Zagg Aims to Expand Into Battery Cases With Mophie Acquisition

Accessory maker Zagg, known for its InvisibleShield screen protectors and other Apple-related accessories, today announced an acquisition of mophie, a company that makes external battery packs and battery cases for Apple’s iOS devices.

According to a press release from Zagg, its acquisition of mophie will allow it to be the market share leader when it comes to battery cases, external batteries, screen protection, and tablet keyboards. Zagg has paid $100 million at deal closing for mophie, with a caveat that additional money may be paid out based on earnings over a 12 month period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

„This strategic combination of two industry innovators with complementary product, brand and distribution platforms will enable us to deliver increased value for our customers and shareholders,“ said Randy Hales, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZAGG. „We see numerous opportunities to drive revenue growth and increase profitability by leveraging the strengths of both organizations to strengthen product development, improve brand presence, and expand distribution.“

Going forward, Zagg will keep the mophie brand intact, continuing to sell mophie products under the mophie brand name. Zagg says mophie will retain its identity, messaging, and strategy, but cross-branded protects, like a Zagg tablet keyboard powered by a mophie battery, are possible in the future.

Tags: Mophie, Zagg
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CES 2016: Zagg Debuts Mobile Charging Station for iPhone and Apple Watch

Zagg is debuting several products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, including a Mobile Charging Station designed as an at home and on-the-go solution for charging an Apple Watch and an iPhone.

The Mobile Charging Station is designed to accommodate and charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time while also wrangling the necessary cables. It includes a pop-up base for charging the Apple Watch, which works with both open and closed loop bands.

Inside the Mobile Charging Station, there’s an area for winding up excess cable to provide a neat, organized solution for travel. The Mobile Charging Station has a built-in 5,000mAh battery inside, so it’s also able to charge devices even when not connected to a power source. While a Lightning cable is included, customers will need to supply their own Apple Watch charger.

Zagg’s other CES offerings include the $100 Flex Arc wearable earbuds and speaker and the $130 Now Cam. The Flex Arc is worn around the neck like a collar and has retractable earbuds. An external microphone and speaker allow music or calls to be heard without using the earbuds.

The iPhone-connected Now Cam is a rugged, waterproof action camera for capturing photos and videos, similar to a GoPro. Designed for „social video,“ it can take 720p video or standard photos, and it has a 6-second capture and share feature.

Zagg’s Mobile Charging Station will be available for purchase from the Zagg website at the end of January. It is priced at $79.99.

Tags: Zagg, CES 2016, Zagg Mobile Charging Station
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Zagg Review: The Messenger Universal Keyboard for iPad Pro Is a Good Value, but Has a Few Drawbacks

When the iPad Pro launched, Zagg had a third-party keyboard ready to go for the device – the Messenger Universal, an affordable universal keyboard designed to fit a wide range of tablets as large as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

As a simple universal keyboard, it has the benefit of being readily available for purchase and it’s relatively cheap compared to other options, but there are some definite downsides to the Messenger Universal that may prevent it from being a viable option for some people.

Rather than taking advantage of the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro, the Messenger Universal connects over Bluetooth like any traditional Bluetooth keyboard, pairing via the Settings app on the iPad Pro. I had no problems with setup and there were no loss-of-connection issues during my time testing the keyboard.

The Messenger Universal consists of a magnetic Smart Cover-style flap that props up the iPad and an accompanying full-sized keyboard. It doesn’t double as a case or a cover for the iPad like the Logitech CREATE or Apple’s own Smart Keyboard – it’s strictly a keyboard and a stand. Because it’s made for a range of different devices, the Messenger Universal can be paired with other tablets and smartphones in addition to the iPad Pro.

When not in use, the keyboard folds up folio style with the cover portion protecting the keys, so it’s fairly compact for travel. It is as wide as the iPad Pro at 12 inches, so it’s going to take up a fair amount of space in a bag or backpack, and it’s also just over a half an inch thick. The outside cover of the keyboard is a soft water-resistant material that’ll protect the keyboard from rain and spills, and the keyboard itself is made from a lightweight plastic.

