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Sunday at CES: 20 new Apple accessory previews worth seeing

It was a busy Sunday as leading developers began to unveil their first round of new Apple accessories at the 2014 CES. Our CES mini-site is packed with photos and details - here’s a quick summary of what we’ve checked out so far.

Behind-the-scenes photos of the iLounge Pavilion North Hall under construction
Behind-the-scenes photos of the iLounge Pavilion LVH area under construction

Belkin’s new WeMo LED Smart Bulbs, Crock Pot (!), and Maker
Clearview Audio’s new clear speaker
Dropcam’s iOS Wi-Fi camera, Dropcam Pro
EnerPlex’s solar-charging iPhone 5/5s battery case
Griffin’s new Merchant case, StudioConnect HD and PowerMate Bluetooth
Holi’s new LED desktop lamp
Macally’s new Bluetooth keyboard, battery pack, and car mounts
Netatmo’s June sun exposure wristband
Olloclip’s new iPad lens and iPhone 5s-ready lens colors
Orbotix’s Sphero 2B
Parrot’s Minidrone and Jumping Sumo
Soundfreaq’s Pocket Kick, Double Spot, and Sound Rise
SteelSeries’s Stratus iOS Bluetooth Game Controller
STM’s Dux, Drifter, and Skinny Pro
Supertooth’s Disco 4
Sen.se’s Mother and Motion Cookies trackers
Swissvoice’s next-gen ePure and Voice Bridge
uNu’s Ultrapak rapid-charging battery packs for iPhone and iPad
Withings’ Aura active smart sleep system

Expect much more today, with updates regularly posted to CES.iLounge.com!

iLounge is live at the 2014 CES: follow us at CES.iLounge.com!

iLounge’s editors have arrived in Las Vegas for the 2014 CES, and we’re already scoping out the latest Apple accessories under wraps at the gigantic Las Vegas Convention Center. On our new CES mini-site, you’ll find behind-the-scenes photos and early details from the show. Keep checking out the site over the next week, as we’ll be updating it frequently with new info and imagery.

Happy New Year 2014 from iLounge!

Happy New Year from the entire iLounge team! We’ll be on a limited publication schedule today as we begin 2014 with our families and friends.

There’s no question that 2013 was a slower year for Apple than we (and most people) expected. Like 2012, most of the year went by without major iPad, iPhone, or iPod product news, as Apple again waited until fall to release everything from new iOS software to the widely anticipated new iPad and iPhone models. The year’s best Apple and third-party releases are in our 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide, which is free to download and enjoy. A timeline showing the year’s major milestones is inside, as well.

We’re excited to head out to Las Vegas later this week to prepare for the International Consumer Electronics Show’s biggest iLounge Pavilion yet. The 2014 International CES officially kicks off next Tuesday, and we expect a lot of news to hit the wires before and during the show.

Feel free to browse through our archives until we return, and please join us for our upcoming CES live coverage. Once again, Happy New Year!

Welcome, New iPad, iPhone & iPod Owners!

If you’ve just opened up your first iPad, iPhone, or iPod this morning, welcome to the Apple community! Whether you’re looking for help picking accessories or apps, or just need some friendly advice from our expert editors and readers, you’ve come to the right place.

Established in 2001 after Apple announced the first iPod, iLounge is here to help you get the most out of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Since the beginning, our staff has been dedicated to providing honest, impartial coverage of Apple’s portable media devices, focusing on the very best products released by third-party developers from around the world.

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Want to protect or expand your device? Start with our free, downloadable 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide. The best apps and accessories of the past year are highlighted quickly and beautifully inside for your reference. Don’t mind hunting for the right option? Check out our ever-growing list of thousands of accessory reviews, sorted neatly by category. Want to know what’s coming next year? We regularly publish the latest news from all across the industry. And a list of major vendors will help you find company contact information if you need sales assistance or customer service.

Need help? You can find answers to reader questions - and pose questions to our staff - in our Ask iLounge column. Meet other users in the iLounge Forums, the world’s largest community of iPod fans. And explore the rest of our site for tutorials, previews of new products, and much more.

Enjoy your new device! You’re at the start of what’s sure to be a great experience, and we’re excited to help you along the way!

Merry Christmas 2013 from iLounge!

Merry Christmas from all of us at iLounge! We’ll be off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we’ll resume our normal posting schedule on Thursday, Dec. 26. Have a happy holiday!

New iPad models poll ends, Screen Protector poll begins

With over 1,100 votes from readers, our latest poll—Now that the dust has settled, which of the new iPad models do you prefer?—has now ended. With both the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display available, we wanted to know which device our readers thought was the better of the two.

The overall majority of respondents clearly preferred the iPad Air, garnering fifty-four percent of the vote. Twenty-seven percent chose the iPad mini with Retina Display as their favourite, while fifteen percent of readers found both devices equally appealing. The remaining four percent of the responses came from those who didn’t really like either of the new iPad models.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 from iLounge!

