WaterField updates Outback Solo and Indy satchel bags for refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops
WaterField has announced the release of new sizes for two of its bags, designed to fit the upcoming refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops. The new 15-inch Outback Solo will fit the larger upgraded MacBook Pro Retina, and the new 13-inch Indy leather satchelfits the smaller Retina.
Tablet speaker good for short range, lacks punch or clarity for everyday use
Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, it doesn't mean that it's the right speaker for the job. When it comes to tablets, a speaker that can be kept to the side may not be the best purchase for something that's meant to be as portable as possible. So why not look for a device that can attach to an iPad or Android tablet, like the Adesso Xtream S3B speaker? Does the Adesso speaker provide enough of a boost to sound while retaining the original portability? Find out in our review.
Grovemade introduces limited edition metal iPhone docks
Accessories producer Grovemade has announced the introduction of a limited edition run of iPhone docks comprised of metal. Called the Black Dock, the new product is available with a solid steel or brass base, combined with an aluminium cap that is protected with a matte black coating. The Black Dock is designed for iPhone 5/5s/5c and the 4/4s, and weighs 3 pounds.
Incase introduces new thin, lightweight sleeve for MacBook Pro, iPad
Mac accessories producer Incase has announced the introduction of its newest sleeve case for MacBook Pro and iPad. The Icon Sleeve features a construction comparable to that of performance footwear, offering lightweight framing material that can absorb shock. The sleeve protects the device on its outer edge, making it less vulnerable to damage. Its sleeve panels are neoprene, featuring soft flexibility. Priced at $60, the Icon Sleeve is available online through Incase and at Apple store locations.
Full-featured laptop backpack by Booq fits 17-inch PC, MacBook Pro
Booq has announced the release of its newest laptop backpack offering this week: the Cobra pack. Comprised of a 1680 denier ballistic nylon exterior with a water-repellent coating, items within the pack are protected from weather conditions, and its quilted inner lining prevents damage during transport. The bag's main compartment features two open pockets and a slip pocket that offers easy access to something like a magazine or book while travelling. Its zippered mesh window pocket keeps passports, tickets and important items accessible, and its separate zippered padded laptop compartment can accommodate a 15- to 17-inch laptop. A second zippered back pocket can hold a tablet.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
Puppy Pop is first game made for the LG G3's QuickCircle case window
LG has made its case for the G3 smartphone arguably more useful, by releasing the first game designed specifically to use it. Puppy Pop, a "match-three" game involving dogs, is being made available for free through Google Play later today, and is notably the first and only to use the round window on the front of the company's QuickCircle protective case.
Air Jacket provides protection while preserving the looks of you iDevice
Finding the right case to protect your gadgets can be an expensive hit-or-miss affair. With plastic smartphone cases typically priced at around $20-$30 and tablet cases typically priced at around $30-$40, it can be an expensive mistake if you end up with one that you aren't happy with. Power Support is a Japanese-based company that has been making Apple accessories for the past few years. In particular, they are known for developing relatively thin and light, translucent polycarbonate cases for Apple's iPhone and iPad range that are popular because they help to preserve the beautiful appearance Apple's products without covering them up completely. Are they worth a look?
Plug gives control, data on power consumption, but application needs work
Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, and ramping up to larger machines like refrigerators and washing machines, the home automation market appears to be growing every day. Smaller devices are still paving the way for consumers to jump into "smart home" products, giving companies like D-Link a chance to test the waters with new offerings. One such product, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) gives consumers a small taste of remote home control and monitoring. But is it the correct entry item for users to try? Find out in our review.
