Apple has released an update to the Apple Store app, adding the ability for users to purchase accessories directly from their Apple Watch, as well as support for iOS 10 rich notifications. The Apple Watch app doesn’t yet provide access to the full Apple Store catalog, so users will be limited to purchasing accessories that they’ve already marked as favorites from the iOS app or Apple Store web page, and will need to pay using Apple Pay. As with other features in the Apple Store app, Apple notes that not all features may be available in all countries, so it’s unclear where Apple Watch accessory purchases will be available, or whether only certain products are eligible.
Griffin’s Pencil Sleeve ($30) is a silicone sleeve for Apple Pencil. The non-slip sleeve fits snuggly around the Apple Pencil, and its triangular design prevents Pencil from rolling around. Pencil Sleeve also comes with a built-in cap, which essentially acts as a replacement for the easy-to-lose Pencil cap. Also, the sleeve’s cap has its own multi-touch compatible stylus tip on the end, adding extra functionality to Pencil. The sleeve comes in gray or clear versions.
Apple has released a fifth beta of iOS 10.2 to developers today, focused primarily on resolving issues with the new TV app expected to debut later this month. Notably, this latest beta release does not appear to be accompanied by corresponding tvOS or watchOS beta updates.
In a statement on its Chinese language website, Apple has revealed the source of the battery problem that has been causing iPhone 6s devices to shut down unexpectedly when the battery reaches 30 percent. “We found that a small number of iPhone 6s devices made in September and October 2015 contained a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs,” Apple wrote. “As a result, these batteries degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur.”
The full product name of iHome's new iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker ($100) explains its main aim: a bedroom speaker meant to be a sleep machine. But that's not all, as iHome has packed the speaker with features, hoping for it to become a jack-of-all-trades speaker — at least as far as the bedroom goes. On top of its alarm clock and sleep machine abilities, iZBT10 allows for Bluetooth playback, a full array of lighting options — the speaker offers light therapy in addition to sound therapy — FM radio, and a 2.5A charging port, as well. While there are a number of on-speaker controls, iZBT10 reaches its full potential with the use of iHome's Zenergy app, which allows users to quickly access all of the speaker's features.
Investigators have found that 99 percent of fake Apple chargers sold online failed a basic safety test, the BBC reports. Safety specialists UL tested 400 counterfeit chargers bought from 8 countries—including the U.S., China and Australia—and found that only three had enough insulation to guard against electric shocks. Trading Standards, the group that commissioned the study, warned buyers to be wary of chargers that don’t seem to fit easily into a socket or don’t bear a manufacturer’s logo and safety certification mark. They also warned that some safety markings are being faked, recommending that buyers check to see if their charger comes with instructions that include conditions for proper use, basic electrical safety advice, and details about how to dispose of the device safely. Apple is currently suing one third-party vendor that the company said put customers “at risk” with its counterfeit power adapters on Amazon.
For Friday’s iLounge Deal, you can get the Kinkoo 3-Outlet Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip for only $24.99 — that’s 28% off the regular price. This travel-friendly power strip has three standard AC outlets, three USB ports and one USB-C port so that you can charge a wide range of devices, and at only eight inches long, it’s portable enough to pack up with you and take it on the road.
Apple offering battery replacements for iPhone 6s models with ‘unexpected shutdown issues’ (Updated)
Apple is offering free battery replacements for some iPhone 6s users whose phones are unexpectedly shutting down. The program is limited to certain devices manufactured from September to October 2015, and phones are subject to an inspection prior to the repair to make sure the serial number is within the correct range. Customers can contact Apple technical support, an Apple retail store or an authorized Apple service provider to find out of their phone is eligible for the repair. Owners of an iPhone 6s who have paid to replace their battery to remedy the shut down problem are also urged to contact Apple about a possible refund. Before customers take their phone in for service, Apple recommends backing up all personal data.
Update: Apple has added a serial number checker to the program page, allowing users who suspect they may be affected by this problem to enter their iPhone 6s serial number online to see if their device is eligible for replacement under the program.
Fitbit is putting the final touches on a deal to acquire Pebble, according to a report from The Information (via TechCrunch). The original report indicates that Fitbit will be paying a “small amount” for the well-known smart watch maker, which has been struggling recently with a downturn in investments that forced it to cut its staff by 25 percent earlier this year. The Information also indicates that the deal is more about Fitbit acquiring Pebble’s intellectual property and software assets, rather than the product itself, noting that Pebble and its products would be “closed down over time.”
Apple has issued a statement in response to a problem that many iCloud users — including members of our iLounge team — have experienced in recent weeks, with spam being sent via iCloud calendar invitations. Spammers have been exploiting the fact that iCloud calendar invitations are sent via a dedicated iCloud communications channel that, unlike email, doesn’t presently include any anti-spam filters. In a statement tweeted by Rene Ritchie, Apple apologized, noting that some users are experiencing the problem. The company is working to address it by identifying and blocking the culprits, and working to filter the invites themselves.
Apple’s statement on iCloud calendar spam. They’re sorry and they’re working on it. pic.twitter.com/oaSHSywVxG— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) November 30, 2016
In the meantime, users can work around this problem by logging into their web-based iCloud account online at iCloud.com, going to the Advanced tab in Calendar preferences, and opting to receive event invitations as email messages rather than in-app notifications, where email-based anti-spam filters will likely have better success at catching the bogus calendar invites.