posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Satechi today announced the launch of four new backlit USB-C keyboards, including the Slim X1 Bluetooth Keyboard, the Slim X1 Wired Keyboard, the Slim X3 Bluetooth Keyboard, and the Slim X3 Wired Keyboard. The Slim X1 models are compact and portable, for taking along while on the go, and the Slim X3 models are full-sized. The Slim X1 offers a full QWERTY layout, while the Slim X3 also includes a numeric keypad. Both models come in both wired and wireless versions. Both keyboard models are designed with Apple products in mind, offering an aluminum finish that matches Apple's Macs and iOS devices. The built-in hot keys work across Mac and iOS devices, and multi-device Bluetooth functionality is included for fast device switching. There are 10 adjustable brightness levels for the backlit keyboard, and the Bluetooth models charge over USB-C while the wired models connect using USB-C. Satechi today also introduced the Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad, which is designed to work with the new keyboards. It offers a hands-free way to elevate tablets to an optimal viewing level with an adjustable 180 degree mount and a 135 degree base hinge. Available in space gray aluminum, the stand has protective grip padding to keep Apple devices safe from slips and scratches, plus it collapses down so it can be used both at home and while out and about. Satechi's ​Slim X1 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard and larger ​Slim X3 Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard can be purchased from the Satechi website starting today, while the wired models will be available in late January. Pricing starts at $60. The Aluminum Desktop Stand for iPad is available from the Satechi website for $44.99. Customers who opt to purchase the new keyboards, ‌iPad‌ stand, or another Satechi product can get 20 percent off using the promo code WFH20 when checking out through January 10.Tag: SatechiThis article, "Satechi Launches New Backlit Keyboards, iPad Stand" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Satechi's latest charger, the USB-C Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable, is modeled after Apple's MagSafe charger and includes a built-in magnet that allows it to attach to Apple's iPhone 12 devices, but it's not ‌MagSafe‌ and can charge Apple devices at a maximum of 7.5W rather than 15W. Since this is a Qi-based charger, it works with AirPods and also Android smartphones, and for Android smartphones that allow for faster charging, it can charge at up to 15W. Design wise, Satechi's Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable looks similar to a ‌MagSafe‌ charger, but it is made from a space gray plastic with a white front that's not quite the same material as a ‌MagSafe‌ charger. The back of the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable is slightly domed when attached to an iPhone, so it doesn't quite sit flush and can rock a little, but I didn't find this to be a major issue because the rounded shape is so slight. As with a ‌MagSafe‌ charger, the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable attaches to the ring of magnets in one of Apple's ‌iPhone 12‌ models or a ‌MagSafe‌ compatible case. There's a 1.5m cord along with a USB-C connector, but the charging cable does not come with a power adapter and you must supply an 18W+ charger. By default, the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable can charge earlier iPhones because it's a Qi charger, but you're not going to get the same magnetic alignment unless you buy a secondary Satechi accessory, the Magnetic Sticker, which is available for iPhone 11 and ‌iPhone 12‌ models. The Magnetic Sticker comes with a series of guides that let you know where to place it on an ‌iPhone 11‌ or an ‌iPhone 12‌. You peel off the guide, stick it to the appropriate phone, and then attach the magnet with adhesive. Once attached, the magnet that you've added to an ‌iPhone‌ is able to adhere to Satechi's charger with automatic alignment over the built-in wireless charging coil. The magnet is slim and it works well, making this a useful accessory for an ‌iPhone 11‌, plus it can also be used to add magnets to non-MagSafe iPhone 12 cases to allow those cases to work with the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable. The Magnet Sticker is compatible with Apple's ‌MagSafe‌ Charger as well, though non-iPhone 12 models will still be limited to slower non-MagSafe charging speeds. I found the sticker to be useful for setting my iPhone 11 Pro Max to charge with my ‌MagSafe‌ Duo and the standard ‌MagSafe‌ Charger, so that might be worth picking up even if you don't plan to get the cable from Satechi. I was not able to use this with Belkin's new 3-in-1 MagSafe charger because the adhesive does not stay in place when the ‌iPhone‌ is positioned upright for charging, but it worked fine flat. Note that charging with the sticker using Apple's ‌MagSafe‌ chargers is limited to 7.5W. I think the most logical use case for the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable is with an ‌iPhone 11‌ model and the Magnetic Sticker. At $29.99 + $9.99 for the sticker, it's reasonably priced, and the magnetic attachment makes it simpler to use than standard Qi-based wireless chargers where you might need to shift things around to get the alignment right. The Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable is also fine for the ‌iPhone 12‌ models, and I found that it attaches to the correct spot and charges at the advertised 7.5W speed, but it's just not as fast as ‌MagSafe‌. It has the same design as the ‌MagSafe‌ Charger and is just $10 cheaper, so ‌iPhone 12‌ owners will likely be better served paying the extra $10 for the faster 15W ‌MagSafe‌ charging (or 12W if you have an iPhone 12 mini). There are already other "magnetic" chargers like this Satechi charger on the market, and there's a lot of potential for confusion here. Chargers that aren't official ‌MagSafe‌ chargers (Apple requires Made for ‌iPhone‌ certification for ‌MagSafe‌) are not going to charge an ‌iPhone 12‌ model at 15W even though they're attaching to the ‌iPhone‌ magnetically, so those who want to make sure they're getting the fastest charging will need to double check labeling and advertised charging speed. Bottom Line As I said up above, I like the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable paired with the Magnetic Sticker as a simple wireless charging solution for the ‌iPhone 11‌ models, but it's not an accessory that I would recommend for the ‌iPhone 12‌ models because for $10 more, you can get double the charging speed with the $39 ‌MagSafe‌ Charger. That said, if you want something that's more affordable and don't mind the slower charging speeds, the Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable works as well as any Qi-based charger and has the benefit of easy-attach magnets. How to Buy The Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable can be purchased from the Satechi website for $29.99. The Magnetic Sticker is also available from Satechi for $9.99. Note: Satechi provided MacRumors with a Magnetic Wireless Charging Cable and Magnetic Sticker for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.Tag: SatechiThis article, "Review: Satechi's Latest Wireless Charger Has a Magnet, But Isn't MagSafe" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
