Apple’s online store now lists the iPad Smart Case and iPad Smart Cover as discontinued for the iPad 2 and iPad (3rd/4th-Gen). The site now only shows a dark gray Smart Case and Cover, but both are unavailable for purchase online. Limited inventory may be available in some retail stores.
This is a somewhat curious move, considering Apple has kept the iPad 2 in its lineup. However, Apple is still selling a number of third-party cases that are compatible with the iPad 2, as well as new iPad Air and iPad mini Smart Cases and Smart Covers.
Update: Apple is now selling dark gray versions of the iPad Smart Case and Smart Cover in its online store again.
Bad Elf has introduced its GPS for Lightning Connector ($130), a portable GPS device that connects to a Lightning connector to add instant GPS and GLONASS location support. Latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and tracking are provided, and the company claims accuracy to within 9 feet and support for altitudes up to 60,000 feet and speeds up to 1,000 mph.
Bad Elf’s GPS requires no Internet connection or monthly subscription, and enables Wi-Fi only devices to use full GPS-based location services, even in areas without Wi-Fi. The GPS is powered from the attached iOS device, and a micro-USB cable is included for passthrough charging. The GPS for Lightning Connector is expected to ship sometime in November.
Geneva Lab has introduced three new wireless sound systems: the Geneva Sound System Model M Wireless ($599), the Geneva Sound System Model L Wireless ($1,199), and the Geneva Sound System Model XL Wireless ($2,299). The Model M uses Bluetooth A2DP for wireless audio streaming and includes an FM radio, digital clock with alarm, LED display, and touch-sensitive controls. Four amplifiers in the wooden cabinet produce a combined 60 watts of output power.
The Model L Wireless is larger than the Model M and uses Bluetooth aptX streaming and adds a slot-loading CD player. The system’s four amplifiers produce 180 watts of output. The Model XL is the largest model; also boasting Bluetooth aptX and a CD player, XL uses six amplifiers for 346 watts of power. The new models are all dockless versions of the company’s prior iPod/iPhone sounds systems—a response to Apple’s Lightning and AirPlay restrictions. All three sound systems will be available in November in black, white, red, or walnut finishes.
iHealth has announced its Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System ($80). A portable, Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose monitor, the Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System automatically displays blood glucose measurements on an iOS device with the free iHealth Gluco-Smart App. Users can set up reminders to take medications, track trends, and track test strip expiration dates.
The monitor also lets users remotely view and track measurements online. iHealth’s Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System is available now.
Sol Republic and Motorola have announced the new Tracks AIR Wireless Headphones ($200). The Bluetooth headphones claim to deliver solid bass, clean mids and vocals, and extended highs from their A2 sound engines. Tracks AIR boasts a 150-foot wireless range, and battery life exceeding 15 hours; the headphones can also be used with cables for wired use.
Tracks AIR Wireless Headphones feature multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, a dual-microphone for phone calls, and interchangeability with PowerTracks headbands for a customized look. The headphones will be released in “early November.”
Livescribe has introduced the Livescribe 3 Smartpen ($150-200) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The pen uses Bluetooth and an Infrared camera to transfer handwritten notes from a piece of paper onto an iPad screen in real-time using the Livescribe+ app. It comes packed with flash memory and an ARM processor. Unusually, Livescribe 3 uses proprietary Livescribe Dot Paper for note taking, and requires you to buy additional paper after you’ve used up the included 50 pieces.
Livescribe claims its new smart pen offers more than 14 hours of continuous writing on one lithium ion battery charge. The Livescribe 3 costs $150, or $200 for a Pro Edition, which adds a Livescribe Journal, Leather Smartpen Portfolio, and a one year subscription to Evernote Premium. Livescribe 3 is available now.
- October 28, 2013
- iPad Accessories,
Logitech has announced four new covers and cases for the iPad Air, three of which include a keyboard. FabricSkin Keyboard Folio ($150) is a thin, light water-repellent folio case with a rechargeable Bluetooth fabric keyboard. Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($100) is an aluminum screen cover with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard.
Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Folio ($100) is similar to the keyboard cover, but in a full folio case. All three keyboards can be charged through micro-USB and are said to last up to three months on one charge. The Folio Protective Case ($50) offers folio protection without a keyboard. All of the new Logitech iPad Air products are available for pre-order in various colors, with no release dates announced yet.
JBL has announced Pulse ($200), a wireless speaker featuring a customized LED light show. The Pulse delivers sound from two 40mm drivers and a built-in bass port, using Bluetooth stereo streaming with NFC. Pulse’s LED lights feature five pre-programmed patterns, but users can also program their own light shows by changing the patterns, brightness, and colors.
JBL claims Pulse’s rechargeable Li-ion battery offers up to 10 hours of music in one charge, or five hours of music with a light show. Pulse is available for pre-order, and JBL lists the expected shipping date as Nov. 13.
- October 23, 2013
- iPad Accessories,
A number of companies have already introduced cases for the iPad Air. While many of these cases are merely remakes for the new device, there are some brand new cases, as well. Belkin has introduced a number of new products, including three keyboard cases: Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case ($129), Qode Thin Type Keyboard Case ($100), and Qode Slim Style Keyboard Case ($80). The company also introduced two new folio stand cases, the FreeStyle Cover ($60) and LapStand Cover ($60). All cases are listed as coming soon.
Grove has introduced its Wood Smart Case ($99) for iPad Air, a lightweight bamboo and maple folio case that also acts as a stand. The case ships in four to six weeks. Speck has debuted a redesigned StyleFolio ($40) case for iPad Air. The new StyleFolio features 14 different designs and is coming soon.
In addition to the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Apple today announced new protective options for both devices.
The polyurethane Smart Cover will cost $39 for either model. A brand new leather Smart Case will cost $79 for the iPad Air, and $69 for the iPad mini.
