Foxconn Acquires Popular Accessory Maker Belkin Along With Linksys and Wemo

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Foxconn is best known as an Apple supplier that assembles Apple’s devices and supplies components to the Cupertino-based company, but as of today, it’s taking over a major Apple accessory maker.

Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT), a Foxconn subsidiary, today announced that it has acquired Belkin International in a deal that’s worth $866 million. The acquisition includes the Belkin brand along with Linksys, Wemo, and Phyn, other companies owned by Belkin.

One of Belkin’s recently introduced wireless charging accessories

The acquisition will allow Foxconn Interconnect Technology to “further tap into premium accessories and the smart home market.” The deal is also expected to expand Belkin’s presence both in the United States and “key markets globally.”

“FIT is excited to acquire Belkin and its capabilities in the premium consumer products space,” said Sidney Lu, CEO, FIT. “Integrating Belkin’s best-in-class capabilities and solutions into FIT, we expect to enrich our portfolio of premium consumer products and accelerate our penetration into the smart home.”

“This move will accelerate our vision of delivering technology that makes the lives of people around the world better, more convenient and more fulfilling. I am thrilled to take our brand portfolio of Belkin, Linksys, Wemo and Phyn to new heights,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO and founder, Belkin International. “We see significant synergies with FIT, including leveraging its world-class manufacturing capability to enhance Belkin’s operating efficiency and competitiveness. The transaction also grants us access to more resources to invest in our people and to aggressively pursue opportunities in the marketplace.”

Under the Belkin brand, Belkin offers a wide range of iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch cases, cables, adapters, wireless chargers, and more, while the Wemo brand offers HomeKit-compatible home automation devices. Through Linksys, Belkin sells wireless routers and similar accessories, and the Phyn brand offers a smart water assistant for monitoring for leaks.

All of the Belkin-owned brands will continue to operate as subsidiaries under Foxconn Interconnect Technology.

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26 of the 115 most popular VPNs are secretly keeping tabs on you

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A recent investigation into 115 of the world’s most popular VPN services revealed that many are antithetical to their stated claims. To build trust, providers make promises not to track users through logs or other identifying information. But as a popular VPN comparison site found out, this isn’t always true. The Best VPN recently peeked under the hood of over 100 of the biggest VPN services. All told, 26 of them collect three or more important log files that could contain personal and identifying information — things like your IP address, location, bandwidth data, and connection timestamps. For VPN users,…

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CDs and vinyl are more popular than digital downloads once again

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Streaming music is taking over the recording industry, and there’s no clearer sign of it than this: digital download sales have fallen so much in the past few years that they’re now smaller than sales of CDs, vinyl, and other physical media, which hasn’t been the case since 2011.

The stats, which come from the RIAA’s newly released 2017 year end report, show that digital downloads fell to $ 1.3 billion last year, whereas physical media, while also falling, only declined to $ 1.5 billion.

Of course, both pale in comparison to revenue brought in from streaming, which has taken over the music industry in recent years. In 2016, the music industry made more than half of its revenue from streaming for the first time, and that growth continued…

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Popular iPad Drawing App ‘Linea Sketch’ Gets Major Feature Update

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Popular iPad sketching app Linea from The Iconfactory has been renamed to Linea Sketch and updated with multiple new features in 2.0 update that was released this morning.

There are new Templates and Grids in the app, including Notepad options with wide and narrow rules for note taking and new storyboarding templates. Existing app design templates have been updated for Apple’s newest devices, and there is a new small dot grid available.


The previous version of Linea was limited to landscape mode, but the new update adds support for portrait orientation so you can draw in either landscape or portrait modes. New sketches are created using the iPad’s current orientation, and all templates support the new portrait orientation.

Images can now be imported from the camera, photo library, clipboard, or a file browser app, and imported images can be added to a layer for editing or tracing.

There’s also a new ZipLine tool for creating straight lines and polygons, a new scissors tool for creating selections in the Layers panel, and support for new gestures. You can resize selections by dragging with the orange handles or rotate using two fingers.

Linea Sketch supports several iOS 11 features following the update, including Drag and Drop and Split View multitasking, which allows it to be used alongside another app.

Linea Sketch can be downloaded from the App Store for $4.99 for a limited time, a 50 percent discount off of the regular price. [Direct Link]
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Swift cracks list of the most popular coding languages in the world

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Apple’s Swift programming language it continuing its ascent through the coding ranks. According to a new quarterly ranking by developer-focused analyst firm RedMonk, Swift has entered the top 10 programming languages as indicated on GitHub and Stack Overflow. The rest of the top 10 (from no. 1 through no. 9) is comprised of JavaScript, Java, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Vimeo turned popular internet films into an art exhibition

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It was hard to leave Westworld at SXSW, but it had to be done. Thankfully, the show here in Austin is full of other tech-themed places to check out. One of them is Vimeo's "The Decade," an art exhibition that turns popular internet films into immersi…
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Dozens of Popular Apps Still Don’t Natively Support iPhone X, But Updates Are Coming Soon

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One of the minor disadvantages of buying an iPhone X early is having to wait for developers to update their apps with support for the smartphone’s taller display. Many popular apps were updated within a few weeks after the device launched, but over four months later, there are still some notable omissions.


