We've seen Gumdrop's DropTech before, and now the rugged case has made its debut on iPad Pro. DropTech Case ($60) brings the same tough black silicone/nylon coverage to iPad Pro, along with slightly extended corners for added drop protection. The Smart Connector side of the iPad Pro is left exposed to make connecting accessories such as keyboards easier, and the case also includes a built-in holder for Apple Pencil. Unlike many iPad cases, DropTech features button coverage for the sleep/wake button and volume controls.
Airmail ($5) — Following closely on the heels of its latest Airmail for Mac update, Bloop has released the first iPhone version of its popular email client. The iPhone version includes most of the great features and design from the Mac version, and you can even sync your email accounts and other settings from your Mac to get you up and going quickly. You also get full support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, an easy snooze feature, interactive notifications, and the ability to customize actions and the appearance of the app. Airmail for iPhone also offers integration with a wealth of other third-party iOS apps, allowing you to send email messages and links to Calendars, Reminders, OmniFocus, Evernote, Pocket, Asana, Google Tasks, Wanderlust, Fantastical, Things, Deliveries, Appigo ToDo, The Hitlist, and a whole lot more. Apple Watch support is also included in the iPhone app, and an iPad version is also on the way.
Day One 2 ($5) — Bloom has taken its popular journalling app and rebuilt it from the ground up as version 2.0. The new version eschews Dropbox and iCloud support in favor of the company’s own cloud-based sync service, bringing with it support for multiple journals and multiple photos in each journal entry. The new version also includes a new map view, and improved entry management, allowing you to select, move, tag, and delete multiple entries at once, along with timeline filters, timezone support, and 3D Touch support. The company also notes that it’s already working on private-key encryption for version 2.1 to provide even better security.
A new report from The Guardian notes that thousands of iPhone 6 users are claiming to have been left holding useless iPhones as a result of repairs carried out by non-Apple authorized technicians. According to the report, users who previously had iPhone 6 models repaired at unauthorized third-party service centers have encountered an “Error 53” when updating to iOS 9, leaving their devices locked in a completely unusable state. The problem seems to center on handsets where a Touch ID home button has been repaired by an unauthorized company or individual, but it has also reportedly impacted customers with damaged iPhones that have otherwise been able to carry on using them without repairs.
Challenges with third parties making repairs involving the Touch ID sensor aren’t actually new: A 2013 report from iMore, released shortly after Apple introduced Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, revealed the Touch ID sensor and related hardware on each iPhone unit is specifically paired to that unit, presumably for security purposes. Home buttons, which include the Touch ID sensor, cannot be swapped between even identical iPhones, and the iMore article states that “For DIY repairers, things just got a bit more difficult. When removing the screen, say to replace a cracked screen, you’ll also need to remove the Touch ID cable to transfer it to the new screen. Extra care will need to be taken to ensure the cable isn’t damaged.”
Apple plans to put in a bid for NFL Thursday Night Football streaming rights, according to a new report from Variety. A report late last year indicated that the NFL was accepting bids for streaming rights for the package, having sent formal requests for proposals to several major digital media players, including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Yahoo — although it was unclear at the time whether Apple actually had any plans to submit a bid in response to the RFP. In the process of announcing two-year TV broadcast deals with CBS and NBC for the package earlier this week, the league also noted that it is “in active discussions with prospective digital partners” for global streaming rights to the same games. Although the league declined to comment on which companies it is specifically in discussions with, multiple sources indicate that Apple is among those looking to put in bids.
Today in iLounge Deals you can pick up the Otterbox Defender Case for iPhone 6/6S for only $24.99 — that’s almost 60% off the regular price. One of the most reliable and recognized brands in iPhone protection, Otterbox’s Defender case will help your iPhone withstand drops from ridiculous heights while protecting it against the elements.
Apple is planning to launch two new retail initiatives for iPhone users, according to a new report by 9to5Mac. The first is an enhancement to the company’s Reuse and Recycle Program that it launched two years ago, allowing customers to bring in an older iPhone model to trade it in and receive credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone. Starting this week, in addition to working iPhone models, Apple will now begin accepting iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus units with damaged displays, cameras, and buttons, with sources indicating that the current trade-in values for such models will be $50 for an iPhone 5s, $200 for an iPhone 6, and $250 for an iPhone 6 Plus. Sources indicate that Apple believes this will encourage users to upgrade to a newer iPhone model, rather than simply paying for a standard iPhone screen repair.
MP700 Rave ($230) is a new portable Bluetooth speaker from Edifier with a distinctive aluminum handle and grill. For a Bluetooth speaker, MP700 Rave is mid-range in both size and price. Edifier packed two 70mm drivers, two 19mm tweeters, and three passive radiators into MP700 Rave for a total power output of 36W. The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0, aptX, and DSP electronic frequency control, and it's also splashproof and dustproof. Edifier claims MP700 Rave can get up to 8 hours of use — unfortunately, there's no battery level on the speaker itself, or any battery indicator on the iPhone during play. MP700 Rave ships with an audio cable, and an AC adapter for recharging the speaker.
Apple has been ordered to pay $625.6 million in damages to patent-holding company VirnetX over its FaceTime and VPN patents, CNET reports. This latest lawsuit is a retrial of a 2012 award where Apple was ordered to pay $368.2 million; an appeals court dismissed that damage award against Apple and ordered a new trial for some of the infringement claims. VirnetX refiled the suit in January, covering these earlier infringement claims as well as infringements based on newer generations of iOS devices.
Apple has said that it plans to appeal the decision, with a spokesperson making the statement that “Our employees independently designed this technology over many years, and we received patents to protect this intellectual property.” The damage award is actually worth more than VirnetX, which is a small patent-holding company that doesn’t actually make any products of its own.
Apple Pay is now available in more than two million retail locations, The Business Times reports. In addition, new merchants such as Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, and Au Bon Pain have begun rolling out Apple Pay in their stores. Last year, Apple set a goal to make Apple Pay available in 1.5 million locations by the end of 2015, and not only has the company exceeded that goal, but Apple notes the volume of in-app purchases using Apple Pay have more than doubled in the last six months of the year, as compared to the first half of 2015. Further, according to a survey by Pymnts and InfoScout, in October 16.6 percent of people who own newer iPhones had tried Apple Pay, a jump from only 9 percent in November 2014, shortly after the service launched in the U.S.
In today’s iLounge Deals you can get a collection of five handy media apps in the Pay What You Want Leawo Media-Pro Mac Bundle. Pay whatever you want for Music Recorder for Mac, and if you beat the average price you’ll receive the complete set of all five apps, including Tunes Cleaner for Mac, YouTube Downloader for Mac, Video Converter for Mac, and DVD Ripper for Mac. Best of all, 10% of the profits from your purchase will go toward Save the Children, a charity that gives children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.