SanDisk launches Made-for-iPhone ‘iXpand’ USB flash drive w/ integrated Lightning connector

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SanDisk is today launching a new Made-for-iPhone/iPad product called iXpand that integrates a Lightning connector into a traditional USB Flash Drive device. Like similar products that have recently started hitting the market, the iXpand makes it easier to transfer content between iOS devices and computers with standard USB ports by including Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector in addition to a traditional USB plug. Read more

Samsung going head-to-head with Apple with iBeacon rival, Proximity

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The rivalry between Apple and Samsung looks set to enter a new field as Samsung has announced a direct competitor to iBeacon, called Proximity.

Samsung Proximity is a mobile marketing platform that connects consumers with places via cutting-edge Samsung location and context-aware technology.

With Samsung Proximity, visitors are able to experience rich content related to their location, and marketers can better engage with customers for increased sales and brand awareness.

The applications Samsung describes for the service are identical to those already in use with Apple’s iBeacon partners …  Read more

DIYers! Belkin WeMo ‘Maker’ brings smartphone remote and IFTTT functionality to nearly any device

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At this point, we are all familiar with the Belkin WeMo line of products. They’ve been empowering consumers with smartphone-connected home automation products for some time now, from light switches to its newly released coffee maker.

While the WeMo line performs a number of simple tasks, it has not necessarily provided the level of open source capabilities that some consumers long for. Today, Belkin has taken a step in that direction with its new WeMo Maker.

This new product empowers DIYers to create their own custom WeMo setup, the possibilities truly seem endless.

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KGI: iPad Pro pushed back again to Q2 2015, Q1 to see under 10M iPads shipped

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The latest report from KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will delay its expected launch of a 12.9 (or 12.2)-inch iPad ‘Pro’ as it predicts a 50% decline for iPad shipments heading into next year. Specifically, KGI thinks Apple will sell just under 10 million units in Q1 2015 following a busy holiday season in the last quarter of this year. That would be a 54.5% drop from quarter to quarter with KGI predicting 21 million iPad units sold during the Q4 2014 Holiday quarter: Read more

Full video from Apple VP Greg Joswiak’s Code/Mobile conference interview now available

Apple VP Greg Joswiak via Re/Code

Apple VP Greg Joswiak via Re/Code

Apple VP of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak appeared at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference last month where he discussed various topics including Apple Pay and iOS 8.0.1’s botched rollout, and today Re/code has shared the complete video footage of that interview. During the discussion, Joswiak talked about the upcoming Apple Watch and other smartwatches, Apple’s approach to marketshare and why you shouldn’t expect a low quality phone from Apple, and more. We’ve embedded the video interview below. Read more

YouTube launches Music Key streaming service for $10/mo: no ads, offline playback, full albums & Play Music access

YouTube Music Key

Google today officially announced its highly rumored YouTube music subscription service and its calling it YouTube Music Key. YouTube’s Music Key service with be available for a monthly subscription of $9.99 and unlock ad-free music, offline playback and video viewing, and the ability to play music in the background when using other apps.

The service is rolling out as a beta next week with a promotional price of $7.99/month, and early adopters will be able to request access from YouTube.com/MusicKey. YouTube’s Music Key beta service will be available through the YouTube apps on Android and iOS and through YouTube.com.

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US-China trade deal set to reduce manufacturing costs for Apple, aims to cut prices for consumers

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges …  Read more

Apple surprises with A8X GPU, uses exclusive ‘semi-custom’ 8 cluster design

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New chip analysis of the A8X powering the iPad Air 2 has revealed that it is even more powerful than it initially appeared.

Further analysis by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die. A die shot sourced by AnandTech confirmed this theory, although the site is unable to publish the image. Shown above is a mockup of what is going on internally.

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Flagship Apple Store and office space rumored for Broadway Trade Center in downtown Los Angeles

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Apple may be preparing to move into the historic Broadway Trade Center in downtown Los Angeles according to the latest rumor from ifo Apple Store. The company has reportedly leased the building for use as office space as well as a retail outlet.

Additionally, the report claims that some of that office space will be dedicated to the recently acquired Beats by Dre, which took up residence in a brand new Culver City facility earlier this summer.

The five-story structure was built in 1908 and boasts 1.1 million square feet of floor space. Apple would be a prime candidate for the space as the city continues a ten-year initiative to “Bring Back Broadway” by reviving the dormant theaters and other businesses in the area, including “more than a million square feet of vacant commercial space,” according to the commission’s website.

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