The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is receiving a major update today, introducing much-desired features like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support.

Designed by Signify as part of the Philip Hue line of lights and accessories, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is designed to let Hue users sync their lights to their home entertainment systems.


One of the major complaints about the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box when it launched in September was its lack of support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+. With the Sync Box, Hue users were able to watch HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content thanks to passthrough support, but there was no way for it to detect content to create lighting effects.

That's changed in the new update, and with compatible televisions, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box now works with both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

Today's update also brings Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice control, allowing Hue Sync owners to use voice-based commands to power the Sync Box on or off, start or stop light syncing, switch from audio to gaming or video mode, and switch HDMI channels.

For those who prefer to use infrared TV remote controls or the Harmony universal remote, the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box can now be configured to work with these devices. It can be set to respond to any button on the remote using the Hue Sync mobile app.

Updating the Hue Play HDMI Sync Box requires opening up the Hue Sync app, going to the Settings section, and selecting the install software update option.

The Hue Play HDMI Sync Box can be purchased from the Philips Hue website for $230.

Apple Card users can now export their transactions in two new formats, Quicken (QFX) and QuickBooks (QBO), as noted by Kyle Seth Gray. The new additions will make it more convenient for many users to import their ‌Apple Card‌ data into Intuit's flagship financial software applications.


Apple first added the ability to export ‌Apple Card‌ transactions in CSV format back in January, and Open Financial Exchange (OFX) format was added in February.

Earlier this month, Quicken for Mac users discovered that they were able to import Apple Card data in OFX format, as ‌Apple Card‌ had been added as a supported financial institution, but the new direct QFX support should make for more seamless integration.

Apple is in final talks with Paramount to co-finance and produce "Killers of the Flower Moon," a Martin Scorsese film that has Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro attached, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


The film will cost upwards of $150 million, a price tag that led the project's backers to look for ways to mitigate its cost. MGM and Netflix were also potentially interested.

"Killers of the Flower Moon" is based on the David Grann book of the same name.

Set in 1920s Oklahoma when the Osage Nation discovered oil under their land, the Native Americans found themselves being murdered one by one. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case and unraveled a chilling conspiracy and one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.

Movie rights to the book were first acquired in 2016 for $5 million, and when Paramount picked up the project in June 2019, the studio wanted to create it for around $150 million. The budget ballooned to $225 million given the high-profile actors attached, but Paramount wanted to cut it back to $180 million.

Final numbers on what Apple paid to produce the film are unknown, but Apple will shoulder the majority of the cost and will be able to stream on Apple TV+, while Paramount will distribute the movie in theaters.

The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup.


A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features:

  • 64-megapixel wide-angle lens with 1x optical zoom and 6x digital zoom
  • 40-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x-5x optical zoom and 15-20x digital zoom
  • 64-megapixel anamorphic lens for video capture (2.1:1)
  • 40-megapixel .25x min ultra wide-angle lens with optical reverse zoom
  • LiDAR 4.0

The leaker says that the information should be taken with a "Huuuuugggeeeee amount of 🧂," suggesting the source of the rumor is questionable or it's so early that the camera setup could change. Apple makes plans for iPhones well ahead of when a new device is released, but plans change and are tweaked and there's quite a ways to go before the ‌iPhone‌ 13's final design needs to be nailed down.

The rumored ‌iPhone‌ 13 camera is wildly different from what's in the iPhone 11, and while Apple does make major camera improvements each year, the company has thus far shied away from super high megapixel cameras in its iPhones.

The iPhone 11 Pro features a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera.

There have been some rumors indicating the ‌iPhone 12‌ models coming in 2020 could get a 64-megapixel wide-angle camera along with a telephoto lens that supports 3x optical zoom (up from 2x), but we've heard surprisingly little about the camera technology.

Most rumors have focused on the inclusion of 3D camera technology in the ‌iPhone 12‌, which is expected to be similar to the LiDAR Scanner feature that Apple introduced in 2020 iPad Pro models.

In 2020, higher-end ‌iPhone 12‌ models are expected to continue to feature triple-lens camera setups, while the lower-end ‌iPhone 12‌ models will continue to offer dual-lens camera setups. The 2021 iPhones will probably be similar, with the best camera technology reserved for the more expensive devices.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

Apple recently purchased Ontario-based machine learning startup Inductiv for the purpose of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg.


Apple confirmed the purchase with one of its typical acquisition statements: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Inductiv's engineering team joined Apple after the acquisition to work on ‌Siri‌, machine learning, and data science at the company. Prior to the purchase, Inductiv created technology that used AI to automate identifying and correcting errors in data for machine learning purposes. From Bloomberg:

Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human invention.

The work falls under the category of data science, a key element of Apple's broader machine-learning strategy.

Apple's Siri chief John Giannandrea, who is also responsible for machine learning, has been upgrading the underlying technology that ‌Siri‌ is based on with acquisitions of companies like Inductiv.

Apple has purchased multiple AI and machine learning-related companies over the course of the last several years, such as Voysis, Xnor.ai, Turi, Perceptio, Tuplejump, and more.

Prior to when Apple released the third-generation iPod touch in September of 2009, it explored a prototype version that had a centered rear camera, a feature the ‌iPod touch‌ ultimately did not launch with.


Giulio Zompetti, a developer who collects Apple device prototypes, today shared some photos of the third-generation ‌iPod touch‌ with rear camera, giving us a clear look at the design variation that Apple tested.


Back in August 2009, prior to when the third-generation ‌iPod touch‌ launched, apphomeonline received photos of the prototype model with camera, sparking rumors that the upcoming device could launch with a camera.

At the time, it was believed that Apple scrapped the camera from the ‌iPod touch‌ late in the design process. Final versions of the ‌iPod touch‌ had an empty space where a camera might have been positioned.

After leaking in 2009, a prototype version of the third-gen ‌iPod touch‌ was spotted in a video in May 2010, and ahead of that, in April 2020, a couple of prototype models with camera showed up on eBay.

The eBay seller at the time said that he purchased the models at a flea market from someone who had bought them from a live auction in the Bay Area. Prototype devices like the third-generation ‌iPod touch‌ are hotly desired by collectors and surface on auction sites. Zompetti has in the past said that some of his devices are surfaced from device recycling facilities.

While the third-generation ‌iPod touch‌ didn't end up with a camera, Apple added it in the fourth-generation model along with a microphone. The fourth-generation ‌iPod touch‌ featured a 0.7-megapixel rear camera alongside its 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera.

Related Roundup: iPod touch
Buyer's Guide: iPod Touch (Don't Buy)

Following the release of iOS 13.5 on May 20, Apple has stopped signing iOS 13.4.1, which means downgrading to that version of iOS is no longer possible.

iOS 13.4.1 was a minor update that addressed a bug that prevented devices running iOS 13.4 from participating in FaceTime calls with devices running iOS 9.3.6 and earlier.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out in order to encourage customers to keep their operating systems up to date.

iOS 13.5 is the current publicly available version of iOS, with the update introducing the Exposure Notification API, faster passcode entry when wearing a mask, changes to Group ‌FaceTime‌, and more.

Apple has also stopped signing iOS 12.4.6 for older devices.

There could soon be another iOS update released as a jailbreaking tool that works with all devices running iOS 11 to iOS 13.5 was released on Sunday.

Camera manufacturer Canon today announced that its EOS Webcam Utility Beta software is now available for macOS users in addition to PC users.


The software is designed to allow some EOS Interchangeable Lens Cameras and PowerShot cameras to be converted into a webcam through a USB connection.

The macOS-compatible software solution requires a single USB plug to connect the compatible camera to the computer. After the software is downloaded and the camera is configured in a video conferencing app, the user will be able to use the camera for video conferencing and virtual meetings.

Compatible cameras include everything from the EOS-1D X Mark III to the PowerShot SX70 HS, with a list of cameras that work with the feature available on Canon's website.

