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CES 2018: Orbit Adding HomeKit to Lawn and Garden Watering Systems

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:16
Orbit at CES 2018 this week announced that it is adding HomeKit compatibility to its new B-hyve smart hose faucet timer and a new version of its B-hyve smart sprinkler timer that will be released later this month.


iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users will have the ability to control the lawn and garden watering systems through Apple's Home app or with Siri.

HomeKit will enable users to control basic watering functions, such as turning on or off sprinklers. In the Home app, users can schedule their sprinklers to run at specific times, and find out when the next watering is.

Orbit's new HomeKit-enabled B-hyve products will be available to purchase from Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe's in the United States.

HomeKit added support for sprinkler systems and faucets in iOS 11, and the first accessories compatible with Apple's smart home platform are beginning to roll out, including Kohler's new Sensate kitchen sink faucet.

Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018, Orbit
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CES 2018: Fibaro Adds HomeKit Compatibility to 'The Button'

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:00
Fibaro today announced a new version of its popular Z-Wave control device called, "The Button," which will work with Apple's HomeKit products.

The Button, which is less than two inches in size, is a new battery-powered multi-touch HomeKit device that is designed to allow users to activate a HomeKit scene.


No bridge, hub, or gateway is required to use The Button, allowing it to integrate with any HomeKit setup. The Button can be programmed with up to three different actions activated with a single click, two clicks, or a long press.

When pressed, The Button has a buzz feature that provides audible feedback and confirmation of which scene was activated via a single buzz, a double buzz, or a long buzz.

Available in red, white, and black, The Button will be available for purchase for $59.99 starting during the first quarter of 2018. Additional colors will be introduced later in the year.


Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018
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LG Expected to Supply Face ID Technology on iPad Pro, iPhone X, and iPhone X Plus This Year

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:29
Apple is planning a significant investment in LG Innotek to secure supply of 3D sensing modules for next-generation iPhone and iPad models expected to launch this year, according to Korean website The Investor.

iPad Pro render by Benjamin Geskin and rough mockup of iPhone X and iPhone X Plus
The upfront payment could be worth as much as around $820.9 million, which LG Innotek would use to build additional facilities for production of 3D sensing and camera modules for smartphones, the report claims.

The 3D sensing modules assembled by LG Innotek, including the flood illuminator and dot projector, are key components of the iPhone X's new TrueDepth camera system, enabling features such as Face ID and Animoji.

The investment would make sense given Apple plans to launch a refreshed iPhone X, a larger iPhone X Plus, and a mid-range iPhone each with Face ID later this year, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple will also release at least one iPad Pro model with Face ID this year, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg News.

The investment could help Apple avoid the temporary supply chain issues it experienced with 3D sensing modules late last year, ensuring availability of the iPhone X, iPhone X Plus, and new iPad Pro is more plentiful.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone XTags: LG, Face ID, TrueDepthBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPhone X (Buy Now)
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CES 2018: Alpine Electronics Reveals 9-Inch Aftermarket CarPlay System That 'Hovers' in Front of Dash

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:23
Alpine Electronics at CES today unveiled a new aftermarket CarPlay system with a "hover" design that floats in front of the vehicle's dashboard instead of being embedded directly into it. The company said that the iLX-F309 "doesn't require custom installation," but professional help will still likely be needed to remove existing infotainment systems before installing the iLX-F309.

Alpine's receiver includes a 9-inch touch screen and will fit in "a variety of vehicles." The 9-inch screen is slightly larger than the average 6-to-7-inch screen size of many other aftermarket CarPlay systems, and Alpine pointed out that the hover design will bring the larger display into vehicles that were previously restricted to dashboards with smaller form factors.


The system uses a 1-DIN chassis and an adjustable mount to give the hover effect after installation. In its announcement, Alpine Electronics described some of the installation mechanics of the iLX-F309 and how users will be able to adjust its angle:
The 9-inch screen is attached to an adjustable mount connected to a 1-DIN chassis. Once installed, the screen and mount are fixed to the chassis for a sturdy installation. The screen hovers over or in front of the dash while its rear housing tapers off cleanly at the edges for a thin and modern silhouette. At its default position, the screen's sliding mount is pushed out, sitting at a 90 degree angle and the bottom of the screen is centered with the 1-DIN chassis.

At this point, the screen can be angled at select positions to assist during installation, help with visibility, or move it away from other items on the dashboard. The screen can be positioned 20 millimeters (mm) back from its default position, to move it closer to the dashboard. It can be moved up or down 30mm from its default position and can be tilted up or down at a maximum of 45 degrees, depending on the position of the up/down location. In addition to CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the new system is also an AM/FM receiver with video support. The system doesn't include a CD or DVD slot, but there is a USB port, AUX input, and an HDMI input. The company mentioned that it has Bluetooth technology for audio streaming, but it doesn't appear to include Wi-Fi or support for wireless CarPlay connectivity, like the company's iLX-107.

Multiple add-ons are available for the iLX-F309, including a CD/DVD player, a second HDMI input, and rear/side cameras to see behind the vehicle as it's backing up. Alpine Electronics authorized retailers will begin selling the new system in February for $1,100.

Related Roundup: CarPlayTags: Alpine, CES 2018
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CES 2018: Colgate Debuts Apple Exclusive Smart Electronic Toothbrush With ResearchKit Integration

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 13:28
Colgate this week announced the launch of its first app-enabled electronic toothbrush, called the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 with Artificial Intelligence. Available exclusively beginning today on Apple.com and in some Apple retail locations, Colgate's new product provides a few pieces of real-time feedback to help users improve their brushing routine.

The electronic toothbrush also uses Apple's ResearchKit in order to crowdsource toothbrushing data and "get even smarter about oral care for better and faster future innovation." ResearchKit is a software framework created by Apple that lets medical researchers gather data from compatible apps and programs, working in conjunction sometimes with CareKit to provide users with a better understanding of their specific medical conditions.

"Our goal is simple. We want people to have their healthiest smiles by brushing their best," said Dr. Patricia Verduin, Chief Technology Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company. "The first step to improving brushing is to understand consumers' brushing habits, and Apple ResearchKit has proved to be a powerful tool for this." Otherwise, Colgate's electronic toothbrush performs functions similar to previous devices from Philips, providing users with real-time feedback through an iPhone app as a way to improve brushing habits. The toothbrush includes various sensors, 3D motion sensors, and AI algorithms to detect brushing effectiveness "in 16 zones of the mouth."

The device's AI technology was created in partnership with Kolibree, and the connected app coaches users through brushing sessions that point out sections of the mouth where they might need to focus on more during their daily routines. The more the toothbrush is used, the more the AI learns and will adapt to each user, adjusting to their own habits and providing improved brushing tips.

Colgate is launching the Smart Electronic Toothbrush today in the United States on Apple.com and in select Apple stores, and will run for a price of $99.95.

Tags: CES 2018, Colgate
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Apple Begins Selling Refurbished 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Models

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 13:17
Apple today has added refurbished 10.5-inch iPad Pro models to its online store for the first time in the United States and Canada.


There are currently around 20 configurations available to choose from, including Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular variants, with prices reduced by around 15 percent compared to what Apple charges for brand new models. As usual, supply is limited, so be quick to place an order if you are interested.

In the United States, refurbished prices start at $549 for Wi-Fi models with 64GB of storage, a discount of $100. Wi-Fi models with 256GB and 512GB of storage are $649 and $849, down from $799 and $999, respectively.

Apple says its refurbished products are thoroughly inspected, tested, cleaned, and repackaged with a new white box and all manuals and accessories. Apple also installs a new battery and replaces the outer shell, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between a refurbished and brand new iPad Pro.

All refurbished iPad Pro models come with Apple's standard one-year warranty effective on the date the tablet is delivered. The warranty can be extended to up to two years from the original purchase date with AppleCare+ for iPad, at a cost of $99 for all 10.5-inch iPad Pro models in the United States.

