Review: Tylt’s Energi Sliding Power Case doubles iPhone 6 run time, plus 20%

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Last week, we reviewed the first iPhone 6 Plus battery pack we’ve tested, MOTA’s unauthorized but value-laden Battery Case for iPhone 6 Plus. Now a maker of stylish charging accessories called Tylt has debuted what it says is the first Apple-authorized battery case for the iPhone 6, the Energi Sliding Power Case ($100). Officially shipping in mid-January, Energi continues the sled-style battery case design we first saw years ago in Mophie’s original Juice Pack (below), though with two critical differences: for the same price, it includes a 3200mAh rechargeable cell, and a detachable case that can be used alone when you don’t need spare power.

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While it’s not the perfect battery case for iPhone 6 due to some small issues, Energi comes very close. Read on for all the details.

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Facebook launches ‘Stickered’ companion app for Messenger on iOS

After moving the messaging component of its iOS client out into a separate app, Facebook has continued its pattern of breaking up the functionality of its software today by launching a new iOS application called Stickered.

The app launched a few days ago on Android, but only became available today for iOS users. It allows users to add stickers to photos from their camera roll, or overlay them directly on a live camera view before snapping a photo.

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Microsoft continues to target the MacBook Air w/ new Surface Pro 3 ‘Switch’ site

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Microsoft has never been shy about trying to convert MacBook Air users into Surface Pro 3 users. Despite being in a room filled with MacBooks, Microsoft targeted Apple’s laptop head-on at its initial Surface Pro 3 announcement event.

Now Microsoft is further highlighting the differences between the MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3 with a new online campaign (via ZDNet) intended to encourage Mac users to feel comfortable trying out Microsoft’s latest tablet.

Whether you’re considering Surface Pro 3 or have recently purchased one, we want to say thank you! We designed Surface Pro 3 to make you more productive in every aspect of your digital work and life. We’re truly humbled you’re here, and we’re excited to see what you do with your new Surface.

The recently launched microsite is the latest in a campaign largely led by ad spots (the latest holiday spot is almost pleasant) mocking the MacBook Air’s lack of touch screen, stylus, and more compared to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. Read more

Review: Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens for iPhone 6/6 Plus hangs wide-angle + macro lenses from your neck

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Olloclip isn’t the only maker of lenses for iPhone cameras, but after testing options from a dozen vendors, it’s the one I’d call the best at delivering reliably good combinations of quality and practicality. Its latest accessory is the 4-in-1 Lens for iPhone 6/6 Plus ($80), an updated continuation of its longest-running and most popular series of iPhone lenses. Bundled with everything from a lanyard to a set of three colored plastic clips, this version of 4-in-1 now works with two different iPhone 6 sizes, as well as both front FaceTime and rear iSight cameras.

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This cross-model, twin-camera versatility comes at the cost of some added complexity, however, and an issue from earlier Olloclip lenses — the lack of broad case compatibility — is still a factor here. But if you’ve been looking for a way to add wide angle and macro capabilities to your iPhone, the 4-in-1 is worth considering. There are plenty of details and illustrative photographs below.

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Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog

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In an interesting move, Apple has today launched a Tumblr blog for iTunes. The ‘blog’ runs a highly customized theme that more closely reflects Apple’s own website than a typical Tumblr page. The page features music, movies, TV and books content, with individual posts consisting of images, videos and animated GIFs of artists. Tumblr users can reblog these images on their own feeds, for social sharing. On a related note, iTunes also opened an official Instagram account earlier this month.

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Russian Apple Online Store returns … with iPhone 6 prices now 35% higher compared to a week ago

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After a week of being inactive, the Russian Apple Online Store is now back online with customers freely able to purchase products from the site once again. Apple abruptly stopped trading in the region last week due to significant currency exchange rate fluctuations that meant the company had to readjust prices.

Apple has indeed raised prices significantly. The iPhone 6 now costs 53,990 Rubles for a 16 GB base model. This is a 35% increase in the Russian sales price; the model cost 39 990 Rubles last week. 53,990 Rubles is approximately worth $980 dollars. The 16 GB iPhone 6 lists for $649, excluding taxes.

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Interesting combination iPhone 6 stand/power case ‘iStand 6′ crowdsourcing campaign starts today

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An Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign for iStand 6, an MFi-certified combined power case and stand for the iPhone 6, starts today – with early bird pricing starting at just $40.

The iStand 6 is the first all-in-one case for the iPhone 6 with MFi certificate. In addition to providing top of the line protection, the iStand 6 has battery backup, a built-in kickstand, and storage for additional SIM Cards.

The 3500mAh battery is almost double that of the iPhone 6’s own battery, providing approximately three times the life all-in …  Read more

Review: Just Mobile’s TopGum adds glam + a magnetic charging base to a 6,000mAh battery

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The secret to understanding USB battery pricing is that you tend to get what you pay for: cheap batteries lose their charges faster and can bulge and leak over time. Other companies specialize in selling atypically nice batteries that last longer and work better. Just Mobile is a leader in quality batteries: for the past six years, its Gum series (shown below) has spanned every Apple device type, size, and speed, but it has never built a Lightning cable into a battery before. That changes with the January release of TopGum ($80), which advances the company’s prior state-of-the-art Gum++ model in two ways: an authentic Lightning cable’s integrated into the battery’s left edge, and a matching magnetic battery charging dock is included.

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Of course, these features – and a choice of gold or gray metal exteriors – come at a premium over typical all-plastic batteries, so if you don’t need the cable or dock, you’ll be equally well-served with the company’s earlier batteries. Read on for the full story.

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As expected, Walt Disney World will start accepting Apple Pay in time for the holidays

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Following in the footsteps of the Disney Stores, Walt Disney World will be accepting Apple Pay from 24th December, reports the company.

Initially, most stores, quick service restaurants, bars and ticket sales booths will be included. Any locations that use portable payment terminals, such as table service restaurants, will be added later.

To identify payment locations that accept Apple Pay and contactless payments, look for the EMVCo symbol, which is a series of curved lines, similar to a WiFi signal strength meter on many devices.

Disney was an Apple Pay launch partner, installing upgraded iBeacons and NFC readers in its retail stores prior to the launch of the service, but contactless payment had previously only been available at WDW via the company’s own MagicBands wristbands …  Read more

Latest Digitimes rumor on 12-inch MacBook Air: entering mass-production in Q1 2015

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Digitimes is claiming that the long-expected 12-inch MacBook Air will be entering mass-production in the first quarter of 2015 “following a pilot production at the end of 2014.”

It should be noted this is the same source that predicted the machine would be launched in October, claiming at the time that shipments had already begun. Digitimes bases its latest claim on “upstream supply chain” sources – in other words, suppliers to suppliers to Apple. This does not aid its credibility …  Read more