MacNN and Electronista Deals for December 19, 2014
[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Prices are right at the time of writing, but double-check before purchasing, as prices could change. Also, be sure to return to this post over the weekend, as more deals will be added as time goes on.
Procreate for iPad creators debut Pocket version for iPhone
Savage Interactive has released an iPhone version of its illustration app Procreate Pocket, a scaled-down version of its iPad app Procreate. Intended for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Procreate Pocket is powered by a 64-bit Silica engine, offering a variety of drawing tools and 250 levels of "Undo." Among its features, its 18 layers of Blend Modes allow for versatile composition, and 1080p video recording option can document all stages of the drawing process without interruption. Priced at $3, Procreate Pocket requires iOS 8.1 or later.
CEO announces company's promotions have raised over $100 million since 2006
In a memo to all employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the recent (Product) RED campaign, which ran through app upgrade purchases, in-store items and online accessories during the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 raised over $20 million, which will be seeded to the Global Fund. The group fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health threats largely in Africa and other impoverished areas. Cook said that the promotion has thus pushed Apple's total contribution to over $100 million since 2006.
Fleksy adds variety of keyboard extensions, requires iOS 8
Customizable iOS keyboard app Fleksy has received a major update introducing new themes and extensions, as well as improvements to existing features. Fleksy allows users to find and send GIFs, and provides autocorrect while typing, and intuitive gestures offer greater typing speed. Version 5.0 of Fleksy offers more themes to choose from, including branded ones. New keyboard extensions can be dragged and dropped as cards to add and remove features. Five extensions are available at the time of launching, including a GIF keyboard, Numbers Row, One-Handed Mode, Cursor Control, and Rainbow Pops. A new emoji scroll mode allows emoji to be searched for faster, and long-pressing the period key brings up quick access of punctuation and symbols. In VoiceOver mode, single-character input is now easier, and Arabic secondary characters can be accessed by tapping the Shift key.
Leather wallet case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus now available in gray
Mujjo has introduced its Leather Wallet Case line-up for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in gray, as part of its Desaturated Collection. The wallet case is designed to hold two to three essential cards without sacrificing a thin profile. The case is available in two styles for iPhone 6 - one with the card slot angled upright and the other with an 80 degree angle pocket - and the 80 degree angle pocket case is available for iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing for the Desaturated Collection begins at $40, and cases can be purchased through Mujjo.
Christmas, like winter, is coming. Be prepared!
It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact its so close, that any helping hand might be welcome to help pick presents for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life.
Touchscreen interaction in the dead of winter, without freezing hands
It shouldn't be a secret that normal, cheap knit gloves actually don't contain enough fabric to prevent a persons finger from interacting with a capacitive screen. This means that, yes, normal knit gloves are technically touchscreen gloves but normal cheap knit gloves also don't contain enough fabric to keep a persons hands warm in most cold weather. That's where Refined Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo come in - promising to let us interact with all our touchscreen devices while keeping our hands toasty.
Federal judge rejects move to dismiss
This week Hartz Mountain, a maker of pet toys, requested a federal judge dismiss a lawsuit by Seattle artist Juli Adams regarding the sale of her intellectual property without her permission or knowledge. The case is notable because Adams' designs were the basis of the characters now universally known as "Angry Birds," a name originally suggested by Adams and since used widely by Rovio and Hartz to market both the video game sensation and ancillary merchandise. The judge has refused to dismiss the matter.
Amazon, Google Play, and Apple listed among the former employers of ideal candidates
The Algorithms & Cloud Experiences Group of Bose Corporation has posted an opening this week with the company, seeking a Senior User Experience Designer to work on "Cloud Music Services." It's unclear if the company intended to announce its intention to create a streaming music service or potential music "cloud locker" through the posting, but the move represents another attempt by Bose to compete indirectly against Apple, and to a lesser extent other streaming services.
Leather wallet case for iPhone 6 now available through TwelveSouth
TwelveSouth has announced the release of its Bookbook wallet case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Comprised of genuine leather, the wallet case additionally functions as a hands-free stand, and disguises one's iPhone to look like a vintage book. The Bookbook features a removable shell that protects the enclosed iPhone from damage. Priced at $60, the Bookbook for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is available in black and brown.
