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Video Review: Parrot’s Jumping Sumo and Rolling Spider

  • August 28, 2014

Parrot’s new Minidrones, the Jumping Sumo (reviewed here) and Rolling Spider (reviewed here) are the newest featured products in our latest video review. Check out these new toys in action and hear what we have to say about the experience. This is our second video review, following last week’s look at the Otterbox Agility Tablet System — feel free to share your feedback!

Apps of the Week: Hyperlapse, BioShock, Asphalt 8 1.5 + more

New Apps

Google Slides (free) — Google debuted its Slides app this week. The presentation-creating app joins Google Docs and Google Sheets as yet another Google Drive-based app. Slides allows users to open, edit, and save Microsoft PowerPoint files; the autosaving app can also work without an Internet connection.

Hyperlapse from Instagram (free) — Instagram’s Hyperlapse is a new app that seems like it could become a sensation. Users can quickly create time lapse videos with the app. It works amazingly well — you can shoot while stationary or in motion — and the app clearly shows users how much time an accelerated video will actually take to watch once the time lapse is complete. A hyperlapse video can go up to 12 times normal speed, enabling users to show a lot of action in a short amount of time. The effect is very impressive for a free app. It’s simple to use, and no sign up or account is required, so we highly recommend downloading Hyperlapse to see what the fuss is all about. Next month, iOS 8 will introduce an integrated time lapse video recording feature with comparatively limited settings.

Mobile Passport (free) — Airside Mobile’s new Mobile Passport app, which is officially approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, allows users to enter the U.S. faster. You’ll be able to skip the regular line upon returning from abroad, as the app “effectively replaces” the traditional declaration form required of all travelers entering the U.S. by air. Both U.S. and Canadian citizens are eligible to use the app. Currently, the service is only available at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, with more supported locations to follow in the future. Keep in mind that the app is not a replacement for your passport.

Poppy Cat and the Bubble Volcano ($3) — The prolific StoryToys returns with another storybook app, Poppy Cat and the Bubble Volcano. Featuring the popular Poppy Cat, the app features a variety of games and activities. It’s similar to other StoryToys apps, but it’s definitely worth a look if your kid is into Poppy Cat — the app features sound effects and music from the show, and illustrations are based on the TV show’s animation.

Apple sends out invites to September 9 event

  • August 28, 2014

Apple has sent out invitations to its September 9 event. The invites simply list the date on a white Apple logo background with the words: “Wish we could say more.” This time around, the event will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California. As usual, the event will be held at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET. It’s expected that we’ll see two new iPhones at the event, and according to a Wednesday report, the long-awaited iWatch will debut, as well. [via The Loop]

Report: iPhone 6 to feature NFC mobile payments

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 will come with its own mobile payment system, and the solution will use NFC, Wired reports. Use of near field communication has been rumored in the iPhone for years — speculation began around the time of the iPhone 4 in 2010, and every iPhone since has been accompanied by an NFC report that never came true. Talk about the use of NFC in the iPhone has heated up again in recent weeks, though considering the device’s history, there have been plenty of reasons to remain skeptical. However, with Apple’s known interest in mobile payments — and the apparent upcoming introduction of such a service — perhaps the time has finally come for iPhone NFC. There’s also been discussion about Apple using its iBeacon platform for mobile payments; it’s possible that iBeacon could still be involved in some way.

Report: Apple to unveil iWatch with new iPhones on September 9

Apple plans on unveiling its new wearable device alongside its two new iPhones on September 9, Re/Code reports. As expected, the new device will “make good use of” Apple’s new HealthKit and HomeKit platforms, though how the latter will be implemented isn’t quite clear. The wearable device has generally been referred to as iWatch, but the true name is still unknown at this point. According to the report, Apple will likely still hold an event in October — that event would undoubtedly introduce new iPads, at the very least.

iPhone 6 parts leak reveals front panel variation

A new group of alleged iPhone 6 parts have been posted on Chinese parts site ElekWorld, with a heretofore unseen front panel variation included among the pictures. While a picture of a completed front panel assembly for the 4.7” iPhone 6 looks similar to what’s been seen before, a separate picture of the front panel doesn’t match — it shows an extra sensor near the FaceTime camera. If this part is real, it’s possible that small dot could be a security light that notifies a user when the camera is on, as seen on Apple’s Macs. Many of the other pictures in the leak have been seen previously, though the apparent circular True Tone flash for the 5.5” iPhone 6 is also included.

