Logitech Releases New G560 Gaming Speaker System With Lights That Sync to Games and Movies

Logitech's G brand today announced the launch of a new gaming speaker, the G560. While primarily designed for gaming PCs, the G560 Gaming Speaker has unique features that may also be appealing to Mac users.

The G560, which features two light-up speakers and a subwoofer, is the first of Logitech's gaming speaker systems to come equipped with Logitech G Lightsync, designed to synchronize light and sounds to gameplay, movies, music, and more for a more immersive experience.

With Lightsync support, the lights built into the speaker can light up while you're playing games that have implemented the Lightsync API to add ambiance to gameplay. Many game developers have added support for Lightsync and have custom chosen the colors that will be displayed during various aspects of the gameplay. Supported games include Dota 2, Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, and more.

Developer-supported Lightsync options are mainly for PCs, but Lightsync also works based solely on the colors on your display. Using the screen sampling tool in Logitech's Gaming Software for Mac, you can tie the lights to four different zones of your Mac's display, so while you're playing a game or watching a movie, the G560 lights will light up with colors that are linked to whatever colors are in the media you're using.

If you're watching a colorful movie, for example, the colors of the movie will be reflected through the G560's lights, and the same is true for when you're playing a game. If you're playing music, you can also set the lights to change in time with the beat of the music, and colors can be customized using Logitech's app. The lights support 16.8 million colors and several animation effects, and sound can be customized using a detailed equalizer tool.

According to Logitech, the G560 offers "amazing sound" with 240 Watts Peak/120 Watts RMS power, making it suitable for all kinds of media on PC and Mac. On PCs, it also includes DTS:X Ultra 1.0 support for precise positional audio.

Along with these features, the G560 supports Logitech's Easy-Switch technology, which allows you to connect several devices to the speaker at once and then switch between them. You can connect one USB device, one device through the 3.5mm input, and two Bluetooth devices at the same time. So, for example, you could connect your Mac, your iPhone, and your iPad to the speakers and then easily swap between them, allowing you to use the G560 with all of your devices.

Logitech's new G560 Gaming Speaker will be available for purchase from retailers around the world starting in April of 2018. It will be priced at $199.99, and it will be sold alongside the new $150 G513 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which also supports Lightsync.

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Logitech’s HomeKit-Enabled Circle 2 Cameras Gain Notification Snapshots and Subscription Discounts

Logitech today announced the launch of new features for its HomeKit-compatible Circle 2 security cameras via an update to the Logi Circle app.

Notification Snapshots, a new in-app feature, are designed to provide a visual "snapshot" notification of an event whenever motion is detected by the Circle 2 camera.

With this option, you'll get a visual representation of exactly what triggered the motion detection feature rather than a simple text-based notification that lets you know motion was detected. Snapshots will be sent via push notification and should let you react more quickly to incoming motion detection alerts.

For customers who also subscribe to Logitech's Circle Safe premium service, Notification Snapshots offer up a zoomed-in view of the object or person that triggered the motion detection based on the Circle's Person Detection feature.

Enabling Notification Snapshots on existing Circle 2 cameras will require you to download the updated Logi Circle app from the App Store and install a new firmware update from within the app.

Along with new notification features, Logitech is also introducing new Circle Safe Home subscription plans designed for customers with multiple cameras.

Circle Safe pricing starts at $3.99 per month for the basic subscription for a single camera and goes up to $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year) for the premium subscription, but customers with multiple cameras can now get discounted prices.

For up to five cameras, Circle Safe Basic starts at $6.99 per month or $69 per year, while Circle Safe Premium starts at $17.99 per month or $179 per year.

Circle Safe Basic and Circle Safe Premium allow you to store video in the cloud for a longer period of time and access premium features. Logitech's cameras, available from Logitech and Amazon for $180, can be used sans subscription, but only 24 hours of video footage is stored in the cloud.

