AirPods Apparently Dominating Truly Wireless Headphones Sales

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Apple’s truly wireless headphones, the AirPods, have technically been available since December of last year. And, despite the fact that they’ve been incredibly difficult to come by for most consumers, they are apparently doing very well for themselves. Continue reading

Unleash Your Storytelling Skills With This Must-Have Bundle [Deals Hub]

Posted on by StackSocial.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Writing a great story doesn’t just require an idea. You also have to take it from an idea floating around in your head to the page—a task that requires the right tools to get the job done. You’ll find what you’re looking for in the Storyteller’s Must-Have Mac Bundle. This collection of apps are ideal for writers and you can get it on sale from the iPhone Hacks Deals Hub. Continue reading

Instagram Stories Now Available on the Web, Adds New Face Filters

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Stories have been a part of Instagram for a stretch now, and while the feature has certainly seen plenty of attention on the mobile experience, many have been asking for it to arrive on the web. Continue reading

The Star Wars Jedi Challenge is AR-awesome and all I want is more

Posted on by Derek Kessler.
Categories: Uncategorized.

I got to be Rey and it was so great.

They say that greed and desire are the path to the dark side. I don't care.

I want to get my hands on the Star Wars Jedi Challenge that Lenovo and Disney have cooked up. Now. I got a brief demo with the Jedi Challenge after its unveiling at IFA 2017 and I think that it and AR games like it are definitely part of the future of gaming.

The Jedi Challenge is a multi-part system built around your phone (iPhone or Android, Lenovo's not picky). Your phone serves as the processing unit and display, oriented facing down over your eyes and reflected into your eyes off an angled transparent pane. The headset in which your phone is slotted is more than just a holder for the phone — it has a pair of fisheye cameras on either temple which pick up the light on the end of the lightsaber hilt (styled after the Skywalker family blade, naturally) and light on the floor slightly larger than a golf ball. The lightsaber also has motion tracking built in and communicates to the headset via Bluetooth, and the headset relays all of this positional data to your phone via a wired connection (cables are included to connect to Micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning-equipped phones).

It all comes together surprisingly well. The projected AR lightsaber blade lines up quite closely with the IRL lightsaber in your hands, you swing and it tracks very closely, and when you move around the space everything tracks with you. It's an impressive set-up, especially for the $199 price tag.

I only got to try a brief demo of a lightsaber training battle against a holographic Kylo Ren, who was doing quite the number on me before I got a handle of how the training was supposed to work (in this scenario, you light up your lightsaber blade with yellow bands projected across the display to block his swings, and then attack when he's highlighted). This was just the first glimpse of what Jedi Challenge has to offer, with Disney and Lenovo building multiple worlds for ongoing training and battles, and even non-training materials like the classic holographic chess from the Millennium Falcon.

Pre-orders for the Jedi Challenge will go live in September, with units shipping to eager padawans in early November — just in time for the holiday shopping season, but more importantly in time for the next Star Wars movie (you heard about that, right?)

Often times it seems like VR, and especially AR, is missing that "killer" app that'll be something to bring it into the mainstream. With the multi-generational appeal of Star Wars, the low barrier of entry of "you have a phone", a thoroughly entertaining experience, and (perhaps most importantly) the marketing dollars of Disney behind it, Jedi Challenge might be that killer app.

This iDevices Switch Smart plug works with Apple HomeKit and just beat its lowest price

Posted on by John Levite.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a deal on a smart plug that works with Apple HomeKit!

Update: This deal is down to $23, a couple bucks better than we've ever seen before.

The iDevices Switch Wi-Fi Smart plug is down to $23 on Amazon right now. It normally hovers around $37. It has only been in the last couple of months that this plug has started to drop in price at all, and the deals have been very few and far between.

This Smart plug works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Apple HomeKit. You can use the included app to control and monitor any electronics plugged into it, and you can even monitor their energy usage. Use the scheduling features to turn things on and off when you want them and even create the ability to turn on multiple devices with one command.

The Switch is designed to make setting it up as easy as possible and does not require a hub.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!}

Best External Hard Drives for Mac

Posted on by Luke Filipowicz.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Need to store your files? Check out these great hard drives for your Mac!

When it comes to storing data, personal information, and important documents, you can never save it in enough places. External hard drives are not only useful for storing data; they are an excellent way to transport files from one location to another.

