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Sony MDR-1000X Review: Wireless Hi-Res Headphones Offer Next-Level Noise Canceling

The wireless headphone market has been shaken up so much recently that it's hard to know where to begin when a new entry appears on the stage and announces itself as the next big thing. Fortunately this latest Bluetooth offering from Sony is targeting a very specific market segment best referred to as "premium noise cancelation", and the company seems pretty confident that with the MDR-1000X headphones ($400), it has got a hit on its hands. Sony is claiming "industry-leading noise cancelation" with these luxury cans, which use ostensibly the same drivers as last year's highly regarded MDR-1A headset made for listening to Hi-Res Audio, as supported by the company's audiophilic Walkman range, not to mention its line of wireless home speakers and in-car audio systems. Can it improve upon the finely honed features of Parrot's Zik 3.0, Bose's QuietComfort 35, and Sennheiser's PXC 550 Wireless noise-canceling headphones? Let's take a look.

Beoplay A1 Review: This Bluetooth Speaker Sounds Even Better Than It Looks

Last month, B&O PLAY announced the Beoplay A1, the latest portable Bluetooth speaker in its family of luxury home audio products. B&O PLAY is a brand subsidiary of Danish high-end audio and video manufacturer Bang & Olufsen, known for its principled attention to design (which some say inspired Apple). We decided to take a look at the A1 ultraportable speaker to see if the device justifies its $249 price tag, which places it at the premium end of the Bluetooth speaker market. Design Taking the A1 out of the box, the first thing that strikes you is the compactness of the unit relative to its weight. At about 1.3 pounds (600 grams), it's not the lightest ultraportable speaker by any means, but its beautifully minimalist 'hockey puck' design feels disarmingly slight, partly thanks to designer Cecilie Manz's decision to embed the power, volume, play/pause, and pairing controls around the rim, with the attached leather strap adding a touch of surfer appeal. The polymer base has a suede-like finish that ensures the 2-inch (51 mm) tall A1 sits happily on most surfaces, and its 5-inch (133 mm) diameter means it's possible to grasp the grilled dome from above and pick up with one hand. The unit sits snugly in the larger pockets of a raincoat, but trying to fit it in a light jacket pocket may present more of a challenge.

Review: Prong PWR Case Adds a Folding Plug to Your iPhone 6/6s

While there are numerous battery cases for iPhones, the Prong PWR Case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s differentiates itself with a built-in, collapsible wall charger. The folding prongs enable you to charge your iPhone by simply plugging it into a wall outlet, making it ideal for work, home, travel, or wherever receptacles are available. Better yet, the PWR Case eliminates the need to have a Lightning charging cable wherever you go for cord-free convenience. But, as with all battery cases, there are important variables to consider before making your purchase, ranging from size and weight to battery capacity and price. Find out how the PWR Case stacks up

Review: You Won't Lose Your Apple Pencil Cap With the PencilCozy

If you own an Apple Pencil, you've probably already misplaced its cap once or twice when charging it. The cap, which hides the Lightning connector, is fully removable and easily lost, a flaw the PencilCozy, from Cozy Industries, aims to fix. Made of a soft, pliable silicone, the PencilCozy has a top portion that fits snugly over the cap of the Apple Pencil and a ring that fits over the Apple Pencil itself. Between the top of the cozy and the ring, there's a strip of silicone to connect the two pieces to ensure the cap of the Apple Pencil doesn't become separated from the body when it's removed for charging. The PencilCozy comes in three colors: an opaque white that closely matches the white shade of the Apple Pencil, a minty teal green shade, and a glow-in-the dark color that's a translucent white in the light and a bright green in the dark. The glow-in-the-dark shade may be useful for locating the Apple Pencil in the dark, but because the glow doesn't last very long it's more of a novelty than a truly functional feature. Both the design and the colors are muted enough that they don't stand out or significantly interfere with the aesthetic of the Apple Pencil, but people who like the unadulterated look of the accessory may not want to sully it with an $8 piece of rubber. I didn't mind the appearance of the PencilCozy, taking into account its utility.

Review: Parrot Zik 3.0 Bluetooth Headphones Offer 'Wireless Everything', but at a Premium

Last month's CES saw French wireless tech company Parrot demoing the third model in its Zik range of popular Bluetooth headphones, aptly called Zik 3.0. Now shipping at a price of $400, the Zik 3.0's inherit the active noise-canceling (ANC), capacitive touch and HD telephony features of the earlier Zik 2.0's, but add some new functions like auto-adaptive ANC and Qi-compatible wireless charging, while they also come in several new colors and textures. The Zik 2.0's have been reduced from $350 to $200 as a result, so I chose to compare the two versions side by side to see what that extra two hundred dollars gets you.

Video Review: The Nodus Shell for iPhone 6s Features a Magnetic Mounting System

The Nodus Shell case for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus comes from UK company Nodus and is featured in our latest video review. Made from Italian leather and available in black, brown, or yellow, the Nodus Shell has a design that's similar to Apple's own leather iPhone cases with cutouts for the volume and power buttons and openings at the top and bottom to leave ports and speakers available. What's unique about the Nodus Shell is the magnetic plate that's built into the interior, allowing it to be mounted anywhere using small but powerful magnets called Micro Docks. Using adhesive, a Micro Dock can be positioned on a wall, in a car, or at the edge of a desk, allowing an iPhone to be docked in multiple places. We found the magnets to be strong enough to hold the iPhone in place and one of our favorite aspects was the Nodus Shell's ability to also work with other magnet-based systems. According to Nodus, there's also magnetic shielding included in the case to protect the iPhone from magnetic damage. The Nodus Shell can be purchased from the Nodus website for GBP49.99 or $72.11, with free shipping to the United States available. Note: Nodus provided a Nodus Shell to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received.

Review: Actionproof's Bozon Stand for Apple Watch is Quirky but Functional

Actionproof's Bozon Apple Watch stand is unique in a sea of Apple Watch accessories because of its unusual, quirky shape. It looks more like a toy or a modern art piece than a traditional stand, but it ended up being easier to use and more functional than some of the other Apple Watch stands I've tested. Made from a soft black silicone, the Bozon features a pliable black palm-sized sphere-shaped top attached to four legs for stability. Like most Apple Watch stands, you need to supply your own charging puck, which fits into the front of the Bozon. The interior of the Bozon is hollow, allowing it to store excess cord. Setting up the Bozon with the Apple Watch charger was surprisingly simple, especially when it came to winding up excess cord. There are a lot of Apple Watch docks and stands out there that hide extra cord, but most do so in a more convoluted way. With the Bozon, it was simple, quick, and elegant. The first step to installing the Apple Watch charger in the stand is to fit the charging puck into the front opening. It fits in at a downward angle, and there's an extra slot that houses the portion of the cable that connects to charger. From there, the cord goes into the middle of the Bozon and out through the rear right leg, which has a removable cap.

Review: Pad & Quill's Oxford Case for iPad Pro Works With Apple's Smart Keyboard

Many cases for the iPad Pro add a lot of unnecessary bulk, a problem the Oxford Leather Case from Pad & Quill solves through the clever use of adhesive. Featuring a simple book-style design that offers full front and back protection, the Oxford Leather iPad Pro Case uses a strong adhesive to hold the iPad Pro firmly in place while leaving it free to be used with the Smart Keyboard. Design Opening a Pad & Quill product is fun because Pad & Quill excels at packaging. The Oxford Case came wrapped in a simple bit of thick brown paper, sealed with red wax and the Pad & Quill insignia. It's tasteful packaging and I always enjoy when manufacturers put a little effort into the unwrapping experience. Pad & Quill's Oxford Case, like many of its products, is carefully crafted by hand from high-quality leather. In this case, it's made from a single piece of full-grain bridle leather and comes in two colors: Whiskey and Chestnut. An expensive, high-quality leather pairs nicely with Apple's larger-screened tablet, and the Oxford's design looks like it will work equally well in business and casual situations. Leather like this will change and age over time, giving each Oxford case a unique, broken-in look to add personality, so that's something to keep in mind when considering this option. Inside the case, there's a softer leather to protect the iPad's screen, and there's also an interior pocket to hold papers and the Apple Pencil.

Review: QardioBase is an Attractive Smart Scale, but Design Needs Improvement

The QardioBase is a Wi-Fi connected smart scale created by Qardio, the same company that produces the well-known medical-grade QardioArm blood pressure monitoring accessory. QardioBase, Qardio's second product, was first introduced at CES in January of 2015 and began shipping out to customers in the fall. Qardio's new scale includes features for measuring weight and analyzing body composition to provide details on a person's overall health. It bundles these health-management features into a friendly package that's meant to provide gentle guidance towards a healthier life. I've been testing the QardioBase for several weeks now, and while I'm a fan of the minimal design and the health features it provides, there are some flaws that will prevent it from appealing to all users. Design At first glance, the QardioBase is one good looking scale. Circular in shape, it features a plain white glass-covered top that's unmarred by numbers or other adornments. Underneath that glass is an LED screen, which is what displays body weight and other information using green pixels. The QardioBase looks nice, but in my experience, it has a not-insignificant design flaw. It has a funnel-shaped design where the outer edges of the scale extend further outwards than the base, making it unstable. When I stepped on or off the scale near the edge, it felt like it was going to tip over, taking me along with it. I didn't fall when using it, but I did have a few "Oh my gosh!" moments where I had to grab on to something to steady myself. I'm no designer, but this instability seems like a big

Review: Edwin the Duck Plays Music, Lights Up and Interacts With Kids for $100

Edwin the Duck is an iPhone-connected rubber duckie that was first introduced to the world in 2014 via Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign failed to get enough interest and didn't reach its funding goal, but Edwin's creators, who had a vision of a better rubber duckie, didn't give up. Edwin was shown off at CES in January of 2015, made it into production, and began shipping later in 2015. Edwin caught a lucky break in December of 2015, winding up in the Apple Online Store, a sign of Apple's approval. Edwin is also now sold in other major retail locations, like Best Buy, where he's been getting some positive reviews from parents and kids alike. When we at MacRumors saw Edwin the Duck on Apple's site, we scoffed at the prospect of a $100 rubber duckie, which led to an invitation to try Edwin for ourselves to see whether or not it's worth shelling out $100 for an iPhone-connected duck. As something of a toy enthusiast, I gladly accepted the challenge. I'll say up front that I have no children to gauge a child's response to Edwin, but even as an adult, I was charmed by Edwin's design and impressed with his range of features. Edwin is cute, but he isn't perfect - there are some definite shortcomings, which I'll cover in my review.

Review: Zagg's Slim Book More Than Doubles the Weight of the iPad Pro, but Keyboard is Great

Zagg's newest Slim Book is its first product designed specifically for the iPad Pro. Following in the footsteps of its previous Slim Books for other iPads, the Slim Book for iPad Pro features a protective case that snaps around the iPad and fits into an accompanying full-sized keyboard. The Slim Book is one of the few keyboard cases available for the iPad Pro, and it essentially turns the iPad Pro into a full-fledged laptop, plus it is versatile because it's able to serve as a standalone case or a case that offers full protection. That might sound appealing, but as I've discovered testing it for the last week, there are some downsides to Zagg's latest offering. Design The Slim Book consists of two pieces: a black plastic shell that fits around the back of the iPad Pro and a matching silver aluminum keyboard with black MacBook-style keys and a matching black plastic exterior. The shell piece that fits around the iPad Pro is relatively slim, snapping into place to protect the back of the iPad. It doesn't feel cheaply made, but it also doesn't feel as premium as an Apple product given all the plastic. All of the ports on the iPad Pro are left open with the shell on, leaving everything from the headphone jack to the Lightning port accessible. Because the shell fits so tightly to the iPad Pro, it's difficult to remove. This is not a shell that I would want to be taking off my iPad on a regular basis, because it takes a lot of force to get it off. It also makes the volume and the sleep/wake buttons on the iPad Pro more difficult to press because it causes them to

Video Review: Knomo's Mag Case and Mag Mount Let You Stick Your iPhone Anywhere

For our latest video review, we went hands-on with the Leather Mag Case and Mag Mount, designed by Knomo. For those unfamiliar with Knomo, it's a site that specializes in high-quality Apple accessories like bags, backpacks, and cases. Knomo's Mag Case is a slim, leather and polycarbonate case that looks much like any other iPhone case, but it has a steel plate embedded in the back. The steel plate is able to attach to the magnet built into the accompanying Mag Mount piece, which can be placed anywhere in the house via adhesive, letting the iPhone be mounted in a variety of different locations. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We liked the fit and feel of the Knomo Mag Case, but since it has a minimal design, it offers limited protection from drops and damage. Installed in a car with the Mag Mount, the Knomo Mag Case worked well, holding an iPhone 6s Plus firmly in place. Knomo's Mag Case and Mag Mount for the iPhone 6s Plus can be purchased from the Knomo website for $49.95. The iPhone 6s version is available for $44.95, and additional Mag Mounts can be purchased for

ConnectSense Review: The Smart Outlet Offers Two HomeKit-Enabled Sockets and a USB Port

Now that HomeKit's been available for several months, more and more HomeKit-enabled products are popping up. When HomeKit first launched in June, there was only one smart plug available (the Elgato Eve), but now there are a handful to choose from. ConnectSense is the latest company to develop a HomeKit-enabled plug, debuting its Smart Outlet in October. I went hands-on with the new ConnectSense Smart Outlet to see how it measures up to similar HomeKit products that are available for purchase. Design Unlike the other intelligent HomeKit-compatible plugs on the market, the Smart Outlet from ConnectSense combines two outlets in one simple device, with an additional USB charging port for charging an iPhone or iPad. To connect to the iPhone and other HomeKit devices, the Smart Outlet uses Wi-Fi and connects to a home Wi-Fi network. The Smart Outlet plugs into any traditional outlet in the home, fitting into either the bottom or the top socket. Plugged into the top socket, it fits neatly over an in-the-wall outlet, and while it sticks out about an inch, it's largely unobtrusive thanks to a simple design. It can also be plugged into the bottom socket of a standard wall socket, but its shape does not allow it to leave the top socket free for use, so there's no real reason to use it that way. Made of a smooth white plastic with curved edges, the Smart Outlet has an attractive no-frills design and a decent build quality, but I'm not entirely sure it feels like an $80 product. Each socket in the Smart Outlet is treated as an individual HomeKit product, so

JUUK Revo Review: Modern Apple Watch Link Bracelet for Under $200

Apple's 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet is arguably the most luxurious Apple Watch band available, but at $449 it may be worth considering similar but less expensive third-party options available. Enter JUUK, a new company that aims to fill that niche with its lineup of Revo stainless steel link bracelets for under $200. JUUK, pronounced "juke," is a watch company created by Eugene Ho, a Canadian with nearly two decades of experience in the watch industry. Ho, who moved to Hong Kong in 1997 to establish Pacific Watchworks, has worked on popular brands including Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Ecko, Reebok and many others."During that time, I've developed great relationships with some of the top watch component factories," Ho told MacRumors. "This means that I'm not an Apple accessories vendor trying to make watch bracelets. I'm not a guy coming off the streets trying to make watch bracelets. The watch industry is in my blood, and developing high quality watch components is all that I know professionally."Revo stainless steel link bracelets for Apple Watch are offered in polished, brushed or gunmetal finishes for between $145 and $195. A trio of 42mm bracelets are available to ship immediately, while 38mm bracelet pre-orders will ship in late January 2016. 42mm polished or brushed spare links are also available for $12 each. Given the popular adage "you get what you pay for," this review will take a closer look at the design and fit of the 42mm Polished Revo model, $195, to see how it compares to Apple's 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. Design

Review: The SteelSeries Nimbus is a Convenient, Affordable Bluetooth Controller for Apple TV and iOS Devices