JBL today introduced the latest addition to its sound bar lineup, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam. With support for AirPlay 2, the Bar 5.0 is ideal for Apple users, as audio can be wirelessly streamed to the sound bar from devices like the iPhone and iPad. AirPlay 2 allows for multi-room audio when the JBL sound bar is paired with other AirPlay 2 devices, such as the HomePod, Apple TV, select Sonos speakers, and more. Additionally, users can use Siri to control audio playback. The sound bar delivers surround sound, with support for both Dolby Atmos and JBL's proprietary beamforming technology MultiBeam:Equipped with four passive radiators for deep and punchy bass, the Bar 5.0 produces clear, heightened and room filling JBL 3D Surround Sound, without the need for an additional subwoofer. Highlighted within the Bar 5.0 is HARMAN's MultiBeam technology that enables users to hear and feel surround sound without needing additional surround speakers, generating an immersive listening experience. In addition, Virtual Dolby Atmos allows the Bar 5.0 to reproduce the audio height dimensions from a movie or TV show, turning any living space into a 3D personal theater.JBL says the sound bar will be available on JBL.com and at select retailers in Spring 2021, priced at $399.95 in the United States. JBL is introducing several other products ahead of CES 2021, including a new retro-inspired integrated amplifier with AirPlay 2 support. The new SA750 amplifier is priced at $3,000 in the United States, with availability beginning April 2021.Tags: JBL, AirPlay 2, CES 2021This article, "CES 2021: JBL Introduces New Dolby Atmos Sound Bar With AirPlay 2 Support" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
The Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE may give incorrect altitude readings in unusual weather conditions, as noted by iphone-ticker.de. The ‌Apple Watch Series 6‌ and ‌Apple Watch SE‌ feature a next-generation always-on altimeter to provide real-time elevation information. Apple says that its updated altimeter cross-references information from GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks to detect even the smallest changes in elevation above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot. However, a large number of Apple Watch users in Germany have been receiving altitude readings that were incorrect by a wide margin. Many users reported that their altitude was calculated 200 to 300 meters too high, despite the fact that affected devices had worked correctly in the past. Users on Apple's German support forums found that a period of low air pressure was causing the Apple Watch's altimeter to give incorrect altitude readings. While it is normal for changes in air pressure to affect barometric altimeters, the problem is usually dealt with by regular recalibrations to the current air pressure value at sea level. However, Apple does not allow users to manually prompt altimeter recalibration, and it is unknown how often the Apple Watch automatically recalibrates itself. Affected users should still receive correct information when tracking a workout such as a hike, since the Apple Watch records altitude relative to the start point. Nevertheless, it is not clear why some Apple Watches are not using GPS information to link barometric measurements to location. This would allow the Apple Watch to identify when there are fronts of weather that significantly affect air pressure and then prompt altimeter recalibration. Some users in Germany are reporting that they are still receiving disproportionately incorrect readings, while others have found that the only way to prompt altimeter recalibration was to factory-reset their Apple Watch and iPhone.Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SETag: GermanyBuyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now), Apple Watch SE (Buy Now)This article, "Apple Watch May Display Incorrect Altitude Readings in Unusual Weather Conditions" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple's iPhone 12 is around a fifth more costly to make than an equivalent iPhone 11, based on an analysis of the blended materials by Counterpoint's component research practice. Producing a 128GB ‌iPhone 12‌ mmWave (millimeter-wave) smartphone will cost Apple up to $431, 26% higher compared to the ‌iPhone 11‌, according to the latest bill of materials (BoM) analysis by Counterpoint's component research practice. Despite over $27 cost savings due to the simplified RF design, the BoM cost of the sub-6GHz-only model for overseas markets still increased by 18%. Assuming a 38% mmWave mix, the blended materials cost for the ‌iPhone 12‌ with 128GB NAND flash is nearly $415, a 21% increase over its predecessor. Application processor, 5G baseband, display and 5G RF components represent the major areas of the cost increase.According to the report, Apple's self-designed components including the A14 Bionic chip and Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip make up over 16.7% of the overall bill of materials cost, while the shift from LCD to OLED in the ‌iPhone 12‌ results in an over $23 cost increase. The ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ and ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ start at $999 and $1,099, respectively, which are the same prices that the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were when they launched in 2019. However, the 256GB and 512GB storage options for both ‌‌iPhone 12 Pro‌‌ models are $50 cheaper than their predecessors were at those capacities. Meanwhile the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ starts at $799, and the ‌iPhone 12 mini‌ starts at a more affordable $699 entry point – although sales of the latter device have reportedly disappointed Apple so far. Apple is believed to have put a pricing squeeze on component suppliers to help offset increased costs for the new 5G technology and minimize the need for price increases. In addition, Apple is also said to have adopted a hybrid hard and soft battery board for the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ that is reportedly 40–50% cheaper than the equivalent part in the ‌iPhone 11‌ series. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will push the envelope even more with the iPhone 13 lineup this year, adopting a purely soft board design that will shave off an additional 30–40% compared to the ‌‌iPhone 12‌‌ board price.Related Roundups: iPhone 11, iPhone 12Tag: CounterpointBuyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Buy Now)This article, "Report: iPhone 12 is 21% More Expensive to Make Than iPhone 11" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will this year begin transitioning its devices to mini-LED technology, according to Apple analyst ‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌, and a new DigiTimes report on Thursday reiterates Kuo's expectation that a mini-LED version of Apple's MacBook Air is set to arrive in 2022. Kuo believes Apple will release iPad Pro models and redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021, followed by a new MacBook Air in 2022, all with mini-LED displays and Apple Silicon chips. Today's DigiTimes report, citing supply chain sources, echoes that general sentiment: The sources expect that Apple's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros and 16-inch MacBook Pro set to be released in 2021 will be equipped with miniLED displays and adoption of miniLED will be expanded to its MacBook Air products in 2022.In addition to a redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro, Kuo has said he expects Apple to launch a new 14-inch MacBook Pro with an all-new design in the late second quarter or third quarter of this year. Kuo says these MacBook Pro models will feature Mini-LED displays for increased brightness, improved contrast, richer colors, and more. MacBook Pro models are projected to be the main driver of mini-LED panel shipments since they will purportedly gain mini-LED before the iPad and see faster shipment growth. As a result, Apple will likely introduce mini-LED as a "Pro" Mac feature, however Kuo believes the company will be able to offset the increased cost because the cost of ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips is significantly lower than that of Intel processors, which will allow it to bring the technology to its most popular MacBook further down the line. Kuo's optimistic scenario sees MacBook shipments growing by 100 percent over the next three years, with up to 35 million units per year, thanks to the adoption of ‌Apple Silicon‌ and the refreshed designs.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 16"Tags: digitimes.com, Mini-LEDBuyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now), 16" MacBook Pro (Don't Buy)This article, "DigiTimes: Mini-LED MacBook Air to Launch in 2022" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
TikTok has launched its first augmented reality effect to make use of the LiDAR technology present in iPhone 12 Pro devices (via TechCrunch). To ring in 2021 we released our first AR effect on the new ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, using LiDAR technology which allows us to create effects that interact with your environment - visually bridging the digital and physical worlds. We're excited to develop more innovative effects in 2021! pic.twitter.com/6yFD2FfHta— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) January 6, 2021 Shared on TikTok's official Twitter account, the effect celebrates the New Year with golden balloons and explosions of confetti that react to the presence of real objects in the environment. First introduced on the iPad Pro in March 2020, and since expanded to the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the LiDAR Scanner is a small sensor that uses 3D sensing to measure the distance to surrounding objects up to five meters away. Using the technology's APIs, developers can create enhanced augmented reality experiences and utilize unique capabilities in their apps, such as the ability to measure a person's height instantly. In TikTok's new AR effect, the behavior of the virtual confetti makes it seem like it's actually in the room, as it gently settles on the man's arms and the furniture around him. TikTok says the AR filter is being rolled out globally with the exception of a few countries, and is just the first of "more innovative effects" to come this year. Snapchat was one of the first apps to use the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ LiDAR Scanner for AR. Apple is expected to expand its LiDAR tech to the entire iPhone 13 lineup in 2021, rather than only the Pro and Pro Max models, according to a recent supply chain report.Tags: TikTok, LiDAR ScannerThis article, "TikTok Debuts Its First AR Effect to Use LiDAR in iPhone 12 Pro Models" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
In celebration of Chinese New Year, Apple today launched a special edition version of the AirPods Pro that feature an Ox icon, as 2021 is the Year of the Ox. The AirPods Pro, which are priced at RMB 1,999, are identical to standard ‌AirPods Pro‌ but feature an ox engraved on the charging case. They also ship in a box that has the same ox icon on it. In addition to launching new ‌AirPods Pro‌ for Chinese New Year, Apple has a special Chinese New Year gift guide on its website in China, recommending gifts that include iPhone 12 models, MagSafe accessories, the special edition AirPods, Apple Watch, M1 Macs, iPads, and more. Apple unveiled the new ‌AirPods Pro‌ on WeChat. "Here comes a box of blessings for the Year of the Ox," reads the translated announcement, which is also accompanied by several ox-themed graphics and an Apple Music playlist with songs for the new year. In 2021, Chinese New Year will begin on Friday, February 2021. Apple says that the ox-themed ‌AirPods Pro‌ are in short supply, with a total of 25,400 available. 11,480 of those will be sold in retail stores, while 13,920 are available for purchase online. Tag: ChinaThis article, "Apple Launches Special Edition Ox-Themed AirPods Pro in China for Chinese New Year" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced four years ago in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 118 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Scrolling, JavaScript, WebGL, Media, Private Click Measurement, WebRTC, Web API, Accessibility, and Extensions. The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is the built on the new Safari 14 update included in macOS Big Sur with support for Safari Web Extensions imported from other browsers, tab previews, password breach notifications, web authentication with Touch ID, and more. The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. It update is available for both macOS Catalina and ‌macOS Big Sur‌, the newest version of the Mac operating system. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website. Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.This article, "Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 118 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today launched its annual Back to University Program in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Brazil, offering students and teachers free AirPods with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. Eligible devices include the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, iPad Pro, and iPad Air, including the new M1 models. Purchases come with free standard ‌AirPods‌, but customers can upgrade to ‌AirPods‌ with Wireless Charging Case or AirPods Pro for an additional fee. Mac and ‌iPad‌ models are available at discounted educational prices when purchasing through the educational stores for Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Korea. Apple also offers AppleCare+ protection plans at a 20 percent discount. To get the free ‌AirPods‌, customers will need to add an eligible Mac or ‌iPad‌ to their carts, where the option to add the ‌AirPods‌ (or upgrade) will come up during the checkout process. Discounts are available to current and newly accepted university students, parents buying for students, and teachers and staff at all levels. Sign up and enrollment verification through UNiDays is required. Educational discounts will be available for a limited time both online and in Apple retail stores that are open at the current time. The Back to University program is identical to the Back to School promotion that launches in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe in the summer months, so expect similar deals when Back to School rolls around in those countries later this year.Tag: Back to School promotionThis article, "Apple Launches Annual 'Back to University' Promo in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
