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Daily Deal: Scanmarker Air Wireless OCR Pen Scanner

For Friday’s iLounge Deal, you can get the Scanmarker Air Wireless OCR Pen Scanner for only $89 — that’s 25% off the regular price. This innovative tool scans your notes, inserting your text into any application or web browser. Scanmarker Air is ultra-portable so you can take anywhere, and it can scan a full line of text in just one second. After turning it into a RAW image, OCR technology then brings the underlying text into your Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Gmail messages, or just about anywhere else that you can insert text. What’s more, the Scanmarker Air can translate your text into over 40 languages and even read it back to you as it scans.

Get the Scanmarker Air Wireless OCR Pen Scanner now for only $89

Google Maps for iOS gets real-time trip and ETA sharing

Google has announced that its real-time location sharing feature is now available in the iOS version of Google Maps. Introduced into the Android version last year, the feature allows Google Maps users to share travel details, such as letting friends and family know when you’re expected to arrive somewhere. Users can easily begin sharing live location, route, and ETA with selected contacts by selecting “Share Trip Progress” from the menu, and with today’s update users on both Android and iOS will be able to share trip information via third-party apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The feature isn’t designed to provide full “Find My Friends” style persistent location sharing, but rather only to help those close to you keep track of your progress while on a specific trip; sharing automatically ends once your journey does. The feature is supported not only for driving, but also in walking and cycling navigation modes as well.

Square announces Terminal standalone point-of-sale solution

Square has just released Square Terminal, a new all-in-one point of sale solution for the company’s payments service. Rather than relying on an accessory attached to an iPhone or iPad, Square Terminal provides full end-to-end credit card processing for traditional swipe and chip card payment methods as well as contactless payments, including support for Apple Pay. The device connects to Square via Wi-Fi, and includes a touchscreen for keying in transactions and amounts, as well as a built-in receipt printer for issuing paper receipts (although Square’s e-mail and text receipt options are also still available with the terminal as well). A built-in battery and durable construction allows the terminal to be used anywhere without needing to be tethered to a desk, meaning it can be used in environments like restaurants and also be easily set up at trade shows and other events, although merchants will need to either have a Wi-Fi network or mobile hotspot available, although an offline mode allows users to keep taking payments even when no internet connection is available. Terminal is available in the U.S. only for now, and sells for $399, although Square is offering a $300 processing credit for merchants who are new to Square.

Apple announces Oct. 30 special event in Brooklyn, New York

Photo: The Verge

Apple today sent out media invites for another special event on Oct. 30, this time being held in Brooklyn, New York, and therefore starting at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, rather than Pacific Time. It’s widely expected that Apple will announce new iPad Pro models and Mac hardware at this event, as has been the trend in the past toward keeping the company’s September event focused on the iPhone. The tagline on the invites for this event is “There’s more in the making,” and Apple’s new event page actually lists a whole collection of different stylized Apple logos, with a new one appearing each time you load the page. Event invites sent to media also featured different logos, and according to MacRumors, it appears to be several dozen, with approximately 10 shown randomly on the event page, while others were used only on the event invites. [via The Verge]

Apple hosting special Today at Apple sessions for ‘The Big Draw’

Apple is hosting special drawing-themed Today at Apple sessions in celebration of The Big Draw Festival taking place this month. A worldwide celebration of drawing, The Big Draw is the world’s largest drawing festival, and Apple is participating this year by offering 108 different sessions in eight of its flagship stores, including 22 sessions hosted in London, five of which will be in association with the Royal Academy. Other stores in Milan, Dubai, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and Singapore will also be offering the special sessions.


Apple cracking down on misleading in-app free trial subscriptions

Photo: Albert Renshaw, via Forbes

Following an exposé earlier this week that revealed a number of apps using deceptive marketing practices to trick users into signing up for expensive in-app subscriptions, Apple now appears to be cracking down on such apps, according to a follow-up report by Forbes, who originally broke the story earlier this month. According to multiple app develops, Apple has begun “systemically combing through” subscription apps on the App Store, looking for those with potentially confusing terms of service, removing those “that look problematic.” According to one developer, Albert Renshaw, who received a rejection notice after Apple “re-evaluated” their app, it appears that Apple is automatically removing many “non-big-name” apps that are showing high in-app subscription revenues, sending out notices to developers indicating that auto-renewable subscriptions are being “marketed in a manner that may mislead of confuse users about the subscription terms of pricing,” citing section 3.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines.


Daily Deal: Pionears Wireless Earbuds

Today in iLounge Deals, you can pick up the Pionears Wireless Earbuds for only $99.99 — that’s 23% off the regular price. Lean into the true wireless freedom provided by the revolutionary Pionears. These earbuds afford you elite listening flexibility while the sleek and ergonomic dual-function charging base and 4400 mAh power bank help deliver a longer charge. They’ll keep you tuned into your world, no matter where your journey takes you.

Get the Pionears Wireless Earbuds now for only $99.99

Review: iHome iAV5 Blueooth Rechargeable Speaker for Amazon Echo Dot

Alexa integration has been the hottest trend in speakers this year, but despite Amazon’s willingness to open up Alexa to third-parties, it seems that the company’s own Echo line of speakers still have the home-field advantage, so it’s understandable why many Alexa users might prefer to stick with the first-party options. To this end, we’ve seen a couple of companies taking the more blunt approach to Alexa integration — providing a basic speaker that simply acts as a dock for Amazon’s own Echo Dot, essentially leaving the brains of the device to Amazon and focusing on the core audio experience. Earlier this year we took a look at Divoom’s ADOT, and now prolific speaker maker iHome has joined the club with its own line of Echo Dot extending speakers.


First Look: Anki Vector

Anki’s first robotic pet, Cozmo, rolled his way into our hearts last year with his cute and endearing robotic personality, and now we’ve just gotten our hands on Cozmo’s successor, Vector — the new and fully-autonomous home robot that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since Anki first announced it earlier this year. The next chapter in Anki’s pet home robot ambitions, Vector promises to deliver even more personality and — most significantly — direct Wi-Fi connectivity so the little guy can roam around your home without the need to rely on an iOS app, making it even more like a virtual pet. Although we’ve only spent a couple of days with Vector so far, he’s already made a big impression on the kids and adults alike. We’ll be rounding out thoughts out with a full review in the coming days, so be sure to check back for more on Vector’s adventures.


Apple’s full Data & Privacy Portal now available in U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Apple’s full Data and Privacy Portal is now available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, MacRumors has discovered. While the data download option is being gradually rolled out, soon all Apple users in those countries will be able to download a complete copy of the data that Apple has associated with their Apple ID, including not only the standard information such as calendars, reminders, photos, and iCloud documents, but also purchase history, Game Center activity, AppleCare support history, app usage history, and more. The expanded version of the Data and Privacy Portal, which previously only allowed users to correct their data or delete their account, launched earlier this year in the European Union in order to comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), although Apple said at the time that it would eventually be rolling out the feature worldwide. While Apple has allowed customers to manually request this data for some time, the new portal streamlines the process considerably.

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