MFi gathering will brief companies on HomeKit, iBeacon, other tech
Apple will hold its annual Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad summit between November 12th and 14th this year in Shenzhen, China, according to an announcement. The event is intended to brief accessory and peripheral manufacturers. This year Apple says that sessions will concentrate on HomeKit, iBeacon, AirPlay, and in-app purchases.
Netflix announces availability of Post-Play feature for Google Chromecast
TV and movie streaming platform Netflix has announced that its Post-Play feature is now available for use with Google Chromecast devices. Netflix "casted" to Chromecast is now capable of playing the next episode in a TV series automatically after the end of an episode. Customers using Android or iOS devices sending content to a Chromecast dongle can utilize this function as they already have been able to when viewing Netflix on their device alone. PC support is expected to be made available in the future.
Regular Apple event prep underway
The online Apple store has gone down temporarily, ahead of today's press event. Apple regularly takes the store offline just before an event, so that product pages can be put in place without spoiling announcements. Typically, the store only returns after the event is completely finished.
New Tizona LED, Excalibur LED and Shrike mouse put on display with company's catalog
At Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, peripheral manufacturer Tesoro put a number of new devices on display for consumers, including new keyboards and mice. Some new devices, including an LED version of the Tizona, the recently-announced Excalibur LED, and a new version of the Shrike mouse are said to be coming to the market in the next two months.
TopGum backup battery with Lightning cable announced at IFA 2014
Just Mobile has announced the launch of its new backup battery at IFA 2014, the TopGum. A portable power pack clad in unibody aluminum, TopGum features a tangle-free Lightning cable and a magnetic recharging dock, for recharging without the need to find additional cords. The TopGum's capacity allows for an iPhone to charge up to three times, or top up an iPad mini to 75 percent. Also featured is a standard USB connection, meaning USB-powered devices can be recharged, and TopGum's internal batteries can be refilled when its dock is out of reach. The TopGum backup battery is priced at $80.
21.5-inch iMac slashed to $1,030
MacMall.com has the previous-generation 21.5-inch iMac on sale for $1,110, which is already $390 off the list price of $1,500. An $80 mail-in-rebate offer is also available, that drops the price further to $1,030. That discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by more than $350. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Mobile payment service Isis Wallet to rebrand itself as Softcard
Isis Wallet, a mobile payment service for iOS and Android, is moving to rebrand itself in the coming weeks as Softcard. Initially announced in July, the company has stated that the name change is to avoid association with Middle Eastern militant group ISIS. The new name, Softcard, aims to reflect the visual nature of its already-established payment system, which allows its users to pay for purchases by adding participating credit cards to their "Wallet."
Cross DJ for Android updated, adds controller compatibility, record and sharing on Mixcloud, SoundCl
DJing app Cross DJ has updated its Android version, now enabling external controllers and other features. Users can now connect their Android device to the U-Mix Control-Pro, a MIDI controller that has all Cross DJ controls mapped onto it. When using the controller users can browse, scratch, sync tracks, add effects and more.
Switch toggles between Bluetooth-connected devices
Logitech has announced a new keyboard peripheral, the K480. While usable as a generic, compact Bluetooth keyboard, the K480 is more versatile in being able to connect to three devices simultaneously, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chrome OS devices. A dial lets users change which device is being controlled.
Komplete gets new Rounds, Kontour, Polyplex instruments
Native Instruments has announced Komplete 10, the next version of its audio production suite, bundling together all its instruments with some extra perks. This version adds several new instruments, including Rounds, Kontour, and Polyplex. Rounds combines sound design and sequencing functions, while Kontour is a synthesizer with "organic" textures. Polyplex designs drumkits, combining up to four samples per slot; randomization can be applied on a global, sound, or sample level.
iPad mini for $200
Right now at BestBuy.com, get the 16GB iPad mini in Space Gray on sale for $200. That is $100 off the list price of $300, and about $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iPad features a Retina display, 1GHz A5 dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iSight camera and a FaceTime front-facing camera. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Great control, quick DPI adjustments packaged with hybrid optical sensor
Selecting the correct gaming mouse comes down to finding a device that balances the needs of a user with a price they can afford. Often the features break down to styles of play, allowing manufacturers to design and market peripherals for specific genres of games. For first person shooters (FPS) the market is especially competitive, forcing companies to innovate and push themselves to come up with something new that gamers can't resist. Logitech Gaming recently released the Hyperion Fury, a mouse created fit the needs of demanding FPS players. But does the Hyperion Fury have what it takes to lure gamers in, or is it just another device on the shelves? Find out in our review.
