Weather app: The ultimate guide

Posted on December 4, 2016 by Rene Ritchie.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do you check the temperature and precipitation for the day and the week, where you are and around the world? With the Weather app for iPhone!

The Weather app for iPhone can show you a list of cities, along with local times and temperatures, which makes it incredibly easy to glance at a wide range of information. In addition to the weather for your current location, you can also add additional locations based on city name, postal or zip code, or airport code. You can arrange all the cities in exactly the order you want, and you can even remove ones you no longer want.

Here's how!

How to add locations to Weather for iPhone

The Weather app for iPhone will automatically keep track of the climate and temperature in your current location, if you allow it. However, you can also add any other locations you might want to keep track of. Whether you're traveling or simply have family, friends, or colleagues around the world, you easily keep all the information you want, all available at a glance.

  1. Launch the Weather app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Tap the List button at the bottom right (or pinch to compress down to the list view).
  3. Tap the + button at the bottom right.

  4. Type in the name of the city, zip or postal code, or airport code.

  5. Tap on the desired city from the search results.

How to remove locations from Weather for iPhone

  1. Launch the Weather app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Tap the List button at the bottom right (or pinch to compress down to the list view).

  3. Swipe from right to left on top of the location you want to remove to reveal the Delete button

  4. Tap the Delete button

How to rearrange locations in the Weather app for iPhone

  1. Launch the Weather app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Tap the List button at the bottom right (or pinch to compress down to the list view).
  3. Touch and hold the weather location you'd like to move up or down in the list.

  4. Drag the weather location to the position you'd like it to be in
  5. Release your finger to reorder the weather location.

Repeat this process for each item you'd like to move up or down in the list.

How to change from Celsius to Fahrenheit in Weather for iPhone

  1. Launch the Weather app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Tap the List button at the bottom right (or pinch to compress down to the list view).

  3. Tap the °C / °F button at the bottom left.

  4. Tap the °C / °F button at the bottom left again to toggle back.

In addition to checking weather information using the app, you can also ask Siri for the most important forecast and temperature information.

Any questions about Weather?

If you have any questions about the built-in Weather app for iPhone, drop them in the comments below!

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Save All Your Favorite YouTube Videos To Watch On Demand with this Great Mac App [Deals Hub]

Posted on by StackSocial.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Your Mac is a media machine, but you can give it a boost with Softorino YouTube Converter. It’s the perfect tool to take your favorite YouTube videos with you while on the go or access them when you’re away from Wi-Fi, and oyu can get it on sale now from the iPhone Hacks Deals Hub. Continue reading

The Best iPhone Deals for December 2016

Posted on by Rajesh Pandey.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Looking to buy an iPhone this December? With Christmas around the corner, most retailers are offering nice deals on Apple’s latest iPhones — the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Continue reading

Best Battery Banks for iPhone

Posted on by Mike Tanasychuk.
Categories: Uncategorized.

What's the best battery bank for iPhone? Here are our favorites!

Having a way to charge your iPhone on the go is paramount nowadays, especially since heavy use — looking at you Facebook, Snapchat, and Pokémon Go! — can kill your battery before day's end. When that happens, and then no outlet in site, a battery pack will be your best friend. But which battery pack? Here are our favorites!

TravelCard 1,500mAh

The Wirecutter's favorite charger is also one of ours, especially since you can buy one made specifically for iPhone, with a built-in Lightning cable.

1,500mAh won't give you a full charge for your iPhone, but it will easily help you make it to the end of the day and then some. What more can you expect from a charger that's roughly the length and width of a credit card?

See at TravelCard

RAVPower Ace 22,000mAh

If you need a lot more power — as in you might not see a power outlet for a couple days — then the RAVPower Ace series has you more than covered. 22,000mAh is enough to charge your iPhone at least six times, if not more.

These power banks are relatively compact, at about 6.5 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about an inch thick, so still absolutely portable and convenient. The shell is fire-resistant, made of the same material Mercedes and BMW use in their vehicles, so you won't have any Galaxy Note 7 episodes. There are also three ports, so you can charge up to three devices simultaneously.

See at Amazon

KMASHI 10,000mAh

If you want a power bank that's about the size of a chocolate bar, but you still need to charge your iPhone a couple times with it, KMASHI's 10,000mAh bank should do the trick.

Intelligent power management means overcurrent, overcharge, and overvoltage protection, so you won't fry your iPhone in case something goes wrong, and you won't fry the power bank while charging it. LED indicators let you know when the bank is full and when it's time to recharge, so you'll know roughly how long you have before you need to plug in.

See at Amazon

Aukey 16,000mAh

Aukey's battery bank is on the bigger side for a bank with a 16,000mAh battery, but what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in performance. You'll be able to charge your iPhone around 4 times, and even charge a 9.7-inch iPad Pro once.

The built-in flashlight is extra handy if you're plugging in your iPhone in the dark or if your iPhone is dead and you need a little light. There are built-in safeguards to protect your iPhone from a power surge and overheating, and you get a 2-year warranty should anything go wrong with the bank.

See at Amazon

Anker Astro E1 5,200mAh

Anker makes phenomenal charging products. Astro E1 is an excellent candy bar-sized option that's perfect for heading out to play Pokémon Go, or just for charging your iPhone at your desk without taking up any space.

5,200mAh should charge your iPhone about twice, so it's even a great travel option if you know you'll be out and about a lot without much time to stick it in the wall.

See at Amazon

Aibocn 10,000mAh

Sure, the company name is impossible to pronounce, but Aibocn's 10,000mAh power bank doesn't have time for your sputtering — it's too busy charging up your iPhone and stealing your car. Well, the former at least.

It looks like something a Stormtrooper would carry and features a backup flashlight in case you're caught in the dark or need help aiming your blaster (see what I did there?).

Two USB ports lets you charge two devices simultaneously, and Aibocn's 1-year warranty will keep you backed up and hassle-free. These also start around $11, so you've no reason note to grab one.