MacRumors recently asked our readers to share their favorite apps that have yet to be optimized for the iPhone X display. Then, we reached out to the developers of each app to ask them if and when they will release updates with iPhone X support. We’ve included comments from every company that responded below.

Apple

Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

  • iMovie
  • iTunes Connect
  • iTunes Remote
  • Beats Pill+
  • AirPort Utility
  • Music Memos

Google

Google said it does not have anything to share at this time.

  • Google Authenticator
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Admin
  • Google Street View
  • Google Wifi
  • Google Cloud Console
  • Inbox by Gmail
  • Chrome Remote Desktop
  • Snapseed

Microsoft

Microsoft confirmed it is working on updating its remaining apps to be optimized for the iPhone X, but it did not provide a timeframe.

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
  • Office 365 Admin

Banking and Finance

  • Chase — “We constantly evaluate changes in the market while listening to customer feedback and regularly update our mobile app based on that feedback. Watch for an update in the near future.”
  • TD Canada — “The next release of the TD mobile app, expected later this month, will be optimized for the iPhone X display.”
  • National Bank of Canada — “The app will be updated for iPhone X in the coming months.”
  • HSBC
  • ANZ goMoney Australia
  • Barclaycard

Fast Food

  • Domino’s — “It will be updated in one of our upcoming app updates. I don’t have an exact date.”
  • Pizza Hut — “Pizza Hut is currently developing numerous app enhancements, including optimizing the iPhone X display and other capabilities offered by the phone.”
  • Taco Bell

Sports and Gaming

  • NBC Sports — “It will happen soon.”
  • PGA TOUR — “We are updating our app on March 20 to support the new iPhone X format.”
  • MLS
  • Steam
  • Hearthstone
  • Candy Crush Soda Saga

TV and Media

  • NPR News — “We will have an update for iPhone X for the NPR News app on April 2.”
  • NPR One — “The update for NPR One will come later in the summer.”
  • The Economist
  • IGN
  • TiVo
  • Cineplex

Technology

  • Amazon Alexa — “The Alexa app will be updated and optimized for iPhone X display in the coming weeks.”
  • Linksys — “The update for the Linksys app for iPhone X will be rolling out in the next few days.”
  • OpenVPN — “We are currently developing a new iOS app that will support iPhone X. It will tentatively be released end of April.”
  • HipChat — “HipChat will not be updated for the iPhone X but Stride will be soon.”
  • Harmony Control

Airlines and Travel

  • Hotels.com — “We will be releasing our update to better support iPhone X shortly.”
  • Virgin Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Air France
  • myChevrolet

Apple recently announced that, starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store, including universal apps, must support the iPhone X display. The rule doesn’t apply to existing apps.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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iCleaner Pro Beta: Popular iOS System Cleaner And Optimizer For iOS 11 Released

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The beta version of iCleaner Pro, one of the most popular jailbreak tweaks has been released for iOS 11 for jailbreakers who have jailbroken their iOS device using Electra iOS 11 jailbreak.  Continue reading
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Popular Camera App ‘Halide’ Gains Portrait Mode Support, New Depth Effects

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Popular camera app Halide, which provides iPhone users with more control when taking pictures with their iPhones, today received a major update that introduces several new features.

Photos with Portrait effects are now available in the Halide app, with Halide incorporating a mix of smart facial detection and point of interest detection to create Portrait mode photos with background blur effects.


Portrait Mode is combined with a new “Depth Peaking” feature that’s designed to show an outline of the camera’s 3D space when capturing a photo that uses depth effects. A new Portrait Preview mode will also show a preview of what Portrait effects will look like when turned on.


All depth-enabled photos captured with Halide can be viewed using a new 3D photo viewer, allowing users to “walk around and through” captured scenes to see depth in a new way.

On the iPhone X, Halide now offers support for the front-facing TrueDepth camera, offering a new set of depth tools for taking selfies with Portrait effects within the Halide app. The front-facing camera also supports Depth Peaking and can allow users to export depth maps to be loaded in other image editors.


In addition to these new features, Halide 1.7 offers faster photo capture times, better responsiveness, and a quicker startup time, along with new design features and support for opening photos in the Darkroom photo editing app with a single touch.

To celebrate the launch of the new version of Halide, the app is discounted to $2.99 for the next 48 hours. [Direct Link]

Tag: Halide

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Why Refurbished Phones Are More Popular Than Anyone Ever Expected

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Smartphone vendors like Apple, Samsung and and LG continue, year after year, to release newer, more advanced devices than the ones they’re intended to replace. But while all the new bells and whistles and next-gen enhancements may appeal to those pocket-stacked consumers who simply ‘gotta have it when it’s hot’, data released by CounterPoint Research, […]
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