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Mac: Apple MacBook Pro (2016)

Apple introduced three new models of its MacBook Pro at today’s event. Two of those models feature the company’s new Touch Bar, a multi-touch OLED bar which replaces the function keys and also contains a built-in Touch ID sensor. Touch Bar is essentially a thin, full-color touchscreen that can perform many functions based on software — it also offers quick access to commands, function “key” access, predictive text suggestions, and more. The 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar ($1,799-$1,999) features a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz, 8GB 2133MHz memory, 256GB or 512GB PCIe-based SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550, and four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be adapted to support power, Thunderbolt, USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA with the correct dongles. The 15” MacBook Pro ($2,399-$2,799) offers a 2.6GHz or 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz or 3.6GHz, 16GB 2133MHz memory, 256GB or 512GB PCIe-based SSD, Radeon Pro 450 or 455 with 2GB memory, and the four Thunderbolt 3 ports. Optional upgrades, such as a 1 or 2TB SSD, will increase the price dramatically — when selecting all possible top-of-the-line options, the 15” Pro actually tops out at $4,299, not including any extra pre-installed software.


Apple to provide more unified TV experience with new ‘TV’ app for Apple TV

During today’s event in Cupertino, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a new TV app for the Apple designed to provide a unified TV experience with a central launch screen for all movies and TV shows across multiple content apps such as iTunes, HBO NOW, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and more. Expected to be available in the U.S. in December as part of a tvOS update, the new TV app will provide a “Watch Now” screen showing a play queue of recently watched TV series’, unfinished movies, and recommended content based on what the viewer has previously watched. A “Library” screen will provide unified access to the user’s purchased iTunes Movies and TV Shows, and a “Store” section provides access to iTunes content, as well as directly downloading other content provider apps from within the TV app. During the demonstration, Apple TV team member Jennifer Folds also hinted that the promised Single Sign-on feature for third-party apps would likely be available around the same time that the TV app launches in December. Apple is also bringing the new TV app to the iPhone and iPad, allowing users to see the same content index and view content across all of their devices.

Daily Deal: Rotating Car Phone Stand

For Thursday’s iLounge Deal, you can pick up the Rotating Car Phone Stand for only $13.99 — that’s 53% off the regular price. This modern, rotating iPhone stand helps you stay hands-free on the road, with a powerful suction cup that attaches to your windshield or dashboard to hold your iPhone while you do the driving.

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Elgato announces HomeKit-enabled Eve Light Switch

Elgato has announced Eve Light Switch ($50), a new product in the company’s Eve lineup of HomeKit-enabled products. Eve Light Switch is the world’s first standalone HomeKit-enabled light switch, and it can be used with Siri or HomeKit in any single or multi-bulb lighting setup. The new accessory replaces a standard single pole switch and uses Bluetooth LE to communicate with nearby iOS and Apple TV devices for remote HomeKit access and Siri voice control. Eve Light Switch is unique from other HomeKit-enabled light switch solutions in that it’s a standalone switch that does not require a bridge or hub to communicate with HomeKit. It features a clean, white wall plate for a minimalist modern look, and uses a captive touch sensor for manual lighting control. Eve Light Switch notably does not provide dimming, although the company notes that it can be paired with a HomeKit-enabled Philips Hue system for this purpose.

Review: Creative iRoar Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Creative's iRoar Go ($200) is the latest variation in its Roar series, which has included a number of similar speakers, including last year's Sound Blaster Roar 2, which earned our high recommendation. iRoar Go is a lot like that speaker — it's a five-driver portable speaker with a number of additional features not seen on many competitors. iRoar Go is differentiated by its smaller footprint, its IPX6 splashproof rating, and its "SuperWide" technology, which purports to create a larger sound stage than you'd expect from a relatively small speaker. Changing the speaker's orientation or placement is said to have a noticeable effect in its sound presentation. Creative claims that iRoar Go delivers up to 12 hours of audio playback.


Apple delays AirPods release

Apple’s AirPods, the wireless W1-aided earphones which debuted at the company’s September event, apparently won’t be released in “late October” after all. Though Apple’s website still gives that time frame as of this writing, TechCrunch reports that the earphones aren’t ready for market. “The early response to AirPods has been incredible. We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. The report notes that no timeline was given for their availability — so we can only speculate on just how long “a little more time” will be.

Report: iPhone 8 likely to come in three glass-backed sizes

Three new iPhone 8 models set to be released next year could feature all-glass backs, Nikkei Asian Review reports. An industry source said the phones are likely to feature glass front and back pieces produced by China’s Biel Crystal Manufactory and Lens Technology, with the glass pieces held together by a metal frame. “Apple has tentatively decided that all the 5.5-inch, 5-inch and 4.7-inch models will have glass backs, departing from metal casings adopted by current iPhones, and Biel and Lens are likely to be providing all the glass backs for the new iPhones next year,” the source said.


Report: New Apple TV app to provide show recommendations

An Apple TV app set to be announced Thursday will help users find new shows based on what they already like, USA Today reports. Sources said the app has been referred to as “the Watch List” in discussions with network executives, and it will recommend shows based on what viewers are accessing with their Apple TV. The move could be a boon for networks looking to adapt to a digital marketplace where they can’t simply schedule a new show next to an established hit to get their audience to give it a try.


Apple’s German website adds Apple Pay support page, but still no launch

Apple’s German website now features a support page explaining how to use Apple Pay, but the mobile payment service still hasn’t debuted in the country. Rumors about an impending Apple Pay launch in Germany started over the weekend, when a Reddit user unearthed several hints on Apple’s website, including a map that showed Germany highlighted alongside other Apple Pay countries. The new page wasn’t taken down after it was discovered, but it also doesn’t look like it’s complete, with the images featuring bank logos and user locations that are displayed on the U.S. version of the site.


Daily Deal: Last Chance to get the Pay What You Want Award-Winning Mac Bundle

Today’s your last chance to get the Pay What You Want Award-Winning Mac Bundle, with thirteen powerful apps to make your Mac a productivity powerhouse. Pay whatever you want for Screen Grabber Pro, eXtra Voice Recorder, and Photo Stitcher, and if you beat the average price you’ll receive the complete set of apps, including Drive Genius 4, The Hit List, Aurora HDR, and more.

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