Kenu's Airframe+ phone car mount now available
Kenu has released a new extended size of its Airframe phone car mount, the Airframe+. The Airframe+ allows drivers to have their smartphone at eye level in the vehicle, ready for accessing GPS directions, streaming music, and engaging in hands-free calls. Its expandable, spring-loaded jaw supports a full range of smartphones and "phablets", the mount is capable of accommodating devices that include the iPhone 5 and 5s, with a four-inch screen, to the Lumia 1520, with a six-inch screen. Oversized cases, such as the Otterbox Defender and Mophie battery cases, can also fit inside the mount.
iPod continues terminal decline
In addition to its official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown of its fiscal Q3 results. "Greater China" -- including Taiwan and Hong Kong -- continued to lead the charge regionally, with its revenue increasing 28 percent year-over-year to $5.935 billion. Europe and Asia-Pacific each advanced 6 percent, to $8.091 billion and $2.161 billion, respectively. Apple's most important market, the Americas, rose 1 percent to $14.577 billion. Global retail numbers were up 1 percent to $4.104 billion.
Case may supplant other solutions costing tens of thousands of dollars
Thermal imaging company Flir will launch pre-orders for its infrared camera-containing case on July 23. Once mounted, the case for the iPhone 5 and 5s displays a live thermal image of the world right on the phone's screen, giving users the ability to "see" in an array of conditions, including complete darkness.
Drive pricey, but in larger sizes cheaper than equivalent iPad storage
Accessory manufacturer PQI is now shipping the Gmobi iStick, an Apple "MFi" USB flash drive. The device, with a Lightning and conventional USB head, is designed for Apple's entire series of iOS devices with a Lightning port, and is available in capacities from 8GB to 64GB.
PureGear announces Folio case for tablets and e-readers
PureGear has announced its new offer of a versatile folio case for tablets and e-readers. The new Universal Tablet Folio can protect, prop, and provide multiple viewing angles for any seven- to eight-inch, or nine- to 10-inch tablet. Its flexible bands can hold virtually any tablet in place, and it utilizes built-in props for hands-free viewing and typing. The Folio has a magnetic closure for folding back while the tablet is in use. Pricing starts at $40, with the Universal Tablet Folio available for purchase online.
Four audio devices including Bluetooth speaker and in-ear headphones start at $150
Samsung is jumping into the premium audio market in North America with four new consumer offerings for headphones and Bluetooth speakers. Samsung launched the Level line of audio products today, aiming for high quality sound, portability and style. The Level Over, On and In give consumers options based on the type of style headphone preferred, while the Box speaker allows music to be shared with others.
Based on popular 30-pin version, includes line-in and USB passthrough charging
A little less than two years after it introduced its first digital 30-pin attachable microphone for the iPhone and other iOS devices, Blue Microphones is finally bringing out a Lightning-based version that works natively with the iPhone 5 and later models such as the iPhone 5s and Retina iPad mini. The new Mikey Digital includes two condenser microphones -- identical to the ones used in its popular Yeti and Snowball microphones -- and thanks to its reversible Lightning connector is now able to pointed either forwards or backwards.
Buyers can pick up accessories to augment phones with no money down
As previously reported, he US' fourth-largest carrier, T-Mobile, is extending its no-money-down 24-month Equipment Installment Program (EIP) to cover accessories the company also sells, such as speakers, chargers, headphones, and other items that range in price from $69 to $250. The idea behind the move is to get consumers who are buying a new smartphone or tablet to also purchase the accessories at the same time, since they can be added to the monthly payment that covers the hardware cost (separate from the cost of the service plan).
Felix announces integrated kickstand case for iPad Air
Mobile accessories creator Felix has announced the release of its new case for iPad Air. The FlipBook Air consists of a case with an integrated kickstand, featuring the aesthetic of a book cover. Composed of faux leather, the case includes a smart cover function that wakes the iPad upon opening, and engages the sleep function when it is closed. Its patented kickstand supports both horizontal and vertical viewing, and features proprietary air bladder technology for additional protection of one's tablet.
WaterField Solo case for MacBook Air
Since the beginning, Apple has created devices that merge style and function into one. For many years now, WaterField Designs has been staying ahead of the curve with stylish carrying cases, laptop sleeves and bags that complement Apple devices. They have recently updated their popular Outback Solo case for the new, faster MacBook Air. MacNN has three of these to give away to our readers.