See at Amazon

Anker PowerCore 20,100mAh

Yes, another Anker, but this one has 20,100mAh of PowerCore — able to charge your iPhone about five times and all in a package about the size of your iPhone.

Dual USB ports let you charge two devices at the same time, making this perfect for everyday use, especially if you like to rock your iPhone and iPad all day long.

As usual, you get Anker's 18-month warranty, and your device is protected in the event of overcurrent, overcharge, or overvoltage.

See at Amazon

What keeps you going and going and going… ?

Do you use an awesome battery bank that I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments below!

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Digital Offer: Softorino YouTube Converter for Mac is only $10!

Posted on by iMore.com.
Categories: Uncategorized.

YouTube is the number one stop for online videos, thanks to its massive library of diverse media — find music videos, classic movies, viral clips, and more. Until now, you've needed a steady internet connection to enjoy YouTube. Air-travel and remote areas, for example, were a problem for your YouTube watching, but that's about to change.

If you want to enjoy YouTube everywhere, you need an app that downloads videos for safe storage on your Apple device. You want to keep the videos at their native, high quality, and you want a simple user interface to manage everything.

Right now, iMore Digital Offers has a great deal on Softorino YouTube Converter — pick it up for only $10, which is 50% off the regular price. Once you buy this program, it sticks with you forever.

With Softorino YouTube Converter, all you have to do is copy a YouTube link — Softorino monitors your clipboard automatically, so anytime it sees a link, it will begin downloading the video. How easy is that?

Any ads you'd normally see on YouTube are non-existent here, and you can even download from Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram. Because the videos are imported to iTunes, they're easily transferred to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, and remain in the highest quality possible — even 4K.

Sick of losing access to YouTube when you're traveling or in a remote location? Download all your favorite videos and watch them anytime you want, ad-free. Softorino YouTube Converter is a great app at a great price. Don't wait, this deal won't last long.

See at iMore Digital Offers

How to Automatically Set Bing’s Daily Photo as Your Mac Wallpaper

Posted on by George Tinari.
Categories: Uncategorized.
If you’ve ever searched with Bing you probably know that the website features a gorgeous new background photo daily. The photos day after day are just absolutely breathtaking and Bing even includes a snippet on the bottom right describing the scene. Continue reading

How to screenshot your Mac

Posted on by Rene Ritchie.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do I screenshot on my Mac?

Screenshots on Mac are great for sharing moments from your favorite videos, high scores from your games, conversations on social networks like Twitter or Facebook, bugs you want to report, and almost anything and everything you see on your screen.

Best of all, capturing your screen is super simple to do, and we're more than happy to show you how to do it!

Here are a number of different, straight-forward ways to screenshot on your Mac!

How to screenshot your entire Mac screen

  1. Open all the apps and windows you want to include in your screenshot, and arrange them just exactly the way you want to see them saved.
  2. Press Command + Shift + 3 all at the same time.
  3. You'll hear a camera click sound, and your screenshot will appear on your desktop in .PNG format, with the title Screen Shot [Date + Time].
  4. Double click on the screenshot to open and share it with Preview. Right click and choose Open With, or drag and drop it, to open and share it with another app.

How to take a screenshot of a custom area of your Mac screen

  1. Set up all the apps and windows you want to screenshot, and arrange them just exactly the way you want to see them saved.
  2. Press Command + Shift + 4 all at the same time.

  3. Place the new crosshair cursor at one corner of the area you want to capture (for example, top left), and click and hold.

  4. Drag the crosshairs to the opposite corner (for example, bottom right).
  5. The crosshairs give you a precise pixel count if you want a specific size (or even to measure). Hold down Option to change the lock point to the center of the area. Hold down Shift to lock all sides but the one in the direction you're currently moving.
  6. When you're happy with the area, *let go** of the mouse button or trackpad. Whatever is contained in the outline is what you'll screenshot.
  7. You'll hear a camera click sound, and your screenshot will appear on your desktop in .PNG format, with the title Screen Shot [Date + Time].
  8. Double click on the screenshot to open and share it with Preview. Right click and choose Open With, or drag and drop it, to open and share it with another app.

How to take a screenshot of specific window on your Mac screen

  1. Open the app and window you want to screenshot.
  2. Press Command + Shift + 4 all at the same time. Your cursor will turn into crosshairs.

  3. Press the Spacebar. Your curser will turn into a camera.

  4. Place the camera cursor on top of the window you want to screenshot. The window will tint blue so you can make sure it's the right one.

  5. Click to take the screenshot.
  6. You'll hear a camera click sound, and your screenshot will appear on your desktop in .PNG format, with the title Screen Shot [Date + Time].
  7. Double click on the screenshot to open and share it with Preview. Right click and choose Open With, or drag and drop it, to open and share it with another app.

You can also use this method to take a screenshot of a specific dropdown menu, although only the menu will be captured.

How to screenshot directly to the Mac Clipboard

  1. Set up your screenshot exactly as you would if you wanted the results saved to the desktop.
  2. Press Command + Shift + Control + 3 all at the same time to screenshot the whole screen to your Clipboard.


  3. Press Command + Shift + Control + 4 all at the same time to screenshot an area, or press Spacebar afterwards to screenshot a specific window, to your Clipboard.


  4. Go to your document or image editor of choice and use Control + v or choose Paste from the menu to copy your screenshot out of the Clipboard and into the window.

Notes on screenshots

These methods of taking a screenshot will work with OS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, OS X Yosemite, and most older versions of the modern Mac operating system, though the photos we're showing are all from OS Sierra.

Some apps, especially those designed to play copy-protected videos, may not allow the contents of their windows to be screenshot.

Happy screen shotting!

How to take screenshots with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac

<!--*/ <!--*/ img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Best way to win battles and conquer gyms in Pokémon Go

Posted on by Serenity Caldwell.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do you win Gym battles in Pokémon Go? By putting together a great roster of little monsters.

Once you hit level five in Pokémon Go, you can pit your creatures against others at your neighborhood Pokémon Gym — for fame, glory, and some Pokécoins, of course.

But how do you go about getting to a gym, fighting, and winning? Here's the deal.

