T-Mobile will discount some models of iPhone by $50 off full price
Starting on Wednesday, T-Mobile will offer a discount of up to $50 off the full price of all iPhones, according to a leaked internal memo. The offer will not affect subsidized iPhones, but applies to "device only" (no contract) sales. The discount will vary depending on the model and capacity, notes TmoNews, and is likely a reaction to recent price-cutting of contract phones by retailers like Walmart, which has dropped the price of the iPhone 5c to 97 cents and the iPhone 5s to $79 with a two-year contract.
Includes battery-powered preamp, adjustable headband, more
Blue Microphones, a digital audio brand best known for its USB audio mics popular with both podcasters and musicians, has expanded into headphones with the release of its first Mo-Fi headphone set. As recently noted by one of our reviewers, most headphones sound much better when paired with a combination DAC and amplifier like the Sony's PHA-2 portable headphone amps -- but Blue has taken it a step further by building the amp directly into its headphones.
Magnus iPad stand uses magnets to hold tablet in place
Ten One Design has announced the release of its new iPad stand, Magnus, which uses magnets to hold the tablet in place. Designed to work with iPad Air, the low-profile stand features aluminum finishing and is minimally visible from the front of the tablet. Its rubberized magnetic grip protects the refined aluminum enclosure of the iPad from unwanted scratches, additionally providing surface traction. Weighing less than two ounces, its 22-degree viewing angle offers a suitable positioning for viewing in landscape mode. The Magnus Air is priced at $40.
Juno Power announces cloth braided Lightning cables
Portable power solutions company Juno Power has announced its newest line of Lightning adapter cables, named Kaebo. An Apple-certified charge-and-sync cable, the Kaebo features high-strength cloth that is resistant to rips or tears. Its aluminum build is designed to withstand most accidental damage. The cable is equipped with an aluminum connector and USB head for optimal performance, and is available in silver, light gold, and slate gray. Measuring at one meter (3.3 feet) long, the Kaebo is priced at $22 through Juno Power and Amazon.
Company accused of bypassing sales embargo willingly
Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo, manufacturer of physical keyboard cases for the iPhone, has run into more legal trouble. BlackBerry has been allowed to proceed with contempt of court charges, alleging that Typo has been selling its keyboards which have been ruled to violate BlackBerry intellectual property, contravening a court order to stop doing so.
Otterbox introduces Alpha Glass fortified glass screen protector for iPhone, Galaxy S5
Rugged accessories producer Otterbox has announced its introduction of a new screen protection product for iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Alpha Glass consists of fortified glass that features reactive touch and anti-shatter properties. Suitable for standalone use as a screen protector, Alpha Glass is installed by lightly coating the protector with its accompanied alcohol wipe, clean with the microfiber cloth and align it against the screen. Gentle pressure secures the protector, pushing out air that can create bubbles. Alpha Glass is removable, with no leftover residue. Priced at $30, the new screen protectors can be purchased online through Otterbox.
Bluetooth headphones feature 40mm drivers, 116dB sensitivity, on-ear controls
Genius announced a new set of stereo headphones today, giving consumers another option in the world of Bluetooth listening devices. The HS-920BT on-ear headphones feature 40mm drivers with a sensitivity of 116dB, an impedance of 32ohms and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. Controls are placed on right ear cup, giving users control over volume, tracks and receiving phone calls. Power is provided by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
First-gen iPad minis on clearance in anticipation of new models
Target stores in the US and its online store are now offering first-generation iPad minis at clearance prices, selling the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model for $199 -- a price that is lower or equal to most competing (but smaller) seven-inch tablets, such as the Kindle HDX or Google's Nexus 7. The price is $100 lower than the normal retail price in all configurations, and $20 below Apple's own price for its refurbished model. The sale also offers $50 off the price of the iPad Air in all configurations. The promotion is good for "this week only," and is based on limited amounts of stock, according to the Target website.
Recent news indicates a fourth quarter launch, company states it's trying for October
A recent press released noted that Razer was looking to launch the Nabu smartband to consumers as early as the fourth quarter of 2014. A select number of developers and at least 1,000 Razer fans have been granted access to beta versions of the Nabu, but it appears that Razer is actually closer to a commercial release than previously thought.
Slight change could make cables more convenient
A new photo (below) from well-known leak source Sonny Dickson shows what's said to be an Apple Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector. While current official cables are reversible on the Lightning end, the USB connector can only be facing a single direction when it's plugged into a computer. Dickson isn't the first person to show images of updated Lightning cables, but a leak from last week came from a more questionable source, especially since third parties manufacture Lightning cables with and without Apple's permission.
