All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Gear: PureGear GlassBak 360 for iPhone X

PureGear’s GlassBak 360, now updated for the iPhone X, is a case of a different sort. Eschewing the traditional one-piece protective case design, GlassBak focuses more strongly on aesthetics, combining a tempered glass back with an aluminum bumper, creating an attractive case for those who want to add a bit of protection to their iPhone X without sacrificing sleekness of style.

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Review: Optoma NuForce BE2 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Recently, we reviewed the Optoma NuForce HEM Dynamic IEM and found that although it sounded good, its narrow sound channels didn't hold its ear tips well enough, making it all too possible to end up with ear tips left deep inside your ear canals. This week, we're trying a new headphone from Optoma's NuForce line — the BE2 Wireless. We find that the BE2 is very affordable, sounds good, and keeps its ear tips where they're supposed to be.

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Fishball 360 lens for iPhone fully funds on Indiegogo

The Fishball 360 lens has just fully funded on Indiegogo, so the clip-on attachment is likely to see production. The lens simply snaps over the iPhone’s camera with no batteries or cables required and captures 360-degree images using the iPhone’s existing camera in tandem with the attachment’s lenses. The makers call the lens “futureproof” and promise it will remain compatible with future iPhones, saying it is currently compatible with the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X. Images taken with the lens can be posted to any platform that supports 360-degree photos, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo. The lens is expected to ship by June 2018 and is still available on the Indiegogo page for $49.

Mac: Twelve South HiRise Pro stand

Ahead of tomorrow’s iMac Pro release, Twelve South has revealed its new HiRise Pro stand, an update of the older HiRise iMac stand. The stand allows any iMac’s base to slide in through the top and rest on an adjustable shelf within the base, allowing users to raise their display from just under 1 inch up to 3.5 inches. A slot in the back allows for access to ports and a hinged door on the front allows the space inside the stand to be used for storage of other devices, peripherals and anything else cluttering up the desk top. The door contains multiple slots for ventilation and can be flipped around to either match the gunmetal finish of the case or display a walnut inlay. The stand costs $150 and is available on the Apple Store.

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Apple invests $390M in Finisar, company that makes lasers for iPhone X

Apple has announced a $390 million investment in Finisar, the company that produces lasers used in the iPhone X’s Face ID technology, according to a press release. The money is expected to be spent on research and development and high-volume production of the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers that power Face ID, Portrait mode selfies and even the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods. Finisar will be remodelling a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas to add more than 500 jobs for engineers, technicians and maintenance teams to dramatically increase production. This is the second grant from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which previously invested $200 million in Corning’s “revolutionary glass production methods.”

Daily Deal: Storyist for Mac

In Wednesday’s iLounge Deal, you can pick up Storyist for Mac for only $16.15 using the coupon code GIFTSHOP15. This mobile-friendly writing app is a do-it-all writing platform designed specifically with fiction writers in mind and designed to allow you to unleash your creativity just about anywhere you happen to be. It’s a fully-featured word processor that gives you complete control over manuscripts and screenplays, with elite annotation power, high-level story viewing, and many more tools to make writing complex projects a breeze.

Get the Storyist for Mac now for only $16.15

weMessage brings some iMessage functionality to Android devices

Messaging app weMessage is bringing iMessage to Android devices, albeit without some of the iOS app’s functionality. The app works by using a Mac as a sort of server to relay iMessages from the computer to the weMessage app on any other device, which includes Android phones. The app supports group chats, read receipts, AES encryption and a variety of audio, image and video attachments, but won’t support more proprietary things like Apple Pay Cash. For Android users looking to get in on the iMessage conversations of their Apple using friends, weMessage is a decent tool, but it’s far from a fully functioning replacement for iMessage.

Apple snags more TV execs from Hulu, Legendary

Apple is continuing its high-powered TV executive hiring spree, stealing Philip Matthys from Hulu and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Legendary Entertainment, Variety reports. Matthys started as head of business affairs for Apple’s Worldwide Video division last month after holding a similar role at Hulu, where he oversaw dealmaking and policy for all of Hulu’s original content. Wang Grazier is expected to start on the same team in January — reporting to Matthys — after serving as executive vice president for business and legal affairs at Legendary for two years.

Review: iHome iSP100 Outdoor Smart Plug

Although iHome was one of the first companies to offer a HomeKit accessory back in 2015 with its iSP5 SmartPlug, it remained relatively quiet in the HomeKit space after that initial release, so needless to say we were intrigued when the company showed up recently with its new iSP100 Outdoor SmartPlug, a new HomeKit accessory that builds on the company's early success with an affordable HomeKit-controlled plug that can be used outdoors — an ideal solution for adding HomeKit support to your outdoor Christmas lights this time of the year.

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Review: Shinola Canfield On-Ear Headphones

Writing reviews of consumer electronics can get a bit predictable. Cellphones, TVs, and even headphones from established manufacturers will receive iterative updates and only occasionally manifest as something truly new. Occasionally a lifestyle brand puts their name on a headphone, but you can always tell when their involvement doesn't go any deeper than the logo. Sometimes, however, a company can surprise us. Recently, Detroit-based Shinola — a watch and leather goods manufacturer named after a shoe polish company — released a series of headphones. We got a chance to try their Canfield On-Ear; they're quite good.

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