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Apple revived MagSafe charging standard, a step towards portless iPhone

28th October 2020
"Forget 5G, now MagSafe could be the biggest reason to buy an iPhone 12"

Apple revived one of its more beloved technologies, MagSafe, at its annual iPhone reveal on Tuesday, showing off a new line of smartphones with magnets built into the back for fast and sturdy connections to wireless chargers, snap-on cases, and other accessories.

While the old MagSafe was a safety feature for charging laptops without worrying about damaging your machine when the cord was ripped out, the new MagSafe is a savvy, smartphone-centric accessory play for Apple. It lets the company build a new gadget ecosystem for the iPhone that it controls entirely, just like Lightning and Apple’s other proprietary ports and cables, while also offering tangible benefits like faster 15W charging.

But while MagSafe now seems like a nice complementary feature to the newly announced iPhones, it paves the way for Apple to make magnetic wireless charging the centerpiece for how we charge all of our devices going forward. Just look at the company’s new MagSafe Duo Charger, a wireless charging stand for both the Apple Watch and iPhone, or Belkin’s even more robust (and also outlandish-looking) MagSafe 3-in-1 charger that lets you charge an Apple Watch, AirPods, and an iPhone all at once. Both seem to nudge us closer to a world in which the iPhone doesn’t need to support Lightning charging or any kind of wired charging whatsoever.

And Apple is rumored to be working on a portless iPhone for just that reason. Removing the port would mean Apple could avoid — if it wanted to — transitioning its smartphone line over to the USB-C standard it now uses on MacBooks and higher-end iPads. It would also allow the company to make devices even thinner, using the same logic it employed when it removed the headphone jack.

Waterproofing could become even more effective with fewer holes in your phone, especially if Apple can convince us (and cellular carriers) to embrace an embedded SIM card instead of including a SIM slot on each phone. With MagSafe, Apple could present an alternative way to charge your phone entirely through wireless charging and whatever cables and adapters it may come up with to solve your on-the-go charging needs.

But Apple is known to at least make an effort to offer a consumer benefit in exchange for eschewing universal standards or making a widely anti-consumer product choice. In this case, full investment in MagSafe does seem like it would have some very real quality-of-life improvements to owning the iPhone, even if it did involve some serious habit changes for iPhone owners.

For one, wireless charging is simply easier and less cumbersome than plugging in a cable, and even more so when magnets are involved so you don’t have to adjust the device’s positioning to ensure the charger activates. MagSafe also presents situations like using your phone in bed without worrying about bending or breaking a cable or damaging the phone’s port.

Plus, the sheer variety and utility of accessorizing you can now do thanks to built-in magnets on the back of the iPhone are exciting. The snap-on wallet and red leather charging case Apple is making are just a couple of the countless potential accessories we can imagine. Think of magnetic snap-on zoom lenses or bundles of cases that can attach magnetically and don’t need to be forcefully ripped off your phone if you want to swap one for another. PopSocket, the leading maker of removable grips for iPhones, is surely fast at work on MagSafe-ready versions of its products.

But MagSafe won’t really shine unless Apple gives it the spotlight, and doing that by making a portless iPhone seems much more likely after yesterday’s announcement. The big questions, however, are whether consumers will find it as hostile as removing the headphone jack and whether Apple can convince enough of us that it really will make our life better to outweigh the inconvenience of ditching all the cables, chargers, and other accessories we keep accumulating every time the iPhone undergoes a change.

Source: Thverge


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Compiled by : Swekshya Rajbhandari Swekshya Rajbhandari

Apple previews new iPhone software, changes to Mac chips

24th October 2020
"Apple on Monday provided a glimpse at upcoming software changes designed to make the iPhone even easier to use and also announced a long-anticipated shift to a new type of chip to power its line of Mac computers."

Apple on Monday provided a glimpse at upcoming software changes designed to make the iPhone even easier to use and also announced a long-anticipated shift to a new type of chip to power its line of Mac computers.

The preview of the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, known as iOS 14, highlighted Apple’s annual conference for computer programmers and mobile app makers. The event, which was delayed for three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, took place in virtual form via a webcast from the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

In recognition of the pandemic, Apple’s next iPhone operating system will include an option to put a face mask on a personalized emoji. Upgraded software for the Apple Watch will also detect when wearers wash their hands.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off Monday’s session with remarks that acknowledged the nationwide protests triggered by George Floyd’s death last month at the hands of Minneapolis police, as well as the social and business challenges posed by the worst pandemic in a century.

But most of the presentation revolved around an array of new features that, for instance, could help iPhone users manage their apps better, find new ones, and use their phones to unlock and start their cars remotely. (Though that last feature will initially only be available for a 2021 BMW model.)

Apple also promised an upgraded version of its digital assistant Siri intended to make it smarter and less cumbersome, helping it fend off rival voice-activated concierges made by Google and Amazon.

Apple also said its Mac computers will begin using its own chips as it phases our the Intel processors that have powered the machines for the past 15 years. Some Macs will have the Apple chips before the end of the year, but the full transition away from Intel chips won’t be completed until 2022.

