Will.i.am’s ‘i.am+ EPs’ Wireless Earphones Debut Exclusively at Apple Stores

i.am+, the company founded by musician will.i.am, recently announced the launch of its new i.am+ EPs, a set of premium Bluetooth earphones that are available exclusively from Apple retail stores and Apple.com.

Featuring a design inspired by the “iconic shape of vinyl records” and targeted at those interested in fashion, the EPs include circular ear pieces made of spun metal and are connected by a woven fabric cord. Because they connect to an iPhone via Bluetooth 2.0 and have a 30-foot range, there’s no cord to plug them into a headphone jack or Lightning port.

iamepsearphones
The EPs are available in black or gold, and when not being used for listening to music, they can be worn around the neck for quick access. When worn, the EPs click together using built-in magnets so they stay in place. There’s a built-in remote control for adjusting volume and there’s a microphone that can be used to make phone calls.

iamepremote

Packing plenty of style, the i.am+ EPs Bluetooth wireless headphones deliver superior surround sound and deep bass to truly represent the music on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The metallic discs clasp around your neck for all-day wear. Their lightweight, no-fuss form means no interruption to your music or flow. So easy, so fresh, they’ll quickly become an everyday essential to complement your wardrobe.

A microUSB port located on the remote charges the EPs, and the battery is rated to last up to eight hours before needing to be recharged.

The iam+ EPs are available immediately from Apple.com for $229.95. They are also available for purchase from a select number of brick and mortar Apple Stores.

Discuss this article in our forums

i.am+, the company founded by musician will.i.am, recently announced the launch of its new i.am+ EPs, a set of premium Bluetooth earphones that are available exclusively from Apple retail stores and Apple.com.

Featuring a design inspired by the “iconic shape of vinyl records” and targeted at those interested in fashion, the EPs include circular ear pieces made of spun metal and are connected by a woven fabric cord. Because they connect to an iPhone via Bluetooth 2.0 and have a 30-foot range, there’s no cord to plug them into a headphone jack or Lightning port.

iamepsearphones

The EPs are available in black or gold, and when not being used for listening to music, they can be worn around the neck for quick access. When worn, the EPs click together using built-in magnets so they stay in place. There’s a built-in remote control for adjusting volume and there’s a microphone that can be used to make phone calls.

iamepremote

Packing plenty of style, the i.am+ EPs Bluetooth wireless headphones deliver superior surround sound and deep bass to truly represent the music on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The metallic discs clasp around your neck for all-day wear. Their lightweight, no-fuss form means no interruption to your music or flow. So easy, so fresh, they’ll quickly become an everyday essential to complement your wardrobe.

A microUSB port located on the remote charges the EPs, and the battery is rated to last up to eight hours before needing to be recharged.

The iam+ EPs are available immediately from Apple.com for $229.95. They are also available for purchase from a select number of brick and mortar Apple Stores.

Discuss this article in our forums

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a 64GB C20i JumpDrive From Lexar to Expand Your iPhone’s Storage

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with well-known storage and memory company Lexar to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a 64GB C20i JumpDrive, which is designed to increase the storage capacity of an iPhone or iPad and enable file transfers between Macs/PCs and iOS devices.

C20i_product_Image_wCable
The C20i JumpDrive is a tiny, pocket-sized dongle that’s just a couple inches in length when folded shut, so it’s perfect for travel and easy to carry all the time. There’s a Lightning connector at one end to plug into an iPhone or iPad, and a USB 3.0 connector at the other end to plug into a PC or Mac, making it simple to move files between various devices. The two pieces are made from aluminum to match Apple’s iOS devices, and there’s a high-quality cable in between that feels like it’ll hold up well to regular usage.

lexarunfolded
With storage capacities ranging from 16GB ($41.99) to 128GB ($136.99), the C20i JumpDrive can more than double the amount storage available on an iOS device. It’s ideal for anyone who likes to have a lot of content like photos, videos, or music on hand, and invaluable for iPhone users with only 16 or 32GB of storage.

