Early last year, we reviewed and loved G-Boom, a remarkable ruggedized $100 boombox from a relatively unknown developer named G-Project. It turned out that G-Project shared some key personnel with Soundfreaq, maker of many good and great speakers, yet was focused on producing even more budget-conscious yet durable Bluetooth audio gear. This month, G-Project debuted what it's alternately calling the "New G-Go" or the second-generation G-Go ($60), an update to one of its earliest speakers. Roughly the size of and similarly shaped to a milk carton, G-Go is an alternative to G-Boom for users who need a smaller, durable, and water-resistant speaker at a lower price point.
Sago Mini Road Trip ($3) — Sago Sago’s latest game, Sago Mini Road Trip, lets children take an adventurous — but leisurely-paced — drive with Sago’s Jinja the cat. Sago Mini Road Trip slightly expands on the usual concept of Sago Sago’s games, letting kids pack a suitcase and pick which vehicle they want to drive across a road filled with bridges, puddle, mud holes, and more. You can stop and fill your gas tank or get your car washed on the way, as well. After a short trip, you’ve reached a friend, and it’s time to start the journey again, if you wish. It’s simple stuff, but the variety of cars — and the unexpected ability to make your car fly — could keep younger children coming back for more play.
Football Manager Handheld 2015 ($10) — Sega’s Football Manager returns for the 2015 season, allowing users to take on the role of managing their favorite real-life club. Players must manage transfers and tactics, and take charge from the touchline on match days, and this year’s version provides a new 2D Match Engine with improved realism, a new Scouting Agency to monitor the top-ranked players, more detailed club stats, world rankings, and a manager achievements page that lets you keep track of your trophies and accolades. A new in-game editor is also available as an optional in-app purchase that lets users change game parameters in mid-career to simulate different scenarios.
Mobile payments company Square is working toward accepting Apple Pay for transactions through its system by some time next year, according to a new report from CNN Money. Although Square offers its own payment sending service in the form of Square Cash, the company is primarily focused on providing a mobile merchant solution, and the ability to accept Apple Pay would be a logical fit. Square’s current hardware is only designed to support swiping of traditional credit cards, and Apple at this time does not allow third-party developers to access the NFC hardware in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Square would presumably develop an NFC add-on module similar in concept to their current Square Reader that could accept Apple Pay transactions in the same manner as traditional payment terminals.
SteelSeries' second iOS controller is called Stratus XL ($70), a followup to the original Stratus. Previously, the small Bluetooth controller launched with a retail price of $100, but the new Stratus XL is both larger — hence the name — and $30 cheaper. It retains the same number of gameplay sticks and buttons, but has a new shape with extended handles in addition to its larger size. Like the recently released C.T.R.L.i and Micro C.T.R.L.i from Mad Catz, Stratus XL is said to get 40 hours of play time from two disposable batteries — AA batteries in this case.
While we laud Belkin for staking a very early claim in the automated "smart home" market with the WeMo line of Wi-Fi accessories — and have liked most of the WeMo products we've tested — there are times when the technology can feel more like an expensive gimmick than a potential lifestyle-changer. Jarden Consumer Solutions' new Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Coffeemaker ($250) is in the former category, nearly doubling the price of an otherwise nearly identical product just to add modestly valuable Internet connectivity. Even if you're the type of person who has dreamed of being able to "brew coffee from your bed," you might not want to spend the considerable extra cash for this model.
Today in iLounge Deals you can pick up the Panther Spy Drone UFO for only $110 – that’s 55% off the normal price. A large stunt-ready quadcopter, the Panther boasts a 4.5 channel radio control to allow you to seamlessly maneuver forward, backward, up and down, rotate and coast laterally, and the built-in 360-degree flip stunt mode lets you pull off smooth loops with the press of a button. With the included camera you can also capture snapshots and video footage of the world below to a micro-SD card.
Google has come to an agreement with patent consortium Rockstar to settle all pending litigation, Reuters reports. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, a Texas federal court filing made public on Monday indicated that the two companies have agreed to settle “all matters in controversy between the parties.” The Rockstar group, consisting of Apple, Microsoft, and Blackberry (formerly RIM), among others, successfully outbid Google in 2011, paying $4.5 billion for over 6,000 patents from former telecom giant Nortel, covering a wide range of Internet and wireless communications technologies. Google subsequently penned an open letter accusing the group of waging “a hostile, organized campaign against Android” using “bogus” patents.
Last October, Rockstar filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that the company was infringing seven Nortel patents related to search engine technology. At that time, Rockstar also filed infringement lawsuits against several other Android handset manufacturers concerning other patents. However, Google intervened on behalf of the handset makers, successfully halting the Texas proceedings while it petitioned a California judge to rule that devices using the Android operating system did not infringe the cited patents. This week’s filing does not indicate whether Rockstar has also settled with the Android handset makers, or whether Google has taken any further action in that regard.
“No, no, no,” you said when you saw Satechi’s 7 Port Aluminum Hub on iLounge + Mac earlier this year. “Seven extra USB ports for my Mac is not enough. I must have 10 ports.” If that plea sounds familiar, consider yourself lucky: Satechi heard you and is ready with a solution. Bear witness to the new 10 Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub ($65), an even larger hub with a downright wacky collection of 10 ports in a row. Look carefully and you’ll notice that seven of the ports are blue, and three are red. Those last three are called “Super Charging” ports, though they’re not quite as super as one might imagine.
Logitech had several choices after releasing the best standalone Bluetooth keyboard for Apple's devices — 2013's Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard: rest on its laurels, continue iteratively improving Easy-Switch, or focus on producing simpler, cheaper versions. Thankfully, it hasn't been sitting around doing nothing: earlier this year, Logitech released a decidedly budget version called K480, and now it's offering Keys-to-Go ($70), a smaller mid-range alternative that goes in a different direction.
IvySkin's Renegade ($40) for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is essentially a half-hard shell that wraps around a rubber layer, encasing the iPhone. Renegade features coverage for the sleep/wake button and volume controls. As with many cases, a slight lip offers protection for the front of the phone. The case also comes with IvySkin's XYLOGlass screen protector packed in. We received the Renegade for both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the price and design are the same for both versions of the case.