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Belkin announces Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone + Apple Watch

Belkin has announced the expansion of its Boost Up wireless charging dock family with a new model specifically designed to charge the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR alongside the Apple Watch Series 4. The new Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone + Apple Watch ($160), provides optimized 7.5-watt wireless charging for iPhones or other Qi-enabled devices along with standard five-watt charging for the Apple Watch, while an additional USB-A port can charge a third device at a five-watt charging speed. The Apple Watch portion is designed with Nightstand Mode in mind to place the Apple Watch at an optimal viewing angle, and as with Belkin’s other docks, it can charge an iPhone through most cases. A 45-watt AC adapter is included in the box, and of course it’s both Qi and MFi certified. Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock for iPhone + Apple Watch will be available in December exclusively to Apple Stores.

iPhone XS manual includes references to AirPower

Despite understandable concerns raised after Apple’s iPhone launch event, it seems that reports of AirPower’s death may be greatly exaggerated. Although Apple has been extremely quiet about the AirPower charging pad — even by the company’s usual standards of secrecy — and has tacitly removed every mention of the product from its website, developer Gavin Stephens noted that the printed quick start guide for Apple’s new iPhone XS actually contains a blatant reference to AirPower that seems to have snuck through the cracks. A photo posted by Stephens on Twitter shows a “Charging” section on the same page that appears to describe the Emergency SOS feature, which reads, “Place iPhone with screen facing up on AirPower or a Qi-certified wireless charger.” The manual goes on to add that users can “also use the Lightning connector to charge iPhone” [emphasis added], suggesting that Apple at one point intended to ship the AirPower at the same time as the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Catalyst updates its Impact Protection cases for iPhone XS, XS Max + XR

Catalyst has introduced its full range of impact protection cases for Apple’s new 2018 iPhone lineup. The Catalyst Impact Protection Cases for iPhone XS ($40), iPhone XR ($40), and iPhone XS Max ($50) provide the same high-performance and protection standards that Catalyst is known for, in sizes and form factors for Apple’s newest iPhones. Catalyst’s cases feature one of the highest drop specifications available, protecting an encased iPhone from drops of up to 9.9 feet (3m) and feature a grippy rubber bumper, lanyard attachment, rotating mute switch, and clear back to show off the iPhone. The new versions also feature an angular modern form that better matches the new iPhone styles, and are available in stealth black, clear, and blueridge/sunset color options.

Anki announces Cozmo Limited Edition in Interstellar Blue

Anki has announced another new Limited Edition version of its award-winning Cozmo robotic sidekick, coming in Interstellar Blue later this month. The new version features the same continually expanding capabilities as the standard model and last year’s Liquid Metal edition, providing a fun and expressive robot pet that works with a companion iOS app to allow users to program routines and engage in games and challenges, all while displaying an endearing personality through complex facial expressions on its OLED display and little animal-like noises. In addition to simply playing games and letting Cozmo roll around and act cute, Anki also offers Code Lab that turns Cozmo into more of a STEM toy for learning to code robotic routines in a fun and engaging way. Anki also continues to expand Cozmo’s capabilities through software updates, having pushed out close to 25 free updates in the past two years since the original version was released, providing new interactive experiences, new games, facial animations, and more. The new Limited Edition Cozmo is available on for $179.99 and will be arriving in stores in November, and in Canada will be available exclusively through Best Buy, starting on Sept. 23, along with a rollout on various other dates in the U.K., France, Germany, and Australia.

Just Mobile announces new clear case and glass lines for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Just Mobile has updated its Tenc Air ($25/$30) clear slim bumper case and [Xkin] ($20–$30) glass screen protectors for the new 2018 iPhone models. In addition, Tenc Air is now slimmer and tougher, with air cushions on all corner and bumper frames, and Xkin Glass has been re-engineered to be more scratch-resistant and capable of wrapping the full curved screen. Both the case and screen protector are designed with minimalism in mind, allows users to protect their new iPhones without hiding the stainless steel design in a bulky case.