There are an insane amount of options when it comes to external hard drives for your Mac, and it can be a pain to look through all of them; we're here to help. Here are our top picks to use with your Mac.

Seagate Backup Plus 4TB

If you're looking for a hard drive that not only offers a good chunk of space but also great software to use with it, look no further than the Seagate Backup Plus 4TB.

It comes with an addition 200GB in cloud storage that can be easily accessed by your iPhone or iPad via an iOS app.

The Seagate Backup Plus 4TB held up incredibly well when the good people at The Wirecutter for the drive through testing.

"The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive is one of the fastest hard drives we tested, with a read speed of 150.7 megabytes per second and a write speed of 135.3 MB/s. It's less expensive per terabyte than most of the competition, and the 4 TB model is a better value than the 3 TB version."

Starting at around $99, the Seagate Backup Plus is pre-formatted for both Windows and Mac, so you won't need to reformat the drive before you can start using it; plug and play at its finest.

See at Amazon

8TB Western Digital My Book

If you're looking for some serious extra space, without compromising performance, the 8TB Western Digital My Book may fit the bill.

The Wirecutter found the Western Digital My Book to be much faster than the other 8TB drives they tested on even some of the lower-capacity drives.

"Its average read and write speeds were much faster than the only other drive we tested with the same amount of storage space, the 8 TB Seagate Backup Plus Hub, and it had better HD Tune speeds and photo and music file transfer times than most lower-capacity drives we tested."

Western Digital offers 256-AES encryption when you download its security software, meaning you can rest assured knowing your private information and personal data is safe. You will pay for the added protection and the sheer amount of space, as this drive stars around $210.

The downside is the hard drive only comes formatted for Windows and will need to be reformatted before you can use it with your Mac. See at Amazon

G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 4TB

Formatted for Mac right out of the box, the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 4TB is as useful as it is stylish.

With 7200 RPM this hard drive works hard and fast to get your files transferred quickly. Plus, it uses USB 3.0, and it even has a Thunderbolt 2 making it perfect for people who are using Macs that are a couple of years old.

The brushed aluminum finish not only looks gorgeous but from personal experience, I can tell you these drives can survive the odd fall off your desk. I was "suggested" to buy this drive during college for storing and moving around large video files, and ever though it added another $199 onto my tuition, it worked really well for the intended purpose.

Consumers seem to love G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 4TB; it holds a 4.5/5 average rating on Amazon with nearly 400 reviews.

See at Amazon

LaCie Rugged RAID

What the LaCie Rugged RAID lacks in style, it makes up for in practicality.

The LaCie Rugged RAID is a favorite among outdoors photographer friends of mine because it can withstand drops, dust, and even the occasional splash of water, giving you the necessary peace of mind to take it on the road with you.

If you're curious about the numbers, PC Mag put the hard drive through some testing.

"The Rugged RAID performed well on the AJA system test, with a throughput of 252MBps read, and 239MBps write using the Thunderbolt interface, and 218MBps read, and 258MBps write using USB 3.0."

Its built-in Thunderbolt 2 cable is a nice touch for Mac users on-the-go, as it eliminates the need to carry around a cable with you.

The PC Mag folks liked the LaCie Rugged RAID, citing its size and value as top reasons to purchase.

"The LaCie Rugged RAID is a very good choice if you need to carry a lot of data on the (rough) road. It's spacious, fast, and is a decent value."

Of course, with a price tag of $279, it's still a little more than pocket change for most people.

See at Amazon

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is what I personally use now, and it's perfect for people who don't need a ton of storage and don't want to break the bank.

You won't have to worry about lengthy setups or stressful formatting procedures when you plug in the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB because it's formatted for Mac and Windows right out of the packaging.

CNET enjoyed the performance, portability, and price of the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB in its review.

"Fast and affordable, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is one of the best deals on the market if you want lots of storage space on the go."

Not only is this a great budget option (starting at around $79), the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB still comes with Seagate's great Dashboard software and a two-year subscription to Microsoft OneDrive with 200GB of storage.

See at Amazon

Which hard drive do you use?

Let us know in the comments down below!

Updated August 2017: Included the prices in the descriptions.

Apple urges FCC to establish stronger net neutrality protections

Posted on by Joseph Keller.
Categories: Uncategorized.