Logitech has introduced the Mobile Speakerphone P710e ($170), a USB/Bluetooth speakerphone. The speakerphone uses a DSP to improve the sound of phone call audio, and has an integrated stand to hold an iPhone or iPad while making video calls.
Designed to be portable, the Mobile Speakerphone P710e has a battery capable of 15 hours of medium volume talk time between charging. Wideband audio, a dynamic equalizer, acoustic echo cancelation and noise-canceling microphone all improve sound quality, making it easier to communicate in noisy work environments. No release date has been announced yet.
Nest has introduced Nest Protect ($129), a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Like the company’s earlier Nest Thermostat, the alarm can be controlled using an iOS app. Nest Protect is able give an early warning to smoke or let users know when carbon monoxide levels are rising by lighting up yellow and speaking with a human voice. Nuisance alarms can be canceled out by waving an arm near Nest Protect, rather than touching a physical button. Nest Protect can also send a message to any smartphone or tablet as soon as the alarm goes off, as well as monitoring its own battery levels and sensors.
Nest Protect alarms can work in conjunction with each other, communicating even if Wi-Fi is down. The alarm also works in conjunction with the Nest Thermostat — for instance, the alarm automatically turns off a gas furnace if the carbon monoxide alarm goes off. Also notable is the Protect’s Pathlight feature, which can illuminate a dark hallway when triggered by motion. Nest Protect comes in black and white, and is available now for preorder.
Adonit has added the recently announced Jot Script Evernote Edition ($75) to its website. Jot Script Evernote Edition features a 1.9 mm tip, designed to feel like a real fine point pen. The stylus is part of an Evernote initiative to create a series of branded products in its Evernote Market, such as this Côte&Ciel Diver Sleeve for Mac. The AAA-battery powered Jot Script Evernote Edition uses Bluetooth 4.0. Available to order now, the stylus ships in three to four weeks.
Adonit has also been working with Adobe. The companies have teamed up to bring Adobe’s cloud pen, Project Mighty, and digital ruler, Project Napoleon, to market. Adobe announced it has plans to ship the devices in the first half of 2014.
Kopi has announced Kbar Multiple, a power strip that allows multiple iPads to be charged simultaneously. The power strip uniquely offers 2.4-Amp charging on each of its eight USB ports, allowing for full-power charging on up to eight iPads at once.
Kbar Multiple features a built-in surge protector and comes in orange, purple, black, blue, gray, and pink. Pricing and release information are currently unavailable.
Marshall Headphones has announced the Stanmore ($400), a new Bluetooth speaker. Modeled after a vintage Marshall amp, the Stanmore also has analog knobs for control. The Stanmore puts out 80 watts of total output from a 5 1/4” woofer and two 3/4” tweeters.
Optical output is also included with the Stanmore, so devices including the Apple TV can be connected to the speaker. A 3.5mm input and RCA input are on board, as well. Marshall’s Stanmore is available now in black or cream.
GameCase from ClamCase is the first MFi iOS game controller to be unveiled. The controller comes with two analog sticks, a d-pad, four gamepad buttons, and what looks to be four shoulder buttons. According to the website, GameCase controllers will be compatible with second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 5/5s/5c, and iPhone 4/4s. No pricing or availability is known at this time.
Phiaton has announced two new headphones — the Chord MS 530 ($349) and Fusion MS 430 ($179). The Chord MS 530 headphones use Bluetooth 4.0, and two Bluetooth-enabled devices can be connected at the same time. A 40mm titanium driver powers the sound, which benefits from active noise canceling. Phiaton claims up to 30 hours of talk/music time — up to 18 hours while using active noise canceling. Additionally, Chord’s EverPlay-X technology lets users continue calling or listening to music if the battery runs out, or if an audio device isn’t Bluetooth compatible, using the supplied microphone cable.
Phiaton’s Fusion MS 430 is made of carbon fiber. The headphones use 40mm drivers. Fusion MS 430 also features a folding design and audio cable inputs on both the left and right side of the headphones. The Fusion MS 430 will be available Oct. 1, and the Chord MS 530 will be available Oct. 8.
JBL has introduced Synchros, a new line of headphones. The flagship headphones in the line are the Synchros S700 ($350) premium powered over-ear stereo headphones. Made out of aluminum, fabric, and steel, with leather ear cushions, the onyx- or glacier-colored S700 headphones use 50mm drivers, JBL LiveStage signal processing technology, and a rechargeable battery that lasts for 28 hours. The Synchros S500 ($300) are similar, but use AAA batteries instead of a Li-on battery, and the materials aren’t quite as high-end.
Also introduced were the Synchros S300 ($200), on-ear headphones that feature 40mm drivers and are available in six colors. The Synchros S200 ($130) are in-ear stereo headphones with a 10mm drivers, while the S100 ($100) headphones are very similar, with a 9mm driver instead. The entire line is available now.
Kanex has introduced its Multi-Sync Keyboard ($70), a full-sized wireless Bluetooth keyboard that works with iOS devices and Macs. Bluetooth keys let users switch from an iPad to an iPhone to a Mac with the touch of a button. A full numeric keypad is also included.
Multi-Sync Keyboard comes with a micro-USB to USB cable, 2 AAA batteries to power the keyboard, and an iPhone/iPad stand. The keyboard also works with the Apple TV, though with the caveat that some hotkeys may not be compatible. Kanex’s Multi-Sync Keyboard is available now.
Among new iPhones and corresponding accessories, Apple today added a 2m version of its Lightning to USB Cable to its online store. It appears that the only differences between this cord and the 0.5m and 1m cables are the length, and the $10-higher price.
Apple’s website lists the cable as shipping within 24 hours, and ready for in-store pickup starting September 12, 2013.