Withings makes its comeback with Steel HR Sport

Withings has risen from the ashes of Nokia’s Digital Health business following its buyback earlier this year by one of the company’s original founders, with the introduction of its first new product under the original Withings brand: the Steel HR Sport. This new multi-sport hybrid smartwatch provides a focus on fitness, with heart rate monitoring, connected GPS tracking, and fitness level analytics through an estimation of VO2 max, while also providing a 25-day battery life and a considerably more traditional design than most smartwatches. Steel HR Sport builds on the company’s 2014 Activité, which broke new ground as the first analog watch with advanced activity tracking features, released well prior to the company’s acquisition by Nokia, and features the same elegant design, made from 316L stainless steel and available with either white or black faces and water resistant to 50 meters. The time is shown on a traditional analog watch face, with an analog sub-dial that shows the percentage of daily activity goals achieved, while a small OLED display provides health and sports metrics and notifications from the paired iPhone.

Report: Apple avoiding any discussion of AirPower

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has commented on the conspicuous absence of Apple’s promised AirPower wireless charger at last week’s iPhone and Apple Watch event. Gruber notes that nobody he spoke at Apple to was even willing to discuss it off the record, and even points out that Apple avoided any mention of inductive charging during the event, despite improved charging speeds on the new 2018 iPhone models.

In a longer follow-up post on the Apple event, published yesterday, Gruber adds that he has heard third-hand information from multiple sources that Apple engineers ran into problems with the multi-coil design overheating, and that despite warnings from some of the engineering team last year, Apple chose to try and push ahead with trying to make it work, but have had no success in doing so. Gruber suggests that Apple has either “had to go completely back to the drawing board and start over with an entirely different design” or they’ve decided to scrap the product entirely and would rather simply pretend it never existed in the first place, as also evidenced by Apple’s almost wholesale scrubbing of all references to AirPower from its website. Gruber also adds that the debacle with AirPower may also be responsible for delaying the new AirPods with the wireless charging case, although recent rumours have suggested that the new case may be Qi-compatible, although it’s unclear whether this was part of Apple’s original strategy or is a revision to bring a wireless AirPods charging case to market that’s not dependent on AirPower.

WaterField announces Fused Suede Case for iPhone XS, XS Max, XR

WaterField Designs has unveiled its new Fused Suede Case ($29) for the new iPhone lineup — a sleek, dual-color, double-layer Ultrasuede case that is thick enough to protect the iPhone while remaining super lightweight. A cut-out on the bottom exposes the speakers and Lightning port so users can listen to music, carry on a converastion, or charge their iPhone without removing it from the case, and there’s a rear mesh pocket for storing earbuds, cash, or cards. The interior Ultrasuede lining cleans the iPhone screen with each use.

Grovemade announces 2018 iPhone case lineup, plus stylish new Wireless Charging Pad

Grovemade has updated its classic hardwood iPhone cases with its 2018 Launch Collection ($59–$129), offering cases for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus, and iPhone XR. The Portland-based company has been designing handcrafted tech accessories since 2009, using premium natural materials to provide high-quality cases with a rustic design. A collection of wood and leather styles are available in both standard and folio case designs in walnut and maple finishes.

Apple releases new first-party iPhone cases, Apple Watch bands

On the heels of yesterday’s iPhone and Apple Watch launch event, Apple has also updated its accessory lineup, featuring new silicone and leather cases for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, along with a new set of Apple Watch bands. The new silicon iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max cases are available in Nectarine, Lavender Gray, Blue Horizon, Stone, Pink Sand, Midnight Blue, White, Black, and (Product)Red, while the XS Max Leather Folio case comes in Peony Pink, Cape Cod Blue, Forest Green, Black, and Product(Red), and the standard leather case for both models is available in the same folio colors, plus Taupe, Midnight Blue, and Saddle Brown. Cases for the iPhone XR are not yet