Car accessory mounts iPhone to air vents
Logitech has announced a pair of new accessories for the iPhone 5 and 5s. The first is the Protection+, a case with a tough external shell and a rubber internal layer to absorb some of the force of impacts. Its edges are deliberately raised to guard the screen. Phones in the case should be able to withstand drops up to 1.8 meters, or roughly 6 feet.
Alternative design holds enough juice to recharge a modern phone, convenient cable
If consumers need a backup battery that packs enough power for a full phone charge, configuration options are usually limited. Batteries generally come attached to another device or feature a generic flat case or a bulky design that barely fits in a pocket. But what about consumers that want something a little bit different? Neptor offers a stick design with the NP028K that packs the power requirements people need with a slightly different look. Is the Neptor NP028K good enough for consumers to consider purchasing, or does it need something else to be appealing? Find out in our review.
Mail Designer 2 app available for introductory price of $10
Equinux has introduced a major new version of Mail Designer, an email HTML design app. Aligning itself with current mail design trends, Mail Designer 2 includes support for animated images, embedding videos directly within emails, and more. Professional-level newsletters can be created without the use of HTML coding, and the project can be easily managed by a team, with collaboration features built into the interface.
4K monitors, cameras, PCs and more
This week at NCIX.com, get the Samsung 28-inch 4K LED monitor on sale for the reduced price of $530 with free shipping. That's $170 off their regular price of $700, and about $90 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This monitor features 28 inches of 4K resolution (3840x2160) with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 1ms response time and a brightness of 370cd/m. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, with HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity options.
Electronista and MacNN staff deal picks for July 11, 2014
Another week, another episode of "Friday Deals!" Every Friday, we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!
Number could be higher, as Apple broadens compatibility with makers
A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).
Plans for HealthKit support still in the air
Misfit, the creator of the Shine wearable activity tracker, has announced a partnership with Beddit enabling sleep tracking in the official Misfit apps for iOS and Android. Rather than relying on the Shine, there is now a Misfit/Beddit-branded sleep monitor. The device is placed on a mattress, and tracks breathing, heart rate, restlessness, snoring, and ambient sound. The apps analyze this data over a seven-day period, and can also use it to trigger an alarm during a light sleep phase, ensuring a more refreshed feeling.
Wearable wants to help users establish a routine rather than count steps
Adidas keyed the public in on the official release of the Fit Smart wearable today during the Wearable Technologies Conference 2014 in San Francisco. The band was initially reported on in June, after FCC and retailer listings revealed that the athletics company planned to release an entry into the growing wearable market.
Samsung's foray into virtual reality named 'Gear VR,' to be announced with Note 4
New information on Samsung's virtual reality (VR) headset was leaked today, according to Sammobile. The company claims that a new photo of the device was found, indicating that it's closer to the Google cardboard VR accessory rather than a full headset like the Oculus Rift. The publication says that the Gear VR should be announced during Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2014 in September.
Overwhelming response from fans looking to grab one of 500 beta units
Those vying for a chance to beta test Razer's Nabu smartband might be facing some stiff competition. Razer reported today that more than 250,000 applications were submitted for a chance at getting one of the first 500 devices. The company also announced that it extended the deadline for applications until July 9 because of the high demand.
Retailer selects Wink as 'signature platform' as it expands automation offerings
As several big companies are gearing up for entry into the home automation market, a smaller company may end up beating them to the punch. Wink, a company that originates from the crowdsourcing inventor hub Quirky, has partnered with several big names in home automation to allow a central service for device control. The endeavor is getting a new boost, as Wink-enabled products are now in 2,000 Home Depot locations.
Core unit utilizes 360-degree sound with three different jackets for style
It's rare to find a Bluetooth speaker that can cover a large array of needs. Generally, speakers are wrapped in a desktop-convenient device for a small increase in sound, or made compact enough to be carried around in lieu of headphones. But what about consumers that are looking for a rugged and waterproof speaker that can handle just about anything while pumping out 360-degree sound? Unfortunately, options were severely limited. A new speaker, the Fugoo, hit the market this year that makes good on all of those promises and then some. Check out what we think about it in our review.
