Blue’s Mikey Digital for iPhone gets Lightning Connector

8:54 AM EDT, Jul. 17th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Blue announced the immediate availability of a Lightning connector version of its popular Mikey Digital microphone for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on Thursday. Like its 30-pin Dock Connector predecessor, the Lightning Mikey Digital lets users capture higher quality audio compared to their iPhone or iPad's built-in microphone.

Eight, a Natural Acoustic Amplifier for Your iPhone Made from Wood

7:52 PM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

This has got to be one of the most interesting and beautiful speaker docks I have seen. It's called Eight, and it's a natural acoustic amplifier for the speaker in your iPhone 5 or 5s. It's made of wood—the dark part is walnut, while the light middle section is birdseye maple—and it funnels the sound from your speaker to one side, using the properties of wood and the shape of Eight to amplify that sound. The other side serves as a receiver for your iPhone's microphone so you can use Eight for phone calls. There are no electronics other than your iPhone involved, though it has a slot for an included Lightning cable to charge your iPhone. I haven't heard Eight, but it's a beautiful design and a fascinating idea. It's also pricey at $288—but that's because it's made from solid pieces of wood, hand-crafted, and hand-oiled. The company making Eight—Stark Design—is making each Eight to order, requiring 2-4 weeks before you get it. 

Loot Crate Three Month Subscription for $48

7:23 PM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Loot Crate

How did I not know about Loot Crate? Because no one told me about it, I'm guessing, but now I'm telling you. This is a subscription service where you pay them some money and they send you a mystery box full of stuff every month.  By stuff, I mean gaming, comic, and nerd stuff—you don't know what you're getting until you get your box and open it. That's way too much fun. July's theme is villains, BTW, so again, too much fun. The regular price for this service is $18.60 a month, but through our friends at StackSocial, we get to offer it to you for $16. It's not a huge discount, but you're already getting a discount because the value of each Loot Crate is pegged at $120.

Apple Agrees to $400M Settlement in Ebook Price Fixing Case

3:26 PM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple has decided not to fight a class action lawsuit over claims it orchestrated a price fixing scheme to artificially drive up the cost of books and will instead pay a US$400 million settlement. That payout is contingent on the outcome of Apple's appeal in the DOJ's antitrust case, so don't expect to see money changing hands any time soon.

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Settling with the States in the class action lawsuit makes financial sense for Apple. The alternative includes ongoing legal expenses and a potentially much higher fine that it's facing through the settlement. Agreeing to the deal doesn't mean Apple is admitting any wrong doing, although that's exactly how the State Attorneys General will spin it.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-07-16

1:06 PM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple and IBM are teaming up to take on the mobile enterprise market with the iPhone and iPad. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share their take on what that means for Apple and their competitors. They also take a look at Citigroup's renewed coverage of AAPL and its not so positive coverage from the past.

Citigroup Starts AAPL Coverage with $110 Target

11:28 AM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Apple Stock Watch

Citigroup's Jim Suva started covering Apple's stock for investors again on Wednesday with a US$110 target price. Like other analysts, he expects the introduction of the iPhone 6 will have a positive impact on revenue, and he also thinks other analysts are underestimating consumer demand once the new iPhone model is released.

Analyst: Apple, IBM Partnership No Big Deal for iPhone Sales

9:51 AM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple and IBM announced a partnership on Tuesday to push iOS deeper into the enterprise market through the MobileFirst for iOS program. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster doesn't see the team up as a big deal for Apple sales, but only because the iPhone and iPad are already being tested or deployed in nearly every Fortune 500 company.

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Even if MobileFirst doesn't significantly drive up iPhone and iPad sales, it'll boost confidence in companies that otherwise might be concerned that Apple is making only a half hearted attempt at bringing mobile products and support to the enterprise market.

OS X: Use Any Color on Your Screen

8:45 AM EDT, Jul. 16th, 2014 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

In today’s Quick Tip, Melissa Holt’s going to cover a feature that not many people use, despite it having been around since approximately the dawn of time. OS X’s Color Picker can grab any color on your screen, so you can apply the exact shade of a logo, a t-shirt you took a picture of, or pretty much anything else to your objects and text. Handy!

Apple, IBM Team Up to Own the Mobile Enterprise Market

4:57 PM EDT, Jul. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

In a world where up is down and black is white, Apple and IBM have teamed up to take on the mobile enterprise market. The companies announced their new partnership Tuesday afternoon with plans to bring IBM's big data analytics resources to the iPhone and iPad.

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If you ever questioned if Apple wanted to own the mobile enterprise market, doubt no more.

Samsung Ready to Release its Next iPhone Killer

4:10 PM EDT, Jul. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Samsung is ramping up to launch its next smartphone designed to take down Apple's iPhone in August, and the electronics maker is hoping its preemptive strike will draw in consumers before the iPhone 6 hits store shelves. The latest iPhone contender from Samsung will be called the Galaxy Alpha and will be more of a cross between its not so successful Galaxy S5 smartphone and mini tablet Galaxy Note.

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Samsung has proven time and again that it doesn't need to be the best to have a large slice of the smartphone market; It just needs to be good enough. That's all we're expecting from the company's next iPhone killer competitor.