CES 2016 Stories January 8, 2016

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Having launched only a few months ago, Apple’s new iPad Pro challenged third-party developers to quickly come up with new accessories worth showing this year at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. A bunch of companies rose to the occasion at CES, showing off new cases, keyboards, and batteries made to handle the 12.9″ tablet’s size and needs.

With nicer materials and more deluxe features than the basic (often $20-$30) iPad Pro cases that have appeared online, most of these new options are also a lot more expensive. Check out the best of the new iPad Pro accessories below…

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CES 2016 Stories January 7, 2016

Apple exec Eddy Cue reportedly speaking at Rupert Murdoch’s private CES event today

As is tradition, Apple is just about the only big consumer tech company not making a public appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. In fact, Apple hasn’t attended CES in any official capacity since John Sculley’s keynote introduction of the Newton in 1992. But Apple exec Eddy Cue, the company’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, is reportedly speaking at a super exclusive, private CES event being held by Rupert Murdoch today in Vegas.

Alongside Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and long list of other tech industry bigwigs, Quartz reports that Cue is scheduled to speak at the event hosted by executive chairman of News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch:

Some of those who work for Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, also have a special event to attend: A private annual confab in Murdoch’s hotel suite featuring some of the biggest names in business, which started yesterday (Jan. 6) and concludes today… This year’s speakers were scheduled to include Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the founders of news startup TheSkimm, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, venture capitalist/analyst-types Benedict Evans and Mary Meeker, actor and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, and Apple iTunes and cloud services executive Eddy Cue, according to an agenda viewed by Quartz and sources familiar with the event.

The event is usually attended by “an internal audience of Murdoch’s News Corp. and 21st Century Fox lieutenants,” according to Quartz, so it’s possible the content of Cue’s talk will be kept private.

While Apple doesn’t make a public showing at CES these days, it does send some of its people to Vegas each year to check out the competition.

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With the new 12-inch MacBook sporting just a single USB Type-C port, an adapter to get back some USB ports and SD card slots will be necessary for a lot of users. With more and more devices adopting the standard, we’re seeing a lot of USB C accessories announced at CES 2016 this year, many of which are designed specifically with 12-inch MacBook users in mind. So, as we’ve already done for HomeKit and Apple Watch products, below we’re rounding up all of the USB Type-C products for MacBook announced at the show this week.

In addition to hubs, companies are also showing off new portable battery packs, cables, adapters, displays and more, all made possible thanks to USB-C and compatible with the new 12-inch MacBook. 

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Bluelounge redesigns classic, 10-year-old Cableyoyo as headphone cord manager

Cableyoyo, a classic Apple device cable manager that was also Bluelounge’s first product, has received a complete redesign after 10 years on the market — an eternity by the standards of tech products. Originally debuted as a thin box to hide computer cables, winding a wire inside a silver, white, or black plastic enclosure with a detachable, adhesive back, the new Cableyoyo has been reimagined as a metal-cored, rubber-bodied circle for use with headphones.

CES 2016 Stories January 6, 2016

First Alert unveils HomeKit-enabled safe, environment monitor, and thermostat coming this year

Joining the onslaught of HomeKit-enabled tech we’ve seen so far at the Consumer Electronics Show, First Alert has just taken the wraps off of some more tech that uses Apple’s connected home platform. Last year at CES, First Alert announced its OneLink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector, and this year it’s building on that announcement with a new HomeKit-enabled safe, an environment monitor, and a thermostat.

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While the Consumer Electronics Show only technically began today, the week so far has been full of companies announcing all sorts of accessories. We’ve covered some of it in detail already, but new offerings are coming in at such a fast pace it’s hard to keep track of it all.

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Happy Hour 21

Welcome to the first ever live edition of Happy Hour straight from Las Vegas at CES 2016! In this episode we’re discussing some of the latest announcements, new accessories for Apple products, and more! The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed.