iPads, iMacs and curved HDTVs
Staples.com is currently offering a $30 price cut on the 32GB iPad Air in Space Gray, which drops the cost from $599 down to $569. Use coupon code '11605' at checkout to drop the price down to $469, beating the next lowest price by more than $65. This iPad features 32GB of storage space, a 9.7-inch Retina display, A7 chip with M7 motion coprocessor, built-in Wi-Fi, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera and a battery that lasts for up to 10 hours. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Live streaming locked to authenticated subscription
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
Dropbox update for iOS adds higher fidelity previews for Word and PowerPoint documents
Cloud storage platform Dropbox has updated its iOS app today. Allowing users to access any file saved to their Dropbox from an iOS device, v3.3 can now offer search within Word and PowerPoint documents. Larger animated GIFs are supported, and improved caching allows the app to use less data and disk space.
Satechi's Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard now available
Satechi has announced the release of its new Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard, suitable for Mac or PC systems. Measuring 0.7 inches thick, the keyboard's wireless functionality allows users to have an extra USB port available to them, and can use the keyboard from up to 33 feet away. Its multimedia keys provide access to controlling video and audio content, including play/pause, volume, forward/backtrack and activating functions on other mobile devices. The white version of the keyboard features specific keys mapped for use with OS X and iOS, and the black version mapped for PC and Android features. Priced at $55, Satechi's smart keyboard is available through Amazon and the company's own online store.
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.
MacBook Air, iMac, HDTVs and more
BestBuy.com this week is offering a $150 discount on the current-generation 13.3-inch MacBook Air, dropping the price from $999 down to $849. That discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by about $50. This MacBook Air features a 1.4GHz Intel core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Empty stocks linked to $25 iTunes cards
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's forthcoming coverage of iTunes Festival London.
Includes access to personalized streams
Nearly two weeks after its announcement on August 7, the NFL Now Apple TV app has finally gone live. Functionally, the app is similar to its iOS counterpart, providing a certain amount of free content, while moving other material -- such as game highlights and NFL Films specials -- behind a paywall. The NFL is promising to add 105 hours of original content per week.
Retina MacBook Pros, 4K HDTVs and more
Amazon this week cuts the cost on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro from $2,599 down to $2,250 with free delivery. That $350 discount makes this the lowest price we have seen on this by $150. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Keyboard offers quick response, switch choices in compact package, but few macro keys
The market for gaming keyboards is getting crowded, starting off with some fairly simple keyboards and diverging into the land of modular configurations and piecemeal construction. But what about gamers that just want a plain mechanical keyboard that handles the daily grind with ease, only to spring to life in gaming situations? Would what a relatively unknown brand - Tesoro Tizona -- calls a "tenkeyless" keyboard be something that users should consider, or would they be better off looking for something a little more complex? Find out in our review.
iMacs, iPads, printers and more
At BestBuy.com this week, get the 21.5-inch iMac for $990. That's $110 off the list price of $1,100, and the lowest price we have seen by $10. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This iMac features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple. This configuration is also available in open-box condition for $921.
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.
Full-spectrum, color-customizable lighting added to keyboard, mouse and headphones
Gaming accessories manufacturer Razer announced at Gamescom this week that it would be bringing new versions of three of its devices to the market with a new feature. Chroma, a new system that allows custom color backlighting adjustments and syncing across enabled devices, is being been added to the Razer DeathAdder mouse, BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard, and Kraken 7.1 headset.
Mouse offers a great core and software, but button and comfort issues hard to overcome
Gaming is a serious endeavor for many people, driving them to look for the best performance in their system and interface devices. From the pinpoint accuracy needed to get the perfect shot to the ability to unleash a string of macros, there are many things to consider when looking for the perfect mouse. But with the number of big companies offering mice, is it worth it to look to some of the smaller manufacturers? For example, should consumers consider the DeathTaker mouse from GX Gaming? It offers a number of options that should be appealing to gamers, but are they enough to make gamers look toward the company's brand of gaming devices? Find out in our review.