Update: It looks like Pokémon Go has once again changed the rules when it comes to both taking down and leveling up a Gym. This time, though, instead of making it easier to tear down and harder to build up, they've added some much-needed balance. According to Reddit, here's the new prestige math:

Attacker ≤ Defender: 500 * D/A (1000 max) and 50 * D/A(100 XP max)

Attacker > Defender: 310* D/A - 55 (100 min) and 31 * D/A - 5(10 XP min)

First: Find a Pokémon Gym

Gyms are pretty well-marked on the Pokémon Go map: They're the largest, tallest landmarks out there. Like Pokéstops, you can tap on one to find out where, exactly, it exists in the real world, but you can't actually battle until you're in the immediate vicinity.

Pre level 5, visiting a gym won't do too much: The Professor will pop up and let you know to come back once you're a bit more experienced. Once you hit that level cap, however, you can visit a gym and be asked to choose a team affiliation: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue), or Valor (Red). When you fight at gyms, you're fighting to maintain control for your team — as such, make sure you choose wisely.

How to play at Neutral, Friendly, or Enemy gyms

Once you've chosen a team, you can fight at gyms. They're marked in three ways: neutral, friendly, or enemy.

Neutral gyms

A neutral gym can be claimed by any of the three teams; to claim a gym, you assign one of your Pokémon to hang out and fight for you (and your team). You can only assign one of your Pokémon per gym — once a gym is claimed, it becomes a level 2 friendly or enemy gym, and has a spot for up to one other Pokémon from a member of that faction.

Friendly gyms

If a member of your faction holds the gym, you can spar amongst your teammates to raise your gym's prestige, and thus, its level — the higher the gym's level, the more Pokémon that your different team members can station there (and the harder it becomes to overthrow). Gyms range from level 2 (two Pokémon from different members of your faction) to level 10 (ten Pokémon from different members of your faction), and Pokémon are ordered from lowest CP (combat power) to highest.

Once you've added a Pokémon to a friendly gym — whether you've conquered it for your team or are joining an established gym — that Pokémon goes to live at the gym until it's been conquered. You're not responsible for "playing" those opposing fights, and won't have access to train your Pokémon until it's been returned after the conquering of that gym — so choose the Pokémon you'll leave wisely.

When training at a gym, you can choose just one Pokémon to spar with your teammates; as long as you win at least one fight, your gym's prestige and level improves. (Bonus tip: If you battle your teammates with a lower-CP Pokémon and win one fight, you'll gain more prestige points and personal XP than if you crush a couple Pokémon with a super-high CP pal.)

Enemy gyms

Enemy gyms are, well — the enemy! As such, you fight at an opposing gym to reduce your opponent's prestige and eventually conquer it for your own team.

Unlike training at friendly gyms, you can use up to six of your Pokémon against the up to 10 gym leaders. Winning will net you personal experience points, subtract from your opponent's Gym prestige, and — with enough battling — remove your enemy's claim to that gym.

Okay, but how do I get good enough to win fights?

If you want to be the best Pokémon Trainer in all the land, you have to level up some Pokémon to do your dirty work. Unlike the original Nintendo games, you don't level up your creatures by fighting other ones in the wild; instead, you catch Pokémon to earn Stardust and Candy. Those two items can help either Power Up or Evolve your critters.

Generally, I recommend avoiding using your Stardust until you reach level 20 and start catching higher-level base creatures; if you want to start battling early, however, spend it on just one or two Pokémon (ideally who are already at a relatively high CP) to start out, then expand your roster at level 20.

How to fight at a gym

Okay, so you've got your trained-up Pokémon and you're ready to fight — either by training at one of your own gyms, or smashing an opponent's. How do you actually, y'know... fight?

Match up Pokémon with their opposing types before a battle

You might be woefully undermatched against an opposing Gym, but you can still do well and damage their Gym's Prestige if you know one simple trick: How to match up an opposing Pokémon's type and element. Each creature has a primary type, which usually matches up to some sort of element. And, as in the real world, some elements are more successful than others.

Build a good lineup (or a solid trainee)

If you're playing at a friendly Gym, you'll just have one Pokémon to fight your entire gym's lineup; at enemy gyms, however, you can swap between your creatures at any time during a fight. If your primary Pokémon faints, you'll automatically swap to the next in the rotation, but you can also tap the Swap Pokémon button to choose a different creature mid-fight if your first one's running low on health or isn't being effective against your enemy.

How to dodge and attack effectively

The name of the game is tapping and swiping — with the occasional tap-and-hold to use your Pokémon's Special Power. When you enter a Gym battle, you'll be able to hit your opponent at any time after the "Go!" command has been given — and they'll be able to hit you, too.

To attack your opponent, just tap anywhere on the screen; you'll see a "Very effective!" or "Not very effective," followed by a drop in their HP — or a "Dodged!" if they avoided your attack. But this isn't your mom's Pokémon game: This fight is simultaneous, so there's no real wait-and-see to find out if you managed to hurt your opponent or not. You just have to go and be quick on the draw.

The best way to win a battle is the art of the Dodge. You can dodge any attack your opponent throws at you with the right timing — though you may not escape all their damage, your Pokémon will be a lot happier off than if it had to take it all at face value.

To dodge, look for the speed lines emanating from the attacking Pokémon: This is the cue that lets you know when to swipe left or right to get out of the way. Ignore the opposing creature's attack animations — in some cases, you'll see the "attack" hit your Pokémon long before the actual damage shows up. The damage is what matters, however, and by watching for the speed lines, you can dodge it.

Once you've dodged, you may be able to get in one or two basic attacks before your opponent's had a chance to reset — especially if you've just dodged one of their Special Attacks. Once you see those speed lines appear, however, dodge again to start this damage-dodge-damage chain all over again.

Once you've built up enough basic attack damage, you'll charge your Special Attack: When you see one of the blue bars underneath your HP light up and glow, you can tap and hold on the screen to unleash your top-tier battle move. Two black bars will sink down on either side to let you know the attack is occuring. While this is happening, you can't add any other fight moves, nor can you dodge an opponent's attack.

