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CES 2015: 'Schlage Sense' Smart Lock Allows Siri Voice Commands to Unlock Doors

Schlage, a division of technology-focused safety and security company Allegion, has announced at CES this year the Schlage Sense, a touch-pad enabled smart lock for homeowners that most notably allows users to command Siri to unlock their doors thanks to integration with Apple's HomeKit.

The company's first Bluetooth-enabled lock, the Schlage Sense allows users to simply enter a code to gain access to their house using the back-lit touchpad or a smartphone with a free-to-download app. HomeKit integration also brings added security and end-to-end encryption and authentication when the Schlage Sense lock interacts with a user's smartphone via the app.
The Schlage Sense system has the ability to manage and schedule up to 30 codes at the same time through a dedicated, easy-to-use app, which offers an additional layer of key-free convenience. The Schlage Sense app allows individuals to create and delete access codes, check on lock status and view activity, as well as update settings and check battery life without requiring residents to connect to an existing home automation system or pay a monthly subscription charge.
The company also promises that, thanks to Built-in-Alarm Technology that sends out alerts any time it senses potential door attacks, the new lock provides the highest rating of security certified by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.

Schlage Sense will become the latest in the brand's growing portfolio of keyless door locks, which also includes the Schlage Touch and Schlage Connect. The new lock will come in two styles - Camelot and Century - and

CES 2015: AT&T Announces 4G LTE Smartcase With MicroSD Slot for Wi-Fi iPads

AT&T today announced the upcoming availability of its new Modio smartcase that will add 4G LTE connectivity to a Wi-Fi-only iPad or iPad mini. The Modio smartcase will be compatible with the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini.

The Modio will allow Wi-Fi iPad owners to connect to AT&T's 4G LTE network using the data available on the customers' Mobile Share plans. Mobile Share allows customers to pay for a monthly data allotment that is shared between smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.

Beyond cellular connectivity, the Modio smartcase also includes its own 4,600 mAh battery to support up to 10 hours of use, along with a microSD card slot that can be used to store up to 32 GB of media and other files. Case owners can install the accompanying AT&T Modio Data application to monitor data usage and manage cellular plan details.

The AT&T Modio smartcase for iPad mini is listed on AT&T's website as coming soon, with a version for larger iPad Air models to follow. Pricing and exact launch dates for the new cases has yet to be

Unlocked, SIM-Free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Models Now Available in U.S. with 3-5 Day Shipping

As indicated yesterday, Apple has begun selling unlocked, SIM-free versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on its U.S. online store.

Pricing for the SIM-free versions of both phones are the same as the other unsubsidized models. The 16, 64, and 128 GB versions of the iPhone 6 are sold for $649, $749, and $849 respectively, while the 16, 64, and 128GB configurations of the iPhone 6 Plus run $100 higher than the aforementioned iPhone 6 models.

The SIM-free versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the same as the full-priced, carrier-specific models that have been sold by Apple since the launch of both phones. For example, the iPhone 6 models offered by T-Mobile have been unlocked since launch, although it is unknown why Apple chooses to advertise both. The SIM-free and T-Mobile versions of the iPhone 6 can be used with a number of GSM carriers around the world, as a user only needs to provide a compatible Nano SIM for cellular connectivity.

All storage capacities and colors of the SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are shown as ready to ship within 3-5 business days. The phones are also expected to be offered at Apple's retail locations starting

'CES Unveiled' Hints at 2015's Hottest Categories: Sensors, Cameras, and Wearables

The Consumer Electronics Show doesn't officially kick off until Tuesday, but some of the craziest and most interesting products were already on display on Sunday at CES Unveiled, a media-focused pre-event that traditionally highlights many of the best products coming out at CES.

I was on-hand at CES Unveiled to represent MacRumors and managed to navigate through the madness of food and drink booths and throngs of press to get a look at some of the neatest products you can expect to see across 2015.

There were multiple different wearable devices on display, ranging from traditional activity trackers to Belty, a smart belt that expands and contracts to fit your waistline, but a couple of new options stood out. Withings' new Activité Pop, for example, is an analog-style smart watch that you'll actually want to wear on your wrist.

Though it looks like a traditional watch, the Activité Pop, like the first Activité watch, can track steps and sleep. It's also water resistant, so it's one of the few activity trackers that can be used while swimming, and its eight-month battery life means there's no need to hassle with charging on a daily basis. This new version is lightweight and feels great on the wrist, though the watch face itself is a bit thick, especially on small wrists like mine.

