Review: Bento Stack Keeps Your iPhone Cables and Accessories Neatly Organized

The Bento Stack, a new project being funded on Indiegogo, takes the concept of a Bento lunch box and applies it to iPhone and iPad accessories.

Available in three colors (silver, space gray, and rose gold) for $38, the Bento Stack is a container that offers up several sections that can hold a variety of accessories like cables, Apple Watch bands, an Apple Pencil, and more. I was able to go hands-on with the Bento Stack, and I thought it was a nifty organizational tool, if a bit bulky.


I have the Bento Stack in gray, and it seems to match well with Apple's space gray devices. It's covered in a soft, rubbery material that's nice to touch, and it has a slight sheen to it, making it visually appealing for a simple plastic organization box.

Bento Stack measures in at 7.48 inches long, 3.35 inches tall, and 3.22 inches deep, so it's not really going to fit well in a smaller purse or bag.


Aside from some customizations like an Apple Pencil holder and a place to store Apple Watch bands, the Bento Stack isn't much different from the Bento lunch boxes. It has four storage components, a lid, and a silicone strap to hold it all together.
Continue reading Review: Bento Stack Keeps Your iPhone Cables and Accessories Neatly Organized

Review: Heat Water for Tea From Afar With the iPhone-Connected iKettle 3.0

Smarter's Bluetooth-enabled iKettle has been available for purchase in the UK for years now, but the newest version, iKettle 3.0, recently made its way to the United States.

Priced at $150, the iKettle is a variable temperature kettle that can heat water to a specified temperature from 68°F to 212°F, making it ideal for tea that requires lower temperatures, baby bottles, and other similar applications.


iKettle connects to your WiFi network and communicates with your iPhone, allowing you to heat up water remotely.

Design


The iKettle looks like your average kettle, with a stainless steel body that rests on a black base. It's taller than most other kettles that I've used, but not so tall that it doesn't fit comfortably on a counter.

There are no buttons on the iKettle, and aside from a small drop-shaped LED on the side of the body, there are no other markings, for a sleek, simple look.


The base with the heating elements is thicker than the base for my existing kettle, which also contributes to making the iKettle rather tall. The base includes a single button that can be pre-programmed for one set temperature, so you can set water to heat up if your phone isn't nearby, and it has a cord that plugs into the wall. You can wind up a bit of the cord into the base, so excess cord isn't visible.


It's best to program the button on the base to the water temperature that you use most often because aside from that button, there's no way to activate the iKettle without your phone.
Continue reading Review: Heat Water for Tea From Afar With the iPhone-Connected iKettle 3.0

iPhone X Case Review Roundup 2: Casetify, Caudabe, and Incipio

Apple's new iPhone X brings the first major design overhaul in years, so I'm taking a look at a wide range of iPhone X cases from different manufacturers to see what's available. This is my second review roundup post, which covers Casetify, Caudabe, and Incipio.

My first review roundup on cases from Twelve South, Nomad, Speck, and Apple can be found here, and in the coming days, I'll have additional review roundups that highlight many other cases.


For all of my reviews, I'm looking at the general usability of iPhone X cases. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren't covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it's often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. With the removal of the Home button, button presses are more important, and there are a surprising number of cases out there that make the buttons a lot more tedious to press.

All of the cases in today's review roundup support wireless charging and I've confirmed that each one works with a Qi wireless charger I have on hand.

Casetify


Casetify offers a huge selection of cases for the iPhone X, some of which are customizable and some of which are more standard case designs.

I'm a fan of Casetify's customizable cases, and I've ordered them several times in the past. They're essentially clear cases that you can add your own images to, or choose one of hundreds of designs from artists.

There are three base customizable cases: the Snap Case ($35), the Impact Case ($45), and the Glitter Case ($45), which has a layer of liquid-filled glitter inside of it.

From left to right: Impact Case, Glitter Case, Snap Case

All of these are clear, hard plastic cases that snap onto the iPhone, but the Snap Case is a simple little shell that leaves the bottom and side buttons exposed, while the Impact Case and the Glitter Case cover all of the buttons and offer protection for the bottom of the phone.
Continue reading iPhone X Case Review Roundup 2: Casetify, Caudabe, and Incipio

iPhone X Case Review Roundup: Apple, Twelve South, Nomad and Speck

Case reviews aren't often something that we do here at MacRumors because for the last several years, there's been little variation in case design since there's been little variation in iPhone design.

With the iPhone X, Apple introduced its first major design overhaul in years, so I thought I'd take a look at a wide range of cases from different manufacturers to see what's out there. Given that the iPhone X features a highly breakable glass body and high repair costs, case usage is more important than it has been in past years.


For this review roundup (and subsequent roundups to come) I took a look at the general usability of iPhone X cases from several companies. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren't covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it's often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. With the removal of the Home button, button presses are more important, and there are a surprising number of cases out there that make the buttons a lot more tedious to press.

Many people are also curious about wireless charging. Unless otherwise mentioned, wireless charging works with all of the cases below, and that's because almost all cases are compatible with wireless charging.