While Apple has recently been quiet on the subject of net neutrality, the company has now given its two cents on the future of the open internet. The company has called on the FCC to maintain the current ban against "fast lanes," saying that such paid prioritization deals would hamper innovation and harm consumer experience.

From Recode:

"Broadband providers should not block, throttle, or otherwise discriminate against lawful websites and services," Apple said in its comments. "Far from new, this has been a foundational principle of the FCC's approach to net neutrality for over a decade. Providers of online goods and services need assurance that they will be able to reliably reach their customers without interference from the underlying broadband provider."

Paid prioritization plans, if allowed, could let broadband providers to charge content providers such as Apple, Google, and Netflix for faster delivery of movies, music, and other content. Currently, these plans are banned because they violate the FCC's net neutrality rules, but current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has signaled his preference for rolling back the net neutrality rules established under the previous administration.

Apple Seeds tvOS 11 Beta 9 to Developers

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
While Apple is keeping the majority of announcements surrounding tvOS 11 quiet until later this year, that isn’t stopping the company from issuing new betas for developers. Continue reading

Apple Seeds iOS 11 Beta 9 to Developers

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Apple has seeded the ninth beta version of iOS 11 to developers for testing. Apple had released the first beta version just after the WWDC keynote a little over two weeks ago where it gave us a sneak peek of the next major software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Continue reading

Pokémon GO Adds Raikou, Entei, and Suicune to its Legendary Roster

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Legendary pocket monsters have been making their way into the popular augmented reality game, Pokémon GO, for quite some time now. And now the roster is getting bigger. Continue reading

How to connect to iCloud via iCloud.com

Posted on by Joseph Keller.
Categories: Uncategorized.

iCloud.com lets you connect to iCloud from any Mac or PC. Here's how you can use it.

iCloud.com allows you to access much of your iCloud content from any web browser on a Mac or PC. Once you've signed in, you can use apps like Mail, Photos, and even the iWork suite right in your browser. Just as when you use iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, changes made in iCloud.com sync across your devices.

How to access iCloud.com from any web browser to use mail, contacts, calendars, and more

Using the iCloud.com web apps is as simple as opening a browser and signing in.

  1. Launch any web browser on any computer.
  2. Go to iCloud.com.

  3. Enter your iCloud email address and password.
  4. Click on the arrow or hit Enter or Return on your keyboard.

Now that you're signed in, you can access your email, calendars, and even iWork for iCloud. Just click on the icon of the web app you want to use and you're good to go.

How to access and view photos in iCloud Photo Library on the web

You can view your entire iCloud Photo Library on iCloud.com.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

How to hide your sidebar in your iCloud Photo library

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the sidebar icon in the upper left corner.
  4. Click it again to make it re-appear.

How to upload Photos to your iCloud Photo library

If you need to, you can manually upload photos to your iCloud Photo Library using iCloud.com.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the Upload Photos icon in the upper right corner. It looks like a cloud with an arrow in it.
  4. Click on the photos or videos you would like to upload.

  5. Click Choose.

How to add a photo or a video to an album in your iCloud Photo library

iCloud.com also lets you manage your photo and video albums.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the Add to an Album icon in the upper right corner. It looks like a plus sign.
  4. Click on the album you would like to add your photos or videos to.

How to share a photo or video in your iCloud Photo library

Just like on your iOS device or Mac, Photos in iCloud.com lets you share with your friends.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the Share icon in the upper right corner. It looks like a box with an arrow coming out the top of it.
  4. Click the platform you would like it shared with, ie Facebook, mail, etc.

How to download a photo or video in your iCloud Photo library

If you really need a standalone copy of a photo or video, you can grab it from iCloud.com.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the Download selected item icon in the upper right corner.
  4. The photo or video will begin downloading automatically.

How to delete a photo from your iCloud Photo library

When you delete photos from iCloud.com, they'll also be deleted on your other iCloud-connected devices.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on the Photos icon from the main menu.

  3. Click the Delete icon in the upper right corner. It looks like a trash can.
  4. Click Remove on the prompt that appears on screen.

How to recover deleted files from iCloud

You might think that the file you just deleted is gone forever. However, there's still time to recover it using iCloud.com.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Files under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

  4. Click to check off the boxes to the left of the files you want to restore.
  5. Or click Select All if you really need to restore everything.
  6. Click Restore Files.