StretchWrite stylus grip converts any pen for tablet use
Felix has announced the release of a new stylus grip for pens and pencils, titled the StretchWrite. Comprised of a thin, hollow-point stylus tip, the StretchWrite converts writing tools by fitting over top of the tip through the hole on its top end. Each order includes a pair of stylus tips in either a red/gray or blue/pink combination. Priced at $10, StretchWrites are available online.
TweetDeck updated for OS X, adds Regional + City level Trends
TweetDeck by Twitter has received an update for OS X. The app is designed for publishers, marketers and power users of Twitter, and features a customizable layout for the social networking platform. Tweetdeck v3.8.4 offers the ability to find locally trending topics for Regions and Cities, adding a column based on the trend.
Company specialized in Apple accessories, reseller distribution
Veteran Apple and Macintosh accessory reseller Dr. Bott is closing its doors after 15 years in the business, and offering discounts on its remaining stock to liquidate its inventory. The Wilsonville, Oregon-based company, which acted as both a vendor and distributor of its own and other companies' products, said it was "sad to announce" the closure, but did not elaborate on the reasons behind it.
Speeds up interface, apps
NewerTech had released an accessory for the Mac mini, the Headless Mac Video Accelerator. Although Minis are often used as headless servers, the computer will automatically disable its GPU when a monitor isn't detected. This can potentially cripple performance in some tasks, such as accessing a Mini remotely, which is often necessary when it's in server mode.
Outdoor speaker provides stereo alternative, but suffers from distorted sound
While most Bluetooth speakers are meant to be portable or desktop solutions, some are made to be used outdoors. Many of these speakers either take up a large footprint or are ruggedized, depending on the use, but other times they are simple meant for listening to a song on the porch. Of those set and forget types of speakers, what kind of features should be included to appeal to consumers? Is it huge presence and stereo sound? Or are features like weatherproofing and long battery life in high demand? The SyrenPro from iLuv attempts to include all of those features for the maximum outdoor experience. But does the SyrenPro succeed in trying to be all things to everyone? Find out in our review.
iPods, iPads, and Mac accessories
Right now at Apple's online store, chose from a selection of refurbished iPod touch models -- starting as low as $129 for the fourth-generation Touch with 8GB of storage. A $100 discount drops the cost on the refurbished fifth-generation iPod touch with 32GB of storage in black and slate down to $199.
Beats brand may be set to live on separately
Apple has added a specific Beats by Dr. Dre section to the online Apple store, shoppers note. The page has its own tab under the Accessories section. Apple has sold Beats headphones and speakers for some time, but since the latter's acquisition, it has begun highlighting the products both online and at retail.
Offers good sound, low price, but speaker is held back by battery, digital signal processing
Bluetooth speakers offer a wealth of choices for consumers, with sound and price often coming down to the main factors for a purchase. Sound needs to fit the requirements of the user, from those that seek crushing bass or a balanced spectrum. Trying to find the middle ground between what consumers can afford and what sound they want can be a difficult equalibrium to reach. But can a good balance of price and sound be found in the sub-$100 market? Yes, with the $70 Logitech X300 mobile wireless speaker. But does the sound stack up to speakers more than twice the price, or are consumers taking too much of a hit to save some cash? Find out in our review.
Aimed at journalists, podcasters, online radio announcers, home recording buffs
A new version of IK Multimedia's previous iRig Mic is now available beginning today for the iRig Mic HD, an all-in-one digital condenser mic that features its own A/D converters to eliminate any requirement for pricey audio interfaces. By providing both a 1.5 meter (59-inch) Lightning and USB cable, the mic is one of the few that works natively with both mobile and desktop/notebook systems (a 30-pin connector is sold separately for older iOS devices). The unit is capable of 24-bit, 48kHz recording.
Catalyst releases new line of waterproof sleeve for tablets, laptops
Rugged tech accessories producer, Catalyst, has introduced a new line of protective waterproof sleeves for use with tablets, laptops and even documents. Suitable for commuters and students, the Catalyst Waterproof Sleeve aims to offer a minimalist design with an IP66 waterproof rating. The sleeves feature a double-lock watertight closure that is capable of completely sealing out rain, snow, dirt, spills and brief submersions underwater. Its strap system can be adjusted for use as a backpack, a single-shoulder sling bag, or the sleeve can be used simply as a protective case layer.
Wunderlist 3 gets design revamp, real-time sync, public lists, more
To-do app Wunderlist has reached version 3.0, and is celebrating with fresh, iOS 7-inspired look, among other changes. The biggest changes users would immediately notice are the design, the real-time sync and a new option to make a list public. Users can also share lists with selected other Wunderlist users (such as family) across nearly any mobile or desktop platform, with instant updating.
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 previous and refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops. The new 15-inch Outback Solo will fit the 15-inch 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.