How to keep a gym for your team (and earn mad cash and Stardust)

Once you've conquered a gym for your team, it's time to leave a Pokémon there to defend it. You can choose any of your creatures, though once you do, they're stuck there until they get defeated, and you can't level them up in the meantime.

If you happen to stumble across a gym that's already owned by your team, you can train it up to add an extra slot for your Pokémon — or, if it's of a higher-level than there are Pokémon inside it, you can just add one of your creatures right away.

Once you conquer a gym, you can visit the Shop daily (once every 20 hours) to collect the fruits of your labor: free Pokécoins and some extra Stardust. It's a great way to circumvent the insanity of in-app purchases and generate some nice rep for your team.

Questions?

Have other questions about battling in Pokémon Gyms? Let us know below.

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Protect your iPhone 7 for just $4.95 today!

Posted on by iMore.com.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Looking for a protective iPhone 7 case that won't set you back a ton of cash? If so, check out Amzer's dual layer hybrid case for two great layers of protection for your new phone. The case will add some bulk but also help protect it if you happen to drop it, and today you can pick one up for just $4.95.

How to use Brilliance in the Photos app for Mac

Posted on December 3, 2016 by Cella Lao Rousseau.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do you make dark, dreary photos lighter and brighter? With the Brilliance tool in Photos for Mac!

Photos in macOS Sierra has some new tricks in its toolbox. One of the best is Brilliance, which brightens and lightens areas that are a bit dark and dreary. It's perfect for saving photos that might otherwise be too murky and adding drama to photos that are otherwise good but not great. Here's how it works!

How to find Brilliance in the Photos app

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the photo you would like to edit.

  3. Click the edit button in the upper right corner. It looks like three lines with circles on them (sliders stacked one on top of each other).
  4. Click Adjust.

In the Light Adjustment section, the first option available should be Brilliance.

How to adjust the Brilliance on a photo in the Photos app

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the photo you would like to edit.

  3. Click the edit hamburger menu in the upper right corner. It looks like three lines with circles on them.
  4. Click Adjust.

  5. Find the Brilliance editor. It should be at the top of the editing options.
  6. Click and drag to adjust the Brilliance in your photo.

When you are happy with how your photo looks, you can click Done in the upper right corner, or keep editing.

What do you think?

Will you be using Brilliance to edit your photos? Let us know in the comments below!

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The World’s Smallest Camera Drone Will Give You the Best Recordings You’ve Ever Seen [Deals Hub]

Posted on by StackSocial.
Categories: Uncategorized.
This tiny drone may look like it belongs in a spy movie, but you can take control of your own palm-sized drone. Grab the mini but agile SKEYE Nano Drone 2 with first-person camera on sale now from the iPhone Hacks Deals Hub. Continue reading

Podcasts App: The Ultimate Guide

Posted on by Mike Tanasychuk.
Categories: Uncategorized.

How do you get and play your favorite shows with Apple's built-in Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad? We'll show you!

Apple's built-in Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad you lets you stream and download all your favorite shows, and discover new ones. You can subscribe, sync, and customize it just the way you like it!

How to find, subscribe to, and stream/download podcasts on iPhone and iPad

All your favorites are yours to discover! There are a few ways to find podcasts in the Podcasts app.

  1. Launch the Podcasts app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap a search method at the bottom of the screen.
    • Tap Featured to see promoted podcasts.
    • Tap Top charts to view the highest-rated podcasts.
    • Tap the Search button to search for podcasts by name.
  3. Tap the podcast once you find the one you want.

  4. Tap the Subscribe button.
  5. Tap the download button next to the episode name, if you'd like to download it.
  6. Tap the episode you'd like to listen to to stream it without downloading.

You can just use standard play controls, like you would in Apple Music. To unsubscribe, just tap the podcast and tap the Unsubscribe button.

How to share podcasts and episodes on iPhone and iPad

Hear something you like and think other people will like it too? You can share podcasts to social media, via iMessage, and more! You can share the podcast itself or individual episodes.

  1. Launch the Podcasts app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap the podcast or episode you'd like to share.
  3. Tap the Share button. It's a box with an upward arrow.
  4. Tap the method you'd like to use to share the podcast or episode.
  5. Share as you would normally.

Now all your friends can jump in on the podcast fun too!

How to sync podcasts across devices on iPhone and iPad

You don't want to have to download the same podcast three different times on three different devices. Sync them!

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Podcasts. You'll have to scroll down a bit to find it.
  3. Tap the switch next to Sync Podcasts.

Now your podcasts will be synced whenever you sign in using your Apple ID.

How to set refresh rate for podcasts on iPhone and iPad

You can choose how often your podcasts to update.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Podcasts, it's about halfway down the list.
  3. Tap Refresh Every.
  4. Tap how often you'd like your podcasts to update.

    • 1 Hour
    • 6 Hours
    • Day
    • Week
    • Manually

How to turn off Delete Played Episodes for Podcasts on iPhone and iPad

If you're sharing an Apple ID with a family member or friend and download your podcasts, you might not want to delete any episodes of shared podcasts. You know, just in case.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Podcasts, it's about halfway down the list.
  3. Tap the switch next to Delete Played Episodes to turn it off.

Now the episodes you've downloaded will stick around until you manually delete them. So, if you're without internet and want to go back and listen again, you can.

How to turn off notifications for Podcasts on iPhone and iPad

If you're gonna look at your new podcasts when you're good and ready, then notifications might annoy you. You can turn them off.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Podcasts, it's about halfway down the page.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap the switch next to Allow Notifications to turn them off.

Any Podcasts app questions?

If you've got any questions on how to use the built-in Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad, drop them in the comments below!

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MacBook Pro Users Express Concerns About Limited Battery Life

Posted on by Joe Rossignol.
Categories: Uncategorized.
A subset of users who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar claim to be experiencing shorter than expected battery life.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup
In particular, some users claim to be getting as little as 3 to 6 hours of battery life on a single charge, or between 30% and 60% of the up to 10 hours advertised.