There's a range of Made for iPhone-compatible Apple-approved Bluetooth controllers available, all of which will work with the new Apple TV, but the SteelSeries Nimbus is the only controller that was designed specifically for the Apple TV in partnership with Apple. As such, it's been heavily marketed by Apple and it's sold alongside the Apple TV as an accessory in Apple Stores. We went hands-on with the SteelSeries Nimbus to figure out whether it's worth its $50 price tag and if it's a must-have gaming accessory for the new fourth-generation Apple TV. Design The Nimbus is similar in size and design to the Stratus XL, an earlier controller SteelSeries released. It looks like a cross between an Xbox One controller and a PlayStation 4 controller, with a shape that's close to the Xbox controller but a PlayStation-style layout. It's also very similar to many existing Made for iPhone controllers like the popular Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i. If you've used one Made for iPhone controller, you've essentially used them all. The Nimbus is not much different than the rest of the available controllers on the market, so choosing a controller to purchase really comes down to preference for things like size, button layout, trigger shape, and overall design. On the Nimbus, there's a d-pad at the top, located across from four action buttons. Two analog joysticks sit at the bottom, adjacent to one another as on the PS4 controller. In the middle, there's a large Menu button, and at the back, there's a Bluetooth button, a Lightning port for charging, and a "Hold" button that toggles the

Review: SwitchEasy's CoverBuddy Protects Your iPad Pro and Holds an Apple Pencil [Updated]

Apple offers protection for the iPad Pro in the form of a Smart Cover and a Silicone Case for the back of the device, but Apple's products are priced rather high at $59 and $79 respectively, for a total price of $138 for complete iPad Pro coverage. Luckily, third-party manufacturers have already started coming out with some clever cases and covers for the iPad Pro, and one of the first available rear shells comes from popular accessory maker SwitchEasy. The iPad Pro CoverBuddy is SwitchEasy's first product for Apple's tablet, and it's designed to work alongside Apple's own Smart Cover and Smart Keyboard. SwitchEasy funded the iPad Pro CoverBuddy through Indiegogo, but now it's ready to ship out to customers. While the Indiegogo campaign was still ongoing, SwitchEasy sent me a prototype CoverBuddy to check out, which I've been using for the last week. Made of a thin but rigid polycarbonate, the CoverBuddy snaps onto the back of the iPad Pro. Since it's only 1.5mm thick, it adds very little additional weight and bulk. The polycarbonate of the CoverBuddy is textured and it's super grippy. The grip on the CoverBuddy is probably my favorite aspect of the case because it makes the unwieldy iPad Pro a lot easier to hold on to. CoverBuddy's polycarbonate material isn't going to protect the iPad Pro from serious damage, but it feels sturdy enough to protect it from the scratches, dings, and minor drops that occur from day-to-day use and travel. The CoverBuddy leaves all of the ports and the rear camera accessible with precise cutouts, and it has a Lightning

Review: MiPow's Power Tube 3000 Battery Pack is Compact and Cute, but App Needs Improvement

There are hundreds of external battery packs available for the iPhone, but only a small subset of those are given the Apple seal of approval and offered in Apple retail stores and the Apple online store. MiPow's 3,000 mAh Smart Power Tube is one of the newest portable batteries Apple offers, with a lot of perks like built-in charging cables and an accompanying app. Design and Features MiPow's Smart Power Tube is, as the name suggests, tube shaped. While it's small enough to fit comfortably in a bag or a purse at just over four inches long and an inch thick, it's an odd shape for a pocket and it isn't as convenient to use while charging an iPhone like the flatter Mophie-style battery packs. It comes with a little matching carrying pouch so it can be dropped in a bag without worrying about scratches and scuffs. The Smart Power Tube is available in black, white, gray, and a handful of bright candy colors: turquoise, green, and pink. A smooth, soft-touch material covers the outside of the Smart Power Tube and a metal band separates the body from the cap of the device. On the metal band there are three LEDs that display the power level and a button that activates the Tube when it's plugged into an iPhone. Underneath the cap, there's a USB connector for charging the internal battery and a cleverly placed Lightning cable that connects the Power Tube to an iPhone and also holds the cap of the device in place. On the whole, the Smart Power Tube feels like a premium product with coordinated colors, clean lines, and quality materials.

Video Review: SwitchEasy's Cases for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Are Thin and Affordable

For our latest video review, we took a look at SwitchEasy's lineup of cases for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. SwitchEasy has been making cases for Apple's line of iPads and iPhones for years and its latest set of cases offer the quality design and affordable pricing the company is known for. SwitchEasy's $20 Nude collection is its thinnest and lightest set of cases, measuring in at 0.8mm thick. Though it's thin, it is made from a rigid polycarbonate material that has a textured exterior for better grip. It's not going to offer a lot of drop protection, but it'll protect an iPhone from bumps and scratches. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Numbers series is SwitchEasy's most affordable iPhone case line, priced at just $15. These cases are made from a soft-touch TPU that's designed to protect the iPhone from drops up to 1.5 meters. The $20 N+ series is quite similar to the Numbers series, as it's also made from a soft, rubbery TPU but with a glossy back. SwitchEasy's $20 Aero series was created to be thin and light while still offering a good amount of protection. It has a rubbery rim to keep the iPhone safe from drops, but it has the same thin back as the Nude collection. We found it to be an excellent compromise between bulk and protection, and it was one of the lightest cases we've tested. The last collection we looked at, the $25 Play, is similar in design to the Aero but it comes with a wrist strap and a built-in kickstand for watching videos. All of SwitchEasy's cases mentioned in the video come with an included screen

Zagg Review: The Messenger Universal Keyboard for iPad Pro Is a Good Value, but Has a Few Drawbacks

When the iPad Pro launched, Zagg had a third-party keyboard ready to go for the device - the Messenger Universal, an affordable universal keyboard designed to fit a wide range of tablets as large as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. As a simple universal keyboard, it has the benefit of being readily available for purchase and it's relatively cheap compared to other options, but there are some definite downsides to the Messenger Universal that may prevent it from being a viable option for some people. Rather than taking advantage of the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro, the Messenger Universal connects over Bluetooth like any traditional Bluetooth keyboard, pairing via the Settings app on the iPad Pro. I had no problems with setup and there were no loss-of-connection issues during my time testing the keyboard. The Messenger Universal consists of a magnetic Smart Cover-style flap that props up the iPad and an accompanying full-sized keyboard. It doesn't double as a case or a cover for the iPad like the Logitech CREATE or Apple's own Smart Keyboard -- it's strictly a keyboard and a stand. Because it's made for a range of different devices, the Messenger Universal can be paired with other tablets and smartphones in addition to the iPad Pro. When not in use, the keyboard folds up folio style with the cover portion protecting the keys, so it's fairly compact for travel. It is as wide as the iPad Pro at 12 inches, so it's going to take up a fair amount of space in a bag or backpack, and it's also just over a half an inch thick. The outside cover of the keyboard is a soft

Withings Home Review: New Apple TV App and Baby Monitor Features Make a Solid Camera Even Better

Roughly a year ago, popular accessory company Withings introduced its Home security camera and air quality monitor, giving users an easy way to keep tabs on their homes with video streaming, push alerts for activity, and cloud storage of footage. Withings has continued to improve the Home with software updates since the launch, and several recent additions such as an app for the new Apple TV and a Baby Monitor mode have made the user experience even better. Priced at $200, the Withings Home is a 5-megapixel HD camera with a 135-degree field of view, night vision, sensors for motion, sound, and air quality, and more. A companion iOS app [Direct Link] makes it easy to control the camera, receive alerts, and monitor video, audio, and other data from the Home. The Home is a fairly attractive looking camera about the size of a coffee mug, with a wood grain shell that can be rotated to physically cover the device's camera to eliminate any potential concerns about accidental activation of the camera at unwanted times. The lower portion of the main body can glow in a variety of colors to indicate device status or act as a nightlight.

Logitech Create Review: Excellent Keyboard, but Makes iPad Pro Bulky and Heavy

Logitech's Create Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro was one of the first third-party keyboards available for the device, because Logitech created it with help from Apple. Because Logitech partnered with Apple for the accessory, it's also the only third-party keyboard that's currently able to take advantage of the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro, meaning it doesn't need to connect to the iPad over Bluetooth or use its own power source. We went hands-on with Logitech's Create Keyboard case to see how it measures up to Apple's own hard-to-find Smart Keyboard and the few other iPad Pro third-party keyboards on the market. Design Logitech designed the Create to transform the iPad Pro into a laptop clone, producing a keyboard that is close in design and feel to a traditional laptop keyboard. The case itself is made from a rigid material covered with a ballistic nylon fabric, while the keyboard is constructed from aluminum with plastic keys. Design wise, the Create is available in three colors - black, navy, and red - to match the Space Gray, Silver, and Gold iPads. You can mix and match colors, but based on marketing materials, the black model is meant to match the Space Gray iPad, the navy model is meant for the Silver iPad, and the red version is designed to match the Gold iPad. Each model's outer cover is designed to be resistant to liquid, keeping the iPad Pro safe from small spills, drips, and light rain. The Create Keyboard has two main parts: the keyboard portion of the case and a rigid backplate that fits over the iPad Pro. The shell of the case fits over

Video Review: The iLuv Layup X is a Solid Multi-Functional Case for the iPhone 6s Plus

iLuv is a well-known Apple accessory manufacturer, with a wide range of iPhone and iPad case options available in retail stores. For our most recent video review, we went hands-on with the company's Layup X case, available for the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus. The Layup X is a multi-function case that offers all around iPhone protection, a tempered glass screen protector to keep the screen safe from scratches, and a built-in kickstand. More functional than stylish, the Layup X consists of an inner hard shell that holds the iPhone in place and an outer rubber shell that's designed to offer protection from impact. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. iLuv's Layup X fits onto an iPhone easily and provides access to all ports and buttons on the device. Though somewhat bulky, the Layup X feels solid on the phone and is a case that's going to offer a good amount of protection against bumps and drops. As for the built-in kickstand, it's functional, but it's made out of a thin plastic that doesn't have a good build quality. It's able to prop the iPhone up into an ideal viewing angle, but we feel that the kickstand is the first place the iLuv case could fail. Overall, though, this is a solid choice for customers seeking a case that's going to offer all around protection. The Layup X is available for $34.99 from the iLuv website or from

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

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

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

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. Design 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

Satechi Review: Type-C USB Hub is Hit-or-Miss, Smaller Adapter is Reliable

When Apple launched the new 12-inch MacBook earlier this year, some of the first accessories for the laptop -- which uses USB Type-C exclusively -- were various adapters and dongles that allowed customers to expand the initially limiting capabilities of the hardware with access to traditional USB, HDMI, and SD card ports. Apple itself launched a line of expansion cables for USB Type-C devices, and now third-party accessory company Satechi has its own Type-C line of USB hubs and adapters for customers to choose from. Satechi's Type-C USB 3.0 3-in-1 Combo Hub Satechi sent me two of the company's new accessories focusing on the connectivity between USB-C devices and more traditional inputs, mainly USB 3.0. One of the accessories is a complex "Hub" ($39.99, on sale for $34.99) with three USB 3.0 ports along with one SD and one microSD card slot, while the other is a simple dongle ($14.99) with a USB-C connector and a traditional USB-A 3.0 port. Each product comes in three different colors to match the shades of the new line of Retina MacBooks: Gunmetal (Space Gray), Gold, and Silver. Because neither dongle offers an additional USB-C port, there's no passthrough charging feature. Satechi's Type-C USB Adapter Overall, Satechi successfully mirrors Apple's visual aesthetic with the two accessories, and although I was sent Gold accessories that didn't exactly mesh well with my Space Gray MacBook, it seems when color-matched the new USB hubs would blend right in with their respective MacBooks.

UE Boom 2 Review: Ultimate Ears' Rugged Bluetooth Speaker Gets a Nice Upgrade

Back in mid-September, Logitech's Ultimate Ears brand rolled out the UE Boom 2, an upgraded version of its popular mid-level Bluetooth portable speaker. With Apple adding the new speaker to its online store and retail locations a few weeks ago, we decided to take a look at the new and improved speaker. Priced at $200, the UE Boom 2 isn't the cheapest Bluetooth speaker on the market, but its feature set will be appealing to many. The rugged, waterproof design is extremely portable, puts out a lot of sound, and keeps things simple for those who want to just toss a speaker in a bag and go. It's roughly the size of a water bottle, so you can also easily put it in a cup holder or water bottle holder when you're out and about. Aside from the speaker grille wrapping nearly entirely around the cylindrical body of the UE Boom 2, the dominating feature of the device is its pair of oversized buttons along a rubber strip on the side that make it easy to adjust the volume with a quick grab.

Review: Brydge Debuts Smaller 'BrydgeMini' Keyboard for Older iPad Mini Models [Updated]

Brydge, a company that sells high-quality keyboards for the iPad, has expanded its keyboard lineup with a new BrydgeMini model designed to work with the iPad mini 1, 2, and 3. With the BrydgeMini, which has been modeled after a MacBook keyboard, the iPad mini turns into a miniature MacBook - albeit with a much more cramped typing surface. Like all Brydge keyboards, the BrydgeMini is made from aluminum that matches the finish of the iPad. It's available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, and the build quality is excellent. Brydge charges a lot for its keyboards, but they're almost always worth the cost. The BrydgeMini isn't a keyboard case - it's just a keyboard, with two silicone-lined tabs that hold the iPad mini in place. The BrydgeMini has a limited number of viewing angles as the tabs can be angled forwards or backwards slightly, but due to the design, it can't be used with the iPad in portrait mode. The BrydgeMini is identical to the BrydgeAir but has been shrunk down, so if you've used a BrydgeAir keyboard, the BrydgeMini will be familiar. It doesn't fold backwards to allow the iPad to be used in tablet mode while the keyboard is attached, but it's easy enough to remove the iPad mini from the tabs. It does fold forward into a clamshell-style design for travel, but in this mode, it's going to add a lot of bulk to Apple's littlest tablet. It weighs in at 300 grams or .66 pounds, essentially doubling the weight of the iPad mini. The iPad mini weighs 331 grams or 0.73 pounds. The BrydgeMini is also quite thick, so when in clamshell mode, it's going to

Review: The Logi Circle Will Keep You Connected to Your Home Even When Away

The Logi Circle, a home monitoring camera, is one of the first products Logitech is selling under its new Logi brand, which it's using for devices that are part of the Internet of Things. The Logi Circle is a palm-sized connected camera designed to let its users monitor their home and interact with pets, children, and other people when away. I've been using the Logi Circle in my home for the past few weeks to get a feel for how it works and how it compares to some of the other camera options on the market, and the major takeaway is that the Logi Circle is not a home security device. It's not meant to notify you of intruders, but it is a way to connect to the home and those inside of it at all times. Hardware The Logi Circle camera has an attractive, simple design that looks like a modernized version of a classic webcam. Made of black or white plastic, it's about the size of a tennis ball, with a circular base that fits magnetically into an included charging stand. A lot of companies don't pay attention to minor product details like cords, but that's not true of Logitech. Attached to the charging stand is a flat white USB cord that's able to plug into the included power brick or any other USB-based charger. I don't know about most people, but I hate ugly, bulky black cords that stand out, so it was nice to see an unobtrusive, clean white cord included with the Logi Circle. The cord is also quite long at 10 feet, so it will reach to plug in behind furniture. The front of the Logi Circle contains the camera, which has a 135 degree wide field of view. It's

Knomo Review: The Elektronista is the Perfect iPad Purse for Pocket Lovers

Knomo's Elektronista Digital Clutch is a bag that was created through a partnership with Danish tech blogger Christiane Vejlø, who founded Danish gadget site Elektronista. The Knomo Elektronista is designed to be both functional and fashionable, serving as clutch or a crossbody bag that can hold a wide range of gadgets and iOS devices, keeping them all organized in its myriad pockets. The Elektronista is available in four colors: Blush, which is a pink shade, Grey, Black, and Navy. I've been using the Grey version for the last several weeks, and it's quickly become one of my favorite small gadget bags. The Elektronista is made from a full grain leather that's soft to the touch and the construction is flawless with not a stitch out of place, as I would expect from a high-end bag. It has gold hardware, including gold zippers and a removable strap that attaches to the back. At $295, the Elektronista is one of the pricier bags that Knomo sells, but the company justifies that price tag with the bag's solid construction, huge number of custom pockets, and perks like a built-in 3,000mAh battery. It unzips at the sides so it can be used at a desk as an organizer for electronic devices and other odds and ends, and then it zips back up so it can be used as a daily purse with a magnetic front flap that keeps the contents protected. The unzipping feature also serves as a way for the interior storage to be accessed quickly, which is handy when you need to get at something fast. The pockets inside the Elektronista are all accessible when the purse is zipped up, but with so

Review: Quarter is an External Battery for the iPhone That Charges With a MagSafe Cable

Beaver Electronics Co. has debuted a unique fast-charging external battery for the iPhone, which it's dubbed "Quarter," because it takes less than a quarter of the time to charge compared to a normal external battery. The secret lies in the charging method -- Quarter has a built-in MagSafe port that allows it to be connected to MacBook's MagSafe Power Adapter. Apple does not allow third-party companies to use its MagSafe technology, so Quarter has been created without Apple's permission and with components Apple likely would not approve of, but its super fast charging capabilities are undeniably enticing. Design wise, Quarter is similar in size to an iPhone 6 Plus. It's just as wide and a bit shorter, but quite thick and heavy. It's 12.5mm thick and it weighs 180 grams. It's made from aluminum and has an an extra lip at the top with a hole that could be attached to a bag or backpack, but given its size, I'm not sure anyone would want to use it that way so that extra bit of material is extraneous and an unusual design choice. There are four indicator lights on the Quarter that are lit by a built-in LED. These lights let you know how much power is left, activated by shaking or tapping the Quarter. A shake or a tap is also how the Quarter is turned on to begin charging a device it's plugged in to.

