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Apple begins selling iPhone XR clear case, 18W USB-C power adapter

Apple has finally come out with its own first-party protection option for its latest iPhone, with the arrival of its iPhone XR Clear Case. While Apple has quietly indicated that a clear case option would be arriving for the new iPhone in at least some countries, many were perplexed when the iPhone XR went on sale in October with no sign of any cases from Apple itself. While numerous third-party cases were readily available, it was unusual for Apple to be selling its own cases in Apple Stores alongside a new iPhone launch. The new iPhone XR Clear Case is made from a combination of clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials and has a scratch-resistant coating applied both inside and out; it is priced at $39 and can be ordered from Apple’s online store beginning today.

Anki’s Cozmo gains more interactive features in latest update

Anki has released another feature update to its Cozmo robot just in time for the Holiday season, adding even more interactive features. The “Cozmo Says” feature that allowed users to type in things or Cozmo to say has received a boost, being renamed “Cozmo Performs” and allowing kids to trigger Cozmo to express certain emotions or act like other animals and objects, such as a cat, a dog, or a firetruck, and even chain statements and actions together to tell a story with Cozmo. Cozmo Free Time has also been enhanced to allow users to see what Cozmo sees as he is wandering around and get updates on what he is thinking and what is sparking his curiosity. Two new Cozmo Mini Games have also been added, “Rebounce” where players can use their head movements to bounce a ball and bash bricks and “Tappy Cozmo” where players must rapidly tap red and green cubes to navigate past dangerous canyon walls. Anki is also now selling a companion book, “Create with Cozmo” for $19.99 to introduce basic coding concepts and get users started on building Code Lab projects with Cozmo.

Certified third-party Lightning to USB-C cables expected to start appearing in early 2019

New reports from inside Apple’s MFi licensing program indicate that we may see third-party Apple-certified Lightning to USB-C cables go on sale early in the new year. MacRumors reports that members of Appel’s MFi program have now been given the go-ahead to manufacture Lightning to USB-C cables for charging and syncing, along with a new Lightning connector (part C94) that MFi partners can now order from Apple. Documentation shared with MacRumors indicates that Apple is selling the new C94 Lightning connector to eligible hardware manufacturers for $2.88 per unit, and it’s expected to ship in six weeks, meaning that the first Apple-certified cables could appear on the market as early as February. The Apple-certified Lightning to USB-C cables would provide new options for users who want to fast charge this year’s iPhone models with a USB-C PD power adapter, which has up until now been limited to Apple’s own cables.

Catalyst announces Waterproof Cases for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

Catalyst has unveiled its Waterproof Cases for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, providing full protection against the elements for Apple’s latest high-end iPhone models. While Catalyst’s Impact Protection Cases were released back in September, it’s taken the company a bit longer to get its fully waterproof options on the market. While the announcement of the new cases comes in time for the holiday season, Catalyst is only accepting pre-orders right now for the larger iPhone XS Max version, with the cases expected to ship later this month. The new cases provide the same industry-leading waterproof rating as last year’s iPhone X case — up to 33 feet of submersion in water and drop protection of up to 6.6 feet. The [Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone XS] sells for $89.99 and is available now in stealth black, while the $99.99 iPhone XS Max version is expected to be available sometime this month. Catalyst also has a Waterproof Case for iPhone XR ($89.99), which is available for pre-order and expected to arrive sometime after the new year.

Mophie announces new Powerstation with Lightning connector

Mophie has announced a new Powerstation with Lightning connector 5,050 mAh battery pack, an ultra-portable and versatile solution designed specifically for iPhone and iPad users. Using a Lightning port for recharging, the new Powerstation means that iOS device users will have one less cable to carry around with them, and can also charge the new Powerstation from just about any dock with a Lightning connector as well. The 5,050 mAh battery provides an extra 15 hours of juice for a typical iPhone, and dual USB-A ports let you charge two devices at the same time. The power pack also features Mophie’s Priority+ Charging feature, allowing pass-through charging to ensure that your iPhone is powered up first before the Powerstation itself starts to recharge. The new Powerstation with Lightning Connector is being offered in three colors — black, red, and space gray — with an aluminum finish and is available starting today for $59.95 at mophie.com.