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Review: Logitech’s CRAFT Wireless Keyboard is Pricey, but the Input Dial Is a Useful Addition

Last month, Logitech released the CRAFT, a wireless "Advanced Keyboard" complete with a creative input dial for controlling customizable, app-specific functions. I've been testing one out over the last few weeks to see if the company's latest Mac/PC accessory can live up to its $200 price tag.

Continue reading Review: Logitech’s CRAFT Wireless Keyboard is Pricey, but the Input Dial Is a Useful Addition

Logitech to Upgrade Harmony Link Owners for Free Following Online Backlash

Logitech has announced in a blog post that it will offer Harmony Link hub owners a free upgrade to the more recent Harmony Hub before it bricks the older smart home controller in early 2018.

Previously, the company had offered owners who were out of warranty a 35 percent discount on the newer $100 hub to compensate for the six-year-old Harmony Link's deactivation in spring of next year, when the device's encryption certificate expires. But the news sparked an online backlash according to Wired, and Logitech has decided to reverse course.

Logitech Harmony Link
If you are a Harmony Link user, we will reach out to you between now and March 2018 to make arrangements to replace your Link with a free Harmony Hub, a product with similar app-based remote control features to Link, with the added benefit of controlling many popular connected home devices plus, it works with popular voice assistants.

Additionally, Harmony Link customers that have already redeemed their 35% discount on a Harmony Hub will also be refunded the full amount they paid for the replacement. Again, we will be in touch with you regarding these updates between now and March 2018, before your Harmony Link will no longer function.
Logitech said it decided to end support for the Harmony Link "because we would be acting irresponsibly by continuing the service knowing its potential/future vulnerability".

As for why it couldn't just patch the device or extend the license, the company explained that the newer Harmony Hub has around 40 times as many users as the Link, so focusing support and services on the former was a better use of its resources.

Logitech has also responded to suggestions that it had been pressing the mute button on angry customers in its forums by censoring the phrase "class action lawsuit" in complaint threads.

Logitech said the removal was due to a list of auto-blocked keywords in its Community Terms of Service, which doesn't allow solicitation, including legal solicitation. The company has now unblocked the phrase and is in the process of reviewing all of its forbidden forum words and phrases.

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Review: Logitech’s $99 MX Sound 2.0 Speakers Offer Great Audio for the Money

Logitech's MX Sound 2.0 Bluetooth speakers are the audio offering in its latest desktop accessory range, which includes the MX ERGO mouse and CRAFT keyboard. Like most stereo speakers around the $99 price point, they're positioned as a decent upgrade over typically lifeless-sounding integrated monitor and laptop speakers.

The company says it focused on design quality and audio performance when developing these spherical units, so I was intrigued to see how they compared to the likes of Creative's acclaimed GigaWorks T20 Series II speakers, which have garnered an impressive fan base over the last decade.
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Review: Logitech’s Circle 2 Brings HomeKit Compatibility and a New Design

Logitech's Circle 2, introduced in June, is the second-generation version of its Circle home security camera. This new version features a redesigned body, wired and wire-free versions, accessories that let it be positioned anywhere, and, through a recent update, HomeKit support.

Circle 2 is meant to be used as a home security device and it's ideal for keeping an eye on your house while you're away from home. It's also great for keeping an eye on pets and children, and even communicating with the two-way microphone. Circle 2 connects to a home WiFi network and offers cloud functionality that lets you view video anywhere.

I've been using a Logitech Circle camera for two years now sans HomeKit functionality, so I was eager to check out the HomeKit version. This is only the second HomeKit-compatible camera available on the market, and with the new design, the Logi Circle app, and cloud upload ability, the Circle 2 easily beats out the D-Link Omna as the best HomeKit camera you can buy at the moment.

Though Logitech offers both wired and wire-free versions of the Circle 2, HomeKit only works with the wired version because Apple requires an always-on camera connection, and that's not how the wire-free Circle 2 works.

