The new iPhone XS line and Apple Watch Series 4 are not available for pre-order until this Friday, and unlike in past years, when new device accessories became available immediately after Apple's keynote event, this time the new cases and watch bands will also not go on sale until later this week. But eager purchasers can get a head start on scoping out exactly which accessories they'll order by browsing Apple's website. iPhone XS and XS Max cases and new Apple Watch bands are available to view, but you can't order them until Friday.
One important note is that all Apple Watch bands are now designated 40mm or 44mm, to match the new Series 4 Watch, but they are all fully compatible with prior Apple Watch models which were sized 38mm and 42mm.
Here's the full list of accessories you'll be able to order starting this Friday.
The Logitech Crayon stylus that was announced at Apple’s spring education event was available originally to education customers only. Logitech has announced however, that beginning on September 12th the Crayon will be available to anyone who wants one.
The Crayon has many of the same features as Apple’s Pencil but lacks pressure sensitivity. The device is also designed with kids in mind. The rubberized cap that hides a Lightning charging port is tethered to the device, and the replaceable tips can only be removed with a special tool. The barrel of the Crayon is also squared off so it won’t roll off a table.
Logitech says the Crayon will be available initially at Apple retail stores, Apple.com, and Logitech.com. However, beginning in October, availability will expand to other retailers.
The Crayon will continue to be available to education customers for $49.99. Everyone else can purchase the Crayon for $69.99, which is $30 less than the Apple Pencil.
It’s interesting that the Crayon goes on sale to the general public the same day as Apple’s fall event. Perhaps this indicates that new iPads will debut during the event, despite the lack of iPad rumors and leaks compared to the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Logitech has announced that later this month, it will debut a wireless Qi charger called the Logitech Powered that the company designed in collaboration with Apple.
The charger delivers 7.5W of power, is vertically-oriented, and will work with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, which sit in the charger's U-shaped cradle. Logitech says that the iPhone doesn’t need to be precisely placed in the dock to charge. An iPhone will also charge even if set in landscape mode across the top of the cradle. Although Logitech’s press release says the Powered will be sold for $69.99, its website currently offers the charger for pre-order for $79.99.
I’ve been using a vertical Qi charger for about a month and love how well it works with Face ID, which makes it easy to check something quickly on my iPhone when I’m at my desk. Although it’s on the pricey end of the spectrum, the ability of the Powered to charge in portrait or landscape and its vertical orientation makes it a tempting addition to a desk, countertop, or nightstand.
The Logitech Powered will be available at Apple Stores and directly from Logitech, where it can be pre-ordered now.
Alongside the launch of new Apple Watch bands, which were first previewed in a press release last week, Apple has also updated its lineup of iPhone and iPad accessories today following its Chicago event. The updates include new colors for the iPad Pro Smart Cover and Leather Sleeve, with similar new shades for iPhone cases. Also, in a surprise debut, the Space Gray Mac accessories that ship with the iMac Pro are also now available for separate purchase.
Apple’s MFi licensing program, which allows accessory makers to manufacture Apple-certified products that are compatible with iPhones, iPads, and iPods, has been updated to allow accessory makers to create licensed devices that feature USB-C connectors. According to a report by 9to5Mac, the connectors cannot be used for passthrough charging or syncing of iOS devices, but will allow battery packs, speakers, and other accessories to be charged using the USB-C cables included with compatible Macs and from third parties. The specification does not include USB-C to Lightning cables, which are only available from Apple and are necessary to fast-charge iPhones and iPads.
The Lightning to 3.5mm output cable specification allows accessory makers to make cables to route the output of a Lightning port to a 3.5mm headphone jack input. This was only possible previously by chaining Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm input adapter with a male-to-male 3.5mm cable. With the new specification, accessory makers will be able to reduce that setup to a single cable that will work with devices like speakers that include a 3.5mm input.
One of the longstanding frustrations with the iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard is that it contains no place for holding the Apple Pencil. Last year Apple released separate accessories – the Leather Sleeve and Pencil Case – that could house the Pencil, but many iPad users still wanted something simpler: a Smart Keyboard with Pencil holder.
Twelve South, with its new PencilSnap accessory, appears to have made that possible.
The PencilSnap is a small leather holster, very similar to Apple's own Pencil Case, but with one significant difference: it includes magnets for attaching to other accessories, including Apple's Smart Keyboard and Smart Cover, and Twelve South's own SurfacePad. While we haven't been able to test the product yet, Twelve South stresses the strength of the magnets and tight grip of the Pencil holder – in other words, they're confident the PencilSnap won't get easily disconnected from its attachment point, nor will the Pencil come loose when you don't want it to.
PencilSnap is available for $29.99 in two colors: Black and Camel. If it works as advertised, it may well become the new go-to Pencil storage solution for iPad Pro users.
The ElevationDock 4 is an unassuming collection of smart design decisions that together make it my favorite iPhone dock. The device, which comes in black or white, performs well as a place to charge my iPhone, which isn’t remarkable by itself. What distinguishes the ElevationDock though, is the little touches that combine to make it more useful than other docks.
For each of us, iOS devices or Macs dominate our day-to-day computing, but they don’t tell the full story. Whether it’s a battery pack to keep a device charged, the latest game console for kicking back and relaxing, or a comfortable chair for sitting at a desk while writing, we use a wide variety of other products for work and play. So, with 2017 coming to a close, we compiled a list of our favorite gear and accessories that we used this past year.
The market for smart home devices continues to heat up with new products and updates being released almost every day. Of note today are a trio of announcements:
- Nest released its Thermostat E smart thermostat, a cheaper version of its flagship product made of white plastic with a frosted glass surface. The new device begins shipping tomorrow for $169, a nice price reduction for anyone who want a thermostat that fades into the background more than the $249 Nest thermostat does. Unfortunately, neither device supports HomeKit.
- Philips Hue Starter Kits gained another bulb. Instead of three bulbs, the starter kits now comes with four bulbs for $99 (White), $149 (White Ambiance), and $199 (Color) plus a hub, making them a slightly better value for anyone who want to get started with lighting automation. Philips is also adding the ability to sync with movies, games, and music soon.
- Libratone, announced Alexa and AirPlay 2 support for its Zipp and Zipp Mini WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled home speakers. Unlike the Echo, Alexa can only be invoked by pressing a button on the Zipp speakers, which do not have a persistent microphone connection. AirPlay 2 is expected to be added as a firmware update after iOS 11 is released by Apple.