Electronista and MacNN staff's deal picks for July 4, 2014
Welcome to this week's installment of Friday Deals -- oh, and also America's birthday! Every Friday we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy!
Manageable mFi devices include power outlet, light switch replacement
Ubiquiti, a company known for commercial connectivity solutions, slyly announced two new products yesterday as part of its re-launched site. The company expanded upon its mFi offerings, bringing in-wall management devices to the line to give consumers greater control over the power used in either home or commercial settings.
Spotify app update adds Play Queue, sorting and filtering for iPhone
Music streaming service Spotify has updated its iOS app, adding new features for iPhone users. Spotify allows users to search for any track, artist or album, make and share playlists, and build a preferred music collection. The release of v1.4 features a Play Queue for iPhone, and a new confirmation for avoid duplicates in a playlist. Within the Your Music section, users can now sort and filter music in their Spotify collection. Free to download, Spotify's iOS app can be found through the iTunes App Store.
Smartwatches, fitness bands, headphones among possible options to finance
Anticipating a plethora of new add-on equipment releases over the rest of the year, carrier T-Mobile in the US has issued a memo saying it will start adding certain accessories to its Equipment Installment Plan (EIP) beginning July 20. This would allow users to upgrade the amount being financed on their two-year agreements alongside the smartphone itself in order to add the accessories. Smartwatches, fitness bands and other high-end devices could be among the devices considered for financing.
Supports Kensington, similar locks
Apple has released an official security lock adapter for the 2013 Mac Pro. The accessory connects without tools and supports a variety of Kensington locks, plus locks in a "similar style." While in use the adapter prevents easy access to a Pro's internals.
Cheaper alternative to GoPro 3 delivers good picture, but lacks shock resistance
Since the introduction of the GoPro, numerous action cams have come out of the woodwork to tackle the consumer need for camcorders that can take a beating. Even though they existed prior to what's now the staple camera on the market, the small-form HD cams have now become the target to shoot for. DXG has entered the market with the IronX 5G9V HD action cam, bringing a number of accessories and a lower price to compete with the GoPro. But is the IronX worth $350, or is that money better spent towards a GoPro 3? Find out in our review.
Headphones available in on-ear, in-ear models endorsed by Carmelo Anthony
SMS Audio, the headphone company that features rapper 50 Cent as a majority owner, released four new pairs of headphones today. The new headphones are part of the SMS Audio Sport Collection, featuring on-ear and in-ear versions of two existing models. The Sync and Street by 50 headphones are endorsed by company investor and partner Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
WaterField Designs introduces full-grain leather Franklin Tote
WaterField Designs has announced its new handmade leather tote. The Franklin Tote is comprised of naturally-tanned, full-grain leather and nylon accents in varying colors. The tote has seven organizational pockets, ideal for tablets and smaller accessories. Priced at $290, the full-grain leather is available with a choice of black, copper, "flame," green, pearl or pine nylon panel colors. Shipping begins July 7.
Streaming radio adds functionality to existing stereo systems, easy touchscreen navigation
San Diego-based Grace Digital has announced its latest model of wireless Internet radios, the Primo Wi-Fi Media Streamer. The Primo gives consumers the ability to connect to over 50,000 radio stations, podcasts and other on-demand programs though the unit, free of charge. Users can also play custom Pandora playlists, or connect to other music services such as SiriusXM, Live365 and Rhapsody.
Partership between Mead and Kensington bring back classic imagery
Accessory manufacturer Kensington, in conjunction with Mead, are resurrecting the '80s school icon Trapper Keeper folio. A pair of Mead three-ring binders; the Trapper Keeper, Pee-Chee, and classic black notebook lines are being brought back to life as tablet cases for seven- and 10-inch tablets.
