MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Leather iPad Pro Bag From Intrepid Bag Co

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with The Intrepid Bag Co to give away one of the company's Zinnia Convertible Leather iPad Pro Bags. The Zinnia is a convertible bag that can transition quickly between a backpack and a crossbody bag.

Made from mahogany leather and lined with wool fabric, the Zinnia converts with a quick grab and pull on the straps, which are made from padded leather for comfort. The Zinnia features a design that's wider at the bottom, giving it the stability to stand up on its own.

Inside the Zinnia, there's a padded laptop pocket that's large enough to hold an iPad Pro or a 13-inch laptop, such as a Retina MacBook Pro. There's also two expanding water bottle pockets at the sides, two quick access back pockets, and a front pocket that closes magnetically.

The Zinnia Convertible Leather iPad Pro Bag can be purchased from Intrepid Bag Co for $349, but one lucky MacRumors reader will be able to get one for free through our giveaway. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (November 26) at 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time through 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 4. The winner will be chosen randomly on December 4 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen. The prize will be shipped to the winner for free.

Intrepid Bag Co is also offering a Black Friday discount for MacRumors readers that will be available until December 2nd. To get a discount on any of the site's products, use the code WeLoveMacRumors10.

Facebook Announces tvOS SDK With Login Support

Earlier today Facebook announced (via 9to5Mac) Facebook SDK for tvOS, which the company says will help developers "build immersive social experiences on that platform." The three features the SDK allows thus far are Facebook Login, Share to Facebook and Facebook Analytics for Apps.

Similar to Facebook Login on iOS, tvOS' Facebook Login would allow users to easily log in to their apps without having to worry about creating multiple accounts. Additionally, users wouldn't have to use Apple TV's cumbersome text entry method. Like some other TV authentication methods, Facebook Login would require a user to enter a confirmation code.
Facebook Login: A fast and easy way for people to log into your app and for you to provide rich, personalized experiences. To log into an app with their Facebook account, people can simply enter a confirmation code displayed on the TV into their smartphone or computer, rather than entering their username and password with the remote.
While Facebook Login would make it simpler for users to log into third-party apps and games, it's unlikely the same ease will be available for video apps like HBO Go, which require a user to authenticate the app via a cable or satellite provider account.

The new SDK would also include the ability for developers to allow users to share links, photos and video from tvOS to Facebook and help developers understand their audience with Facebook-based analytics. Developers can download the SDK from Facebook's developer site.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: Facebook
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Griffin Review: The Guide Cable Management Set Will Keep Your Desk Organized

Griffin's Guide Magnetic Cable Management Set was first announced at CES in January of 2015, but it didn't become available for purchase until September. We went hands-on with the Guide to see if it was worth the wait as a cable management solution.

The Guide Cable Management Set is modular and consists of three weighted bases and three magnetic aluminum cable anchors that attach to the bases. Each base is made from a polished stainless steel with a shiny finish while the anchors, available in three sizes from small to large, are made from an anodized copper-colored aluminum.

Together, the Guide system looks great on a desk, but it is only available in the polished steel and copper colorway, which doesn't match any iOS devices and while neutral, may not match all office and room decors. I liked the design of the Guide, but I did wish it was available in a wider selection of colors.

Each of the three bases is the same size, measuring in at 2.28 x 1.98 inches, but the magnetic cable anchors come in a range of sizes to fit different cords. The smallest of the three anchors is sized to fit a single iPhone cable, while the middle one can hold several iPhone-sized cables or a couple of larger cables, and the biggest anchor can hold thicker cables like those for cameras and other electronics. The weight of the Guide bases will keep them in place, but there's also a non-skid material on the bottom to provide even more traction.

Because the anchors attach to each base using magnets, they can be arranged in multiple ways. One anchor can be used per base or multiple anchors can fit on a single base to meet various cable management needs. For my work space, I used the smaller one to hold an iPhone cable that has a pesky habit of slipping off the edge of the desk, while I used the other two to hold my MacBook cable and cables for other devices in place.

Click here to

Review: Mophie's Juice Pack Reserve & Power Reserve Offer Power in Small Packages

Back in September, Mophie launched two brand-new battery products, the Juice Pack Reserve, a $59.95 battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s, and the Power Reserve 1X, a small $34.95 external battery for smartphones and wearables. I have been testing both for the past two weeks in regular daily use and at a wedding, an environment that tends to be more smartphone-intensive than a typical day.