Review: Sena's Leather Apple Watch Case Easily Transitions From Home Dock to Travel Accessory

Though there are now hundreds of Apple Watch chargers and stands on the market, Apple is only selling a handful in retail locations - those that are designed with a clean aesthetic that matches the feel of the company's products. The latest Apple-endorsed Apple Watch charging solution comes from Sena, and will be in Apple Stores in mid-November. Sena's Leather Watch Case, which is actually available from Sena's website beginning today, is a hybrid stand and case product that can be used for charging, storage, and travel purposes. The Leather Watch Case is designed to look like a traditional watch case that might come with any luxury watch. It's similar in size to the box that comes with the stainless steel Apple Watch, with a round exterior covered in a quality black European leather and a microsuede-covered interior for the Apple Watch to rest on. It only comes in black, which might not be appealing to all users, primarily those with silver, gold, and rose gold Apple Watches. As with most Apple Watch charging accessories, the Leather Watch Case requires you to supply your own Magnetic Charging Cable, but it does include a cord wrap to keep the cable hidden from view. There are four pieces to the Leather Watch Case, which snap together magnetically: a leather-covered bottom base, a plastic cord wrap that fits inside the base, a microsuede interior piece that houses the Apple Watch charging puck, and a leather-covered lid with a padded microsuede interior that fits over the whole thing to protect the Apple Watch when on the base. Assembling the Leather

Video Review: Spigen's Cases for the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus

Spigen is a well-known and well-respected manufacturer of accessories for Apple's lineup of iPhones and iPads, and in today's video review, we took a look at the company's line of iPhone cases for Apple's newest devices, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Spigen has a huge number of cases available, from those that are super thin to those that offer more coverage and better protection from drops and damage. The thinnest cases we looked at include the Air Skin and the Thin Fit. The Air Skin is the thinnest case Spigen makes, and it's really just designed to keep the iPhone safe from scratches. It's not going to offer much protection when dropped, and it's not very sturdy - ours broke. Spigen's Liquid Crystal TPU case is slightly thicker, but it offers a lot more protection than the two thinnest cases. And it's clear, so it's a great way to show off the new Rose Gold iPhone. When it comes to thicker, more protective cases that still won't overwhelm a device, Spigen's got the Rugged Capsule and the Ultra Hybrid. There's also a line of two-piece cases, and our favorite of these was the Neo Hybrid, which we thought had the cleanest look of all the Spigen cases. It offers a good compromise between a streamlined look and protection. For the maximum amount of protection, Spigen has the Slim Armor and the Tough Armor, Spigen's thickest, toughest cases. These are much bulkier than the other cases Spigen offers, and we weren't a fan of the kickstand, which we found tough to deploy. All of Spigen's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can be purchased from the Spigen website.

Sphero Review: BB-8 Is a Must-Have Toy for Star Wars Fans

Sphero's been making iPhone-connected ball-shaped robotic toys since 2011, and while the company has been successful with the original Sphero and the Ollie, it stumbled on a major hit this year with the launch of the BB-8, a Star Wars branded iPhone-controlled droid. BB-8 is based on the droid from the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It combines Sphero's existing robotic ball technology with the Star Wars universe, a marriage that's resulted in the most appealing, advanced Sphero toy to date. Sphero's BB-8 has a fun backstory and was designed with help from Lucasfilm. Throughout the development process, Lucasfilm provided Sphero with details on BB-8, feedback on the design, and the iconic sounds that bring the toy's personality to life. The "real" BB-8 can be seen in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer Hardware and Design Design wise, the BB-8 consists of a robotic ball, similar to the original Sphero, and a droid head that fits onto the ball using magnets. Under the head, there are a set of wheels that allow it to move around and stay in place on top of the body of the BB-8 while it is in motion. BB-8 is about the size of a baseball and fits in the palm of a hand. If you have a Sphero already, the body of the BB-8 is the same size as the Sphero ball. The head is about the size of half a ping pong ball and is adorned with two ornamental antennae. The body and the head are both made of a smooth plastic and there are LEDs inside that allow BB-8 to light up. This is a pretty durable plastic - even when BB-8 slammed into walls, it remained

Review: The Gamevice Turns Your iPad Mini Into a Portable Gaming Console

There are a wide range of Made for iPhone Apple-certified controllers on the market these days, but the Gamevice is unique because it turns the iPad mini into a portable gaming console. The controller fits on either side of the iPad mini, plugging directly into the Lightning port for a lag-free, reliable gaming experience. There are several similar controllers for the iPhone, but the Gamevice is the only option that lets you hold the iPad mini while playing, so there's no need for a stand or a flat surface to rest the tablet on. I went hands-on with the Gamevice to see how it compares to more standard controllers on the market, and while I wasn't impressed with the size, I did enjoy the gameplay experience. Design The Gamevice consists of two halves of a controller that are held together with a soft, flexible piece of rubber. The left side of the controller has an analog stick, a d-pad, and a power button, while the right side of the controller has a second analog stick, a pause button, and four action buttons in a familiar ABXY Xbox-style layout. There are also two sets of trigger buttons on each side of the controller. Design wise, the Gamevice looks like the product of a mating between the Xbox One controller and the Wii U GamePad. Made of a lightweight matte black plastic, the controller exterior feels a bit cheap, but if it were made of a heavier material, it would be too heavy to hold for long periods of time. Materials wise, I'd say it's on par with many of the other Made for iPhone game controllers on the market, but the buttons/analog sticks are

Pad & Quill Review: Timber Catchall and Nightstand Provide Elegant Apple Watch Charging Solutions

The charging stand has been one of the most popular and ubiquitous third-party accessories for the Apple Watch since the wearable device launched in April. A handful of well-known manufacturers have launched their own versions of a charging solution for the Apple Watch, including Pad & Quill with its Luxury Pocket Stand which debuted alongside the new Apple wearable earlier in the year. Pad & Quill has now expanded its lineup of Apple Watch accessories with two new charging cradles -- the Timber Catchall and Timber Nightstand -- that hope to provide simple daily solutions for users to rest and charge their Apple Watches. Not only that, but each stand also offers a little extra space to store an iPhone and even the extra bands Apple Watch fans may have accumulated over the past few months. Timber Nightstand Pad & Quill sent me a Timber Nightstand in the lighter American Cherry color option, and the $89.95 stand is crafted with the company's usual care to detail and sturdiness. The back of the Nightstand includes an indentation designed to cradle an extra Apple Watch band or two, while the front is meant for the Apple Watch itself. The Nightstand's biggest feature is that it's designed to support the Apple Watch in Nightstand mode, which displays the time and any alarm set in a sideways nighttime-friendly green display. The Timber Nightstand is also available in a darker American Walnut variety, but that option will cost users $119.95. Both versions function identically, requiring a separate Apple Watch charging cable to be threaded through to the bottom portion

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.

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

Hands-On With Twelve South's New Universal BookArc for MacBooks

Twelve South today unveiled an all new design for its popular BookArc, introducing a revamped version that's compatible with all current Apple MacBook models, including the 12-inch Retina MacBook, the Retina MacBook Pro, the non-Retina MacBook, and the MacBook Air. The BookArc, for those unfamiliar with the product, is designed to hold a MacBook while it's being used in clamshell mode when connected to an external display, keyboard, and mouse for an organized desktop setup. A vertical docking station like the BookArc can keep a MacBook in clamshell mode out of the way and cooler than it would be when flat on a desk. Twelve South's new BookArc has the same general arc shape as previous BookArcs, but it ships with several silicone inserts that can be swapped out to fit different MacBooks. Taking out a silicone insert takes just a few seconds, and while putting one in is a bit tricker, it's a painless process that should allow people with multiple MacBooks to switch between inserts with ease. An insert that fits both the Retina MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air ships with the BookArc, and inside the packaging, there are additional inserts sized for the thicker non-Retina MacBook Pro and the thinner 12-inch Retina MacBook. Customers who previously owned a BookArc for the Retina MacBook Pro will be familiar with the different inserts, as that model also came with inserts to fit different MacBooks.

Review: Xistwear's Stretchy Bands Look Great With the Stainless Steel Apple Watch

Six months after the Apple Watch launched, there are dozens if not hundreds of different third-party band options on the market, allowing users to customize their watches with looks beyond what Apple offers. Xistwear has created a line of stretchy stainless steel Apple Watch bands in a range of colors that look great with the Apple Watch and can be purchased for less than Apple's own metal bands, plus it offers matching bracelets. The Xistwear Apple Watch has a neutral look that's neither overly feminine or overly masculine, making it suitable for all wearers. Aesthetically, this is a simple but classic-looking link-style band that is understated enough to match well with a range of different outfits. All of the bands are stainless steel, but some have a colored plating. The following color options are available: 38mm - Black, Rose Gold, Silver, Yellow Gold 42mm - Gunmetal, Navy, Silver, Yellow Gold Bands for the 42mm Apple Watch are 24mm wide, while bands designed for the smaller 38mm Apple Watch are 22mm wide. The 42mm bands are available in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, able to fit wrists from 146mm to 210mm. 38mm bands are available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large, to fit wrists from 130mm to 190mm. I have a wrist that's about 135mm, so I ordered the extra small, and it fits very well. All of the bands are actually elastic stretch bands, allowing them some wiggle room to fit on different-sized wrists. My band is snug on my wrist, but slips on easily and stretches if my wrist swells slightly during the day due to heat or exercise.

Review: Schuttenworks' Ripple is the Perfect Apple Watch Dock for Nightstand Mode

With watchOS 2, Apple introduced a new feature called Nightstand mode, which lets the Apple Watch be used as a nighttime clock and morning alarm when it’s attached to the charger. Nightstand mode only works while the Apple Watch is placed in landscape mode on its side, rendering a lot of early Apple Watch docks and stands less useful. Going forward, accessory makers will likely focus on making products that work with the new Nightstand feature, but small Apple Watch dock maker Schuttenworks has already developed a simple, high-quality watchOS 2-compatible Apple Watch charging stand called the Ripple. I’ve been using the Ripple on my night table for several weeks now, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It’s an attractive, low-profile stand that works with all Apple Watch models and all bands, both closed and open-loop, and at $54, it’s not a bad value. Like its predecessor the Wave, which we reviewed earlier this year, the Ripple uses a clever split design and magnet system to lock the Apple Watch charger in place and keep the cord out of sight.

Video Review: Zagg's Folio Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Apple has designed a keyboard for its larger-screened 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but for other iPads, such as the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, customers looking for a keyboard solution will need to stick with keyboards created by third-party manufacturers. Zagg is often a popular choice among iPad users who need a keyboard, so we went hands-on with the Zagg Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2 in our latest video review. The Folio is a thin case that has a built-in keyboard, turning the iPad into a mini laptop. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We weren't fans of the construction of the case. It's made of plastic, with a leather texture added to the top and bottom, but its plastic design makes it fragile. We ended up cracking our review unit when attempting to get the iPad in and out of the case. While Zagg has a replacement program in place for faulty products, we wish this case was made of better materials. The Folio allows the iPad to be angled into several different viewing positions, and it leaves all of the ports on iPad accessible. It includes a keyboard with backlighting, and while the keyboard is not full-sized, it doesn't take long to adjust to the smaller keys. The keys felt similar to the keys on a MacBook Pro keyboard and weren't too mushy or too clicky. The Zagg Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2 can be purchased from the Zagg website for $99. Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Nomad Review: The Pod is an Apple Watch Stand Made for Off-the-Grid Travel With its Built-In Battery

The Nomad Pod, with its built-in battery, is one of a small selection of Apple Watch stands able to offer functionality beyond simply holding the Apple Watch charger in a more accessible position. Priced at $60, the Pod is a compact, modern-looking Apple Watch stand that's small enough to fit in a backpack or bag and able to keep the Apple Watch's battery full when traveling away from the grid for a few days. I've been testing the Pod for several weeks now to see how it stacks up against other Apple Watch docking options on the market, both as a travel companion and as a stand at home on my desk. Setup and Design The circular Pod is made up of two pieces: a plastic and aluminum base that holds the Apple Watch charger and cord in place, and an aluminum faceplate that snaps on over the base to hide the cord from view. The Pod is made from brushed aluminum in Silver or Space Gray that matches Apple's MacBook, iPhone, and iPad lineups, and its minimal design will let it fit into almost any decor. Size wise, the Pod fits into the palm of a hand and is quite similar to a hockey puck both in diameter and thickness. It can potentially fit in a generously sized pants pocket or a jacket pocket, but its thickness and round shape makes that less than comfortable. At one side, there's a micro-USB port to charge the Pod itself, a button that activates the Pod's charging function, and a 4-LED indicator for displaying battery life. It also ships with a Nomad-branded micro-USB cable.

Video Review: Logitech's 'Blok' Case Lineup for the iPad Air 2

With Apple neglecting to update the iPad Air 2 during its fall 2015 event, accessories for the device will continue to be relevant and in-demand for the foreseeable future. We went hands-on with Logitech's new Blok case lineup for the iPad Air 2, which debuted in July under its new Logi brand name. The simplest of the three cases, the Logi Blok Protective Shell, fits around the back of the iPad and changes the shape of the tablet, adding sharp corners and a blocky feel. The corners are designed to absorb shock better should the iPad be dropped, and we thought the Blok offered a lot of protection while leaving ports accessible and buttons easy to press. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Blok Protective Case is a lot like the Shell, but it adds a built-in flap that serves as a stand. We were impressed with the stand because it was rigid and stable, but we did find the flap hard to manage when it wasn't in use as a stand. The third case, the Blok Protective Keyboard Case, combines the shell and stand from the two previous cases with a detachable keyboard. Because the keyboard attaches to the rest of the case via magnets, it's highly versatile and can be used in several ways. The keyboard itself is smaller than a standard keyboard though still pleasant to type on, but we weren't a fan of its non-rechargeable batteries. All three of the Logi Blok cases come in multiple colors and can be purchased from the Logitech website for the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 2, and the iPad mini 3. The Blok Protective Shell is priced at $39.99, the Blok

Video Review: The Solpro Helios Smart Battery Pack Charges Your iPhone Using the Sun

For our latest video review, we went hands-on with the Solpro Helios Smart, a solar-powered battery pack that can recharge using three built-in solar panels. It sports a 5,000mAh battery that can charge an iPhone 6 from dead to full twice over, and when the battery is exhausted, it can be charged through an included micro-USB cable or by opening its solar panels and sticking it in the bright sun. We liked the size of the Solpro Helios. It's about the size of an iPhone but slightly thicker, which means it's small enough to stick in a pocket or a backpack when on the go. It can charge an iPhone or an iPad with dedicated ports, and there are some built-in LED indicators that let you know the battery level and whether its solar panels are working. In our testing, it took about six hours for the Solpro Helios to recharge in the sun after it was drained, but the amount of power you're getting is going to vary a lot based on location and the brightness of the sun. It's not the fastest charger, nor the cheapest, but the Solpro Helios definitely works and it can be handy when you're in an area where traditional power is unavailable. Solpro's Helios Smart Solar Battery Pack is available from the Solpro website or for $119. It comes in white, orange, and

LUNATIK EPIK Apple Watch Kit Review: Rugged Protection, but Not the Best Fit or Comfort

LUNATIK, the company that made a name for itself a number of years ago by creating popular watch bands such as the TikTok and LYNK for the sixth-generation iPod nano, has debuted a similar offering for the 42 mm Apple Watch with its new EPIK lineup. EPIK began as a Kickstarter project that raised over $240,000 and offered a protective anodized aluminum casing for the watch itself paired with an integrated silicone sport band or aluminum link bracelet. Intended to aid in using the Apple Watch in more rugged environments, the EPIK adds protection to the Apple Watch in the form of enclosed sides, a significantly raised bezel to protect the face from impacts, and coverings for the device's physical features. Following the Kickstarter campaign and an early launch of a special low-end polycarbonate version initially made available through Best Buy for $60, LUNATIK is today announcing the broad release of EPIK for all customers. Aluminum models start at $140 for either a silver or black housing paired with a black silicone band, stepping up to $150 for a black housing paired with either a black or brown leather band. At the high end are the link bracelet models, which come in silver ($200) or black ($220) housing and band combinations. LUNATIK sent me one of the black link bracelet models for review, and I've spent nearly a week wearing it as my sole Apple Watch band. Overall, I found it to be an interesting addition that adds some nice protection for the Apple Watch but which has a few drawbacks.

Stilo Review: This Stylus and Screen Protector Duo Aims to Emulate the Feel of Writing on Paper

There are hundreds of different stylus options available for the iPhone and the iPad, but that hasn't stopped new company Stilo Co. from introducing a fresh take on the stylus. The battery-powered Stilo is a fine-tipped stylus designed to pair with a Precision Film to replicate the feel of writing on paper with a pen. According to the company, the purpose behind the Stilo is to create a more "complete and organic" iPhone and iPad writing experience with a writing utensil that's universally compatible with existing sketching and drawing apps in the App Store. It also works with all different touchscreen devices, from the iPhone and iPad (including iPad Air 2) to Android devices. Stilo Co. invited us to go hands-on with the Stilo, so we took them up on their offer to see how the Stilo measures up to competing styluses and how well it mimics the pen-and-paper experience. Design and Features The main draw of the Stilo is its small 1.9mm tip, which allows for more accuracy when writing on a capacitive screen because you can see what you're doing. In comparison to a standard pen, it's thicker and heavier to accommodate the AAA battery that powers it. It's thicker than a lot of other styluses I've used, and I'd say it compares most closely to a marker. It's not exactly uncomfortable to use, but it does get tiresome after long periods of time (upwards of a half hour), resulting in hand cramping and soreness. Some weight in a stylus is appropriate for a smooth pen-like writing experience, but the weight of the Stilo is not ideal - it feels too heavy with too much

Boostcase Review: Bloc Power Bank for Apple Watch Has Unique Built-In Battery, but Isn't Portable Enough

Just months after the Apple Watch was released, there are dozens if not hundreds of different stand options available on the market. The Bloc Power Bank from Boostcase stands out due to its unique long, flat shape and the fact that it has a built-in battery pack that can charge the Apple Watch while on the go. Made from solid aluminum, the Bloc Power Bank comes in Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Rose Gold, Wood, and Stainless Steel, to match all of the different Apple Watch options that are available. I went hands-on with the silver aluminum model to see how it measures up to other available stands on the market and whether the built-in battery is a useful function. Design and Setup As with all Apple Watch stands, the Bloc is designed to work with the charging cable that ships with the Apple Watch, and thus it does not include a built-in charging cable. Size wise, the Bloc is just under 10 inches long, just over half an inch thick, and two inches wide. It weighs 408 grams, or 0.90 pounds with both the battery pack attached and the Apple Watch charger in place. If you're thinking that sounds both unwieldy and heavy, that's a correct assumption. At 10 inches long and nearly a pound in weight, the Bloc isn't exactly what I'd call portable, because it's not going to fit comfortably in a backpack or a purse. Since it's flat and rectangular, the Bloc can only be used with open-loop bands like the Sport Band, the Modern Buckle, and the Classic Buckle.

Pad & Quill Review: Classic Apple Watch Band Is Attractive and Affordable

Those looking for a classic leather look on their Apple Watch can find a few options ranging in price from $149 to $249 in the Apple store. With a handful of third-party manufacturers getting into the Apple Watch band game, quality accessory designer Pad & Quill has introduced its own line of Classic Apple Watch Bands for a cheaper entry cost of $89.95 that hews most closely to Apple's Classic Buckle. The big difference with Pad & Quill's option is an array of color options -- Galloper Black, Chocolate, Whiskey, and British Tan -- that let customers keep a traditional watch aesthetic with added customization. The company provides the option to purchase any color with either stainless steel or polished black finishes, to successfully match each user's Apple Watch face (Sport editions will support the accessory, but the same visual and corrosive warnings from Apple's own bands still apply). Design The Pad & Quill bands are created in an Italian leather tannery using a "soft-tumble method" that results in what the company aims to be a comfortable watch band with added durability. Designed in both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch sizes, the Classic Apple Watch Band will fit wrist sizes from 130mm to 210mm in diameter. Unlike some other third-party companies, and Apple itself, Pad & Quill is making every leather color option of its band line available in both Apple Watch sizes, lending each band a unisex universality that looks good on any wrist. The company even lets users mix-and-match the color of the leather with the metal finishing in such a way that ranges from

HyperLink for Apple Watch Review: A Quality Stainless Steel Link Bracelet at Sport Band Pricing

While the stainless steel Link Bracelet is one of the nicest looking Apple Watch bands available, it is also the most expensive with a $449 price tag for the 38mm or 42mm version. For comparison, you could purchase an entire Apple Watch Sport for $100 less than the Link Bracelet. But for those looking to give their Apple Watch more of a premium Rolex-like appearance without breaking the bank, look no further than the HyperLink Stainless Steel Link Bracelet from HYPER by Sanho Corporation, which launched today on crowdfunding website Kickstarter with a $50,000 funding goal. Design HyperLink is crafted from the same 316L stainless steel alloy used for the Apple Watch, providing the band with added strength and corrosion resistance. The metal is also water and sweat resistant, allowing you to carry out everyday tasks such as showering, washing your hands or jogging without worrying -- although you're probably still better off wearing a Sport Band for the latter. The Swiss-inspired band has a unisex link bracelet design available in three models: 42mm Space Black, 38mm Silver and 42mm Silver. 38mm in Space Black is also listed as a possible stretch goal on Kickstarter, although no specific funding level is listed. The 42mm Silver model that I tested closely matched the look and feel of my stainless steel Apple Watch -- well beyond my expectations for a non-Apple band. The silver HyperLink that I tested has a lustrous appearance on the outside, while the inside is flatter in comparison. Meanwhile, the Space Black model has an additional diamond-like carbon (DLC)

Night Sky MiniScope Review: This iPhone Telescope is More Frustrating Than Fun

iCandi Apps makes a series of popular star gazing apps designed to let iPhone owners discover constellations, stars, planets, satellites, and more just by pointing an iPhone at the sky. For kids and people interested in learning more about the night sky, these kind of apps are invaluable, and now iCandi Apps has released a new device for home astronomers -- the Night Sky MiniScope. Night Sky MiniScope is a full portable telescope that attaches to your iPhone and pairs with the Night Sky app so you can capture photographs of stars, planets, the Moon, and more. Night Sky MiniScope is not cheap, priced at $349, but it's undeniably unique. I want to make it clear that this review is written from a layperson's point of view. I have never owned a telescope, I don't do astrophotography, and I can't review the Night Sky MiniScope comparative to other similarly priced telescopes because I don't have a point of reference. I'm coming to this review as someone who has an iPhone, an interest in stargazing apps, and experience with photography, so testing the MiniScope is a new experience for me. The Hardware iCandi Apps packages the Night Sky MiniScope beautifully. It comes in a custom-designed box that houses the telescope itself, the miniature tripod, case adapters for six different iPhone models, lens caps, and a carry case. The Night Sky MiniScope is made from a brushed aluminum that matches the aluminum finish on the iPhone. It's much smaller than a standard telescope and is compact enough to fit into a backpack or a large purse, so it can be taken along on a hike

Seagate Review: Hands-On With the 4TB Backup Plus Portable Hard Drive With Lyve Integration

Seagate has long sold a line of Backup Plus external hard drives that offer large amounts of storage space at a reasonable price, and in June, the company announced two new features added to all hard drives in the Backup Plus line: 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage and the Lyve photo and video management app for automatically backing up photos. Seagate also announced a new high capacity Backup Plus Portable hard drive, with 4TB of storage and a 20.5mm form factor, priced at $240. Seagate invited us to test out its newest hard drive to test the Backup Plus hard drive and the new Lyve app and service it ships with. Seagate's new Backup Plus offers the same 4TB of storage that the Backup Plus Fast offers, but it's less expensive and it is a single 4TB hard drive instead of two external drives in a RAID 0 configuration. It's also got more storage than the Backup Plus Slim, which caps out at 2TB, allowing Seagate's newest offering to fill a void between the two existing products (Fast and Slim) in the Backup Plus family. Design and Features Seagate's been selling its Backup Plus line for years. Design wise, the 4TB Backup Plus looks like any standard 2.5-inch portable hard drive. It measures in at 4.5 inches in length, 3.1 inches in width, it's .807 inches thick (20.5mm), and it weighs 0.54 pounds. In terms of usability, those dimensions mean it's slim and easy to slip into a bag or a backpack. The Backup Plus has a traditional black casing that's half metal and half plastic, with the metal plate located on the front of the drive. An LED on the front

Bellabeat Review: The Leaf is a Pretty Activity Tracker, But the Accompanying App Needs Improvement

There are a huge number of wearable activity trackers on the market, but few of those are directed specifically at women, an issue Bellabeat aims to fix with the Leaf. The Leaf is an activity tracker that looks more like a stylish piece of jewelry than a standard tracker from a company like Jawbone, Nike, or Fitbit, disguising itself as a "leaf" accessory able to be worn on the wrist, collar, or neck. Like many activity trackers on the market, the Leaf tracks steps taken and sleep quality, but when paired with the app using Bluetooth, it also tracks menstruation and ovulation and it offers guided breathing exercises to reduce stress when worn around the neck, setting it apart from other fitness offerings. Hardware As the name suggests, the Leaf is a Leaf-shaped accessory consisting of a stainless steel backing, a wood base (American Ashwood) housing the activity tracker and battery, and a stainless steel leaf-shaped clip that fits over the wooden portion. With the clip, it can be worn on a shirt collar or hem (less than 2mm thick), and with attachments at the top and bottom, it can be attached to a chain and worn around the neck or attached to a leather loop and worn around the wrist. Both the necklace chain and the leather wrist strap ship with the Leaf. Size wise, the Leaf weighs 0.64 ounces and measures in at 1.89 inches by 1.18 inches and it's a half an inch thick. I am petite with small wrists and it fit on my wrist using the tightest wrap setting. It was comfortable to wear on my wrist, but it looked bulky on me.

Video Review: The SVALT D's Built-In Fan Sets it Apart From Other MacBook Docks

The Svalt D is a MacBook dock with a unique feature - a built in cooling fan that's designed to keep a MacBook's temperature down when used in clamshell mode with an external monitor. Keeping the MacBook cool helps prevent processor throttling due to the high temperatures a MacBook is subjected to when in clamshell mode. We went hands-on with the Svalt D to test the claims that it reduces temperature and speeds up performance, and we were impressed with how it worked. Made up of a two-pound block of aluminum, the Svalt D is an attractive, sturdy stand that matches well with Apple's line of MacBooks. The Svalt D houses a small stand that moves air through a MacBook, and thanks to an adjustable rubber foot, it's compatible with all of Apple's notebooks. To test the Svalt D, we exported two different videos from a MacBook, with and without the dock. Without using the dock, exporting a video took 15 minutes and caused the temperature of the MacBook to rise to 121 degrees Fahrenheit. With the stand, our video exported in 14 minutes and the stand kept the MacBook at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a 16 degree difference. Our one complaint about the Svalt D concerned the two modes of the fan. There's a normal mode and a silent mode, but switching between them requires using a special standalone cable, which is a bit of a hassle and an extra expense. Luckily, both modes are relatively quiet and don't make as much noise as a MacBook fan, but the silent mode is definitely a better choice for users who want the quietest possible performance. In our opinion, the Svalt D is a

Video Review: Catalyst's Waterproof Case Keeps Your iPhone 6 Dry, but With Some Drawbacks

For our latest video review, we went hands-on with a waterproof iPhone 6 Plus case from Catalyst, which the company calls "the most protective case in the world." It's waterproof up to a depth of 5 meters (16.4 feet) and it's also shock and drop resistant, made from polycarbonate with a rubber bumper and silicone seals. In our testing, the Catalyst case lived up to its claims and kept our iPhone safe when we stuck it in a sink full of water, but in our opinion, this isn't a case you're going to want to use on a daily basis. It's protective, but that comes at the expense of the thin and svelte form of the iPhone. Catalyst's case adds a lot of bulk, plus it makes the volume and the power buttons nearly impossible to use because the material it's made of is so rigid. We also had a harder time using the iPhone's touch screen due to the air gap between the protective cover and the display. Catalyst's waterproof case may not be ideal for every day use, but it's a great option for situations where water protection is essential. You can use this case to take photos at the beach, in the pool, while snorkeling, and more, and your device will be protected from water, dust, dirt, and other elements. The iPhone 6 Plus case is available in several different colors from the Catalyst website, and it's priced at $74.99. There's also an iPhone 6 version, which is priced at $69.99, and there are several accessories available for purchase like a floating lanyard, an audio adapter, and replacement parts. Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Video Review: The Juiceboxx Keeps Your MacBook Charger Cord From Fraying

For our latest video review, we went hands-on with the Juiceboxx, a MacBook accessory that originated on Kickstarter. Many of us MacBook owners have suffered from a frayed MacBook charger cord, which is a condition that the Juiceboxx aims to prevent. The Juiceboxx is a small plastic cover that wraps around the bottom of a MacBook charger, with a portion that extends out over the spot where the cord attaches to the power adapter. This keeps that spot from being bent or damaged in a way that could lead to fraying. The Juiceboxx is available in six colors, including blue, black, white, red, magenta, and teal. There are versions available for all MacBook models, including the 12-inch Retina MacBook, the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air. It can be purchased from the Juiceboxx website for $19.99. Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Ztylus Review: This Modular Lens and Case System Protects Your Phone and Improves Your Photos

Ztylus is a company that specializes in a complete photography kit for the iPhone, bundling a protective iPhone case with a 4-in-1 lens attachment and an additional LED ring light attachment for improving low-light photos. We gave away a special limited edition Ztylus camera kit earlier this year, and now I'm following up with a complete review of the company's accessory system. Compared to other photography accessories available for the iPhone, the Ztylus system has some positives and negatives. On the positive side, it's modular and the case can be used with or without the accompanying camera attachment, plus it's nice to have a complete 4-in-1 system that can be stored directly on the iPhone. On the negative side, it's limited to the rear camera, bulky, and adds a lot of weight to the featherlight iPhone 6 Plus. The Hardware There are two main parts to the Ztylus: the iPhone case and the camera lens attachment. The iPhone case can be used without the lenses, but the reverse is not true -- Ztylus's lenses require the Ztylus case and can't be used with another third-party case due to the way the lens attachment snaps onto the back. The case I reviewed is the Metal Series for the iPhone 6 Plus. The case itself comes apart in two pieces to get it onto the phone, and as far as cases go, it's protective and in line with other open-screen cases on the market. It's mainly made of a hard, textured plastic and comes in several different colors, with a solid metal bottom piece. There's a large hole in the back of the case, which is where the lens attachment snaps in.

Situ Scale Review: This Smart Scale Needs a Smarter App [Updated]

The Situ Scale, which originated as a Kickstarter Project, is an iPad-connected food scale that's designed to offer up a more precise picture of the calorie and nutrient content in the food you're eating by measuring portion size in ounces or grams and storing nutrition information in an accompanying iPad app. You can take a handful of crackers or an apple, place it on the scale, and get a calorie and nutrient estimate that's based on weight, which is more accurate than using a nutrition measuring app alone. In many apps, the only option would be to enter "medium sized apple" or "13 Goldfish crackers," whereas the Situ Scale can use the weight of what you're eating for a quicker, more reliable measurement. I went hands-on with the Situ Scale and I was impressed with what it has the potential to do, but there are some definite caveats to the product. I had no complaints about the scale itself, but as you'll see in my review, this is not a product that's going to work for everyone due to the limitations of the iPad app. The Scale The Situ Scale looks and functions a lot like other scales one might purchase for the kitchen. It's made from a sleek white glass-topped plastic that was a good aesthetic fit in my kitchen and is likely to match with most kitchen decor. It's big enough to hold a large bowl, but not so big that it took up an excessive amount of countertop space. It's powered by two batteries and controlled by an on/off switch on the side. When turned on, it pairs with an iPad over Bluetooth, a function that worked flawlessly. Every time I turned it

Video Review: Hands-On With Urban Armor Gear's iPad and iPhone 6 Plus Cases

Back in January, we shared a video of an iPhone 6 that went into space, protected by an iPhone case constructed by Urban Armor Gear. The iPhone 6 came out unscathed, so when Urban Armor Gear offered us the chance to get our hands on a few of its cases to check out for a review, we agreed. Urban Armor Gear's line of cases are definitely unique, with an industrial-looking armored shell and an impact resistant inner core. Cases are available for several devices, but we checked out the company's Rogue Folio for the iPad Air 2, its Rogue Folio for the iPhone 6 Plus, and its Navigator case for the iPhone 6 Plus. We liked the lightweight, rugged protection offered by each of the cases, but we had some qualms with each of the folio cases. The Rogue Folio for the iPad works as expected, keeping the iPad safe from drops and serving as a stand that offers multiple viewing positions, but when holding the iPad with the case on, the flap is loose and hard to grip. The same goes for the Rogue Folio for the iPhone. It offers all-around protection, leaves the buttons easy to press, and holds credit cards, but the design of the folio is bulky, covers the camera, and feels downright sloppy. The company's line of non-folio iPhone cases, which all have a different name based on color, are thin and light, and for the protection they offer, they don't add a lot of bulk to the iPhone. Ports are left open, buttons are easy to press, and a screen protector keeps the display safe. There's also a lip around the phone to prevent the display from touching a surface like a desk when

Waterfield 'Dash MacBook Sleeve' Review: Slim With Adequate Protection for 12-Inch MacBook

Since its debut in April, the new 12-inch Retina MacBook hasn't seen that much in the way of functional, protective travel cases showing up either online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Fortunately, San Francisco-based accessory manufacturer Waterfield has released not just a single travel sleeve for Apple's newest MacBook, but an entire line of bags and cases for early adopters of the device. Waterfield sent me the "Dash MacBook Sleeve" to review, and the case is covered in a black ballistic nylon outer shell but houses a plush, smooth inner liner to ensure your brand-new MacBook won't scratch or scuff while resting inside the case. The Dash's backside comes packed with a mesh netting that will hold accessories like cables and headphones, and to ensure your MacBook doesn't tumble out, there's a single elastic band attached on top. After a few days taking my MacBook around with the Dash sleeve, I barely have any big quibbles with the case. While certainly a downside for some, I found Waterfield's decision to stick to stark, bare-bones color options -- all-black or with a copper trim -- refreshing over some of the more out-there case options on the market. Notable as well, the case barely gains any thickness while housing the Retina device, retaining the 12-inch MacBook's sense of lightness even in a protected environment.

Review: Casetify's $70 Apple Watch Bands Can Be Customized With Any Design

Casetify, a company that makes customizable iPhone, iPad, and MacBook cases, has also begun selling Apple Watch bands, which can be printed with any design. Available for both the 38 and 42mm Apple Watches and in two finishes, bands can be customized with photographs or artwork or ordered from Casetify's pre-designed artist collection. Fit Casetify's Apple Watch bands are made from polycarbonate and are closest in nature to the Apple Watch Sport bands. I've been wearing a 38mm Casetify Apple Watch band for just over a week and while it is comfortable, the material of the band is not as soft, flexible, or as thin as the fluoroelastomer the Apple Watch Sport bands are constructed from. Bands come in two sizes, one for each watch. The 38mm band fits wrists sized 140 to 200mm, while the 42mm band fits wrists sized 150 to 210mm. The underside of each band is ridged, with the Casetify logo printed on each side. At about an eighth of an inch thick, Casetify's bands seem to be approximately a third thicker than the Apple Watch Sport (there's maybe about a millimeter of difference between the two). That's not a huge thickness disparity, but it is noticeable when wearing the Casetify band after wearing a Sport band, especially on a small wrist.

Review: SchuttenWorks 'Wave' is a Compact, Elegant Apple Watch Charging Stand

Most of the Apple Watch stands and docks that we've reviewed so far have been from major manufacturers, but the Wave Apple Watch Charging Stand from SchuttenWorks is made by a small team in Oregon. Available in several different woods, the Wave is named for its shape, which resembles the crest of a breaking ocean wave. Visually clean and simple, the Wave uses a clever split design and magnet system to hide away the Apple Watch cable and lock the charger in place. It's more expensive than most Apple Watch stands at $75, but it's also arguably more elegant and certainly an aesthetic that some Apple Watch owners will love. The Wave comes in two pieces, which snap together with a series of magnets and wooden pegs. Each side has cutouts for the Apple Watch charger and cable, which is routed through the middle of the stand and out the back. Setup is super simple -- just pull the two pieces apart, nestle the charger at the top, snap the cable in place, and put the two pieces back together again. All of the cutouts in the wood are perfect and the two pieces of the Wave are flush with almost no visible seam. Snapped together, it looks like a single piece of wood that was designed around the charger. At the top, the Apple Watch charger is held in place with micro suction tape, but even without the tape, the fit is tight enough that it the cable would stay firmly in place.

Review: Hands-On With Olloclip's Telephoto + Ultra Wide-Angle Active Lens and Ollocase

iPhone camera accessory maker Olloclip has been producing lenses for the iPhone 6 since shortly after the phone debuted last year, but the company recently improved its product lineup with the addition new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases and a new Active Lens, which combines an ultra wide-angle lens with a telephoto lens. Olloclip's iPhone photography accessories are some of the most popular on the market because of their quality and ease of use, and the company's two newest products are a welcome addition to the product lineup. The iPhone 6 Ollocase works perfectly with Olloclip lenses and the Active Lens is one of Olloclip's most versatile lenses, useful for landscapes, selfies, portraits, and shots where you need to get just a bit closer to your subject. Ollocase Olloclip's lenses don't work with iPhone cases because of the way the lenses fit over the top of the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, leading Olloclip to create the Ollocase, a specialized case that does accommodate its lineup of camera lenses. Olloclip first ventured into case making with the iPhone 5s, producing a two-piece plastic case that was bulky and overly complicated, but their new case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is much, much improved, and it's clear that a lot of thought went into the design. It's constructed from a thin polycarbonate shell that adds little bulk to the iPhone, and around the sides, it has a rubber bumper. The rubber bumper protects from minor drops and extends a bit past the display, keeping it from touching a table or desk when it's face down. As a bonus, the flexibility also makes it

Review: Dotti and Notti Are Fun iPhone-Controlled Smart Lights That Deliver Notifications

Dotti and Notti are small iPhone-controlled smart lights created by design company Witti. More fun than practical, the two lights connect to an iPhone over Bluetooth, allowing their colors to be changed and letting them light up when a notification is received. Notti, the more inexpensive of the two at $60, is an angular light that somewhat resembles a candle. Dotti, priced at $80, is a square pixel light with 8x8 grid of LEDs that can be arranged into different pixellated shapes and colors. I went hands-on with the Notti and Dotti and after a couple of weeks, I can say that they're both well-designed, fun to play with, and make nice desk or table decorations. Notti Notti is the more simple light of the two. Made of opaque white plastic, it's got a faceted, angular design that looks attractive, especially when lit. It's a nice mood light for a living room or bedroom, measuring in at 10cm x 7.5cm x 6cm. Notti has a built-in battery that will last for up to five hours when the light is turned on, and up to 720 hours in standby mode while waiting for a notification to come in. When the Notti is first turned on via a small button on the front of the light, it's bright green, but with the accompanying Notti app, it can be changed to any color. The Notti pairs with an iPhone automatically once the app has been installed. Lights don't photograph quite as saturated in as they are in real life, so when looking at photos of Notti and Dotti, keep that in mind. The colors are actually deeper and more vivid. With the app, you can control both color and brightness

Review: Customize Your Apple Watch's Digital Crown and Side Button With WatchDots

Beyond casing material and band, there are no other obvious customization options for the Apple Watch, but one product is aiming to change that. WatchDots are small, colorful vinyl stickers that change the look of the Apple Watch's Digital Crown and side button. WatchDots come in six colors and were conceived as a way for Apple Watch Sport owners to match their Digital Crowns to their bands, mimicking the colored Digital Crowns on some of the gold Edition Apple Watches. Colors mainly match the Sport bands, in black, white, blue, pink, and green, but there's also a red option to mimic Tim Cook's own Apple Watch, which has a red Digital Crown. I have a stainless steel Apple Watch with a white Sport Band, so I ordered the matching white WatchDots to give them a try (I also ordered pink, but those are backordered). It's hard to wax poetic about a set of nondescript vinyl stickers, but I like the WatchDots. They tie the look of the band to the look of the Apple Watch, and they've also drawn a lot of notice -- not from the general public, but from other Apple Watch owners. WatchDots cost $9.99, which is a bit expensive given their size in relation to a vinyl sticker you might get for your iPhone or MacBook. For that price, you get three sets of dots in your chosen color (with 3 dots for the Digital Crown and three dots for the side button), along with a bonus set in another color (mine was black).

'The Bumper' Review: Apple Watch Case Offers Ample Protection but Some Bulk

While charging stands of various designs have proven to be popular accessories for Apple Watch users, a perhaps lesser known category of accessories revolves around protecting the Apple Watch while wearing it. One of these accessories is Actionproof's "The Bumper," a tight-fitting silicone sleeve that promises to protect your new Apple wearable from all the trips and spills made in everyday life. The Bumper may also provide some protection in extreme environments, with the bumper itself offering high resistance to UV radiation, ozone, outdoor exposure, extreme cold (minimum -40°C) and hot (maximum 120°C) temperatures, and basic chemical and abrasion combatants. Positives The good thing about The Bumper is that it does what it sets out to do. When placed safely around the 42mm Apple Watch case, The Bumper doesn't move or jostle throughout the day. It's a perfect fit for the wearable, with cutouts for the Digital Crown, microphone, speaker, and heart rate sensor. One of the only protective cases to cover the Digital Crown, The Bumper does so with a bracketed slice of silicone that bisects over the Crown, leaving an open space for your finger to manipulate and scroll the knob regardless of which wrist and orientation the watch is worn on. The small piece covering the Digital Crown makes it so pressing on the button is still manageable, though not quite as easy as without The Bumper. And although a few phone conversations had over the Watch with The Bumper went smoothly, I felt my Apple Watch needed a closer positioning to my face than usual to both hear the

Review: Griffin's WatchStand for Apple Watch Keeps All That Extra Cable Hidden

With its WatchStand, accessory maker Griffin has come up with a unique take on an Apple Watch charging dock, incorporating a cord management feature that sets it apart from the many other stands on the market. Made of plastic instead of aluminum or wood, Griffin's stand is also one of the more affordable options available. I've been testing the Griffin WatchStand for the past week and have been impressed with the level of functionality vs. the price, but there are a few drawbacks that might not make it the best stand choice depending on which Apple Watch you own. When it comes to looks, the Griffin WatchStand is not quite as attractive as some other options on the market. Its black plastic design doesn't complement the Apple Watch and other Apple devices, it feels overly tall, and it doesn't blend into a range of different decors as well as aluminum or wood. Griffin WatchStand next to Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch Aesthetic preferences vary heavily by person, so the form and material of the WatchStand may not be a negative for some. Though it's made of plastic, the WatchStand doesn't really look cheap and there are no flaws in its construction -- it has a wide, heavy rubber-bottomed base for stability and the part of the stand that holds the Apple Watch charger is well-designed and at an ideal viewing angle.

Video Review: A Look at Speck's Cases for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

In today's review, we're talking a look at iPhone 6 Plus cases from Speck, a well-known accessory company that sells its products in dozens of retail stores. Speck has been in the case-making business for many years now and it offers several iconic cases like the CandyShell and the MightyShell. All of Speck's cases provide a reasonable compromise between protection and thickness. They can keep an iPhone safe from wear, tear, and minor drops, and don't add a lot of bulk to Apple's ultrathin devices. The CandyShell Grip, the first case we looked at, has a hard shell with soft rubber grips on the outside to make it easy to hold. It comes in two variations: with a faceplate for the front of the phone, and without. The CandyShell Grip comes in several colors and is priced at $39.95 to $49.95 (with face plate). Speck's MightyShell, the second case we looked at, is similar to the CandyShell but is more durable with three layers of rubber for better protection. It also comes in multiple colors and in two versions, with a faceplate ($69.95) and without ($54.95). Speck also makes a CandyShell Card case that's able to hold credit cards and cash ($39.95). It's exactly like a CandyShell, but it's a bit thicker with the wallet portion. Finally, we looked at the CandyShell Inked, which is a CandyShell ($44.95) that includes unique, super colorful designs. Speck's iPhone 6 Plus cases can be purchased from the Speck website, and many of them are also available from at a lower price. Speck also sells the same cases for the iPhone 6 at slightly lower prices. No

Review: The Twelve South HiRise is an Ideal Stand for Apple Watch

Twelve South is an accessory company that's known for its high-quality stands for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so it's no surprise that it was one of the first to announce a dock for the Apple Watch. The Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch follows in the footsteps of the company's other HiRise docks, offering an Apple Watch storage and charging solution that's attractive, well-designed, and suitable for use in a wide range of locations, from a desk in an office to a nightstand in a bedroom. I've been using the HiRise for Apple Watch for over a week now, as have a few of my colleagues both at MacRumors and TouchArcade, and the universal consensus is that it's a great stand, albeit with a premium price tag. HiRise for Apple Watch is made from brushed metal and is available in black or silver to match the finishes of the Apple Watch Sport and standard Apple Watch. It also matches the company's HiRise products for other devices, if you happen to own any of those.

Video Review: A Look at Incipio's Folio Cases for iPad Air 2

Our newest video review takes a look at a selection of iPad Air 2 cases from popular accessory maker Incipio. The Tuxen, the Octane, and the Clarion are all multi-purpose folio-style cases that offer varying degrees of protection without adding a lot of bulk to Apple's ultra slim iPad Air 2. The Tuxen is the most expensive at $50, and it's also the case that looks the nicest. It offers full protection with a vegan leather front cover that has a microsuede lining and a polycarbonate hard shell to protect the back of the iPad. The Octane is designed to offer more protection, so it's thicker. It has the same vegan leather cover and polycarbonate back shell, but it also comes with a textured bumper for better protection against drops and its backing is clear so you can see the iPad. Like the Octane, the Clarion, the most inexpensive case we looked at, offers a clear back shell so you can see the rear of the iPad. It has a vegan leather front cover and its backing is actually flexible. We liked all three folio cases, but there was a problem that afflicted all of them -- the stand feature built into the cover. All three have covers that fold back to be used as a stand, but the tab on the back that holds the cover in place means the iPad doesn't lie flat when it's placed on a surface like a desk. For the Clarion specifically, the latch was weak and wouldn't reliably keep the iPad in place. All three cases come in a wide variety of colors and can be purchased from the Incipio website. The Tuxen is priced at $50, the Octane is priced at $40, and the Clarion is priced

Video Review: The MOS Kick is a Versatile Stand for Your iPhone

There are dozens if not hundreds of iPhone stands on the market, but every once in awhile, there's one that sets itself apart with a unique form or a rich set of features. The MOS Kick falls into the latter category, offering a stand, screwdriver, bottle opener and tripod connector in a portable package. Developed by the MOS team that's created several other popular products like the MOS Reach power outlet and the MOS cable organizer, the MOS Kick is made from metal so it can withstand being carried on a backpack or in a pocket. We went hands-on with a prototype (hence the small bit of rust) of the MOS Kick and found it to be a convenient stand. It works with any smartphone because it includes adjustable silicone pads that hold a device in place. It's able to mount on a tripod with its 1/4" threaded hole, and it has a couple little tools for when you're in a pinch -- a bottle opener and a flat head screwdriver. Since it's all metal, it's heavy enough to hold an iPhone up on any surface, and when attached to something like a GorillaPod, it's usable in a wide range of situations. On the downside, the MOS Kick is priced a bit high, but it's a handy way to take advantage of some of the iPhone's camera features that require the phone to be still, like time-lapse. The MOS Kick can be purchased from the MOS website for

Activité Pop Review: Hands-On With Withings' Simple and Stylish $149 Activity Tracker

The Apple Watch is fantastic because it lets you receive notifications, communicate with friends, access apps from your iPhone, and record a wealth of activity-related data, but it's also a device that requires a heavy amount of interaction. It demands that you look at your wrist when you receive a notification, it taps you on the arm when you're not standing up every hour, and it often reminds you about your fitness goals. It needs to be charged every night and it has to be taken off with every shower, so in short, it's not a device you can slap on your wrist and forget about. For that reason alone, not even taking cost into account, the Apple Watch is not a device that's suitable for everyone. There are many people who may prefer smart devices and activity trackers that require far less interaction and our Withings Activité Pop review is aimed at those people. The Activité Pop is almost the exact opposite of the Apple Watch. Where the Apple Watch commands your attention, the Pop unobtrusively integrates itself into your life -- you don't need to charge it, it's waterproof so it can be worn at all times and never removed, and you only need to glance at it when you want to know the time or your progress towards your daily movement goal. Design The Activité Pop has a gender neutral design that harkens back to the simple plastic analog Swatch watches that were popular in the 80s and 90s. It's a modern take on a classic watch with clean lines and colors that fit a range of tastes: Bright Azure, Shark Grey, and Wild Sand. The Pop is monochrome -- watch faces

Apple iPhone Lightning Dock Review: Simple Design With Broad Compatibility, but Some Stability Concerns

Apple's history of iPhone docks is rather hit-or-miss, with the company's recent designs generally tailored tightly to the profiles of the iPhones they were designed for, preventing the use of cases on the iPhones and making the docks incompatible with later iPhone designs. That changes with the new iPhone Lightning Dock, introduced yesterday a full eight months after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new dock forgoes a form-fitting iPhone-shaped depression in favor of a simple Lightning connector embedded in a small, slightly pliable nub to cushion the device as it rests on the connector. iPhone 6 Plus with Apple Leather Case on iPhone Lightning Dock The design has some advantages: it offers a clean and simple look and it'll fit any iOS device with a Lightning port, including many of those with cases. The lack of a recessed docking area also keeps the iPhone's Touch ID home button easily accessible while the device is docked. There are definitely some downsides, however, with the most obvious being stability. With the Lightning connector being the sole means of support for the iPhone, the device does tend to rock side to side if bumped. And while the Lightning connector is very firmly embedded in the base of the dock and does not feel in danger of being damaged, users may have concerns over potential damage to their iPhone's Lightning port if the device should happen to be bumped strongly while mounted on the dock.

Mophie Watch Dock Review: Charge Your Apple Watch on a Simple $60 Aluminum and Leather Stand

Alongside the start of pre-orders for the Apple Watch last month, Mophie announced the Watch Dock, a $60 aluminum stand for the Apple Watch with leather accents and hideaway cable storage. It took a bit longer than the original estimate of April 24 for the Watch Dock to launch, but it's now shipping out to the first batch of pre-order customers and Mophie has provided us with one for testing purposes. The Watch Dock is very straightforward, with the box containing only the stand and a quick start guide illustrating how to route your existing Apple Watch charging cable through the stand. A circular cutout at the top of the stand holds the inductive charger, with the cable being fed through a rubber-enclosed channel along the inside of the stand's arm, disappearing into the base and out the back. The cable management system offers a clean look for the stand and the design makes it easy to mount an Apple Watch with either a looped or a traditional band for charging. The angled design of the stand makes it ideal for placement on a nightstand or desk where an occasional glance might be necessary.

Video Review: Pronto Turns Your iPhone Into a Smart Universal Remote

Pronto is a small hub that's able to turn your iPhone into a universal remote, allowing it to control a range of electronics and devices within your home using 360 degree infrared. The Pronto connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and works with an accompanying Peel Smart Remote app, which provides the remote interface and lets you see what's on television through an included guide. As you can see in our video review below, the Peel app and the Pronto work together well, and with the included IR extension cable, you can put devices out of sight without losing the infrared connection. Pronto is compatible with a huge number of televisions, Blu-ray players, DVD players, and set top boxes. It can connect to and control almost any television set, and it works with the Apple TV, Roku players, and more. Compatibility information is available on the company's website. The Peel app includes simple controls for all devices and it makes it easy to switch between each one. There are also profiles available for different rooms, so the iPhone and Pronto pairing can essentially replace all of the remotes in the house. Smart remotes have been around for ages, and many technology companies already offer apps allowing the iPhone to control things like televisions and media players, but the Pronto goes one step further and lets you control all of your devices with one app. It's quite similar to Logitech's line of Harmony smart remotes, but without some of the bells and whistles and with a lower price. The Pronto can be purchased from Best Buy or NewEgg for

Jorno Review: Hands-On With a Tri-Fold Portable Keyboard for iOS Devices

Continuing on with our series of keyboard reviews, we're taking a look at the portable, foldable Jorno keyboard. The Jorno made its debut on Kickstarter way back in 2012, and after years of refinements and design changes, the keyboard began shipping out to customers in March of 2015. The Jorno's look is quite a bit different than the original concept presented in 2012, but the basic idea is the same -- it's a tri-fold Bluetooth keyboard that collapses down for better portability. The Jorno name heralds the design of the keyboard, which resembles a Moleskine journal when it's folded up for travel. What's in the Box and Setup The Jorno ships in a compact box that includes the keyboard itself, the cover/stand that holds it up, and a USB cable for charging. Setting up the Jorno takes just a few seconds. When it's unfolded, it's powered on (as indicated by a green light) and Bluetooth can be activated by holding down function and tapping the Bluetooth key (the "C"). From there, it pairs within the Settings menu of an iPhone or iPad like any other Bluetooth accessory. Design The Jorno is a two-piece accessory with a QWERTY keyboard and a separate stand rather than a keyboard case, so it's able to work with a wide range of devices, including the iPhone, the iPad, and other smartphones and tablets. The main component of the Jorno is the keyboard itself, which is collapsible and can be folded down into a 5.7 by 3.5 inch package that's then covered by the case/stand for travel. When the Jorno is not in use, the black leather-like stand serves as a case, but

G-Technology Review: Hands-on With the Rugged 1TB G-Drive ev ATC With Thunderbolt

G-Technology's G-Drive ev ATC is its latest hard drive, offering Thunderbolt connectivity in an ultra protective package. Introduced at CES this year, the G-Drive ev ATC (ATC stands for All-Terrain Case) is shock/dust resistant, waterproof and pressure resistant, plus it offers 1TB of storage and Thunderbolt speeds. Designed for users who need storage space that can be used in the field in suboptimal conditions, the bus-powered G-Drive ev ATC will keep data safe in all kinds of environments. The ev ATC (which has an ev RaW 7200 RPM hard drive inside) is also compatible with company's Evolution series, including the G-Drive ev and G-Drive ev SSD, so hard drives can be swapped in and out of the rugged enclosure. What's in the Box? The G-Drive ev ATC includes one inner 1TB G-Drive ev RaW, the rugged outer casing, and a USB to Micro-B cable for using the hard drive with your Mac when it's not inserted into the enclosure with the Thunderbolt cable. It also ships with a small instruction manual to walk you through removing the inner drive from the outer casing and swapping it into other G-Technology products if desired. Design and Features There are two major parts to the G-Drive ev ATC: the hard plastic and rubber all-terrain case and the inner 1TB hard drive. The outer shell is constructed from black plastic with blue rubber accents at the corners and on the top and bottom to provide cushioning should it accidentally fall. It feels like a solid, quality product that's going to stand up to abuse. It's branded with the company's signature "G" logo and it has

Video Review: Imation's LINK Power Drive is an All-In-One Hard Drive, Battery, and Stand

Imation's LINK Power Drive is a useful iOS accessory that combines multiple functions into one small, portable package. It's a hard drive with 16 to 64GB of storage for backing up files or storing photos and videos to save space on your iPhone, and it's also a 3,000mAh battery (enough for approximately one charge for an iPhone 6 Plus). We were impressed with the LINK Power Drive's compact size and its built-in Lightning cable, micro-USB cable, and stand. There's a handy toggle to turn the battery feature on and off, and there's an LED that shows the charge. The built-in battery can be charged via micro-USB and will charge your device whenever it's toggled on. The LINK Power Drive uses an accompanying Power Drive LT iOS app to manage files, letting users transfer files to the drive or play media files directly from it. There are also tools for automatically backing up the iPhone's contact list and camera roll. Transferring files from a Mac or PC to an iPhone is easy with the Power Drive, as it's possible to plug it into a computer, load up files, and then transfer them over to the iPhone using the app. The app supports file types like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, MP3, M4A, MP4, MOV, BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF. It requires an iOS device that's running iOS 7 and later, so you'll need a newer iPhone to use the LINK Power Drive. We had a couple qualms with the Power Drive - the app is unfortunately not optimized for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus despite having received several updates across 2015, and it's also a bit frustrating to have the app pop up

Review: Belkin's Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case Offers Versatility and a Full Set of Keys

In our ongoing iPad Air 2 keyboard review series, we've looked at the ClamCase Pro and the BrydgeAir. Today we've got a look at another popular iPad keyboard that MacRumors readers suggested we review, the Qode Ultimate Pro from Belkin. The Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case is one of the more versatile keyboard cases we've looked at, because it's able to detach from the keyboard to serve as a standalone iPad case and it's usable in both portrait and landscape modes. Other standout features include backlit keys, a full keyboard layout, and auto on/off functionality. What's in the Box and Setup The box includes the two-piece keyboard, an accompanying micro-USB charger, and instructions on how to get it up and running. Setup is similar to any other Bluetooth device, with pairing done by pressing the Bluetooth button on the keyboard and selecting the keyboard in the Settings menu of the iPad. We ran into some occasional difficulties with Bluetooth, where we had to remove the device completely from the list of known devices and re-pair, but for the most part, the Bluetooth connection was solid in our testing. Design The Qode Ultimate Pro comes in two separate pieces: a detachable keyboard and a plastic case that snaps on to the back of the iPad Air 2. The two pieces connect to one another using several magnets. There's a magnetic flap covered with a leather-like material on the keyboard that attaches to the back of the case to hold the pieces together, and then the case fits into one of two slots on the keyboard where it is held in place by additional magnets

Stylus Review: Hands-On With the $75 Pen-Like Adonit Jot Script 2

Adonit recently announced the launch of a new version of its popular Bluetooth-enabled Jot Script stylus, featuring a rechargeable battery, a revamped body, and iPad Air 2 support. When Adonit asked if we'd like to review the new stylus, we jumped at the chance because our last stylus review covering the Adonit Jot Pro and Jot Mini was popular with MacRumors readers. The Jot Script 2 Evernote Edition is one of Adonit's higher-end styluses, connecting to an iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth. It's a digital stylus, so it's able to offer the accuracy of a regular rubber-tipped stylus with a tip that's only 1.9mm, giving it a pen-like feel. Adonit's Jot Script 2 improves upon the original Jot Script with a redesigned slimmer body that has a better grip, an upgraded Pixelpoint tip, and longer battery life. It's been launched in partnership with Evernote, so it works with Evernote's Penultimate app, and it comes with six months of Evernote's premium service. Apple introduced new display technology with the iPad Air 2, breaking a lot of digital styluses, including Adonit's previous Jot Script. Older styluses don't work as well with the iPad Air 2, resulting in a lot of missing contact. The Jot Script 2 is one of the first styluses that works well with Apple's newest tablet.

LaCie Review: Hands-On With the 4TB Rugged RAID Thunderbolt Hard Drive

LaCie's new 4TB Rugged RAID Thunderbolt hard drive, first announced during CES, is the company's latest product in its iconic Rugged collection. Like all of the Rugged products from LaCie, the Rugged RAID is encased in a bright orange rubber for maximum protection. LaCie is calling its $419.99 Rugged RAID the one of the fastest HDs available on the market, with upload speeds that reach 240MB/s. It includes two 2TB hard drives with RAID 0/1 options to optimize for speed or data security, plus an integrated Thunderbolt cable. The Rugged RAID Thunderbolt hard drive is available for purchase from beginning today, and ahead of the release, we went hands-on with it to give MacRumors readers a look at its design, speed, and features. What's in the Box? The LaCie Rugged RAID ships with the 4TB hard drive itself, which includes a protective orange rubber cover, a spare port cover, a quick start guide, a USB cable, and a power adapter for use when the hard drive is plugged in via USB 3.0. There are also several plug adapters to accommodate travelers. With Thunderbolt, the Rugged RAID is bus-powered and does not require the power adapter to function. Design and Features For a 4TB hard drive that's also shock, dust, and water resistant, the LaCie Rugged RAID is impressively portable. It's not that much bigger than LaCie's existing Rugged hard drives, measuring in at 1.3 x 3.6 x 5.8 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds. At that size, it fits into a purse, bag, backpack, or suitcase for travel.

Grovemade Review: Hands-On With the Leather & Maple iPhone 6 Plus Case and Dock

Portland-based company Grovemade is known for its range of attractive wood accessories designed for the iPad and the iPhone, which it has been producing for several years now. Grovemade recently invited MacRumors to go hands-on with two of its newest products for the iPhone 6 Plus, and we jumped at the chance because Grovemade products have been popular with our readers in the past. We checked out the Maple and Leather iPhone Case and the matching Maple iPhone Dock. Read on to see what we thought. Maple & Leather iPhone Case All of Grovemade's products are crafted by hand and the company's attention to detail is evident in both the dock and the Maple & Leather iPhone Case. The base of the iPhone case is made of maple (there's also an option for a darker walnut) that's been carved to fit the iPhone 6 Plus. Design The phone fits tightly into the maple shell, which has a cutouts for the camera, the mute switch, the headphone port, the speakers, and the Lightning port. There are darker wooden buttons for the volume and the power, which are lined with foam on the inside to activate the volume and power on the iPhone. At the points where different wood pieces have been joined to create the case, there's darker wood burned accents, which is aesthetically pleasing, and there's also some wood burning around each of the ports, for a darker look. A piece of leather wraps around the backside of the shell and covers the front of the phone, and the leather front cover is attached to another thin piece of maple that protects the iPhone's display. On the maple

Review: The BrydgeAir Keyboard Turns Your iPad Air 2 Into a Mini MacBook

After we published our review of the ClamCase Pro keyboard for the iPad Air 2, some of our readers suggested that we take a look at other iPad keyboards available on the market. We decided to take MacRumors readers up on that suggestion, and over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at several keyboards designed for Apple's newest tablet, the iPad Air 2. We're kicking things off with a review of the BrydgeAir keyboard, which is able to work with both the original iPad Air and the iPad Air 2. Much like the ClamCase Pro we previously looked at, the all-aluminum BrydgeAir is designed to turn the iPad into a miniature MacBook. At $169, the BrydgeAir is one of the more expensive iPad keyboards on the market, but that price point comes with some perks not found in many cheaper options -- quality aluminum construction, a fluid 180 degree hinge, built-in dual stereo speakers, and backlit keys.

