Apple launches a battery case for iPhone

smart-battery-case

Apple has silently launched a battery case for iPhone 6 and 6s. The case doubles the battery life with a horrible design. 

iPhone 6s Smart Battery case is very similar to the official silicon cases but has an 1877mAh battery built in. It’s more than double of the iPhone 6s battery capacity.

Compared to some third party cases, the official battery case has some advantages and some disadvantages. For example, the Apple case is charged via a Lightning port as the third party cases use USB. The Apple case also redirects the speaker to the front, which is always better than bottom. Unfortunately Apple didn’t add a feature to turn the case off. That means that the iPhone is always charging from the case and user can’t save the juice in the case.

The design is really quite bad. The battery is just thrown to the back of the case and it’s quite bulky. This design could be great for some cheap third party case but this official case costs $99 and carries the official Apple logo. This is yet another design flaw for Apple this year. First the Magic Mouse 2 and Apple Pencil charging solutions and now this.

Source: Apple

iPhone 7 might not have a 3.5mm headphone jack

iphone-6s-headphone-jack

Apple is rumored to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack from the next iPhone. This would allow the phone to be more than a millimeter thinner. 

This year Apple decided to add the 3D Touch to the iPhones and shrink the battery size. According to the rumors, the iPhone 7 would not have a 3.5mm headphone jack to be even thinner. That would also mean smaller battery.

The current iPod Touch is 1mm thinner than the iPhone 6S and it still has a headphone jack. According to the rumors, iPhone 7 would be more than a millimeter thinner than the current iPhone 6S.

To replace the headphone jack, Apple would use the Lightning port and the iPhone 7 would ship with earbuds with a Lightning connector. For 3rd party headphone makers this would not be easy thing. The headphones use analog signal and the Lightning port is digital. The adapter could be quite large and ugly unless the headphones are specially made for the new iPhone and would be incompatible with other devices. Attaching some current headphones to the iPhone 7 would always need an adapter.

Apple is really pushing its limits. We know that many people think that everything Apple does is right but in this case some might make the switch to another smartphone because of the ridiculous quest of thinness. Most of people want battery life, not thinness, especially if it brings things like Lightning headphones.

Source: Macotakara (Japanese)

Photo: iFixit teardown

Apple launches a magnetic charging dock for the Watch

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Apple has released a new official charger for the Apple Watch. The Watch can now be charged in two positions.

The Apple Watch comes with a wireless charger in the box. However third party chargers have been popular as the official charger is just the magnetic knob at the end of a cable. Now the premium company has launched a premium charger for the premium wearable.

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The Watch can be charged in two different positions. The charging pad has the same magnetic knob as the original charger but the pad lays still on the table and just the knob turns. The Watch can be set on top of the charger on its back or on its side. When the Watch is charged in the side position, it automatically goes into Nightstand mode easing its use as an alarm clock.

The Watch Magnetic Charging Dock is priced at $79 and is available now in most markets. According to the Apple website the Lightning cable is included in the box but the USB power adapter isn’t.

Source: Apple

iPad Pro is now available

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Apple has finally launched the iPad Pro. The first reviews are out and the device gets a decent welcome. 

After the release at the iPhone event, the iPad Pro finally launched yesterday. The 12.9″ iPad is available in three configurations, 32GB WiFi ($799), 128GB WiFi ($949) and 128GB WiFi + Cellular ($1079). Color options are the usual Space Gray, Silver and Gold.

The first reviews are mostly positive. The best part is the 12.9″ 2732 x 2048p display. Also the performance is quite spectacular easily beating the 12″ MacBook. The new speakers are said to be OK but the large volume chambers also make the device vibrate on high volume. The Apple Pencil and the keyboard case are not available at launch but the few that have got their hands on the pen have said that the latency is a real issue. iFixit has already gave the iPad Pro their teardown treatment and with it, a 3/10 Repairability Score.

Apple has made great job marketing the iPad Pro as a productivity tablet but the reviews are not agreeing too much. The iOS is not just made for productivity and many reviewers would rather have the OS X running in the huge iPad especially as the performance is not an issue.

iPad Pro is a great device but who needs one? That’s a question we want an answer. Probably it will still sell like crazy as the holidays are coming.

