Mophie announces Space Packs for iPad mini, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, universal SpaceStation

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Continuing its line of combination battery cases and external storage solutions for iOS devices, Mophie today announced a collection of new accessories in the Space family: Space Pack for iPad mini ($200-$400), Space Pack for iPhone 6 ($150-$300), Space Pack for iPhone 6 Plus ($150-$300), and SpaceStation ($150-$300). The three Space Packs combine iPad or iPhone-recharging battery cases with 32, 64, or 128GB of storage capacity, while SpaceStation offers the same three storage capacity choices with a standalone, device-agnostic USB battery pack. A free Space app lets you access movies, music, photos, and data that have been separately stored in the Space accessories by your computer, using an included USB cable.

Mophie’s batteries differ considerably between the devices. The iPhone 6 Space Pack has a 3,300mAh battery, which is said to provide a 100% recharge of the device, while the iPhone 6 Plus version has a smaller 2,600mAh battery that Mophie says will deliver a 50% recharge. An 8,000mAh battery in the more expensive iPad mini case promises a 100% recharge, and a 6,000mAh battery in SpaceStation is claimed to offer “3X extra battery” for unspecified devices — certainly smaller phones, rather than the iPhones and iPads supported by the other models.

All of the new Space Pack batteries are available for preorder now from Mophie’s web site, and will ship in May. The SpaceStation and lower-priced Space Packs for the iPhone 5/5s (16GB / 32GB / 64GB) are in stock now. Read more

Apple adds 10 new retailers to Apple Pay website, brings total to 68 merchants

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 11.04.29 PMApple this evening has added 10 new retailers to its Apple Pay site, bringing the total to 68 merchants highlighted on its website. Eddy Cue revealed earlier this year that Apple Pay was available in Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors, and Apple has officially added the arena to its site tonight. Apple also officially added the Amway Center and US Airways Center to the site, although both have previously supported Apple Pay.

Apple previously said contactless payment terminals at over 700,000 locations total support Apple Pay in the US.

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Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 — Ultimate Comparison (Video)

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It’s always a difficult task when comparing iOS and Android devices, but this year it may be more important than ever. Samsung has finally stepped up its game with the Galaxy S6, and now we have something that is truly comparable to Apple’s iPhone lineup. Today we’re getting into the ultimate comparison between Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Apple’s iPhone 6…

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Review: Incipio’s offGRID Shine expands iPhone 6 battery cases with an optional Dock for charging

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Apple’s lack of interest in releasing official iPhone 6 docks has created an opportunity for third-party product developers, notably including HiRise maker Twelve South and battery case maker Mophie, which is rolling out iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus versions of its Juice Pack Dock. Incipio has decided to join the pack with its own options: the offGRID Dock ($40) and several new offGRID battery cases, starting with offGRID Shine ($90, available online for $81). The pitch: pay a little more than the excellent offGRID Express (review) and you get a fancier case with support for dockable recharging. Later, you can purchase the dock separately if you want it.

Is the premium worth it? That depends on your personal needs, but if you want an iPhone 6 dock, you’ll find that the offGRID system is more aggressively priced than Mophie’s alternatives. Read on for the details.

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KGI: 4 inch iPhone ‘unlikely’ for 2015, Force Touch will work differently to MacBook and Watch

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In a new report from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst claims that a new four inch iPhone is unlikely for 2015. This contradicts some recent reports and supposed 4-inch ‘6C’ case leaks, but KGI is generally more reliable than other analysts. We would still be wary of any such predictions however, given that mass production of iPhone models will not be started for a few months giving plenty of time for Apple to change plans.

KGI also notes that whilst the next-generation 4.7 and 5.5 inch iPhones will feature pressure-sensitive Force Touch technology, it will work differently to what customers will see in the Apple Watch, new MacBook and updated 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

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Apple launches iPhone and iPad trade-in program in China Apple Stores

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Apple today officially launched a version of its Apple Store iPhone trade-in program for China, as noted on the individual store pages for China’s Apple Retail Stores.

As is the case in the United States and several other countries with Apple Stores, the program allows a user to bring in an older iPhone model and trade in that device for gift card credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone; the program will most likely not allow a customer to trade in an iPhone toward the purchase of an Apple Watch. But as contrasted with the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, the new China program is limited to iPhones and iPads, and will not support non-Apple smartphones.

