Review: Nomad’s NomadClip, NomadKey + NomadPlus are practical charging solutions for iPhones and iPads

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Lightning cables and battery packs are often so similar that I rarely have a strong preference for “nicer” alternatives over basic ones. But Nomad has been working to change that by creating practical charging accessories that you’ll actually want to carry around everywhere. Last year, it debuted the NomadKey ($25), which places a Lightning to USB cable on your keychain, as well as NomadPlus ($40), an iPhone battery pack that combines with Apple’s 5W USB Power Adapter to become an 1800mAh “anywhere” recharger.

Now it’s shipping the NomadClip ($40), which combines a super-sturdy carabiner clip with a Lightning cable. I’ll walk you through all three accessories below in this combined review.

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Review: Pad & Quill’s Bella Fino wallet case for iPhone 6/Plus combines beauty & protection

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I’m generally a minimalist where iPhone cases are concerned, preferring either the naked phone or a very slim case like the Mujjo wallet case that is my daily driver. But Pad & Quill’s leather cases are so gorgeous, it’s hard to resist trying out something a little more substantial.

The Pad & Quill Bella Fino is a pocket book style leather wallet case available for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Designed for use in a jacket pocket, it combines all-round protection for the phone with slots for either four (iPhone 6) or five (iPhone 6 Plus) cards, plus a slot for bills …  Read more

The New Yorker profiles Jony Ive: details meeting Jobs, iPhone 6, Apple Watch, cars and more

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The New Yorker has published an extensive profile on Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design. Many newspapers have written up articles on Ive in recent years, but this latest account by Ian Parker is by far the most detailed and (arguably) the most interesting, revealing new anecdotes and tidbits on Apple’s latest products in the process.

The story tracks how Jony arrived at Apple back in the late 90’s, how his relationship with Jobs developed over that period, and how he is adapting to ‘leading’ design in post-Jobs Apple. The piece includes some new details about how the Watch project and the newest iPhones formed, as well as incorporating quotes from Tim Cook, Bob Mansfield, and others.

Read on for some select excerpts from The New Yorker’s story.

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Review: SwitchEasy’s Canvas returns as an affordable folio for iPad Air 2

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Every iPad since the original has had a SwitchEasy Canvas case, a series of folio designs that hit their apex back in 2013 with an uber-protective version for the original iPad mini. The formula’s always the same: a canvas lid and mostly canvas back, plus a plastic iPad-holding shell and a fabric lining. SwitchEasy always tosses in some goodies to sweeten the package, too, including screen film and a cleaning cloth. There aren’t many surprises, but a Canvas case is always a good case.

Arriving at a time when iPad Air 2 cases are still scarce, Canvas for iPad Air 2 ($50) doesn’t stray far from the formula. With an MSRP nearly $30 lower than Apple’s $79 iPad Air 2 Smart Case, it’s available in three color options, each with the standard three materials, and does a nice job of protecting Apple’s latest tablet. Read on for additional photos and details.

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Phorm case for iPad promises tactile typing w/ the on-screen keyboard through a unique approach

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Tactus Technology is introducing a unique, new keyboard case today called Phorm that promises to bring tactile feedback to the typing experience while still using the on-screen touch keyboard. Phorm uses microfluids to raise a segments of a screen protector kept on with a frame and protective case to apply “physical” keys that appear and disappear at the swipe of switch. The goal is to improve typing speed and accuracy when typing with the iPad without requiring a keyboard you have to charge or pair with your tablet. Check out the video below to see Phorm in action. Read more

Review: Hyper’s new Pearl is a compact, LED-lit mirror that can fully recharge the iPhone 6

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It’s not easy to create a legitimately novel accessory these days, and it’s even harder to sail smoothly through a crowdfunding campaign to bring one to market. Sanho — better-known as Hyper thanks to a popular line of battery products — spent much of 2014 preparing to release a female-friendly combination compact mirror and USB battery pack, using both Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns to raise funds for its production. After making a public splash at the 2015 CES alongside the new (and world’s smallest) laser pointer iPin, the mirror-battery Pearl ($40) is now shipping to customers.

The result — a 3.6″-diameter circular double mirror with a 3000mAh battery underneath — has been finished with silver, gold, or red glossy metallic exterior paint, and a white LED light ring inside. In short, it’s an elegant and welcome option for female iPhone users, delivering a combination of solid build quality and good value for the price.

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Review: iBattz’ Refuel Invictus battery case lets you swap 3200mAh cells for 127% iPhone 6 charges

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Like most things, the title of “best iPhone 6 battery case” is subject to change whenever something new and great shows up to challenge existing options, and as the iPhone 6 is still young, we’re expecting a lot of jockeying for position over the next few months. The latest real contender comes from iBattz, maker of some of the best iPhone battery cases I’ve tested. Refuel Invictus for iPhone 6 ($100, aka Mojo Refuel Invictus) is the first iPhone 6 case to include a great feature from some earlier iPhone 4/4S and 5/5s cases: removable, replaceable batteries.

Using solely the items in its own box, Refuel Invictus delivered the largest recharge I’ve seen yet for the iPhone 6: 127%, or a full recharge plus an additional 27%. That might be enough to justify the asking price for some people. But you can also add a second battery and external USB charger for $25-$30 more. If you’ve been hunting for a slim battery case that can keep your iPhone running endlessly, this might be the most cost-effective way to do it.

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Activation Lock has reduced iPhone theft by 25% in NY, 40% in SF, 50% in London

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Officials in three major cities have reported dramatic reductions in iPhone thefts since Apple introduced Activation Lock as part of iOS 7, preventing devices being re-activated without the original owner’s iCloud login. Reuters reports that the number of reported iPhone thefts has fallen year-on-year by 25% in New York, 40% in San Francisco and 50% in London …  Read more

Review: ClamCase Pro case for iPad Air 2 – a premium keyboard case with a premium price

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At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re looking at some kind of ultra-small MacBook Air on the right, next to my MBA 11. It’s actually my iPad Air 2 in the ClamCase Pro keyboard case that combines all-round protection with a near-laptop-quality keyboard.

I’m testing here the case for the iPad Air 2, but there are other models for the iPad 2/3/4, previous iPad Air and iPad mini …  Read more

KGI: Apple to upgrade Touch ID sensor in next iPhone, expects over a quarter of a billion units in 2015

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KGI is out with a new report today predicting both a large rise in the number of Touch ID sensors shipped this year as well as an improved version of the biometric security reader for the next version of the iPhone. “We raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, up 77% YoY.” As for the updated Touch ID sensor, the improved version is believed to offer more reliable reads and better security as Apple continues to push Apple Pay, it’s recently launched mobile payment service: Read more

Apple’s iOS 9 to have ‘huge’ stability and optimization focus after years of feature additions

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Following the success of OS X Snow Leopard for Macs in 2009, one of iOS 9’s standout ‘features’ will be a directed focus on stabilizing and optimizing the operating system. While stability is normally an expected component in Apple software rather than a marquee feature, the rapid pace of iOS releases and feature introductions has taken a toll on the operating system’s overall performance, recently leading to numerous complaints from long-time Apple users and regular customers alike…

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