MacRumors forum member SRTM said:
Currently I'm powering a 1080p external monitor and casually browsing with Chrome. At full charge, I'm getting an estimate of 3 hours battery life. With gaming it's even less.
MacRumors forum member Aioriya said:
I bought a maxed out 13-inch Touch Bar model and I've been using it for about a week. With light use, I've been consistently getting around 5-6.5 hours when mainly browsing. Apple claims 10 hours wireless web but my battery has never lasted this long.
Reddit user Azr-79 yesterday claimed his new base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar received only 3 hours and 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge, despite what he described as "normal usage" in the form of web browsing, watching YouTube videos, and software development.

mbp-battery-life-chart
MacRumors forum member Scott claimed he experienced a 5% drop in battery life, from 10% to 5%, in just 12 minutes. Google Chrome, a known battery hog, was listed as the only app drawing significant power. The discussion topic he posted in and others are littered with similar claims of sizeable percentage drops in mere minutes.

1-2
Other claims on Reddit include anywhere from 3 hours to 5 hours to 6 hours — sometimes more, and sometimes less.

Reversely, some users report battery life exactly in line with Apple's advertised figures. Reddit user Andrew J., for example, said he was working on non-intensive tasks on his new MacBook Pro for 90 straight minutes, and still had 92% battery life with an estimated 10 hours and 35 minutes of usage remaining.
I've been working non-stop for the past 1.5 hours, back and forth between emails, Safari, Calendar, Messages, organizing files, editing some PDFs in Adobe Acrobat DC, and building a financial model in Excel. I started at 100% and am now at 92% battery, with an estimated 10 hours 35 minutes remaining. If you're not getting this kind of battery life on your MBP you should definitely get it checked out.
Estimates unsurprisingly vary widely based on screen brightness, background processes, and other factors, so user reports are only anecdotal evidence and your mileage may vary. It is also important to note battery life could be initially reduced until Spotlight finishes indexing your new MacBook Pro.

Battery life complaints are nothing new following the launch of a new Apple product. However, some users speculate battery life could be impacted by the new MacBook Pro switching from more efficient integrated Intel graphics to the power-hungrier dedicated AMD Radeon Pro GPU for unnecessary tasks.

Once again, however, there are always claims to suggest otherwise. Reddit user Lebron Hubbard claims he received 5 hours and 48 minutes of battery life on his high-end built-to-order 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar when forcing only the dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics to run using gfxCardStatus:
Even though the dGPU rarely kicks in for day to day stuff, the Radeon Pro 460 seems really efficient for small tasks. 5:48 is nothing to scoff at for dGPU only, and it runs very cool and quiet.
Apple's built-in Activity Monitor and third-party app coconutBattery are useful tools for tracking system processes and detailed battery information.

10-hours-macbook-pro-battery-life
Apple officially says the new MacBook Pro is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life. Specifically, its tech specs page says all new 13-inch and 15-inch models are capable of up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, up to 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time on a single charge.

TechCrunch placed battery life at 9 hours and 35 minutes for the 13-inch model. Mashable said 10 hours is a fair estimate overall. The Wall Street Journal got 9.5 hours on the 13-inch model. Engadget gauged between 9 and 10 hours of video playback on the 15-inch model. Nilay Patel got 5.5 hours on the 13" in real-world use.

Apple explains how it performs its battery tests on its website:
The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default.
Apple's website also provides tips for maximizing battery life on the MacBook Pro, including updating to the latest version of macOS, optimizing Energy Saver settings in System Preferences, dimming the screen's brightness to the lowest comfortable level, and turning off Wi-Fi while not connected to a network.

Additional battery optimization advice provided by users includes performing a fresh install of macOS Sierra and resetting the SMC.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: battery life
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

How would you change the iMac?

Posted on by Rene Ritchie.
Categories: Uncategorized.

If Apple asked you what you wanted to see in the 2017 iMac, what would you tell them?

In 2014, Apple made made the Mac Retina and took it to 5K. In 2016, Apple added a 4K version and wide-gamut color. In 2016... Apple didn't ship a new iMac. That means the next major update will likely be in 2017. So, what do you want to see in it?

  • USB C / Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • Legacy USB-A, Thunderbolt 2, and SD card ports.
  • Kaby Lake processors.
  • Graphics cards capable of supporting harder-core gaming and VR.
  • Target display mode (to work as external monitors of MacBooks).
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar and Touch ID.
  • Space gray or matte black options.
  • Apple Pencil support.
  • Multitouch support.
  • Reclining display.
  • More cores!

Making macOS touch-friendly probably isn't something Apple's going to devote time and engineering resources too, not when they already have iOS. But what could Apple do to increase functionality and keep the iMac fresh and relevant in modern, multitouch world? Is Apple Pencil support the way to go, because it can easily hit even tiny mouse-pointer targets? Or is Touch Bar ready for the desk top?

The above are only a few ideas, what are yours?

Best Ultra-Thin Cases for iPhone 7

Posted on by Cella Lao Rousseau.
Categories: Uncategorized.

What are the best ultra-thin cases for the iPhone 7? These are the early winners!

Yes, you love that new jet black, or black, or rose gold iPhone 7, but if you want to keep it looking like new, you'll need a case! You could get something bulky and protective, but keeping things minimalistic and sleek can really show off the modern contours of your new toy.

Ultra-thin cases are great options if you're looking for something to add a little extra security without feeling like you're carrying around 2 iPhone 7s stacked on top of each other.

Here are some of the best ultra-thin cases to check out if you just picked up your new iPhone 7!

Ringke Extreme Lightweight Cover

Thin, super lightweight, and designed to withstand falls and drops, the Ringke Extreme Lightweight Cover is a great minimalist case for your iPhone 7.

The Ringke cover is designed with a raised bezel to protect the screen of your iPhone 7 if you lay it down flat, while the entire case is certified Military-grade drop-tested despite its slim design. The cover is also incredibly thin, adding just 1.3mm to the overall bulk of your iPhone.