Bugs in Yosemite
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to discuss bugs they have found in the developer preview and beta versions of Yosemite. Today "angelmb" started a thread looking for help trying to figure out what keeps causing "Circus Ponies NoteBook" to crash, and they included a complete crash report.
iPad Air with Retina display cut to $399
At Staples.com right now, get the 16GB iPad Air in Space Gray for $499. Use coupon code 79449 to drop the price down to $399. That discount makes this the best price we have seen on this model by about $50. This iPad model features a Retina display, Apple A7 processor, built-in Wi-Fi, 5MP iSight camera, FaceTime HD camera, and comes with iOS 7 and iCloud.
Likely attempt to revive sales
In tandem with the upcoming iTunes Festival in London, Apple has announced a promotion that will get buyers of new Apple TVs a $25 iTunes gift card. The deal runs through September 30th, the end of the festival. The card can be used to buy apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books.
13.3-inc rMBP for $1,450
At Adorama.com this week, get the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1,449. That's $250 less than the MSRP of $1,699, and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by the same price margin. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax is applied for residents of New York state. This MBP features retina display, a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Users tuning in during primetime hours
ABC News has published new statistics showing that its Apple TV app is enjoying early popularity. During its first 30 days, the app is said to have registered about 50 percent more live video access than ABC's desktop and mobile services combined. Moreover, viewers are said to spend 65 percent more time per session on the Apple TV than on ABC's website.
new Mac Pro now $3,199
Currently, Adorama.com has the new Mac Pro on sale for $3,199. That's $200 off the list price of $3,399, and about $150 less than the lowest price seen anywhere else. This Mac Pro features a 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Changes only cosmetic
Today's updated Apple TV beta firmware brings a new look to the home screen, users note. This includes redesigned icons, as well as a thinner font. Both of the changes bring the look of the Apple TV closer to par with iOS 7, on which the firmware is based, but no extra changes apart from the last beta's Family Sharing and iCloud Photos support.
No live games to be included
NFL Now -- a video service launching later this month -- will also be getting an Apple TV app, as revealed by an image shared by a worker inside the league. While the app will offer live coverage of events like press conferences and Hall of Fame inductions, users won't be able to watch full games. Instead the app will mostly offer on-demand content, including original programming, NFL Films material, and highlights, including a "premium instant highlights service during the game window."
MakerBot Europe formed to manage Central, Eastern European 3D printer sales
MakerBot is making an expansion into Europe, by acquiring its largest reselling partner. A seller of MakerBot products in Germany for a number of years, Hafner's Büro has been rebranded as MakerBot Europe and will manage resellers of its 3D printer range across Central and Eastern Europe, with a view to covering more markets within the continent in the future.
Electronista and MacNN deals for August 1, 2014
Once again, it's time for the MacNN and Electronista Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, our faithful readers. 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! We have a tendency to add deals over the weekend as we find them, so check back often!
First incremental update for OS X 10.10 includes Public Beta users
On Thursday, Apple updated its supported drivers for Epson printers and scanners for all OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9) users, and also added an update intended only for those testing the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta (either developers or members of the Beta Seed Program). The latter is just a small incremental update to the Feedback Assistant used to send Apple data on issues with the beta, and is available to all Yosemite testers.
Cable deals, Comcast/Time Warner merger interfering
Apple is indeed working on a new set-top that will let people will watch both live and on-demand TV, but won't have it ready until sometime in 2015, a source indicates. Engineers at the company are allegedly being told not to expect to ship the device this year, and working along that timeline. The issue is claimed to be cable companies "dragging their heels," and the possible Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, which together are interfering not only with the device but a matching TV service.
Gaming mouse from Logitech capable of tracking at over 500 inches per second
Peripheral producer Logitech has created what it claims is the world's fastest gaming mouse ever manufactured. The G402 Hyperion Fury uses Logitech's Fusion Engine system on a built-in 32-bit ARM processor for tracking, allowing it to keep up with tracking speeds faster than 500 inches per second, more than the preceding G502 Proteus Core's 300 inches per second tracking.