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computestick2

One year after introducing the original Compute Stick, a version of which was featured in our guide to building a $150 iTunes media server, Intel today announced the 2nd-gen Compute Stick ($159-$499) with many noteworthy improvements. Still shaped like a pack of gum, the new Compute Stick fits a full-fledged PC into a small black enclosure, elongated modestly to accommodate a second USB port and new wireless hardware. This year, Intel is offering Atom, Core M3 and Core M5 versions, though even the $159 quad-core Atom version has enough power to serve as a full-fledged iTunes media server…

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Apple’s HomeKit platform, which allows Siri-control of Wi-Fi connected home automation accessories, is one of the big areas of interest for accessory makers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. With the event officially kicking off today, we’ve put together one place to find all of the announcements this week for the latest HomeKit products.

Some of the highlights so far: the first ceiling fans and window blinds for the platform are on show this week, while more outlets, switches, thermostats and door lock options also gain support. And the products come from some notable companies in the space including Honeywell, Lutron, Kwikset, iHome, and more. 

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At CES 2016, Hyper is showing off both new and updated product lines, all of which are specifically designed with iPhone, iPad, and Mac users in mind. The highlights are a new USB-C hub for 12″ MacBook users, a USB 3.0 Lightning thumb drive, and a pair of slick Apple Watch accessories.  expand full story

Unhappy with the Apple Watch battery life? The new Withings Go activity tracker offers 8 months between charges …

While I personally find that the Apple Watch comfortably gets me through a full day except when travelling between time-zones involves 20-hour days, some are vocal in their complaints about battery-life. There could be no such complaints about the Withings Go, the company’s latest activity and sleep tracker: the company says that it can last for up to eight months between charges.

The secret? An e-ink display. E-ink screens use no power to display data, simply sipping tiny amounts of power when the display changes.

For walking and running, the device analyzes number of steps, distance covered, calories burned as well as the duration of the running session. Go is also water-resistant (5 ATM) and automatically recognizes when the user starts swimming. At night, Go analyzes and can distinguish between light and deep sleep cycles. Withings Go connects to the free Withings Health Mate iOS and Android application that acts as a personal coach to track and motivate users to achieve their own activity goals.

Of course, the Withings Go is no substitute for an Apple Watch, displaying only an activity percentage dial or analog watchface – and there’s no heart-rate sensor. But if you want a wear-and-forget basic activity tracker, this might be just the thing you’re after.

The Withings Go will cost $69 when it goes on sale sometime this quarter. If you can’t wait until then, you get a similar battery-life from the company’s existing smart-looking Activite Pop Smart Watch – which is an analog watch with a mechanical activity dial. This normally costs $149.95 but is currently on sale at Amazon for $99.99.

Apple-Watch-Charger

We are big fans of Kanex so we snuck over to their CES booth last night for an early look at their 2016 accessories. In short, they have a lot of goodies that they’ll be announcing later today (and we’ll update this post when they do). What stuck out for us were 2 products… expand full story

Insteon adds Sonos integration to control speakers from its iOS app & hardware

Users of Insteon’s connected home automation products will now be able to control their Sonos speakers directly from Insteon hardware and the company’s iOS app. The feature comes thanks to a new integration with Sonos that the company announced today at CES 2016.

With the integration, users will be able to control their Sonos speakers from the Insteon wall keypads, handheld remotes and sensors, as well as the company’s Hub app for iPhone and iPad. Instead offered some examples of how you can sync your Sonos speakers and music with lighting scenes and more:

Through this integration, music can now play a part in custom Insteon lighting scenes so that while the lights slowly fade on in the morning, gentle music resonates throughout the home and the coffee starts brewing. Alternatively, at dusk, the lights could fade on while users arrive home to their favorite dinner prep playlist.

You’ll also be able to make adjustments by assigning specific functions for Sonos (like volume up and down, for example) to the Insteon wall keypad. Sonos owners can easily control their speakers as they walk in and out of rooms or when they simply do not want the hassle of dealing with an app.

