SETA Stand Is Minimal, Elegant Smart And Cheap.

The SETA smartphone stand is another one of those post-Lighting iPhone “docks” which don’t actually let you dock the phone. The 30 pin dock connector was bad in many ways but it did at least give us docks into which we could dump our devices and let them charge.

The SETA pretty much ignores the dock part and just proves a handsome, minimalist spot on your desk to park your phone. And it also provides a neat way to control your charging cable.

Launching today ($19-$25) on Kickstarter, the stand is an angle of aluminum with a nano-coated pad. This pad sticks to the back of any flat phone, not just the iPhone, and lets you set it at any angle. The pad works over and over (I have a PadPivot stand which uses the same kind of material) and can be “recharged” by de-linting it with a piece of scotch or gaffer tape.

There’s also a t-shaped hole in the stand, through which you can thread even the bulkiest of proprietary connectors and have them held securely until you need them. Sure, it’s a pain to have to plug the cable in yourself, but that’s the price we pay for the otherwise fantastic Lightning connector.

If I was in the market for a dock I’d probably buy this one. It’s cheap, looks great and will continue to work with whatever iPhones Apple comes up with in the future (as long as they have flat backs). As a hard-working gadget reviewer, though, my desk is already littered with docks and stands crying out “Use me!” every minute of every day (this makes it pretty hard to sleep unless I drape a blanket over them), so I’m out of the game here.

Source: Cult of Mac.

Best Buy giving $150 credit towards iPhone 5 to 4/4S owners this Saturday only.

bestbuy

iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users, this sounds like a great deal. Are you looking to buy an iPhone 5? But don’t like the cost? This Saturday only, June 1st, head on over to your local Best Buy and you can trade in your 4/4S for a $150 credit towards a new iPhone 5. Of course, there are a few strings attached. For one, this $150 credit must be used on an iPhone 5. You must also sign a new 2 year contract with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. Best Buy has lowered prices by $50 on the 16GB iPhone 5, making this device free using this deal. This is interesting timing for this to begin, almost as if the company is clearing its inventory…but why would this be? Rumors are putting the new iPhone (or iPhones) in August/July, so it could be preparing for a launch in the next few months. Nevertheless, this is a great deal for current iPhone 4/4S users. It’s definitely a steal.

Source: TodaysiPhone.

Just Mobile delivers AluPocket and AluDisc, two new high-design accessories.

Erich Huang and the team at Just Mobile don’t seem to be getting any rest these days. The company is well-known for its line of well built aluminum accessories for Apple products, and it was only about a month ago that TUAW reviewed the HeadStand headphone stand, AluCup dock for iPhone, and the AluFrame iPhone 5 bumper. Today the company announced two new products — the AluPocket for iPhone (US$29.95) and AluDisc ($69.95).

The AluPocket (see image above) is a stylish aluminum and plastic wall mount for iPhone that attaches to a wall using 3M glue-free tape. At the bottom of the round pocket-shaped mount is a recess for a Lightning or 30-pin connector, and the front of the AluPocket has a vertical slot into which a charging cable can be placed.

Just Mobile delivers AluPocket and AluDisc, two new highdesign accessories

The AluDisc is a new take on an old idea — years ago, I purchased a similar turntable device for one of the old white plastic iMacs from Rain Design called the i360. Just Mobile has taken the concept of an iMac/Cinema Display turntable, slimmed it down considerably, and made it a solid match with the latest design meme from Apple.

We’ll be reviewing both of these accessories in the near future; in the meantime, check out Just Mobile’s site for more details.

Source: TUAW.

Tim Cook says Apple has already acquired nine companies in 2013.

Tim Cook says Apple has already acquired nine companies in 2013

During his appearance at All Things D last night, Tim Cook mentioned that Apple in 2013 is acquiring companies at a faster clip than in years past. In previous years, Cook noted, Apple acquired an average of six companies per year. Not even six months into 2013, Cook explained Apple has already acquired nine companies.