Apple updates iMacs and accessories

 

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Apple has announced the anticipated 21.5″ 4K iMac. All 27″ iMacs now have 5K displays. Apple also updated Mac accessories. 

As expected, Apple has updated the smaller iMac and added the Retina display. The base model still has a Full HD display but there’s now a 4K option. The 4K model’s display has the resolution of 4096×2304 but no dedicated graphics card. Intel’s Core i5 and i7 Broadwell processor options have the integrated Iris Pro Graphics 6200. The 4K model has 16GB of RAM and various storage options.

The 27″ iMac is now only available with the 5K display. The Intel processors are updated to Skylake architecture and RAM can be configured up to 32GB. Graphics are taken care by AMD’s mobile graphics.

mac-accessories

The Mac accessories have been updated as well. With the new accessories, Apple ditches the AA batteries for a rechargeable battery. The Magic Mouse 2 is lighter, has fewer moving parts and the Multi-Touch surface knows ever better what the user intends to do. The keyboard has a new scissor mechanism that adds 33% more key stability and the Trackpad now has Force Touch. All three charge via a Lightning cable.

All the new products are already available. The 21.5″ iMac starts for $1099 for the Full HD model and $1499 for the 4K version. The 27″ model starts at $1799. All the iMacs have the keyboard and mouse or trackpad with them but the accessories can be bought separately. The Magic Mouse 2 costs $79, Keyboard $99 and the Trackpad 2 $129.

Source: Apple Press Release

IPhone 6s chipgate – different chip, different battery life

iphone-6s-battery

A new iPhone, a new “gate”. Apple uses two different chips in the new iPhones. Battery life depends on the chip.

The new iPhones have been out for a while now and we are hearing a lot of complaints. Some say that the device is turning off unexpectedly and Apple has already started replacing those units. Now two great YouTubers have revealed the chipgate.

Austin Evans and Jonathan Morrison just uploaded YouTube videos explaining the chipgate. As it turns out, Apple is using two different chips in their new iPhones, one made by TSMC and one by Samsung. The TSMC one uses 16nm process and is physically larger than the 14nm Samsung chip. As we should all know, the smaller manufacturing process should improve the power efficiency. Now it looks like the Samsung chip is actually using more battery.

The videos are linked below but the main thing is that the iPhone running Samsung chip has slightly worse battery life. In worst case scenario, a synthetic benchmark, the TSMC iPhone lasted almost 50% longer than the Samsung one. In real life, the difference is way smaller but still noticeable. CPU performance is almost equal, Samsung losing by a few percent in multi core test in synthetic benchmarks but matching the TSMC one in real world test.

There’s an easy way to check which chip your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus is running. A free app called Lirum Device Info Lite – System Monitor shows the model number of the iPhone. IPhone 6s with model number N71AP is running Samsung chip as the N71MAP has a TSMC chip. N66AP 6s Plus is the Samsung one and the N66MAP uses the TSMC chip. This might be useful information if Apple decides to replace the units with worse battery life.

It remains to be seen, how Apple reacts to the chipgate and what is the real cause of the worse battery life. Usually the smaller manufacturing process means better battery life but in this case it doesn’t. Is there some optimization issues by Apple or is this Samsung’s fault? Can the problem be fixed via a software update or is replacing the unit the only way? Hopefully we will hear more soon.

Source: Austin Evans – YouTube, Jonathan Morrison – YouTube

IOS 9 is now available, WatchOS 2 delayed

iOS9

The iOS 9 update is now available for iOS devices running iOS 8. Apple has delayed the WatchOS 2 update due to a bug.

Apple has launched the iOS 9 OTA updates. The iOS 9 was released in June and is now available for iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and 5th generation iPod Touch or newer iOS devices.

The new iOS brings new system font, updated multitasking view and Siri, keyboard that shows lower and upper case letters and multi window view for iPads.

The WatchOS 2 is not launching yet. Apple wasn’t able to fix a bug before the release date. The WatchOS 2 will be available soon, the exact date is unknown.

Source: Apple Insider | The Verge