Bloomberg: Apple now plans 12.9” iPad for early 2015

Apple suppliers are getting ready to manufacture a new iPad with a 12.9-inch screen by the first quarter of 2015, Bloomberg reports. Such a device has already been rumored for some time — previous reports claimed Apple was testing a larger iPad, with one late 2013 report claiming the company was testing five different 12.9-inch iPad prototypes for a release of two possible versions of such a device. Talk about the device has been quiet for some time until now, as the larger iPad was originally expected to see release sometime this year. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller declined comment on the new report.

More new Apple TV channels: SVT Play in Sweden, NRK in Norway

More new channels have been added to Apple TV, this time in Scandinavia. SVT Play has been added as a channel in Sweden, and NRK has been added for Apple TV users in Norway. SVT Play is a free service offering on-demand and live television, including sports, news, drama, documentaries, and children’s shows. NRK is a Norwegian public broadcaster now offering 40,000 shows on demand through Apple TV. Earlier today, Apple added Showtime Anytime to Apple TV in the U.S. and brought back its iTunes Festival channel, as well. [via 9to5Mac]

Showtime Anytime channel comes to Apple TV

Apple has just added the Showtime Anytime channel to Apple TV, following its reintroduction of the iTunes Festival channel. The new channel is basically Showtime’s version of HBO Go — it’s been available on the App Store for some time. Showtime Anytime has on-demand content and live streams of Showtime East and Showtime West for authenticated TV subscribers. Some free full episodes of Showtime shows are even available without cable or satellite authentication. Interestingly, the channel’s name may scroll from right to left when it’s selected, as there are too many characters to fit all at once with the 720p version of the Apple TV. No scrolling is evident on later 1080p Apple TV models.

LA Unified School District suspends iPad contract

L.A. Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy has suspended the school system’s highly-publicized contract with Apple to provide iPads to students, the Los Angeles Times reports. The contract would have provided all students in the country’s second-largest school system with iPads, but recent accusations claim that Deasy and deputy superintendent Jaime Aquino had “especially close ties” to Apple executives. “Moving forward, we will no longer utilize our current contract with Apple Inc.,” Deasy wrote in a memo to the Board of Education. “Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account concerns raised surrounding the (project).”

A district technology committee found numerous problems with the bidding process, including that Aquino appeared to conspire with executives from Pearson — the company that was to provide curriculum on the devices — within an email. “I believe we would have to make sure that your bid is the lowest one,” he wrote. Aquino was formerly an executive with a Pearson affiliate before joining the L.A. school system. Despite the new controversy, Deasy reportedly believes Apple and Pearson will still participate as bidders in the new process for the school’s technology contract.

iTunes Festival channel returns to Apple TV

The iTunes Festival channel has reappeared on Apple TV, not long before the festival kicks off in London. Apple’s iTunes Festival starts September 1 and runs through the whole month. As has been the case previously, the channel will let users watch live HD streaming video of the performances, as well as on-demand recordings after performances have ended. New acts, including Mary J. Blige, deadmau5, and Ed Sheeran, were recently added to the schedule. Currently, only two days of the festival have acts yet to be announced, as the schedule is mostly set.

Apple launches iPhone 5 battery replacement program

Apple has launched a new program to replace “a very small percentage” of iPhone 5 units that “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.” Replacements will be made free of charge. The affected devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013, and are only within a limited range of serial numbers. A serial number checker on Apple’s webpage for the program lets users see if their devices are eligible. The replacement process has already started in the U.S. and China, with a launch in other countries on Friday, August 29.

iLounge Game Spotlight: Pac-Man Friends

The legendary Pac-Man returns for his newest adventure, Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man Friends ($5) for iOS. Pac-Man Friends is a new, original game that uses tilt controls to get Pac-Man and his buddies past the ghosts to the goal. Though the game does share some common elements with other Pac-Man classic games, Pac-Man Friends is ultimately a departure from the traditional style.

The gameplay in Pac-Man Friends is reminiscent of a wooden labyrinth game, as players tilt their iOS devices to guide the big yellow guy and his friends through the levels. There are five different control modes — four are tilt modes, and one is a touch mode. We found the touch mode to be much different than the preferable tilt control options, but it’s always nice to have options.

