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Daily Deal: Save big on military grade cloud & local backup from IDrive

In today’s iLounge Deal we’re offering a bundle that includes an iDrive Wi-Fi 1TB wireless hard drive along with a one-year subscription to 10TB of cloud-based backup storage, all for only $97 – almost 80% off the regular price. The iDrive Wi-Fi Wireless Hard Drive is designed to back up your data from your Mac, PC, iOS, or Android device wirelessly from anywhere in your home, securing it with 256-bit AES encryption to protect the backups on your drive in case of theft, and allow for much faster backups and restores since it runs over your local home Wi-Fi network rather than sending your data across the Internet. In addition, you get a one-year subscription to the IDrive Pro Personal 10TB Cloud Backup plan, allowing you to backup and sync up to 10TB of data from an unlimited number of devices, including Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices from anywhere that you have an Internet connection, all secured in the cloud with 256-bit AES encryption that allows you to specify your own private key.

Get the IDrive 1TB Hard Drive & 10TB Cloud Backup Bundle now for only $97

Mac: Twelve South ParcSlope for MacBook

Twelve South’s ParcSlope for MacBook ($50), named for both the Brooklyn neighborhood and as a Mac homage, is a desktop stand that angles a MacBook on a — you guessed it — slope. The titled aluminum workstation holds a MacBook at an 18-degree angle for an ergonomic typing angle and higher viewing angle. A gap in the back of ParcSlope acts as a cable management system. We received the stand recently, and have included our own photos here.

Review: Lenmar Maven Battery Case for iPhone 6

Lenmar's Maven ($100) for iPhone 6 packs a 3000 mAh battery into a matte two-piece hard case. The iPhone 6 is installed and removed through a top slider piece. Maven features a forward-facing speaker port, and when the case is turned on, it enables users to sync and charge the iPhone. There's no button coverage on Maven, but there is a slight lip for screen protection. The camera hole is also probably slightly larger than it needs to be. Lenmar has printed the charging directions on the inside of the case, which is a thoughtful touch.

Ask iLounge: Can I cancel or ‘unsend’ sent iMessages?

Q: Someone I know is visiting me from outside the U.S. so they only get my iMessages when connected to Wi-Fi. However, if I’ve sent something and it doesn’t say “Delivered,” if I then delete it will that cancel the sending of the message or will they still receive it when they get back onto Wi-Fi?

A: Basically, no, the message won’t be canceled. Once you hit the ‘Send’ button on an iMessage, your iOS device is pretty much committed to sending it, and will try until it either fails to send it out itself (i.e. you have no network coverage), or it gets sent. In fact, even if you delete a message while it’s in the processing of “Sending…” you’re only removing your local copy on that particular device; the message itself will still get sent, and even appear on other devices that you have enabled for your iMessage account, such as a Mac or iPad.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Apple’s HomeKit

One of the big themes at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, both inside the iProducts Marketplace and elsewhere, was a collection of new home automation solutions. It seemed everywhere we turned yet another company was offering smart lightbulbs, door locks, or security and environmental sensors, making it clear that Apple picked the right time to get into this arena with its HomeKit platform. Announced as an iOS 8 feature at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, HomeKit promises to provide a unifying framework that will allow third-party home automation accessories to integrate smoothly and securely into the iOS ecosystem. That said, there’s been little concrete information about what HomeKit is actually going to do and how it’s going to work in practical purposes, and as usual Apple isn’t terribly forthcoming about the details outside of its closed-door meetings with select third-party accessory makers. With some of the very first HomeKit products showing up at CES, however, we were able to glean some insight from a number of HomeKit partners and other home automation accessory companies to get a general idea of where HomeKit is actually going.

Daily Deal: Keep your iPhone 6/6+ charged with the Afterburner case

In today’s iLounge Deal you can get the Afterburner iPhone 6 Battery Case for only $40 – 30% off the regular price. Allowing you to keep your phone juiced up on the go, the Afterburner provides a 150% phone charge in your pocket in a slim and stylish design. Unlike many other cases, the Afterburner also sports a Lightning port for charging, so you can use the same cable you use to charge your iPhone 6, and a built-in kickstand allows you to prop up your iPhone for watching movies or making FaceTime calls.

Get the Afterburner iPhone 6 Battery Case now for only $40

Apple filing reveals executive compensation plans, earnings

Apple’s annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed details about the compensation plans paid to the company’s senior executives in 2014. CEO Tim Cook received a total of $9.2 million last year, which included his base salary of $1.7 million in addition to other forms of compensation. Cook also received $56,923 for his unused vacation days, and the company paid security expenses for him in the amount of $699,133.