It features USB 3.0 transfer speeds (95MB/s read and 20MB/s write) when transferring content from a Mac to the drive, and it doubles as standard Lightning cable for charging when plugged into both an iPhone and a Mac.

lexariphone
Media content like videos, photos, music can be played or viewed directly from the JumpDrive using the Lexar Mobile Manager app whenever the dongle is plugged into an iOS device. It supports a wide range of files, including MP3, AAC, WAVE, AIFF, M4A, AVI, MV4, MOV, MKV, and MP4. Videos and music in multiple formats played seamlessly from the JumpDrive in our tests.

lexarapp
Lexar’s app is more full-featured than apps from competitors, and in addition to offering automatic photo and contact backup, it also includes options to link to Dropbox, YouTube, and Vimeo so all of your content is viewable in one location, plus there’s a built-in voice recording feature. The app is organized in a logical way so it’s easy to find content, and it’s clear how much storage is available on both JumpDrive and the iOS device it’s connected to.

Lexar normally charges $95 for the JumpDrive C20i on its website, but five MacRumors readers will win one for free. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (May 20) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 27. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 27 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tags: giveaway, Lexar

Discuss this article in our forums

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with well-known storage and memory company Lexar to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a 64GB C20i JumpDrive, which is designed to increase the storage capacity of an iPhone or iPad and enable file transfers between Macs/PCs and iOS devices.

C20i_product_Image_wCable

The C20i JumpDrive is a tiny, pocket-sized dongle that’s just a couple inches in length when folded shut, so it’s perfect for travel and easy to carry all the time. There’s a Lightning connector at one end to plug into an iPhone or iPad, and a USB 3.0 connector at the other end to plug into a PC or Mac, making it simple to move files between various devices. The two pieces are made from aluminum to match Apple’s iOS devices, and there’s a high-quality cable in between that feels like it’ll hold up well to regular usage.

lexarunfolded

With storage capacities ranging from 16GB ($41.99) to 128GB ($136.99), the C20i JumpDrive can more than double the amount storage available on an iOS device. It’s ideal for anyone who likes to have a lot of content like photos, videos, or music on hand, and invaluable for iPhone users with only 16 or 32GB of storage.

It features USB 3.0 transfer speeds (95MB/s read and 20MB/s write) when transferring content from a Mac to the drive, and it doubles as standard Lightning cable for charging when plugged into both an iPhone and a Mac.

lexariphone

Media content like videos, photos, music can be played or viewed directly from the JumpDrive using the Lexar Mobile Manager app whenever the dongle is plugged into an iOS device. It supports a wide range of files, including MP3, AAC, WAVE, AIFF, M4A, AVI, MV4, MOV, MKV, and MP4. Videos and music in multiple formats played seamlessly from the JumpDrive in our tests.

lexarapp

Lexar’s app is more full-featured than apps from competitors, and in addition to offering automatic photo and contact backup, it also includes options to link to Dropbox, YouTube, and Vimeo so all of your content is viewable in one location, plus there’s a built-in voice recording feature. The app is organized in a logical way so it’s easy to find content, and it’s clear how much storage is available on both JumpDrive and the iOS device it’s connected to.

Lexar normally charges $95 for the JumpDrive C20i on its website, but five MacRumors readers will win one for free. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize.

You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (May 20) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on May 27. The winners will be chosen randomly on May 27 and will be contacted by email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Tags: giveaway, Lexar

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Turns to LG as Sony Falls Behind on Dual-Lens Camera Production for iPhone 7 Plus

Chris Chang of Nomura Securities has issued a note to investors claiming that Sony may be running behind schedule in terms of supplying Apple with dual-lens camera modules for the next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, which rumors suggest may be called the …

iphone_7_plus_rearChris Chang of Nomura Securities has issued a note to investors claiming that Sony may be running behind schedule in terms of supplying Apple with dual-lens camera modules for the next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, which rumors suggest may be called the iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone Pro.

We think Sony may not be able to deliver its full share of dual cameras to Apple due to: (1) lower-than-expected yield, and (2) damage to its production facility from the April earthquake in Kumamoto.

Chang believes that Apple will instead turn to LG as its primary supplier of dual-lens camera modules for the larger-sized iPhone expected to launch in September.

Both investment bank Nomura Securities and research firm Citi Research believe all 5.5-inch iPhones will be equipped with dual-lens camera modules, rather than just one model, echoing comments made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month.

Kuo previously said that Apple had two 5.5-inch versions of the iPhone 7 Plus in development, including one with a single iSight rear-facing camera and another boasting a dual-lens camera module, but he has since recanted. Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 is widely expected to retain a single-lens camera.

Nomura Securities also believes that Apple will include optical image stabilization (OIS) on both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone, whereas the feature has been exclusive to the larger iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus over the past two generations.

Leaked images, components, and renders potentially offer a first look at Apple’s dual-lens camera system, but rumors have been conflicting about the exact design.

The switch to dual-lens camera modules has been linked to Apple’s acquisition of LinX Technology, which could lead to “DSLR-quality” photos on iPhones. LinX’s multi-aperture cameras are also smaller sized than single-aperture cameras, meaning the iPhone 7 Plus could have a slightly less protruding camera lens.

LinX camera modules offer a number of other benefits, including 3D depth mapping, better color accuracy and uniformity, ultra HDR, low noise levels, higher resolution, low costs, zero shutter lag, and a compact design that allows for edge-to-edge displays. A recent video demo provides a good overview of dual-camera technology.

Apple recently patented a dual-camera system consisting of one standard wide-angle lens, similar to what is found in the latest iPhones, and a second telephoto lens capable of capturing zoomed-in video and photos. In a recent video, we visualized what the interface could look like on future iOS devices.



Dual-camera smartphones like the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus are expected to inspire “killer apps” from smartphone manufacturers and third-party developers.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: Sony, LG, Nomura Securities, Chris Chang

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Apple Pulls iOS 9.3.2 Update for 9.7-Inch iPad Pro After Bricking Complaints

Amid a growing number of complaints over iOS 9.3.2 bricking some 9.7-inch iPad Pro models, Apple yesterday pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update. 9.7-inch iPad Pro users who have not installed iOS 9.3.2 no longer see the update, with iOS 9.3.1 now listed as the …

Amid a growing number of complaints over iOS 9.3.2 bricking some 9.7-inch iPad Pro models, Apple yesterday pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update. 9.7-inch iPad Pro users who have not installed iOS 9.3.2 no longer see the update, with iOS 9.3.1 now listed as the most current version of iOS 9 available for download.

Shortly after iOS 9.3.2 was released, MacRumors began receiving reports that the update was causing an “Error 56” message on some 9.7-inch iPad Pro devices. Not all iPad Pro users were affected, but those who were saw their devices rendered unusable. The error message instructed users to plug their devices into iTunes to restore, but restoring did not fix the problem, leaving the iPad Pros bricked.

brickedipad

An iPad Pro bricked after installing iOS 9.3.2. Image via Twitter.


Since then, MacRumors has heard several reports suggesting Apple is replacing iPad Pros bricked by the update, with no other simpler fix readily available. Users who are affected should contact Apple Support for assistance.

Apple has said it is looking into the issue, but did not offer details on what was causing the problem. The iOS 9.3.2 update will remain unavailable on the iPad Pro until a fix is found.

Update: Apple told iMore it is working on a fix and plans to issue an update soon.

We’re working on a fix for an issue impacting a small number of iPad units that are receiving an error when trying to update the software. We’ll issue an update as quickly as possible.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iOS 9
Tag: iOS 9.3.2
Buyer’s Guide: 12.9″ iPad Pro (Buy Now)

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Apple Announces Plans to Establish iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in India

As was rumored earlier this week, Apple today announced plans to establish a new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bangalore, India. According to Apple, the accelerator is part of an effort to support engineering talent and boost growth in …

As was rumored earlier this week, Apple today announced plans to establish a new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bangalore, India. According to Apple, the accelerator is part of an effort to support engineering talent and boost growth in India’s iOS developer community.

indian_flag

“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With the opening of this new facility in Bengaluru, we’re giving developers access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers around the world.”

On a weekly basis, Apple experts plan to lead briefings and offer one-on-one app reviews for developers. The facility will also feature support and guidance to help Indian developers master Swift, Apple’s programming language. Apple plans to open its iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in early 2017.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in India’s developer community and a tremendous opportunity to gain world-class design and development expertise,” said Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal. “Apple’s support will help drive growth and accelerate progress among the country’s vast talent pool.”

News of Apple’s Development Accelerator comes as Apple CEO Tim Cook is making his first official visit to India, where he will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Apple is also planning to open a technology development center in Hyderabad, India, where it will focus on Maps development, and rumors suggest Apple will open its first three retail stores in India over the course of the next 18 months.