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It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., and we at iLounge would like to wish you a happy holiday and express how grateful we are for your readership and support. We will be on a limited posting schedule today and Friday; we will return to normal updates on Monday, December 2nd. Happy Thanksgiving!

iPad Air poll ends, New iPad models poll begins

With over 1,200 votes from readers, our latest poll—Have you or will you be purchasing an iPad Air?—has now ended. With the iPad Air going on sale when the availability date for the Retina iPad mini was uncertain at best, we wanted to know how this affected our readers’ plans for purchasing one or both of the new models.

The overall majority of responses were from readers indicating that they either had already purchased an iPad Air (41%) or were planning to buy one within the near future (13%). Only eleven percent of readers indicated that they were waiting to see the iPad mini before making a purchasing decision, while twelve percent indicated that they had already decided to pass on the iPad Air in favour of the iPad mini with Retina Display. Of the remaining responses, sixteen percent indicated that they weren’t planning to upgrade their existing iPad to one of the new models, while four percent indicated that they were waiting for the next generation before upgrading, and another four percent indicated no interest in the iPad at all.

iLounge’s Retina iPad mini review details color issue, battery boost

iLounge has posted our full review of Apple’s new iPad mini with Retina display. The comprehensive nine-page review covers a number of important and previously unknown details about the Retina iPad mini, including improved battery life and issues with color performance, which are quite noticeable when compared to the iPad Air.

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Also under the microscope are the performance of the new mini’s A7 processor, and slight differences in the device’s front camera compared to the previous iPad mini. Read the full Retina iPad mini review today.

iLounge announces Best of the Year Award winners

iLounge has announced its Best of the Year Awards across 16 categories, found in our 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide. This year’s multiple Award winners included:

• Logitech, winner of Keyboard of the Year and Accessory of the Year Awards for the Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard, Headphone of the Year Award for UE 900, and Accessory Maker of the Year Award (Editors’ Choice).
• SwitchEasy, winner of the iPhone Case of the Year Award for Numbers (iPhone 5/5c/5s) and tied winner for iPad Case of the Year Award, Canvas for iPad mini.
• Gameloft, winner of Game of the Year Award for Asphalt 8: Airborne and iOS Game Developer of the Year (Editors’ Choice).
• Google, winner of iOS App of the Year Award for Google Maps, and iOS App Developer of the Year Award.

Apple, G-Project, Incipio, Orbotix, Originator, SuperTooth, and ZeroChroma also received Best of the Year Awards in individual categories ranging from Car Accessory to Innovation, iPod Case to Kids’ App, and Speaker of the Year. Thousands of readers cast votes in iLounge’s Readers’ Choice Awards, praising Belkin, Google, and Rovio for their accessories, apps, and games, respectively. Download the 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide here for all of the details.

iLounge releases 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide

It’s here — iLounge’s 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide is now available for download! The newest edition of our guide is our biggest yet, covering everything from the latest iPads, iPhones, and iPods to their best accessories, apps and games. A complete history of the devices, a guide to current prices for used iOS devices, and many more great sections can all be seen in the guide.

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The guide also includes our Best of the Year Awards, including both the Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. There’s also our comprehensive iGlossary, a new Mac section, and a preview of the iLounge Pavilion at the 2014 International CES. As always, the Buyers’ Guide is a free download.

It is available in a single-page or twin-page “spread” format; the former is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch viewing, the latter for iPad and computer reading. Download your copy today - we hope you enjoy it!

 

Best Apple Product of 2013 poll ends, iPad Air poll begins

Our special edition poll – What is your pick for the Readers’ Choice Award: Best Apple Product of 2013? – has now ended. With the debut of Apple’s last two major new products for 2013, we asked our readers to let us know which of this year’s product releases from Apple represented the best of the year.

The vast majority of responses were split almost equally between the iPhone 5s and the new iPad Air, at twenty-eight percent each. Coming up as a close second as the new iPad mini with Retina Display at twenty-two percent, followed by iOS 7 at nineteen percent. The iPhone 5c put it an extremely poor showing, with only two percent of overall respondents opting for that device as the best Apple product of 2013.

iLounge posts iPad Air review with new battery + A7 findings

iLounge has posted our comprehensive review of Apple’s iPad Air. Nine pages long and packed with over 50 photos, our review covers a number of overlooked but important details, including how the iPad Air’s battery life far outstrips both Apple’s claims and battery life in the fourth-generation iPad, as well as its apparent lack of support for 2.4-Amp charging, negating the need for special accessories that were developed for the fourth-generation iPad. The review details how battery accessories work considerably better on the Air than on its predecessor, as well.

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We also found slight differences in audio output, as well as interesting examples of where the A7 processor does and doesn’t show marked differences from the fourth-gen iPad — they’re not necessarily where you might expect to find them. Check our full iPad Air review today.

