Details on Apple’s upcoming Lightning port specs for third-party accessories

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We previously told you that Apple will be licensing its female Lightning port to third-party accessoriesfollowing an announcement to Made for iPhone licensees late last year. Since then, the company has released specs for the Lightning port that details exactly what Apple hopes to achieve by opening it up to third-parties, including how it could improve accessories. Read more

Latest iOS 8.2 iPhone beta adds Apple Watch Bluetooth support, confirms app

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The latest iOS 8.2 beta for the iPhone adds support for Apple’s next major product launch: the Apple Watch. Inside of the Bluetooth Settings menu is a new panel specifically for pairing an iPhone with the Apple Watch. Additionally, the instructions inside of the Bluetooth menu specifically indicate that Apple will release a dedicated “Apple Watch app” for setting up and controlling the wearable device. An early preview of the Watch explained the standalone app as follows:

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Hands-on with Qardio’s lineup of connected health devices (Video)

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Technology is constantly improving the health management while providing ease and reliability. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of major players in this space, but Qardio has assembled a very unique lineup of connected devices that are sure to make an impact on technology-driven health sensors. Qardio was awesome enough to sponsor our CES 2015 coverage, which means we got the behind the scenes, insider look at the award-winning smartphone-connected accessory QardioArm and a couple of new products that will be launching this spring…

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The fundamental flaw with EU 14-day refunds: you keep the app forever

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A week ago, Apple introduced 14-day no-questions-asked refunds in the EU for iTunes Store and App Store content. This means that, without the need for a reason, any Apple customer in Europe can get their money back for (primarily) app purchases in 5-7 days time. That’s how it is described, at least.

This opens up some possibilities for abuse. For instance, if you complete a game within two weeks, then you can get your money back and end up paying nothing. As a developer, I tested this out myself. It turns out there is an even bigger problem. At least, right now, when the refund is processed, the app continues to work. You get the app for free, forever.

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Top smart home and HomeKit tech of CES 2015 (Video)

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There’s a very clear message delivered on the CES 2015 show floor: Smart home tech is definitely a thing. There is a ton of tech/accessories being showcased at CES that are designed to make your home life easier through connectivity. We’ve roamed the show floor searching high and low to bring you a roundup of some of the best smart home tech that was announced…

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Harman debuts touchscreen-free CarPlay solution, Integrated Essentials Cockpit

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Demonstrating how Apple’s CarPlay will be integrated into upcoming budget vehicles, Harman has shown the Integrated Essentials Cockpit, a new OEM solution that does away with direct touchscreen interaction in favor of a steering wheel-mounted touchpad. The Integrated Essentials Cockpit eliminates the currently popular center console-mounted screen, instead bringing Apple’s CarPlay interface directly into the dashboard behind the steering wheel.

Unusually, the CarPlay UI then sits between a left-side speedometer and a right-side tachometer, below a bar with a thermometer and above a fuel gauge and odometer. More pictures and details are below.

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Hands-on with the first Lightning earbuds, Harman’s JBL Reflect Aware headphones (Video)

Last year we told you that Lightning headphones were on the way when we were first to report on Apple opening up the spec to headphone makers through its Made-for-iPhone licensing program. And now, the first wave of products that will be hitting the market using the Lightning connector are officially on show this week at CES.

Using Lightning for audio offers a few benefits, including the ability to draw power for noise cancelling features and more without a battery. That’s exactly what these new JBL Reflect Aware earbuds from Harman do, as shown off in our hands-on with the product above. Read more

Apple announces new App Store records, says New Year’s Day biggest sales day in history

app store hero flat modernApple shared new numbers for the App Store today announcing that last week set a new record for App Store billings. According to the company, customers have spent almost $500 million dollars through app and in-app purchases over the App Store through the first week in January.. In addition to the company’s App Store record announcement, Apple has presented a new microsite focused on its job creation efforts.

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Apple to widen pre-release iOS testing by roping in retail employees

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Apple will begin providing select retail store employees access to upcoming versions of iOS in order to widen its pre-release testing program, according to multiple sources. The program will begin in the near-future with an upcoming iOS release, perhaps version 8.2, which is slated to be released alongside the Apple Watch

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The best cases for the new iPad Air 2 & iPad mini at CES 2015

Yesterday we kicked off our running list of the best iPhone cases on show at CES 2015, and today we’ve started collecting the new and interesting iPad cases we’ve run into at the show. Some of the notables include a new case from AT&T that gives Wi-Fi only iPads access to LTE data in addition to a battery pack and microSD slot, and a new folio case from Incipio that adds a small display for smartwatch-like notifications without opening the cover.

Head below for the full list of the new iPad cases, most of which are scheduled to arrive sometime in the weeks and months to come. Read more