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The differences between Apple and Google were clearly on display this month at their respective developer conference keynotes. Where WWDC 2014 left viewers entertained and wanting more, Google I/O effectively bored everyone to death with a nearly three-hour event that retreaded a lot of the same ground while failing to offer a compelling reason for Android Wear smartwatches to exist in the first place. But there was plenty of other news on Wednesday, and we've rounded it up right here...
If you've been waiting for cloud-based antenna service Aereo to come to your neck of the woods, the wait just got longer. On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Aereo's use of over-the-air television signals runs afoul of broadcasters' copyrights, a decision which CEO and founder Chet Kanojia called "a massive setback for the American consumer" and "a chilling message to the technology industry." Aereo technology uses tiny antennas to capture free, over-the-air HDTV signals and deliver them to customers with an innovative DVR service for only $8 per month. Despite the major setback, Kanojia claims Aereo "will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”
Loop announced Wednesday availability for the LoopPay ChargeCase, a case for the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s that provides not only extra battery juice for Apple's latest handsets, but also the ability to leave the credit cards at home and pay with a tap at thousands of standard payment terminals, no NFC required. Loop says the ChargeCase offers 60 percent more power than the standard iPhone battery, and once depleted will still allow more than 100 mobile transactions. Available in black or white for $99, the LoopPay ChargeCase also includes a LoopPay Fob (normally $39) for a limited time.
While most of the Google I/O keynote news yesterday wasn't relevant to Mac or iOS users, the search giant spent a chunk of time going over changes to Google Drive. With more than 190 million active users, the service finally offers native Microsoft Office file support — no more having to convert Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents prior to use, although a Chrome extension is necessary on the desktop. Along with updated mobile apps for Docs and Sheets, Google Slides is also now available for Android, and will be winging its way into the App Store "in the coming weeks."
Apple accessory maker Macally unleashed a volley of new peripherals this week, starting with the new 5200mAh portable battery charger, MEGAPOWER52. Available next week for $39.99, the large-capacity rechargeable battery is capable of charging up an iPhone twice, and works with most any USB-powered devices. Also for iPhone users is the $24.99 DMOUNT, a twist-and-lock suction-cup mount for car dashboards; Macally is also releasing new 3-foot and 10-foot Lightning to USB cables available in black or white starting at $14.99. On the MacBook front, the KBGUARD protective cover will keep dust and spills away from your Apple notebook in stylish blue, pink, black, or clear for a mere $14.99.
Barnes & Noble announced more dismal financials on Wednesday, along with news that the NOOK Media business will be splintered off onto its own, separate from the retail side of things. The move will effectively leave NOOK to sink or swim on its own merits without a lifeline, a precarious move now that the onetime Kindle rival appears to have abandoned its own hardware efforts in favor of a partnership with Samsung.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter