‘WONDERBOOM’ Speaker From Ultimate Ears Offers Big Sound in a Small Package

Ultimate Ears today announced the latest addition to its lineup of portable speakers, debuting the palm-sized $99 WONDERBOOM. The WONDERBOOM fits right in with its bigger siblings the UE Boom 2 and the MEGABOOM, offering 360 degree sound in a smaller, more affordable package.

Design wise, the WONDERBOOM looks a lot like the UE Boom 2, but it’s half as tall and a bit thicker. It’s 10.2cm tall with a diameter of 9.4cm, while the UE Boom 2 is 18cm tall with a diameter of 6.5cm.



The front of the WONDERBOOM features the iconic Ultimate Ears volume control buttons, denoted by a “+” and a “-“, and at the top, there’s a power button and a Bluetooth button for pairing the WONDERBOOM to an iPhone. A UE button, also at the top of the speaker, pauses and unpauses music that’s playing. A double tap on the UE button will skip to the next song.

The WONDERBOOM connects to a device through a standard Bluetooth connection and it is designed to maintain its connection up to 100 feet away.



All of the Ultimate Ears products offer surprisingly great sound for both their size and price point, and the WONDERBOOM is no exception. In our testing, it wasn’t far off from the sound of the UE Boom 2 and it was louder and carried more than the sound from a UE Roll. Sound was clear, even at high volume, and the bass was impressive for a small speaker.

Two WONDERBOOMs can be paired together (a long press on the UE button puts them into pairing mode) for larger spaces and louder sound, and there’s also a feature that allows two Bluetooth devices to connect to WONDERBOOM so multiple people can control the music.

A loop on the back of the WONDERBOOM allows it to hang anywhere, and it’s also waterproof (IPX7) and able to float, making it ideal for use at the pool, the beach, or in the bath. It can withstand immersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s also rugged, making it an ideal outdoor speaker — it’s drop proof from up to five feet.



WONDERBOOM charges using an included micro-USB cable, and it offers 10 hours of battery life per charge, long enough to last for a full day.



WONDERBOOM is priced at $99 and it is available in six colors: Stone (gray), Phantom (black), Fireball (red), SubZero (blue), Cashmere (pink), and Lilac (light purple). Ultimate Ears will begin selling the WONDERBOOM on its website in April of 2017.

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Apple Pay Expands to Taiwan

Apple Pay is rolling out to Taiwanese customers starting today, reports The China Post. Seven banks in Taiwan are supporting Apple Pay at launch according to Apple’s Taiwanese Apple Pay website, including Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E. Sun Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Taishin International Bank, and Union Bank of Taiwan.

Apple Pay is available to all Visa and MasterCard holders who bank with the above listed institutions. The payments service will work at all retailers where contactless payments are accepted, including Far Eastern Department Stores, Carrefour, PXMart, Sogo, and The Breeze Center. FamilyMart stores are also accepting Apple Pay, but only for users who bank with Taishin International.



Cards can be added to Apple Pay by tapping the “Add Credit or Debit Card” option in the Wallet app on a device running iOS 8.1 or later. Apple Pay works with the iPhone 7 or later or the iPhone 5 or later when using an iPhone paired with an Apple Watch. Apple Pay in apps and on the web is also available on iPads with Touch ID, including the iPad, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and both iPad Pro models.

Since its 2014 debut, Apple Pay has been slowly rolling out around the world. Rumors suggest Apple Pay will soon expand to several additional countries, including Italy, Belgium, Germany, and South Korea.

Along with Taiwan, Apple Pay is also available in the U.S., the UK, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and Ireland.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple Rejecting Apps With Pricing Info Like ‘Free’ in App Title

Apple has started blocking developers from promoting their apps by using a price in the app’s name, reports VentureBeat. For approximately the last month, apps that use “free” or other pricing information in their metadata have been blocked in iTunes Connect submissions.

Apps that use “Free” in their titles are receiving the following rejection notice after being submitted for review:

Your app’s name, icons, screenshots, or previews to be displayed on the App Store include references to your app’s price, which is not considered a part of these metadata items.

Please remove any references to your app’s price from your app’s name, including any references to your app being free or discounted. If you would like to advertise changes to your app’s price, it would be appropriate to include this information in the app description. Changes to your app’s price can be made in the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect.

An Apple spokesperson VentureBeat contacted confirmed the changes but declined to offer any additional information.

Given that there are still dozens of apps in the App Store that use “Free” in their title, such as Disney’s “Where’s My Water? Free” or “Doodle Jump FREE,” it appears this is a new policy that will affect app submissions going forward. It’s not clear if Apple will make apps that are already in the App Store implement a title change.



In related App Store news, Apple appears to have mistakenly approved Metadata, an app that sends a notification when a U.S. drone strike is reported in the news.

The app, which had previously been rejected a dozen times before, was approved this morning and then pulled just hours later, suggesting its temporary approval was an accident. Previously, the app was approved in 2014 and was in the App Store for almost a year before being removed.

Tag: App Store

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MLB.com At Bat and NHL Apps Take Advantage of Custom Icon Option in iOS 10.3

iOS 10.3 includes a new feature that allows developers to change app icons after an app has been installed, bringing custom app icons to the iOS Home screen. Both the MLB.com At Bat and NHL iOS apps are now taking advantage of the new custom icon feature following updates released this afternoon.

In the MLB.com At Bat app, users can customize the Home screen icon of the app with MLB club-branded app icons representing their favorite team. Similarly, in the NHL app, app icons can also be customized with team logos instead of the standard NHL app icon.

To change the icons, iOS 10.3 is required. Subscribers can go to More –> Settings –> Home Screen icon and choose a team logo.

Screenshots via TechCrunch


As TechCrunch points out, while developers are now able to change app icons without pushing a full iOS update, there is no support for dynamic app icons that would allow for things like a weather app icon that updates continually with the temperature.

Customized Home screen icons, which Apple calls “User-Selectable App Icons” may be something that we’ll see a lot more of now that iOS 10.3 is available to the public. Apple has strict rules for icon customization options, requiring visual consistency, a simple icon swap interface, and explicit user permission to change an app’s icon.

MLB.com At Bat can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

NHL can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: MLB, NHL

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