The ninth-generation low-cost iPad that Apple is expected to debut in 2021 will feature a design that's based on the third-generation iPad Air that Apple introduced in 2019, reports Mac Otakara, citing Chinese supply chain sources. The display size is expected to remain the same at 10.2 inches, but it will be "significantly thinner" at 6.3mm. The current eighth-generation ‌iPad‌ is 7.5mm thick, so a 6.3mm chassis would mark a significant design change. It is also expected to be lighter at 460 grams vs. the current 490 gram weight. Mac Otakara says that the device will continue to feature a Touch ID Home button and a Lightning port, with Apple declining to transition to USB-C. It is expected to have a full-lamination display, anti-reflective coating, P3 wide color support, and True Tone. In addition to the ninth-generation ‌iPad‌, Mac Otakara has some detail on the next-generation iPad Pro models. Mac Otakara says that the upcoming refresh will not see the changes to the display size or the housing, but the A-series chip performance could be "significantly improved." Mac Otakara does not mention the rumored 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ model that is expected to have a mini-LED display, which suggests that this is going to perhaps be a standalone high-end model sold alongside updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models that are getting a more standard refresh. Many ‌iPad Pro‌ rumors we've heard to date have also focused heavily on the 12.9-inch model and have suggested that this will indeed be a higher-end version. Back in December, a rumor from Chinese website cnBeta echoed much of what Mac Otakara had to say today, but claimed that the next-generation ‌iPad‌ will have a 10.5-inch display, an A13 Bionic chip, and 4GB RAM. That rumor suggested that the new ‌iPad‌ could perhaps see reduced pricing, with Apple selling it for $299 rather than $329. The ‌iPad‌ refresh has been rumored for the spring of 2021, but that may be an optimistic estimate as the eighth-generation ‌iPad‌ was released in September. Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPadTag: macotakara.jpBuyer's Guide: 11" iPad Pro (Neutral), 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral), iPad (Buy Now)This article, "Next Low-Cost iPad Said to Feature Thinner, Lighter Design" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Intel today introduced RealSense ID, a purpose-built hardware module that will bring Face ID-like facial authentication to the point-of-sale, smart door locks, access control points like gates, ATMs, airport kiosks, and more. According to Intel, RealSense ID combines a depth sensor with a specialized neural network designed to deliver secure, accurate, and user-aware facial authentication, with all facial data processed locally and encrypted. RealSense ID adapts to users over time as their appearance changes, including facial hair and glasses, and the technology works in various lighting conditions for people with a wide range of heights or complexions. Intel says RealSense ID has built-in "anti-spoofing technology" to protect against false entry attempts using photographs, videos, or masks, resulting in a one in a million false acceptance rate. This rate is in line with Face ID, as Apple claims that the probability that a random person in the population could look at someone else's iPhone and unlock it using Face ID is also approximately one in a million. RealSense ID is only activated through user awareness and will not authenticate unless prompted by a pre-registered user, according to Intel. A built-in infrared illuminator allows for indoor or outdoor operation, day or night. Businesses and enterprise customers can pre-order the module for $99 on Intel's website.Tag: IntelThis article, "Intel Aiming to Bring Face ID-Like Authentication to ATMs, Gates, Door Locks, and More With 'RealSense ID'" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung today announced its 2021 TV set lineup, debuting a range of new models that have some health-related capabilities. Samsung's 2021 QLED 8K and 4K models come with a "Smart Trainer" feature that's designed to transform the living room into a personal gym, similar to what Apple Fitness+ does. The Smart Trainer option uses an added user-supplied camera to track and analyze your posture in real time while you workout, and Samsung says it's "just like a personal trainer." The Smart Trainer is designed to provide feedback on form, plus it counts reps and estimates calories burned. Apple Fitness+ also uses the TV through an Apple TV to allow for in-home workouts, but it does not have the same camera functionality for monitoring form. It can, however, show progress through a linked Apple Watch that's displayed on the screen. Engadget had a chance to try out the Smart Trainer feature, which is part of the Samsung Health app on the TV sets. Engadget said that the performance was "impressive," able to track the movements of jumping jacks and squats during a testing sequence. It's not clear how accurate Samsung's software is at judging form, but Engadget found it motivating.At the end of my very short workout, the system displayed two rings with percentages showing how well I met the target number of reps and overall form. I tried the workout twice and both times my results were 100 percent on quantity, while I scored 96 and 98 percent on quality. While I still have doubts on how accurate the software is at judging form, the rings are definitely motivating and I feel the desire to close them next time.Samsung Q70A models and higher-end models up to 8K will have this health functionality, and it will work with 24 workout videos at launch from partners that include Jillian Michaels, Obe Fitness, and barre3. New television sets also include updated accessibility functionality such as caption moving, sign language zoom, and multi-output audio, and by 2022, Samsung will introduce an expanded Voice Guide. Samsung's latest high-end TVs are "Neo QLED," which take advantage of Quantum Mini LED technology. These mini LEDs are 1/40 of the height of a traditional LED and offer increased luminance to make dark areas darker and bright areas brighter. Samsung is also using a Neo Quantum Processor to optimize picture quality to 4K and 8K output regardless of input quality. There's also a new Micro LED line available in 99 and 110-inch sizes. Samsung today also said that it plans on "going green" with its TV business by reducing carbon footprint and improving energy efficiency, creating sustainable packaging designs, and releasing TVs with solar-powered remote controls that are charged by indoor light, outdoor light, or USB to eliminate AAA battery usage.Tags: Samsung, Apple Fitness PlusThis article, "Samsung's 2021 Q7 TVs Offer 'Smart Trainer' Option That Analyzes Posture in Real Time During Workouts" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Jackery makes a range of battery pack options from those designed for iPhones and iPads to those that are much more powerful, useful in emergency situations, power outages, and when camping. Jackery's Explorer 500 Portable Power Station is a middle tier 518Wh/144,000mAh portable battery that's expensive at $499.99, but also highly useful for keeping your necessary devices charged up when