Tag: Canon

Anker, a brand normally known for its well-made, affordable accessories for Apple devices, has debuted a new $100 24K gold-plated USB-C to Lightning cable.


According to Anker, the cable, which is in the PowerLine+ III family, features a "Special Edition Gold Design" that's "bold yet elegant" with the aforementioned gold-plated cable heads and matching braided gold and black cable.


The braided design has a 35,000 bend lifespan, and each cable is partially assembled by hand and passes through Anker's 51-step construction process, much like other PowerLine cables. The cable measures in at 6 feet long.


There's no explanation for why Anker, a company that specializes in affordable products, has created a $100 USB-C to Lightning cable, but it ships with a gift box, travel pouch, welcome guide, and lifetime warranty.


USB-C to Lightning cables can be used to fast charge iPhones that support the feature, such as the 2020 iPhone SE, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhones dating back to the iPhone 8.


Those interested in the cable can purchase it from Amazon for $100.

Anker, known for its line of iPhone accessories, has a brand called "Soundcore" to sell audio accessories like earbuds. In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 wire-free earbuds, which are much more affordable than most other wire-free options at $79.


Subscribe to the apphomeonline YouTube channel for more videos.

The Spirit Dot 2 earbuds look similar to many other wire-free earbuds on the market with a stemless design, silicone tips that fit in the ears, and small AirWings to keep them secure in the ears. Tips in five sizes ship with the Spirit Dot 2 to make sure everyone can find the best fit possible, with XS, S, M, L, and XL tips to choose from.

The fit is similar to the fit of headphones like the Samsung Galaxy Buds, Jabra Elite, Pixel Buds, and other wire-free earbuds with silicone tips and an in-ear design. When first inserting the earbuds into the ear, you may need to do some adjusting to get them situated properly for the best seal.


We've found that putting them in the ear and giving them a little twist gives us the most secure fit. Comfort is subjective and will vary for everyone based on ear size and shape, but we found the Spirit Dot 2 to be a bit more uncomfortable than competing products, causing ear fatigue to set in sooner.

For $79, the Spirit Dot 2 earbuds offer impressive sound, especially when it comes to bass levels. The earbuds are described as offering "thumping bass," a claim that seems to be accurate. In fact, there may be too much focus on the lows, overpowering the mids and highs at times and offering a somewhat unbalanced sound profile. Like fit, though, sound preference is subjective so some may prefer the heavy bass. Unfortunately there's no option in the Soundcore app for adjusting the sound.


The Spirit Dot 2 earbuds support gesture controls. Double tapping on the right earbud will play/pause the music, and double tapping on the left earbud will skip to the next track. A long press on either earbud can bring up Siri if you're using an ‌iPhone‌. Setup and pairing isn't as simple as something like the AirPods and will require standard Bluetooth device setup in the Settings app of an ‌iPhone‌.

On a single charge, the Spirit Dot 2 earbuds offer up to five and a half hours of playback time, and the included charging case adds 16 hours of additional playback. The little oblong case charges over USB-C, has LEDs that indicate charge level, and has a quick charge feature that provides an hour of playback time with a 10 minute charge.


Anker's Soundcore brand designed the Spirit Dot 2 earbuds to be water resistant, and they have an IPX7 water resistance rating. That's fairly high for earbuds, and means they're able to hold up to immersion in water up to a meter in depth for 30 minutes. The earbuds are advertised as having "SweatGuard technology" with an advanced sealing process and coating technology that protects them from moisture.

All in all, for $79, the Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 earbuds are an affordable wire-free earbud option. They're not as good as the ‌AirPods‌ or AirPods Pro when it comes to comfort or functionality like pairing and device swapping, but they sound decent and offer a ton of bass for those who prefer that kind of sound profile.


The Spirit Dot 2 earbuds are coming soon from Anker's Soundcore brand and will be available for purchase on Amazon.

Tag: Anker

Apple is working on a redesigned version of the Leather Loop band that could be as soon as next month, according to leaked information shared today on Reddit and by 9to5Mac.