T-Mobile announces availability of Samsung Galaxy Avant for $9 per month
T-Mobile has announced its release of the new Samsung Galaxy Avant, available starting today. Promoted as part of its Uncarrier lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Avant features a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch qHD screen. The phone connects to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network, and is priced at $220, or $0 down and $9 a month for 24 months. The Simple Choice plan includes no traditional contract, no overages, no device financing fees, global roaming and the company's Music Freedom service.
Mac mini for $490
Currently, BestBuy.com is offering a $110 discount on the Mac mini, dropping the price from $600 down to $490. That discount makes this around $60 less than buying it anywhere else, and it's nearly $10 less than what Apple charges for a refurbished model. They also have it in open-box condition from $465. This Mac mini features a 2.5GHz Intel core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Bulk of content locked to cable subscriptions
Apple has added a pair of new app channels to the Apple TV, CNBC and Fox Now. The former is NBC's business network, while the latter offers access to shows like Glee, Family Guy, and The Following. In both cases, viewers must have a cable subscription to unlock the full range of content. Otherwise, people are limited to a much smaller selection of clips and episodes.
$300 off 15.4-inch rMBP
This week at B&H.com, save $300 on the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro which has been cut from $3,099 down to $2,799. That discount makes this nearly $160 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Included is a free copy of either Parallels Desktop 9 or LoJack. This MBP features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell) processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Low profile, symmetrical design gives users balance, comfort and button choices
The list of gaming devices is growing larger with each passing day. A large number of companies have entered the gaming input arena, already containing some well-known names in the industry. Many PC gamers know one such name, Razer, as the go-to company for mice and other controls. The Taipan is a mouse that Razer has offered since 2012, but gave it new flair with a white finish this May. Does the new finish give gamers a good reason to revisit the Taipan, or is it a dated approach to gaming? Find out in our review.
Origin PC introduces new EVO15-S lightweight gaming laptop, Back to School promotion
Origin PC has announced its new EVO15-S gaming laptop, as well as a Back to School promotion. The laptop is thin, with a width measuring 0.78 inches, and weighing 4.36 pounds. Featuring a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M 3GB discrete graphics and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 sound, the 15-inch laptop manages up to four hours of battery life. The EVO15-S includes Bluetooth 4.0, a KillerNIC E2200 LAN connection and USB 3.0 connectivity. Its anti-ghosting backlit keyboard offers seven standard color choices, with the option to fully customize colors and zones. The laptop's exterior can also be customized with a variety of paint choices and etching options.
System has days to go, and several thousand dollars is still needed
Historically, MacNN and Electronista have covered few, if any, in-progress crowd-sourced projects unless there was something unusual about them, like making 100x their goal. Starting this week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing any projects, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a prospective project, we're just pointing out something we found that we like. Please do your research before investing! That all said, our inaugural crowd-sourced project this week comes to us from Kickstarter -- the Pond Wireless Charging device for iPhone 5/5s, Android and Windows.
Image shows thumbstick on Steam Controller replacing button group
Valve Software may have made another change to its Steam Controller, the gaming peripheral designed for use with Steam Machine game consoles. An image appearing in files associated with the beta version of the PC Steam client shows a modified version of the last controller design, with four face buttons instead replaced by a thumbstick.
Collaboration, if true, could bring diversity of styles and models
Though Swatch is perhaps best-known these days for pooh-poohing the idea that Apple's forthcoming "iWatch" health device would "be a revolution," a new rumor from anonymous sources claims that the Swiss watchmaker may be among other watch firms working with Apple to bring the "iWatch" technologies to a wide range of co-branded devices for different markets. While such collaborations would be unusual for Apple normally, the company has been opening itself up to more partnerships lately.
11.6-inch MacBook Air cut to $950
This week, BestBuy.com is offering sale prices on a variety of Mac models, one being the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which has seen a $150 discount from $1,099 down to $949. That discount makes this the best price currently available on this Mac model by $50. Free US shipping is included, and sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Kanex Products introduces Thunderbolt to eSATA adapter
Kanex Products has announced the release of its Thunderbolt to eSATA and USB 3.0 adapter. Allowing users to connect Thunderbolt-equipped Mac or PC to an eSATA device, the adapter is capable of extending the use of existing eSATA-equipped external storage units. It USB 3.0 port facilitates a fast connection to peripherals that users may already have, such as external hard drives, a keyboard, or mouse.