While the Ringke comes in a classic, clear style, it also comes in a few variations of the transparent design, too, including a tinted rose gold crystal color for your rose gold iPhone 7, and a smoke black tint for your black or jet black iPhones 7.

See at Amazon

Peel Super Thin iPhone 7 Case

With the Peel on your iPhone 7, your new gadget may feel naked and exposed, but it's actually being protected from dirt, scratches, and more with the help of this super-ultra-mega-thin case!

The Peel is a minimalistic case with a modern design that's meant to fit your iPhone 7 like a second skin. At just 0.35mm, the case secures firmly to your iPhone with an additional little bezel around your camera to prevent scratching your lens.

While the Peel is not the most protective case by any means, it does have its protective factors.

"I have been through … a bunch of cases and Peel has by far been the best. I have dropped my phone a ton [without a] shattered or scratched screen." – Marc Hemeon, Oakley, Youtube, Google & HODINKEE designer.

The Peel comes in four different colors that are designed to match your new iPhone 7 perfectly, including rose gold, gold, silver, and black.

See at Peel

i-BlasonClear Halo Series

The simplistic design of a clear case with a big, fun pop of color: Be sure keep the i-BlasonClear Halo Series in mind as you peruse your thin case options!

The i-Blason is made with a scratch-resistant material and shock-absorbing bumpers to protect your iPhone 7. The case also comes with a raised bezel to save your screen from accidental scratches, scrapes, or spills.

While the majority of the Halo Series cases are designed to match your iPhone 7 color-wise, there is an option for a bright blue border (that looks great with your black or jet black iPhone 7)!

See at Amazon

Spigen Air Skin

At only 0.36mm, the Air Skin truly is an ultra-thin case for your iPhone 7. It's designed with a soft, yet durable, material. And thanks to its slight matte finish, the Air Skin makes fingerprints a thing of the past.

Simply slide the Air Skin onto your iPhone 7 and you'll have a second skin ready to protect your new partner in crime from day-to-day damage.

See at Amazon

GOOSPERY i-Jelly Case

With just 1.8mm of additional thickness, the GOOSPERY i-Jelly Case is a bright, vibrant (yet still clean and modern-looking) case for your new iPhone.

Designed with a flexible material for better shock absorption, the i-Jelly is made with a coat of sheen for discoloration protection. The sheen coating also helps keep your iPhone 7 from sliding off certain surfaces if it's in the case.

The GOOSPERY design has a raised bezel around your iPhone's screen, along with a bezel around the camera, so you don't have to worry about scratching your lens while carrying your iPhone in your pocket.

The case comes in a ton of different colors, including black, blue, gold, gray, green, hot pink, red, rose gold, and silver.

See at Amazon

What's your go-to?

Is there an ultra-thin, minimalistic iPhone 7 case you can't help but love? Let us know so we can try it out for ourselves!

Awesome Touch Bar apps you won’t find in the Mac App Store

Posted on by Lory Gil.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Mac App Store has all the Touch Bar apps Apple approved. So what about the Touch Bar apps Apple didn't approve. Well...

Apple's Interface Guideline for the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro says that it is intended to be used as an input device, not a secondary display.

The Touch Bar shouldn't display alerts, messages, scrolling content, static content, or anything else that commands the user's attention or distracts from their work on the main screen.

That hasn't stopped some developers from creating uniquely useless apps that are fun, if not functional. You won't find these apps in the App Store because Apple wouldn't approve them, but you can download and install them directly and make your Touch Bar sparkle.

Note: Apps on this list might not be from identified developers. When downloading apps outside of the Apple ecosystem, they have not been security checked by app review staff. That means they could have bugs, malware, spyware, or other problems associated with them. Please take this into consideration before downloading apps from unidentified developers and always backup your Mac.

Here are the best Touch Bar apps you won't find in the App Store!

Touch Bar Nyancat

It's Nyan Cat in your Touch Bar – complete with music! Sometimes, I trigger Nyan Cat just to make me smile. Nothing beats a rainbow Pop Tart cart running across your Touch Bar!

Knight TouchBar 2000

If you want to make your Space Gray MacBook Pro look really cool, grab this funny little tool and see Kit's light runner in your Touch Bar. Hum along to the Knight Rider soundtrack while you ask Siri to look something up for you. Seriously, you'll feel like a rock star.

Touchbar Santa

When the weather starts to get frightful, but the fire feels so delightful, invite Santa to rock your Touch Bar for a while. Sip hot cocoa while a remix of Jingle Bells is sung by Ol' Blue Eyes (that's Frank Sinatra for you youngsters). Just like most thing around the holidays, you'll get sick of this pretty quick.

TouchBarBar

If you are longing for a nice, refreshing beverage, but have to wait until quittin' time, you can scratch that itch with this funny little gag. It puts four alcoholic beverage emojis on your Touch Bar. When you tap one, you'll hear the sound of the selected beverage being poured. Refreshing!

Touch Bar Dino

Here is one of the first mini games that you can play on the Touch Bar. Its a game called Dino and it's based on the hidden Easter egg dinosaur game in Google Chrome. Tap the screen to jump over the cacti. Simple, fun, and makes great use of your Touch Bar (considering it's completely useless).

Touch Bar Space Flight

This is another one of the first mini games for the MacBook Pro. You actually use keys to maneuver. Use the up and down arrows to avoid getting hit by incoming baddies and use the space bar to wipe them off the map with your laser fire. Talk about a time waster. And, you boss will think your just typing away like a good little worker!

SL on Touch Bar

This is seriously just a silly little joke for the Touch Bar. It is based on a coding joke about a steam locomotive showing up on your screen when you accidentally type ls into a command line. What makes it special, though, is that you can change the look of the little locomotive if you know what you're doing. Your steam engine can become a bullet train!