Apple introduced the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in June 2017. The device is only slightly larger than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro it replaced, but the size and weight difference is hardly noticeable, given Apple was able to make the display around 20 percent larger by significantly reducing the size of the tablet's bezels.

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The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is powered by Apple's A10X Fusion chip and features a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 120Hz refresh rate, Touch ID, four speakers, and a Lightning connector with USB 3.0 transfer speeds and fast charging capabilities. Apple advertises battery life of up to 10 hours per charge.

Related Roundup: iPad ProTag: refurbishedBuyer's Guide: 10.5" iPad Pro (Neutral)
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CES 2018: Nanoleaf Creates New Square-Shaped Light Panels With Touch Controls

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:45
After introducing a HomeKit controller in the shape of a dodecahedron, Nanoleaf recently announced the next generation of its popular triangle-shaped Nanoleaf Light Panels. The new panels don't have a name or a price yet, but the company revealed that they are square and include a few feature additions and improvements from the previous generation (via CNET).

Each square panel will include a touch sensitive surface, so you can turn them on or off, dim or increase their brightness, or change to another color preset just by tapping or sliding your finger on them. The base station for the square panels is also said to come with a microphone and motion sensor that can detect motion and alter the lighting flow of the panels as you walk by, for example.

Image via CNET
Nanoleaf has also greatly increased the maximum limit of panels you can connect together. Instead of 30 panels able to connect to one base station (the limit on the triangular panels), up to 1,000 square panels can be outfitted together at once. Still, for every 60 panels strung together you will need a power booster -- set to be sold by Nanoleaf -- in order to "maintain optimal brightness."

Nanoleaf said that it plans to keep the new square panels "as affordable as possible," but the company isn't confirming a price range at CES. The new panels are expected to launch at some point later in 2018.

Tags: Nanoleaf, CES 2018
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Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPhone SE 2' Could Feature a Glass Back and Support Wireless Charging

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:43
Apple's second-generation iPhone SE will come with a rear glass panel that could enable it to support Qi-compatible wireless charging accessories, according to Indian tech website Tekz24.

Speculation about a new version of Apple's small form factor smartphone originally began in August last year, when Focus Taiwan first claimed a new iPhone SE would ship in the first quarter of 2018.


That report was accompanied by claims from Tekz24 that the "iPhone SE 2" will be powered by Apple's A10 Fusion chip, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB and 128GB storage capacities, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a five-megapixel front camera, and a slightly larger 1,700 mAh battery.

Three months later, China's Economic Daily News fueled speculation with a report that Apple will release a second-generation iPhone SE in the first half of 2018, to be assembled exclusively by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron at its factory in Bengaluru, India, where some assembly of the current iPhone SE occurs. Lastly, earlier this month Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce predicted that Apple is planning to launch a second-generation iPhone SE in 2018 to target the mid-range smartphone market.

Tekz24 – the source of today's glass back rumor – lacks an established track record of reporting on Apple rumors, so the above tech specs and today's claim remain completely unverified.

However, given that Apple recently introduced support for wireless charging with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X series of devices, the possibility that it could bring its smaller four-inch smartphone model into the fold certainly isn't completely outlandish, especially with the company's AirPower wireless charging mat already confirmed for release sometime this year.

Apple hasn't properly refreshed the iPhone SE since it launched back in March 2016, but it did double the available storage capacities to 64GB and 128GB in March 2017. Suggestions that Apple could tweak the design – perhaps giving it thinner bezels to make way for a larger screen – remain entirely in the unverified speculation department at this point.

As for the rest of Apple's smartphone line-up in 2018, rumors suggest Apple will launch a new 5.8-inch iPhone X alongside a second OLED iPhone, this one measuring in at 6.5 inches, which means it can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus".

Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and mid-range markets, with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which would likely signal the final nail in the coffin for both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models.

Related Roundup: iPhone SEBuyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
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CES 2018: Western Digital Debuts New WD and SanDisk SSDs and Flash Drive

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 04:24
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Western Digital is introducing several new products under both its WD and SanDisk brands, including new SSDs, software updates, and an ultra small flash drive.