Tag: India

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Apple Sent Two Engineers to Customer’s House to Figure Out Music Deletion Bug

A couple weeks ago Vellum’s James Pinkstone wrote on his blog that Apple Music and iTunes Match deleted 122 GB of his personal music collection. The post kicked off a wave of speculation about whether Apple Music intentionally deletes users’ music. Apple eventually confirmed that the deletion was a glitch and that a fix was incoming. Today, Pinkstone wrote a blog post detailing how two Apple engineers named Tom and Ezra visited his home to try to recreate the problem.

itunes_match_2015
Before they arrived, Pinkstone said that Apple told him a couple of things: Amber, the Apple Support Representative who told him the music deletion glitch was a “feature” functioning as intended, was mistaken and the company was convinced the issue wasn’t user error.

The engineers spent the day at Pinkstone’s house researching the issue, telling Pinkstone to use Apple Music, iTunes and his personal library as he would in the past. The next day, Tom returned to collect the data logs and cleared any evidence of him being on the laptop. Apple’s engineers weren’t able to recreate the problem, though Pinkstone notes that they did think the issue was a glitch that needed to be combatted. Yesterday’s iTunes 12.4 update includes safeguards to protect users from the music deletion bug.

Through an external drive connected to my laptop, we were now using a specialized version of iTunes in the hopes that the deletion would again occur; an idea that we knew may not pan out, since I’d had Apple Music for eight months before that first mass deletion. If something did go wrong, though, this version of iTunes would document what happened in more detail than the consumer version could.

Pinkstone’s Apple engineer visit is a good example of how far the Cupertino company will go to try to correct bugs in its products. MacRumors has heard several reports of Apple sending out engineers to the homes of users experiencing unique problems in an attempt to research them for fixes. The entire visit can be read about on Pinkstone’s blog.
Discuss this article in our forums

A couple weeks ago Vellum’s James Pinkstone wrote on his blog that Apple Music and iTunes Match deleted 122 GB of his personal music collection. The post kicked off a wave of speculation about whether Apple Music intentionally deletes users’ music. Apple eventually confirmed that the deletion was a glitch and that a fix was incoming. Today, Pinkstone wrote a blog post detailing how two Apple engineers named Tom and Ezra visited his home to try to recreate the problem.

itunes_match_2015

Before they arrived, Pinkstone said that Apple told him a couple of things: Amber, the Apple Support Representative who told him the music deletion glitch was a “feature” functioning as intended, was mistaken and the company was convinced the issue wasn’t user error.

The engineers spent the day at Pinkstone’s house researching the issue, telling Pinkstone to use Apple Music, iTunes and his personal library as he would in the past. The next day, Tom returned to collect the data logs and cleared any evidence of him being on the laptop. Apple’s engineers weren’t able to recreate the problem, though Pinkstone notes that they did think the issue was a glitch that needed to be combatted. Yesterday’s iTunes 12.4 update includes safeguards to protect users from the music deletion bug.

Through an external drive connected to my laptop, we were now using a specialized version of iTunes in the hopes that the deletion would again occur; an idea that we knew may not pan out, since I’d had Apple Music for eight months before that first mass deletion. If something did go wrong, though, this version of iTunes would document what happened in more detail than the consumer version could.

Pinkstone’s Apple engineer visit is a good example of how far the Cupertino company will go to try to correct bugs in its products. MacRumors has heard several reports of Apple sending out engineers to the homes of users experiencing unique problems in an attempt to research them for fixes. The entire visit can be read about on Pinkstone’s blog.
Discuss this article in our forums

Apple TV Sees Major Sales Growth in 2015 But Still Ranks as Fourth Most Popular Streaming Media Player

The launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, with Siri integration and a full App Store, resulted in a huge Apple TV sales boost, according to new data shared by Parks Associates. In 2015, Apple TV unit sales were 50 percent higher than unit sales in 2014.

Despite the surge in sales, the Apple TV continues to rank as the fourth most popular streaming media player in the United States, coming in behind Roku, Amazon, and Google. The Apple TV accounted for 20 percent of streaming media players purchased from 1Q 2015 to 1Q 2016, compared to 30 percent for Roku and 22 percent each for Amazon and Google.

streamingmediaplayersales

While Apple TV remains in fourth place among the four major brands, it had the largest increase in unit sales year-over-year, primarily due to its long-awaited new version, launched in 4Q 2015. Its share of sales in 2015 was 50% higher than its share in 2014. Amazon also had a substantially higher share of unit sales in 2015.

Parks Associates believes Apple trails behind because both Amazon and Roku offer multiple form factors with both standard boxes and smaller sticks available. Amazon, Roku, and Google also offer more affordably priced streaming media players than Apple, with its latest box starting at $149. Apple does, however, continue to sell its third-generation Apple TV for $69, more competitively priced with competing set-top boxes.