“It’s easy for homeowners to replace normal wall switches with Insteon keypads that can be used to control the existing light, while adding additional buttons for control of Sonos speakers or other lights and appliances throughout the home. Users can also pick up an Insteon wireless remote from the coffee table and instantly enjoy control at their fingertips. Insteon will be offering pre-printed keypad buttons specifically for Sonos related functions, which will make basic sound control even easier for anyone to use and understand.”

The Sonos integration for Insteon will go live some time this week via an update to the company’s iOS app on the App Store.

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Building upon some of its most popular prior Bluetooth audio products, JBL has debuted the fully waterproof Charge 3 ($150) and Clip 2 ($60) speakers, as well as three in-ear headphones: the advanced active noise-cancelling Everest Elite 100 ($199), and two versions of the Under Armour UA Headphones Wireless ($180-$250), one with an integrated heart rate monitor…

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studioolloclip

Best known for its iPhone lens accessories, Olloclip today unveiled Studio ($90), a rail mounting camera accessory case for the iPhone 6, 6s, and Plus models. Studio enables the latest iPhone models to transform into more fully-featured cameras, including a bundle of protection, mounting hardware, and basic grips. It works with Olloclip’s existing, popular lineup of iPhone lenses, which are sold separately…

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pioneer ces 2016

Today at CES 2016, Pioneer will unveil an upgraded lineup of NEX series in-dash receivers featuring Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free. Pioneer first brought Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system to cars through aftermarket displays in 2014. This year’s third-generation CarPlay head units from Pioneer include models with both 6.2-inch and 7-inch resistive and capacitive touchscreen displays.

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CES 2016 Stories January 5, 2016

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Speck today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has taken the wraps off of its foray into the virtual reality market. The popular accessory maker has unveiled the Pocket VR viewer, which features a collapsible design and is compatible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

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Harman today has announced the JBL Legend CP100 in-car infotainment system. The JBL Legend CP100 marks the company’s first in-car solution that is compatible with Apple’s CarPlay system, joining the growing number of aftermarket solutions for obtaining Apple’s car infotainment system in older vehicles.

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Samsung Gear S2 to gain iOS compatibility later this year, now comes in gold & platinum

At its CES keynote, Samsung announced that its Gear S2 smartwatches will come in two new metal finishes and will get iOS compatibility later this year.

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While Apple doesn’t make a public appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, most of the companies building products for Macs and iOS devices do. That’s why we have most of the team at CES 2016 this year covering the new and notable for Apple related products as the show officially kicks off tomorrow.

It can be a little much to go through day by day with announcements already happening by the hour, so we’re compiling the best of the best here to give you one quick and easy place to check out all of the best new iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch accessories on show this week. expand full story

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Expanding upon earlier product lineups, Incipio today announced a number of 12″ MacBook-ready USB Type-C accessories and dockable offGRID series batteries for iPhone users. The USB-C accessories offer affordable ways to expand either the ports or charging capabilities of Apple’s Retina MacBook, while the offGRID options include compact, device-agnostic dockable batteries and a new iPhone 6/6s battery case…

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iHeartRadio announces new app coming to fourth-gen Apple TV

iHeartMedia, the company behind the popular iHeartRadio streaming service, has today announced that it will soon support the fourth-generation Apple TV. In Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, it was announced that iHeartRadio will soon be available to users of the Apple TV via an all new application.

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iHome today has unveiled a handful of new accessories at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The well-known accessory maker has unveiled a new version of its popular SmartPlug, a handful of Bluetooth accessories, and a pair of new docking stations.

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idevices ces 2016

We’ve already seen some interesting new HomeKit accessories out of CES 2016 including the first Siri-controlled ceiling fans, and now iDevices is expanding its current lineup of HomeKit-compatible products with four new gadgets that make home automation even easier. The Apple accessory maker is showing off its new Socket, Wall Switch, Dimmer Switch, and Wall Outlet which will let you control and automate standard light bulbs and other appliances using iOS and Siri. iDevices already offers a HomeKit Switch and Outdoor Switch (plus Thermostat), and today’s newly announced gear includes hard-wired solutions and ways to turn any lightbulb into a smart lightbulb.

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