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Review: Mophie Charge Stream Powerstation Wireless + Wireless XL

Mophie has been on a roll lately when it comes to wireless charging. It was one of the first companies out of the gate with its Apple-certified Wireless Charging Base when Apple debuted wireless charging for the 2017 iPhones a year ago, and then earlier this year superseded that original Apple-centric wireless charging pad with a slightly updated Charge Stream Pad+ intended to offer broader device support and more charging power for non-Apple devices. This was also accompanied soon after by a portable option in the form of Mophie’s Charge Stream Travel Kit, and Mophie even went in the other direction by adding wireless charging input to one of its classic battery packs, the [Powerstation Plus XL]. So it’s probably not at all surprising that Mophie’s now added a line of new Qi-compatible battery packs to its Charge Stream family.


The Sims FreePlay adds augmented reality with ARKit 2

Electronic Arts and Maxis have released a new “Brilliant Backyards” update for The Sims FreePlay, adding support for Apple’s ARKit 2 to allow users to not only place their Sims in real-world settings, but also share real-time co-op building experiences with a friend. Users can build their Sims’ dream homes in a real-world environment, and even tie the AR experience to a specific location so they can return to it anytime. A trailer has also been published demonstrating the new ARKit features.


Report: Apps using deceptive practices to trick users into expensive subscriptions

A new report from TechCrunch reveals that a number of developers are taking advantage of Apple’s in-app subscription model to trick users into signing up for expensive recurring plans. While the apps in question aren’t always running blatantly afoul of Apple’s App Store Guidelines, they do appear to be skirting the guidelines by internationally confusing and misleading users with promises of “free trials” that require payment after only a few days. TechCrunch notes that the worst offenders appear to be in the “Utilities” category, where apps like QR code readers, document scanners, translators, and weather apps are placing in the Top Grossing apps chart not far below legitimate leaders like Fortnite and Netflix.


Daily Deal: Gryphon, The Ultimate Secure Router

Today in iLounge Deals, we’re offering the Gryphon Secure Router for only $209.99 — 16% off the regular price. Designed with your safety in mind, the Gryphon router helps keep malicious threats at bay with Intelligent Intrusion Detection that notifies you when devices on your network start acting suspicious. It also comes with a locally-stored list of 1.2 million known malicious sites that will be automatically blocked. You can allow or deny real-time requests right from your smartphone and leverage a host of parental controls to keep better tabs on the browsing under your roof, and with six high-powered antennas, a 4x4 MU-MIMO tri-band radio, and 3 Gbps throughput, you get safety without slowing down your browsing speed.

Get the Gryphon Secure Router now for only $209.99

Gear: Toffee Folio Organiser for iPad

Although we’d like to imagine a world where the iPad is the only device you need to carry around, the reality is that a lot of busy professionals on the go still need to make room for notebooks, pens, other papers, business cards, and more. This is where Australian premium case company Toffee comes in with its new Toffee Folio. It’s a classic yet elegant folio design inspired by the venerable executive folio design of the 90’s, updated to take modern technology into account, with room for even a full-sized 12.9-inch iPad Pro along with dedicated pockets for your iPhone and Lightning cables too, in addition of course to the more typical card and pen holders.


Apple releases fourth set of betas of iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1 and watchOS 5.1

Apple has released a fourth set of developer betas for iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, and watchOS 5.1, less than a week after the release of the third betas. The release notes on this new beta cycle continue to be sparse, with no notes or known issues, suggesting Apple is likely just continuing to fix bugs and performance issues and polish the Group FaceTime and Dual-SIM Standby (DSDS) features that have been discovered in prior iOS 12.1 betas. Details on what’s new in watchOS 5.1 and tvOS 12.1 remain considerably more vague. A new public beta of iOS 12.1 will also likely be coming soon via Apple’s Beta Software Program.

Adobe officially previews Photoshop on the iPad, coming in 2019

Adobe officially announced its plans today to bring the full Photoshop CC experience to the iPad. The announcement confirms a report from the summer, which suggested that the new app would be unveiled at Adobe’s MAX conference in October, with the release scheduled for 2019, but didn’t provide too many details other than that it would be a full release of Photoshop CC, rather than the scaled down “lite” or focused single-app attempts that Adobe has previously come up with. While today’s announcement still doesn’t provide a specific release date beyond “in the future,” Adobe has provided some additional details on what the iPad experience will be like, noting that it’s “bringing real Photoshop to mobile devices with an approachable user experience and the power and precision needed for image compositing” and that it will work as a standalone app or as a companion that will sync with Photoshop on the desktop via Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform. Users will be able to open PSD files natively directly on an iPad, and use the same editing tools, optimized for the touchscreen interface, and Adobe notes that the iPad version will use “the same underlying code and algorithms” as the desktop version, providing the same results from editing on either platform, and direct round-tripping of the same PSD files between the iPad and the desktop versions of Photoshop.


Apple donating 1000 Apple Watches in support of UNC binge eating study

Apple plans to donate 1000 Apple Watches to the Binge Eating Genetics INitiative (BEGIN), a new study being conducted by the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine on binge-eating disorders, according to CNBC. The study is intended to provide a better understanding of compulsive overeating and compensatory behaviour such as purging or excessive exercise, known as bulimia nervosa, with the goal of developing better treatments for both conditions. According to the report, the researchers for the study, which is part of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at UNC under the auspices of the Department of Psychiatry, are hoping to recruit 1000 participants aged 18 or older who have experience with one of the subject disorders.


Apple acquires music analytics startup Asaii

Apple has acquired music analytics startup Asaii, according to a report by Axios. Citing unnamed sources, the deal was reportedly worth less than $100 million, and was presumably done as part of Apple’s attempt to bolster its content recommendations to end users as well as possibly helping Apple to identify smaller artists to work with. Asaii has been pioneering efforts to use machine learning that it claims can help discover new, up-and-coming artists weeks before they break out on the top charts, as well as viewing trends of all artists to identify areas where promotional and marketing campaigns are most successful. Asaii was founded two years ago by Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen, and Chris Zhang, who between them have previously worked at Apple, Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, and Yelp, however according to their LinkedIn profiles, all three are now part of the Apple Music team. [via MacRumors]

Daily Deal: BusyContacts

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get BusyContacts for only $19.99 — that’s 60% off the regular price. Handwritten address books are a thing of the past, but digital contact lists tend to be disorganized and exceedingly difficult to manage. If Apple’s own macOS Contacts app isn’t cutting it for you, then you can take things up a notch with BusyContacts, which makes it incredibly simple to find and manage your contacts while packing in advanced customization and tagging, the ability to see all of your interactions with your contacts at a glance, and synchronization with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to ensure that all of your contact details are always up to date.

Get BusyContacts now for only $19.99

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