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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The iPhone and iPad reportedly captured 93% of mobile device profits in holiday quarter, 79% across 2014

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Apple reported the largest profit ever recorded by a public company in the holiday quarter, mostly driven by sales of 74 million iPhones with an average selling price of $687. According to Cannacord, this meant Apple captured 93% of handset smartphone profits. Perhaps more staggering is that it claims Apple dominated on similar levels across the entire of 2014 — with 79% of mobile device profits.

The analyst expects continued growth for the iPhone for the next few users, with an estimated 650 million iPhone users by the end of 2018.

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The Next Episode: Apple’s plans for Beats-based music service revealed

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Six months after buying the subscription music service Beats Music, Apple is actively working to launch a completely new paid streaming music service that will compete with Spotify and Rdio. Yet to be named, the new service is entirely Apple-designed, yet leverages Beats’ technologies and music content, a collaboration that has thus far led to personnel challenges and delays. Multiple sources within Apple and the music industry have provided the first in-depth details of Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which we share below.

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iOS 8 hits 72% adoption in latest data, still trails iOS 7 rate a year ago

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Update 2/17: 73% iOS 8 adoption measured on February 16th, up 1% since February 2nd. Change shows 1% moving from iOS 7 to iOS 8 with ‘Earlier’ remaining at 3%.

Apple released a new count today for the percentage of iOS devices accessing the App Store and running iOS 8. According to App Store Distribution data, 72% of iOS devices are now running iOS 8 with a quarter of devices running iOS 7 and a tiny 3% of users running iOS 6 or earlier versions using data “measured by the App Store on February 2, 2015.” That puts iOS 8 adoption up 3% since Apple last reported data two weeks ago with only 69% of devices running iOS 8 at the time. Read more

Apple Pay adds another 15 banks and credit unions, over 60 institutions now supported

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Last month Apple rolled out support for dozens of banks and credit unions with Apple Pay bringing the count to more than 45 institutions, and today Apple is out with the first wave of the month adding more than a dozen new banks to its list of supported Apple Pay banks bringing the total count to over 60 institutions. Here are the new banks listed as supporting Apple Pay as of today: Read more

Opinion: Square Enix’s flip-flop on iOS 8 support spotlights App Store ambiguities, risks

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Square Enix’s The World Ends With You

 

Buying an app from the App Store is designed to be as easy as possible. A large button with a price tag sits as close to the app’s icon and name as possible, while additional details linger below. You’re not supposed to think or worry too much about each purchase — the transaction is impulse-driven when the price is low — and the implication is that the app will work when you get it, and keep working for a long time thereafter.

But what happens when an app — marketed as compatible with current iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches — is never updated for the latest version of iOS, and either stops working after an iOS upgrade, or never works at all on new devices? That’s the situation buyers of Square Enix’s $18 The World Ends with You: Solo Remix (and $20 iPad version) have found themselves in since iOS 8 was released. The game’s description claims that it “requires iOS 4.3 or later” and is compatible with devices that shipped with iOS 8, but it wasn’t actually iOS 8-compatible. Yesterday, Square Enix publicly flip-flopped on whether it would leave the game unplayable or fix it. Before changing its tune, the company told customers that they’d need to continue to keep using iOS 7 in order to play the game — an unrealistic alternative, though one that’s faced by users of numerous iOS apps that aren’t being updated by their developers.

By considering abandonment of the 69% of iOS users who are currently on iOS 8, Square Enix wasn’t just making a business choice; it was also spotlighting the risk App Store customers take every time they purchase an app. And it also revealed how long-unsolved App Store listing ambiguities are subjecting users, developers, and Apple itself to unnecessary problems.

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Apple builds national enterprise sales team for IBM partnership, targets industrial, healthcare, financial customers

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Apple is looking to hire individuals across the US for a team of IBM Business Development Executives that “will be accountable for all aspects of the Apple and IBM partnership for a defined geographic and account set territory.” That means Apple is hiring a team of individuals that will act as company liaisons to help roll out and oversee sales teams pushing the new Apple/IBM iOS solutions to enterprise customers. The positions, which are industry and region-specific, also show Apple’s plan for the upcoming expansion of its enterprise solutions for new industries including manufacturing and healthcare.  Read more