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Apple releases AirPods firmware 3.7.2 update

Apple has released a new AirPods wireless firmware update. While no release notes are provided with AirPods updates at this point, the update likely just includes bug fixes and performance improvements for the wireless earbuds. AirPods firmware updates should be automatically transferred from a paired iPhone to the AirPods whenever they’re connected; users can check the version number from the iOS Settings app, under General, About, AirPods. [via MacRumors]

Review: Marshall Monitor Black Bluetooth Headphones

You know Marshall guitar amplifiers. If you’re a fan of music, you know what Marshall’s iconic amps look like and you have definitely heard them. The company is so much a part of music history that it's surprising that they only recently launched a line of headphones. Marshall’s headphone lineup is fairly extensive, with a range of in-ear, on-ear, over-ear, and wireless cans all bearing the Marshall brand. The newest entry into this lineup is Marshall’s Monitor Black Bluetooth over-ear, priced at $249. While they sound good enough to carry the Marshall name, some aspects of their design detract from the experience.

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1Password adds ‘Travel Mode’ to help protect data during border crossings

AgileBits has announced a new “Travel Mode” feature for 1Password that will help to keep confidential data such as passwords, credit cards, and secure notes, safe from unwarranted searches when travelling. The new feature, which is free to all 1Password subscribers, allows users to automatically and completely remove password vaults from their devices with a single click before travelling, and then just as easily restoring them later. Travel Mode is engaged from the 1Password.com web site rather than an option within any of the 1Password apps, so vaults cannot be restored from the apps themselves. By default, all vaults are removed when Travel Mode is engaged, however individual vaults can be flagged as “Safe for Travel” which will leave them on the device, so users can maintain a vault of only those items that they need when travelling, while ensuring all other data remains securely locked away on 1Password.com and not on the local device. In addition, administrators of 1Password for Teams accounts can specify which vaults are safe for travel as well as administratively turning travel mode on or off for individual users.

UK carrier EE begins selling ‘new’ 2017 32GB iPhone 6 model

Apple’s resurrected iPhone 6 appears to now be on sale in the United Kingdom, AppleInsider reports. The ‘new’ 32GB model of the 2014-era iPhone first appeared in on select Asian carriers in March, appearing in Belarus two weeks later, leading many to believe that Apple was releasing it primarily as a lower-cost option for emerging markets. However, its appearance in the U.K. — and the U.S. on Virgin Mobile — suggests slightly more widespread distribution, although it’s still unclear as to why the it remains available on only a few specific carriers.

IKEA bringing HomeKit support to its smart lighting products

IKEA has announced plans to add support for HomeKit to its complete range of TRÅDFRI smart lighting products. According to the company’s press release, updates are expected to arrive “during the summer and early autumn” that will not only provide HomeKit integration but also add support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Released last month, IKEA’s TRÅDFRI smart lighting provides a plug-and-play solution that allows users to simply swap out existing bulbs and use a remote control or companion iOS app to adjust lighting intensity and colour temperature for different moods. While the announcement doesn’t specify how IKEA plans to deliver the updates, German site phone-ticker.de (translated link) suggests that it will be made available as a software update to the TRÅDFRI Gateway and the TRÅDFRI App. Although adding HomeKit support to existing accessories typically requires hardware updates due to Apple’s security requirements, it’s possible that the TRÅDFRI system already includes the necessary hardware and is merely waiting for the necessary software update to enable it. [via MacRumors]

Apple to begin testing ‘5G’ wireless technology

Apple has filed an application with the FCC to begin testing “5G” wireless technology, Business Insider reports. The application for an experimental license for the new technology was filed by Apple and made public by the FCC earlier this week, and states in part that, “Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum,” and that “These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.” The application outlines Apple’s plans to test the technologies at two locations in Cupertino and Milpitas, California, transmitting from two fixed points at Apple facilities at these sites. While it’s not entirely clear what Apple’s goals are for this testing, the technology has the potential to significantly increase the speed and bandwidth of iPhone cellular connections, however the 28GHz band that Apple intends to test has also been allocated for earth-to-space transmissions, suggesting a possible connection to Apple’s rumoured move into satellite communications research.

Daily Deal: Live Home 3D Pro for Mac

Today in iLounge Deals, you can get Live Home 3D Pro for Mac for only $24.99 — that’s 64% off the regular price. This award-winning software helps you make any home design project a breeze, whether you’re simply remodelling your kitchen or building your dream home. Intuitive point and click drafting tools let you design advanced 2D floor plans, and then access an elevation view to see a 2D side view where you can visualize wall, door, window, and furniture placement. More complex custom materials can be created for interior design projects, and custom light sources let you take full control over light attenuation, glow, and direction. Objects can be edited using SketchUp to seamlessly send changes back tot he app, and you can render the final movie tracks into high-quality ultra HD video files.

Get Live Home 3D Pro for Mac now for only $24.99

Review: Mytek Brooklyn Digital-to-Analog Converter

Some years ago, the electronics market could be cleanly divided into "professional" and "consumer" gear. Consumer devices were cheaper and prettier, but their pro counterparts did more and were more reliable. Consumers then started to develop a taste for pro-level gadgets, regardless of whether they "needed" the extra power. Manufacturers responded by creating a new class of device — the "prosumer" model — which has grown in popularity to the point that nobody really questions whether high school kids "need" Macbook Pros. The Brooklyn DAC from MyTek is a little like the Macbook Pro in that it is well-designed, feature-packed, beautiful, and expensive. We think it's awesome.

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Apple and Nokia settle patent dispute

Apple and Nokia have announced a resolution to the patent dispute that began late last year. In addition to settling all litigation related to the intellectual property dispute, the two companies have also agreed to a multi-year patent license, which will see Nokia providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple, and Apple returning Nokia’s digital health products (formerly Withings) to its store shelves. The two companies are also exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives, with regular summits between their top executives to maintain the business relationship. Details of the agreement remain confidential, however Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional payments made during the term of the agreement.

Cases and renderings show possible new 10.5” iPad Pro design

A new series of case images tweeted by prolific leaker Benjamin Geskin (via MacRumors) show the possible physical design of the upcoming 10.5” iPad Pro. The cases include the expected cutouts for the Lightning connector, speakers, and microphone, as well as a cutout for a 3.5mm headphone jack; however the camera cutout suggests a camera with a vertically aligned flash. Cases for an upcoming 12.9” iPad Pro were also shown, and Geskin adds that no new iPad mini is expected this year, confirming rumours last week that Apple may be planning to discontinue the smaller tablet. Geskin also shared several mockups and renderings with MacRumors of what the new 10.5” iPad Pro might look like based on the case designs that he’s seen. In his tweet, Geskin also claims that the 10.5” iPad is “100% confirmed. Already in mass production,” supporting claims made last week by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that there’s an “over 70 percent change” that the new 10.5” iPad Pro will see its unveiling at WWDC in two weeks.





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