run. The same applies to cryptocurrencies – you should decide on your risk tolerance, financial goals, and timeframe to decide how much of your investment portfolio can be allocated to cryptocurrencies.  

You should research and conduct due diligence on the cryptocurrency or digital asset you are considering. Simply listening to a friend’s hot tip or buying digital assets out of the Fear-of-Missing-Out (FOMO) is not recommended. For any crypto-asset investment, it would be wise to read the whitepaper in order to understand better the cryptocurrency’s purpose, technology, and use case.

Understanding the team also gives you a sense of the track record of the people responsible. Ultimately, given the lack of regulation and oversight in digital assets, you want to avoid the risk of trading a crypto asset that collapses due to fraud.  

Once you find a crypto asset you are comfortable investing in, you need to decide how to invest in it. Do you buy the crypto asset directly? If so, will you use your account at the crypto exchange or broker to hold your investment, or will you hold it yourself? If so, do you have a digital wallet set up? Or will you choose to invest via Exchange Traded Funds or an asset manager, like a hedge fund or mutual fund?

Do you decide that you want to invest by proxy and buy the stocks of crypto exchanges? Or buy stocks in other publicly listed companies that are involved in blockchain technology or supply the sector, like GPU manufacturers? Each one of these investments comes with its own pros and cons, and the prudent investor would weigh all of the given options.

Is Cryptocurrency a Good Investment for You? Trading vs Investing

Trading is approached with discipline as those who are most successful carefully manage their exposures. On the other hand, investing is also a disciplined plan but meets specific financial goals over a longer period, usually five years or more. Investors may build a strategy in order to save for college, purchase a house, or plan for retirement. 

Next, you need to examine your risk tolerance. As cryptocurrencies experience volatility, whether cryptos is a good investment depends on how much risk you can bear. If even small swings in prices keep you up at night, higher volatility investments may not be the suitable investment for you.

With crypto assets experiencing levels of price volatility that aren’t too different from those experienced by other asset classes, such as growth stocks or high-yield bonds, they are risky assets. You need to be prepared to face fairly significant price swings or potential loss.

Liquidity constraints

One further consideration is the liquidity constraints that face certain crypto assets. Liquidity is simply the relative ease or difficulty that which one can buy or sell a certain asset when they want to without moving the price significantly.

As an example, if you are looking to buy a rare automobile, there are that many of those around and if you can find one, the price you will pay is effectively the seller commands. If you buy it, the next seller will certainly command a higher price for the next buyer – making the market very illiquid.

However, if you are looking to buy something more generic, say some Japanese yen in exchange for your U.S. dollars, there is ample liquidity so the price you pay for the yen will be wherever the market lies. The next buyer of the yen will also likely purchase the yen at or near the same price you transacted as there is abundant liquidity in sellers of JPY who will accept UD in return.

Certain cryptocurrencies are more liquid than others, which means that to invest in such cryptos, you must be prepared to deal with the illiquidity when you buy and potentially when you sell. A worst-case scenario would be the inability to sell your crypto investment when you need to, due to a lack of liquidity in that particular cryptocurrency.

Benefits of Investing in Cryptocurrency

So far, we’ve discussed some of the main considerations that investors need to be cautious about but there are certainly positive arguments about whether cryptocurrencies are a good investment as well.

1. New asset class

As cryptocurrencies mature and develop, such as we’ve seen with Bitcoin and Ethereum, we also see the emergence of such assets as a new asset class. To be sure, we’ve seen large professional fund managers, such as Cathy Wood from Ark Investment Management, creating dedicated investment funds solely investing in Bitcoin and other cryptos. 

2. Diversification

The said institutional investors also look to diversify their risks by keeping different investments that behave differently under the same economic conditions. Some argue that cryptocurrencies provide positive diversification effects, specifically against rising inflation.

Moreover, we’ve seen the development of more investment instruments that capture the upside of not only specific cryptocurrencies, such as options and futures on Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also specific investment funds that professionally manage cryptocurrencies on behalf of investors.  

3. Upside potential

Lastly, one more positive is the fact that the sector is quite new, and as such there are potentially much more changes that may come down the line to make investing in cryptocurrencies even more attractive. Examples are stablecoins, which are cryptocurrencies that are linked to the value of a fiat currency and assets to back the digital currency.