2013 Readers’ Choice Awards - last chance to vote!

Tomorrow is the last day to vote in our 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. Thousands of votes have been cast, but a last-minute push could make all the difference. Belkin, Logitech, and uNu are leading the way for Accessory Maker of the Year, and Google, Facebook, and Nosy Crow are battling it out for App Developer of the Year. Rovio, EA, and Epic are ahead of the pack in Game Developer of the Year, but it’s not impossible for another company to make a final victorious surge in any of the categories.

Also vote in our separate Readers’ Choice Awards poll for Best Apple Product of 2013. The iPad Air and iPhone 5s are currently battling for first, with the iPad mini with Retina Display close behind. Voting in both polls ends at 11:59 Pacific Time, Oct. 31. The winners will be announced in our 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide, coming in early November.

Voting in 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards ends this week - vote now!

Time is almost up to cast your vote in our 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards, which comes to a close this Thursday. With thousands of votes already cast, it’s a tight race between some of the top contenders: Belkin, Logitech and Unu continue on top for Accessory Maker of the Year, while Amazon, Evernote, Facebook, Google, and Nosy Crow are all vying for App Developer of the Year; it’s also still a very close battle between EA, Epic, Rovio, and Sega for Game Developer of the Year.

Be sure you also vote in our separate Readers’ Choice Awards poll for Best Apple Product of 2013, where we have the iPad Air and iPhone 5s neck-in-neck for first place, with the iPad mini with Retina Display coming in close on their heels.

Voting in both polls ends at 11:59 Pacific Time, Oct. 31. The winners will be announced in our 2014 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide, coming in early November.

Vote now in our Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Apple Product of 2013

With the debut of two new iPad models at yesterday’s Apple Event, voting has now opened in our final Readers’ Choice Awards category: Best Apple Product of 2013. It was an interesting year for Apple with all of the company’s major product releases occurring in the fall, the debut of two new iPhone models, a completely redesigned iOS version, and a new name for the full-sized iPad. We’d like to know which of these you, our readers, feel Is the best new product that Apple released this year. Vote in our poll for Best Apple Product of 2013 and let us know!

Be sure to also vote in the rest of our Readers’ Choice Awards categories here if you haven’t already to let us know who you think were the best Accessory makers, App Developers and Game Developers of 2013. Voting closes at 11:59 Pacific Time on October 31, so don’t wait — cast your vote today!

New iPad poll ends, Best Apple Product of 2013 poll begins

Our latest poll – Have you been waiting for the Apple event to buy a new iPad? – has now ended. With Apple’s iPad event held this week, we asked our readers to let us know if they were planning on purchasing a new iPad following the event.

A clear majority of respondents—sixty-seven percent—indicated that they were in fact planning on purchasing one or both of the new iPad models, with thirty percent opting for the full-sized iPad model—now known as the iPad Air—and twenty-six percent opting for a new iPad mini. Eleven percent indicated that they intended to buy both of the new iPad models. Of the remaining responses, twenty-two percent indicated that they were happy with their current iPad model, while four percent are waiting for the next generation model. Seven percent of readers indicating that they are simply not interested in owning an iPad at all.

2013 Readers’ Choice Awards update - time to vote!

Thousands of votes have already been cast in our 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. Belkin, Logitech, and Unu are in the lead for Accessory Maker of the Year. Google, Nosy Crow, Facebook, and Evernote are battling it out for App Developer of the Year. EA, Epic, Rovio, and Sega are leading the way to be named Game Developer of the Year. Each category has quite a few other options, as well, plus substantial numbers of write-in candidates.

In each category, there’s still time for any company to come from behind and win. Voting ends at 11:59 Pacific Time, Oct. 31. The winners will be announced in early November. Cast your vote today!

Game Controller poll ends, New iPad poll begins

Our latest poll – “What’s the maximum price you’d pay for an iPhone 5/5s/iPod touch 5G-only game controller?” – has now ended. With iOS 7 adding official support for iPhone and iPod game controllers, we asked our readers to let us know what they would consider to be a fair price for such an accessory, assuming it worked only with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and fifth-generation iPod touch.

The majority of responses—fifty-one percent—indicated that they had no interest at all in an iOS Game Controller. Of the remaining responses, most were closely split between “under $30” at twenty-one percent and “$30 - $50” at nineteen percent. Only five percent of respondents indicated that they would consider a game controller in the $51-$70 range, and only four percent would consider one in the $71 - $100 range.

2013 Readers’ Choice update; vote now!

The votes are streaming in for our 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. Early on, Logitech and Belkin are neck-in-neck in the race for Accessory Maker of the Year, with ZeroChroma and Griffin not far behind.

Google has jumped to an early lead for App Developer of the Year, with Orbotix, StoryToys, and Evernote battling it out for the runner-up position. Epic Games is off to a strong start in the battle for Game Developer of the Year, with EA and Rovio following behind.

Voting ends at 11:59 Pacific Time, Oct. 31. The winners will be announced in early November. Vote now today!

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