there's no other power source available. Design The Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station is not your average battery pack - at just over 13 pounds, it's hefty and not something you're going to want to walk around with. The E500 has a super rugged design that's going to hold up to abuse, which makes it perfect for camping and use outdoors. Both the shape and the ergonomic handle make it easy to carry, and though large, it has an attractive design. It's made from a black plastic material with orange accents and fan vents on the side. There's a small LCD display on the front, which is one of the handiest features. You can press on the display button to see the current charge level, the power draw of any connected devices, and the input power. Next to the display there's a small input port for charging, and below that, there are a series of ports. At the sides, there's another button that toggles on a built-in LED light as a flashlight feature, which is a nice addition. Ports There's a standard 110V AC port that support up to 500W and 1000W surge, two 12V/7A 6.5x1.4mm DC outputs, a 12V/10A car outlet, three 2.4A/5V USB-A ports, and a DC input for charging purposes. The number of devices and cables that use USB-A is dwindling, and at this point, more of my electronics have USB-C cables than USB-A cables. I wish the Explorer 500 had USB-C ports available both for convenience and for charging devices like my MacBook without having to pull out a power adapter, but unfortunately there are no USB-C ports. Aside from that, there are a good mix of ports available. The three USB-A ports can be used for your smaller devices that need minimal power, while the AC outlet works for just about anything. As for the two 6.5x1.4mm DC output ports, I'm not sure most people are going to have devices able to take advantage of these. I do not. There is a 6mm DC to car cigarette lighter port converter that works with them, allowing for two car-compatible ports, but you will need to purchase this kind of adapter separately. There are on/off switches for the DC, AC, and USB outputs, so these need to be turned on whenever you're charging something. Disabling them prevents power draw and keeps the battery in stasis so it's not draining. I haven't had the E500 long enough to test its ability to hold its battery over long periods of time, but it was able to maintain a charge for a week even when not in use. Jackery recommends charging it up once every few months to ensure that it's ready in an emergency, so for the most part it can live tucked away in a closet until it's needed, as long as you remember to top it up now and then. The power to the ports is automatically disabled after 12 hours if the power usage is under 10 watts in order to conserve battery. Charging At 518Wh, the Jackery E500 has a good amount of power for everything from charging up electronics to powering appliances. How long each device lasts will depend on its power draw. With my 15-inch MacBook Pro, I tested charging twice. The first time it took 20 percent of the battery to charge from zero to full, and the second time, it took 19 percent. So if you weren't using it for anything else, the E500 could charge a MacBook Pro to full about five times. Charging my MacBook Pro to full took about two hours, which seems about full speed. I'm not 100 percent sure the LCD is giving me accurate watt levels when charging because it seemed to max out at about 75W and fluctuating at around 60 to 70W, while the MacBook Pro is capable of charging at 85W, but the charging didn't seem slow. With my iPhone 11 Pro Max (the iPhone with the largest battery I have), it took three percent of the E500's battery to charge it up the first time I tested and four percent the second time, with the charge taking it from dead to full. Based on those metrics, I estimate that I could charge an ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ about 29 times with the E500. I tested the E500 with a Razer gaming laptop in use drawing around 150W on average, and it was able to last for a full four hours. I plugged in the laptop at 1:30 p.m. and the Jackery died at 5:40 p.m. With my Dyson Air Purifier, I plugged it into the E500 at 12:00 p.m. and set it to medium, and it ran for 24 hours straight. When I finished this test, the E500 was still at 43 percent battery life, so for devices like fans and lights that have less power draw, it can work for quite some time. I know the E500 is compatible with a wide range of little appliances like mini fridges, but I found out that a lot of my standard appliances draw too much power. My small Vornado heater, for example, is 750W/1000W depending on the power level, and my Vitamix blender is up to 1500W, so these aren't compatible. Things that are compatible include the PlayStation 4/5, a Dyson fan, a Netgear router, and a television, so there are still a lot of options, but make sure what you want to use with the E500 is under 500W. For appliances that require more power, Jackery has the more expensive E1000, which is a better solution for higher-powered devices and usage over a longer period of time. When charging devices that draw a lot of power, the fans in the E500 do come on at times. They're not super loud, but they're noticeable and similar to running a standard fan at about a medium setting in decibel level. The E500 itself can be charged with a wall socket with the included power adapter that plugs into the input port, in a vehicle using the 12V port, or with a Solar Panel that Jackery sells as an add-on accessory. There's no charging method for this battery that's especially fast, which is one of the downsides to this charger. It takes about 7.5 hours to charge up to full using an AC adapter, and more than twice as long with the car adapter. Solar charging can be done in as little as 9.5 hours, but that depends on the conditions outside. Note that passthrough charging is possible, so you can charge up devices that are plugged in while the E500 is plugged in to charge. Solar Charger Jackery sells a 100W Solar Panel alongside the Explorer 500, which uses the sun to charge it up so it can be used continually off grid. The SolarSaga Solar Panel is huge, which seems appropriate since this is a large battery. Even though it's a little unwieldy, I appreciated the design of the SolarSaga. There's a handle that makes it easier to transport, and it folds in half. There's also a pouch on the back for storing the charging cable, which was convenient. The SolarSaga connects to the E500 through a built-in DC cable that plugs into the Explorer, and it's simple to use. I just plugged it in and set up the panel using the included velcro-attached kickstands that let it be angled towards the sun. It took me all of two minutes to get it ready to charge. Given that it's winter right now, we're not getting a whole lot of sun in Northern California, but I picked the day with the sunniest forecast for testing. I plugged in the SolarSaga in the morning, but I didn't see it charge over 20 percent over the course of the day nor did I max out its charging capabilities because it just wasn't sunny enough. In the most sun I could find during the winter, the SolarSaga was providing just about 60W, which would be enough to keep smaller appliances up and running. If you want to get the full charging power out of the SolarSaga, you're going to need