OtterBox Launches New uniVERSE Case Compatible With Accessories From Olloclip, Square and More

OtterBox today announced the launch of a new uniVERSE Case System, featuring a versatile OtterBox-branded protective case that's able to be used with accessory modules from a range of companies like Square, Polar Pro, SanDisk, olloclip, Seek Thermal, and more.

Available for the iPhone 6/6s and the iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, the uniVERSE Case System combines a slim but protective OtterBox case with a slotted rail system for attaching accessories. There's a removable back accent plate covering the rail when the accessory modules are not in place, and there's also a grooved edge inside the camera opening for attaching camera accessories.

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"Innovation in the mobile technology world continues to evolve, and smartphones are at the center of this evolution," said OtterBox CEO Jim Parke. "OtterBox is bringingtogether industry giants and cutting-edge innovators to create acustomizable mobile ecosystem. With uniVERSE Case System, consumers don't have to compromise premium protection to use the amazing array of accessories that are changing how we use our phones."
Alongside OtterBox, a number of companies are announcing new accessories designed for the uniVERSE case system. Olloclip, one of OtterBox's first partners, is releasing its first 4-in-1 Lens kit compatible with a third-party case. Priced at $79.99, the 4-in-1 quick change Lens accessory for the uniVERSE Case features Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 10x Macro and 15x Macro lenses.

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The Olloclip Lens set works with both the front and rear-facing cameras, fitting over the OtterBox case. It comes with two wearable pendants so it's always on hand even when not in use and can be purchased starting today.

Other accessories compatible with the OtterBox uniVerse Case include a Square Contactless and Chip Reader ($49.99), the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive ($59.99 to $119.99), the Nite Ize Vent Mount Kit ($39.99), the Goal Zero Slide Battery ($59.99), the Seek Thermal Compact Camera and Seek Case ($249), the Influx Wi-Fi Booster ($39.99), and more.

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The uniVERSE case for iPhone 6/6s and 6/6s Plus can be purchased from the OtterBox website starting today.

iDevices' New 'Socket' Turns Traditional Light Bulbs into Smart Bulbs

idevicessocketiDevices today announced the launch of its latest HomeKit product, a smart light bulb socket able to turn any standard bulb into a smart bulb. The iDevices Socket, first announced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, is a simple Wi-Fi light bulb adapter that connects to a standard bulb and gives it the ability to interface with Siri and other HomeKit-connected products.

Priced at $79, the iDevices Socket is not cheap and is in fact more expensive than other HomeKit-compatible products like Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs and smart plugs, but it does include dimming capabilities and a customizable color light ring that can be used as a night light or to add ambiance to any room. It is able to fit into any conventional lighting receptacle and is compatible with standard Edison style bulbs up to 60 watts.

The Socket can be controlled using Siri voice commands, through the iDevices app, or through any other HomeKit app. Like other HomeKit-connected products, the Socket can be organized into specific rooms and is able to be used in Scenes, timers, and other HomeKit features.

The iDevices Socket joins the company's existing line of HomeKit products, which includes the iDevices Thermostat and the iDevices Switch. In the future, iDevices plans to release additional HomeKit accessories like a wall switch and a wall outlet.

Customers can pre-order the iDevices Socket for $79 from the iDevices website starting today.

Parallels Access 3.1 Brings 3D Touch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro Support

Parallels, the company behind the popular virtualization software of the same name, has updated its iOS app Parallels Access, which allows iPad and iPhone owners to remotely access their Mac or Windows apps on their mobile device.

The app allows users to interact with their desktop apps in the same way they would interact with their iPad apps, with the full range of iPad gestures available for compatible apps. Parallels Access translates what would usually be mouse clicks and movements into iPad-friendly alternatives.
Parallels Access on_iPad-ProThe 3.1 update means the app now officially supports the virtual keyboard and full screen resolution of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, so users can view an undistorted image of a 27-inch (non-Retina) iMac screen on the larger tablet using "Same as Computer" mode, which accompanies the existing "More space" and "Best for iPad" viewing modes.