The Messenger Universal is positioned as a budget keyboard, so don’t expect premium materials or bells and whistles – it feels like a keyboard that costs $70. It’s not flimsy and it doesn’t feel like a product that’s going to fall apart, but its build quality doesn’t measure up to some of the other iPad Pro keyboards available on the market.

My biggest issue with the Zagg Messenger Universal is the angle at which it holds the iPad Pro. Compared to other keyboards, the viewing angle when typing is positioned too far back. I don’t know how other people angle their screens when typing, but mine is not so far back as to be almost hard to see. I found the angle of the Zagg Messenger Universal to be uncomfortable for me, which was a deal breaker.

Zagg Messenger Universal angle

With most Bluetooth keyboards there are multiple angles to work with to meet different needs and preferences, but the Zagg Messenger Universal only has one. The cover can be folded in two ways, but both angles are essentially the same. The iPad Pro can, however, be positioned in landscape or portrait mode on the Messenger Universal’s built-in stand.

Apple Smart Keyboard angle

Because the iPad Pro is held in place with just the folded cover of the Messenger Universal, it’s not sturdy. The stand and keyboard worked fine on a flat surface, but in my lap, it was unstable. I wouldn’t recommend this as a keyboard to use on the couch or in other areas where you don’t have a flat surface to work with – there’s too much wobbling.

Typing experience is one of the most important factors with any iPad keyboard, and this is an area where I had no complaints. There’s a full sized keyboard that’s as easy to type on as a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro keyboard, and I had no problems transitioning from a MacBook to the Messenger Universal. My typing speed remained the same and the keys had enough travel that each press felt satisfying under my fingers. Because the keyboard is made of plastic it’s louder and more „clicky“ than some other iPad keyboards, but overall, it offers a typing experience that most MacBook users will be satisfied with.

As with most third-party iPad keyboards, there is a row of special function keys included that do things like go to the Home screen, lock the iPad, open the app switcher, open a search, take a screenshot, and control sound and media playback. The dedicated screenshot key is a nifty feature that’s not on a lot of iPad keyboards, but it does come at the expense of dedicated buttons for controlling screen brightness.

The Zagg Messenger Universal is battery powered and will require charging every few months using an included micro-USB cable. Power can be turned off using a button at the side, but the keyboard will also go to sleep when its cover is closed.

Bottom Line

At $70, the Zagg Messenger Universal is a lot less expensive than more sophisticated iPad Pro keyboards like the Smart Keyboard or the Logitech Create, but it’s also a basic entry-level option that has a few downsides. While the keyboard itself offers a solid typing experience, the single oddly tilted viewing angle may be unappealing to some users and the cover that holds the iPad Pro in place can be unstable at times, especially in a lap.

As just a keyboard, it doesn’t offer any additional protection for the iPad Pro like other options, and since it’s the same size as the iPad Pro, it doesn’t offer benefits like superior portability. It’s essentially on par with many third-party standalone Bluetooth keyboards, some of which are less expensive. A slim standalone keyboard paired with an iPad Pro case or Smart Cover is an option that’s just as viable as the Zagg Messenger Universal.

Zagg has another iPad Pro keyboard coming out in the near future, which is tailored specifically for Apple’s larger tablet and could be worth waiting for. Right now, there are limited options for iPad Pro keyboard solutions, but over the next few months, available products should expand quite a bit.

Pros:

Light weight

Affordable

Good key feel

Works with all iPads/iPhones

Cons:

Single viewing angle

Viewing angle is too far back

No backlighting

Cover stand isn’t sturdy for lap use

How to Buy

The Messenger Universal can be purchased from the Zagg website for $69.99.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Tags: review, Zagg, Zagg Messenger Universal
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Cyber Monday Sales Now Live for Macs, iPads, Accessories and More

For those that missed out on Black Friday deals, or remain on the lookout for a few more gift ideas, Cyber Monday offers several online and in-store discounts on a wide range of Apple-related products and accessories. Most deals will remain available through the end of day on Monday, November 30.