Note that you'll only have 30 days to recover any files that you've deleted. After that, they're gone for good.

How to recover contacts from iCloud

You can't restore individual contacts from iCloud but you can restore one of the backup archives that iCloud makes periodically. Restoring an older backup will remove any contacts added since the snapshot was taken (iCloud will, however, snapshot the current database before it restores the old one). It's best used if your contacts are corrupted or you somehow lose a large number of them.

If you really need to restore, but also really need to save recently added contacts, export them first on your Mac so you can import them after the restore is completed.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Contacts under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

How to recover calendars and reminders from iCloud

Just like your contacts, your calendars and reminders are also backed up every now and then. Calendars and reminders are backed up together, though, so if you're restoring one, you have to restore the other.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Calendars and Reminders under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

Also note, all sharing information will be lost if you restore, so you'll need to re-share afterward. Anyone invited to an event will get a cancellation and then a new invitation.

How to recover Safari bookmarks from iCloud

Your Safari bookmarks also get backed up in iCloud and can be restored as well.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Restore Bookmarks under Advanced all the way at the bottom left.

  4. Click the Restore button the right of the archive you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore to confirm.

How to recover photos and videos from iCloud

iCloud.com has the same Recently Deleted album in Photos that your iPhone, iPad, and Mac do. You can use it to recover photos to your iCloud Photo Library that have been deleted within the last 40 days.

  1. Go to iCloud.com in any web browser (you might need to sign in).
  2. Click on Photos.
  3. Click on Albums at the top.

  4. Click the Recently Deleted album.
  5. Click on the photos you want to restore.
  6. Click on Recover.

Questions?

If you've got any more questions about using iCloud.com, be sure to let us know in the comments.

[custom:icloud]

Apple Voices Opinion on Net Neutrality, Asks for ‘Strong, Enforceable Open Internet Protections’

Posted on by Evan Selleck.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Back in July, the battle over net neutrality was reignited all over again, and it’s one that does not appear to be going quietly into the night anytime soon. Continue reading

Official: Apple to Unveil iPhone 8, 4K Apple TV on September 12 at Steve Jobs Theater

Posted on by Rajesh Pandey.
Categories: Uncategorized.
Apple today sent out invites for its iPhone 8 event on September 12 at 10 am PT. The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park — Apple’s new campus. Continue reading

GameStop has Mario Kart and Zelda Nintendo Switch bundles in-stock for $360

Posted on by Jared DiPane.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with some Nintendo Switch bundles that are actually worth buying!

Gamestop has a variety of Nintendo Switch bundles in stock currently with free shipping when you use code SAVER.

If you still haven't been able to get your hands on one yet, this deal is practically as good as they come at this point. Each bundle includes a game to bring the total of the bundle to the price of what it would cost if you bought the Nintendo Switch and the included game at full price.

Realistically you can find small discounts on these games at various retailers, but finding a Switch is near impossible in most stores and online right now. These bundles will ship by Sept 8 so your wait for the Switch could be over by the end of next week if you order today.

The Switch doesn't come with a carrying case and you're gonna want to bring it along with you when you go on trips or long car rides, so you may want to check out this sweet Mario Kart 8 travel case we mentioned on our site yesterday which is now down to just $11.

See at Gamestop

More from Thrifter:

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Apple will unveil the next iPhone on September 12th at its new campus

Posted on by Nathan Ingraham.
Categories: Uncategorized.

To the surprise of almost no one, Apple has announced it'll be holding its annual iPhone event on Tuesday, September 12th. It'll be the first event hosted at Apple's new "spaceship" campus in Cupertino, California. Sure, Apple didn't say exactly what to expect, but given that the company has introduced a new iPhone around this timeframe for the last six years, it's a pretty safe bet we'll be seeing new mobile phones. That includes the "iPhone 8," a device that's expected to be radically different from its predecessors. Improvements rumored include an edge-to-edge OLED screen, face detection, wireless charging, a virtual home button and an updated dual-camera system.

Swappa Gaming is an all new place for buying and selling used games

Posted on by Russell Holly.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Arguably the safest place to buy and sell phones will now take care of your games.