Design and Features

The wired version of the Circle 2 consists of a small palm-sized camera module that attaches to a base with a pivoting neck, allowing the camera to be positioned and rotated into an ideal angle to work with any room setup. The base can be attached to a wall with a wall mount, and the camera module itself is detachable from the base because it can connect to other accessories like a plug or window mount.

Circle 2 has a white shell around it, and the camera base is also white. It's a simple, attractive design that melds into the decor around it. There's no mistaking this is a camera, though. It has a wide camera lens and an LED light that comes on when it's activated, but that can be turned off for a slightly more discreet look. At the back, there's a 10-ft power cord that needs to be plugged into the wall.
Continue reading Review: Logitech’s Circle 2 Brings HomeKit Compatibility and a New Design

Logitech Circle 2 Wired Home Security Camera Updated With HomeKit Support

Logitech's recently released Circle 2 Wired home security camera is today gaining support for HomeKit, which will allow the device to interface with other HomeKit apps, send notifications, work with Siri voice commands, and be controlled through the dedicated Home app on iOS devices.

"HomeKit truly complements the simplicity of setting up and using Circle 2," said Vincent Borel, director of new ventures at Logitech. "We're focused on building experiences that let you easily and securely control your Circle 2 camera, while expanding its capabilities. Whether you're checking on the kids from another room with your iPad or looking for extra peace of mind while you're away, HomeKit makes Circle 2 work even smarter for you and your family."
The new Circle 2 Wired camera was introduced in June and began shipping out to customers in July, but Logitech had not yet implemented HomeKit support. The camera is designed to let you keep an eye on what's going on in your house while you're not there with features like high quality 180-degree video, cloud uploads, night vision, an adjustable ball joint, and various mounting solutions.

With HomeKit, the Circle 2's motion detection features can be used in scenes to do things like turn on HomeKit-connected lights in the house, and the camera stream itself can be viewed directly in the Home app. With an Apple TV or iPad set up as a Home hub, HomeKit connectivity is also available when you're away from home.

Logitech also offers a wire-free version of the Circle 2, but that product is not compatible with HomeKit because HomeKit requires always-on connectivity to work with camera accessories. HomeKit works with the Circle 2 Wired camera by itself and when the camera is attached to either the Plug Mount or Window Mount.

HomeKit connectivity is available starting today. Existing Circle 2 users will need to follow the instructions on the Logitech website to enable HomeKit support.

The Logitech Circle 2 is available from the Logitech website for $179.99. It will also be coming to Apple Stores and the Apple online store in October.

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Logitech Resurrects the Trackball Device With the Wireless MX ERGO

Logitech resurrected the trackball device today with its announcement of the MX ERGO, which the company is calling its "first new innovative trackball in nearly a decade".

Pitched to consumers looking for alternatives to mice and touchpads, the Bluetooth-based MX ERGO features an adjustable metal hinge with angle options at either zero or 20 degrees for personalizing the comfort level, which improves wrist posture and pronation, according to Logitech.

"We are so excited by this new trackball. It is back, better than ever and the idea for this trackball innovation was inspired by our users, who invented creative ways to achieve their desired level of comfort, sometimes adding additional wedges under their trackball for elevated angles," said Anatoliy Polyanker, global portfolio and brand director at Logitech. "The MX ERGO is our first adjustable trackball that delivers on the need for elevated comfort in a beautiful design."
The sculpted shape is designed to offer full palm and finger support, with a soft rubber on top for a comfortable grip over many hours of work. An LED light indicates when "precision mode" is activated using the dedicated button on the side of the MX ERGO. This special mode is said to allow the user to instantly change cursor speed and accuracy.

The device also supports multi-device connectivity through Logitech's Easy-Switch and Logitech Flow software, which allows users to seamlessly switch between two computers with one mouse, as well as copy and paste content, images and documents between them.