The new WD My Passport Wireless SSD features wireless connectivity to allow customers to transfer photos captured on devices like drones or cameras without the need for a cable.


It features a rugged enclosure, read speeds of up to 309MB/s, 10 hour battery life, and a built-in SD card reader, making it a solid choice for on-the-go usage.

The My Passport Wireless SSD also has a one-touch transfer button to initiate content transfers, and it serves as a power bank for charging your devices with an integrated 6,700mAh battery. It's available in 250GB to 2TB capacities, with pricing ranging from $250 for the 250GB model to $800 for the 2TB model.

Under its SanDisk brand, Western Digital is introducing the USB-C SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, a small pocket-sized SSD with capacities up to 2TB and 550MB/s read speeds. It has an IP55 rating so it can stand up to splashes, light rain, and dust when in use outdoors.


Pricing for the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD starts at $99.99 for the 250GB version and goes up to $700 for the 2TB version.

Along with the new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, Western Digital is debuting the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1, which it says is the world's smallest 256GB USB flash drive with read speeds of 130MB/s. There are several versions of the Ultra Fit, with the 16GB model priced at $22 and the highest-end 256GB model priced at $150. Western Digital also has a 1TB Ultra Fit prototype on display at CES.


In addition to its new hardware products, Western Digital is announcing Smart Home media app integration that enables voice activation in its My Cloud Home. With the update, My Cloud Home can integrate with devices like Alexa and Chromecast.

More information on Western Digital's new products can be found on the Western Digital and SanDisk websites.

Tags: SanDisk, Western Digital, CES 2018
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CES 2018: Nokia Launching $99 Beddit-Style Sleep Tracking Accessory

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 03:17
Nokia is adding to its health accessory lineup with the launch of a new sleep tracking accessory called the Nokia Sleep (via The Verge), which is debuting at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Like Apple's own Beddit sleep tracker that it acquired back in May, the Nokia Sleep is a thin under-the-sheet accessory that has built-in movement sensors to track metrics like sleep length, sleep quality, and snoring, which can be viewed in the accompanying Health Mate.


Nokia Sleep will provide users with an overall sleep score, which is also how the Beddit sleep tracker works. Unlike the Beddit, though, it can integrate with other smart home products to do things like activate the lights when a person has fallen asleep or woken up.

The Nokia Sleep will be available for $99, which is $50 cheaper than the Beddit, but it also offers fewer sensors with no heart rate monitoring.

Tag: CES 2018
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CES 2018: Incase Announces New MacBook Pro Sleeve With USB-C Port and Integrated 14,000mAh Battery

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 03:00
Incase today announced the upcoming launch of a new IconConnected Power Sleeve for the MacBook Pro, which is designed to be an all-in-one protection and power solution for Apple's latest notebook computers.

The IconConnected Power Sleeve combines the protection of the Incase Icon sleeve with a built-in battery that's able to provide additional power to a MacBook Pro right from the case. The Power Sleeve features a built-in 14,000mAh battery with a USB-C port and an included USB-C charging cable.


In addition to being able to charge a MacBook Pro, the Power Sleeve also includes a USB-A port that can be used to charge iPhones, iPads, and other USB devices.


According to Incase, the Power Sleeve is able to provide more than one charge to the MacBook Pro, and multiple charges for devices with smaller batteries like the iPhone and iPad."For over 20 years, Incase has created innovative solutions that provide a better experience for Apple users through good design, with a rich heritage in MacBook protection and most recently, with an emphasis on connected solutions," said Paul Okui, Vice President of Product, Incase. "The IconConnectedTM Power Sleeve bridges the Incase connected and protection product ecosystems into one refined, powerful sleeve designed to meet the evolving demands of today's MacBook Pro users."The Power Sleeve will be available for both 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with USB-C ports, and when it launches in the third quarter of 2018, it will be priced at $199.95.

Tags: Incase, CES 2018
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CES 2018: Philips and Razer Team Up for Game-Activated Hue Lights

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 01:43
Philips and Razer today announced a new collaboration that allows Philips' Hue line of lights to integrate with Razer Chroma-enabled devices.

