Video Review: iBattz's Mojo Refuel Invictus Case for iPhone 6s Plus Packs a Lot of Power, But Has Flaws

With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple didn't increase battery life over the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which means battery cases are going to remain a popular accessory for at least another year. In our latest video review, we went hands on with the ibattz Mojo Refuel Invictus battery case, which will fit the iPhone 6s Plus or the iPhone 6 Plus.

The ibattz is equipped with two removable and replaceable 3,000 mAh batteries, for a total capacity of 6,000 mAh. Each one of the batteries has enough juice to charge an iPhone 6 Plus or 6s Plus about 70 percent of the way, so combined, there's enough power to keep an iPhone going for a couple of days.

With two batteries in the Invictus Refuel case, it's quite heavy, but we didn't think the case itself was too bulky considering it's housing multiple batteries. There's a power button at the bottom of the case with LEDs for each battery, so you can get an idea of how much battery is left at a glance. The case itself recharges using micro-USB.

We liked the power this case provided, but we weren't a fan of the construction of the case itself. The materials felt a bit cheap and we were worried we'd break it putting it on the iPhone. The bulk of the phone also rendered the mute switch unusable due to a faulty mute switch on the case itself, so this is probably a case most users are going to want to pass on.

The Mojo Refuel Invictus for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus is available from the ibattz website for $129.95.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Launching in Belarus, Guam, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine on October 23

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales will expand to several additional countries on October 23 as part of a fourth wave launch, with the device becoming available in Serbia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, and Guam.

There are no Apple retail locations in those countries, but various Apple Reseller Stores and carriers will begin offering the two new iPhones on that date.

Starting tomorrow, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales are expanding to more than 40 additional countries around the world. Currently, the devices are only available in first wave launch countries that include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, and the United States.

Launches in various countries will happen on the following dates:
  • October 9: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan
  • October 10: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates
  • October 16: India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey
  • October 23: Belarus, Guam, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will continue to expand to additional countries throughout 2015, as Apple has said it plans to make the two devices available in more than 130 countries by the end of the year.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)

Lightroom for iOS Now Available to All Users, No Longer Requires Creative Cloud Subscription

Adobe updated its lineup of mobile apps earlier this week, and among those updates was a new version of Lightroom, the company's iOS-based photo editing app. As part of the recent update to Lightroom, Adobe quietly made the app available to all users, removing the need for a subscription to Creative Cloud.

Prior to this week, the free Lightroom app was dependent on the desktop version of Lightroom and it required users to have one of Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription plans. Signing up first on Lightroom used to activate a trial Creative Cloud account, giving iOS users only a limited amount of time to use the app. Now restriction free, Lightroom can be downloaded by all iOS users at no cost and used to manage and edit photos on iOS indefinitely.

The Next Web was the first to highlight the change to Lightroom, and the site spoke to Adobe's director of product management for digital imaging Tom Hogarty who said Lightroom has been a popular choice for mobile users. Adobe is likely hoping the change will draw potential subscribers to Adobe's other apps.
We're seeing alot of people come in first on Lightroom mobile, so now we're allowing people to use it locally on their local assets, their local photos and videos on their phone and tablet for as long as they like.

More and more people are adopting the phone as their primary camera, taking the DSLR out less and less, and we're seeing the same thing with the use of Lightroom. Some users are creative pros who are aiming for efficiency, but many others are just consumers who love photography.
Lightroom for mobile devices has many of the same capabilities that are available for the desktop and it's a powerful editing tool on iOS devices. It includes one-touch improvement tools and more advanced adjustments for fixing problems like insufficient lighting or unwanted objects.

The recent update to the app adds a new haze removal feature that's useful for removing haze in landscaping photos, and it includes a targeted adjustment to that allows colors in a specific area to be tuned. It also offers an in-app Adobe camera, integration with Photoshop Fix, and better organizational tools.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for iPhone is available for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for iPad is available for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Verizon Customers on Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans Face $20 Price Increase

verizonlogoVerizon customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans, which the carrier stopped offering to new customers in 2011, face a $20 increase in their monthly bill starting November 15, according to CNET. The monthly cost of unlimited data will rise from $30 to $50 as a result.