Eyefi Review: Hands-On With the Mobi Pro 32GB WiFi-Connected SD Card

Popular WiFi-connected SD card manufacturer Eyefi recently released a brand new product, the Eyefi Mobi Pro. For those unfamiliar with Eyefi, the company makes WiFi-connected SD cards to give people a way to quickly transfer photos from their cameras to their Macs, iPhones, and iPads, even when a WiFi network is unavailable. The company's newest card, the Eyefi Mobi Pro offers 32GB of storage, support for RAW file transfers, and a wireless transfer feature that lets users selectively choose which photos to upload. When used on a home WiFi network, the Mobi Pro lets users transfer images at high speeds, but when away from home, it creates its own WiFi hotspot, so it's always possible to get pictures from the SD card to an iPad, iPhone, or Mac. MacRumors went hands-on with the new Eyefi Mobi Pro SD card to check out all of the new features and to figure out whether or not it's worth the $99 price tag. What's in the Box The Eyefi box contains one 32GB Class 10 SDHC WiFi card, a USB card adapter that's used to configure the Mobi card, and an activation card that lets the Mobi Pro pair with desktop and iOS apps. The card also allows users to sign up for a free year of access to Eyefi's cloud service, which allows unlimited photo uploads and storage. Setup The Eyefi box directs users straight to a setup website, which makes finding the setup steps easy. The website has instructions for setting the Mobi Pro up to connect to a mobile device or a computer.

PowerDrive Slim Video Review: An External Battery and Hard Drive Combo for iPhone

We went hands-on with Mazzo's PowerDrive Slim, which combines an external battery with a hard drive, to give you extra storage and extra battery life for your iPhone. There's 32GB of storage space for storing files, photos, and videos, plus a 3,000 mAh battery that translates to approximately one full charge for an iPhone 6 Plus. Files can be transferred to the PowerDrive Slim using the accompanying PowerDrive iOS app, and at the same time, it can charge your iPhone. You'll need to supply a Lightning cable for transferring files and for charging your iPhone from the PowerDrive Slim. Size wise, the PowerDrive Slim is thicker than an iPhone 6 Plus, but not quite as wide or tall, so it fits easily enough in a pocket. We liked the portability, and we were impressed with the app, especially when it came to the auto backup feature for photos. The 32GB PowerDrive Slim can be purchased from Amazon for $59.99. Mazzo also sells the device in higher capacities up to 128GB, which will be available for purchase in the near future.

Video Review: Element Case's Solace Case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Element Case is a company known for making cases from premium materials, often with a premium price tag. We went hands-on with the company's Solace case for the iPhone 6 Plus in our latest video review, which is part of Element Case's LUXE Collection. Priced at $99, the Solace is a three-piece case that consists of a polycarbonate body with a foam insert to protect the iPhone, an aluminum top and bottom, and aluminum buttons. It comes in several colors, including gold, white, black, and turquoise. We thought the Solace offered good protection, but it adds a decent amount of bulk to the iPhone and it's pretty pricy for what you're getting comparative to other cases. We also weren't a fan of the mismatched colors on the gold option or the slight rattling sound the aluminum buttons make. Both the Solace case for iPhone 6 and and the case for the iPhone 6 Plus are available from the ElementCase website for $99. Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this video review.

TrackR Bravo Review: Hands-On With a Coin-Sized Bluetooth Tracker for Lost Items

Launched as an Indiegogo project in the middle of last year, the TrackR Bravo is a follow up product to the StickR TrackR, a small coin-sized Bluetooth-enabled device designed to attach to valuable items so they can be located using the TrackR app. As of today, the TrackR Bravo, which is smaller and lighter than the company's previous-generation products, has begun shipping out to customers. Like the original TrackR products, the TrackR Bravo attaches to items and gives out alerts via an iPhone app when an item is misplaced, preventing keys, cameras, and other small objects from being lost. Ahead of the product's launch, TrackR sent MacRumors a TrackR Bravo to review, so read on to see how it works and what we thought of it. Design The TrackR Bravo is slightly larger than a quarter, and approximately as large as two quarters stacked on top of each other. It is circular in shape, with a small loop at the top that allows it to be attached to a keyring for fastening to keys, pet collars, and more. It has a colorful anodized aluminum housing, and it's small enough to fit comfortably in a purse, wallet, or camera bag. How it Works The TrackR Bravo has built-in Bluetooth 4.0, with a 100 foot range. It works in conjunction with the TrackR app, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store. After registering for a TrackR account within the app, the TrackR Bravo can be activated by choosing "Add a New Device" and pressing the Bluetooth activation button on the TrackR. The app supports 10 different TrackR Bravo devices, so multiple items can be tracked

Otterbox Video Review: Hands-On With the Defender and Commuter Cases for iPhone 6 Plus

Otterbox is well known for offering some of the most protective iPhone cases on the market, and the company's offerings for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus don't seem to be any exception. We went hands-on with Otterbox's two most protective cases for Apple's new devices, the Defender and the Commuter. As with all of Otterbox's rugged iPhone cases, more protection requires sacrificing the sleek, slim design of the iPhone. Both the Defender and the Commuter are bulky, but offer drop protection, dust protection, and screen protection. Check out our review to see the differences between the two cases. Otterbox cases can be purchased from the Otterbox website. The Commuter for the iPhone 6 is priced at $39.90 and the iPhone 6 Plus version is priced at $49.90. The more protective Defender case for the iPhone 6 is priced at $59.50 and the iPhone 6 Plus version of the Defender is available for

Case Logic Video Review: Hands-On With the Ibira MacBook Backpack

Case Logic is known its line of backpacks, cases, and other storage accessories, all of which are priced affordably, making it quite popular with people looking for inexpensive but quality solutions for carrying around their devices. We met up with Case Logic at CES this year, where the company had a large booth showcasing all of its products, including the Ibira backpack, one of its newest offerings. We went hands-on with the Ibira backpack in our latest video review, so check it out to see what we thought. The Ibira is a lightweight, slim backpack but we were impressed with what it was able to hold. We fit in a MacBook, an iPad, an Apple keyboard, an iPhone, several chargers and accessories, a water bottle, and several notebooks. Build wise, the backpack is made of a high quality material that feels like it will stand up to heavy usage, but the straps were a bit too thin and could use more padding to be comfortable. Case Logic's Ibira Backpack is available in black and anthracite from the Case Logic website for

ExoLens Review: Hands-On With a Professional Photography System for iPhone 6

Apple's iPhone has topped Flickr's list of the top mobile cameras for years, with Apple even surpassing Nikon to be the number 2 camera brand on the service earlier this year. Smartphone photography is booming and there has been no shortage of accessories to help users take even better pictures, and one of the latest entries in this category is the ExoLens system. Apple came to us two years ago looking for a higher end lens system for their upcoming devices” says John Willenborg, CEO at ExoLens. “The goal was to engineer something that reflected the quality and precision of the iPhone 6 with the power of a mini DSLR." What's in the Box The ExoLens system comprises two lenses -- a 3x telephoto lens and a 165º wide angle lens -- that screw into a machined aluminum bracket that slides onto an iPhone. The bracket has an integrated 1/4"-20 tripod mount, which will also work with some selfie sticks/monopods. Also included are lens caps, a lens hood for the telephoto lens, and a microfiber carrying pouch. ExoLens officially launches today for the iPhone 6 with a retail price of $129.95, with a model for the iPhone 6 Plus planned for release in May.

Totallee Scarf Review: A Look at One of the Thinnest iPhone 6/6 Plus Cases You Can Get

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are Apple's thinnest iPhones yet at 6.9 and 7.1mm, respectively, and these ultra thin devices have spawned a range of super thin cases that aim to offer scratch protection without adding bulk. Of the dozens of featherweight cases on the market, the Scarf case from California case maker Totallee is one of the thinnest you can buy, measuring in at 0.35mm, and it's affordable, at $14.99. We went hands-on with Totallee's Scarf case for the iPhone 6 Plus and you can see what we thought of it in both the quick video review below and our longer full-length review. Design At approximately the thickness of a fingernail, the Scarf is designed not to be noticed -- its primary goal is to blend in with your phone and offer unobtrusive protection. It comes in colors that are designed to match the iPhone casing -- black, gold, white, and light gray. Light gray is a brand new addition to the Scarf lineup, and was conceived to be a better match for the Space Gray iPhone than the previously available black color. The Scarf is made of polypropylene, a lightweight thermoplastic polymer. It is flexible and bendable, so if you crease it forcefully, it can be damaged. The case's flexibility lets it slip easily onto an iPhone. Like most iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases, the Scarf has cutouts for the rear camera, the power button, the volume button, and the mute switch. It covers the top of the phone, but leaves the bottom open for access to the Lightning port, speaker holes, and headphone port.

Seagate Seven Review: Hands-On With a 7mm Thick Portable Hard Drive

Seagate debuted several new products at CES this year, including the candy-colored Seagate Wireless portable hard drive and the Seagate Personal Cloud, a NAS (network attached storage) option for home users, but the company's most attention-grabbing offering was the Seagate Seven. Described as the world's thinnest 500GB portable hard drive, the USB 3.0 Seagate Seven is only 7mm thick, as its name implies, which means it easily fits into a pocket or purse, and it's fairly affordable at $99. What's in the Box? The Seagate Seven ships in a slim, padded box that contains the hard drive, a black fabric-covered USB cord to connect the drive to a computer, and a Quick Start Guide. Design Seagate describes the Seven as the culmination of 35 years of experience creating hard drives. Inside the Seven is Seagate's ultra thin 5mm hard drive, which is encased in 2mm of 100 percent stainless steel for protection. At first glance the Seagate Seven might be mistaken for an internal drive due to its slimness and its industrial design, but it is a standalone portable drive. Without touching the Seven, it can be hard to imagine just how thin it is, but if you own an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus, that is a good approximation of thickness. At 7mm, the Seven is slightly thicker than the 6.9mm iPhone 6 and slightly thinner than the 7.1mm iPhone 6 Plus. It weighs 6.3 ounces (178 grams), which makes it just about the same weight as the 6.07 ounce iPhone 6 Plus (172 grams). The Seven is 4.8 inches tall and 3.2 inches wide, which means it fits in a pocket as well as the

LaCie Mirror Review: Hands-On With LaCie's Latest Designer Hard Drive

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Seagate-owned hardware company LaCie debuted its newest design-focused hard drive, the $280 USB 3.0 LaCie Mirror Portable Hard Drive, which has recently become available for purchase. MacRumors met up with LaCie at CES, and we managed to get our hands on one of the company's new hard drives to share with our readers. LaCie has a history of producing "Extreme Design" products that are aimed at people looking for an attention-catching desk accessory that also performs a useful function, which last year resulted in the LaCie Sphere, a silver-plated sphere that housed a 1TB hard drive. This year's LaCie Mirror follows in the footsteps of the Sphere, offering a 1TB hard drive in a mirrored enclosure, albeit with a slightly more traditional shape. What's in the Box? As a premium product, the LaCie Mirror ships in a premium box, which folds out in two tiers to unveil the hard drive in a padded compartment, a cord to connect it to a computer, and a wooden stand. There's also a carrying pouch for keeping the Mirror free from scratches during transport, a cleaning cloth for removing fingerprints from the surface and a Quick Install Guide for getting the hard drive set up right out of the box. The hard drive itself ships covered with adhesive plastic screen protectors, so make sure to remove those before use. Design The LaCie Mirror was designed by French designer Pauline Deltour, who has created a range of modern furniture and home accessories, including several pieces that are sold by Alessi and MUJI. The Mirror is similar

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Logitech's 'Logi BASE' Stand Charges the iPad Pro Using the Smart Connector

The Smart Connector on the iPad Pro has thus far only been used for keyboard accessories including the Logitech Create and Apple's own Smart Keyboard, but today, Logitech is debuting a new accessory that uses a little known functionality of the Smart Connector -- charging. Logitech's new Logi BASE is a stand for the 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, allowing them to charge cable-free in landscape mode through the Smart Connector. Logitech sent MacRumors a Logi BASE ahead of its debut, so we were able to get a few days of hands-on time with it. Made of solid aluminum matching the Silver iPad Pro models, the Logi BASE has a Lightning port on the back to accommodate a Lightning cable, which is used to power the accessory. On the front of the stand, there are three male Smart Connector prongs that fit into the Smart Connector port on the iPad Pro to deliver power to the tablet whenever it's sitting in the stand. The Lightning port is located right in the middle of the stand, something that I found somewhat inconvenient for cable management when positioned on my desk. A plastic lip holds the iPad Pro in place, and a rubber bottom ensures the stand stays firmly in place on a flat surface made of wood, metal, granite, or other similar hard material. The iPad Pro rests against aluminum in the back, and while this didn't cause scratching during my limited testing period, it doesn't seem as ideal as a rubber coating to protect the aluminum shell of the iPad.

iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug Is Far From Perfect, But It's a Cheap Way to Give HomeKit a Try

iHome's iSP5 SmartPlug is one of the first five HomeKit-compatible devices on the market, and it's the most affordable option for Apple users who are looking to try out the company's home automation platform. The SmartPlug is a simple device that plugs right into any outlet, transforming any appliance - from lights to fans - into an iPhone-controlled Siri-compatible smart product using WiFi. We tested out three of iHome's SmartPlugs, simulating what it might be like to control lights and fans across multiple rooms to turn an ordinary home with ordinary outlets into a smart home with a reasonable monetary investment and a bit of time. As with the Elgato Eve review I did earlier this summer, using the iHome SmartPlugs makes it clear that there are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved with HomeKit and Apple's HomeKit partner companies, but at the $40 price point, I can recommend the SmartPlug to anyone curious about HomeKit who has the patience to deal with bugs that can range from minor inconveniences to frustrations that make you want to toss your SmartPlug across the room in anger. Hardware Overview The iSP5 SmartPlug is a no-frills device that plugs into any outlet within the home to transform it into a WiFi-connected outlet. Each SmartPlug connects individually to a home's WiFi network, so a central bridge is not required. SmartPlugs are rectangular in shape and fairly compact -- small enough that two can be plugged in next to each other in a single 120v wall outlet. Setting up the SmartPlugs is as simple as plugging them in and downloading the

Elgato's 'Eve' Smart Home Accessories Are Useful, But Hampered by Buggy HomeKit Platform