The folks at Swappa do one thing very well — maintain a healthy environment for buying and selling used gear. What started as a phone swapping site has grown considerably over the years, and is now the best place to get top dollar for your used phone as well as get a sweet deal on a used phone when you need one.

This service has expanded several times in recent years, but the latest push into gaming is an area where used phone skills are really going to come in handy. Welcome to Swappa Gaming.

It's exactly as simple as it sounds. If you have a game to sell, or you're looking for a game to buy, search the site by game or platform and choose the price you'd like to pay. Sellers can offer games at whatever price they think will sell and provide proof right on the listing that the disc is either in pristine condition or has a few flaws you should know about.

Transactions on Swappa aren't listed as complete until the buyer gets the game and confirms its quality, ensuring both sides of the deal are happy. It's a solid, positive experience made all the better by Swappa's knowledgeable staff and forums crew.

You can check out Swappa Gaming right now and see if there are any solid Nintendo Switch deals to your liking. The other platforms are there for you to check out too, just in case you're not a one platform household!

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Should you upgrade to the iPad (2017) or iPad mini 4?

Posted on by Serenity Caldwell.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Considering a back-to-school upgrade of the 9.7-inch iPad (2017) or iPad mini 4? Here's what you need to know.

The iPad is more affordable than ever, thanks to recent price cuts from Apple to its 9.7-inch and mini line, along with better storage options and great internal tech.

But if you already have an older 9.7-inch iPad or iPad mini, are these latest models worth the upgrade? Let's take a peek.

Price

If you're considering the 2017 iPad or iPad mini 4 instead of an upgrade to the iPad Pro, chances are it's at least in part pricing-related. Apple's two base-model iPads are the cheapest tablets the company has ever sold, and they're inexpensive without a huge compromise on great features.

The iPads Pro begin at $649; in contrast, the 2017 iPad starts at $329, and the iPad mini 4 starts at $399. If you're on a budget, the 2017 iPad or iPad mini 4 are great options to upgrade from a previous iPad.

If you're still unsure about which model you want for your home, schoolwork, or office, check out our comparison piece before continuing.

Which iPad should you get: iPad, iPad Pro, or iPad mini?

Displays

The 2017 9.7-inch iPad sports a 2048x1536 display with a Retina density of 264 PPI (pixels per inch), while the iPad mini 4 has a 7.9-inch 2048x1536 display at 326 PPI — the best pixel density available on an iPad. The mini also has a fully laminated display, which removes the gap between the screen's pixels and the top glass, along with an antireflective coating for direct viewing in the sun.

In comparison, Apple's older 9.7-inch iPad, the iPad Air 2, has the exact same display as the 2017 iPad, but it also has the laminated display and antireflective coating of the iPad mini 4. No arguments to be made here: In terms of tech only, it's a superior display to the 2017 iPad.

The 2017 iPad's screen is very close in design to that of the iPad Air, which also has a 2048x1536 Retina density at 264 PPI, though it has a slightly different construction on account of the changes to the iPad's body.

Where the 2017 iPad reigns in display is over its even older 9.7-inch siblings, the second- and third-generation iPads.

The iPad mini 4 has no real competitor in display at its size: It's better than all prior iPad mini models, and its density is only beat by the iPhone 7 Plus with its 401 PPI display.

If you care about display quality, the 2017 iPad isn't going to win any awards — but it's a solid Retina offering from the Cupertino company. iPad Air 2 owners considering an upgrade might be better off with a 10.5-inch iPad Pro than the slight downgrade this screen provides.

If you're looking for an iPad mini upgrade, the iPad mini 4 has an excellent screen that rivals all but the high-end iPad Pro models; it excels for reading in direct sunlight, playing games, and browsing articles on the web.

Processors and graphics

The iPad has come a long way since its first-ever chipset, the 32-bit A4. The 2017 iPad ships with an A9 64-bit processor and M9 co-processor along with 2GB of RAM, while the mini 4 has the slightly older 64-bit A8 and M8 co-processor.

In this arena, the 2017 iPad and mini 4 beat all but their iPad Pro siblings: The iPad Air 2 has an A8X processor, while the iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3 all have the 64-bit Cyclone-powered Apple A7 processors and M7 motion coprocessors — the same chips found in the iPhone 5s.