Best Buy

Best Buy is offering deals on select Apple products and other electronics online and in stores on Cyber Monday, with free shipping on all orders.

iPhone 6 (16GB) for $1 with activation and Verizon two-year contract

– Up to $150 off select MacBook Air and Retina MacBook models

– Up to $249 off various original iPad Air models

– $70 off Beats Pill 2.0 Bluetooth speakers in various colors

$40 off urBeats earphones and $100 off Beats Studio over-ear headphones

– $100 off iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models with activation and two-year contract

Target

Target is offering 15% off site-wide, with some limitations, using promo code CYBER15 at checkout. The offer is valid on most Apple products, including the Apple Watch, iPad, iPod, Beats headphones, Apple TV and more.

Staples

Staples is offering 20% off iTunes gift cards in the U.S. for $25, $50 and $100 amounts.

$25 iTunes gift card – $20

$50 iTunes gift card – $40

$100 iTunes gift card – $80

The deal expires Saturday, December 5 and includes free shipping to U.S. addresses.

MacMall

For those that missed MacMall’s 60-hour Black Friday sale, the authorized reseller continues to offer Cyber Monday discounts on a huge selection of Macs and iPads.

– Retina MacBook is available for up to $100 off

– Retina MacBook Pro is available for up to $259 off

– MacBook Air is available for up to $100 off

– 21.5-inch iMac is available for up to $100 off

– 27-inch iMac is available for up to $200 off

– Mac mini is available for up to $70 off

– iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi only models are between $21 and $40 off

Twelve South

Twelve South is offering 50% off multiple Mac and iPad accessories with promo code MACMONDAY2015 at checkout, plus a $5 discount on its HiRise for iPhone/Apple Watch Bundle. The offers are valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 30 while supplies last.

MagicWand – $14.99 (regular $29.99)

BookArc möd for MacBook – $29.99 (regular $59.99)

HoverBar for iPad – $29.99 (regular $59.99)

HiRise for iMac – $39.99 (regular $79.99)

HiRise for iPhone / Apple Watch Bundle – $79.99 (regular $84.99)

Lots more Cyber Monday deals ahead…

ZAGG

ZAGG is offering a 50% discount site-wide on Cyber Monday, with some exclusions: InvisibleShield Glass, InvisibleShield Glass Luxe, all Power Amp portable chargers, ZAGG DropGuard, JoltGuard, and ShockGuard cases, and select keyboards.

The offer is valid until Tuesday, December 1 at 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time, with a limit of three discounted products per order. Free shipping is available for orders sent to U.S. addresses.

Griffin

Griffin Technology is offering 30% off nearly site-wide with code CYBERMONDAY, including iPhone and iPad cases, power chargers, cables, stands and other accessories for Apple devices.

The offer is valid until 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Monday, November 30, and excludes the Survivor Summit, Survivor Journey and bundles including NHT Speakers.

Casetify

Casetify, a site that specializes in customizable iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands, is offering up to 30% off site-wide. MacRumors readers can get an extra 10% discount off all products with the promo code MACRUMORS30.

The offer is valid until Tuesday, December 1, and free shipping is available for orders sent to U.S. addresses with promo code ILOVECM at checkout.

Brydge Keyboards

Brydge is offering discounts on a selection of its iPad keyboards. The BrydgeMini for iPad mini is available for $30 off, dropping the price to $99.99, while the BrydgeAir is available for $20 off, dropping the price to $129.99. The Brydge+ for older iPads is also $20 off, dropping the price to $79.99.

Kanex

Kanex is offering up to 60% off its selection of Apple accessories, including a $100 discount on its Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock, dropping the price to $149.95. The Sydnee tablet and smartphone charging station is available for 40% off, dropping the price to $49.95, and the 6,000 mAh GoPower battery pack is available for 60% off, dropping the price to $19.95.

Kanex’s 7-day sale runs through Cyber Monday and includes free ground shipping on U.S. orders.

Nodus

iPhone and iPad cases from Nodus are available at a 25% discount on Cyber Monday with promo code CYBER25 at checkout.

Sonnet

Sonnet is offering up to 96% off select products online for U.S., Canada and Mexico customers, including deals on Thunderbolt adapters and cables.

Speck

Speck is offering 25% off all products site-wide on Cyber Monday, with the exception of sale items. MacBook cases are also 40% off. Free shipping.

Apogee

Apogee Electronics is offering up to 55% off its selection of refurbished products for musicians and audiophiles. This includes significant deals on the Duet, the Quartet, the JAM and more until Tuesday, December 1.