good, direct sunlight that's not obscured by trees or other objects, so keep that in mind. You're going to have quicker charging times when there's full sun to take advantage of, so the usefulness of the solar charger depends on where you're taking it. For a sunny camping spot, it might be able to keep many of your smaller devices topped off over a week, and if you're getting a full sun all day, you'll have enough power for large devices, too. Jackery says that it should take around 9.5 hours to charge the battery to full, but I assume that's in optimal sun conditions. You can also plug devices directly into the SolarSaga because it has a USB-C port and a USB-A port. Bottom Line Living through a pandemic, raging fires in California, and a tenuous election in 2020 has caused me to be more of a stockpiler than I was before and it's caused me to put more thought into being prepared for emergency situations, and I don't think I'm alone in that. This is not the kind of tech-related product I would have paid a lot of attention to in 2019, but it's something practical that makes sense to have on hand for those worried about being ready for power outages and other emergency situations, or even those who have gotten into camping this year in an effort to get out of the house. The Explorer 500 supplies enough power to keep several devices running for a day or multiple days with conservation, and it can even power a router for a few hours if you have a random outage, which is useful now that most of us are working from home and can't get things done without a power source. It's an investment at its price point, but for those who have the need, this is a solid portable power station that's worth considering if you're in the market for one. I will say that if you're planning to use this kind of battery every day for powering a camper or whatever else, you may want to explore one of the models with a higher capacity because the E500 doesn't have enough power to keep appliances up and running for more than a day depending on what you're charging up, and it also isn't powerful enough for higher watt devices. How to Buy Jackery's Explorer 500 Portable Power Station can be purchased from Amazon for $499.99, and there's also a version with a 100W Solar Panel for $799.98. Note: Jackery provided MacRumors with an Explorer 500 and SolarSaga 100W for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.This article, "Review: Jackery's Explorer 500 Portable Power Station is Useful for Power Outages, Emergencies and Camping" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has reached an agreement to bring support for the Paris Metro system's Smart Navigo cards to Wallet, allowing users to roam Parisian public transport with just an iPhone or Apple Watch, according to a Le Parisien report. After talks with Île-de-France-Mobilités, France's transport authority that coordinates the different transport companies operating in Paris, Apple is said to have reached an agreement for the Paris transport network's Smart Navigo card to work on ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch, including buses and the metro system, from February 2021. Neither Apple or Île-de-France-Mobilités has confirmed this as of yet. Smart Navigo, the city's digital mobile transit card, was launched in September 2019, but its success was mired by the need for direct secure authentication with reader gates. This is also why Apple Pay cannot currently be implemented to pay for travel on readers, since it would skirt Navigo's authentication. Smart Navigo currently works on some Android smartphones with chips for secure authentication and NFC, but it has reportedly been unable to work on iPhones due to Apple's ring-fencing of the Secure Enclave and NFC, which would provide the necessary authentication and transmission of data. From February, users will apparently be able to add a Smart Navigo card to Apple Wallet, enabling an ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch to facilitate travel throughout the city. Users will also be able to pre-pay for metro tickets with ‌Apple Pay‌, including a weekly or monthly pass, and add it to their Navigo card in Wallet. It is also said to support Apple's Express Transit Mode. There have been reports that the need for secure authentication with Smart Navigo will be eliminated at some point in 2021, allowing ‌Apple Pay‌ to be used directly to traverse public transport networks as it does in London or New York, the latter of which recently completed its rollout of ‌Apple Pay‌ support.Tags: Apple Pay, FranceThis article, "Apple Reportedly Reached Agreement to Support Paris Metro Navigo Cards in Wallet" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Sonnet has today announced the eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 docks for Intel-based Macs, featuring increased performance, two USB ports, and support for the Apple Pro Display XDR.   eGPUs can significantly boost a computer's graphics performance by providing a more powerful graphics processor over a fast wired connection, and are often used when a computer's graphics performance is insufficient for demanding tasks such as video editing or gaming. The eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 are the newest additions to Sonnet's popular series of portable all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processing systems, some of which have been sold by the Apple Store in the past. The two new models replace the now-discontinued eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 560 and Radeon RX 570 eGPUs, yet they retain the same form factor while delivering up to 300 percent more performance. Each dock now includes two USB ports for connecting other devices and a second Thunderbolt 3 port to fully support Thunderbolt displays, including Apple's Pro Display XDR and the LG UltraFine 5K Display. Both eGPU Breakaway Puck models support up to three 4K, 60 Hz displays or one 6K and two 4K displays at the same time. Sonnet says that its new eGPU docks are designed for professionals who need to run graphics-intensive applications on their Mac, with a focus on portability and external display connectivity, as well as quiet, reliable operation. The eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 5700 are available now from Sonnet for $599.99 and $899.99. Apple's latest M1-based MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini do not support eGPUs.Tags: Sonnet, egpuThis article, "Sonnet Announces New eGPU Docks With AMD Radeon RX 5000 Series GPUs and Support for Pro Display XDR" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Taiwanese publication DigiTimes yesterday claimed that Apple is about to enter the "second phase" of development of augmented reality glasses, citing industry sources. Now, the full report has been shared with a few more details. Following the second phase, the report claims that the glasses will go through a third phase of development a few months later. Upon completion of the prototype design, the wearable device is expected to go through a 6-9 month period for engineering verification. Apple is said to be focused on improving the device's weight and battery life, with Bloomberg's Mark Gurman having previously reported that the glasses will be lightweight. Gurman claimed that Apple's glasses would overlay information such as text messages and maps in front of the wearer's eyes, and he also said that users will be able to control the glasses with Siri. His report said the glasses are unlikely to launch until 2023 at the earliest. Apple has repeatedly referred to augmented reality as a "profound" technology. Apple is believed to be working on multiple AR/VR projects, including a headset with an App Store. In an internal meeting, Apple reportedly said the headset may be announced in 2021 and released in 2022, so it sounds like the headset will launch before the glasses.Related Roundup: Apple GlassesTag: digitimes.comThis article, "Apple Glasses Reportedly Progressing Towards Engineering Verification Stage With Focus on Battery Life and Weight" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