When announcing the A9 processor, Apple described the jump as being 70% faster than the A8, along with 90% faster graphics speeds. The jump from the A8X is a little smaller, but still provides a decent power boost for single-core operations. iMore's Geekbench scores peg the 2017 iPad at 2556 in single-core and 4453 in multi-core operations; in contrast, the iPad Air 2 comes in at 1810 in single-core and 4530 in multi-core. From Rene's review:

iPad [2017] isn't the leap over the iPad Air 2 that iPad Pro was, especially for multi-threaded operations. But for single-threaded operations, which includes most user interactions, it's a respectable hop.

Realistically, very little outside high-end graphics apps, extremely intensive photo filters, or bleeding-edge games will peg an Apple A9 chipset. If you're coming from anything other than an iPad Air 2, things will be hockey-stick-graph better. Even coming from an iPad Air 2, the single thread improvement is enough to make everything seem snappier and more responsive.

The iPad mini 4, admittedly, has the slowest processor of the modern iPad line; despite storage and pricing changes over the past few years, the mini 4 has remained with an A8 processor. But in comparison to the other (even slower) mini models, the mini 4 still retains an edge.

As with display options, iPad Air 2 owners may be better off upgrading to an iPad Pro or waiting a year or two for the next iteration of the 9.7-inch model. But for all other iPad owners, the 2017 iPad is a more-than-respectable upgrade.

Storage

Here's one arena where the new 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 trounce their past models. The 9.7-inch iPad comes in 32 and 128GB models, while the mini 4 comes in a single 128GB model.

Not only is more storage a welcome move from Apple, but it's at a huge discount for previous iPad owners looking to upgrade. 128GB rang up at a crazy $699 for the iPad Air 2 (that's $5.46/GB); in contrast, Apple charges just $429 for a 128GB 2017 iPad ($3.35/GB), and $399 for a 128GB mini 4 ($3.12/GB).

If you're looking on getting some of the best bang for your storage buck, both of these models are excellent upgrade opportunities.

Cameras and photography

Whether I love it or not, front- and rear-facing cameras have become a standard feature on the iPad line. Both the 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 have an 8-megapixel rear camera sensor along with a f/2.4 aperture, five-element lens, and software features like Live Photos and 1080p video recording and image stabilization. The front-facing camera is a little less advanced, with a 1.2-megapixel sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 720p video, Retina Flash, and Live Photos.

This is the same camera architecture present in the iPad Air 2 but far superior to previous iPad models; the iPad Air has only a 5-megapixel rear camera sensor and lacks the improved ISP (image signal processor) of the 2017 iPad, Air 2, and mini 4.

iPad Air 2 owners should be fine without an upgrade this cycle, but if camera technology matters in your iPad purchase, it's worth looking into either the 2017 iPad or mini 4 when considering an upgrade.

Networking

If you care about networking speeds and you're considering picking up a cellular iPad, the 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 have some of the most advanced iPad antenna technology out there. Both support 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, multi-in, multi-out (MIMO) connections, and LTE (21 and 20 bands, respectively, including LTE Advanced). They also both ship with the Apple SIM, which makes it easy to pick a carrier on the go both at home and abroad.

As might not be surprising if you've gotten this far in the article, the iPad Air 2 is almost identical to the 2017 iPad in this department; earlier 9.7-inch iPad and mini models, however, support fewer bands (or no LTE connections at all).

If you're planning on picking up a cellular-enabled iPad, not only are the 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 the cheapest options available, but they offer the most connectivity outside of the iPad Pro and Air 2 models.

Touch ID and Apple Pay

Touch ID is practically a necessity on Apple's devices at this point: It provides an easy unlock process for opening your iPad, sure, but it also lets users pay for purchases online and via the App Store with their fingerprint, rather than typing in lengthy passwords or remembering credit card information. (You can also authenticate third-party apps, like password managers and banking clients.)

Both the 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 offer Apple's first-generation Touch ID sensor. The iPad Air 2 and mini 3 also have this sensor, but no other iPads sport it; as such, if you're rocking an older iPad and considering an upgrade to a Touch ID model, the 2017 iPad and mini 4 are the cheapest options for such a purchase.

iOS and multitasking support

iOS 11, coming in Fall of 2017, will build off iOS 9 and 10's multitasking support for iPad to introduce new interactions for tablet users.

iPad Drag and Drop, Multitasking, and Split View in iOS 11: Everything you need to know!