V-Moda releases SpeakEasy DAC/AMP Lightning cable, V-Man headphone stand

V-Moda has just announced a new set of accessories for its lineup of high-fidelity headphones and IEMs, starting with the new SpeakEasy DAC/AMP Lightning cable ($99.99), which allows owners of all V-MODA over-ear and on-ear headphones to swap out their analog 3.5mm cable for a direct Lighting connection for modern iOS devices with a high-performance DAC and amplifier that promises to deliver high-resolution sound well beyond most wireless headphones or even Apple’s own 3.5mm to Lightning adapter. The 24-bit DAC is Apple MFi-certified and features a signal-to-noise ratio of 114dB, along with a headphone amp that can deliver 31 mW of output power, while not deplete power consumption and more than a standard 3.5mm analog cable.

PhoneSoap 3 now available in limited edition Cranberry Red version for the holidays

PhoneSoap, maker of the unique smartphone charger that cleans and sanitizes your devices while it charges, has announced an exclusive limited edition Phonesoap 3 in Cranberry Red for the holiday season. Using UV-C lights, PhoneSoap promises to kill off 99.99% of bacteria growing on your iPhone in only 10 minutes, making it a great gift for health-conscious techies, since just about everybody carries and uses their iPhone in places where they can easily collect harmful bacteria. the Cranberry Red PhoneSoap 3 is available in limited quantities for $59.95 on PhoneSoap.com, and over Thanksgiving (from Nov. 21–27), customers can also use the code “Give20” to get an extra 20% off the Cranberry Red PhoneSoap 3 or any other product on the site, plus free shipping.

Satechi unveils new Qi-certified Wireless Charger

Satechi has just expanded into the wireless charging market with the announcement of its newest product, the Aluminum Type-C PD & QC Wireless Charger ($45), providing another attractive and cost-effective solution for iPhone users to easily charge their devices free from the encumbrance of wires. The new device supports charging speeds of up to 10 watts, allowing for maximum charging performance on all of Apple’s latest iPhones, although users will need to provide their own USB-C PD or Quick Charge compatible power adapter. The Qi-certified charger includes a multi-color LED status light to indicate charging status and speed, along with over-temperature and foreign-object detection safety features. The Aluminum Type-C PD & QC Wireless Charger is available now from Satechi’s web site and other places where Satechi products are sold.

V-Moda unveils BassFit Wireless In-Ear headphones

V-Moda has just announced its new BassFit Wireless, a new set of sport headphones that are designed to provide uncompromising bass while withstanding even the most rigorous workouts. Built to make no compromises on sound, fit, battery life, or reliability, BassFit Wireless feature premium 10mm dynamic drivers that promise deep and precise bass without affecting clarity, an exclusive TriFit design that gives users a choice of ear hooks, ear fins, or a combination of both, and up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge that combines a FastCharge feature to get quickly juiced up again when the battery gets low. At only 17 grams, plus a two-layer nanocoating that protects from sweat and weather, they’re both durable enough yet light enough to wear for long workouts. BassFit Wireless also feature support for both aptX and AAC codecs for high-quality sound, plus a multi-function control for volume, music/media playback, call control, and Siri activation, along with a built-in mic. BassFit Wireles are available in either black or white for $130 on V-MODA.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers where V-Moda products are sold.

Withings resurrects its classic fitness tracker design with Pulse HR

Two months ago, Withings made its triumphant return to the digital health business as an independent company with Steel HR Sport, a multi-sport hybrid smartwatch focused on fitness and aesthetics that built upon the company’s 2014 Activité, and the company hasn’t slowed down since it gained its independence from Nokia earlier this year. Today, Withings has announced Pulse HR, an upgraded and reimagined version of its highly-acclaimed 2013 Pulse. Pulse HR is designed for users looking for a classic, standalone activity tracker rather than a full watch, and boosts a modernized design that incorporates a reinforced black polycarbonate surface within a 316L stainless steel casing. A black soft silicone wristband is included, that users can swap out for other color options if they prefer something more in line with their personal style. A built-in OLED display allows users to view time and date, heart rate, calories burned, progress toward activity goals, real-time workout information, and even smartphone notifications.

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.

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