SwitchEasy announces Camos, Boombox cases for iPhone 6, Numbers case for iPhone 6 Plus
SwitchEasy has announced the upcoming release of three new iPhone cases: the Camo and Boombox for iPhone 6, and Numbers for iPhone 6 Plus. The Camo is created by way of 3D printing, and features a camouflage aesthetic. Aiming to protect an iPhone from wear and tear without adding additional bulk, the Camo case is priced at $20 and will be available in blue, yellow and orange.
New cases must survive 1m drops
Apple has instituted a new rule for Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing, requiring all cases to protect against drops of at least 1m (3.3 feet) over hard surfaces, sources say. That also includes any orientation, even in the direction of the display. Similarly, cases for all iOS devices must now offer a buffer of at least 1mm between the display and a flat surface when the device is upside-down. To achieve that, they can either cover the display glass completely or use a lip around the edge.
Keep belongings close at hand during workouts, jogs with FlipBelt
Often when a person is working out, they need to keep some of their personal items on hand. The armband solution works for phones and MP3 players, but other objects that don't have a market for special active-style containers like inhalers, protein bars, keys and medication are overlooked. Pockets aren't practical most of the time while working out, as items can bounce out, weigh too much, flop about or potentially cause wardrobe malfunctions. The FlipBelt, however, is a wearable pocket that sits around a wearer's midsection, tackling the need for a flexible carry-all while granting users easy access to anything one could need during a workout.
Gift cards are impersonal. Get a gadget instead!
The rubber's hitting the road on the Christmas season, and if the throngs around you aren't in the holiday spirit (read "panicked about buying") then they will be soon! Fortunately, its not too late for online ordering, and we've got your back! MacNN and Electronista have been squirreling away ideas for the gadget and accessory freak in your life. We did part one of this list last week, so here's more ideas for those hard to buy for people instead of a boring gift card!
Reason behind disappearance still uncertain
Bose products have returned to Apple's online store and retail chain, reports say. These include products like the SoundLink III and SoundLink Mini speakers, and the QuietComfort 20i earbuds. Bose hardware vanished from the online store on October 17, and went missing from retail around the same time or shortly thereafter.
Mysterious dispute resulted in Bose products taken off store shelves
A French enthusiast site has reported, citing anonymous sources, that Apple will soon return Bose products back to the shelves of the iPhone maker's brick-and-mortar Apple Stores following a two-month fallout in which Bose products were removed. The move was originally thought to be in response to a lawsuit Bose filed against Beats, its rival in headphones, or possibly a unilateral move by Apple to reduce competing products in its stores now that it owns Beats, but the truth of the matter has yet to emerge.
Dodges legal issues that blocked first add-on
The creators of the Typo keyboard case have returned with a new model, the Typo2. The accessory has been redesigned not only to accommodate the iPhone 6, but to avoid the legal troubles the company has encountered with BlackBerry. Although a lawsuit is still pending, BlackBerry won a sales injunction against the first-generation case.
Keypad uses Bluetooth to bring Apple-matching style to numeric entry
Most of the OS X machines Apple sells these days are laptops with the built-in keyboard that includes no number pad. The vast majority of the remainder are iMacs -- also most with an abbreviated keyboard. Despite Apple's minimalist design, users sometimes could use a dedicated numeric keypad. Accessory manufacturer Newertech has a wireless solution -- a Bluetooth Wireless Aluminum Keypad. MacNN has lived with one for a while.
It can be Black Friday every week if you read this column
Welcome to the post-Black Friday edition of Friday Deals! Each week, we round up some great savings on cool stuff for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. During the holiday buying season, the deals are plentiful, so keep checking back over the weekend, as we add new deals we find or that readers let us know about! As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later time. Double-check before buying!
Get nearly everyone on your list something good
Gift hunting can prove to be difficult, especially if you're trying to find something for a gadget lover or general tech enthusiast. Not because there are no options, but that there are so many -- even when narrowing down your scope to tech accessories. To help with the gifting season stress, we've compiled some great suggestions for surprising your friends and loved ones.