Elgato, with its Eve line of smart home products is one of the first companies to come out with home accessories that integrate with Apple's HomeKit home automation platform, and it's the very first company to produce a Bluetooth-enabled HomeKit product. The Eve system, which consists of a weather station, an indoor room monitor, a door/window sensor, and a smart outlet, is one of five HomeKit-compatible products that became available for purchase in June. With the Eve components just now shipping out to customers, Elgato invited us to review the lineup to get a feel for what's possible with Apple's system. HomeKit and Eve's accessory lineup promise to make our homes smarter and our lives easier, but in its current incarnation, HomeKit is a service that feels unfinished. It's limited in scope and even though I found many of the Eve accessories to be useful, the delays and bugs I ran into with the HomeKit system almost made the frustration outweigh the convenience. Hardware Overview As I mentioned above, Elgato currently manufactures four HomeKit-compatible products: Eve Room, Eve Weather, Eve Door & Window, and Eve Energy. Eve Room - Eve Room is an indoor room monitoring sensor. It measures temperature, humidity, and air quality. Eve Weather - Eve Weather is an indoor/outdoor sensor that's simpler than the Eve Room, measuring temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Eve Door & Window - Eve Door & Window is a two-piece sensor that detects whether a door or window is open or closed. Eve Energy - Eve Energy is a power sensor and switch that can be used

Duet Review: A Premium Two-in-One Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone

Given that the Apple Watch has an advertised 18-hours battery life based on mixed usage, chances are that you will be taking off the wrist-worn device each night to charge. Naturally, accessory makers have been quick to jump on the opportunity to create a wide variety of Apple Watch stands for docking the watch on your bedside table or elsewhere. Ahead, we take a closer look at one of them. Antsy Labs has risen to the challenge with a Kickstarter project for Duet, a two-in-one stand for docking the Apple Watch and iPhone together. The stand is machined from a solid block of aluminum, in silver, space gray or gold, giving it considerable weight and a sleek design that closely matches the look of the MacBook, iPad, iPhone and other anodized aluminum Apple products. I received a prototype unit of the Duet that I have been testing over the past week, and my first impressions are mostly favorable. Given that the Duet unit I received was part of a limited production run for members of the press, the stand has a few imperfections that will not be found on the final product. In particular, there are a few minor scuffs on the stand, and the finish isn't as shiny as the unit that will ship to customers. First and foremost, Duet's built-in magnets allow you to attach the Apple Watch stand to the symmetrical iPhone dock or separate both pieces and charge your Apple Watch and iPhone separately. This multipurpose functionality is a major selling point for the stand, given that many Apple Watch and iPhone standalone stands and docks are available for considerably less than

Hands-On With the Collapsible Magnetic 'TextBlade' Keyboard for iOS Devices

Back in January, WayTools, a company known for its high-quality NextEngine 3D laser scanner, surprised the world with a collapsible, magnetic keyboard unlike anything we had seen before. Called the TextBlade, the keyboard garnered a significant amount of attention from the media and from prospective buyers who were intrigued with its unique design. Commenters here on MacRumors and across the Internet were immediately curious about the TextBlade, and had several questions. How does it work? How easy is it to use? What's the learning curve? How does it feel? Today we're going to answer all of those questions and more. Yesterday, WayTools invited MacRumors to visit its headquarters in Santa Monica to get an exclusive hands-on first look at the TextBlade. We met with WayTools CEO Mark Knighton, and a group of engineers who helped develop the product to get details on how it works and to try it out for ourselves. Design The first thing that's important to know about the TextBlade is that its design, which is the culmination of years of work and experimentation, has been engineered to be completely different from any keyboard that's on the market today. According to Knighton, the company did not set out to develop a keyboard for the iPhone or the iPad, they set out to develop a keyboard that's a better experience, overall, than any available keyboard, mobile or desktop. Portability is one of the key qualities that dictated the design of the TextBlade. The team at WayTools firmly believes that an accessory designed for the iPad or the iPhone should be smaller

Hands-On Review of Oral-B's iPhone-Connected Bluetooth Smart Toothbrush

Bluetooth-enabled appliances and electronics that connect everyday household items to smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular, giving us a whole range of connected things -- thermostats, coffee makers and mixing bowls, cars, and even connected toothbrushes, like the Oral-B SmartSeries toothbrush lineup, which features Bluetooth toothbrushes that are compatible with an iPhone app. Oral-B showed off its first smart toothbrush in early 2014, and began shipping the $125 Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth later in the year. We caught up with Oral-B at CES in 2015 and got our hands on an Oral-B Pro 5000 so we could share the connected toothbrush experience with MacRumors readers. Connected toothbrushes are set to take off in 2015, so this is a good time to explore available options and see what they can do for you. Oral-B has a second higher-end model coming out this year, and the Kolibree toothbrush, which gamifies brushing, is finally launching in a few months. What's in the Box The Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth ships with the toothbrush itself, a brush head, a stand for charging, a travel case, and a guide that walks you through how to pair the toothbrush to an iPhone. There's also a stand to hold multiple brush heads, but as you'll see later in this review, the brush and its accompanying app isn't really suited for more than one user. Box contents, along with iPhone The Toothbrush The Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth is essentially the company's standard Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush with a Bluetooth upgrade. This

First Impressions of Photos for OS X: 'Vast Improvement' Over iPhoto

Following the release of the first OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 beta to developers this afternoon, the embargo has lifted for media outlets to publish their first impressions and hands-on reviews of the all-new Photos for OS X app. Below is a roundup of some of the more interesting comments and opinions about Photos for OS X, which combines iPhoto and Aperture into one for OS X Yosemite. The Wall Street Journal describes Photo for OS X as a significant improvement for users in the Apple ecosystem, adding that the app is less confusing to use than iPhoto thanks to an improved iCloud-based approach. It also found Photos for OS X to have snappier performance than iPhoto based on the Apple-provided demo notebook. "If you choose to turn it on, all of your Apple devices feed all their full-resolution photos into iCloud, making them all available over the Internet to the Photos apps on all your Apple devices. [...] You can see the advantage to all this when you edit photos. With iCloud, any change you make on one device will show up moments later everywhere else."Wired was also impressed with Photos for OS X, describing the software as a "vast improvement" over iPhoto and praising its new built-in photo editing tools. It believes that, while some professionals might opt for Adobe Lightroom and other tools, Photos for OS X is an ideal photo management and editing solution for most Mac users."Advanced users, particularly those operating on 5K iMacs or Mac Pros, may be happier eventually switching to Adobe Lightroom—though most of them probably have done so already. But for most of

Hands-On With Olloclip's New Telephoto/Polarizing and Macro 3-in-1 Lenses for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Following the October release of its redesigned "Selfie" 4-in-1 Photo Lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Olloclip is today introducing two new lens sets to expand the range of options available to iPhone photographers. The new Macro 3-in-1 Lens offers three new magnification levels at 7x, 14x, and 21x, while the new Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens brings 2x magnification alongside a polarizing lens that minimizes reflections and reduces glare. MacRumors went hands-on with both of the new Olloclip sets over the weekend to give you a look at what kind of images the new accessories are capable of producing. What's in the Box Like the 4-in-1 Lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the two new Olloclip lenses come with a lens attachment that's compatible with both the front and rear iPhone cameras. The Telephoto + CPL accessory features a 2x telephoto lens attachment along with a polarizing lens that is detachable and compatible with other Olloclip lenses thanks to interchangeable filter mounts. Box contents of both lens sets combined. The Macro 3-in-1 accessory comes with a 21x macro lens on one side, and a 7x/14x lens on the other side. Switching between magnifications is done by unscrewing the lens. There are also two lens hoods which serve as positioning guidelines to help you determine the optimum position for an in-focus macro shot. Both lens sets come with three interchangeable carrying clips in green, blue, and black, lens caps, carrying pouches, a detachable wearable lanyard, and two removable inserts to adjust the fit to either the iPhone 6 or the

Hands-On Review of the Revamped Adonit Jot Pro and Jot Mini Styluses

Apple has never shown much interest in styluses, even as companies like Samsung and Microsoft have embraced them as major selling points for smartphones and tablets. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs even went as far as saying "If you see a stylus, they blew it," on one occasion, and at Macworld in 2007, he asked "Who wants a stylus? Nobody wants a stylus." Apple's focus on the fingertip as the best input method doesn't mean styluses are entirely pointless -- they can be useful for taking notes, making sketches, creating artwork, and in dozens of other situations. Luckily, Apple's disinterest in the stylus hasn't stopped third-party accessory makers from developing them, and eight years after the iPhone first debuted, there are a range of stylus options on the market. Adonit is a company that got into the stylus game early, debuting its first stylus on Kickstarter in 2011. The Adonit Jot was one of the first styluses to incorporate a thin plastic precision disc, doing away with a rubber tip to let users see more of the screen while writing. Since then, Adonit has gone on to make a range of styluses, some that even connect via Bluetooth to incorporate pressure sensitivity. The company's newest styluses, the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini, are standard non-connected styluses, but they're the culmination of years of work perfecting the stylus based on customer feedback and they're some of the nicest writing utensils that Adonit has produced yet. Get a quick look at the Jot Pro or Jot Mini in the video below, or keep reading to see our full thoughts on the two styluses. Wha

Hands-On First Impressions of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari

Following the release of Pushbullet for iOS, Mac, and Safari, we have been testing out the new software to see how well it keeps notifications, links, photos and other files in sync between devices. Pushbullet is the marriage of AirDrop, Notifyr and other OS X Yosemite features in one package, but is it a worthwhile alternative? Find out our first impressions in our hands-on video ahead. The process of setting up Pushbullet takes just a few minutes. Depending on which platforms or web browsers you want to send and receive links and files between, download the Pushbullet apps or extensions that you need and make sure that iOS to Mac notifications and universal copy and paste are enabled in each app's preferences. iOS and Mac apps are available alongside Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions. You can optimize your experience further by going into the Mac app's preferences and checking off specific apps that you would like to receive iOS notifications from. For instance, if you already receive mail notifications on your desktop, then you probably don't need Pushbullet pushing the same mail notifications from your iPhone. Notification settings can be configured for both stock and third-party apps.

Hands-On With the Reach79 Signal Boosting Case - Does It Work?

Earlier this month, we shared an iPhone case called the Reach79, which debuted at CES. The Reach79 case claimed to boost the signal strength and performance of the iPhone, improving battery life, reducing dropped calls, and improving download speeds, statements that were quite controversial in our forums. Readers were understandably skeptical of the Reach79's promise that it could deliver up to 2x stronger signal strength, so MacRumors decided to go hands-on with the Reach79 case to see if we could prove the company's claims. We've been extensively testing the Reach79 case on an iPhone 6 Plus for more than a week in various areas around the San Francisco Bay Area, but after several days of use, it remains difficult to conclusively say that the case improves signal in a meaningful way due to mixed test results. For a quick summary of what we found, scroll down to the "Bottom Line" section, or read on for our full results. Our Testing We used the Reach79 case on an iPhone 6 Plus connected to the AT&T network on multiple days, at multiple times, and in multiple locations, both indoor and outdoor. The phone was put into Field Test mode so that signal strength could be viewed as a raw decibel number rather than as dots or "bars," in order to better determine if and when the case was improving signal. All testing was done in the hand or up against the head, which is how the case is designed to work. We also tested with the Ookla Mobile Speed Test app to see if the case improved data speeds, but we were told that this is not a particularly reliable testing method

Hands-On With the ClamCase Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Keyboards have become an increasingly important way for iPad users to boost the productivity of their tablets, and there are dozens of keyboards and keyboard cases on the market designed for the iPad. Apple itself has begun highlighting keyboard cases in recent weeks, showcasing a range of products in its brick and mortar stores, and with Apple beginning to put an emphasis on iPad accessories, interest in keyboards will undoubtedly pick up in the coming months. ClamCase, a well-known iPad accessory maker, has been producing keyboard cases for several years and its most recent case, the ClamCase Pro iPad Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2, is a culmination of everything the company has learned people look for in a keyboard case. Priced at $169, the ClamCase Pro is a premium entrant in a market where $50 to $100 options are common, but it offers features that power users and frequent writers will find worth the money, including a unique 360 degree hinge for multiple screen positions, full iPad protection, and most importantly, a keyboard that has generous spacing and an above average key feel. What's in the Box The ClamCase Pro ships in a high-quality iPad-style box that includes the keyboard case itself, a micro-USB cord for charging, a quick start guide, and a headphone adapter. As described in the quick start guide, setup is easy, and we were able to pair the ClamCase Pro with an iPad after switching the case's power on and pairing it in the iPad's Bluetooth settings menu. After pairing, it worked immediately, with no apparent lag. Design The ClamCase

Hands-On With Alpine's iLX-007 In-Dash CarPlay Entertainment System

While car manufacturers have been slower than anticipated to roll out support for Apple's in-vehicle CarPlay system, Pioneer and Alpine have delivered aftermarket options in the form of in-dash systems with CarPlay compatibility and large touch screens. MacRumors has had a chance to spend some time with Alpine's iLX-007, which carries a suggested retail price of $800 but commonly sells for $600 and offers a 7-inch capacitive touch screen that dominates the unit's front. The only other physical features come as a thin row of buttons along the bottom edge, including a pair for controlling volume, one for activating Siri, one for returning to the Alpine home screen, and another pair serving varying functions such as changing tracks, depending on the app currently in use. The basic Alpine home screen offers access to only a handful of functions including traditional radio, any peripheral devices connected to the system's auxiliary input including support for a rear back-up camera, and CarPlay devices. Upon connecting the unit's Lightning cable to an iPhone, the CarPlay interface automatically launches, allowing access to the standard Phone, Music, Apps, Messages, and Now Playing apps, as well as any CarPlay-compatible third-party apps the user has installed on his or her device and a Top Menu button to return to Alpine's main home screen. In order to provide support for Siri input, the iLX-007 comes with a microphone that can be mounted in an appropriate location such as the driver's sun visor in order to pick up voice commands. CarPlay-specifc app settings within

Hands-On With Elgato Smart Power and Mophie Powerstation Plus External Batteries

While there are an endless variety of external batteries on the market capable of charging iOS devices while on the go, two recent entrants at the higher end of the market are giving consumers more options as they consider holiday gifts. Elgato Smart Power (left) and Mophie Powerstation Plus 2X (right) The first is Elgato's Smart Power, a 6,000 mAh external battery priced at $99.95. Housed in a compact plastic enclosure that is slightly smaller than and roughly as thick as an Apple TV, Smart Power's key feature is app integration on iOS that allows users to wirelessly monitor charge level of the battery and initiate pinging sounds by the Smart Power unit to help locate it in the house. Notifications are also an important part of the app integration, with users able to receive push notifications when the battery has been recharged or is running low. Users can also set a specific time for automatic daily power level checks and receive reminder notifications if the charge level is below a user-defined threshold. Finally, users can grant the app access to their Calendar apps, allowing Smart Power to automatically remind users to take the device with them on busy days. Elgato Smart Power app Offering adaptive charging at up to 2.4 amps and 12 watts, Smart Power can quickly deliver charge to high-capacity devices such as iPads. The device includes an integrated USB connector on a short cable for recharging, but requires a separate cable connecting to a USB port to connect to the device, so users will need to make sure they have one with them when traveling with Smart

Hands-On With Olloclip's New 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Back in October, Olloclip announced a new 4-in-1 Photo Lens designed to fit the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus. While it was available for pre-order at the time, the new lens has now begun shipping out to customers and will arrive in stores shortly, ahead of the Black Friday shopping holiday. Like its previous products, Olloclip's 4-in-1 Photo Lens adds four lens attachments to the iPhone's camera, offering two lenses that extend the field of view -- wide angle and fisheye -- and two that capture up-close macro shots. The new Olloclip 4-in-1 Photo Lens is the company's most unique product offering to date, as it is the first Olloclip lens that is able to work with both the front and rear-facing cameras. Previous Olloclip lenses designed for earlier iPhones were only functional with the rear camera or front camera, but with the growing focus on selfies, Olloclip opted to make its new product more versatile. What's in the Box Included in the box is one Olloclip 4-in1 Photo Lens attachment with fisheye, wide-angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro lenses, plus accessories like three interchangeable carrying clips, lens caps, a carrying pouch, two removable inserts to fit either the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus, and a lanyard for carrying the 4-in-1 Photo Lens when not in use. Design While the body of the lens attachment is made of plastic, the lenses themselves are high quality and constructed from aluminum and glass. The 4-in-1 Photo Lens uses a dual lens design, with one lens that fits over the rear camera and one that fits over the front camera. As with all Olloclip