The updated bands appear to have more distinct ridges that do not extend to the edge of the band and for some colors, accent edging in a different color. The photos shared on Reddit depict the bands in brown with two colors of accent edging, red, orange, black, and blue. Rather than fastening with a loop, the redesigned version uses magnets to close.


It's not clear why Apple would redesign the existing Leather Loop band, which has been available since the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015. The new models could offer improved breathability, better water resistance, or both, and Apple could perhaps expand availability to smaller ‌Apple Watch‌ models.

Current Leather Loop bands only fit the 44mm ‌Apple Watch‌, and the leaked images seem to depict two sizes. There's also a possibility that the Leather Loop bands will continue to exist and that these bands are something else, as they don't have a loop design.


The person who shared the images on Reddit says they're from a local shop in Vietnam that called the bands "experimental units for the next generation of ‌Apple Watch‌." 9to5Mac says that it was also contacted by a tipster with similar images and that source said the new ‌Apple Watch‌ bands could be unveiled as soon as next month, perhaps during Apple's WWDC announcements and product releases.


Apple often refreshes ‌Apple Watch‌ band colors alongside major events, so it would not be unusual for new band colors and options to come out in the summer.


There's no word on when these bands will come out nor is it clear if these are actually Apple-designed bands or if they're a faked version, so we'll have to wait to see if Apple actually ends up releasing them.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Sonnet today announced the upcoming launch of its Fusion Flex J3i internal drive mount for the 2019 Mac Pro, which lets users add up to three SATA storage drives to their machines.


Sonnet isn't the only company to launch an internal drive mount for the new ‌Mac Pro‌, and Apple itself sells Promise's Pegasus J2i system that lets you add two drives, but Sonnet says it's the first to let users add three drives right inside the ‌Mac Pro‌ and connected directly via SATA.


The Fusion Flex J3i offers two slots that can accept either 3.5-inch hard disk drives or 2.5-inch SSDs, and a third slot that accepts a 2.5-inch SSD, allowing for a total of 36TB of additional internal storage.

Storage installed via the Fusion Flex J3i won't be as fast as the main NVMe SSDs at the heart of the ‌Mac Pro‌ or PCIe-based storage upgrades, especially if you're using traditional hard disk drives, but if you're a user who wants to prioritize storage space and simplicity over drive speed, Sonnet's Fusion Flex J3i might be worth checking out.


The Fusion Flex J3i includes the mount, required power/data cable assemblies, and mounting brackets to fit 2.5-inch drives into the 3.5-inch drive slots, but the drives themselves are sold separately. It will be priced at $199.99 and launches on June 15.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Tag: Sonnet
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Buy Now)

Skullcandy today announced a series of four new wireless headphones that include Tile's Bluetooth tracking technology. The headphones are called the Push Ultra ($99.99), Indy Evo ($79.99), Indy Fuel ($99.99), and Sesh Evo ($59.99).


The Push Ultra headphones are one of the more expensive Skullcandy headphones launching today, with 40 hours of battery life, a wireless charging case, IP67 sweat and water resistance, and an over-ear hook design similar to the Powerbeats Pro. Each earbud includes playback and volume controls, and the earhooks are moldable to conform better to your ears.


For every model of the new headphones, Skullycandy built each earbud to act as an individual Tile, allowing users to find the left or right earbud individually if they are lost. Skullcandy users will have access to some Tile Premium features, including extended location history and smart alerts.

Additionally, the Skullcandy headphones can be found when they are inside of their charging cases, which can not be done with Apple's AirPods. Apple does offer its own solution to lost AirPods with the "Find My" app, which can locate a pair of lost AirPods if they are lost together outside of the charging case in a nearby location.

The Skullcandy headphones are available on the company's website, starting at $59.99.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

The popular YouTube Kids app is now available on Apple TV, making it easier to access the platform's kid-friendly video content on bigger screens.


YouTube Kids uses a combination of automated filters, human review, and parent feedback to offer a safer environment for kids to watch videos. Parental controls offer additional customization, from allowing only parent-approved collections to be viewed and age-level ratings, to screen time limitations and video/channel blocking.