The rate increase is yet another move by Verizon to encourage customers to move from unlimited data plans to tiered data plans. Less than 1% of Verizon customers still have an unlimited data plan, according to a company spokesperson, but those remaining few are often stubborn about switching.

Verizon customers with unlimited data plans are required to pay full retail price for smartphones, although grandfathered subscribers do qualify for the company's monthly installment plan for new devices.

In the United States, Sprint and T-Mobile are the two largest nationwide carriers that continue to offer unlimited data plans. AT&T stopped offering unlimited data to new customers in 2010.

Tag: Verizon

Review: The Incase x Parabellum Travel Folio Wraps Your Apple Watch in Expensive Bison Leather

Apple's designed its Apple Watch to meet a wide range of tastes and budgets, offering the device at price points ranging from $350 to $17,000. Recently, the company also teamed up with Hermés for a unique designer Apple Watch collection that features Hermés bands.

Some accessory makers have taken a cue from Apple and have also partnered up with well-known fashion labels to create unique Apple Watch accessories. One of the latest companies to do so is Incase, through a partnership with luxury brand Parabellum. Together, the duo have created the Apple Watch Travel Folio, which is handcrafted in Los Angeles, California from full grain North American Bison leather.

Design wise, the Travel Folio has an impressive attention to detail and impeccable construction, and I would expect nothing less for its premium $250 price tag. The exterior is a high-quality textured leather while the interior is a soft suede to keep the Apple Watch safe from scratches. I am not an expert on leather, but the Bison texture looks nice and it should weather well with daily use.

I used the Incase x Parabellum Travel Folio in Pumpkin, which is a rich orange-tinged brown color that would match well with a Gold Apple Watch and is used for several other Parabellum products. The Travel Folio also comes in a classic black, but both are made from the same bison leather.

Parabellum is known for its style and quality, and while I'm also not a fashion expert, the Travel Folio matches the Parabellum aesthetic and is as stylish as the company's range of popular bags, belts, and wallets. For someone who owns other Parabellum products, the Travel Folio would fit right in with a collection. Incase and Parabellum only made 150 of the Apple Watch Travel Folio accessories, so each one is a limited edition product.

A dust bag is included with the Travel Folio, and there's a subtle Incase logo on the snap button (which is made of ceramic) that keeps it closed. An additional cord wrap is included, with a matching button with a Parabellum logo. Inside, the Folio is stamped with the Parabellum and Incase brand names.

Click here to

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: review, Incase, Parabellum
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Apple Watch Launches in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates on October 22

Apple has updated its regional websites for Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to announce the Apple Watch will be available on October 22.

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will be part of the eighth Apple Watch launch wave. Apple Watch expands to Belgium, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg and Poland tomorrow and to Brazil and Columbia on October 16.
  • April 24: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, UK, US
  • June 26: Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan
  • July 17: The Netherlands, Sweden, and Thailand
  • July 31: New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey
  • September 25: Austria, Denmark, and Ireland
  • October 9: Belgium, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, and Poland
  • October 16: Brazil and Colombia
  • October 22: Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates, pricing for the Apple Watch Sport will start at 1,399 dirhams for the 38mm model, which is equivalent to approximately $380 in U.S. dollars. Apple Watch prices in Saudi Arabia are not yet available on the website.

Fantastical for iPhone Adds 3D Touch Support, Fantastical for iPad Gains Split-Screen Multitasking

Flexibits today updated its popular Fantastical 2 apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch with support for a range of iOS 9 and iPhone 6s features. Fantastical 2 for iPad now includes split-screen multitasking support, letting it be used simultaneously with other apps with iOS 9's Slide Over and Split-View multitasking modes.