TouchSwitcher for Touch Bar

This has quickly become one of my favorite Touch Bar tools and I'm betting it will show up in the App Store eventually. Its an app switcher for all apps that you have open on your MacBook Pro. Every app that you have open will appear in the Touch Bar. Then, you can simply tap one and go directly to it. Normally, you'd have to press Command and Tab on your keyboard to access the app switcher. Sure, some of us remember the keyboard shortcut, no problem. But, for those that don't, TouchSwitcher is a gem. Plus, you can see what apps are open without having to cover your screen with that big icon list. This is a winner in my book.

Your favorites?

Do you have any favorite Touch Bar apps that aren't available in the Mac App Store? Put them in the comments!

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Digital Offers: Take your media with you anywhere for $19.95

Posted on by iMore.com.
Categories: Uncategorized.

You have an iPhone in your pocket that can stream Netflix, watch sports live, and even download and play movies in HD in an instant, the only problem is you grew up on the cusp of the evolving digital world so a bunch of your favorite movies you already own on DVD. Last time I checked Apple doesn't make a portable DVD drive for you iPhone, which leaves you with a giant media collection that sits on a shelf collecting dust.

The way I see it you have two options. One, you bite the bullet and repurchase all the movies you can through iTunes and have them available to you for your viewing pleasure whenever you want, which means spending more money on something you have already purchased before, or you do the smart thing and let iMore help you out.

What if you could take all your DVDs and convert them to digital files that can play on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any other device? iMore Digital Offers can help you do just that with the MacX Media Management Bundle.

This bundle comes with three great programs to help you manage your media like never before. Rip your favorite movies right off a DVD with MacX DVD Ripper Pro, convert that video file to the type of file you need with MacX Video Converter Pro, and then quickly store and transfer all your videos with MacX MediaTrans.

This bundle would normally cost you $169.85, but right now iMore Digital Offers can get you the entire bundle for only $19.95. That's over 85% off the original price!

Don't waste money buying digital versions of movies you already own, jump on this deal right now and start enjoying all your favorites on any device you may have!

See at iMore Digital Offers

How to Monitor and Improve Your MacBook’s Battery Health

Posted on by George Tinari.
Categories: Uncategorized.
While your MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air itself can last you several years before it’s time to get a new one, the battery might not make it the entire way through. I bought my current MacBook Air five years ago and already replaced the battery once at the Apple Store. It didn’t die on me, but the health got so poor that I thought it was time for a fresh one. Continue reading

Apple May Still Be Working On a Self-Driving Car

Posted on by Rajesh Pandey.
Categories: Uncategorized.
In a letter submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week, Apple expresses its interest in testing self-driving cars. Written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, Apple says in the letter that “new entrants” to the automotive market should have the same opportunity as other “established manufacturers.” Continue reading

Smart Battery Case for iPhone review

Posted on by Rene Ritchie.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Hating on the hump is easy, getting to the bottom of Apple's battery case for iPhone takes a full review.

Update: Apple has just released a new Product (RED) version of the Smart Battery Case to benefit World AIDS Day. Check out the new pictures below!

The Smart Battery Case, originally introduced last year for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, now supports the new iPhone 7. At launch it generated an incredible amount of internet noise. Much of it was reactionary and superficial. The "hump" on the back overshadowed the very clever engineering going on, outside and in.

Since then, though, it's become the go-to for people who need extra battery life for trips, conferences, and even everyday life. Even those who mocked the design seem to have been won over by its utility.

There's no version for the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus size, presumably because that line already benefits from a bigger power reserve. This battery case is intended to even the playing field — to allow you to have your smaller phone but use it longer too. So, does it?

See at Apple

Smart Battery Case hump

Because the Smart Battery Case is essentially Apple's silicone case for iPhone with a power pack embedded in the back, it looks like it has a "hump" or "bump". An iPod on top of the iPhone. Yoda on Luke's back. Whatever you want to call it, it's there and it's impossible to ignore.

Objectively the design is fine. It's symmetrical, impeccably moulded, and enables significant functionality. Subjectively, it's awkward-looking. There's an unabashed minimalism to it that's not ugly per se, because it's not lopsided or ostentatious, but that's severely lacking in the elegant curves and lines we've come to expect from Apple.

And that's made for some fascinating reactions.

Apple is routinely criticized for putting form ahead of function. In this case, though, putting function ahead of form has resulted in some of the loudest bouts of criticism in recent history.

The "hump" is the result of hard choices made during the design process. By not running the battery all the way along the back, and by not using rigid material to cover it, Apple can hide a hinge beneath the silicone. That hinge lets the top part of the case bend backwards so you can slide your iPhone in and then slip the case back over it.

It provides an alternative to the two-piece cases that require you to remove the top or back in order to put them on. They're typically fussier and more difficult to put on, and the extra parts are susceptible to damage or loss. So, even though the Smart Battery Case is less pleasing to the eye, the resulting one-piece design is a huge win.

Likewise the reception. With other cases, the material can sometimes cause cellular signal to drop. Manufacturers have done a lot to mitigate that over the years, but in areas that already have bad reception, it can still be a problem.

Because of the Smart Battery Case's design, the antenna bands are essentially covered only by thin silicone portion of the case. Moreover, Apple has added coupled passive antennas to further maintain signal. As a result, even in areas where I typically have poor coverage, I haven't noticed any bars dropping. So, the Smart Battery Case may look awkward but the signal retention is another huge win.

That's critically important because when a phone loses signal it boosts the radio which drains power — the exact opposite of what you want with a battery case. It's something most battery cases suffer from, though, which makes them far less efficient.

Here, Apple has solved for efficiency.

The lack of bulk around the sides is also great when you hold it. Because there's no padding to "round it out", it feels especially slim. For me, my index finger naturally falls right above the hump and the rest of it evaporates into my palm. That's considerably better than the slight stretching I feel when I hold other, more voluminous cases. Likewise, it's svelte enough that it slips into pockets without feeling bulky. So, not easy on the eyes but easy pretty much everywhere else.

The hinge, the antennas, the lack of bulk—none of these would be possible if Apple had gone with a more traditional design. None of that functionality would be there absent this form.

For some it won't matter. The hump will be a deal-breaker. They'll never be able to un-see it so they'll never buy it. For others, it'll be a non-issue. They'll frown at the hump once, then pick it up and seldom if ever think about it again.