Mophie says the Juice Pack Reserve is the most compact battery case it's ever created, adding just 0.3 inches of thickness and 75 grams of weight to the iPhone 6 or 6s. In my testing, I found that Mophie's claim that the case is in a form factor that "you'll barely notice" is mostly true, although with a caveat. Its soft-touch back provided a comfortable and easy-to-grasp grip despite feeling noticeably more dense. However, the case's lower lip, where the speaker grille resides and the case plugs into the iPhone, is far more noticeable and users not accustomed to the extra length will have to spend some time acclimating to it when scrolling or typing.

The case's extra mass was not a hindrance when attemtping to quickly capture moments at the wedding though, as it slipped in and out of tuxedo pockets fairly easily. In fact, the in-pocket feel of the case was barely noticeable in tuxedo pants, even during more intensive activites like dancing. The extra mass of the case is, however, more obvious visually. In more regular daily use, the case was even less of a hindrance.

Mophie claims the Juice Pack Reserve will provide an additional 60 percent charge to an iPhone 6 or 6s, with the latter carrying a 1,840 mAh battery. This claim was actually conservative in my testing, with an iPhone 6, as I was able to consistently get a full charge from the case. For example, I was able to go from 10 percent to 100 perfect battery in just about two hours and six minutes and then 4 percent to 93 percent in about the same time.

Click here to

Apple and UnionPay Closing in on Apple Pay Agreement for China

apple_pay_phone_handApple and China UnionPay have reportedly reached a deal to bring Apple's NFC payment service, Apple Pay, to the country. The preliminary agreement between the two companies would see Apple introduce Apple Pay through UnionPay's point-of-sales network, according to "people familiar with the matter" who spoke with Bloomberg.
Details of the agreement are yet to be finalized, pending feedback from banks that issue cards, said the people, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Shanghai-based UnionPay, the nation’s largest payment and clearing network, aims to introduce Apple Pay as soon as next year, one of the people said.
The sources point to Apple Pay assisting in fending off UnionPay's closest rivals in the Chinese mobile payments market, including Alibaba Group and Tencent. Terms of the deal would bring Apple Pay to more than 5 million NFC-enabled point-of-sale machines in China.

Bloomberg's sources still state that the two companies have yet to sign agreements on the deal with participating banks within the country, suggesting local banks' fear high fee charges tied with the service and a low adoption rate. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has already reached deals with China's big four state-run banks and plans to launch Apple Pay in February 2016.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: UnionPay

QardioArm Smart Blood Pressure Monitor Now Available in Apple Retail Stores

Qardio today announced that its QardioArm Smart Blood Pressure Monitor is rolling out to Apple retail stores around the world. As of this week, the QardioArm is available in more than 30 countries, including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, with the accessory set to roll out to the United States and additional countries in the near future.

The QardioArm is a Bluetooth-connected blood pressure monitor that's able to deliver real-time data on blood pressure to an accompanying iPhone app. It measures both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, along with heart rate, and it is able to detect irregular heartbeats. It has been approved by the FDA and its accuracy is clinically validated to meet U.S. and European standards.

Powered by 4 AAA batteries, the QardioArm measures in at 2.7 x 1.5 x 5.5 inches, making it small enough for travel. The accompanying app includes features for setting goals and reminders, tracking irregularities, and more, plus it can deliver information to the Apple Health app on the iPhone.
"We are very happy to extend our working relationship with Apple into retail. Qardio and Apple share a vision that brings together technical excellence with beautiful design and a delightful user experience. QardioArm embodies that vision: a medical-grade blood pressure monitor that actually makes people want to take control of their heart health and helps them do so," said Alexis Zervoglos, Chief Business Officer. "We are excited to be reaching more people than ever and to be building further on our many successes."
The QardioArm joins several other health-related iPhone-connected products Apple offers, like the iHealth Wireless Blood Glucometer, the Swaive Thermometer, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, and the iHealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter.

As part of a Black Friday promotion, Qardio is currently selling the QardioArm at a 20 percent discount on its website, dropping the price from $99 to $79.20. Until the discount ends, those looking to purchase a QardioArm can get a better deal from Qardio than through the Apple Store.

Review: The Nanoleaf Smarter Kit Features Smart HomeKit-Enabled Light Bulbs With a Unique Look

Nanoleaf, a company that specializes in energy efficient LED-based lighting, got its start on Kickstarter in 2012 with a unique set of light bulbs that looked more like art than traditional lighting with individual LEDs mounted on origami-folded printed circuit boards.