When using a device that features Razer Chroma, which includes everything from the Razer Blade line of laptops to Razer Chroma keyboards, gaming controllers, and mice, allowing your Philips Hue lights to react to whatever game you're playing.

You can choose to set each bulb to a preferred color or sync all of your lights with one touch using Razer's Synapse 3 hardware configuration software.

With Chroma Studio, you can also create different lighting effects across all Synapse-enabled devices that extend to Hue lights or use pre-configured effects like cascading waves or fire.

Razer says that its Razer Chroma devices and Hue lights are able to provide a fully immersive gaming experience, activating with game cues. When there's a flickering lamp, for example, the lights in the room will flicker, or when you score a kill, you'll be rewarded with a unique lighting scene.


Game developers can use Razer's Chroma SDK to built lighting effects that will impact Hue and Chroma devices, and many games have already adopted support, like Overwatch, Quake Champions, Factorio, Killing Floor 2, and more.

Tags: Philips Hue, Razer, CES 2018
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French Consumer Fraud Group Investigating Apple for 'Alleged Deception' and 'Planned Obsolescence'

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 23:16
French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, part of the country's economy ministry, last week launched a preliminary investigation into Apple over "alleged deception" and "planned obsolescence" of Apple products, reports Reuters.

The investigation follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.


Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 following complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but Apple did not make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Apple has since apologized for its lack of communication and introduced a new policy that allows iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners to receive a one-time no-questions-asked $29 battery replacement for their devices, as a device with a depleted battery that is affected by throttling will return to normal performance with a battery replacement.

According to Apple, the power management features that prevent unexpected shutdowns by occasionally throttling older iPhones with batteries in bad condition are designed to preserve the life of the iPhone for as long as possible and were not implemented to force upgrades. From Apple:First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.Despite Apple's efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP," which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence."

The French watchdog's investigation could take months to complete, and based on the findings, the issue could be escalated to a judge for a more in-depth inquiry or dropped all together.

If Apple is found guilty of planned obsolescence in France, the punishment could be a fine of up to five percent of its annual sales.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6sBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)
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CES 2018: HTC Debuts Vive Pro VR Headset With Built-In Headphones and Higher Resolution

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 22:19
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, HTC introduced a next-generation virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive Pro. The Vive Pro features two OLED displays with a resolution of 2880 x 1600 and 615 pixels per inch, a 78 percent increase from the 2160 x 1200 resolution of the current Vive headset.

HTC says the higher resolution will bring sharper text and graphics for an improved overall experience.


The Vive Pro is designed to be lighter than the existing Vive, with integrated high-performance headphones and a more comfortable headstrap with a sizing dial. Dual microphones and active noice cancellation improve communication, and dual front-facing cameras are included, too.

HTC is also introducing a new Vive Wireless Adaptor which to bring wireless VR headset integration that will work with both the Vive and the Vive Pro.

HTC didn't provide pricing or release date details on its new Vive Pro headset, but says additional information will be introduced in the future.

Apple is not yet competing in the AR/VR wearable space with companies like HTC and Facebook/Oculus, but the company is rumored to be hard at work on its own augmented reality headset or smart glasses. Apple's headset is still at least a year away, but it's said to include a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and an "rOS" operating system.

It's possible Apple's headset will include some virtual reality elements as Apple recently purchased VRvana, a startup that developed a mixed reality headset called Totem. Totem, never released to the public, was designed to combine both augmented and virtual reality technologies in a single headset.

Tags: HTC, CES 2018
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CES 2018: The Best of CES Unveiled With Elgato, iDevices, LG, OWC and More

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:54
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is kicking off this week, with hundreds of companies on hand to show off their latest products. The show will officially start on Tuesday, January 9, but there's always a media preview event ahead of time, CES Unveiled.

MacRumors videographer Dan checked out CES Unveiled last night and gave us a quick overview of some of the things we can expect to see at the show this year.

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Unsurprisingly, smart devices are a main focal point this year, with many manufacturers introducing new products that support HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Alexa and Google Assistant integration have been especially popular, but we've also seen HomeKit built into interesting products like faucets and shower heads.