Notably, Cook’s compensation last year came in well behind that of new retail chief Angela Ahrendts, who received $73 million for leaving her position as CEO of Burberry to join Apple. Ahrendts base salary was $400,000, and she received a $500,000 bonus for joining Apple along with other forums of compensation as a “transition package” designed to account for the much more lucrative compensation arrangement she had at Burberry and her unvested equity in that company, estimated to be worth approximately $37 million. The statement also reveals that Ahrendts had received “cash and perquisites” at Burberry in excess of $5 million annually, placing her among the highest paid UK executives and dwarfing the cash opportunities provided to Apple’s other executives.

The 80-page proxy statement includes numerous additional details, ranging from details on major shareholders and vested stock options to biographies on members of the Board of Directors and Senior Executives.

Report: Apple Watch battery life expected to be about 19 hours

Sources familiar with the Apple Watch’s development have revealed details on the specific battery life targets Apple is aiming to achieve with the new wearable device, with the company aiming for 19 hours of typical usage each day, 9to5Mac reports. Although Apple has previously indicated that the Apple Watch would need to be charged on a nightly basis, the new information suggests that Apple’s choice of CPU and screen for the Apple Watch will contribute to a significant power drain, with the Apple S1 chip used in the Watch performing “surprisingly close” to the A5 found in the iPod touch, and the Retina-class display capable of rendering graphics smoothly at 60 frames per second.

While Apple reportedly wanted the Watch battery to provide between 2.5 to 4 hours of active application use and 3 to 4 days of pure standby or sleeping time, sources indicate that the company will likely achieve only about 2 to 3 days of battery life while in the standby or low-power modes. Apple has also apparently been testing the Apple Watch’s battery life with various applications, and is targeting 2.5 hours of “heavy” app use or 3.5 hours of “standard” app use. Battery life while using fitness tracking software is expected to be better at up to 4 hours on a single charge. The company has also conducted numerous tests to determine how long the Apple Watch will run on a single charge in straight time-keeping modes, with information suggesting that clock face can be displayed for about three hours in total, including animations, although like the iPhone, the display will normally be powered off when the Watch screen is not actively in use.

The report’s sources indicate that Apple may not hit that 19-hour number in the first generation. Battery life has apparently remained the most serious concern for Apple over the Watch’s development cycle, and was at least part of the reason that the retail launch was pushed into 2015. The report notes that as many as 3,000 Apple Watch test units are currently deployed in order to test the device’s performance under real-world conditions.

Tip of the Day: Automatically removing old Messages in iOS 8

Traditionally, iOS has retained your entire conversation history in the Messages database,so if you send a lot of pictures and videos via iMessage, this can eat up quite a bit of space on your iPhone over time. Prior to iOS 8, the only real way to deal with this was to remove an entire conversation, basically starting over, or to manually scroll back through your Messages history and remove individual items one-by-one. Fortunately, in iOS 8 there’s a slightly easier way.

If you go into the Messages section in your Settings app, you’ll see a new option, “Keep Messages.” This setting allows you to tell to iOS to automatically purge anything in your Messages conversations older than the specified time frame. Unfortunately, the options are limited to either “Forever” (the behavior in past iOS versions), 30 days, or 1 year, but even 30 days is still far better than having to go through and delete an entire conversation if you’re running low on space. Keep in mind that enabling this option will immediately purge everything older than the specified time frame, and continue to do so as a rolling thirty-day or one-year window, so if you want to keep your old conversations backed up somewhere you’ll want to look at archiving them using a third-party Mac or PC app before you take the plunge.…

Apple outlines limited HomeKit support for non-HomeKit accessories

Apple will apparently allow integration between HomeKit and some non-HomeKit home automation solutions, according to a new report by 9to5Mac. Citing sources that have been briefed on the new specifications, the latest MFi program information outlines the specific types of products and restrictions for allowing alternative products to tie into HomeKit. While HomeKit is being designed primarily to work with Apple-certified Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories using Apple’s HomeKit protocol, some third-party manufacturers will be able to build HomeKit “bridge” devices to tie their existing products into HomeKit without having to specifically HomeKit-enable each individual product. The bridge will essentially translate proprietary protocols such as ZigBee and Z-Wave to the HomeKit protocol, allowing these accessories to be controlled from iOS devices using HomeKit methods such as Siri.

However, not all home automation accessories will be permitted to bridge to HomeKit, with Apple limiting the list to non-Wi-Fi accessories that “don’t offer users control of the home.” This rules out a lot of accessories such as thermostats, door locks, and even light bulbs, which will have to go directly through the MFi program and implement the HomeKit protocol. Essentially, it appears that the only bridgeable devices that are likely to quality under Apple’s requirements are those that simply provide data to HomeKit, such as monitoring sensors.






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