Nanoleaf has since expanded from simple lightbulbs to home automation with the introduction of its Nanoleaf Home Smarter Kit. Consisting of two of its signature dimmable bulbs and a geometric hub, the Nanoleaf Home Smarter Kit integrates with Apple's HomeKit home automation platform, allowing users to control their lights both through Siri and through an accompanying Nanoleaf app.


When it comes to the hardware, the Nanoleaf Smarter Kit is undeniably attractive. The two Ivy bulbs it ships with are some of the nicest looking bulbs you can find, suitable for use in both closed and open-style lamps and light fixtures. The hub, which connects the bulbs to the Internet, is stylish enough to sit out on a shelf or an entertainment unit without looking like an eyesore. It's without a doubt the most visually appealing HomeKit product I've tested so far.

Because the bulbs that the Smarter Kit ships with are black, you'll need to take that into account with any lights where the bulbs are visible. The distinctive design is nice, but it's also not going to match with every decor. Keep in mind the hub is going to need to be plugged into the router via ethernet because this is a Zigbee setup.

For the record, the Ivy bulbs are standard bulbs that are going to fit in any E26 or E27 lamp and they function like any normal bulb, with one small exception. There's a neat built-in feature that lets the bulbs be dimmed physically through the light switch (even one that doesn't support traditional dimming) rather than through an app or voice command. Flipping the light switch on and off a couple of times activates the dimming, and another couple of flips sets it. It's a handy feature if you don't have a smartphone nearby.

Click here to

Pebble Time Smartwatches Gain Ability to Send iOS Texts on AT&T

Smartwatch maker Pebble last night announced a new feature coming to the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round line of smartwatches that will allow users to send abbreviated text messages to friends and family through iOS (via Engadget). Called "Text Reply for iOS," the beta feature will mark Pebble as the first non-Apple Watch smartwatch to introduce voice and text replies linked with an iPhone.

If eligible, the company says that the feature will allow users to send voice messages and "pre-defined" text messages to other iPhone users. Currently limited exclusively to AT&T customers, Pebble mentioned that it's working to expand carrier support for the feature in the future, but gave those who can currently take advantage of the system a detailed step-by-step list of instructions.

Pebble Time
To get started with iOS Text Reply, follow these steps:

-Update your Pebble Time iPhone app to version 3.4 or higher.
-After updating the iPhone app, update your Pebble Time’s firmware to version 3.7 or higher. Select Menu » Support » Update Your Pebble if you aren’t prompted automatically.
-From the iOS app, navigate to Menu » Settings » Actionable Notifications to set up Text Replies for the first time.
-Follow the setup instructions.
-After successful setup, notifications received from the Messages app will have the option to reply with voice or a list of pre-defined responses.
-Note: Successfully sent Pebble replies will NOT appear in the iOS Messages app. The reply is sent as an SMS through AT&T directly, and not the Messages app.
There are some limits to its functionality, however. Pebble Time owners who want to get in on iOS messaging -- and eventually use the full-featured Text Reply system -- must be on a postpaid AT&T data plan. Once activated, the feature sends replies from the Pebble "through your wireless carrier," meaning that the Pebble user's side of the conversation won't appear in Apple's threaded iOS Messages app. The replies are also sent as SMS messages, not Apple's traditional iMessage alternative, so some possible carrier charges may be applied.

Check out Pebble's full Q&A on the new Text Reply for iOS feature to learn about more of its functionalities.

Apple Pencil Used as Weight Scale, Synthesizer and 3D Image Editing Controller

While the Apple Pencil is designed as a sketching tool for creative professionals, MacRumors reader Simon Gladman has created three Swift demo apps that show the accessory being used for three unconventional purposes -- as a weight scale, controlled synthesizer and 3D controller for image editing.


PencilScale, based on Goodman's Plum-O-Meter, is an experimental app that uses a homemade harness to turn the Apple Pencil into an electronic scale that is highly sensitive, but not incredibly accurate.

The experiment works by subtracting the touch's force from a base weight, which is "set as the current touch force when the 'zero' button is pressed," and multiplying it by 140 for a very rough weight in grams.


