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Twelve South’s PowerPic hides a wireless charger in a picture frame

Twelve South has just announced PowerPic, what is possibly the most unique approach to a Qi-enabled wireless charger we’ve yet seen. Designed as a New Zealand Pine picture frame, PowerPic actually conceals a 10-watt wireless charger behind your favourite photo. Users can simply set their iPhone against the photo to begin charging, and Twelve South promises that it will even work through iPhone cases up to 3mm thick. PowerPic is currently available in black or white color options that will hold any 5” x 7” photo, and as an added bonus, Twelve South has setup a gallery of free iPhone backgrounds and printable frame images for those who want to create a seamless look between the two devices. PowerPic will retail for $89.99, however Twelve South is offering PowerPic at an introductory price of $79.99 through the holiday season, and offering an additional promotion allowing customers to purchase a second unit for an addiional $10 off.

olloclip announces new Pro Series and Intro lenses

Olloclip has expanded its lineup of mobile photography lenses with the addition of new Pro Series and Intro Series lenses, rounding out the Connect X line that lets iPhone photography enthusiasts capture more artistic and creative shots than the standard lenses allow for. The new Pro Series introduces a Super Wide Pro lens that provides a wider field of view with the least amount of distortion yet seen on any of olloclip’s wide angle lenses, plus a new Telephoto Pro that offers the same 2X magnification as olloclip’s other telephoto lenses, but gathers more light for brighter photos. Each of the Pro Series lenses sells with a lens attachment clip for $119.99, or can be purchased individually for $99.99 for those who already have the appropriate clip. The new Intro Series kicks off with a single combined Wide-angle and Macro combo lens. The Wide Angle lens has a slightly more spherical effect than the Essential Series Super Wide lens, and is designed for things like selfies, group video chats, or just capturing a bigger picture with the iPhone camera. Unscrewing the outer lens reveals a Macro lens that allows for sharp focus on small objects for extreme closeups. The Wide-Angle + Macro Intro lens kit is available for $39.95 with an attachment clip, or $19.99 individually. Both lenses are compatible with all of olloclip’s current mounts, including the Multi-Device clip, the iPhone X clip, and all future iPhone attachment clips.

Apple-made cases nowhere to be found as iPhone XR lands in stores

As Apple’s iPhone XR goes on sale in Apple Stores around the world today, one thing appears to be conspicuously missing from the equation: Apple’s own branded cases for the new iPhone. As 9to5Mac summarizes, reports from several countries have shown that while the iPhone XR is readily available in stores, Apple appears to have none of its own case options available for the new model. While a report earlier this month suggested that Apple was planning to release a clear case for the iPhone XR — at least in some countries — there has been no further indication of this case actually materializing, nor has Apple updated its traditional leather and silicone cases for the lower-cost model. That said, numerous third-party cases for the iPhone XR can be found in Apple Stores and at other retailers where the iPhone is sold, but it’s an unusual move for Apple, which has provided its own first-party iPhone cases since the released of the iPhone 5, to not have any of its own options available on launch day.

Marshall introduces Minor II Bluetooth IEMs, updates Bluetooth speaker lineup

Marshall has announced Minor II Bluetooth ($180), a major new iteration of its original 2011 era Minor in-ear headphones. The new Minor II adds Bluetooth aptX while using an innovative ear-fit system with adjustable loops for optimal economic fit. Minor II Promises 12 hours of wireless playtime on a single charge, along with quick charge functionality that will get you back up and running with two hours of additional playtime after a mere 20 minutes of recharging time. Custom-tuned 14.2 mm dynamic drivers promise to provide rich highs, crisp mids, and clear, balanced bass, with the in-ear design allowing for a comfortable level of noise isolation that doesn’t completely block out your surroundings. A built-in microphone and Marshall’s typical multi-direction control knob allow for placing and receiving phone calls, triggering Siri, or wirelessly controlling music, and the magnetic earbuds connect together to stay in place around your neck. The Minor II Bluetooth also features the classic design details that Marshall is known for.

Hifiman releases new and refreshed lineup of high-end headphones

Usually we can depend on audiophile companies to release new gear on some kind of schedule — it gives us time to keep up. Not so with Hifiman, apparently — we’ve received a veritable storm of press releases about new and refreshed headphones They’ve been busy.

UAG launches Product PNK case series for breast cancer awareness

UAG is joining the fight against breast cancer with a new line of Product PNK cases, designed to raise awareness and fund research. The new Product PNK Plyo series cases are available for all current iPhone models — including the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and upcoming iPhone XR — for $40 each, regardless of iPhone model. UAG is donating 100% of the profits of every Product PNK case sold during the month of October to charities that support breast cancer awareness. The cases themselves feature all of the same military-grade drop and shock protection at UAG’s other Plyo cases, along with the same sleek and minimalist translucent design. “Breast Cancer has affected us all in some way — whether it be family or friends — and UAG is beyond thrilled to support charities creating breast cancer awareness,” says Kaila Vandermey, Marketing Manager at UAG. “Through our Product PNK campaign, UAG will continue to support a cause that is close to all of our hearts.”

Miggo launches Pictar Pro advanced iPhone camera grip

Miggo has announced Pictar Pro, an enhanced and upgraded version of its Pictar iPhone camera grip that we reviewed last year. The new Pictar Pro, which has been launched as a project on Kickstarter, builds on the features of the original Pictar by offering even deeper control over the iPhone’s camera capabilities, along with four improved external camera control buttons, a “shark-skin” ergonomic grip, a unique viewfinder for shooting on bright days, and advanced video capabilities. The new Pro version also improved on the aesthetics, providing a classic solid satin-finish brass body for a more substantial feel that will remind users of a Leica camera experience. Pictar Pro also sports an internal battery with Qi wireless charging to provide extra capacity so you’ll never miss a shot.

Bezalel announces Prelude wireless charger with nano-suction technology

Bezalel, one of the companies that was producing wireless charging solutions for the iPhone long before native support arrived, has announced its latest wireless charging product, the Prelude. The unique new 15-watt mobile wireless charger features nano-suction technology that lets you attach it securely to your iPhone while on the go, addressing a problem common to using most other mobile wireless chargers while on the go. The Prelude is fully mobile, with an internal 5000 mAh battery packed into a 17 mm form factor that weighs only five ounces, and can also be recharged wirelessly via another Qi-compatible wireless charger, making it an entirely wire-free solution on both ends. The new Prelude Wireless Charger is available on Kickstarter for pre-order for $39 for the first 700 orders, and then $49 thereafter until the campaign ends on Oct. 28.

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 Anki.com 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 EcoFlow.com and at select retailers.

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