We're tracking a few iPad Pro and iPad Air deals today, including up to $150 off the 2020 iPad Pro and up to $50 off the 2020 iPad Air. Prices on the iPad Pro start at $849.00 for the 256GB Wi-Fi model of the 11-inch iPad Pro, which is down from the original price of $899.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. In regards to the iPad Air, you can get the 64GB Wi-Fi model for $559.99, down from $599.00, but there will be shipping delays. Currently, Amazon is estimating the blue iPad Air to be in stock on January 22, but you can lock in the sale price today ahead of the shipping date. 11-Inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 256GB - $849.00 at Amazon ($50 off) Cellular 512GB - $1,186.55 with on-page coupon at Amazon ($60 off) 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 128GB - $949.00 at Amazon ($50 off) Wi-Fi 1TB - $1,424.05 with on-page coupon at Amazon ($75 off) Cellular 512GB - $1,349.00 at Amazon ($100 off) iPad Air Wi-Fi 64GB - $559.99 Amazon ($40 off) Wi-Fi 256GB - $699.00 at Amazon ($50 off) For even more iPad deals, head to our full Best Deals guide for iPad. In that guide we track the best discounts online for iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.Related Roundup: Apple DealsThis article, "Deals: Get Up to $150 Off iPad Pro and Up to $50 Off iPad Air in New Sales" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is expected to release new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon in the second half of 2021, boosting Apple's market share of notebook CPUs to about 7%, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. In July 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon and an all-new design will launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of this year. Kuo later added that these MacBook Pro models will feature Mini-LED displays for increased brightness, improved contrast, richer colors, and more. Apple previously indicated that its transition away from Intel processors in Macs will take about two years to be completed, with other rumored Apple silicon Macs including a redesigned 24-inch iMac and a smaller Mac Pro-like desktop computer. Last month, Nikkei Asia reported that a new iMac Pro is also in the works for 2021. TrendForce said that Intel faces increasing competitive pressure from both Apple and AMD in the CPU market and will need to deliver an "appropriate product strategy" in response. Last month, New York-based hedge fund Third Point urged Intel to take "immediate" action to restructure and curb the loss of talented chip designers. Apple's first M1 chip has proven to be very impressive, with the base model MacBook Air outperforming the highest-end Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro in benchmarks. Apple says the chip delivers industry-leading performance per watt.Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"Tags: TrendForce, M1Buyer's Guide: 13" MacBook Pro (Buy Now), 16" MacBook Pro (Don't Buy)This article, "14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models Expected to Boost Apple Silicon's Market Share in Second Half of 2021" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has today announced that New Year's Day saw a new single-day spending record of over $540 million on the App Store, as the company celebrated a number of highlights from its various services in 2020. Recapping 2020, Apple announced that the year's most downloaded apps were Zoom and Disney+, and games on the ‌App Store‌ "became more popular than ever." Apple revealed that developers around the world have now earned more than $200 billion since the ‌App Store‌ was launched in 2008 from digital goods and services. Apple added that ‌App Store‌ customers spent $1.8 billion on digital goods and services over the week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, driven largely by games. 2020 was also a "record year" for Apple Music. More than 90 percent of iOS 14 listeners have used new features such as "Listen Now" and "Autoplay," and engagement with ‌Apple Music‌'s real-time lyrics feature doubled last year. Apple claims that the Apple TV app is now available on over one billion screens in over 100 countries and regions, aided by launches on launched on select LG, Sony, and VIZIO smart TVs, as well as PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Apple teased its lineup for Apple TV+ in 2021, with second seasons of "Dickinson," "Servant," "For All Mankind," "The Morning Show," and "See," as well as brand new originals such as "Losing Alice," "Palmer," and "Cherry." Other highlights include the fact that Apple Books saw "remarkable" growth of new customers in 2020 and now draws over 90 million active users every month. Apple Pay is now accepted by more than 90 percent of stores in the U.S., 85 percent of stores in the UK, and 99 percent of stores in Australia. The company also celebrated the success of the launch of Apple Fitness+ and featured the importance of delivering "curated world-class journalism" via Apple News.Tags: App Store, Apple Music, Apple News, Apple Books, Apple TV PlusThis article, "Apple Highlights Services in 2020 as App Store Sets Single-Day Spending Record on New Year's Day" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
WhatsApp's latest terms and privacy policy allows the popular messaging app to share a significant amount of user data with Facebook (via XDA Developers). WhatsApp users are today receiving an in-app notice informing them about the app's updated terms of service and privacy policy. The notice gives an overview of the main three updates, covering how WhatsApp processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how WhatsApp will soon partner with Facebook to offer deeper integrations across all of the parent company's products. The changes, which are set to take effect on February 8, 2021, are mandatory and users will not be able to continue using WhatsApp unless they accept the terms. The new terms and privacy policy appear to build upon changes announced in July 2020, yet this previous update offered users the option to withhold their WhatsApp account information from being shared with Facebook. The latest update eliminates this option. Users that agree to the updated terms will have their WhatsApp account registration and phone number, transaction data, service-related information, interaction information, mobile device information, IP address, and "other information identified... or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent," shared with Facebook. When explaining how Facebook will use this information, the policy states that shared data is used