For those who worry about fraud, there can be more stringent regulations, say to deal with the Initial Coin Offerings, to help protect investors. We mentioned futures on cryptocurrencies and as the market develops, there can be futures on other cryptocurrencies that are traded on a reputable exchange. Futures also allow for cryptocurrency bears to sell the asset short, thereby improving the liquidity overall.

Related Resources

Openai Ceo On Ai Oversight: From Disinformation To Data Privacy

The issue of oversight and regulation for artificial intelligence (AI) has been brought to the forefront in a hearing held today by the Judiciary Committee.

Policymakers and AI experts, including Sam Altman, ChatGPT’s creator, and OpenAI’s CEO, discussed the technology’s possibilities and challenges.

The promises of AI are immense, and the risks are equally significant.

Discussions like the one held today are essential for finding the right approach to regulation and ensuring the responsible use of AI.

In this article, we delve into highlights from the hearing. By the end, you’ll better understand AI oversight’s complexities and the questions that policymakers and industry leaders grapple with.

Balancing Regulation & Responsibility

However, he emphasizes that companies should bear responsibility regardless of what Congress does.

He proposed a precision regulation approach to AI, arguing that safeguards and accountability are not burdens but foundations for innovation and maintaining public trust.

Altman is concerned about AI’s potential to manipulate voter behavior, especially in upcoming elections.

He fully supports regulations to ensure transparency about AI-generated content and would like to see disclosure guidelines implemented.

Overcoming The Challenges Of Regulation

Altman argues that regulation shouldn’t stifle innovation or small business growth.

He believes regulatory pressure could slow down American industry, potentially allowing competitors like China to progress faster.

While in favor of larger tech firms facing regulatory pressure, Altman says regulations shouldn’t hinder the more minor players or open-source efforts.

Altman noted during the hearing:

“I think America has got to continue to lead… and I think this can happen with regulatory pressure. It should be on us, it should be on Google, it should be on the other small set of people in the lead the most. We don’t want to slow down smaller startups, we don’t want to slow down open-source efforts.”

The Call For A Dedicated Agency

“We need a lot of technical expertise, we need a lot of coordination of these efforts… AI is going to be such a large part of our future and is so complicated and moving so fast,” Altman explained.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Judiciary Committee, including Senator Larry Hogan, expressed concern about the consequences of technology outpacing regulation.

Senator Hogan drew attention to instances of personal data exploitation, disinformation proliferation, and societal inequalities perpetuation due to AI.

The Judiciary Committee members acknowledged their need to rapidly develop knowledge of AI and its implications.

They admit to missing the window to establish regulations and govern AI in its current and future forms, citing past instances where they missed opportunities to regulate social media and the internet.

A Complex Path Forward

The path forward for AI oversight is intriguing and worrisome.

While the consensus on the need for oversight is clear, striking the right balance remains challenging.

Tuesday’s hearing marks a pivotal moment for policymakers tasked with educating themselves to legislate on a subject with significant implications for society’s future.

Conversations between policymakers and CEOs can help ensure we navigate AI’s challenges and opportunities safely, ethically, and inclusively.

As the world races forward, it’s crucial discussions like these continue.

Source: Associated Press

Featured image generated by the author using Midjourney. 

Why Is A Good Online Reputation Important?

Your online reputation can make or break your business. On the one hand, a great online reputation with overwhelmingly positive reviews can help you get new customers and set yourself apart from the competition.

But, on the flip side? A negative online reputation can keep prospective customers from even reaching out to your business for more information. And, it doesn’t matter whether that reputation is warranted or not.

Nobody wants that.

Let’s face it: Your online reputation is important if you want to win new customers and build trust with existing customers.

In this post, we’re going to explore:

What your business’s online reputation is.

The importance of a business’s reputation, in general.

Eight reasons a good reputation is crucial to the success of your business.

What Is Your Business’s Online Reputation?

Before we get into why your business reputation is so important, let’s talk about what it actually is!

Your online reputation includes any other factor that can play into how a customer or potential customer perceives your business online.

This includes:

Online review sites.

Local listings sites.

Your website.

Your social media sites.

So, when it comes to building a good online reputation, it’s important to keep all these factors in mind – even if you’re focusing mainly on your online reviews.