Even with the filtering and curation in place, YouTube has faced criticism for allowing some inappropriate content onto the YouTube Kids platform, and the company has pledged to improve its policies and procedures to be more strict. Early on, the service was also criticized for targeting children with advertising, with YouTube making some changes to help provide better distinction between ads and video content.

As noted by Engadget, YouTube Kids is compatible with both 4K and HD models of Apple TV, and it works with Siri.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Mac users in India now have the option of custom configuring their machines, offering significantly greater options as Apple seeks to increase its presence in the country, reports TechCrunch.

¡°This is a very huge deal,¡± said Preshit Deorukhkar, a Mumbai-based executive who closely tracks Apple development. ¡°Previously, there was no real way to get a built-to-order or configure-to-order Mac in India. So you were stuck with the base models ¡ª say a Mac Mini or 13¡å MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM. Now that the company is officially offering this, you get the computer you want and the standard warranty on it.¡±

Customers looking to purchase a built-to-order Mac in India may, however, have to wait a while to receive their orders, as TechCrunch says it is aiming to fulfill orders within four to five weeks.

Apple has been seeking to expand both sales and protection in India, which has so far been relatively untapped by the company. Sales of Apple products have long been limited to third-party resellers in India, but recently loosened restrictions have allowed Apple to move forward with plans to sell directly to customers. Apple is reportedly set to begin online sales in India later this year, and the company has been scouting for retail store locations in the country.

Apple's manufacturing partners currently have relatively small operations in the country, largely focused on older iPhones, but Apple is said to be very interested in expanding production.

Tag: India

Woot's newest refurbished sale has a collection of older iPhone models at a discounted price. This includes the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, and iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5 and 5c were included in the sale, but have already sold out.

Note: apphomeonline is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Specifically, prices start at $39.99 for the 16GB iPhone 5s, and rise to $129.99 for the 16GB iPhone 6s Plus. There are multiple storage options and colors for each iPhone, and all models are refurbished.

Woot has inspected all of its refurbished iPhones, and they are expected to have moderate levels of wear and tear, including scratches dents, and dings. Otherwise, they will be in full working condition and batteries are tested to work at minimum 85 percent capacity.

In a separate sale, Woot is offering a brand new iPhone XS Max for as low as $699.99 (64GB, Space Gray). The retailer also has 256GB and 512GB models on sale, and all models are fully unlocked.

Be sure to check out the full Woot sale before it ends later tonight. If you're shopping for more iPhone discounts, we track all of the best deals that carriers are offering in our dedicated iPhone Deals guide.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Facebook is testing a new app that's designed to help friends and families in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls or set up group calls with up to eight people.


"Catchup," built by Facebook's internal R&D group, differs from other group chat apps, in that the calls are audio-only, not video, and displays users' status to indicate they're available to talk.

Catching up has never been this easy. See who's available and effortlessly join one-on-one and group calls. Never play phone tag or make an appointment to call someone again. Keep in touch more, think about it less. Any time you're free to talk, CatchUp!

According to TechCrunch, the app appears to take cues from the recently highly popular Houseparty app. For its part, Facebook says the app was built so that people can make calls when they know the other person is free, because not knowing is "one of the key reasons people no longer make phone calls."


CatchUp won't need a Facebook account to use the service ¡ª the app works with your phone's contacts list. The app also gives users privacy settings so they can control who can join 1-on-1 and group calls.

Catchup is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV.


The service is available as a native app on the ?‌Apple TV‌? HD and ?‌Apple TV‌? 4K, but second and third-generation ?‌Apple TV‌? owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content from an iOS device to the TV to watch.

New HBO Max customers who have an ?‌iPhone‌?, ?‌Apple TV‌?, ?‌iPad‌?, or Mac will be able to subscribe to the service, priced at $14.99 per month, using in-app purchases on Apple devices.

HBO Max feature more than 10,000 hours of programming, and costs $14.99 per month during the first year. In 2021, WarnerMedia also plans to launch an ad-supported version of the service that is more affordable.

Tag: HBO Max