Apple’s 2018 iPhones still only bundle 5W charger, drop 3.5mm headphone adapter

As expected, Apple is no longer including its Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter with this year’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models, now confirming previous rumours from analysts that the company would be omitting them this year. While Apple’s logic behind the decision isn’t clear, it seems likely that the proliferation of third-party adapters, as well as Lighting and wireless headphones, has made new users less dependent on the adapter, which Apple continues to sell separately for $10. Perhaps more surprisingly, however, is that Apple is continuing to include only basically the same five-watt power adapter that has been bundled with iPhones since the 2008 iPhone 3G, despite rumours that this year would see an 18-watt USB-PD charger and Lightning to USB-C cable bundled instead. It’s uncertain of course whether Apple may still plan to introduce an 18-watt adapter separately, or perhaps even if the company did consider bundling them at one point but ran into delays in light of rumours that Apple’s partners would be running at full capacity to manufacture sufficient quantities.

EcoFlow launches River Rapid

Pioneering portable power company EcoFlow has launched River Rapid ($49), a palm-sized sibling to its River Mobile Power Station, providing 18 watts of USB-C power output and a 5,000 mAh capacity to keep your MacBook, iPad, iPhone, or other USB-C compatible devices powered up on the go. River Rapid comes in at a mere 3.6 ounces and features a USB-C-PD port and USB Quick Charge port, providing an extra 50 minutes of power for a MacBook Pro, or a full additional charge for an iPhone, at maximum charging speeds. River Rapid is available for purchase now on and at select retailers.

Soul launches Emotion ultra-light true wireless earbuds

Soul Electronics has launched Emotion, a new set of budget true wireless earphones for users with active lifestyles. Emotion features an auto-pairing function to sync with an iPhone or other smartphone via Bluetooth, along with a built-in microphone for placing and receiving calls and up to six hours of total playtime on a single charge. Soul also boasts that Emotion are among the most lightweight earbuds in the world, designed with the on-the-go lifestyle of high school and university students in mind, and include four different sizes of ear tip options for optimal comfort. Soul’s Emotion normally retail for $49.99, however the company is kicking off a special launch offer, selling them exclusively on Amazon for $39.99 for the month of September.

Kenu announces new wireless charging car mounts

Kenu, the company known for introducing the world’s first portable vent mount, has jumped on board with Qi wireless charging solutions with two new fast-wireless charging car mounts, the Airframe Wireless and Airbase Wireless. Both mounts are Qi-certified and can deliver up to 10 watts of power, offering the fastest possible wireless charging speeds for Apple’s latest iPhones and other Qi-compatible smartphones. Ideally designed for daily commuters, ride sharing drivers, and road trippers, the mounts allow drivers to simply pop in their iPhones to recharge on the go without having to fuss with charging cables, while still holding the iPhone safely in view. Airframe Wireless ($60) is a vent-mount that uses a secure push-button clip to attach to a car’s air vent, while Airbase Wireless ($60) is designed to mount to a dashboard or windshield using a suction cup with a non-reside gel adhesive. Both mounts use spring-loaded phone grips that expand to hold smartphones in cases up to 4.3 inches wide, along with a 360-degree ball joint to allow the mounted phone to be rotated between portrait and landscape mode and angled for a perfect view, allowing for more reliable Face ID authentication.

Apple opening up USB-C to Lightning cables to MFi partners

It appears that Apple is planning to open up the manufacturing of USB-C to Lightning cables as part of its Made for iPhone (MFi) program, according to a new report from Japanese site Mac Otakara. According to sources cited in the report, Apple recently informed MFi partners about the upcoming change, although no details were provided on when such cables may begin to appear. Up until now, the only authorized Lightning to USB-C cable — necessary for fast-charging the iPad Pro and 2017 iPhone models — has been Apple’s own USB-C to Lightning Cable. Apple recently reduced the price of its cable, amid reports that this year’s iPhone models will include 18-watt USB-C chargers, although it seems likely that the price drop may have also been part of Apple’s longer-term plans to open up the manufacture of the USB-C cables to third-party MFi partners, as has been the case with standard USB-A to Lightning cables since the advent of the Lightning standard.