Parallels Access
Other new features include support for 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and 6 Plus handsets, support for Apple Pencil and other stylus devices, folders on the App Launcher, support for cursor movement using the on-screen keyboard as a trackpad in iOS 9, and support for Windows 10 Tablet Mode. Parallels Access still doesn't support Split View on iPads however, since it would require changing the screen resolution of the remote computer.


The app is $19.99 a year, or monthly for $2.99 to get unlimited use of Parallels Access for up to 5 computers. Parallels also offers a free 14-day trial that allows users to test the app before purchasing.

Parallels Access is available for iPad and iPhone on the App Store [Direct Link]

Tag: Parallels

Prototype iPhone 6 with 'Switchboard' OS Listed on eBay for $4,999

An alleged prototype version of Apple's "vintage" iPhone 6 has appeared in an eBay auction with a starting price of $4,999.

The device has the Apple logo and "iPhone" branding, but no FCC logos, serial number or IMEI on the rear, and appears to be in very good condition.

iPhone 6 prototype
The handset apparently runs a much-sought-after hackable debugging OS called "SwitchBoard" and features a red lightning dock port with a serial number of C39NW00KG876. The seller claims to have bought it from a friend. The auction currently has one bidder.

iPhone 6 prototype
In October 2014, a similar prototype iPhone 6 with red Lightning port was offered on eBay by someone claiming to have received the handset by accident. The auction garnered almost 200 bids and reached over $100,000, before being pulled by eBay, likely at Apple's request.

(Via 9to5Mac)

Multi-Angle Movie Maker GroupClip Launches on iOS

Collaborative video creation app GroupClip launched on iOS yesterday, allowing users to record the same event on multiple devices and combine clips in the cloud to produce multi-angle movies.

GroupClip-Screenshots
The app enables users to invite up to four friends in any location into the same movie project and start recording clips straight away. As video is synced to the cloud, each user has access to everyone else's footage, and can combine and edit them to create individual multi-angle videos.

Users can select clip segments to feature prominently in their final projects, and drag and drop clips into position. Multiple layout templates are on offer within the app (including a picture-in-picture option) for users to create their collage, and photos can also be imported into film projects.


GroupClip Animation Appstore groupclip.com from Burner on Vimeo.


Users can also add music to videos using songs on their devices, but the app will reject songs protected by copyright restrictions. Finally, completed movies can be shared over social media or saved to devices.

GroupClip is a free download for iPhone and iPad on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: GroupClip

Review: Ultimate Ears' UE Roll 2 Features Louder Sound and Longer Range

Ultimate Ears today added to its speaker lineup with the launch of the UE Roll 2, a successor to the original UE Roll. The UE Roll 2 looks like the current version of the UE Roll, but it has been upgraded with a longer Bluetooth range and louder sound.


I own an original UE Roll, so Ultimate Ears sent me a UE Roll 2 for a comparison review ahead of the new speaker's rollout. When it comes to design, the palm-sized UE Roll 2 is physically identical to the original UE Roll. It features the same flat, circular design with a bungee cord in the back and a flap to cover both a microUSB port used for charging and a 3.5mm audio-in jack.

Original UE Roll on left, UE Roll 2 on right

The UE Roll 2 isn't the most portable speaker out there due to its size (it's not going to go in a pocket), but because it's flat, it fits well in a purse or a backpack. It weighs about a half pound, so it's not going to add a lot of weight if you need to travel with it, and with the stretchy bungee cord, you can attach it just about anywhere.

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Will.i.am's 'i.am+ EPs' Wireless Earphones Debut Exclusively at Apple Stores

i.am+, the company founded by musician will.i.am, recently announced the launch of its new i.am+ EPs, a set of premium Bluetooth earphones that are available exclusively from Apple retail stores and Apple.com.

Featuring a design inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records" and targeted at those interested in fashion, the EPs include circular ear pieces made of spun metal and are connected by a woven fabric cord. Because they connect to an iPhone via Bluetooth 2.0 and have a 30-foot range, there's no cord to plug them into a headphone jack or Lightning port.