PencilSynth is an AudioKit-powered synthesizer that can be controlled by the Apple Pencil depending on its orientation and position.
  • Apple Pencil's horizontal position on the screen controls frequency
  • Apple Pencil's vertical position on the screen controls the modulating multiplier
  • Apple Pencil's altitude angle controls the carrier multiplier
  • Apple Pencil's azimuth angle controls the modulation index

PencilController is an experimental image processing app that uses the Apple Pencil as a controller for the fine setting of parameters on Core Image filters.

The demo has three image filtering modes:
  • Hue/Saturation - Apple Pencil's azimuth angle controls hue and its altitude angle controls the saturation
  • Brightness/Contrast - Apple Pencil's altitude angle along North/South controls contrast and the angle along West/East controls brightness
  • Gamma/Exposure - Apple Pencil's altitude angle along North/South controls exposure and the angle along West/East controls gamma
Gladman explains that "the app uses a spring loaded pattern, so the user needs to hold down one of the mode keys in the bottom left of the screen to stay in the filtering mode."

The source code for all three projects is available on GitHub.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Apple Pencil
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

Mounting System for New Apple TV and Remote Launching in Apple Stores

Innovelis has announced that its TotalMount Pro mounting system for the new Apple TV is now available for $29.95 at Apple retail stores worldwide and on the Apple Online Store. The TotalMount Pro is available to ship in 1-2 weeks on the Apple Online Store, with Personal Pickup offered in the U.S. and where available pending in-store stock.

Apple TV wall mount
The flexible mounting system securely holds the new Apple TV, includes a charging remote holder and cable management, has ventilation channels and installs easily with no tools required. The kit is ideal for wall-mounted TVs, as it positions the Apple TV near the HDMI port, eliminating the need to tunnel the HDMI cable through your wall.

TM-Apple-TV-Shelf-300x273"Running an HDMI cable through a wall is too destructive and time-consuming for many people," stated Eric Wengreen, one of the inventors.

A power cord is still required, although some wall-mounted televisions have a power outlet behind the television. Running an Ethernet cable is also needed for a wired internet connection.

The new Innovelis TotalMount Pro can also be adjusted to fit the second- and third-generation Apple TV, as shown with the original TotalMount Pro, pictured right.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tags: Apple retail, Innovelis, TotalMount Pro
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

New 'Sidefari' App Allows iPad Users to View Side-by-Side Safari Windows

While Apple introduced a Split View mode in iOS 9 for iPad users to be able to use two apps side-by-side, it did not allow users to open two Safari windows side-by-side. A new app called Sidefari from developer Francisco Cantu (via MacStories) allows users to have two webpages open side-by-side to meet various browsing needs.

sidefariThe app works by using Safari View Controller to open a second webpage via Split View. To activate Sidefari, all a user has to do is open the Slide Over app picker and choose Sidefari. The app also works in multiple sizes, allowing users to use Sidefari to take up either half the screen or smaller. Sidefari is only available for the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro as they are the only devices that support multitasking.

Sidefari for iPad is available in the App Store for $0.99. [Direct Link]

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Apple Watch Band or iPhone Case

For this week's giveaway, we've partnered again with Pad & Quill, the maker of premium MacBook, iPhone, and iPad cases and other accessories. Pad & Quill is kindly offering prizes from its lines of leather watch bands and iPhone cases to the lucky winners.

Lowry Band 1 copy 2

Pad & Quill's Lowry line of leather watch bands come in a cuff style and a standard band style. The Lowry Cuff is sized specifically for 42mm Apple Watch models while the Lowry Band is available for both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch models. They're all made of full-grain vegetable tanned leather and feature nickel-finished hardware and 25-year leather warranties. The Cuff retails for $129.95 and the Band is $109.95.

The company's Classic Band, which Contributing Editor Mitchel Broussard found to be durable and professional-looking, is available for both 38mm and 42mm watch models in several colors with the choice between stainless steel and polished black for the metal hardware. The Classic Band retails for $99.95.

Pad & Quill makes several iPhone cases in various styles, including the wood-framed leather portfolio style Luxury Book for iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus, which costs $109.95, and the leather Bella Vida wallet case, which costs $74.95.

Luxury Book 6 Plus copy

Four winners will be chosen. The first two winners can choose one Lowry Cuff or Band or Classic Band in the size and color of their choice. The second two winners can choose any one iPhone case from Pad & Quill's entire case line-up.

To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter your email address. Your email address will not be given to any third party and will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run from today (November 20) at 12:00 pm Pacific time through 12:00 pm Pacific time on November 27. The winners will be chosen randomly on November 30 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address. The prizes will be shipped to the winners for free.