Simple near-universal bluetooth remote allows for easy music and media control
Let's paint a scenario for you: you're driving along, letting your iPhone serenade you with favorites from your music collection, when suddenly it plays that one song that you hate more than anything. You look away from the road to grab your phone and switch the song to something else, and in that brief moment, you've drifted into the other lane. Sound familiar? If this sounds like something that you can relate to, we'd like to introduce you to the Satechi Media Button, a Bluetooth enabled media remote designed to help you avoid moments just like that.
MIB-II infotainment system also supporting Android Auto, VW app suite
As promised roughly a year after CarPlay was unveiled, German car maker Volkswagen is now shipping automobiles that include a next-generation infotainment system called MIB-II that includes support for both CarPlay and Android Auto along with its own proprietary suite of Car-Net apps, the latter of which requires a subscription. The company says that all but its entry-level models will feature the new MIB-II system.
Tablets still reign in enterprise, education, but consumer market lagging
Although Apple CEO Tim Cook remains "bullish" on the future of tablets, Apple and the market generally for tablets is declining as consumers continue to favor large-screen smartphones for tablet-like functions, and as companies struggle to figure out what the replacement cycle for the still-popular devices is or should be, says research firm IDC. According to Apple, it sold 11.2 million iPads (with shipments of 10.9 million) in its fiscal third quarter, down from 13.7 million sold in the previous quarter.
Online deal highlights for July 29, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN searches online retailers for offers, bundles, sales, and discounts on hardware, software, games, and gadgets for you, the discerning reader. Still-active deals from yesterday are accompanied by a new wave of offers, including up to $600 off a mid-2014 MacBook Pro, an Epson Home Cinema projector for $400, and the Lytro Light Field Camera for $80.
Wintel installed base still larger, but Apple sees expansion headroom still
Apple reached a new milestone with its most recent quarterly report, according to analyst Benedict Evans, in that the combined sales of iOS devices now match annual sales of all Windows devices made by various manufacturers. While not unexpected, the change demonstrates the changing nature of computing in the 21st century, which has become increasingly mobile-centric and cloud-dependent -- two trends that have had significant ripple effects through the entire PC industry.
Hammacher Schlemmer rolls out remote actuated tablet stand
Gadget manufacturer Hammacher Schlemmer has unveiled the RC Rotating iPad Viewing Stand -- a motorized iPad stand that tilts and swivels into position by way of the included remote control. The stand's infrared remote allows for positioning in a range from 38 degrees backwards and five degrees forward of vertical, and can swivel the contained tablet in a 270 degree arc to enable optimal positioning.
Tactical game plays like an adrenaline junkies game of hide and seek
We're getting pretty familiar with games by Slitherine, the developer responsible for Hell: Fight for Gilrand and Warhammer 40K: Armageddon. So far, everything they've thrown at us we've liked, which is why we decided to check out Legions of Steel, another tactical strategy game that's out for the iPad.
High-quality case offers stylish functionality, but at designer prices
Following numerous legal shenanigans between Typo -- a company founded in part by Ryan Seacrest -- and the clear object of his physical-keyboard affections, BlackBerry -- the company found itself in a position where it was barred by the court from making any sort of of keyboard for smartphones or phablets less than 7.9 inches in size. What to do when your entire raison d'etre has been taken away? Reinvent yourself as a tablet keyboard company. Did Typo succeed with its Plan B? Find out in our review!
Every technology known to man but no signal
The Lake District is one of the UK's most beautiful regions: as well as the lakes, there are mountains. Picture it now: ancient lands, the weight of history on the very landscape around you -- and turn left a bit. Away from all of that, and into a little town no tourist ever notices. Now turn right, second left, first tree past the Post Office, down a bit, take another right at that man with the bobble hat out walking his spaniel, and that's where we are. You can't miss us. Chiefly because we take turns leaning out of the window to get a cell signal.
mount can be VESA mounted, or accommodate other MacLocks stands
Apple device-centric security firm Maclocks has unveiled the Rokku iPad stand, designed to turn an iPad into a kiosk for Apple Pay functionality. The Rokku includes a double lock and a recessed tamper-proof frame made of high-grade industrial strength
New cases designed for maximum protection to edges of device
Today Logitech introduced its first family of products under the new Logi label: the Logi Blok family of cases for iPad. Comprised of the Logi Blok Protective Shell, the Logi Blok Protective Case and the Logi Blok Protective Keyboard Case, the Blok family features cushioned square corners designed to help protect your iPad from drops up to six feet high and onto surfaces as hard as concrete.
