All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Mac: Pushbullet for Mac

The Handoff and Continuity features in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are a really handy addition to improving inter-device workflows, but the features are still somewhat limited to Apple’s own technologies and pairings of third-party apps specifically designed to support the features. For those looking for something that goes a bit beyond, there’s

Apps: The LEGO Movie Video Game, Rocket Cars, SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run, 1Password 5.2 + more

New Games

The LEGO Movie Video Game ($5) — Almost one year after the release of The LEGO Movie comes the, aptly, if not originally titled, companion game. Generally following the storyline of the movie, the iOS game puts players into the world of Emmet as he finds himself unwittingly pulled into a quest to save the world and stop the evil tyrant Lord Business. Featuring a mix of more than 90 characters from the film, including Batman, Superman, the Green Ninja, Gandalf, Benny, and more, the game takes players through 45 exciting levels featuring all of the LEGO worlds shown in the original movie, from Flatbush Gulch to Cloud Cuckoo Land and beyond. Players must collect and use LEGO instruction pages to learn to build in a new way and harness the power of the Master Builders to create extraordinary LEGO structures and vehicles. The game also features scenes from the film and employs the same LEGO toy set animation style developed for the original movie.

Rocket Cars (free) — From Illusion Labs, the creators of Touchgrind Skate 2, Mr. Crab, and the Labyrinth series of games, comes this new car racing game. As the name implies, players strap in and rocket their way through a variety of landcapes, including offroad desert tracks, picturesque wooded areas, and a challenging copper world. Rocket Cars features over 60 levels and competing AI cars with increasing difficulty as well as unique single-touch controls and a variety of upgrades and power-ups that can be gained by performing tricks to knock out opponents and reach the goal first.

SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run ($4) — Just in time for the upcoming SpongeBob movie, Nickoledeon’s new endless runner puts players in the role of SpongeBob SquarePants and Plankton, on a quest to find the lost Krabby Patty formula. On their journey, players travel through Bikini Bottom, Apocalyptic Bikini Bottom, and a real world beach while flying past obstacles with Plankton’s jetpack, floating through coral forests in a bubble, or racing along in the Patty Wagon. Users can customize SpongeBob with unique costumes, collect various power-ups, and even become Super SpongeBob to knock everything out of their path. The game also features exclusive custom voice-overs and animation.

Daily Deal: Stay charged with the rugged ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh battery backup

In today’s iLounge Deal we’re offering the ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20000mAh Battery for only $49.99 – that’s 50% off the normal price. Combining a 20,000 mAh battery pack with a 1.2W monocrystalline solar panel, the SolarJuice lets you power up your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or other USB device repeatedly and can be plugged in to charge up at home, or simply recharge from the power of the sun. Dual outputs allow for simultaneous charging of multiple devices, with a 2.1A port for charging your iPad at full speed. The battery is also certificated for over 1000 recharge cycles, and with 20,000 mAh, you can charge an iPhone 6 more than seven times over. As an added bonus, this durable, lightweight and compact battery pack also includes an ultra bright LED flashlight, making it a great solution for any number of outdoor activities.

Get the ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20000mAh Battery now for only $49.99

Notes from Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings call

During Apple’s conference call announcing its record-breaking numbers from Q1 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked it off by saying that “demand for iPhone has been staggering, shattering our high expectations,” referring to the 74.5 million iPhones sold in the first quarter. “This volume is hard to comprehend.” He said the company sold 34,000 iPhones every hour of every day of the entire quarter.

Cook also briefly mentioned that he expects Apple Watch to ship in April. It’s the first official acknowledgment of a specific month for the release of Apple’s upcoming wearable. “My expectations are very high on it, I’m using it every day, and love it, and can’t live without it,” Cook said.

Questioned about the iPad’s future, Cook mentioned that first-time buyer rates for iPads are very high, and later mentioned that Apple’s enterprise partnership with IBM is “profound.”