The first Activité watch was prohibitively expensive at $450, but the new Pop version is just $149, making it a viable competitor to existing offerings like the Jawbone UP and Fitbit for those who want activity tracking in a traditional-looking watch form.

I also had an opportunity

Apple to Begin Offering Unlocked, SIM-Free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Models in the U.S. Tomorrow

Apple will begin offering unlocked, SIM-free versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starting tomorrow on its online store and at its retail locations, reports 9to5Mac.

Pricing will remain the same alongside the other unsubsidized iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, with 16/64/128 GB versions of the iPhone 6 selling for $649/$749/$849 respectively, while the 16/64/128GB versions of the iPhone 6 Plus will be available for $749/$849/$949.

Notably, many of the carrier-specific iPhone 6 models sold by Apple have been unlocked since launch when purchased at full retail price, although the company has not been specifically marketing them as such. As with other unlocked devices, the unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will allow users to insert a nano-SIM card from a compatible GSM network for cellular voice, texting, and data connectivity. Apple launched unlocked versions of the iPhone 5s last year in November, which followed the release of carrier-specific models in

CES 2015: iDevices Announces HomeKit-Enabled 'Switch' Smart Plug

iDevices today announced its upcoming Switch smart plug, a HomeKit-enabled device that allows users to remotely control a variety of devices around the home. The system takes advantage of the existing iDevices Connected app to give users control over the plug, which plugs into a standard electrical outlet and connects to the home's Wi-Fi network to provide control over a device plugged into Switch.

With HomeKit integration for Switch, users will be able to take advantage of a number of iOS features in the system, including the ability to use Siri to control their devices. Switch requires no dedicated hub device or subscription services, making it simple to set up.
- Siri – Switch’s HomeKit integration provides an easy, secure way to control Switch using Siri on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can even create your own commands to control multiple home settings. For example, you can automatically turn off lamps connected to your iDevices Switch, lock your doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat to the desired temperature, all with one command.

- Remote Access – iDevices designed a custom IoT cloud for Switch so that users can access their home from wherever they are with no additional hub required.

- Create Custom Events and Schedules – Through the iDevices Connected app, users are able to design custom events (or schedules) that fit their lifestyle. The iDevices Switch has the unique ability to remember events and make sure they happen even when the user is away.

Switch also includes several personalization options including the ability to upload

Supply Chain Sources Claim Rumors of New 4-Inch iPhone Are False

Just over a month after sparking discussion of a possible new 4-inch iPhone in 2015 based on supply chain sources speaking to Taiwanese media, Chinese site Feng.com now claims [Google Translate, via G for Games] its own sources are seeing no indication of such a device.

Feng.com's sources claim the Cupertino company has not placed any orders with its supply chain related to a new 4-inch version of the iPhone for release in 2015. While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have sold well in the few months they've been released to the public, some users continue to prefer the smaller 4-inch display seen on models of the past few years.
Wei Feng network today through Apple's supply chain has learned about the 4-inch screen iPhone 6s argument is just a hype.

Supply chain sources said that Apple has not made ​​any new production tasks iPhone 4 inches to parts of the supply chain, and therefore will be launched on 4-inch screen Apple iPhone 6s argument is not true - at least so far.
Since the original report by Taiwanese media last month, rumors of a new 4-inch iPhone have been picked up by a few other sources including analysts in the region, but it is unclear how independent those follow-up reports truly are. As such, there is so far very little to support the existence of such a device.

Apple of course continues to sell 4-inch iPhones in the form of the iPhone 5s and 5c, and if the company holds true to form the iPhone 5s will continue to be sold as an entry-level option even following the expected late 2015 iPhone update. Without direct support for technologies such as

TapSense Announces Platform to Bring Contextual Ads to Apple Watch [Updated]

Amidst the new and upcoming product launches at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, mobile marketing firm TapSense today unveiled its plans for a "programmatic ad platform" targeting Apple's upcoming wearable, the Apple Watch.

The platform is promised to provide a full suite of programming solutions, including an SDK for app developers and programmatic APIs for brands, to get them started on making advertisements for the new Apple Watch. Though the platform not yet released, TapSense hopes the service provides businesses with a proof-of-concept demonstration on how ads can be delivered to customers using the new technology.
“Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) are the next frontiers in the mobile revolution. We are excited to announce industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch developers and brands. ” said Ash Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of TapSense. “While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next generation platforms. Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”
With no official comment by Apple on how ads will officially integrate with the new technology, third-party developers using the WatchKit SDK will be left to fill in the blank spaces.