Of course, Cook stressed that Apple isn’t going to announce all of its acquisitions, but rather just the ones it has to. This certainly makes sense given Apple’s penchant for surgical acquisitions. For a company as secretive as Apple, having each and every acquisition made public would undoubtedly shed light on Apple’s future software ambitions, and perhaps, product roadmap.

While on the topic of acquisitions, Cook reiterated a point he’s made in the past; namely that he isn’t opposed to the idea of a large-scale acquisition, but would only feel comfortable pulling the trigger if the targeted company would help further Apple’s product goals.

We’re always looking; I think we’ll do more of these in the future. We aren’t currently looking at a big one, but we aren’t opposed to doing that if it made sense. We ask: “Would it help us make a great product, and would the culture fit at Apple?”

As a point of interest, you might recall that Apple in late 2009 did attempt to buy out Dropbox.

On the flip side, Cook confirmed that Apple did not make a bid to acquire the popular navigation app Waze.

As for Apple’s nine acquisitions thus far in 2013, the only one that has been made public was its reported $20 million deal to acquire the “indoor GPS” company WiFiSLAM back in March.

Source: TUAW.

Mac version of Rdio app gets the same love as the iOS one.

rdio

Rdio today launched a revamp of its Mac app, giving it the same minimalist user-interface as theiOS version, with album art taking center stage …

The big new feature is the now-playing view. Click the little three line list icon at bottom right and the whole app becomes a giant album cover, along with a listing of the tracks on the current album (or playlist). At the bottom of that list you can see what’s coming up next in your queue.

Rdio is a Spotify competitor without the ad-supported free subscription tier. You pay either $4.99/month for desktop and web access, or $9.99/month to add mobile streaming too, with family packages also available. There is a 14-day free trial.

You can download the new app here.

Source: 9to5Mac.

Second Gear teases new app… using Passbook!

Second Gear teases new app... using Passbook!

The fine folks over at Second Gear have a couple of exciting announcements this week: A new product, and a new service for developers. What makes these announcements particularly interesting is their use of Passbook.

The minds that brought you the iOS markdown editor, Elements and the @JustinBieber fanclub on Twitter1, have launched a website promoting the new app that allows people to register their username early and install a Passbook pass, or Pit Pass, on their device for the upcoming app. The Pit Pass is currently a little sparse on information but be sure to check out the barcode. Second Gear’s plan is to gradually fill in the pass, allowing users to gradually acquire more bits about the app leading up to its announcement and release.

Alongside the release of the Pit Pass has come an announcement of the PitPass.io. PitPass.io will provide a Passbook backend that will allow developers to leverage Passbook as a promotional tool for their apps and services, the way that Second Gear is using it for their upcoming app now. While it’s not yet available, developers can sign up to be notified when the PitPass.io service officially launches.

Many users enjoy Passbook with major businesses like Starbucks, Target and United Airlines, but there’s still a large pool of users who don’t yet make use of Passbook. Second Gear’s implementation of Passbook as a promotional tool is an intriguing new spin on the service that could generate more interest and use among consumers.

Source: Second Gear

Source: iMore.

iTunes Movie Trailers app updated with video quality selection and Fandango ticket purchasing.

iTunes Movie Trailers app updated with video quality selection and Fandango ticket purchasing

Apple’s iTunes Movie Trailers app for iPhone and iPad has been updated with the ability to switch between standard and high definition video during playback, while also adding the ability to purchase tickets through the Fandango app.

Users will now see a small icon on the left-hand side of the playback controls, which, when tapped, allows users to change the video quality they see. This allows users with lower-resolution devices to watch trailers more quickly, without having to wait for a larger video to load. Speaking of loading, Apple has made some speed improvements to the app, with trailers now taking less time to start playing.

The In Theaters section of the app now includes the ability to redirect users to the Fandango app in order to purchase movie tickets. While the app has long included movie showtimes for local theaters, this update takes that one step further. In the timeline display, find the correct showtime for you movie and tap the corresponding blue dot to make the “Get Tickets” button popup. Tap the button to be redirected to the Fandango app’s ticket purchasing screen for that movie at that time.

The update is currently available on the App Store, so go get it and tell us what you think.

Source: iMore.