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The EPs are available in black or gold, and when not being used for listening to music, they can be worn around the neck for quick access. When worn, the EPs click together using built-in magnets so they stay in place. There's a built-in remote control for adjusting volume and there's a microphone that can be used to make phone calls.

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Packing plenty of style, the i.am+ EPs Bluetooth wireless headphones deliver superior surround sound and deep bass to truly represent the music on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The metallic discs clasp around your neck for all-day wear. Their lightweight, no-fuss form means no interruption to your music or flow. So easy, so fresh, they'll quickly become an everyday essential to complement your wardrobe.
A microUSB port located on the remote charges the EPs, and the battery is rated to last up to eight hours before needing to be recharged.

The iam+ EPs are available immediately from Apple.com for $229.95. They are also available for purchase from a select number of brick and mortar Apple Stores.

Philips Announces New HomeKit-Compatible White Ambiance Hue Lighting Set

Philips today announced a new HomeKit-compatible Hue-branded lighting product, the Philips Hue White Ambiance. Like the standard Philips Hue lighting set, the White Ambiance ships with a HomeKit hub and bulbs, but it's aimed at people who want adjustable white light without a multitude of color options.

The Wi-Fi-connected White Ambiance bulbs feature "every shade of white light," from 6500k daylight to 2200k warm light, and they can be adjusted automatically throughout the day using light recipes, routines, and HomeKit scenes in the recently released Philips Hue app. The bulbs, rated at 800 lumens at 4000k, can also be controlled through HomeKit using Siri voice commands.

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"We know how important white light is in the home; it is similar to natural day light and can help us to focus, feel more alert as well as wind down at night" says Sridhar Kumaraswamy, Business Leader Connected Home Systems at Philips Lighting. "With Philips Hue white ambiance, we are delivering a high quality connected light bulb that delivers the full spectrum of white light at the swipe of a finger, allowing consumers to fully benefit from the impact that white light can have on their wellbeing when at home."
Philips' White Ambiance Hue starter kit includes two Philips Hue white ambiance bulbs, a HomeKit-compatible bridge, and one wireless dimming switch that allows lights to be controlled from anywhere in the house without the need to open the iPhone app. The new Hue starter kit joins the standard kit that includes bulbs adjustable to any color or any shade of white and a simpler kit with white bulbs that are unable to be adjusted to different shades.

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At $129.95 for the entire kit and $29.95 for a single bulb, the Philips Hue White Ambiance kit is more affordable than the standard Hue lighting kit, which is priced at $199 for the initial bridge and bulbs and $59.95 for individual bulbs. The White Ambiance starter kit is available from the Philips website starting today.

Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 9.2.2 to Developers

Apple today provided developers with the first beta of an upcoming 9.2.2 update to tvOS, the operating system designed to run on the fourth-generation Apple TV. tvOS 9.2.2 comes one week after the public launch of tvOS 9.2.1, a minor update focusing on bug fixes.

tvOS betas are more difficult to install than beta updates for iOS and OS X. Installing the tvOS beta requires the Apple TV to be connected to a computer with a USB-C to USB-A cable, with the software downloaded and installed via iTunes or Apple Configurator. Once a beta profile has been installed on the device through iTunes, new beta releases will be available over the air.

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As a minor 9.x.x update, tvOS 9.2.2 is likely to focus on bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues discovered since the release of tvOS 9.2.1, and Apple's release notes do say the update contains bug fixes and security improvements. Any outward-facing changes found in the tvOS 9.2.2 beta will be included below.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: tvOS 9.2.2
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Spotify Matches Apple Music $14.99 Per Month Family Plan

Spotify has upgraded its family plan to directly match Apple Music's offering, with up to six Premium accounts per family now available for $14.99 a month (via The Verge).

Spotify says users under the family plan will receive their own separate premium accounts and have full access to Spotify's library of songs and videos. Existing subscribers meanwhile will automatically be upgraded to the new plan and should receive a lower bill in the next month. The plan rolls out globally today, except for users of the music streaming service residing in Canada.

