On behalf of all of iLounge’s staff and volunteers we’d like to wish the happiest of holidays to you and yours. We will be on a limited publication schedule for the next few days as we celebrate with our families and friends, and we will return to our regular posting schedule on Monday, December 29th.
Hopefully, you’ll find a new iPhone, iPad, iPod, accessory, or gift card wrapped in a shiny box over the next few days! Let us know below what sort of Apple goodies you received or gave as gifts for the holidays!
If you’re looking for a way to spend either a gift card or a few dollars, don’t forget to check out our Best of the Year 2014 Awards, which highlight our top picks from the past year in more than 25 different categories of products, from cases to speakers to apps and games. We also have a Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide, which takes a look at some of the best products that came out after our Best of the Year awards were already decided. And as always, check out iLounge’s collection of thousands of reviews, covering products for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod models.
We hope all of you have a great and relaxing holiday!
Today in iLounge Deals it’s The Xbox One + Grand Theft Auto V Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a bundle that includes a free Xbox One and a copy of Grand Theft Auto V. To enter, simply submit your e-mail address on the giveaway page to sign up for our iLounge Deals, and you can even gain additional entries by sharing on Twitter and Facebook – the more your friends and followers enter, the more entries you receive. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Februrary 25, 2015. Good luck!
In today’s next iLounge Deal, we’re offering the Om/One Levitating Bluetooth Speaker for only $179.99. The world’s first levitating Bluetooth speaker, the Om/One provides a full 105 decibels of crisp and clear sound output all while hovering in the air like a Star Wars-esque audio orb. The speaker is compatible with any device supporting Bluetooth 4.0, and also doubles as an awesome floating speakerphone. You can also pick it up and take it anywhere, and its battery will provide you with up to 15 hours of continuous play.
BuQu Tech's PowerArmour Battery Case for iPhone 6 ($80) is one of the first battery cases we've seen for Apple's new iPhones. The case features a built-in Lightning charger that can slide up or down to accommodate an iPhone 6, and the 2800 mAh battery offers a full charge. PowerArmour unfortunately lacks button coverage — the sleep/wake button and volume controls are left exposed. A power switch on the back controls the charging, and four LEDs denote how much charge is left within the battery. A headphone adapter and micro-USB cable are also included with the case, the latter for charging the battery, naturally.
Grovemade, known for its all-wood cases, has brought its Maple iPhone Case ($99) to iPhone 6. The case consists of two parts — a wood bumper and a backplate. Unlike Kerf Case's Wood Cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Grovemade's case offers coverage for the sleep/wake button and volume controls. The backplate, which snaps into the bumper, also uses an adhesive to help it stick to the back of the iPhone 6.
Tylt's Energi Sliding Power Case ($100) is the first battery case we've seen for iPhone 6, though we have seen a previous version of Energi before, for iPhone 5. Energi comes with a simple standalone case, which can then be inserted in a larger 3200 mAh battery sleeve with a built-in Lightning connector for charging on the go — the two pieces work together as a bigger, thicker case. While the design here is similar to the previous Energi case, the battery now has a higher capacity, and the inner case offers more protection than before. The sleep/wake buttons and volume controls are now covered, as are the top and bottom of the phone. A micro-USB cable is included for charging the battery.
In today’s iLounge Deal you can pick up the PowerCube Outlet Expander for only $17.95. Providing four AC outlets and a dual-USB power, the PowerCube is versatile enough to meet all of your power and charging needs in one portable power adapter. Designed to be sleek, compact, and efficient, you can plug in up to four AC plugs of just about any size without worrying about them blocking each other, and the dual-USB port provides full 2.1A charging power so you can even juice up your iPad at full speed.
Just Mobile is billing its TopGum ($80) as "the sophisticated backup battery" for iOS devices. The partially aluminum 6000 mAh battery features a built-in cable with a Lightning connector attached. TopGum offers dual output charging, as the Lightning cable can recharge devices at 2.4A, while a separate USB port provides 1A charging. The included micro-USB cable can be used to recharge the battery itself or, optionally, to charge devices from the battery. Also included is a small dock for charging the battery — the micro-USB connector can be plugged into the dock so the battery can charge upright while docking via magnets and three small pins. Just Mobile claims TopGum can fully charge an iPhone up to three times, and charge an iPad mini up to 75 percent. The battery comes in two colors — a silver and gold that match Apple's device colors.
Kenu's Highline is a case for iPhone 6 ($30) and iPhone 6 Plus ($35) that comes with a security leash to keep your iPhone attached to a zipper, belt loop, carabiner, or a strap during active use. The case itself is a textured polycarbonate case that curiously leaves open both the top and bottom of the iPhone. Lacking button coverage as well, it's basically just a shell. The appeal of Highline comes from the leash — elastic with a Kevlar core, the leash's Lightning Lock plugs into the phone's Lightning port and clips onto the back of the case. Testing reveals the lock is very secure.
Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering up a three-year subscription to a VPN Unlimited Premium Plan for only $19—that’s 70% off the normal price. VPN Unlimited provides users with access to a secure virtual private network (VPN) which is ideal for securing traffic when surfing from public Wi-Fi access points. Through VPN Unlimited, you can connect to any website anywhere that you have Internet access, bypassing restricted web content and protecting your data from hackers or identity thieves lurking on insecure public Wi-Fi networks. You can even connect to a VPN Unlimited server in the country of your choice to bypass international content restrictions and access local web sites—particularly useful when you’re travelling internationally and want to access geographically restricted sites.