The rechargeable battery lasts up to four months on a full charge, depending on usage, and Logitech reckons the MX ERGO can give a complete day of work with just one minute of charge if the device is low on power.

The Logitech MX ERGO is priced at $99.99 and should be available to buy on the Logitech website and select retail stores throughout the U.S. in September.

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Logitech’s CRAFT Keyboard for Mac and PC Features a ‘Smart Dial’ for Creatives

Logitech today announced CRAFT, the company's latest $200 "advanced keyboard" for Mac and PC that features a creative input dial for more easily accessing context-specific controls while working.

Called the Crown, the "smart aluminum dial" sits on the top-left of the new full-size keyboard and is touch sensitive, enabling creative users to tap or turn it to adjust settings like brush size, brightness, chart type, font size, and so on.

"Our new flagship Logitech CRAFT keyboard is for all creators who spend a lot of time designing and creating - who want to work with greater precision and feel connected to their work," said Art O'Gnimh, global head of keyboards at Logitech. "The creative input dial gives you instant access to the functions you need, the moment you need them, allowing you to increase your productivity by simply touching the dial. CRAFT puts you in your creative element – every time you sit at the desk."
Users can customize the Crown's functionality using custom profiles in the Logitech Options software utility, which is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe InDesign CC and Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word, although Microsoft functionalities work on PC only at this time, according to Logitech.

The dial can also be set up to access global Mac controls - giving users the ability to change desktops, navigate between apps, or adjust volume, as well as assign one additional Crown function in each of their favorite apps.

In addition to the creative dial, the CRAFT Advanced Keyboard features smart illumination with backlighting that detects hands and adjusts lighting automatically depending on the room conditions. Meanwhile, a proprietary button on the keyboard allows users to dynamically switch between – and type on – any three connected devices, whether they are using a Windows PC, Mac, or tablet.

The Logitech CRAFT Advanced Keyboard is expected to become available in October 2017, but can be pre-ordered now from the company's website for the price of $199.99.

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Lack of iPad Pro Smart Connector Accessories Blamed on Long Wait Times for Components

Fast Company published a report this week exploring why third-party accessories that make use of Apple's Smart Connector remain few and far between, almost two years after the connector first debuted on the iPad Pro. The magnetic Smart Connector allows the iPad Pro to communicate with and power compatible accessories, like the company's own Smart Keyboard, without the hassle of wires.

The first supporting third-party accessory, Logitech's Create Smart Connector keyboard, launched the same day as the iPad Pro in late 2015, shortly followed by the Logitech charging base, and more recently a Logitech keyboard for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. However, this close partnership between Apple and Logitech is one of the reasons for the dearth of Smart Connector accessories from competing vendors, according to the report.

"With an iPad Pro keyboard on the market already, we are evaluating the market's appetite for another iPad Pro keyboard and identifying if there are any gaps that we can fill," a spokeswoman for Incipio told Fast Company. "So we are developing with having a point of difference in mind rather than developing to be quick to market."
Other issues are said to relate to procuring Smart Connector components, with manufacturers reporting longer lead times compared to other accessories, making them time- and cost-prohibitive. "For a business like us, we've got a very rapid product development cycle," said one vendor source, who asked to remain anonymous. "When you've got a long lead time component that's close to six months, that's just not tenable."

Logitech Create Smart Keyboard

Meanwhile, some accessory makers simply preferred Bluetooth as a better fit, especially for iPad keyboards, with more room for maneuver in terms of accessory design. For instance, the Smart Connector only works with keyboards in landscape mode, whereas some users prefer to type in portrait orientation. The issue of Bluetooth battery life has also been minimized, with smaller batteries now lasting for months rather than weeks.

There are only four Smart Connector accessories currently on the market – three offered by Logitech, one by Apple. Fast Company was told by Apple that multiple companies are now developing Smart Connector accessories, but going on this report, iPad Pro owners looking to further exploit the potential of Apple's proprietary connector could be in for some wait yet.

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