Apple


Apple makes three cases for the iPhone X: Silicone ($39), Leather ($49), and the Leather Folio ($99). I have the Silicone case on hand because that's what I bought to use as my personal case for my iPhone X. Apple's silicone cases are some of my favorite because they're soft, offer solid grip, are easy to get on and off of the iPhone, and are always perfectly fitted without adding unnecessary bulk.


The Silicone cases provide a small lip of material around the display to keep it from getting scratched when the iPhone is facedown, and it protects the buttons without impacting their performance. I've been using Silicone cases for a few years now and have been happy with their level of protection when dropping a device (nothing's ever broken). The one caveat is durability - without fail, these tend to start breaking down after about a year.
Continue reading iPhone X Case Review Roundup: Apple, Twelve South, Nomad and Speck

iPhone X Case Review Roundup: Apple, Twelve South, Nomad and Speck

Case reviews aren't often something that we do here at MacRumors because for the last several years, there's been little variation in case design since there's been little variation in iPhone design.

With the iPhone X, Apple introduced its first major design overhaul in years, so I thought I'd take a look at a wide range of cases from different manufacturers to see what's out there. Given that the iPhone X features a highly breakable glass body and high repair costs, case usage is more important than it has been in past years.


For this review roundup (and subsequent roundups to come) I took a look at the general usability of iPhone X cases from several companies. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren't covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it's often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. With the removal of the Home button, button presses are more important, and there are a surprising number of cases out there that make the buttons a lot more tedious to press.

Many people are also curious about wireless charging. Unless otherwise mentioned, wireless charging works with all of the cases below, and that's because almost all cases are compatible with wireless charging.

Apple


Apple makes three cases for the iPhone X: Silicone ($39), Leather ($49), and the Leather Folio ($99). I have the Silicone case on hand because that's what I bought to use as my personal case for my iPhone X. Apple's silicone cases are some of my favorite because they're soft, offer solid grip, are easy to get on and off of the iPhone, and are always perfectly fitted without adding unnecessary bulk.


The Silicone cases provide a small lip of material around the display to keep it from getting scratched when the iPhone is facedown, and it protects the buttons without impacting their performance. I've been using Silicone cases for a few years now and have been happy with their level of protection when dropping a device (nothing's ever broken). The one caveat is durability - without fail, these tend to start breaking down after about a year.
Continue reading iPhone X Case Review Roundup: Apple, Twelve South, Nomad and Speck

Photographer Austin Mann Lauds iPhone X’s Telephoto Lens and Size in Camera Review

Travel photographer Austin Mann often goes hands-on with new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real world situations, and with the iPhone X, he went to Guatemala to evaluate its new features and its capabilities compared to previous iPhone cameras.


Mann loved the size of the iPhone X as a photography device. Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate with one hand, a problem solved with the iPhone X.


As for image quality, Mann was impressed by the improved telephoto lens, which features optical image stabilization for the first time and an improved aperture for better performance in low light situations. Mann says he noticed less noise, faster auto focusing, and better shutter speeds for reduced motion blur.
The lens specs for the iPhone X are 28mm @ f/1.8 and 52mm @ f/2.4 (previously, the Plus was 56mm at f/2.8.) This little tweak means the lens is half a stop faster and can let light in more quickly in low light scenarios, reducing motion blur and minimizing noise.
In a test of slow shutter effects, the iPhone X was able to significantly outperform the iPhone 7 Plus, which was two seconds slower when focusing and and capturing a moving object in low light.

Display improvements made it much easier to shoot on the iPhone in direct sunlight compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, and Mann said "colors pop, blacks are truly black, and the contrast feels just right." Mann also saw microphone improvements, and Apple told him that while it's the same microphone hardware, it's been tuned to better capture dynamics.

All in all, Mann said the upgrade to the iPhone X was the "most exciting" since he switched from the Blackberry 7230 to the original iPhone back in 2007. Mann's full review can be read over at his website.


Separately, DxO also published its iPhone X test results this morning, giving the iPhone X's camera a score of 97. That beats out the iPhone 8 Plus at 94, but comes in just under the Pixel 2's score of 98.


The iPhone X received what DxO says are the best results so far for still images, with better exposure, color, texture, noise, and artifacts than competing cameras. Broken down, the iPhone X received a photo score of 101, but a video score of 89 because it struggles with under exposure, visible luminance noise, and irregularities in autofocus in poor lighting conditions.

DxO has been criticized for the subjectivity of its overall scores, but some of its category comparisons can offer up useful information when it comes to determining the best smartphone camera.
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Apple Recommends Temporary Workaround for Autocorrect Bug in iOS 11.1

An issue with Apple's autocorrect feature emerged over the weekend after users began updating to iOS 11.1. First noted by Reddit user The Cravin, typing the letter "i" can result in autocorrect replacing it with the uppercase letter "A" and a question mark symbol. The problem isn't universal, but is affecting enough users for Apple to publish a support document that offers a workaround until it can be resolved in a future update.