There had been speculation that Apple would unveil apps that rely on augmented reality, or AR, a technology that melds digitally projected images with the real world. Although Cook has been hyping AR has the next big wave in technology, it hasn’t caught on in the mainstream yet and Apple didn’t drop any new bombshells about it during Monday’s event. Instead, the company disclosed a few relatively minor features in its AR platform for iPhones and iPads in a written summary.

Apple is widely believed to be working on an AR headset and internet-connected glasses that could be released in the next two to three years. True to its secretive nature, Apple hasn’t disclosed any plans for its own line of AR devices.

The company gave no indication whether the pandemic-driven disruptions in work in the factories that make iPhone parts will delay the release of the next model. The company typically unveils its next iPhones in early September and then starts selling them toward the end of the month.

Analysts believe the release of the iPhone 12 will be come later than usual, but are expecting it still will be on sale well before the pivotal holiday shopping season. Earlier this month, the CEO of chip maker Broadcom, Hock Tan, told analysts he expected a delay in the production of a product made by a major North American smartphone maker. Broadcom is a major supplier for the iPhone.

Apple is expected to roll out as many as four different iPhone 12 models this year, including its first version that will be able to work on the next generation of ultrafast wireless networks known as 5G.

Investors are betting heavily that Apple could emerge even stronger from the pandemic and the associated recession. The company’s stock hit a new all-time high Monday before closing at $358.87 — a gain of 22% so far this year that gives Apple a market value to give the company a market value of more than $1.5 trillion.

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Compiled by : Samana Maharjan Samana Maharjan

New Apple Privacy Rules for its Mobile Devices

27th October 2020
"iOS 14 is designed to protect people’s privacy."

Facebook is pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices — and putting app developers in the middle.

Apple will soon require apps to ask users for permission to collect data on what devices they are using and to let ads follow them around on the internet. The social network said Wednesday that those rules could reduce what apps can earn by advertising through Facebook’s audience network.

Facebook said it expects “less impact” on its own advertising revenue than on the ad-supported businesses that rely on its audience network to promote their apps. The audience network allows Facebook and Instagram advertisers to place their ads elsewhere on the internet.

Apple says the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 14, is designed to protect people’s privacy. It will require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using a unique code that identifies their iPhones and iPads. The update is due later this fall.

Facebook said that because of this change, it will no longer collect the identifier for advertisers on its own apps for iOS 14 devices. It is also asking businesses to create new ad accounts dedicated solely to running ads for apps for iOS 14 users in order to comply with Apple’s new rules.

Apple, on the other hand, said it is intent on giving people more choice over how they want to be tracked by companies on the internet — and the ability to say no if they don’t.

David Chavern, CEO of the news-publisher trade group News Media Alliance, said the change is “more annoying than material.” But he added that it could still cost publishers money by making ads on their apps less valuable to advertisers.

The annoying part comes from the loss of revenue at a time when all revenue is important, and the unilateral nature of Apple’s decision,” he said. “They decide and the rest of the world just has to adapt.

Source:AP

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Apple announces iPhone 12 mini 5G phones

27th October 2020
"Apple claims it’s the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G phone in the world."

Apple is announcing a new iPhone 12 mini today. It’s the first time Apple has used the “mini” moniker on its iPhone line, after using it on the iPod mini, iPad mini, and Mac mini previously. The new iPhone 12 mini has a 5.4-inch screen, which means Apple has squeezed a larger display than the 4.7-inch screen found on this year’s iPhone SE into an iPhone 12 mini handset that’s smaller overall.

Apple has made the $729 iPhone 12 mini smaller by removing Touch ID and replacing it with Face ID, alongside a significant reduction in bezels around the display. Apple claims it’s the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G phone in the world.

Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 mini uses Apple’s A14 Bionic, a 5nm chip with better energy efficiency and performance than the A13. It includes a six-core CPU (two high and four low) that Apple claims are 50 percent faster than the A13 chip. It also includes a four-core GPU, which Apple claims will enable “console-quality games.”

The iPhone 12 mini shares the rest of the main iPhone 12 specs and design, too. The iPhone 12 mini has flat aluminum sides that now match the iPad Pro and iPad Air (and are similar to the iPhone 4 from 10 years ago).

The shared specs include a 12-megapixel f/1.6 main camera — the fastest aperture in any iPhone yet — and a 12MP ultrawide. Apple has improved low-light performance on the iPhone 12 mini, and the front-facing camera will also include its own Night Mode.

The display glass on the iPhone 12 mini is also coated with what Apple describes as a “Ceramic Shield” for better durability. Water and dust resistance has also been improved to an IP68 rating.

Apple is also using the new MagSafe magnet system on the iPhone 12 mini. It supports wireless chargers (including Qi-enabled devices), case accessories, and even leather wallets that all snap onto the rear of the device.

Apple’s iPhone 12 mini is priced starting at $729 and will be available in five color options: blue, green, black, white, and red, Preorders for the iPhone 12 mini will begin on November 6th at 5AM PT / 8AM ET, with the handset shipping on November 13th.

Correction: Apple originally announced the iPhone 12 Mini would cost $699. The MSRP is actually $729. That lower price only applies after a $30 discount from specific carriers.

Source:verge


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