Smart Battery Case Finish

The Smart Battery Case has a soft-touch finish that, for iPhone 7, comes in white and black — and, as of December 2016, Product (RED). The previous generation version for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 comes in white and charcoal.

To my eyes, the white matches the Magnetic Charging Dock for the Apple Watch and the charcoal is similar to the Smart Keyboard Case for iPad Pro. The black is deeper and a better match for the (matte) and jet black of iPhone 7. The red, as with the rest of the Product (RED) line, is fire

I like the new colors best. White looks crisp and clean on both models, but the black appeals to me far more than the charcoal did. And did I already say the Product (RED) is fire?

I'm generally not a fan of soft-touch, though. Never have been. I dislike how much lint it holds onto. Whenever I have a soft-touch phone or case I constantly find myself trying—and failing—to keep it clean. I'm likely not in the majority on that, though.

Since the soft-touch finish, especially combined with the shape, absolutely make the iPhone easier to hold, I think most people will appreciate it.

Smart Battery Case Ports and Buttons

The cutouts on the Smart Battery Case are great. There's ample room around the rear-facing iSight camera and flash, and around the mute switch. The acoustical port for the speaker channels sound to the front of the case. Not only does it prevent audio and calls from being muffled, it projects them loud and clear.

The edges of the case rise up above the screen so you can put it face down without scratching the glass. I was worried it might interfere with bezel gestures, like swiping to go backwards or forwards in Safari, but I haven't had any trouble.

The passthroughs for the other buttons, including the volume rocker and sleep/wake button, are similarly well done. You have to press a little harder but unlike some other cases they're move cleanly and feel precise.

My one grip is with how the 3.5mm headphone jack is handled. On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 version, the slim plug at the end of Apple's EarBuds fits into the hole at the bottom of the Smart Battery Case, no problem. Anything wider—and lots of headphone plugs are wider—and it won't fit at all. That's a problem.

The iPhone 7 version, of course, has no 3.5mm headphone jack and so has no need of a cutout. But it would benefit from providing one.

Just like the iPhone Dock connects via lightning but provides 3.5mm out, it'd be great if the Smart Battery Case plugged into Lightning to charge the phone but provided its own 3.5mm out. That feels like it would fix the problem of the cutout on the version for iPhones 6 and provide additional functionality — and accessibility! — for the version for iPhone 7.

Smart Battery Case Charging

Apple has two huge home-court advantages with the Smart Battery Case. First, they get to use a fully functional Lightning passthrough—a Lightning port on the outside and plug on the inside. Second, they get full integration with iOS.

Since the Smart Battery Case has a Lightning instead of a microUSB, you can charge it with the same cable you use to charge your iPhone. Moreover, since it's fully functional, you can charge both the case and the iPhone at the same time. That's one less cable you have to keep around or carry with you, and one less thing you have to remember to charge separately.

The charging is literally "smart" too. With the iPhone adapter, it'll charge the iPhone first then the case. With the iPad adapter, it seems to charge the iPhone and, because there's so much juice, charge the case at the same time. Either way, your iPhone gets priority, which means it'll always have the most charge possible.

Also, your iPhone knows when it's connected to the case rather than a plug so it's smart enough not to begin any backups or background tasks, or other processes that cause excessive drain. If you plug the case in, though, it's also smart enough to open up all those power-hungry processes.

Some people might want a case to enable all that activity, of course, and plenty of cases do. Apple is doing something different: solving for maximum power efficiency in the lightest possible package.

That's why looking at milliamp hours is ridiculous. More gas doesn't help if you consume it faster. It's why Apple branded this the smart battery case rather than the big battery case. They're literally getting more bang from less battery.

Thanks to the iOS integration, charge status for both the iPhone and the Smart Battery Care is prominently displayed immediately on the Lock screen when you plug it in. Charge status for both is also available at any time from Notification Center. Simply swipe down from the top.

Lightning bolt icons show you exactly what is being charged and when. If the case is on, you see it charging the iPhone. If the case is plugged in, you see both the case and iPhone charging. And because you can see the exact percentage for each, which is far more precise then a sequence of four LED lights, you can make a more informed decisions about exactly how much power is left and exactly how you want to spend it.

Other cases sometimes have independent on/off switches. That way, if you want them on your iPhone but not actively charging it, you can do that. Not so with the Smart Battery Case. If it's on, it's charging. That's a benefit. It's handling the power management so you don't have to, and in so doing, keeping the battery as healthy as possible.

Likewise, there's no physical button and light system to show you charge level on the case. That means you can't just pick it up by itself and see how much charge is left. You have to put it on the iPhone.

There is a small LED light inside the case that, when you plug it in, will glow amber when charging and green when fully charged. It can't, however, tell you the level of charge. So, you're back to having to put it on your iPhone.

Again, unabashed minimalism. The case simply keeps your iPhone at the best possible power level at all times, and makes sure you're unnecessarily racing through your battery's charging cycles. You put it on and use it as needed—set it and forget it. For most people, letting the case do the work just works.

Smart Battery Case Bottom Line

At $99 to roughly double the charge capacity of the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6, the Smart Battery Case seems much more expensive than budget battery cases. Coming from Apple, that should surprise absolutely no one.

Just like you can find cheaper phones than the iPhone, cheaper smart watches than the Apple Watch, and cheaper computers than the Mac, you can find cheaper battery cases than the Smart Battery Case. You just typically can't find them with the same level of materials, manufacturing, and integration. Those come with the Apple logo on the back.

Beyond that, though, Apple is doing something novel here: They're trying to get the most power from the least battery. Bigger is heavier and that comes with a cost in the hand and the pocket or bag. Apple's case is for those who need a little extra juice some of the time, but want to be weighed down and bulked up as little as possible. That's what they're solving for.

If you don't care about any of that, then you should absolutely buy something else. If the hump isn't a deal-breaker, though, you should get the Smart Battery Case.

See at Apple

Originally written December 2015. Last updated December 2016 for Product (RED).