Cook: Apple Watch shipping in April

CEO Tim Cook said the company is expecting to ship the upcoming Apple Watch in April. Cook briefly mentioned the tidbit during today’s conference call announcing Apple’s record-breaking Q1 2015 results. It’s the first time Apple has narrowed down the release date of its upcoming smartwatch to a specific month, but no particular date was mentioned.

Apple Q1 2015: Record $74.6B revenue, 74.5M iPhones, 24.4M iPads

Apple reported its first quarter 2015 financial results today, selling 74.5 million iPhones and 24.4 million iPads. The company posted quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. In Q1 2014, Apple had revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or 2.07 per diluted share. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent a year ago. International sales contributed to 65 percent of this quarter’s revenue.

For Q2 2015, Apple is providing guidance of revenue between $52 billion and $55 billion, and gross margin between 38.5 percent and 39.5 percent. Apple’s earnings call will begin at 5 p.m. EST, and can be heard live on the company’s investor website.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

“Our exceptional results produced EPS growth of 48 percent over last year, and $33.7 billion in operating cash flow during the quarter, an all-time record,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We spent over $8 billion on our capital return program, bringing total returns to investors to almost $103 billion, over $57 billion of which occurred in just the last 12 months.”

Tip of the Day: Customizing Mail swipe actions in iOS 8

If you deal with a lot of e-mail, you’ll probably appreciate the more advanced swipe gestures that iOS 8 adds to the Mail app. No longer limited to merely deleting or archiving messages, iOS 8 allows you to perform up to four different actions simply by swiping either left or right on an item in your inbox. By default, swiping right-to-left now displays a “Flag” option in addition to the Trash/Archive and More options, and you can also now swipe left to right to get an option to mark a message as read or unread. A long swipe in either direction will also automatically execute the appropriate actions, while a short swipe simply presents buttons that you can tap on to complete the action.

While the default options are somewhat useful, they may not match your normal way of working through your inbox, so the good news is that you can customize these settings even further. Simply take a trip into the iOS Settings app, and in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars section you’ll find a setting for “Swipe Options”; from here you can choose to have the swipe-left gesture show a Mark as Read/Unread or Flag button, and the swipe-right gesture can be customized to Mark Read/Unread, Flag, or Archive the message.…

Apple Pay support coming to more vending machines, kiosks, parking meters

USA Technologies has announced that it will be bringing Apple Pay support to its self-serve retail payment solutions, effectively adding about 200,000 new acceptance points for Apple Pay across categories of equipment including vending machines, coffee brewers, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations, and other self-serve appliances through the United States. The company’s flagship ePort cashless payments technologies are designed to be incorporated into small ticket, unattended retail applications such as food vending machines, and have already been incorporating NFC technology for the past decade, making the addition of Apple Pay support a logical extension.

Apple releases iOS 8.1.3

Apple has officially released iOS 8.1.3 to the public, another relatively minor maintenance release that notes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements. The update also addresses problems some users have had signing into Messages and FaceTime, issues with Spotlight sometimes not displaying app results, and multitasking gesture fix for iPad users. The amount of free storage space required to perform an update has also been reduced, and new configuration options have been added for education standardized testing. iOS 8.1.3 is available as an over-the-air update or by updating via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Review: Odoyo Power+Shell EX Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 6

Odoyo's Power+Shell EX Rechargeable Battery Case ($100) has returned for iPhone 6. The two-piece plastic case — comprised of the battery sled and clip-on bumper that covers the side of the phone — also includes a kickstand on the back. Button coverage for the sleep/wake button and volume controls is provided via the bumper, and sound from the speakers is ported out through the front of the case. An LED ring now shows how much life remains on the 3000 mAh battery: a green light indicates a remaining charge of 66-100 percent, a blue light means 33-66 percent, and a red light indicates 0-33 percent charge left. A button within the ring turns the power on and off and is used to check the battery life. The case comes with a micro-USB cable for charging — and syncing — and a headphone port extension cable.

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