High-quality cellular music streams, automatic screenshot albums among changes
The latest beta given out to developers (and now the public) for Apple's iOS 9, expected early this fall, has revealed a handful of minor changes and features, along with a significant change in how the company is going to handle two-factor authentication in iOS and OS X going forward. When enabled, two-factor authentication allows users to add and verify new devices (such as iPhones) to be allowed to access a user's established cloud services and syncing. In addition to a previously-announced change to six-digit codes for verification, Apple will be removing the 14-digit Recovery Key option.
Public beta begins despite long list of issues, problems
Apple has made available public betas for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan, according to reports. The new software, based on the issue-laden third developer beta released yesterday, is available to users previously registered with the company's Beta Software Program. While the company normally waits until there is a fairly stable developer beta existing before issuing the first public beta, today's releases are fraught with issues and missing functionality.
Kitchen-oriented mount pivots, rotates for maximum visibility
Accessory manufacturer NewerTech has introduced the NewerTech Kitchen Kit iPad stand and stylus bundle that lets users safely use an iPad in the kitchen while maintaining the cleanliness and safety of the tablet while cooking. The Kitchen Kit includes the NewerTech NuStand 360 iPad holder that rotates 360 degrees and pivots up and down and the NewerTech NuScribe Stylus, a combination digital and traditional writing tool that functions as both a capacitive stylus and twist-barrel ballpoint pen.
The Beats 1 that just can't go wrong today
Time once again for another episode of The MacNN Podcast, this time episode 22! Since it was quite a notable week, this week's chat between Editor Charles, Managing Editor Mike, and staffers Michelle, Bradley, and Sanjiv is pretty jam-packed. The big story of the week was the launch of Apple Music, and we spend time on both the good and bad of that, but we talk about a lot more as well. Show notes after the jump.
iPads and iPods
Right now at Apple's online store, find great bargains on refurbished iPads and iPods. The refurbished 5th generation iPod touch with 16GB of storage can be had for only $149 after a $30 discount, while $159 will get a 4th gen. 32GB Touch. Priced at $199 is the refurbished 5th generation 32GB iPod touch in blue, pink or space gray. Also available is the 5th gen. 64GB Touch in yellow or space gray for $239.
Initiative allows world travelers to use one data plan across range of countries
International data service provider GigSky today announced that it will offer cellular data plans for iPad travelers with the Apple SIM in more than 90 countries and territories. With an Apple SIM installed, iPad customers can view and select available pay-as-you-go contract-free short-term data plans directly on an iPad, avoiding purchasing a local SIM during world travel.
TaiG updates jailbreak tool to 2.2.0, allows for iOS 8.4 hack
Jailbreak group TaiG has released an iOS 8.4 hack, mere hours after the official Apple release of the new OS. The new software revision uses the same exploit that the group used just days ago for iOS 8.3, allowing users to install the Cydia repository, and other phone software tweaks, at the cost of some device security regarding execution of arbitrary code. The hack requires a Windows PC, iTunes, and the newly released 2.2.0 version of the group's tool.
New multitasking features inject new life into iPad
Although there have been some clues that Apple has been planning to introduce split-screen multitasking on the iPad, it was still something of a surprise to see the feature finally debut at WWDC. The feature will make its debut in iOS 9, which is due to officially land sometime in the fall, likely around the time we see the next generation of iPhones and iPads. Similar functionality can be found in Windows tablets and some Android tablets, so what is it like on the iPad Air 2?