Elgato was showing off its updated Eve Room and new Eve Button, with the former designed to measure air quality and temperature in a room and the latter designed to allow you to activate HomeKit scenes san smartphone.

iDevices latest smart light switch, the Instinct, was one of the more interesting products at CES Unveiled. The Instinct has built-in Amazon Alexa support rather than simply Alexa integration, so you can ask your light switch for the latest news, weather updates, and more, similar to other Alexa devices. In addition to Alexa support, there's also support for HomeKit for simple controls, but it's only Alexa that offers full personal assistant functionality in the light switch.

Moodo, originally an Indiegogo project, was at CES Unveiled to show off its Moodo smart scent diffuser, which is designed to allow you to customize and curate specific scents with built-in aroma modules and app-based mixing controls. Priced at $189, the Moodo box comes with four scents that you can mix up at will using your iPhone.

LG was showing offits new 34-inch 5K ultrawide monitor, which looked amazing, and at this year's show, LG is also demoing a new 65-inch super thin 4K OLED display prototype, which is flexible and can be rolled up.

There were tons of drones and action cameras on the CES Unveiled floor, including a 360 degree action cam from Rylo. Rylo's camera is unique because it allows you to capture 360 degree video and then edit it into a video with traditional dimensions. You can use footage captured from any angle, which makes for some pretty interesting videos.

Belkin was at CES Unveiled demonstrating its new line of wireless charging docks that are all designed to work with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, and OWC was on hand showing off its newest products, like the ultrafast Thunderblade V4 SSD.

Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors this week for all of our ongoing CES coverage, because there's a lot more to come. We'll be highlighting all of the new products and accessories relevant to Apple users. To check out what we've shared so far, take a look at our CES 2018 hub.

Tag: CES 2018
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CES 2018: Kohler's New Sensate Kitchen Sink Faucet and DTV+ Shower System Will Support HomeKit

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 21:27
Kohler at CES 2018 this week has introduced a collection of new smart kitchen and bath products based on its new Kohler Konnect platform, which itself is based on Microsoft's Azure internet-of-things cloud solutions.


A spokeswoman for Kohler told MacRumors that its Sensate touchless kitchen faucet and DTV+ shower system will be the first of the Kohler Konnect products to support Apple's HomeKit platform for smart home accessories.

Kohler's Sensate faucet allows you to turn the water on and off or dispense water to a measured volume, such as an eight-ounce cup or a large pot, with simple voice commands or touch-free motion-based interactions.

The faucet also monitors your water usage and lets you track the consumption using an upcoming Kohler Konnect companion app.

Meanwhile, the DTV+ showering system enables homeowners to create and automate personalized showering experiences. The Kohler Konnect app allows you to, for example, create and manage presets for sound, water, steam, and lighting.


With an optional bridge, you can use voice commands to access those presets, or use the system's wall-mounted interface, to adjust water temperature, and control shower heads, music, lighting, steam, and shower duration.

HomeKit compatibility should enable both products to be controllable with Siri or Apple's Home app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Kohler's other new smart home products integrated with its Kohler Konnect platform include its Verdera mirror with built-in Amazon Alexa, Numi intelligent toilet, PureWarmth toilet seat, and PerfectFill technology for bathtubs.

Kohler said the Verdera mirror with Amazon Alexa will be available for purchase from March 2018 in the United States. The other new Kohler Konnect products are planned for release later this year. Pricing has not been disclosed.

The Home Depot sells Kohler's existing Sensate faucet and DTV+ shower system sans Konnect for $523 and $794 respectively in the United States.

Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018, Kohler
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Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update With Spectre Fix

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 18:16
Apple today released a macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 supplemental update, which comes a little more than a month after the initial release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 is a free update for all customers who have a compatible machine. The update can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store.


macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 addresses the "Spectre" vulnerability that was publicized last week. Spectre, along with its sister vulnerability "Meltdown" are serious hardware-based exploits that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU, allowing hackers to gain access to sensitive information.