The Importance of Your Business’s Online Reputation

Reviews and online reputation play a critical role in how customers search for new businesses. In fact, online reviews impact purchasing decisions for 93% of people.

You might be thinking: Yeah, but what if I don’t have any reviews – isn’t that better than having a negative online reputation?

First of all, no reputation is just as bad as having a negative business reputation – you want people to find information about your business, don’t you?

Plus, just because you don’t have any reviews doesn’t mean you don’t have a business reputation – consumers can still develop a perception of your business based on the aforementioned factors like your website, your social sites, and more.

Now let’s go into detail about why a good business reputation matters.

The Value of a Good Business Reputation

You know that your business needs a reputation, and you know that you want a good reputation, but do you know why you want a good reputation? Of course, every business owner wants people to like their business, but feeling good shouldn’t be your only reason for pursuing a positive image.

Here are eight reasons why having a good reputation is important to your small business.

1. A Good Online Reputation Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Having an online presence and good products and services are great for getting customers. But, what about getting customers to choose you over your competitors?

Remember, we said that 93% of customers are influenced by online reviews. So, a good business reputation is important because it can help distinguish you from competitors and can even be the deciding factor in whether someone chooses you over them.

Think about it: If a person is researching a new landscaping company and they can choose between a 4.5 star-reviewed company or a 2.5 star-reviewed company, which do you think they’ll choose? As long as pricing isn’t too far off, they’re probably going to go with the 4.5-star business.

2. A Good Business Reputation Can Make You More Money

It literally pays to have a good business reputation. People will pay 22% more for certain products if the company has a good reputation.

Customers are willing to pay a little more if it means working with a company that’s perceived as trustworthy and delivers quality goods and services.

This is something I’ve personally done when I was looking for a new hair salon. I made an appointment with a salon that had okay reviews but great prices until I found a salon with amazing reviews – we’re talking life-changing haircuts — so I canceled my appointment with the other salon and went to this one instead. I was willing to pay a little more to experience that level of service and satisfaction.

3. A Good Online Reputation Facilitates Engagement 4. A Good Business Reputation Gives You a Little More Control Over Your Brand

While your products, services, and marketing messages are in your complete control, your business reputation isn’t. Yes, you can do things that build your online reputation and influence how people feel about your business, but ultimately you have no control over what people say – or read – about your business online.

If you have a positive online reputation, chances are that customers are amplifying what you also love about your business. So, even though you can’t control what they’re saying or how they’re saying it, you can feel confident that people online are seeing positive messages about your business – giving you a little sense of control you might not have with a negative online reputation.

5. A Good Online Reputation Plays into Word of Mouth Marketing

With all of the social media applications, online customer review sites, and content platforms available today, people have more encouragement, ability, and convenience than ever before to voice their opinion about a business.

And, people trust the opinions of other people, even if they’re total strangers. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends!

6. A Good Reputation Mitigates the Impact of Bad Reviews

The unfortunate truth is that people are 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. And, even worse – it takes about 40 positive experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review.

Ouch.

Online reviews are powerful, and negative reviews can cause serious damage, but a good business reputation can help mitigate that damage. When your business does encounter difficult customers or unlucky experiences, the negative reviews that result will have less clout. Far fewer people will adopt or be influenced by that unhappy customer’s opinion if they already have a good opinion of you to start with.

7. A Good Business Reputation Enables Growth

Your business reputation impacts all of your relationships — not just those with your customers, niche markets, or target audience. Your reputation also applies to the people who work for you, invest in you, welcome you into their community, partner with, and provide services for you. A good business reputation is important because it establishes trust and will facilitate growth in your most valuable relationships and will have a ripple effect throughout your entire network.

8. A Good Online Reputation Is Easier to Build On

The Benefits of a Good Business Reputation

If you want to get more customers, you need more customers to want your business. Having a good reputation is crucial to getting people to pursue, trust, and engage with your business. While people have the last say in what they do and think, your business reputation is a major factor in their decision making.

A good online reputation benefits a business because it:

Distinguishes your business from competitors.

Helps you win new customers.

Mitigates the impact of negative reviews.

Builds resiliency with respect to non-supporters.

Creates opportunities for growth.

Reputation isn’t just about making your business look good. It’s about ensuring that your business survives in the larger business ecosystem and continues to grow. So, take your reputation seriously, and make having a good online reputation a top marketing priority.