How well does the iPad and other tablet offerings integrate into adult recovery
My name is Mike. As I've previously discussed, I'm the Managing Editor here at MacNN and Electronista. On Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on how you look at it, my 44-year-old wife suffered a stroke. After a few days in a mainline hospital, we were moved to a rehab hospital yesterday. Today has been a whirlwind of doctors, therapists, nurses, and more testing, but universally, what just about everybody is asking is... do you have an iPad? Why are they asking this? Well, let's discuss it, and launch a new column while we're at it.
A rugged three piece polycarbonate and silicone case
We are often going camping and taking technology with us. While we always do our best to take good care of our things regardless of our proximity to nature, it didn't strike us that maybe we need better protection for our mobile devices until we dropped one of our tablets in the mud. So, we obtained a Griffin All-Terrain Survivor case for our iPad Mini 2. While we had a bit of trouble with it at first, it's proven to be very useful in keeping our tablet grime and moisture free when we take it out and about.
A seven-port USB Charging Station keeps you from being powerless
Whether at home or at work, there's a lot of stuff that needs to be charged -- and sadly there's only so many outlets to charge them on. Even if the number of outlets isn't a problem, who wants to always have to answer the question, "have you seen the iPad?" with the answer, "have you checked the bathroom?" The Satechi Seven-Port Multi Charging Dock is a seven-port charging hub that only takes up one outlet, keeps everything together in a single location, and makes an effort towards the Herculean task of making the rat's nest of cables and devices look nice and neat.
Buick, GMC brands will also join 14 Chevy models in GM push to adopt technology
CarPlay has been a long time coming to cars consumers can actually buy, but the infotainment and mobile app technology has finally started arriving to consumer showrooms. Though it has been promoted in forthcoming vehicles for well over a year, currently the Ferrari FF is the only vehicle at dealers now with Apple's technology baked in. This month, however, that changes -- as General Motors is now producing the Corvette Z06 and the 2016 Cruz.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we scour online retailers for sales, discounts, offers, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it's the start of a new week, we've wiped the deals slate clean, with the new batch including the iPad Air 2, a 1TB Toshiba Canvio Basics portable hard drive, and some V-Moda Crossfade LP headphones for $70.
All new Mini models now Retina display only, first-gen still available as refurb
Despite being on the list of devices that will be compatible with the forthcoming iOS 9, Apple on Friday quietly removed the original iPad mini from its online store, leaving only the second- and third-generation devices for sale as new. The company is still offering the original 7.9-inch device, but only as a refurbished unit now (starting at $209, $40 off its most recent retail price). The first-gen iPad mini was introduced in 2012.
Ford should stop selling cars because they sell more trucks, paper argues
In case you haven't heard, the Wall Street Journal has run an embarrassingly blinkered editorial called "Why Apple Should Kill Off the Mac" which is, on the face of it, nonsensical. We expect this sort of asinine fodder from the logic-averse scrawls of established nitwits like your Dvoraks, your Enderles -- but the Wall Street Journal was once a respected, legitimate newspaper (at least until Rupert Murdoch bought it).
Not just the betas, but what's going on behind them, plus Oculus Rift VR
WWDC has come and gone for another year, and with it a plethora of new announcements and betas. Despite our fairly abysmal "wild guess" record, we did come up 90 percent right on our list of things we "knew" would happen (Tim Cook skipped his usual run-through of how great Apple is doing just to spite us). This time, we look at what actually happened at WWDC, in the larger tech industry, Apple Music, and what it all might mean.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 15, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Last week's deals have been cleared in preparation for a new week, including a 960GB SSD, a 128GB iPad Air with LTE for $450, and the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus.
Marriott hotel starts rollout of custom Netflix app to hotel rooms
Guests of the Marriott hotel chain in the United States will soon be able to use their home Netflix accounts on the Internet-connected television in their rooms. Following tests earlier this year, the hotel has adapted the Netflix app so that users only have to log in once, with their account details wiped from the app at checkout. Six hotels will get the app initially, expanding to 100 properties by the end of this year, and to most Marriott locations before the end of next year.