In total, 36 percent of U.S. broadband households now have at least one streaming media player, up from 27 percent last year, and media players from Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google make up 94 percent of those. Media player sales are expected to grow significantly over the next few years, with an estimated 86 million streaming media players set to be sold globally in 2019.

Since Apple just released its latest Apple TV set-top box in October of 2015, there’s no word on when another update is planned. Apple has recently been working on building out the tvOS software included on the fourth-generation Apple TV, introducing much-needed new features like dictation, app folders, and Bluetooth keyboard support.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums

The launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, with Siri integration and a full App Store, resulted in a huge Apple TV sales boost, according to new data shared by Parks Associates. In 2015, Apple TV unit sales were 50 percent higher than unit sales in 2014.

Despite the surge in sales, the Apple TV continues to rank as the fourth most popular streaming media player in the United States, coming in behind Roku, Amazon, and Google. The Apple TV accounted for 20 percent of streaming media players purchased from 1Q 2015 to 1Q 2016, compared to 30 percent for Roku and 22 percent each for Amazon and Google.

streamingmediaplayersales

While Apple TV remains in fourth place among the four major brands, it had the largest increase in unit sales year-over-year, primarily due to its long-awaited new version, launched in 4Q 2015. Its share of sales in 2015 was 50% higher than its share in 2014. Amazon also had a substantially higher share of unit sales in 2015.

Parks Associates believes Apple trails behind because both Amazon and Roku offer multiple form factors with both standard boxes and smaller sticks available. Amazon, Roku, and Google also offer more affordably priced streaming media players than Apple, with its latest box starting at $149. Apple does, however, continue to sell its third-generation Apple TV for $69, more competitively priced with competing set-top boxes.

In total, 36 percent of U.S. broadband households now have at least one streaming media player, up from 27 percent last year, and media players from Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google make up 94 percent of those. Media player sales are expected to grow significantly over the next few years, with an estimated 86 million streaming media players set to be sold globally in 2019.

Since Apple just released its latest Apple TV set-top box in October of 2015, there’s no word on when another update is planned. Apple has recently been working on building out the tvOS software included on the fourth-generation Apple TV, introducing much-needed new features like dictation, app folders, and Bluetooth keyboard support.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

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Speck Launches Pocket-VR With Candyshell Case for iPhone 6 and 6s

Speck today announced the official launch of its Pocket-VR accessory, a collapsible, portable virtual reality headset designed to be compatible with its line of Candyshell Grip cases. The Pocket-VR was created using Google’s Cardboard VR specs, so it is able to display content created for Cardboard.

pocketvr1
The Pocket-VR, made of black plastic, comes with a black and gray CandyShell Grip smartphone case, which it snaps over to create a virtual reality viewing experience on the go. When not in use, the Pocket-VR’s retractable side panels fold flat, allowing the accessory to be carried easily in a pocket. Speck is offering the Pocket-VR for the iPhone 6 and 6s only, which is not compatible with larger iPhone 6 and 6s Plus models.

pocketvr2
Speck’s CandyShell Grip case can be used even when the Pocket-VR is stowed away, offering full military-grade drop protection for an iPhone. It includes a raised bezel to protect the screen and it has raised rubber ridges for a solid grip.

The Pocket-VR can be purchased from the Speck website for $69.95.

Tag: Speck

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Speck today announced the official launch of its Pocket-VR accessory, a collapsible, portable virtual reality headset designed to be compatible with its line of Candyshell Grip cases. The Pocket-VR was created using Google’s Cardboard VR specs, so it is able to display content created for Cardboard.

pocketvr1

The Pocket-VR, made of black plastic, comes with a black and gray CandyShell Grip smartphone case, which it snaps over to create a virtual reality viewing experience on the go. When not in use, the Pocket-VR’s retractable side panels fold flat, allowing the accessory to be carried easily in a pocket. Speck is offering the Pocket-VR for the iPhone 6 and 6s only, which is not compatible with larger iPhone 6 and 6s Plus models.

pocketvr2

Speck’s CandyShell Grip case can be used even when the Pocket-VR is stowed away, offering full military-grade drop protection for an iPhone. It includes a raised bezel to protect the screen and it has raised rubber ridges for a solid grip.

The Pocket-VR can be purchased from the Speck website for $69.95.

Tag: Speck

Discuss this article in our forums