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

Luxury Apple Accessories Trend Continues With $780 Leather

There’s always been a market for luxury Apple accessories, with leather sleeves and cases leading the charge. But the latest trend seems to be charging a huge markup for rebadged versions of existing products, where most of the cost is for the branding …

We saw that recently with Louis Vuitton charging $995 for a pair of – admittedly excellent – true wireless in-ear headphones that normally cost $299. That one got you a different finish and case (a far less attractive one, in my view) and some LV initials.

The latest example is a rebadged Native Union wireless charger. Buy the standard one (already very nice), and it will cost you $60. Buy the Berluti-branded one spotted by The Verge and it will instead cost you a cool $720.

Granted, the French fashion house does put in some work. It’s rather beautifully covered in aged leather, and even has a leather-covered cable. I must admit I like it. Just not enough to pay seven hundred bucks for it.

If you’re looking for some rather more affordable luxury Apple accessories, here are a few things we’ve tested …

Nimble eco-friendly portable & wireless chargers

Started by three former Mophie executives, Nimble is a new company taking a fresh approach on making accessories like power banks and wireless chargers. With the mantra, “Tech for Good” Nimble thinks users should know where products come from, how they are made, and the impact they have on the environment.

All in all, I think Nimble has created a compelling lineup of products. They have a solid build quality, sharp look and feel (as long as you’re cool with fabric-wrapped gear) and do it all using an eco-friendly approach.

Yohann’s MacBook Pro and MacBook Stand

Most MacBook stands on the market fall into one of the few aluminum-based styles that have become commonplace. That’s why we jumped at the chance to go hands-on with Yohann’s MacBook and MacBook Pro Stand that breaks the mold with both its material choice and striking design.

This stand certainly isn’t for everyone at $159 for the oak version and $179 for the walnut variant. However, for those who aren’t price sensitive and value a unique, high-quality MacBook stand, Yohann’s offering feels like a top-pick.

Woolnut’s MacBook Pro leather sleeve.

Apple’s sleeve costs $179 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and $199 for the 15-inch model.

Woolnut’s costs $89 for the 13-inch version, and $99 for the 15-inch one – so pretty much exactly half the price.

Even if both were identically priced, the softer feel in the hand and ability to charge while inside the sleeve would be solid arguments in favor of Woolnut. But throw in the fact that the Woolnut sleeve is literally half the price for something which looks and feels just as good, then – unless you have a strong preference for aniline leather or are willing to pay a lot for that Apple logo – Woolnut presents a very compelling case.

Twelve South’s Journal case for MacBook Pro.

The Twelve South Journal isn’t cheap. The one for the 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $149.99, while the 15-inch version is $169.99.

But that sort of pricing isn’t unusual for premium leather cases for Apple kit. Apple’s own leather sleeve (review, with video below) for the 15-inch version costs $199, and this is a much more substantial product. Journal is both beautiful and functional, and you’ll be able to use it for as long as you keep the MacBook – or any subsequent model of the same size – so I’d say it justifies the price.

Satechi’s Aluminum Keyboard in Space Gray

With a full aluminum build, great key feel, color options of space gray, silver, gold, and rose gold, Satechi’s Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard is a winner for $70 less than Apple’s Magic Keyboard.

Other features like USB-C charging, pairing with three devices, and dedicated Mac shortcut keys make this a compelling keyboard choice for Mac users.

Leather iPad cases from Brydge and Picaso Lab.

Both Brydge and Picaso Lab leather iPad Pro cases and sleeves are solid options. Both companies tick all the boxes for high-quality leather and craftsmanship. All the products tested look and feel great, and the prices are reasonable for the quality you’re getting.

But the choice will be a personal one. Do you prefer open sleeve or zipped case? Do you have a keyboard or not? And do you want a choice of color? I don’t think you can go wrong here with either company.

Understands Butler, a neat wooden shelf for an iMac or Apple monitor

If your desire for tidiness doesn’t quite extend to having a custom desk created for you, a rear shelf for an iMac or Apple Thunderbolt Display can be a good way to keep things tidy.

The base-model 15-inch Butler is twice the price of Twelve South’s metal shelf. Both look good, but personally I’d be willing to pay the premium for wood.

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