All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Apple Watch unboxing gallery posted

iLounge has posted an unboxing gallery for the Apple Watch. In a full photo gallery, we take a closer look at the device, along with some comparison photos between the 38mm and 42mm Sport models.

We’ll be putting the device through the paces throughout the weekend, so be sure to check back for our full review on Monday.

Apple Pay adds Discover cards

Apple’s last holdout among the major American credit card companies will be joining Apple Pay this fall, Discover announced. Discover members adding their card to Apple Pay will be assigned a unique Device Account Number to avoid storing their actual card number on the device, but cardholders using Apple Pay will still receive all of the usual benefits of using their card, including Cashback Bonus and the Freeze It security tool for stopping transactions on lost cards. Discover Network will also enable Apple Pay for Discover Debit cards issued by “eligible financial institutions,” but didn’t specify what makes an issuing financial institution eligible. “As the mobile payments landscape matures, Discover remains committed to giving card members secure options for using their cards and mobile devices,” Discover’s President of Payment Services Diane Offereins said in the release. “Discover’s focus on simplicity and value for our card members aligns well with the way Apple Pay makes purchases easy and convenient.”

Crowdfunding Spotlight

Glass x Silicone Protector for iPhone 6

The only tempered glass screen protector that covers the iPhone 6 edge-to-edge, while maintaining the curvature of its screen. With liquid silicon surrounding technology and our Impossible Tempered Glass, your iPhone will resist shock and scratches like never before. The ultra smooth glass surface also makes it a cinch to apply to your phone's screen. It's the ultimate screen protector for your iPhone 6.

Apple enables iTunes donations for Nepal earthquake

Apple is accepting Red Cross donations via iTunes to help survivors of the Nepal earthquake that claimed more than 3,000 lives last week. The link is featured prominently on the iTunes home screen, leading users to a simple page soliciting donations of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200. Apple assures users that 100 percent of the money raised will go to the American Red Cross, but since Apple is keeping the donations anonymous, users won’t get any communication from the Red Cross confirming the donation. The transaction will show up on credit card statements as an iTunes transaction, making it impossible to claim as a tax deduction.

Apple’s third-generation Siri built on Mesos platform

Apple has turned to the open-source Mesos platform to run the third generation of its Siri app, the Mesosphere blog reports. Apple engineers said the company’s first move away from traditional infrastructure has made Siri more scalable, reduced latency and made it easier for engineers to deploy services that the app uses to answer questions from millions of iPhone and iPad users each day. The new Siri consists of around 100 different services organized in a Mesos cluster spanning thousands of nodes, making it one of the largest Mesos clusters in existence. Apple announced the change last week during a meeting at its Cupertino, California headquarters, adding that they’re calling Siri’s new Mesos scheduler Just A Rather Very Intelligent Scheduler, a nod to Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. computerized assistant in Marvel’s Iron Man movies. An attendee posted photos of the presentation, one of which shows a simplified description of the Mesos layout. [via 9to5Mac]

iLounge Weekly coming Monday, sign up now

The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.

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Apps: Does not Commute, Pursuit of Light, Tiltagon, Lightroom, Keynote + PowerPoint

New Games

Does not Commute (free) — We were pretty impressed with Mediocre’s efforts last year on their Smash Hit game (no pun intended), so naturally we were intrigued by their latest new title. While a big departure from last year’s game, Does not Commute is fun and interesting in its own right, and its clear that Mediocre has put some nice depth and creativity into it. The premise seems deceptively simple — navigate a car through a town’s streets and obstacles to reach a set exit point on the map — however, the game builds nicely on your prior efforts by replaying each of the cars and routes you’ve previously “driven” with each new task. In essence, this game has you creating your own obstacle course, and how easily you accomplish each route is going to depend largely on how well you did on the prior route, adding a really interesting strategic aspect to the game. A single timer counts down for the entire set of trips in each round, so you can’t take too long for any one trip or you’ll cost yourself time on future ones, and bonus coins on certain trickier routes add time back. Run out of time, and the game is over. In addition to the interesting game play, Mediocre has done a cute job with providing an entertaining and oft-humorous little background story for each commuter at the beginning of each trip.

