How knockoff Apple Watch bands are nearly as good as the real thing

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Spot the difference. On the left is Apple's $450 Link Bracelet for Apple Watch. On the right, a $90 knockoff that gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Spot the difference. On the left is Apple's $450 Link Bracelet for Apple Watch. On the right, a $90 knockoff that gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Photo: Apple

The internet is awash with knockoff bands for the Apple Watch that are almost as good as the genuine articles.

Knockoff products are traditionally cheap and nasty, but tons of these replica Apple Watch bands are so good, they rival Apple’s own products — at a fraction of the price.

We’ve taken a tour of knockoff band land, and found that there are lots of cheap, inexpensive bands on eBay and Amazon that are high in quality and are getting glowing reviews from customers.

“My black Apple Sport band has started flaking off, while the third-party knock-offs still look brand new,” said Neven Mrgan, a designer for Panic software in Portland, Oregon who bought a less-than-half-price band on Amazon.

Toasty touchscreen gloves keep you warm and fully connected

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Baby it's cold outside; use these gloves.
Baby it's cold outside; use these gloves.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: Double Layered Knit Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo

It’s almost winter, and if you reside in an area with a climate like mine, you know you’ll be carrying gloves with you no matter where you go. When you live someplace like Anchorage, Alaska, even a quick trip outside to the trash bin requires that you cover up.

And yet, we live in a touchscreen world. I have my iPhone with me all the time, and I use it to stay connected to my kids and family members as I move around the winter wonderland. Pulling off a glove every time I want to play a song or answer a text is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous.

If that’s something you worry about, Mujjo’s got you covered, quite literally, with these new double-layered touchscreen gloves.

Anti-hipster Jony Ive stands up for the beauty of machine-made products

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Jony Ive
Jony Ive sure loves fashion.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to make a big splash in the fashion world next year by sponsoring the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s big Costume Institute exhibit. Few details about the project are known, but Apple design guru Jony Ive teased what visitors might be able to expect in a new interview about the intersection of technology and fashion.

Jony Ive denies that Apple is turning into a luxury company

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Hermes Apple Watch bands are now available on their own.
Apple couldn't wait to hop into bed with French luxury house Hermès.
Photo: Apple

Jony Ive sure loves his designer goods, but don’t suggest to him that products like the new high-end Apple Watch Hermès are turning Apple into a luxury company.

“We don’t think in those terms,” Ive says in a new interview. “I’m not comfortable with words like exclusive.”

This from the guy who made a $17,000 smartwatch!

These designer jeans keep your iPhone charged on the go

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Joe's #Hello jeans boast a discreet iPhone charger.
Joe's #Hello jeans boast a discreet iPhone charger.
Photo: Joe's Jeans

Keeping your iPhone charged on the go can be a hassle. You have to bring an extra Lightning cable and a big bulk battery just to keep yourself plugged into your texts, phone calls and all the happenings on social media. But one creative clothing manufacturer has come up with a clever solution that puts a charger in your pants.

See Jony Ive and Marc Newson talk Apple Watch design

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Jony Ive gets animated as he talks about Apple Watch. Photo: Vogue
Jony Ive gets animated as he talks about Apple Watch. Photo: Vogue

Jony Ive and his BFF Marc Newson launched Apple into the luxury market this week with the Apple Watch, which expertly straddles the line between gadget and fashion accessory.

Apple’s dynamic designing duo sat down with Vogue’s Suzy Meeks this week to talk about their first foray into the fashion world — as well as what inspired them to create the Apple Watch. We rounded up the top 8 revelations from the pair’s appearance earlier this week, but Vogue just made the full interview available online, and it’s full of juicy insights into Jony and Marc’s thought processes.

Watch the full interview below:

Apple Watch is ready for its closeup in fashion bible Vogue

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apple-watch-vogue
Apple Watch has a multipage spread in Vogue. Photo: Julio Calderon/Twitter

Apple Watch still isn’t available for the masses, but Apple is ramping up its marketing efforts among fashionistas with a multipage spread in the March issue of Vogue.

Multiple versions of the Apple Watch are shown across the seven-page ad, which includes closeups of the watch bands as well as full-size pictures of the entire device to give readers a better idea about whether Jony Ive’s timepiece will fit in with their wardrobes.

Take a look at some of the other ads below:

Secret Apple Watch boutique is under construction at Paris’ fanciest store

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Photo: Kaysgeog/Flickr CC
The Galeries Lafayette is getting a special visitor. Photo: Kaysgeog/Flickr CC

Apple Watch isn’t just a techie gadget. It’s a fashion item.

To drill that point into everyone’s heads during launch, it looks like Apple is setting up a special booth at one of the fanciest high-end department stores in Paris: Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.

Construction on a special booth at Galeries Lafayette began a few weeks ago, according to Mac4Ever. There’s no official word that the structure is for the Apple Watch, but the timing, location and large white walls all point to Apple.

Take a look at the site:

Flashback clothes are carefully crafted nuclear photobombs

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Flashback, menswear by Betabrand, uses a higly reflective material sure to make an impression in flash photos. Photo: Betabrand
Flashback menswear uses a highly reflective material that's sure to make an impression in flash photos. Photo: Betabrand

Most clothing designers like to see their clothes well photographed. Betabrand’s Steven B. Wheeler has menswear that just might ruin a photo — and that’s part of the cool factor.

Wheeler and DJ Chris Holmes teamed up to design five pieces called Flashback, clothing made of a highly reflective fabric that will bounce any iPhone flash right back through the lens.

In most cases, the result produces a nuclear look, with the silhouette of the clothes distractingly white hot. Surrounding details either get lost in the shadows or simply go unnoticed because the eyes zero in on the aura of the Flashback clothing.

Apple Watch wins the wrist war before it starts

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Apple Watch did some monster pre-orders in its first day on sale. Photo: Leander Kahney
The closer we get to Apple Watch, the more advanced it looks in comparison to its competition. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Ever since Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch last September, it’s been one disappointment after another as far as I’m concerned. Apple’s first wearable won’t come in the minimalist form factor of the fitness bracelets I love. Worse yet, the launch version of the fashion-forward device will lack GPS, suffer from underwhelming battery life and fail to offer truly native third-party apps.

For the first time, I realized I would not be buying an Apple product when it first hit the market. “It’s not worth lining up for,” I told my dad when he asked what I thought after the Apple Watch’s big reveal.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Apple Watch’s launch day, which is coming sometime this spring. And I’m not talking about the previously unthinkable — an Apple fan calling the Microsoft Band the best smartwatch on the planet. No, I’m talking about wading through an ungodly sea of really bad smartwatches at International CES earlier this month and seeing indisputable proof of just how innovative and disruptive Apple Watch actually will be.