Review: Budget Lightning cables from iSmooth (Updated)

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 11:02
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, Opinion, Review

LIGHTNING2MCABLEMAIN_mediumBefore I upgraded from my iPhone 4S to the new 5S, I wanted to be prepared. Unlike previous iPhone upgrades, I had to deal with the switch from the 30-pin to the Lightning connector which was introduced with the iPhone 5. Over the years I had collected a stash of chargers and cables as well as accessories, such as the Mophie Juicepack, which I had grown dependent on, and now had to replace. Not an inexpensive endeavor, especially with Apple’s premium price for replacement Lightning cables ($19-$29). Not expecting to find anything, at least not of great quality, I hit Amazon.com to see if there were some cheaper alternatives. After some exhaustive reading of reviews, I settled on cables made by iSmooth.

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Apple’s recycling program gives a leg up to e-waste business

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Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:33
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Environment, Retail Store

green-recycling-symbolBack in September, Apple began rolling out its in-store iPhone trade-in service in US Apple retail stores as part of their Reuse and Recycling Program. In October, this program extended to the UK followed by other European retail locations. This program allows customers to walk into a store, have the value of their current iPhone determined by an Apple employee, and receive an Apple Gift Card for that amount to be applied toward the purchase of a new iPhone. It’s important to note that the gift card can ONLY be used toward a new iPhone, not other Apple products. This can also be done online, where you will be sent a box to send in your device in exchange for the gift card.

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Apple retail to use iBeacon location technology

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Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013, 09:08
Category: Apple, Developer, iOS, Mobile, News, privacy, Retail Store, security, Services, WWDC

ibeacon2Earlier this year at WWDC, Apple introduced iBeacon, a technology that would be introduced as part of iOS 7 and new Apple hardware. iBeacon utilizes BlueTooth LE (Low Energy) to provide very precise location data to your device, which can either provide detailed directions inside a building, like a mall, or give you information about a particular item on a shelf that you are standing in front of. Yes, it’s that precise. Since it has to take a location measurement very frequently to provide that level of precision, it uses the BlueTooth LE radio (separate from the regular one generally used), in order to prevent excessive battery drain on your device. This opens up a lot of opportunities for all retailers, not just Apple.

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iOS updates address FaceTime issues

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Date: Friday, November 15th, 2013, 08:13
Category: Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software
ioslogo
Early yesterday morning Apple released a couple of updates for iOS. Usually you would expect that all we would see is an update to iOS 7. In this case, apparently Apple found something that affected iOS 7 and iOS 6 regarding FaceTime calls. All the release notes say is that it fixes an issue where FaceTime calls would fail. Perhaps it was a carrier related issue considering the problem seems to span two major versions of iOS.

Web site helps you find stores with Retina iPad minis

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Date: Thursday, November 14th, 2013, 09:38
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, iPad mini, Retail Store, Websites

AppleTracker-gridI should have remembered this when I was talking about the Retina iPad mini availability in San Francisco, but I had completely forgotten about it. Thanks to the MacObserver, I rediscovered this handy resource. If you don’t want to wait the 5-10 day wait time for shipping that Apple has listed for the Retina iPad mini, head on over to Apple-Tracker.com and see which store has what in stock… which.store.has …well, you know what I mean. The site currently has the options to find stock of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and the Retina iPad mini. Pick the device from the main screen, choose the model from the drop-down menus, and then enter your zip code and you will get a handy grid of all the stores in your area and whether or not they have the model you selected. Looks like I may be headed to Union Square today after all.

iOS promo code limit doubled to 100 per app version

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Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 08:08
Category: Apps, Developer, iOS, iPhone, News, Software

ios_xcodeiOS developers should be happy. According to a report on 9to5Mac, developers have been logging into their accounts and finding that they have 100 available promo codes per app version to dole out rather than the normal 50. There has yet to be any announcement or confirmation of the change from Apple, but this could be in response to ongoing complaints from developers that 50 promo codes simply weren’t enough to effectively promote their apps. Some developers, in celebration of the upgrade (see the comments in the 9to5Mac article), have been throwing around promo codes like confetti. If any developers out there who are fans of the PowerPage would like to throw us a few codes to give away to readers and to look over your app, send us a note using our Contact page.

Retina iPad mini retail sales limited to Personal Pickup

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Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 08:46
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, iPad mini, News, Retail Store

ret-ipad-mini-adAfter this morning’s excitement following the release of the Retina iPad mini, I found myself in downtown San Francisco today and thought I’d swing by the Apple Store to see how crazy the new mini’s sales were. When I got there, it was strangely quiet, “quiet” being a relative term when used to describe the Union Square store which is almost always full of tourists, business travelers, and just about anyone else you can think of.

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Pebble app updated for iOS with better notification support

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Date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013, 08:07
Category: Accessory, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble-130The latest version of the iOS Pebble app finally hit the AppStore Monday, implementing changes that were announced last week in an online announcement by Pebble. The Pebble Smartwatch app hit version 1.3.0 and adds support for additional app notifications in iOS 7. Previously, notifications were limited to mainly email, text messages, and Caller ID. Now, the device can display notifications from just about any app including Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, etc. The update also improves on a number of features, such as Caller ID, which would typically just show the caller’s number even though it was supposed to grab names from your Contacts. Watch apps that pull information from the web to display information such as weather, stock information, and the like, are supposed to work better as well. And of course, several bugs were squashed such as the watch continuing to vibrate even when you picked up on the call it was notifying you about. Determining which apps send notifications to your watch is managed by iOS 7′s Notification Center. The new app will show you instructions on how to do this once you’ve updated the watch’s firmware. These features are supported in iOS 7 for the iPhone 4S and higher.

Pebble announces SDK 2.0 and better iOS notifications

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Date: Friday, November 8th, 2013, 08:28
Category: Accessory, Announcement, Consumer Electronics, Gadget

Pebble_notificationsWednesday morning, via streaming video, Pebble’s CEO Eric Migicovsky opened up the presentation with an overview of the upcoming additions to the Pebble smart-watch’s capabilities which will be unlocked with the release of the Pebble SDK (Software Development Kit) version 2.0. You can read the main points from his introduction on the Pebble Blog, which also includes numbers on Pebble sales as well as active app developers. The majority of the remaining announcement was aimed purely at developers, and talked extensively about the programming details of the new SDK. If you missed it, you can watch a video recording of the entire announcement on Pebble’s channel over at YouTube.

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Apple will be offering in-store iPhone display replacements

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Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013, 10:54
Category: Announcement, Apple, AppleCare, Hardware, iPhone, Retail Store

AppleGeniusBarAccording to MacRumors, Apple is rolling out a repair policy for iPhone 5S and 5C display replacements and other repairs, where they will be done within the store’s own repair facilities, rather than replacing the entire phone. This is part of a move by Apple to reduce repair costs on new iPhones. This may reduce costs for Apple, but not so much for iPhone owners. Currently, without an AppleCare plan for your iPhone, you can get the screen replaced for $150. With AppleCare, a replacement will run you $80. (more…)