Giveaways now live at MacNN and Electronista
Over the course of the last couple of days, MacNN and Electronista have been making it rain prizes. Maybe it was the turkey going to our heads, or the lack of news stories that drove us to this madness. Perhaps we were just feeling very generous. Whatever it was, we wanted to make sure that you knew about all the great prizes we had to offer. Below you will find a list of the giveaways that are going on right now.
win a Penclick B2 Bluetooth mouse
Last, but certainly not least on our list of giveaway items today is the Penclic B2 Bluetooth mouse. This isn't your average, every day basic Bluetooth mouse, though. This mouse takes computing to the next level by harnessing the natural power and dexterity in our fingers and hands and helps to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury. Read on to learn more, and to find out how you can win.
win a Verve 2
What is the Verve 2? We asked ourselves the same question when we first heard of it. It turns out that it is quite unlike anything we have ever seen before. The Verve 2 is a sensor system that can be used to interact with a computer in a whole new way. We have one Verve 2 system to give away to our readers. Read on to learn more about this unique technology toy, and find out how you can win.
win a Penclic K2 wireless mini keyboard
Black Friday is in full swing, but instead of door-buster deals, we have more prizes to give away to our readers. To get things started today, we have the Penclic K2 wireless Mini keyboard. Reclaim your desk, and create a healthy working position while you're at it. Find out how you can enter to win below.
$200 gift bundles with the purchase of a new Mac
Right now at PowerMax.com, get close to $200 worth of accessories with the purchase of select in-stock standard-configuration new Macs from the site's online store. Three different bundles are available.
NewerTech announces Nuguard KXS Impace X-Orbing Screen Armor for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
NewerTech has introduced an update to its line of Impact X-Orbing Screen Armor, now available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Featuring military grade, triple-layer protection, the self-adhesive layer requires no water or other liquids for easy, bubble-free installation. the screen protector is compatible with cases, and includes a lifetime limited warranty.
Win a Skrillex X UE Boom Bluetooth speaker!
This next prize, we are sure, nearly anybody would be very thankful to receive. Last week, Ultimate Ears released the latest addition to their lineup, the custom-designed Skrillex Edition UE Boom. Ultimate Ears teamed up with Skrillex and asked him to create custom artwork for their award-winning Boom speaker. What they created is a speaker that combines high-end sound quality with a twist of rave-culture style.
win a ScreenGuardz HD Impact screen protector
Mmmm…mmmm. That turkey sure does smell good. You know what would go really good with that turkey? More prizes. Up next, we have a BodyGuardz: ScreenGuardz HD Impact screen protector to give away to one lucky reader, so they can guard their iPhone with the ultimate in device protection.
Walmart deals on electronics available now
Black Friday sales have gone live at Walmart.com; however, if you plan on getting a head start on the deals at your local store, keep in mind it will be opening its doors tonight at 6PM. The company is offering three different door-buster events, which are outlined below. If you don't want to wait for the door-busters, or would just prefer to shop from the safety and comfort of your own home, we have highlighted a selection of deals that are available now.
Elecronista and MacNN's guide to gifts for the digital audiophile
Audio enthusiasts might be some of the easiest people to select gifts for during the holidays, if for nothing else than the wealth of choices available. From Bluetooth speakers, headphones, audio amplifiers and radio options, it can be overwhelming to pick something. Here at Electronista and MacNN, we'll attempt to give shoppers some directions for the music lovers in their lives, compiling some of the best audio gear for the year in our annual gift guides.
Top pick Apple Watch is curious choice, but shows public anticipation
Time magazine has picked out its top 10 Gadgets list (among other Top 10s such as Video Games and Toys) for holiday season shoppers, and unsurprisingly Apple devices or accessories dominate the selection, taking four out of the 10 slots -- the most of any single company. In a list that seems determined to rank some promising but nascent technology higher than one would expect, the rankings are puzzling for the surprising amount of "vaporware" on it -- including its top choice, the coming-next-year Apple Watch.