The move follows in the footsteps of Google Play, which matched Apple Music's family plan in December.

Spotify-OS-X
Earlier this month Spotify claimed it had experienced a faster pace of growth since the launch of Apple Music, reaching 30 million paying subscribers compared to the 20 million it had when the rival service launched last June. In April, Apple claimed 13 million subscribers, up from 11 million users in February.

At the beginning of May, Apple introduced a 50% discount for all student subscribers to Apple Music, offering those eligible a $4.99 per month deal. Apple Music is widely expected to see a design overhaul in time for WWDC this year, due to be held June 13–17 in California.

More Alleged iPhone 7 Images Emerge, Now With Protruding Camera

Another photo has emerged this morning on Weibo allegedly showing a genuine iPhone 7 rear case (via 9to5Mac).

The latest claim shows a bevelled, protruding camera hole, which contradicts rumors that the next-gen iPhone due in September will have a camera flush with the case.

iPhone 7 Weibo protruding camera
The camera is also positioned closer to the upper left corner of the chassis than in previous iPhones, while the hole for the lens appears to be larger than that found in the iPhone 6s, suggesting a potentially upgraded camera module.

The photo also appears to show the expected redesigned antenna lines which restrict the bands to the edges of the device. The poster also included images of screen cable components which appear different to equivalent parts in the iPhone 6s.

iPhone 7 leak screen cable
The alleged leak follows a Weibo post last week which claimed to show a dual-camera module, possibly for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, alongside memory chips in 16GB, 64GB, and 256GB sizes, suggesting a higher storage variant for Apple's next flagship phone and the continuing availability of the lowest capacity tier.

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As always, without confirmation readers are advised to take these leaks with a grain of salt, but they do at least offer an idea of what components may be circulating in the supply chain.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 64GB C20i JumpDrive From Lexar to Expand Your iPhone's Storage

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with well-known storage and memory company Lexar to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a 64GB C20i JumpDrive, which is designed to increase the storage capacity of an iPhone or iPad and enable file transfers between Macs/PCs and iOS devices.

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The C20i JumpDrive is a tiny, pocket-sized dongle that's just a couple inches in length when folded shut, so it's perfect for travel and easy to carry all the time. There's a Lightning connector at one end to plug into an iPhone or iPad, and a USB 3.0 connector at the other end to plug into a PC or Mac, making it simple to move files between various devices. The two pieces are made from aluminum to match Apple's iOS devices, and there's a high-quality cable in between that feels like it'll hold up well to regular usage.

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With storage capacities ranging from 16GB ($41.99) to 128GB ($136.99), the C20i JumpDrive can more than double the amount storage available on an iOS device. It's ideal for anyone who likes to have a lot of content like photos, videos, or music on hand, and invaluable for iPhone users with only 16 or 32GB of storage.

It features USB 3.0 transfer speeds (95MB/s read and 20MB/s write) when transferring content from a Mac to the drive, and it doubles as standard Lightning cable for charging when plugged into both an iPhone and a Mac.

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Media content like videos, photos, music can be played or viewed directly from the JumpDrive using the Lexar Mobile Manager app whenever the dongle is plugged into an iOS device. It supports a wide range of files, including MP3, AAC, WAVE, AIFF, M4A, AVI, MV4, MOV, MKV, and MP4. Videos and music in multiple formats played seamlessly from the JumpDrive in our tests.

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Lexar's app is more full-featured than apps from competitors, and in addition to offering automatic photo and contact backup, it also includes options to link to Dropbox, YouTube, and Vimeo so all of your content is viewable in one location, plus there's a built-in voice recording feature. The app is organized in a logical way so it's easy to find content, and it's clear how much storage is available on both JumpDrive and the iOS device it's connected to.

Lexar normally charges $95 for the JumpDrive C20i on its website, but five MacRumors readers will win one for free. 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 (May 20) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 27. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 27 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tags: giveaway, Lexar