Improvements to HealthKit, potential new FaceTime cameras, much more
Despite non-disclosure agreements signed by developers at WWDC, pirates and leakers are starting to make and reveal discoveries found in the first beta for iOS 9, which is expected to launch this fall to accompany the next round of iPhone and iPad hardware. Among the changes and improvements revealed in the code for the beta are hints of new higher-resolution FaceTime (front-facing) cameras, cellular-only Handoff, and notable women's health additions to HealthKit and the Health app.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 9, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we search the Internet for offers, sales, discounts, and bundles on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. All the old dead deals are gone, and we've added a new batch, including a nice discount on iTunes credit, a refurbished iPad mini 3 via Apple, and a Brother multifunction laser printer.
MacNN staff break it down into chunks, see if they can put it back together again
As we typically do after major Apple events, MacNN has gathered some of its senior staff to consider the implications, long-term effects, and potential fallout of the announcements and decisions made by Apple via what it brought to the table. The Worldwide Developers Conference keynote is a signpost for the direction of the next year or so, and was unusually full and meaty. Here's what we thought of today's presentation.
Siri becomes more proactive, anticipates user behavior
Apple has previewed features users will be able to expect in the next iteration of iOS. Confirmed as iOS 9, the mobile operating system will have improvements in four core areas: Intelligence, Apps, iPad, and Foundation, with new additions including improvements to Siri, search, multitasking, more apps, Apple Pay, and other areas.
HBO Now, device price drop credited for vast increase in viewership
Apple TV has overtaken Roku and doubled its share of "premium" (paid) channel viewing the beginning of 2015 and the end of the first quarter, from five percent to 10 percent, according to Adobe's Digital Index report. A price cut on the Apple TV units and the announcement of the $15 per month HBO Now service, alongside a steady stream of new channel additions, may have contributed to the increase, which compares to a one percent growth rate from Roku. Apple's iOS platform also continues to dominate mobile video viewing.
Turn your whole Mac into an iOS keyboard
It is true that it's harder to type on the glass of an iPhone or iPad than it is to use a real keyboard with full-size keys that depress under your fingers. You could argue how much harder, as we do get by every day without carting large keyboards around with our iPhones, but it is harder -- and there's one more thing. We don't cart our iPhones around as much as we think: we are often right there with them at our Macs. Our Macs which have keyboards. Now Typeeto 1.0 lets you use that Mac keyboard with your iPhone.
New cases feature full-size keys, double-space periods, Bluetooth 4.0, more
Typo, stymied from selling any smartphone keyboards by a court order of its copying of BlackBerry's keyboard design, has struck out in a different direction with a completely new product: a Typo Keyboard case for the iPad Air and Air 2, with a forthcoming version made for the iPad mini line. While Typo is legally barred from making any further smartphone keyboards, it is specifically allowed in its court settlement to make products for devices with 7.9-inch screens or larger -- the exact size of the iPad mini.
iPods, iPads and iMacs
This week at Apple's online store, save on a selection of refurbished items from iPods to iMacs. A $30 price cut is offered on the refurbished fifth-generation 16GB iPod touch, which has been reduced to $149 from $179. The 32GB fifth-generation Touch has been cut to $199, while the 64GB configuration has seen a $60 drop to $239.
MacNN and Electronista deals for June 1, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, bundles, offers, and sales on hardware and software for you, the discerning reader. Just a new collection of deals today, as the slate has been cleaned of last week's offers, with the new batch including Beats urBears earphones, an iPad mini 2, and a Cube 3D printer.
Apple Game Roundup for May 26
On Tuesdays and Fridays, MacNN takes a few minutes to round up important goings-on in the Mac and iOS gaming world. In today's entry we look at the Telltale Games collection coming to GOG, the 35th anniversary update to Pac-Man for iOS, the latest Overwatch character reveal, and Terra Battle's new update.
Unique headphones use bone-conduction to help keep you safe
Headphones, the humble hero of everyday life. Boring commute on public transportation? Just pop in your headphones and listen to an audio book. Noisy construction outside of your window? Slip your headphones over your ears, and have an impromptu Netflix marathon. Avid jogger? A great playlist can help workouts fly by, but in this case, headphones are more of a hindrance than a boon. Cutting out important audio cues, such as sounds of construction, car horns, bike bells, or yelling pedestrians can be dangerous. But there is a solution -- headphones that don't work by closing off your ears. We took a look at Aftershokz Bluez, headphones designed to help keep you alert at all times.
