Another small new feature added by Apple in the new fourth-generation Apple TV is the ability to adjust the dynamic range of your audio input. This is particularly useful for watching TV later at night, or anytime you prefer to use lower volume levels so as not to disturb others — it enhances detail such as spoken dialogue, while softening music and other loud background noise.
We were very impressed with IK Multimedia's original iRig Pro when it came out two years ago — it's an accessory that does an excellent job of blending functionality from the company's prior iRig PRE XLR microphone interface, iRig HD guitar interface, and iRig MIDI adapter into a single unit that was even better than the sum of its parts. Now, IK Multimedia has released the "deluxe version" we predicted two years ago, and taken the design a step further with iRig Pro DUO ($200), a unit that adds a second channel to the multi-interface functionality of its predecessor along with a more elegant design and several additional small but useful enhancements. As with IK Multimedia's other accessories, iRig Pro DUO provides a standard Core Audio and Core MIDI interface into iOS devices, meaning it will work with almost all iOS audio and MIDI applications as well as IK Multimedia's own apps such as AmpliTube, SampleTank, and Mic Room, for which IK Multimedia also provides free gear upon registering iRig Pro DUO.
Mitsubishi is the latest auto maker to jump on the Apple CarPlay bandwagon, adding the feature to its 2017 Mirage. The hatchback is the first Mitsubishi model to offer the entertainment system, putting the company a year behind competitors GM and Volkswagen, which included CarPlay in select 2016 models.
Apple is planning to launch Apple Pay in China by early February, The Wall Street Journal reports. After grueling negotiations, the company has struck deals with China’s four major state-run banks, people familiar with the discussions said. While Apple may still face serious regulatory hurdles, the company is hoping to launch its digital payment service before China’s Spring Festival on Feb. 8. Apple officially began the process of bringing Apple Pay to China in June, when it registered to operate in the Shanghai free-trade zone as Apple Technology Service (Shanghai) Ltd. Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said he’s “very bullish on Apple Pay” in China — where iPhone sales are actually starting to outpace demand in the U.S. — but several other competing mobile payment options already exist within the country. Apple Pay is currently available in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.
Looking for an easy way to add a bit of extra storage to your MacBook? Today in iLounge Deals you can pick up the HyperDrive MacBook Storage Expander for only $19.95. This handy little microSD adapter provides a really simple way to expand your MacBook storage using just a microSD memory card. It sits completely flush with your SD memory card slot and even includes an aluminum cap that matches your MacBook finish, so it will sit virtually invisibly inside your MacBook, acting as a second solid-state drive. Simply pop in your microSD card of choice – microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards are all supported, in capacities of up to 512GB.
CableJive has released HeroDock ($50), a universal stand designed to accommodate a number of different devices and cables, including newer iOS devices and Lightning cables. HeroDock is made of an aluminum base, with one piece designed to dock a device, and another piece used for rear support. The rear support piece can be moved to properly fit different cases. A small hook on the back of the rear support can be used to hold earbuds or an extra cable. Two sticky strips on the bottom of the base are used to affix HeroDock to a surface, which allows a device to be undocked using one hand only. Cable routing is also provided on the underside of the base, but no cables are included in the package.
Starting today, MasterCard is offering four “Fare Free Mondays” on London’s public transit system for cardholders using Apple Pay. The promotional periods running today, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 extend from 4:30 a.m. that day until 1 a.m. the next day. During that time, customers using their U.K. MasterCard through Apple Pay to pay for travel on London Buses, London Underground, London Trams, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line and most National Rail services in London will be billed for the trip, but can expect to see their fares refunded within 28 working days, up to a maximum value of £27.90 per cardholder. The offer excludes travel on Thames Clipper River Bus services. While the promotion is very specific, we’re left to wonder whether we’ll be seeing other similar spot promotions aimed at getting users enrolled in Apple Pay, and getting them familiar with how the technology works.
If a headphone plays music on an airplane and nobody can hear it, does it make a sound? Though it’s not something we often think about, portable headphones have to do more than just put music in your ears — they also have to keep noise out. With the on-ear BT 330 NC ($199), Phiaton promises to actively remove 95 percent of ambient noise from the space between its drivers and your ears. While we think they have done a pretty good job in this respect, we wouldn’t recommend the BT 330NC as your only set of cans. BT 330 NC pairs 40mm drivers with active noise canceling, and the headphone uses Bluetooth 4.0.
A U.S. district court judge has ruled Apple’s method of distributing and authenticating content doesn’t infringe on DRM patents owned by ContentGuard Holdings, Reuters reports. ContentGuard sued in 2013, claiming Apple applied five of its DRM patents in iTunes and iBooks to dispense movies, songs, shows and books that could be restricted to function only for approved users. Apple denied infringing on the patents and went even further by claiming the patents themselves were invalid. A jury didn’t buy Apple’s argument that the patents were invalid, but also didn’t find enough proof that Apple had infringed the patents, so no damages were awarded to ContentGuard. An attorney for ContentGuard expressed his disappointment in the ruling and said he and his clients were evaluating their options. Apple declined to comment.
Apple is building an app to diagnose problems with iOS devices and help users schedule service, according to uSwitch. A source with direct knowledge of the app’s development said it will ask “basic questions (about the device in need of repair) to boil down to the problem quickly.” The new app will reportedly provide user guides and basic how-to information for every iOS device registered to the user’s Apple ID and offers tips for resolving a series of commonly experienced problems. If those fail to resolve the issue, the app will aid users in booking service at an Apple Store, sending their device in for service, or calling Apple for further support. The current Apple Store app only provides assistance in booking appointments with an Apple Store’s Genius bar; it’s unclear if this functionality will be shifted into the Apple Store app, or if it will be a new app of its own. Photos of the app show it also provides an option to chat live with Apple’s tech support network.