The workaround involves setting up a Text Replacement for the letter "i". To do this, go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement, and tap the plus (+) button. In the Phrase field, type an uppercase "I", and in the Shortcut field, type a lowercase "i". This should fix the problem until Apple addresses it properly in the next iOS update, which shouldn't be far off.
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Apple Reports 4Q 2017 Results: $10.7B Profit on $52.6B Revenue, 46.7M iPhones

Apple today announced financial results for the third calendar quarter and fourth fiscal quarter of 2017.

For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $52.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.7 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $46.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $9 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. The revenue and earnings per share numbers were company records for the fourth fiscal quarter, although the total profit fell short of the 2015 figure.

Gross margin for the quarter was 37.9 percent, compared to 38 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 62 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an upcoming dividend payment of $0.63 per share, payable November 16 to shareholders of record as of November 13.


For the quarter, Apple sold 46.7 million iPhones, up from 45.5 million in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were up to 10.3 million from 9.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, and Mac sales rose to 5.4 million from 4.9 million.

For the full fiscal year, Apple generated $229.2 billion in sales with $48.4 billion in net income, up from $215.6 billion in sales and $45.7 billion in net income for fiscal 2016.
“We’re happy to report a very strong finish to a great fiscal 2017, with record fourth quarter revenue, year-over-year growth for all our product categories, and our best quarter ever for Services,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With fantastic new products including iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K joining our product lineup, we’re looking forward to a great holiday season, and with the launch of iPhone X getting underway right now, we couldn’t be more excited as we begin to deliver our vision for the future with this stunning device.”
Apple's guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 includes expected revenue of $84-87 billion and gross margin between 38 and 38.5 percent.


Apple will provide live streaming of its fiscal Q4 2017 financial results conference call at 2:00 PM Pacific, and MacRumors will update this story with coverage of the conference call highlights.

Apple's conference call starts at 2:00 PM Pacific - No need to refresh

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Apple Voices Support for Lawsuit Challenging Trump’s Decision to End DACA

Apple this afternoon joined several other tech companies to support a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Bercerra aiming to block the withdrawal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which United States President Donald Trump said would be phased out over the course of the next six months.

Apple employs more than 250 DACA holders or "Dreamers" across 28 states, Apple VP of People Deidre O'Brien said in the company's filing, shared by Axios.
These talented and entrepreneurial people fill important and varied roles across the company, including in operations, research and development, administration, sales and marketing, and retail. Apple and its customers have benefitted greatly from their intelligence, ambition, creativity, resilience, and hard work. These employees are important contributors to Apple's unique culture. That unique culture enables employees throughout Apple to do the best work of their lives and excel at creating the most innovative products and providing the very best customer service.
Along with Apple, many other tech companies filed briefs in support of the legal challenge to prevent the end of DACA, including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Twitter, Salesforce, Dropbox, eBay, HP, LinkedIn, Reddit, PayPal, and more.

Following Trump's decision to phase out DACA, Cook sent an email to Apple employees pledging the company's support. Cook promised Apple would work with members of Congress to advocate for a legislative solution that will continue to protect the children of immigrants, and he said Apple is working with impacted Apple employees to provide support, including access to immigration experts.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
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Apple Highlights the Best of iPhone X Reviews

Apple today highlighted iPhone X reviews from major publications such as The Verge, TechCrunch, Mashable, BuzzFeed News, The Independent, and CNET with a GIF that cycles through positive comments about the device.


Apple changed its review strategy with a staggered release of the iPhone X to select YouTube channels and media outlets, some of which received less than 24 hours of lead time with the device before Apple's publishing embargo lifted.

Steven Levy, a journalist who reviewed the original iPhone, was among the first to share iPhone X impressions on Monday. A handful of YouTube channels shared hands-on and unboxing videos of the device on the same day. Then, on Tuesday, a larger wave of tech publications and media outlets published reviews.


Apple quoted the following reviews in its press release:
Mashable: "Apple's iPhone X is the beginning of something new. Everything the iPhone X is serves as a roadmap for future iPhones."

BuzzFeed: "Face ID worked as promised: with sunglasses, without sunglasses, with my hair up, with it down, at night in the dark, or during the day."

Creative Live Blog: "The OLED display is insanely good. The contrast is unlike anything I've ever seen. And the edge to edge / bezel arrangement is stunning. It somehow further humanizes the device. I feel like I'm holding my photos and videos…not a device on which to view them."

The Wall Street Journal: "Face ID is secure, fast, reliable and very easy to use. But even if it is Halloween, you'll be headed for trouble if you go trying to clone yourself."

CNET: "After 10 hours on the streets of San Francisco, mostly in and around Fisherman's Wharf, I was impressed by how Portrait Mode transformed the everyday selfie into a respectable and elegant photo."

The Evening Standard: "Apple's implementation of the camera is flawlessly done and THE Animoji are fantastic."

TechCrunch: "What I can tell you is that [Animoji] are cute and super funny. The way that the camera is able to accurately track and map your face, the physics in the models and the fun factor of being able to 'wear a mask' combine to make something that's actually a ton of fun."
iPhone X launches this Friday, November 3, including the first deliveries to customers and limited in-store availability for walk-in customers.
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