Peri Duo Case for iPhone Marries Speaker, Battery, and Wi-Fi Audio

10 hours, 56 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · Product News

Peri Duo Case

Bryan Chaffin met with the folks at Peri this week to check out their Duo Case. This device is an iPhone case with a built-in 2,500mAh battery for charging your iPhone. It also has two speakers built into the back of the case, making it the most portable of speakers. But what really got him excited is its support for Wi-Fi Audio, which sets this product apart.

Repatriation Tax Bill Holds Promise, but Faces Uphill Battle

11 hours, 24 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

A bipartisan bill is on its way to the U.S. Senate that hopes to coax large corporations like Apple to bring money they're holding off shore into the country. The bill will give companies a substantial tax break—6.5 percent instead of 35 percent—for repatriating their money, although there are some strings attached which may make it a hard sell to law makers and corporations alike.

Microsoft Brings Outlook to iPhone and iPad

11 hours, 42 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Microsoft made another venture into Apple's ecosystem this week by releasing Microsoft Outlook for iPhone and iPad. And Android devices, if that's your thing. The app supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365,, iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail, meaning you can make it your main Mail app on your iOS devices for every major mail service. It handles attachments through Microsoft's own OneDrive, as well as Dropbox. It also supports calendars from within the app, and has a number of interface elements designed to make handling your email easier. And it's free.

Enter to Win a Pair of Wireless Beats Studio Headphones

2:51 PM EST, Jan. 30th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Enter to Win a Pair of Wireless Beats Studio Headphones

Love 'em or hate 'em, Beats by Dre are the most successful headphones of all time, and now Apple owns them. Thanks to our friends at Stack Social, you can win a pair of your own. All you have to do is register to receive our deal emails—which you should do anyway—and a winner will be chosen on February 25th. Check out the giveaway page for more information.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-30: Samsung’s Smartphone Numbers, Congress Wants More Corporate Cash

1:09 PM EST, Jan. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple and Samsung shipped the same number of smartphones last quarter, and that doesn't bode well for Samsung. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what Samsung's smartphone numbers mean for the market and Apple, plus they take a look at a new bill that hopes to convince big corporations to bring offshore money into the United States.

FiftyThree’s Pencil Stylus for iPad goes Gold

11:09 AM EST, Jan. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

FiftyThree, the company behind the popular Paper drawing app for the iPad and the Pencil pressure sensitive stylus, is adding gold to its lineup. The Pencil is already available with a walnut finish (my favorite) or graphite, and come February 3 it'll be available in gold, too. The color matches Apple's gold iPad Air 3, and it offers the same pressure sensitivity and blending features as the other models. The gold version is priced the same as the walnut model at US$59.95, and you can pre-order yours now. The Pencil is one of my favorite styluses, and it's pretty cool to see it now in gold.

iTunes gets OS X Yosemite Notification Widget

9:05 AM EST, Jan. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Apple rolled out iTunes 12.1 on Thursday with a new feature just for OS X Yosemite users: a Notification Center widget. The widget lets iTunes users play and pause songs from their personal music library or from iTunes Radio, skip ahead, and purchase streaming songs from the iTunes Store.

Apple Tied Samsung for Global Smartphone Units in Q4

6:59 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis


Apple is running neck and neck with Samsung in global smartphone sales. Though Samsung was once the king of smartphone numbers—though never the king of smartphone profits—Apple closed the gap in the December quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.

ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh Portable Charger: $49.99

5:34 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh Battery: $49.99

Here's a deal on a killer gadget called ZeroLemon SolarJuice—it's a 20,000mAh portable charger for your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, and you can charge it using the on-board 1.2W solar panels. That's totally cool. 20,000mAh is a ton of power, enough to charge your iPhone 6 more than seven times. If that's not enough, it has a built-in LED flashlight. This thing retails for $100, which is a good price, but through our deal you can get it for $49.99. 

China Demands Back Door into Computers, Software

2:13 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Tech companies hoping to sell computers, smartphones, tablets, and software in China are facing some serious hurdles now that the country is demanding they build back doors into their products, comply with invasive audits, and hand over proprietary and secret source code. The Chinese government is justifying the move by saying it's necessary to ensure western countries aren't spying through technology, but it may also be a ploy to push those companies out in favor of in-country tech makers.

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China wants hardware and software back doors to access our private and encrypted data, as does the United States and United Kingdom. This is bad for consumers, and won't likely end well.

FCC Says Hotels Can’t Block Personal Hotspots

11:09 AM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Hotels were handed a bucket of disappointment this week when the Federal Communications Commission made it clear that blocking personal hotspots is against the law, and doing so could lead to hefty fines. The FCC also said its warning extends beyond hotels to other businesses, too, which should cut down on places intentionally interfering with hotspot signals.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Intentionally blocking our hotspots is a sleazy act for hotels, and then telling us it's for our own good is just salt in the wound. Seeing a very clear and strong statement from the FCC saying that's against the law is great.