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Mac: STM Dux for MacBook Air

We’ve seen STM’s Dux for both iPhone and iPad before, and now we have an early look at the MacBook Air edition of the protective case. STM’s Dux for MacBook Air ($60) is a transparent polycarbonate case with TPU edges for drop protection. Four textured rubber feet on the bottom of Dux prevent your MacBook from slipping on a smooth surface. We received the 13” MacBook Air version of Dux, but a 11” MacBook Air version should be available, as well. The 13” version should be released in late April/early May.

Apple announces ‘Spring Forward’ event for March 9

Apple has sent out media invitations for an event on March 9, with the tagline “Spring forward.” The Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco will host the event. It’s expected that the event will mainly focus on the Apple Watch, which is scheduled for an April release, but some other surprises may also be in store. [via The Loop]

Update: Apple has announced that it will stream the event live on its website. The event takes place at 10 a.m. Pacific time, March 9.

Brikk unveils opulent Apple Watch line priced up to $75,000

Brikk, a company that produces high-end versions of tech and lifestyle products, has announced Lux Watch, an expensive line of modified diamond-studded Apple Watches. The Lux Watch is available in three versions — Standard, Deluxe, and Omni — with prices set based on its materials, size, and the amount of diamonds included. A Lux Watch Standard starts at $7,500, while the Lux Watch Omni in 24-karat yellow gold can reach a price as high as $75,000, with 12.30 carats of diamonds on the 42mm version of the watch. Brikk is now accepting pre-orders on Lux Watch, which will ship four to six weeks after the Apple Watch’s release.

While only a select group of people will have interest in Lux Watch, it raises a few other questions about the price of Apple’s 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition. Estimates for the Edition have ranged from $4,000 to $20,000, with lots of guesses in between. Though certainly not out of the question, it would nonetheless be peculiar for a diamond-studded version of the Apple Watch — coming in 24-karat yellow gold, 18-karat pink gold, or platinum — to cost less than Apple’s own Edition. [via MacRumors]

Daily Deal: Last Chance to get the Code Black Drone w/HD Camera for 55% off

Today is your last chance to pick up The Limited Edition Code Black Drone and HD Camera in today’s iLounge Deal. You can still get this dark knight of the sky for only $89, or over half off the normal price. One of the most fun introductory drones on the market, the Code Black is extremely stable to fly but will have you flipping through the air in no time. The included HD camera can also capture high-res video footage on the go, and with six-axis gyro technology this little palm-sized drone provides smooth flying and gets a flight time of about 10 minutes, with both beginner and expert flight modes.

Get The Limited Edition Code Black Drone w/HD Camera now for only $89

Ask iLounge: How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?

Q:  How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage? I recently broke my hand-me-down iPhone 4S mid-contract and I’ve had to revert back to using an old cell phone. Now when friends with iPhones (almost everyone I know) try to send me an SMS I never get the message. Using both my wife’s and daughter’s iPhones, we’ve confirmed that the only way I seem to be able to receive their text messages is if they turn off cellular data before sending it. Who would I need to talk to about fixing this problem, Apple or Verizon?

A: This ball is definitely in Apple’s court, as iMessage works through Apple’s network, and the problem here is that other people’s iPhones are looking up your phone number on Apple’s iMessage servers, and then deciding to send the messages out via the iMessage network, rather than Verizon’s SMS network. In short, there’s nothing Verizon can do about this, as they don’t technically “see” the iMessages as anything more than normal Internet traffic. While getting your iPhone number disassociated from iMessage used to be a somewhat complicated process, the good news is that you can now do this using Apple’s Deregister iMessage page.

Apple Maps adds new third-party data providers

Apple has been adding new data providers to Apple Maps, according to a new report from Apple Maps Marketing. The report notes several new services have recently appeared as suppliers of “Business Listings Data” in Apple’s Maps Acknowledgements page. Some of the notable new providers include GasBuddy, which provides gas price information, and GreatSchools, which provides school reviews and other school-related data. Although none of this data appears to have been incorporated into any actual Apple Maps listings, the appearance of these providers suggests that Apple is taking steps to integrate direct feeds from specialty services to enhance the amount of information available in Apple Maps. The report goes on to note that there may be a number of other companies beta testing integration with Apple Maps under typical Apple non-disclosure agreements.

Review: Olloclip Macro 3-in-1 Lens, Telephoto + CPL Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Olloclip has released two new lens kits which are compatible with both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Macro 3-in-1 Lens ($70) and Telephoto + CPL Lens ($100). The Macro 3-in-1 Lens offers three separate lenses with different levels of magnification — 7x, 14x, and 21x. The Telephoto + CPL Lens has a 2x telephoto lens and a circular polarizing lens. As in the case of Olloclip's 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of these lenses can fit over both the back camera and FaceTime camera on either iPhone. Both lenses come with their share of accessories, including wearable pendants and hoods for the Macro lens.

Apple ordered to pay $532.9m in iTunes patent infringement case

Apple has been ordered to pay $532.9 million in an iTunes patent infringement case, Bloomberg reports. Texas-based Smartflash LLC brought a suit against Apple claiming that the Cupertino company infringed three patents related to iTunes digital rights management and “inventions related to data storage and managing access through patent systems.” The original claim sought $852 million in damages as an entitlement to a percentage of sales of all of Apple’s devices capable of accessing iTunes.

Apple had responded to the allegations by stating that it did not recognize the Smartflash patents, pointing out that “Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented.” Apple lawyers repeatedly argued that the patents in question were invalid and that Smartflash’s royalty demands were “excessive and unsupportable,” noting that Apple should not be required to pay royalties on the full price of an iPhone when the dispute only pertains to a single feature, stating that “It doesn’t make a lick of sense that one person would buy an iPhone and not make calls.” Apple notes that it will appeal the decision. Smartflash, which appears to be in the sole business of having licensed seven patents, has also launched patent infringement claims against Samsung, Google, and Amazon.

Daily Deal: ‘The Case Studio’ Customizable Smartphone & Tablet Cases

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering you a $67 coupon for The Case Studio for only $34.99. This service lets you fully customize your own protective cases for your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can choose your own photo or select from a wide gallery of graphic and monogramming options. The result is a quality protective case with high-resolution images that don’t crack, fade, or peel.

Get your $67 credit to The Case Studio now for only $34.99

Tip of the Day: Enabling 60 fps Video Recording on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

One of the less publicized features of Apple’s latest pair of iPhone models is the ability to record video at a higher frame rate — 60 frames per second. By default, however, Apple chose to leave this feature disabled, so unless you’ve dug into your iPhone Settings app and found it already, you’ll still be shooting video at the same old 30fps rate used by the iPhone since video recording first debuted with the 3GS. A quick trip to Settings, Photos & Camera will reveal the “Record Videos at 60 FPS” setting. Toggle this on and you’ll be recording buttery smooth HD videos in no time at all.

Of course, with greater frame rates comes greater file sizes — if you’re recording twice as many frames, you’ll end up with videos twice as large. You’ll have to decide whether the increased frame rate is worth the extra storage, although that will likely be less of a concern if you’re sporting a 128GB iPhone, and with the full release of iCloud Photo Library on the horizon, offloading large videos to iCloud becomes an option as well.…






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