Developers frustrated as iTunes Connect, TestFlight experience lengthy downtimes
On the heels of a long period on Wednesday where iTunes Connect, the portal for developers to monitor, modify, manage, and upload apps to the App Stores, Apple's beta-testing platform for iOS, TestFlight, has been down for more than 12 hours. Oddly, Apple has not modified its Developer System Status page to reflect the problems, nor is there any indication when the problems might be fixed. While service to iTunes Connect was restored yesterday, the TestFlight problems continue.
Collapsible compact keyboard not for large hands
The Jorno Bluetooth keyboard and stand for tablets certainly looks nice. The gunmetal grey shell of the keyboard looks great while the unit is folded up. That's right -- the keyboard folds with two hinges into a swank-looking brick when not in use. There's also a nice case with a magnetic closure that transforms into a tablet stand. This keyboard and its care are ideal for travel -- it's lightweight and compact when not in use. There were some things we didn't like about it, but the designers were certainly on the right track when they came up with this one. Check our review to see what we thought about it.
New apps tailored for eldercare, long-term monitoring of patients
As part of Apple's partnership with IBM, a new deal has been struck with Japan Post Holdings to improve elder care in the country. IBM will combine forces with Apple and Japan Post, which provides insurance and healthcare solutions in addition to mail delivery, to develop software to assist with information transmission, communications with family, and help monitor health parameters of customers.
Unknown flaw or attack causes chart app used by pilots to shut down tablets
[Updated with further explanation of issue following investigation] A software bug that is suddenly causing iPads, used as "electronic flight bags" (EFBs) by pilots for American Airlines, to shut down and become unresponsive is causing delays and groundings of "several dozen" flights on the airline as experts scramble to identify the issue. One passenger on one of today's affected flights, which was delayed for more than two hours, said that the pilot had claimed the entire 737 fleet on American was affected by the issue.
Apple Watch debut doesn't materially affect debut, China growth up sharply
Unexpected strength in Mac sales along with the previously-predicted strong staying power of the iPhone 6 line has helped Apple see record-breaking performance for a fiscal second quarter this year. The company sold more than 61.17 million iPhones, about 80 percent of the number sold during the holiday quarter, which is usually followed by a drop of about 40 percent. Macs sold 4.56 million units, another record for a fiscal Q2 and up 10 percent year-over-year.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where we search online and offline retailers for discounts, offers, and sales on an array of hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Today, we cover the still-active deals from throughout the week, while the new deals list includes a sub-$300 960GB SSD, the Pure Jongo T2 wireless speaker, and the Garmin Vivofit fitness band.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, that time of the day when the staff of MacNN and Electronista search the Internet for sales, discounts, and offers, compiling the more notable items into a single post. The usual recap of still-active deals is joined by a Sony Action Cam, a 3D scanner, a Seagate 4TB NAS, and a new way to discover deals for yourself.
MacNN and Electronista deals for April 22, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the regular post where the staff of MacNN and Electronista scour online retailers for discounts, offers, and sales for you, the discerning reader. A recap of still-active deals from earlier in the week follows the new batch, including a Core i7 notebook from HP, DJ headphones from Technics, and a pile of SSDs
Apple's default browser remains tops in mobile, captures 10 percent of US desktop
A new study by analytics firm StatCounter has shown that Chrome and Safari are virtually neck-and-neck as the top mobile browsers, but that Safari was the clear winner in both North America and Europe. In particular, in the US Safari holds a 55 percent share of mobile browser use, with Chrome at 30 percent and generic Android browsers with 9.5 percent. In addition to just edging out Safari worldwide to be the top mobile browser, Chrome is also the dominant desktop browser worldwide, with a 52.6 percent share.
MacNN and Electronista Deals for April 21, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, that time of the day when we search online retailers for discounts, offers, and sales on hardware, software, and gadgets for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Yesterday's still-active deals are joined by a Toshiba notebook, a bundle for the PlayStation Vita, and a $350 3D Printer