Mophie expands Charge Stream lineup with new vent mount, desk stand, and battery packs

Mophie has announced four new additions to its Charge Stream family of wireless charging accessories, including a new vent mount, desk stand, and two wireless powerstations, adding to the [Charge Stream Pad+] and Charge Stream Pad Mini and Travel Kit. The new accessories enhance the ways in which iPhone users can take advantage of wireless charging capabilities. The new Charge Stream Vent Mount ($70) offers Qi-enabled wireless charging in most vehicles using a four-prong mount that easily slips over most a typical air vent, and allows for easy one-handed smartphone insertion and removal, and use in both portrait and landscape orientations. A dash cup is also included for mounting on a dash or console, along with a Quick Charge 2.0 car adapter and USB-A to micro USB cable. Charge Stream Desk Stand essentially builds on the original Charge Stream Pad+ by attaching it to a metal stand that can hold an iPhone or most other smartphones in an upright portrait or landscape position for optimal viewing. The wireless charging pad can also be removed from the stand to be used as a traditional wireless charging pad.

Ultimate Ears unveils Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 Speakers

Ultimate Ears has announced Boom 3 ($149.99) and Megaboom 3 ($199.99), the next generation of its popular portable speaker lineup. Redesigned with the same type of two-toned high-performance fabric that’s used in motorcycle jackets and fire equipment, the new speakers promise carefully balanced audio and 360-degree sound that builds on their predecessors. Megaboom 3, which is actually a successor to the original Megaboom (there never was a “Megaboom 2”), also promises deeper bass and improved clarify over the original, while both speakers have also gained an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, and a new “Magic Button” for quicker access to playback controls as well as even the ability to call up playlists when paired with UE’s iOS app. Bluetooth range has also been increased to 150 feet, and both speakers now float, making them even better choices for pool parties and outdoor water sports adventures. Like UE’s Megablast, both of the new speakers can also be used with UE’s Power Up charging dock for wireless charging. The iOS app also provides the ability to pair multiple UE speakers along with a custom EQ and remote power controls. Boom 3 and Megaboom 3 will be available in four dual-toned colors: Night (black), Sunset (red), Lagoon (Blue), and Ultraviolet (purple), and are expected to go on sale in the U.S. and select countries in Europe and Asia in September 2018.

InvisibleShield combines screen and vision protection with Glass+ VisionGuard

InvisibleShield has announced [Glass+ VisionGuard1], an advanced new screen protector for the iPhone X that features a new Eyesafe technology layer designed to block harmful blue light, promoting better eye health. Glass+ VisionGuard was developed as part of a new partnership with Healthe2, a health technology company that develops products specifically designed to filter high-energy visible (HEV) blue light from digital devices, incorporated the new technology into a screen protector with InvisibleShield’s powerful impact protection.

Square announces Lightning-based magnetic card reader

Square has announced a Lightning-equipped version of its well-known Square Credit Card Reader, allowing users of Apple’s newer iPhone models to connect the reader directly. While Square’s original reader could be used with Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter, it made for a relatively clunky and awkward solution in terms of actually swiping cards, since it left the reader dangling loosely from the end of a cable. The new Square Reader for magstripe (with Lightning connector) ($10) provides all of the same features as the 3.5mm jack version, and promises “easier, more accurate swiping.” As with the headphone jack version, Square is also offering the new Lightning-based reader free for new users and other eligible merchants.

RHA announces CL2 Planar, the first wireless in-ear planar magnetic earphones

RHA has announced the CL2 Planar, the world’s first planar magnetic Bluetooth in-ear headphones. While planar magnetic headphones have become a favourite of audio enthusiasts due to their clean and highly accurate sound, up until now almost all planar magnetic headphones have been full-sized wired on-ear headphones such as the recent Hifiman Ananada, with Audeze’s unique iSine10 being the notable exception. RHA’s new CL2 Planar, however, sport a far more traditional IEM design while also featuring both wired and Bluetooth connectivity — a first among planar magnetic headphones.

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