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Apple Pay setup by two-thirds of iPhone 6 owners, nearly half only used once says survey

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Research shared by Phoenix Marketing International offers new data for Apple Pay‘s adoption and performance since it launched in the United States in October last year. The survey polled just over 3,000 credit cardholders to conclude that “11% of all credit card-owning households” and two out of three iPhone 6 users have used Apple Pay. Aside from a high adoption rate for the mobile payment service, the survey also highlights that almost half of those Apple Pay users have used the service just one time. Read more

Review: PowerSkin’s PoP’n 3 sticks a 4000mAh Lightning battery on your iPhone 6 / Plus as needed

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Yesterday, I reviewed PowerSkin’s Spare, a semi-protective battery case designed specifically for the iPhone 6. While Spare didn’t strike me as a great value for its asking price, PowerSkin also sells a more powerful alternative called PoP’n 3 that can work with multiple iPhones, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and earlier iPhone 5 models. And despite having nearly twice as much power as Spare — enough power to fully recharge any iPhone — it sells for only $50-$55, depending on the color you prefer.

PoP’n 3 isn’t a typical USB battery pack, even though it looks like one. Made mostly from metallic plastic that matches the space gray, silver, or gold colors of recent iPhones, it has a Lightning cable built into the bottom for easy connection to bare or encased devices. Suction cups on one side let it attach or detach from your iPhone on an as-desired basis, and unlike iPhone-specific battery cases, enable it to function as a just-in-case power source for iPads, too…

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Review: PowerSkin’s Spare gives iPhone 6 users a modest 2200mAh of extra battery case juice

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Since late last year, the best iPhone 6 battery cases have generally included two things that iPhone 6 users now take for granted: enough spare power for at least one complete recharge, plus adequate coverage for the iPhone’s top, bottom, and back, if not its sides. PowerSkin has gone in a somewhat different direction with Spare for iPhone 6 ($80), a battery sled that caters to iPhone users who want less of everything. With a small 2200mAh cell inside, it’s the lowest-capacity battery case I’ve seen for the iPhone 6, and also offers the least body coverage, but sells for about the same price as more capacious and protective rivals.

Lightweight and marginally easier to pack in some bags than some rival battery cases, Spare is here for users who want a partial iPhone 6 recharge and anti-drop protection, but no anti-scratch safety. It’s offered in silver, gold, or space gray, currently ranging from $70-$72 based on your color preference. PowerSkin claims that it will deliver a 100% iPhone 6 recharge, but our testing found otherwise…
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Apple Pay continues its PGA Tour with MasterCard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf event

MasterCard Shows Latest Payment Technology At Arnold Palmer Invitational

Apple Pay partner MasterCard used the PGA Tour kickoff in Phoenix earlier this year to promote Apple’s mobile payment service, and today MasterCard announced that Apple Pay will be accepted at the upcoming Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. MasterCard says that almost all vendors at the golf event will accept Apple Pay and other contactless payment options for paying for merchandise and concessions. Read more

Review: Anker’s Ultra Slim Battery Case for iPhone 6 offers a surprising mix of thinness, power, and low pricing

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I’ve learned over the years that there’s no such thing as an Apple accessory that’s perfect for every user. A design optimized for budget-conscious users will often turn off people who are ready to spend more for something fancier, and vice-versa. The best a company can do is to design, execute, and price products well for a particular segment of the population. Anker specializes in this — it focuses on creating very good to great accessories for value-focused users.

Its new Ultra Slim Battery Case for iPhone 6 ($40-$60 on Amazon) is another example of that formula. Unfancy but more polished than similarly budget-priced rivals such as uNu’s DX-6, it’s not the most powerful or beautiful iPhone 6 battery case I’ve tested, but it does precisely what most users want: it more than doubles the iPhone 6’s power, doesn’t add much bulk to the device, and costs very little relative to most battery cases. Anker’s regular $60 price tag would be competitive for an Apple-certified case on its own, but it frequently sells for only $40, the best overall value I’ve seen for iPhone 6 users, hands-down.

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