With Slide Over, users can pause one task to access their calendars to quickly schedule events or reminders, and with Split-View, Fantastical 2 can be used alongside another app. Slide Over works on the iPad Air and later and the iPad mini 2 and later, while Split-View is available on the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4.

The iPad version of Fantastical 2 also includes new iOS 9 keyboard shortcuts when using an external Bluetooth keyboard that are accessible when holding down the command key.

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone now includes support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. A firm press on the Fantastical app icon on these devices will bring up a list of Quick Actions that lets users see upcoming events, add a new event, view reminders, and search through their calendars.

On the Apple Watch, the Fantastical 2 app is now native on devices running watchOS 2, improving loading speeds and app opening times. There are also now Fantastical complications that include a "go to date" option, which can be used on any watchOS 2 watch face that supports complications.

In addition to these major changes, there are several improvements and bug fixes that are common to both the iPhone and iPad apps. A full list of these minor enhancements are below:
- Additional iOS 9 fixes and improvements
- Improved design for week view
- Tap and hold on locations or URLs to choose an app to open them in (e.g. Google Maps or Apple Maps)
- Multiple invitation notifications are now shown separately instead of grouped into a single notification
- Improved highlight weekends for countries that have weekends on Friday and Saturday
- Fixed hang when adding new events with VoiceOver
- Fixed location and phone data detectors not appearing in event titles
Fantastical 2 for iPhone and Apple Watch is available from the App Store for $4.99. [Direct Link]

Fantastical 2 for iPad is available from the App Store for $9.99. [Direct Link]

Samsung Estimates First Profit Growth in Two Years Thanks to Sales of Chips, Not Hardware

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge-PlusSamsung this morning announced its forecast predictions for the company's third quarter, suggesting an overall year-over-year profit growth of 79.8 percent, which would be its first since 2013.

The company didn't provide specifics regarding where the profit came from, but analysts speaking with The Wall Street Journal attributed it to the "robust sales" of various chips and displays used in smartphones and other devices throughout the year. Specifically, those analysts believed Samsung's earnings this year are being fueled by the chip sales "due to tight supply and firm pricing."

Overall, the company's chip unit will likely account for nearly half of its total profit in the third quarter of 2015, with the addition of display sales bolstering the rest of its foreseeable monetary gains.
The South Korean technology company said Wednesday its operating profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 likely rose 79.8% to about 7.3 trillion Korean won (US$6.3 billion), its first year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2013 when the company posted a 26% increase. Revenue likely rose about 7.5% to 51 trillion won.

Analysts were expecting Samsung to post an operating profit of 6.5 trillion won on revenue of 50.5 trillion won, based on a poll of nine analysts.
Most recently, Samsung announced the newest iterations of its smartphone lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, whose 5.7-inch displays make them slightly larger than Apple's iPhone 6s Plus and are marketed as a direct competitor to the Cupertino company's large-screened device. Announced and launched in August -- alongside services like Samsung Pay and the new Gear S2 Smartwatch -- the new smartphones were pegged as an early competitor for Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

But, if the analysts' predictions today are correct, Samsung saw most of its profits from its contribution to chip production within Apple's own smartphone line-up. When initially discovered a few days after the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the split of A9 chips between Samsung and TSMC met a small wave of controversy, with one iOS developer going so far as to calculate the percentage split between the two manufacturers. Even though the 60/40 percentage was in favor of TSMC, it appears Samsung's chip manufacturing for the 6s and 6s Plus was enough to help in some way boost its overall quarterly growth.

Tag: Samsung

iMessage Activation Via Phone Number Now Working on Wind Mobile in Canada

A growing number of Wind Mobile customers in Canada this week have confirmed to MacRumors and on social media that iMessage activation via phone number is now working properly on iPhone. iMessage on Wind Mobile previously only worked when activated using an Apple ID.