When looking for an external keyboard to use with something like the iPad, you are generally limited to two streams of products: Bluetooth keyboards designed for desktop use, and keyboard cases. While wireless desktop keyboards offer a superior typing experience when compared to keyboard cases, they suffer from a design not intended for extensive portability. Meanwhile, keyboard cases are easy to tout around, but force users to add bulk directly to their so-called "portable" device. Enter Logitech's Keys-To-Go, a small Bluetooth keyboard that offers no means of attaching itself to a mobile device, yet has been designed to throw in a bag and carry around.
Moleskine unveils iPhone 6 case that features its iconic notebook style
Notebook and accessory maker Moleskine has announced the release of an iPhone 6 case, featuring style attributes of its simple notebook. The black case features a book-style cover, held closed by a Moleskine elastic band, and its inside front pocket can store an extra-small Moleskine Volant journal, as well as business cards, credit cards and more. Its interior includes padded suede lining, and and inner rubberized shell keeps the iPhone 6 protected while still allowing access to all ports, buttons, speakers and cameras. Priced at $37, the Moleskine iPhone case is available online.
Photo gallery app by Dropbox now supported on iPad
Photo gallery and sharing app Carousel has received an update, now supporting iPad users. The Dropbox-made app provides a private way to share, store and organize image and video content, and instantly back up files to one's Dropbox account. In addition to now being iPad-compatible, the latest version of Carousel also supports integration with Instagram and Whatsapp. Free to download, Carousel requires iOS 7 or later.
Starbucks adds Powermat wireless charging to 200 San Francisco stores
Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.
Briefly: AnyAngle iPad case, Red Giant Universe 1.3
Logitech has announced the introduction of a new protective case in its suite of tablet products, the Logitech AnyAngle for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini. Featuring an integrated, hidden hinge, the case holds an iPad at any angle within a 50-degree range, keeping that angle in place without tipping or sliding. The stand folds behind the iPad as to create a minimalist appearance, and magnets also secure the stand and assist in holding an angled position. The has a rubberized frame that protects the tablet from accidental bumps and drops, and its hidden magnets keep the case securely closed as to prevent scratches and cracks. Available in a variety of colors, the AnyAngle case will be available this month for $60.
Keylink attaches to keyring, makes noise via app, button makes phone ring
Motorola has revealed an accessory which could help prevent people from losing their keys or their phone. The Motorola Keylink is designed to be attached to a keyring, and can be set to make a noise from a connected smartphone at a range of up to 100 feet if they are misplaced, with a button on the keyfob able to trigger the smartphone's ringer as well.
Personal hydrogen fuel cell from Intelligent Energy recharges smartphones, USB devices
A hydrogen fuel cell has gone on sale in the United Kingdom via Apple Stores. The Upp from Intelligent Energy, a company previously said to be in discussions with Apple over fuel cell technology, is a portable unit for providing extra power to mobile devices, and though it has a battery to store energy for future use, additional cartridges which provide extra power can be attached, ones which can be replaced once exhausted.
Griffin Technology releases two new tablet stands composed of reclaimed railroad steel
Griffin Technology has partnered with Rail Yard Studios, offering the release of two new tablet stands made of railroad steel. Made of reclaimed rail stock installed on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad between 1906 and 1908, the Rail Slice Tablet Stand and Rail Artifact Stand are built to hold a full or mini-sized tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation.
Patriot launches Fuel Ion magnetic portable battery
Patriot has launched the latest addition to its Fuel Ion ecosystem, the Fuel Ion Magnetic Portable Battery. The battery attaches to the back of any Fuel Ion phone case, offering a 2100mAh capacity that can charge any smartphone without need to connect with a power cord. Lightweight, the battery can charge itself and any enabled smartphone when the battery is connected via its base to a wall or car adapter power source. The Fuel Ion ecosystem includes cases and other accessories compatible with iPhone 5 and 5s, Samsung Galaxy 4 and 5, and Samsung Note 3. Priced at $50, the Fuel Ion Portable Battery will soon be available through Amazon and a variety of other retailers.