Apple removes Secret app from Brazilian App Store

Apple has removed the app Secret from the Brazilian App Store, according to 9to5Mac. A Brazilian judge recently ordered the removal, after ruling that the app violates an article in the Brazilian constitution which prohibits anonymous freedom of expression. The judge also ordered that Apple must remotely disable the app from users’ phones, but it’s unclear whether the company will proceed with that step. Secret allows users to write and share anonymous posts with people nearby.

Alleged Foxconn leak reveals iPhone 6 dimensions

An alleged leak from a Foxconn factory has seemingly revealed the dimensions of both new iPhone 6 models. The information, posted by iGen.fr, suggests that the 5.5” iPhone 6 will be approximately 158 mm (6.2”) long, 78 mm (3.1”) wide, and 7.1 mm (.28”) thick — 7.77 mm (.31”) thick at the protruding camera lens. It appears the device may weigh about 6.5 ounces. Meanwhile, the 4.7” model checks in at 138 mm (5.4”) long, 67 mm (2.6”) wide, 6.9 mm (.27”) thick, and 7.67 mm (.3”) thick at the camera — closely matching measurements we’ve seen in a prior report. The weight of the 4.7” model was not included in the screen shots. Additionally, the report claims that the larger model will indeed house a 2915 mAh battery, as was reported previously.

Reuters: Backlight redesign disrupted iPhone 6 production

Apple suppliers are “scrambling” to complete screens for the iPhone 6 after a component redesign caused a production setback, Reuters reports. A backlight had to be redesigned after Apple’s initial attempt at including a single layer of backlight film — as opposed to the typical two layers of film — was deemed to not be bright enough. According to the report, the backlight had to be redesigned with the extra layer. Suppliers are working to make up for the lost time, and it’s unclear if the delay could limit the supply of iPhone 6 units at launch, sources said. Last-minute changes to the thickness of a large component such as the screen might explain the need for other thick components, such as a camera module, to protrude. Apple declined comment.

Apps of the Week: Star Walk 2, Swing Copters, Vine 2.5 + more

New Apps

Lytro Mobile App (free) — Lytro has relaunched its Lytro Mobile App. The new app is universal, and allows users to interact with Lytro’s “living pictures” through various gestures. Both the old app and the new app are free, so if you’re a Lytro user, there’s no reason not to download this new edition. For the best viewing experience, iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display are recommended.

Star Walk 2 ($3) — Vito Technology’s Star Walk 2 is the sequel to the popular Star Walk app, which allows users to point their iPhone or iPad to the sky for information on constellations and astronomical data in real time. The new app offers a new design with a cleaner interface, new visual and sound effects, and 3D models of celestial bodies which are available through in-app purchase. For those who enjoy the original app, Star Walk 2 is worth the upgrade — the interface is gorgeous. Anyone with even a passing interest in astronomy should grab Star Walk 2.

Apple releases new iTunes 12 beta

Apple has released a new beta for iTunes 12. We took an in-depth look at the first iTunes 12 beta in late July, and we’ll update this story with changes found in the new edition. The latest beta includes a few more cosmetic changes, such as redesigned media section icons and a new “Recently Added” section in areas such as Movies and TV Shows.

Alleged rear shell for 5.5” iPhone 6 leaked

While we’ve seen plenty of alleged leaked parts for the 4.7” iPhone 6, there’s been relatively few leaks for the 5.5” iPhone 6. A new leak posted at evasi0njailbreak.com claims to show the rear shell of the 5.5” iPhone 6 compared to the 4.7” model. The images are said to have come from “deep within Apple’s supply chain in China,” and they could be prototype parts. Unsurprisingly, the 5.5” iPhone 6 shell just appears to be a larger version of the 4.7” model, with no major noticeable differences other than size.

Video Review: Otterbox Agility Tablet System


Otterbox’s new Agility Tablet System for iPad Air (reviewed here) is the featured product in our brand new video review. You can see the ups and downs of this multi-accessory case, mounting, and charging solution, complete with iLounge’s honest evaluation of its pros and cons.

We’re currently testing video reviews to give iLounge readers a different way to get a closer look at new products. As this is an early effort, let us know what you think!

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