Review: Boostcase’s Bloc is a boxy, portable Apple Watch dock with a hidden 2000mAh battery

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Most of the accessories I’ve reviewed for 9to5Mac require little explanation — they’re the second, third, or tenth iteration of a concept we’ve seen many times before. Marked with “Carte Blanche” branding, Boostcase’s new Bloc ($60-$100) is something new… and as such, it mightn’t completely make sense at first blush. It’s not just an Apple Watch stand like the many others I’ve covered: it’s actually a standalone charging dock. With its own built-in power source. Made from your choice of wood ($60 preorder/$80 regular), aluminum ($80), steel or gold-colored aluminum (each $80 preorder/$100 regular).

It’s as minimalist of a design as docks can get: a big, solid-feeling box hiding your Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable and a 2000mAh battery inside. And it’s available in colors matching nearly every Apple Watch, even including gold and rose gold. You’ll have to decide whether or not it makes sense for your personal needs, but one thing’s for sure — there’s nothing else quite like it on the market, or likely to appear any time soon…

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Chinese factory that produced 41,000 counterfeit iPhones shut down after some made it to the U.S.

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Beijing police have raided and closed down a factory which employed hundreds of workers on six production lines to make more than 41,000 counterfeit iPhones – some of which made it to the United States, reports Reuters. The total value of the fake phones was estimated at 120M Yuan ($19M). While the raid took place in May, Chinese authorities only shared details yesterday.

Police arrested nine people, including a married couple who led the operation, after a raid in May on the factory, run under the guise of a gadget maintenance shop on the northern outskirts of the Chinese capital.

The investigation was prompted by a tip-off from U.S. authorities after some of the fake phones made it to the USA …  Read more

Best Buy to begin selling Apple Watch in stores and online on August 7

apple-watch_image2_v01-652x300Best Buy announced today in a press release that it will become the first national retailer, aside from Apple, to sell Apple Watch in stores. The company says that the device will hit more than 100 of its stores on August 7th and will be available online from that date, as well. Best Buy will expand Apple Watch availability to another 200 locations in time for the holiday shopping season.

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The Logic Pros: Automate tedious MIDI edits into a single-click with Logic’s Transform feature

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In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we will be looking at ways to speed up our editing and song creation with LPX’s MIDI Transform feature. In many cases, manually working Logic’s Piano Roll editor will get the job done, but there are certainly times when editing MIDI performances/events can be a very tedious process. Getting those extended performances just right or zeroing in on problem areas for complex passages can’t take hours (or days) to get right in some cases. But with LPX’s MIDI Transform features we can get many of these types of arduous tasks done in just a few clicks: Read more

The Best Bluetooth Speakers 2015: JBL Charge 2+, Bose Soundlink Mini II and UE Roll/Megaboom

Best-Bluetooth-speakers-2015L to R: UE Mini (review), Roll (review), Boom (review) and Megaboom (review), JBL Charge 2+(review) and Charge 2 (review), Bose Soundlink III (review) and Soundlink Mini 2 (prev review)
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There’s nothing like having a summer moment free to listen to your favorite music with your friends. The combination of portable Bluetooth speakers and great music apps like Apple Music with Beats 1 radio can make this an instant spontaneous event as long as you’ve got the right gear. There are tons of Bluetooth speakers around but we’re cutting through the noise and signaling the best from three top brands today: Bose, UE and JBL.

In last year’s exhaustive holiday season Best Bluetooth Speaker Review, I gave the title of best speaker to the JBL Charge 2 for having nearly the best sound, cylindrical portability, great looks, long battery life and the ability to charge your phone for around $120. JBL has updated their game with the Charge 2+ but both Bose and UE have really doubled down on their product functionality this year. It is going to be a tough call… Read more

Apple debuts new web campaign to accompany ‘If it’s not an iPhone’ ads

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Following up on its newest TV ad campaign, “If it’s not an iPhone,” Apple has launched a new web page dedicated to explaining what sets its smartphone apart from the competition. The page is titled “Why there’s nothing quite like iPhone,” and breaks down many key features, like iMessages, the camera, and the built-in security features.

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First trailer for former Gawker COO’s ‘Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine’ documentary released

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Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films today debuted the first trailer for the upcoming biographical film centered around Steve Jobs. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” was originally premiered earlier this year at SXSW and is spearheaded by director Alex Gibney and executive producer Gaby Darbyshire, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Gawker Media.

Darbyshire headed up Gawker legal when the media company’s subsidiary Gizmodo bought the iPhone 4 that was “left at the bar” and would have been at the center of the controversy that surrounded the subsequent firestorm with Apple and then CEO Steve Jobs.

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Intel’s upcoming Skylake processors promise improved low power performance & 30% longer battery life

Intel Skylake

Intel’s upcoming processor refresh with Skylake appears to be promising for Mac users awaiting a significant performance upgrade. Internal Intel slides leaked by the website FanlessTech describe the year-over-year advancements and performance improvements from Broadwell to Skylake chips. As Apple is expected to include Skylake processors from Intel in refreshed hardware later this year or early next year, these specs give us a preview of what is likely coming to the Mac’s performance.

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Review: Manfrotto KLYP+, the fun iPhonography kit at perhaps a slightly too serious price

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As Apple’s Shot on iPhone ad campaign illustrates, the iPhone is a capable camera in the right hands. Many people find that it’s the only camera they ever need.

But if you’ve ever wished it could do just a little more without carrying around too much extra bulk, the Manfrotto KLYP+ kit may be worth a look. It’s an iPhone case (available for a range of models) that comes with two screw-on lenses and a combination light and tripod mount. The whole kit comes in at $125 …  Read more