MacRumors reader Brandon and several other iPhone users confirmed the change.
Finally Wind Mobile in Canada is suddenly using native iMessage. You used to have to only use your Apple ID for iMessage and FaceTime because it was unsupported on Wind's network. Today, suddenly it started working. I have confirmed it with an Apple Genius, and I myself am a former Apple technician as well.
Apple released iOS 9.0.2 last week with a fix for an issue that prevented iMessage activation for some users, but it is more likely the change was made by Wind Mobile given that iPhones running previous software versions such as iOS 8.4 also now have iMessage activation by SMS.

Apple does not list Wind Mobile as a supported wireless carrier on its website. Canadian carriers that officially support the iPhone include the big three networks Bell, Rogers and Telus, prepaid carriers Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile and regional carriers Eastlink, MTS, SaskTel, TbayTel and Videotron.

Wind Mobile is a bargain carrier in Canada, offering affordable rate plans with unlimited talk, text and data for between $25 and $50 per month. Wind Mobile's coverage area is mainly limited to larger cities, however, such as the Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver metro areas.

(Thanks, Brandon!)

Twitter Launches 'Moments' to Discover Trending Stories

Twitter for iOS has been updated today with a new tab called Moments that will help users discover stories unfolding on the microblogging service, such as conversations between world leaders and celebrities, citizens reporting on world events, cultural memes, sports commentary and more.
Tapping on the new lightning bolt tab on your phone opens a list of Moments that matter now. As new stories emerge throughout the day, we continue to update this list. Looking for more? You can also swipe through to topics including “Entertainment” and “Sports” to find more stories from the past few days.
Moments can be found in a new lightning bolt tab at the bottom of the Twitter app on iPhone and iPad in the U.S. only at launch. Moments contain an introduction with a title and description, and users can swipe to scroll through the in-depth story with full-width images and autoplaying videos, Vines and GIFs.

Moments will often be updated as more information becomes available and will mainly be curated by Twitter employees, with some contributed by partners such as Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post.

Twitter for iOS [Direct Link] is free on the App Store and is now at version 6.38.1.

YouTube iOS App Updated With New Design, In-App Editing Tools

After several months of testing and tweaking, YouTube has finally released the redesigned version of its iOS app, taking cues from its Material Design-inspired Android counterpart. The updated app also comes with in-app video editing tools to make videos.

The redesigned YouTube app makes it easier to find what you love. Now your recommended videos, favorite channels, and subscriptions can be accessed by tapping each icon or swiping your screen. You can also create fun videos on the fly with new in-app editing tools.
The new app is divided into three sections: Home, Subscriptions and Account. Home, like the YouTube web homepage, delivers suggestions and features videos from YouTube accounts that a user may have viewed recently. Subscriptions is a stream of videos from YouTube accounts a user may subscribe to and Account allows you to access History, Likes, the Watch later feature and Playlists.

While the app was updated today, it's slowly propagating through the App Store.

YouTube for iOS is available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Expanding Maps Transit Directions to Boston and Sydney

Apple_maps_ios-9Apple today updated its iOS 9 features page to highlight two new cities where transit directions in the Maps app are now available: Sydney, Australia and Boston, Massachusetts. Sydney and Boston are the first two cities to gain transit information beyond the first wave launch cities.

Transit directions within Maps became available alongside the launch of iOS 9. The first areas that incorporated public transit information into Maps included Baltimore, Maryland; Berlin, Germany; Chicago, Illinois; London, England; Mexico City, Mexico, New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; and Toronto, Canada. Transit directions are also available within hundreds of cities in China.

Apple is planning to expand the availability of transit directions to other cities going forward, with major metropolitan areas being a priority for the company. It appears transit information in Sydney and Boston may still be rolling out as it is not yet accessible to all users in Apple Maps.

Today's transit update follows recent news that Apple will soon shut down HopStop, the mapping company that it purchased in 2013. The HopStop service offered detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions in more than 600 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and has likely played a major part in the development of the long-awaited transit feature within Apple Maps.

Update: Apple has updated its iOS 9 feature availability page to note that transit directions for Boston and Sydney will be available in October of 2015, suggesting transit information in those two cities is not yet accessible.