KitSound Escape travel speaker released, designed for Lightning devices
Kitsound has released its new travel speaker for Lightning-connected iOS devices, the KitSound Escape. Featuring twin drivers and dual passive radiators, the Escape is portable, holding a charge for up to twenty hours. The device measures 60mm in height (2.36 inches), 150mm (six inches) in width and 82mm (3.23 inches) in depth, and is capable for folding flat to accommodate packing.
Just Mobile releases ultra-fine stylus for smartphone and tablet displays
Just Mobile has announced the release of a new stylus pen for tablets and smartphones. Featuring a 1.8mm tip, the AluPen Digital aims to provide a writing experience comparable to that of a ballpoint pen on paper. The stylus is accompanied by a wider, 8mm tip, intended for use with drawing. Its charge-amplified circuitry does not require Bluetooth pairing or companion apps to function. Powered by a AAA battery, the stylus automatically turns itself off after idling for three minutes. Priced at $50, the AluPen Digital is now available.
Battery offers 2,000 mAh of power with an easy to read LED for capacity levels
Backup batteries are gaining ground as one of the devices that, for many users, must be carried around every day. With lives connected to smartphones and entwined with social media, many people end up facing a shortage in battery power from constant use. This means that consumers need to find a battery solution to fit their needs. But with so many options available on the market, which is the right one to choose? One possible solution is the Tylt Energi 2K. Is the 2,000 mAh battery right for all consumers? Find out in our review.
Kitsound launches new portable speaker small enough to clip onto a backpack
KitSound has introduced a new portable speaker that is geared towards use during outdoor activities, the Cadet. Clad in a tough rubber-coated metal housing, the Cadet can stream music from a Bluetooth-enabled device from up to 10 meters away, playing while clipped to a backpack. The round speaker is also equipped with a microSD card slot, USB port and connectivity for a 3.5mm auxiliary cable. Able to play for up to eight hours, the Cadet is priced at $70 and can be purchased online.
Win an Inateck prize bundle
Inateck -- not to be confused with the fictional corporation "Initech" featured in the hit film Office Space -- is a computer peripherals and accessories manufacturer from Germany that has unveiled a variety of new products including MacBook sleeves, Bluetooth speakers and USB hubs. MacNN has teamed up with Inateck to give away a bundle of these items to one lucky winner, and we will also be picking two additional winners who can select a prize of their choice.
Stylish speakers feature compact design, high-end coverings, 360-degree sound
Two new Bluetooth speakers have been announced by Pioneer Electronics, focusing on ease of use and style. The XW-LF3 and XW-LF1 "Free Me" speakers feature a lightweight design with 360 degrees of sound. The Bluetooth units are small enough to be carried in a bag, but are made to stand out with their high-end look.
Two sport models, four E-Series models offer large range of consumer options
Announcing a total of six units yesterday, JBL is bringing out new entries in the Synchros lines of in-ear, on-ear and around-ear headphones. With two Sports models and four E-Series models, consumers are offered a number of options to fit their specific needs. The new Reflect Sports headphones offer users flexibility with a wired or Bluetooth option. JBL's new E-Series units offer small in-ear units to large around-ear headphones to fit nearly any situation.
Vertical dock allows for stylish computer use with closed laptop
Accessory manufacturer Henge Docks has extended its Vertical Docking Station line -- a custom-designed dock that allows vertical storage and use of a MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The peripheral allows for use of all of the ports on the left-hand side of the machine and then some, including a pair of Mini DisplayPort extensions, USB 3.0, and the headphone jack. The user's own MagSafe adapter is installed into the dock, giving the laptop power while docked.
Charity thanks Cook, Jobs, Apple for long relationship, $75M contribution
Media reports have mischaracterized U2 lead singer and (Product) RED founder Bono's recent comments that appear to call Apple to task over its "modesty run amok" approach to the iPhone makers (RED)-branded offerings, the charity has protested in a new blog post. Video of the meeting at the Cannes Lion festival between Bono and Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive would appear to support the foundation's explanation that Bono's remarks represented "faux outrage" and were intended to poke fun at Apple's modesty about the partnership.