OtterBox

OtterBox is offering up to 40% off on Cyber Monday with free shipping for U.S. orders.

Bluelounge

Bluelounge continues to offer 20% off orders over $40 (promo code 20OFF), 25% off orders over $80 (promo code 25OFF), and 30% off orders over $120 (promo code 30OFF). All bags are also available for 50% off with the promo code 50BAGS. Free shipping on U.S. orders over $40.

Urban Armor Gear

Urban Armor Gear, a site that makes rugged iPad and iPhone cases, is discounting all of its iPhone cases by 25% and all of its tablet cases by 15%. To get the discount on iPhone cases, use the promo code RUGGED25. To get the deal on the iPad cases, use the promo code TOUGH15.

Other Deals

– Walmart is selling the iPad mini 2 (16GB/Wi-Fi) for $199 ($70 off)

Incipio is offering up to 70% off site-wide and has Cyber Monday clearance deals

OWC continues to offer EarPods for $8.75 and deals on Thunderbolt docks

ClamCase Pro keyboard case for iPad Air 2 is $119.99 (regular $149.99)

DODOcase is offering 30% off site-wide with promo code CYBER30

Braven is offering 50% off all speakers for Cyber Monday

Belkin is offering 30% off site-wide using code MONDAYLOVE.

Carved is offering 20% off site-wide using CYBERMONDAY2015. Free U.S. shipping.

– Many apps are on sale or free. Track them at AppShopper.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. Juli Clover contributed to this roundup.

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Video Review: Zagg’s Folio Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Apple has designed a keyboard for its larger-screened 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but for other iPads, such as the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, customers looking for a keyboard solution will need to stick with keyboards created by third-party manufacturers.

Zagg is often a popular choice among iPad users who need a keyboard, so we went hands-on with the Zagg Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2 in our latest video review. The Folio is a thin case that has a built-in keyboard, turning the iPad into a mini laptop.

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We weren’t fans of the construction of the case. It’s made of plastic, with a leather texture added to the top and bottom, but its plastic design makes it fragile. We ended up cracking our review unit when attempting to get the iPad in and out of the case. While Zagg has a replacement program in place for faulty products, we wish this case was made of better materials.

The Folio allows the iPad to be angled into several different viewing positions, and it leaves all of the ports on iPad accessible. It includes a keyboard with backlighting, and while the keyboard is not full-sized, it doesn’t take long to adjust to the smaller keys. The keys felt similar to the keys on a MacBook Pro keyboard and weren’t too mushy or too clicky.

The Zagg Folio Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2 can be purchased from the Zagg website for $99.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.



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Zagg Announces Two Keyboard Cases for iPad Pro

Just a day after Logitech announced the first third-party keyboard case for the iPad Pro, Zagg revealed its keyboard case lineup for Apple’s newest iPad line. However, unlike Logitech’s keyboard, which was developed with Apple and utilizes the new Smart Connector, ZAGG’s cases require a Bluetooth connection.

The first keyboard case for the iPad Pro is the Slim Book Pro, which will retail for $139.99. The iPad Pro’s Slim Book is essentially a larger version of the same keyboard case that’s available for the iPad Air and iPad Mini, which is a keyboard that comes with a detachable case for the iPad. The second case is a new product called the Messenger Universal, which will retail for $69.99. Zagg has not yet detailed how the Messenger Universal works or what it looks like.

Zagg also announced the new line of keyboard cases for the new iPad Mini 4. The Slim Book with backlit keys will retail for $119.99 and be available on September 15. Two Folio cases will be available on September 25, with the backlit keys option available for $99.99 and the non-backlit option available for $79.99.

The Slim Book Pro and Messenger Universal for iPad Pro will both be available for purchase in November. Zagg also hints that it will offer a full range of accessories for both the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4, including InvisibleShield screen protector and power and audio products.



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TYLT’s Energi Wall-Charger Battery Is The Kind Of Smart Tech We’ll Actually Use [CES 2014]

LAS VEGAS — There’re a lot of seemingly brilliant, sexy tech here at CES. razor-precise, slightly annoying miniature flying drones! A case for your iPhone that gives it weird, infra-red Superman eyes! Wonderful. But would we really end up using…Read more ›



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