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Tip of the Day: Finding your iPhone’s Serial Number, IMEI, and other numbers

If you’ve ever had to contact Apple for iPhone service, or had to call your cellular carrier to make changes to your account, you’ve probably been asked to provide a cryptic number to uniquely identify your iPhone. In Apple’s case, your serial number is used to track warranty service, and with your cellular carrier, your IMEI, or International Mobile Station Equipment Identity, is a number that uniquely identifies your mobile phone number on the cellular network. You can easily find these by going into your iPhone Settings app and choosing General, About, and then copying them to your iOS clipboard by tapping and holding on them, but this doesn’t really help if you need to access these numbers from a desktop computer, such as when you need to paste into an online form in a web browser.

The good news is that if you need to get at these numbers from your Mac or PC, there’s an easier way than emailing the number to yourself — as long as you’ve associated your iPhone to iTunes on your computer, you can find these numbers hidden away on your device’s “Summary” screen. The Serial Number is readily shown right beneath your iPhone’s phone number, but if you click on the phone number field, it will toggle between your phone number and your IMEI as well as your Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID), and SIM card’s Integrated Circuit Card Identifier (ICCID) with each click. Similarly, the Serial Number field can also show your Unique Device Identifier (UDID), Exclusive Chip Identification (ECID), and Product Type. You can right-click on any of these numbers to copy them to your clipboard, making it easy to grab them and paste them into any form where they may be needed, or easily read them off and recite them back to your carrier’s customer service provider without having to take your iPhone away from ear.…

Review: OORT SmartFinder, SmartLED + SmartSocket

iOS-based home automation accessories are becoming more and more popular as open standards like Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi gradually supplant the more closed X.10 and Z-Wave systems of yesteryear. OORT is the latest startup to toss its hat into the ring with SmartFinder ($30), SmartLED ($40), and SmartSocket ($50). All of OORT's devices work over Bluetooth LE, so you can communicate directly with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without needing to worry about intermediate hardware, and the company also provides a $180 SmartHub which we did not receive to review.

Gear: PowerSkin PowerStand Boost

PowerSkin’s PowerStand Boost ($25) is a tiny 2600 mAh battery pack. PowerStand Boost has a small built-in rubber mat, which can be unrolled and used as a viewing stand for an iPhone. While we found it had no problems holding up an iPhone 6, an iPhone 6 Plus proved too big for the stand. PowerStand Boost’s battery capacity should also deliver a full charge to an iPhone 6. PowerSkin’s small cylindrical charger includes both a 1A USB output and 1A micro-USB input, and a very short micro-USB cable is included for charging.

Apple retail stores to have very limited Apple Watch stock

Perhaps not surprisingly, most Apple Stores are expected to have limited stock of the Apple Watch for the initial launch, 9to5Mac reports. Sources at Apple Stores have noted that priority will be given to reservations as well, limiting stock even further for walk-in purchases, and employees have been told to treat launch day as if there is no walk-in stock available at all. This problem will be exacerbated by the wide variety of models available, making it even harder for a walk-in customer to get the specific Apple Watch that they may be looking for.

Apple quietly acquiring companies to improve cloud services?

Apple’s recent acquisition of database developer FoundationDB actually follows another quiet acquisition of a related company in 2013, Bloomberg reports. Acunu Ltd., a U.K. based data analytics company, appears to have been acquired by Apple in late 2013, according to a LinkedIn entry that reveals that Acunu’s Chief Technology Officer began working as a manager for Apple’s iCloud division, followed by several other Acunu employees beginning to work at Apple shortly thereafter. Not much is known about what Apple’s plans for the new technologies would be, but the Bloomberg report suggests that Apple is “placing more emphasis on the development of solid data infrastructure to help provide services to its legions of global consumers beyond iPhones and iPads” and it seems reasonable that such technologies would be used to expand and improve iCloud and other cloud-based services.

Apple planning to release three iPhone models this year?

Apple may be planning to release three different iPhone models later this year, essentially adding a new 4-inch model to the lineup, according to the often-dubious DigiTimes. Citing “industry sources,” the report notes that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus would be directly upgraded to the “iPhone 6S” and “iPhone 6S Plus”, respectively, and that a new “iPhone 6C” would be added to the lineup — a four-inch model that would presumably be the spiritual successor to the iPhone 5s. The devices would allegedly all include Corning Gorilla Glass, with the 6S series using A9 chips and the 6C using the current A8 chip, and all devices would include NFC and Touch ID hardware. The report’s sources also indicate that Apple would likely use different manufacturing partners for the smaller-sized iPhone.

While any early reports — especially from sources such as Digitimes — should be taken with an appropriate grain of salt, the move would not be entirely unexpected for Apple, particularly if demand for iPhones with the more “traditional” screen size remains high. As has been the company’s practice in previous years, Apple is currently still selling the older four-inch iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c alongside the larger iPhone 6 models, providing customers with a variety of screen sizes to choose from. However, as newer models are introduced, the company may not wish to leave these users with only significantly older hardware options.

Report reveals more details on Apple’s upcoming music service

The New York Times has a report today that provides some additional insight into Apple’s plans for the upcoming streaming music service that the company is rumored to be developing with its Beats division. Being billed as a service that is expected to rival Spotify, the new subscription offering has Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame overseeing the redesign of the iOS Music app to accommodate the new services. The report also notes that Apple is planning improvements to iTunes Radio to focus more on regional listeners, and “splashy new albums” that will be released initially as iTunes exclusives. Former BBC Radio DJ Zane Lowe has apparently been hired by Apple to play a role in redesigning iTunes Radio to “bear some resemblance to a traditional radio station.”

The report also confirms that Apple’s new service will not come in at a lower price than competing services. Several music executives told the New York Times that Apple’s attempts to negotiate lower pricing from record labels have failed, suggesting that Apple’s service will likely be priced at the $10/month level that has pretty much become standard across all streaming music services. Unlike services such as Spotify, however, Apple’s new service is not expected to have a free version, a decision that music executives are reported to be particularly happy about.

Daily Deal: Bobine Ultra-Flexible iPhone 6 / 6+ Dock

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering up the ‘Bobine’ Flexible iPhone Charging Dock for only $24.99 – almost 30% off the normal price. This gravity-defying all-in-one device incorporates an MFI-certified Lightning charging cable with a flexible dock and a tripod, allowing you to charge and dock your iPhone at any angle you could possibly want. The 24-inch cable is ultra-strong and flexible to you can also use it as a tripod for snapping selfies or time-lapse photos.

Get your ‘Bobine’ Flexible iPhone Charging Dock now for only $24.99

Apple adds CNNgo channel to Apple TV

Apple has added CNNgo to its list of Apple TV channels, just a day after adding a trio of channels to the set-top box. CNNgo offers live news coverage, shows, and recorded news clips. While live coverage and CNN programming require cable authentication, the news clips are free for all to access.

Gear: Hex Convoy Collection

Hex recently introduced its Convoy Collection ($30-$130), a collection spanning a wide range of bags, cases, and wallets, all in a black-and-white striped pattern. We received the Convoy Convertible Backpack ($100), Convoy Laptop Tote ($80), and Convoy 13” Convertible Sleeve ($60) for further examination. Convertible Backpack is a traditional backpack which can accommodate a laptop up to the size of a 15” MacBook Pro, and the bag’s front pocket is large enough to hold an iPad. Laptop Tote can also hold up to a 15” MacBook Pro and an iPad, while the 13” Convertible Sleeve fits up to a 13” MacBook Pro, as one might expect. Of course, all three bags feature additional storage space for an iPhone, cables, and other various accessories.






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