As highlighted by Reuters, brands and ad firms are mainly looking at delivering ad content through interactive wallpapers found on the Watch dial. TapSense chief executive Ash

CES 2015: Bandstand Dock Leads Accessory Makers' Apple Watch Push

The Apple Watch may not be launching for a few more months, but that hasn't stopped accessory makers from showing off their ideas at CES this week. iOS device stand and accessory maker Standzout is one of the early entrants, announcing its upcoming Bandstand docking station and showing off prototypes of the accessory at CES. The new Bandstand dock was designed from the ground up for Apple's upcoming Watch, offering both a watch stand and charging functionality in a single dock.

The new Bandstand dock features a pivoting platform that will securely hold the Watch and allow users to adjust the angle of the display for optimal viewing. More than just a holder, the Bandstand will support induction charging of the Apple Watch using Apple's upcoming cable while also providing a pair of USB ports for charging additional devices. Though the device is on display at CES, pricing and availability details are not yet available as the company will need to finalize the design to ensure compatibility as more information on Apple Watch becomes available.

The Bandstand claims to be the "first great Apple Watch accessory", but it certainly won't be the last. With Apple Watch's launch approaching, other vendors are no doubt preparing their offerings and will be making announcements in the coming weeks and

Intel Launches New Broadwell Chips Appropriate for MacBook Air and 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Intel today announced the launch of a full set of "Broadwell-U" processors, opening the door for updated versions of Apple's MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The chip launch is essentially in line with a leaked timeline from last July that also pegs the release of more powerful Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as late as July or August of this year.

As outlined by AnandTech, the new Broadwell-U chips include a set of four 28-watt chips ranging from 2.5 GHz to 3.1 GHz in base frequency and featuring new Iris 6100 integrated graphics. The Core i5-5257U, Core i5-5287U, and Core i7-5557U chips appear to allow for direct upgrades from the Haswell-U chips currently used in the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. While the new chips include only a 100 MHz CPU speed increase over their Haswell counterparts, a number of other improvements, especially with regard to graphics, should make for significantly improved performance.

Broadwell-U chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (top) and MacBook Air (bottom)
(Source: AnandTech
)
On the MacBook Air front, Intel is offering four different 15-watt Broadwell-U chips that would be appropriate for the lineup, with all of the new chips carrying improved HD 6000 graphics. Base clock speeds range from 1.6 GHz to 2.2 GHz compared to the 1.4 GHz and 1.7 GHz options available in the current MacBook Air, and associated upgrades in Broadwell should yield significant performance improvements for the new chips.

Looking at potential release dates for Apple's Broadwell systems, Intel tells AnandTech

CES 2015: Parrot Unveils RNB6 In-Dash Entertainment System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Support

Drone and headphone manufacturer Parrot has unveiled its new RNB6 in-dash car entertainment system at CES 2015, which features a 7-inch, 720p touchscreen with built-in support for Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free as well as Android Auto and Android Auto Voice.


Parrot's RNB6 system also boasts a number of internal specs and features including Bluetooth 4.0 and configurable 5GHz Wi-Fi, as well as rear ports for GPS, HDMI, microphone input, ethernet, onboard diagnostics and USB devices. The in-dash system features a built-in dash camera with a wide-angle lens and full HD support, and also supports steering wheel control for UI navigation.

Parrot did not give a suggested price for the RNB6, but noted that it would be shipping during the latter half of 2015.

Internal Foxconn Sketch Said to Be of Apple's 'iPad Pro' Surfaces

A new internal sketch of Apple's larger-screened iPad Pro has surfaced by way of a Foxconn worker (via Nowhereelse.fr, Google Translate), showing what may be our first look at the large tablet and its physical features.

The employee who captured the sketch notes that initial testing phases for the larger iPad were halted last summer after Apple received new prototypes, but adds that mass production on the device will begin soon. The source also notes that the tablet will be between 6.9 and 7.5mm thick, and feature four integrated speakers with two on the top and two on the bottom.

Previous rumors have suggested that the iPad Pro is expected to feature a screen size between 12.2 and 12.9 inches along with an A8X processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Most recently, Japanese magazine Mac Fan published possible schematics of the upcoming device, which suggested that the tablet would carry a 12.2-inch LCD display and carry the name "iPad Air Plus".

It is currently unknown as to when Apple would launch its larger-screened iPad, with reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting that the tablet would not enter production until the second quarter of 2015 due to increased attention on iPhone 6 Plus production. However, with the supply of its larger phone greatly improving as of late, it is possible that Apple is now ready to put its full production efforts towards its larger iPad for a launch later this