Port tech should simplify some accessories
As a part of last week's Made For i conference in China, Apple introduced a pair of important changes to standards for Lightning connectors. Above all is that accessory makers will now be allowed to include built-in Lightning ports. In the past, companies have been forced to include separate USB connections for charging products, even though Lightning is fully capable of delivering power.
win a Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480
According to a recent survey conducted by Logitech, 65 percent of Americans are distracted by messages from one of their devices when using another. In fact, multi-tasking is the new normal, with more than three-fourths of Americans using two or more devices simultaneously a day. Fortunately, Logitech has the cure for this affliction. It's called the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480, and it's designed to be used with computers, tablets and smartphones. MacNN has teamed up with Logitech to give away one of these keyboards to one of our readers.
Shenzhen conference gathered HomeKit, iOS accessory manufacturers
On the heels of reports that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that feature Apple's HomeKit API already embedded in them are now arriving to accessory makers, Apple announced during its "Made For i" (MFi) developer conference in China that manufacturers can now submit product plans for HomeKit-based products to the iPhone maker for approval, making it possible that the first group of such devices could arrive before the end of the holiday buying season. Apple's MFi certification would be the last step for devices before hitting the market.
Release of new OmniGraffle 6.1 includes Yosemite update, new tool options
The Omni Group has released its latest version of OmniGraffle, a graphic document editing app for OS X. Allowing users to create graphic documents efficiently, lines stay connected to shapes even when they're moved in the new version, while style and organization tools finish off a diagram that is simplistic or technically in-depth. OmniGraffle 6.1 offers a new user interface, as well as the ability to detach inspectors into their own floating panels. New fill effects, stroke and shadow types, and support for the Visio 2013 format are all included. Requiring OS X Yosemite to run, OmniGraffle is priced at $100.
Studio, Skinny Pro line of tablet covers extends to new iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3
STM Bags announced that two models of its existing tablet covers are coming for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. The STM Skinny Pro snap-on case is getting a slight refresh to fit both of the new iPad, coming in blue, black, red, and urban camouflage. The cover features an instant on/off feature, along with the ability to fold into different viewing or standing options. The inside of the cover is lined with micro suede, while the exterior is polycarbonate and polyurethane. The STM Skinny Pro can be ordered on Amazon now for $40, but shipping time is listed from one to three months out.
Companion app allows for Camera Roll backups or media steraming
SanDisk has today introduced the iXpand, a new USB flash drive aimed at iOS devices. Unlike most, it incorporates a secondary Lightning connector, allowing owners to plug it directly into an iPhone or iPad. A companion app can be toggled to automatically backup photos and videos from a device's Camera Roll. The app can moreover stream music and videos directly from the drive; compatible movie formats include AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, and WMV.
EMV tech becoming standard in US by end of 2015
Retail payment service Square has opened up preorders for a new version of the Square Reader, designed to scan chip-based credit and debit cards. It supports older stripe-based cards as well, and the company is promising end-to-end encryption, as well as active tamper detection. It's compatible with iOS and Android, requiring only the appropriate apps and an account with Square for paying service fees.
On-cup controls handle playback, calls
Apple-owned Beats has announced the Solo2 Wireless, a new pair of over-the-ear headphones. The unit is based on the original Solo2 headphones released earlier this year, but sports Bluetooth for pairing with devices up to 30 feet away. Buttons on the ear cups let users control volume and playback, and even answer phone calls.
STM releases Flip folio case for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
Accessory maker STM has announced its Flip wallet case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Utilising two micro-suction cups, the front cover attaches to the phone's screen, and also features two card slots. Foldable, the Flip case can act as a stand for propping the phone up for a viewing position. Available in charcoal, black and red, the Flip Folio can be purchased for $35 through Radtech.
monitors, printers and more
This week at Newegg.com get a great deal on a bundle that includes a 28-inch Acer widescreen LED backlight LCD monitor and a Canon ImageClass MF3010 monochrome laser printer. These items carry a retail cost of $700, but are only $400 when purchased in this bundle. That's a savings of more than $150 over buying these items individually anywhere else.