Pursuit of Light (free) — Casual surrealistic games have become a popular genre on iOS devices, and this new entry from Lemon Jam Studio fits in nicely. Billed as an “action adventure game set in a mystery world,” formed by the dream of a little girl, the game basically sports a simple user interface of tapping on one of two symbols — a moon and a star — to jump the character from one step to the next. As players advance to higher levels, the steps and routes become more complicated, and obstacles begin to appear. The magic to Pursuit of Light, however, is found in the aesthetics of the game; the music and other background noises that play, the shimmering mists of a dream-like state, and the use of color all contribute to a surprisingly immersive experience.

Tiltagon (free) — “Tilt. Fall. Repeat.” is the motto of this surprisingly addictive new arcade title from Noodlecake Studios. Hearkening back to Labyrinth-style ball rolling motion games, Tiltagon requires you to tilt your device to move your ball across a series of hexagons, picking up the target cube on each without falling off. The catch, however, is that each hexagonal platform only remains solid for a few seconds before disappearing, the next platform only appears once you’ve grabbed the target cube from the one you’re on, and you have no idea on which of the six sides it’s going to show up. A variety of different platform styles and moving blocks that try to block your path and knock you off add to the challenge. The game includes two difficulty levels, appropriately named Hard and Hard+ — with the latter setting, making contact with any of the obstacles will cause your ball to explode, requiring an even greater precision of navigation. The game supports both portrait and landscape modes, which actually provide a different sort of play style since the game is entirely based on device orientation and motion. The energetic, club-like soundtrack, varying tile colors, and psychedelic background lighting also contribute to the high-paced action.

Ask iLounge: Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?

Q: I just upgraded to a new iPhone 6 Plus as I liked the larger screen, and the ability to get sideways iPad-like views for things like Mail. However, these don’t seem to be working for me. Whenever I turn my iPhone sideways, I just get the normal landscape view, kind of like I had on my iPhone 5. Is there somewhere special I need to turn this on? I’ve pored over all of the settings and can’t seem to find it anywhere. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?

A: It sounds likely that your problem is that you setup your iPhone 6 Plus with “Display Zoom” on when you went through the initial setup assistant. While Display Zoom is useful if you want to see larger icons and text on the bigger screen, one of the unexpected side-effects that Apple doesn’t really explain to you (outside of the iPhone User Guide) is that turning this setting on will also disable all of the special layouts that are available in landscape view, at least within Apple’s own built-in iOS apps. You can toggle Display Zoom back to “Standard” view by going into the Settings app and selecting the option from the Display & Brightness section.

FoneFox posts Apple Watch waterproof testing video

Australian site FoneFox has posted a YouTube video demonstrating the water resistance capabilities of the Apple Watch Sport. The video begins by showing general splash tests — which the Apple Watch unsurprisingly survives — and then moves on to taking the Apple Watch through a two-minute shower, dunking it in a bucket of water, and then swimming with it in a pool for 15 minutes. While the Apple Watch was not usable while underwater due to the capacitive touchscreen, the device survived the experience and was able to be used normally when emerging from the pool.

Apple has stated that the Apple Watch is IPX7 certified, meaning that it is certified as withstanding submersion in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Apple’s Watch page describes the device as “splash and water resistant but not waterproof,” suggesting that the water resistance is suitable for exercise, use in the rain, and while washing hands, but that submerging the Apple Watch is “not recommended.” Apple also notes that the leather bands are not water resistant.

iFixit posts Apple Watch teardown

iFixit has already begun its expected teardown of Apple Watch, this time posting the results in real-time as the site proceeds through each step. While the teardown is still ongoing, iFixit has already made some interesting observations by examining the innards of Apple’s new wearable device, including the nature of the device’s construction, how tightly integrated and packed in the circuitry is, and the likely proprietary nature of the inductive charging system. Notably, iFixit also reports that the heart rate monitor in the device is “actually a plethysmograph,” suggesting that it can be used as a pulse oximeter, despite Apple not advertising this feature; the report speculates that this may be due to FDA regulations on health monitoring devices. After finishing up with the Sport Edition, iFixit has now begun tearing down the Stainless Steel model, and is promising to report back later with more details on that one.

Daily Deal: Hand Pen Stylus for 40% off

Today in iLounge Deals we’re offering the Hand Stylus for 40% off – only $14.95. Masterfully designed to provide maximum precision, Hand Stylus features a slim 4mm retractable rubber tip that’s perfect for taking notes, drawing, typing, playing games, and more. Auto-rotating functionality helps ensure the tip wears down evenly, and the small size lets you easily select items even on smaller screens. The tip can also be easily replaced when needed so you don’t have to replace the entire stylus.

Get the Hand Stylus now for only $14.95

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