Apple's iPad Pro models will get access to all the new multitasking features, but the 2017 iPad and iPad mini 4 still receive a decent chunk. From our FAQ:

9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad mini 4 (7.9-inch iPad), and all other 9.7-inch iPads:

Slide Over: Supports Slide Over; only the Slide Over pane is useable when on the screen, with the background app or Split View apps greyed out.

Split View: Supports Compact (iPhone UI) size classes in Split view; it supports 50-50/25-75/75-25 views horizontally and 25-75/75-25 views vertically.

Picture-in-Picture: Supports PiP next to Slide Over and on top of Split View with only PiP and Slide Over in focus.

If you want to multitask like a champ in iOS 11, you'll need an iPad Pro, 2017 iPad, iPad Air 2, or mini 4 to do it. If you don't have any of these devices, it's worth considering an upgrade.

Who should upgrade to the iPad mini 4?

Users who want a smaller tablet with the full weight of iOS behind it will love the $399 iPad mini 4. Even with a slower processor than its peers, the mini 4 still speeds along like a champ. It also has the best non-Pro display currently for sale, and at some of Apple's best storage pricing.

See at Apple

Who should upgrade to the 2017 iPad?

If you need a larger tablet but don't have the budget or the need for Pro-level features, check out the $329 2017 iPad for your next tablet purchase. It offers many of the same features as the iPad Air 2, but at a lower price and more attractive storage capacity.

See at Apple

Who should wait?

iPad Air 2 owners who don't have the cash for the iPad Pro nor an urgent need to upgrade (a broken tablet, for example) can keep on enjoying their current tablet — it's on par with the current 2017 iPad in most every way, and still a great 9.7-inch machine. 2018 might bring a better upgrade opportunity or discounted iPad Pro models: a win either way.

Still undecided?

Still have questions about upgrading to a 2017 iPad or iPad mini 4? Hop into our iPad discussion forums for more help or drop a message below in the comments!

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Save 33% on these wallet-sized stands for your iPhone and iPad

Posted on by Marc Lagace.
Categories: Uncategorized.

It's been 10 years since the first iPhone was announced we've steadily relied on these powerful new devices for all our entertainment purposes. In 2017, you can get away with watching all your favorite TV shows, movies, and YouTube content wherever you are on your smartphone or tablet.

Get a three-pack of stands for all your devices! Learn more

It's great and convenient but has also led to other problems like trying to find a way to prop up that phone or tablet for hands-free viewing. There are a number of accessories you can slap on your phone that give you that extra functionality, but what if you could have a convenient kickstand that fits in your wallet?

That's where this great deal from iMore Digital Offers comes in. You can get a 3-pack of slick wallet-sized stands for just $19.99. These cards fold flat, but can be set up in seconds whenever you need. The adjustable aluminum support bar pops into nine different slots, giving you a wide range of viewing angles to choose from. While the size is small, these portable stands will support your phone or a tablet (up to 11-inches) in either landscape or portrait mode. Leave one in the kitchen so it's always there for following along with recipes, or in your bedroom for those late-night YouTube binges.

Give your hands a break from holding your phone all day! Learn more

Typically a 3-pack of these stands would sell for $30 but thanks to this deal from iMore Digital Offers you can get yours for only $20. Keep one for yourself and give the other two away to friends or family, or horde them all for yourself. The choice is yours!

These are the coolest new Star Wars things you can buy

Posted on by Russell Holly.
Categories: Uncategorized.

"It's time for the Jedi... to end."

Luke's chilling statement in the first trailer for The Last Jedi leaves a ton of questions, and it is going to be a while before we're all able to sit in theaters and get the answers we're looking for. Just like the launch of The Force Awakens, Disney has teamed up with tech and toy companies the world over for a unified launch of new things designed to celebrate this film.

This unified launch is called Force Friday II, and we've got the complete list of exciting new things for you to add to your collection.

Advanced Laser Battle Drones by Propel

Fly your favorite Star Wars vehicles in tiny drone form, and when you've got the hang of things there's a special laser combat system where you can battle with friends and strangers alike.

Check out our Star Wars drone preview!

Jedi Challenges AR Game by Lenovo

Plug your phone into the headset, grab your Lightsaber, and prepare for a series of augmented reality games including Holochess and drone combat!