While Meltdown was addressed in the initial macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update, Apple said it would introduce a mitigation for Spectre in macOS and iOS early this week. There is no hardware fix for Spectre, so Apple is addressing the vulnerability using Safari-based software workarounds.

There's also a Safari 11.0.2 update available for macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 that is designed to mitigate the effects of the Spectre vulnerability. Customers running macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan should download the new version of Safari to make sure their machines are protected.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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Apple Releases iOS 11.2.2 With Security Fixes to Address Spectre Vulnerability

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 18:10
Apple today released iOS 11.2.2, the ninth official update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.2.2 comes almost one month after the release of iOS 11.2.1, another minor update, and a month after iOS 11.2, which brought brought Apple Pay Cash, faster 7.5W wireless charging, and a long list of bug fixes.

The iOS 11.2.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings --> General --> Software Update.


The iOS 11.2.2 includes further fixes for the "Meltdown" and "Spectre" vulnerabilities that came to light last week. Meltdown and Spectre are serious hardware-based vulnerabilities that take advantage of the speculative execution mechanism of a CPU, allowing hackers to gain access to sensitive information.

While Meltdown was addressed in the iOS 11.2 update, Apple said it would introduce a mitigation for Spectre early this week. There is no hardware fix for Spectre, so Apple is addressing the vulnerability using Safari-based software workarounds. From Apple's security support document:Available for: iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation
Description: iOS 11.2.2 includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715).For more on iOS 11 and its updates, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Abode Announces 'Iota' HomeKit-Compatible Home Security Gateway and Camera

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 17:55
Abode Systems today announced the iota, an all-in-one security camera that's designed to offer security and integration with other smart home products.

The iota features a 1080p camera that can be used for home monitoring purposes, along with a built-in gateway that supports Z-Wave, ZigBee, and abode RF for connecting to hundreds of other devices. Native app support is included for many major smart home brands like Nest, ecobee, Philips Hue, and LIFX.


Included HomeKit compatibility also allows the iota to interface with HomeKit devices, and it's also been designed to work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Through the accompanying Abode app, users can get detailed alerts and notifications when notable events are recorded by the camera.

Live video streaming is available through the Abode app or through the Home app, and while saving recorded footage beyond three days requires an Abode subscription, in the event of an alarm, clips are automatically uploaded to the Abode timeline regardless of plan. Plans are offered on an on-demand basis and can be purchased in three or seven day increments, with longer monthly and annual plans also available.


Design wise, the iota is cylindrical in shape and features a black and white fabric-covered design that allows it to blend with most decor. It connects to a home using Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and a built-in battery keeps it powered on for 10 hours even when the power goes out. There's also an option for backup LTE connectivity to make sure that the iota is always connected.

Abode plans to begin selling the iota during the first quarter of 2018 for $329. Existing Abode customers will be able to upgrade to the new iota gateway, with Abode to provide instructions and pricing for doing so at a later date.

Tags: HomeKit, CES 2018
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iMac Pro Gets First Discount With Price Drop of $250 on $5K Configuration

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 17:41
It's been just under one month since the iMac Pro launched, and Best Buy today has already discounted one configuration of Apple's high-end desktop computer.

The configuration on sale is the 27-inch 5K iMac Pro with a 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon W processor, 32GB of memory, and 1TB SSD, priced at $4,749.99, down from $4,999.99. The iMac Pro comes with a six month subscription of Webroot Secure Anywhere software to defend against various online threats such as phishing attacks and malware.

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This is the base model of the iMac Pro, and 14-core and 18-core processors are available in customizable configurations that increase the price of the computer to as much as $13,199. If you're looking for more information regarding the configuration options of Apple's latest desktop computer, head over to our iMac Pro Roundup.

Other Mac-related sales remain ongoing at B&H Photo this week, including a notable deal on the late 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, with one configuration priced at $1,999, down from $2,799. As a comparison, the same configuration is priced at $2,399 on Adorama and MacMall. We've listed this sale below, along with a few other discounts:
For more of the latest sales, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Deals, iMac ProBuyer's Guide: iMac Pro (Buy Now)
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