Check out Jedi Challenges for more!

BB-9E and R2-D2 by Sphero

It's BB-8's evil twin alongside the classic R2-D2? This new character in the Star Wars universe leaves us asking a lot of questions, but also leaves us wanting to grab this new robot ball and race it with the existing lovable Sphero droid!

Read more at Sphero.com

Build your own Droid with littleBits

Why limit yourself to play when you can create? The folks at littleBits have a unique take on R2-D2 as a kit you can assemble yourself. No word on whether there's a snark chip you can add or remove, but if you want to do more than just build an R2 unit there's a whole universe of DIY options available to you!

Check it out on LittleBits.com

These new Star Wars drones are the most fun you can have with a controller

Posted on by Russell Holly.
Categories: Uncategorized.

"This is not a toy. I can't stress that enough."

Propel CEO Darren Matloff stood 6 feet from me earlier this week, resting a tiny replica of the classic Tie Advanced fighter in his hand, with the most serious face he could muster as he uttered that phrase. It sure looked like a toy; in fact, it looked like a palm-sized drone I'd be able to fly around my office in a few days. But he was seriously standing there telling me the three Star Wars-themed drones being introduced to the world were not toys.

If not toys, what are they? For Propel, these drones are a huge step forward in being publicly recognized as a leader in the drone world. For the rest of us, these drones are the most fun way you could possibly have to learn to fly any kind of drone like a pro. They are also toys, ridiculously fun toys, but I get where Darren is coming from.

Advanced Laser Battle Drones

The partnership between Propel and Disney is, like all of the truly special Star Wars products released every year, an effort to go above and beyond what consumers would expect. These aren't just drones you fly around one at a time; they're designed with a laser tag-like combat system and a communication platform for gameplay in a public space with up to 11 other pilots. So yeah, not your average drone.

Currently, Propel is selling the Tie Advanced X1 alongside the T-65 X-Wing and the 74-Z Speeder Bike. While one of those things is clearly not like others when it comes to the actual Star Wars universe, these little drones are plenty detailed and can really move when you know how to fly them.

With the safeties unlocked, these drones are capable of 30mph and can fly for up to 8 minutes on a charge. The drones all light up in ways that line up with the classic designs of the vehicles, and the use of clear propellers on the bottom of the drones makes the designs a little more realistic.

Not only are the drones themselves impressive to look at, but the limited edition boxes available with these drones are staggeringly beautiful. Break the wax seal and lift the case up to see a lit display to show off your tiny drone, with its controller safely tucked underneath. It makes a compelling display case, assuming you don't crash your drone a few minutes after using it the first time.

The perfect training system

To complement these drones, Propel has an app that does more than you can imagine. It starts as a simple training app, syncing your phone to the controller and letting you fly around a virtual version of your drone. This game includes 34 different training modules, including advanced flying techniques like in-air corkscrews and firing the lasers at the right time. Using the actual controller you use to pilot the drone makes it possible for you to really learn how to fly the drone without damaging it, and it helps that the game itself is a lot of fun.

The difference between what you can buy now and what Propel is offering here is staggering.

When you aren't training, the app is used as the network for multiplayer gameplay. You can see a leaderboard for all of the action and get tips for what will make you better next time if you lose. This information all comes from the drone itself, including information on who you are playing against, thanks to new tech called Li-Fi that allows data to be transmitted from drone to drone, and then to your phone.

Of course, you don't actually need to use the app at all for training if you don't want. The controller uses barometric sensors to create a training zone you can enable. This means the drone has a safety floor and ceiling that the user can't pass, so no accidental slams into floors or ceilings. If the drone takes a hit, it shuts off and safely lands. Assuming you don't crash immediately thanks to this safety mode, you can use this to become comfortable with everything you learned in the app before moving on to actual combat.

I'm going to own all of these

Star Wars-themed drones are not a new concept, but the difference between what you can buy now and what Propel is offering here is staggering. These drones look nicer, fly faster, and do way more for a much better price. These drones are available for $179 in a ton of places starting September 1, with several upgrade options planned for drone pilots that would like to really get serious about drone combat.

The bottom line is these drones should be on every holiday shopping list, but hardcore Star Wars collectors need to get on this immediately in order to get that limited edition display.