for "understanding how our services or theirs are used," "improving their services," "making suggestions for you," "personalizing features and content," and "showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products." The updated terms help WhatsApp to integrate more closely into Facebook's family of products, as it aims to provide a more coherent experience to users across services. While the changes help Facebook to achieve its larger goals, the high-level of data sharing that WhatsApp users will now be subject to may raise privacy concerns. Last month, WhatsApp publicly protested Apple's requirement that developers submit information about what user data they collect for privacy labels on the App Store, saying that it could give its messaging app a competitive disadvantage.Tags: Facebook, WhatsApp, privacyThis article, "Mandatory WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update Allows User Data to be Shared With Facebook" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Microsoft has started rolling out history and tab syncing features for its Edge browser, almost a year after the app's official release on Mac and Windows. The new features enable users to sync all the web pages they've visited to every device on which they're signed into Edge, whether that's Mac, iOS, Windows, or Android. The toggles for the two features in Settings -> Profiles -> Sync were previously greyed out, but users in the United Kingdom are starting to see them become accessible. According to The Verge, the U.K. is one of the first markets to get the history and tab sync features, which will eventually come to more countries as the rollout expands. Despite the lack of many sync features since its release, Microsoft Edge has won over many users with its frequent feature updates and tight integration of Microsoft's design language with the design language of macOS. Microsoft has already updated Edge with native support for Apple Silicon, bringing optimized performance to Macs with the M1 chip.Tag: Microsoft EdgeThis article, "Microsoft Edge History and Tab Sync Features Start Rolling Out" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Samsung will be the exclusive supplier of LTPO OLED displays for the "Pro" models in Apple's iPhone 13 lineup later this year, according to TheElec. Apple's rumored adoption of LTPO display technology would allow it to implement a 120Hz refresh rate on the higher end next-generation iPhones, as today's report notes: Samsung Display will be the exclusive supplier used by Apple for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels used in the two highest tier models of its next iPhone, TheElec has learned. Both models of iPhone 13 will use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistors (TFT) OLED panels made by Samsung Display. Apple's iPhone 13 will have four models and all of them will use OLED panels. The top two models will use LTPO OLED that can support 120Hz refresh rate.A previous report pegged both LG and Samsung to supply the technology to Apple for the iPhone 13. According to the latest report, however, LG will focus on increasing its capacity this year in order to start supplying next year, with Apple planning to use LTPO OLED displays for "all its iPhone models" in 2022. Other reports have suggested the technology will be coming to at least two ‌iPhone‌ models in 2021, while display analyst Ross Young expects the "most important development" on the ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro models to be the adoption of 120Hz-capable ProMotion displays with variable refresh rates, something that has only appeared on the iPad Pro so far. Multiple rumors ahead of the launch of the ‌iPhone 12‌ lineup suggested the high-end iPhone 12 Pro models could feature 120Hz ProMotion displays, but later in the rumor cycle, it became clear that this feature was delayed until 2021 due to battery life concerns. Using LTPO technology would allow Apple to deliver a much more power-efficient backplane, which is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off on the display. Depending on how Apple decides to take things, the technology could pave the way for longer battery life or always-on display elements. Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 models already use LTPO displays, which enables them to have the same up-to-18-hour battery life as earlier Apple Watch models despite having an always-on display. Related Roundup: iPhone 13Tag: ProMotionThis article, "iPhone 13 Pro Models to Use Samsung LTPO Technology for 120Hz Display" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Microsoft says it is shutting down augmented reality game "Minecraft Earth" in June 2021 due to the restricted movement and lack of social mingling brought about by the global health crisis. First demoed at WWDC 2019 before launching in November the same year, "Minecraft Earth" gained plaudits for its use of AR to superimpose the game's collaborative creations onto the real world. On Tuesday, however, Microsoft announced on its blog that the game will be discontinued on June 30 as the company re-allocates its resources "to other areas that provide value to the Minecraft community," given the present global situation. Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play – two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to re-allocate our resources to other areas that provide value to the Minecraft community and to end support for Minecraft Earth in June 2021.Despite the decision, Microsoft released one final update to "Minecraft Earth" on Tuesday that includes changes and improvements to make players' remaining time in the game "as fun as possible." Amongst other things, the update removes real-money transactions, reduces ruby costs and time requirements for crafting and smelting, and grants a set of character creator items to players who sign in between now and June 30. In addition, players with paid ruby balances will be granted Minecoins, which can be used on the Minecraft Marketplace to purchase skin and texture packs, maps, and minigames. Anyone who has ever made a purchase in "Minecraft Earth" will also receive a free copy of "Minecraft" (the Bedrock version), according to Microsoft. Microsoft signed off the blog by thanking all the players and creators that contributed to the "Minecraft Earth" community during its lifespan: Your feedback and creations brought this game to an entirely different level, from the regular build challenges you absolutely smashed to the incredible builds you shared on social media. We're eternally grateful for the amazing talent in the Minecraft community. This was not an easy decision, and we're doing everything we can to make sure you get the most out of Minecraft Earth before it sunsets."Minecraft Earth" is a free download for iPhone and iPad on the App Store [Direct Link].Tag: MinecraftThis article, "'Minecraft Earth' Mobile AR Game to Shut Down Later This Year" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, including WeChat Pay and AliPay (via Reuters). The order prohibits all U.S. transactions with the companies behind the apps, the full list of which includes Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office. The order tasks the Commerce Department with defining which transactions will be banned under the directive within 45 days, but a U.S. official told Reuters that the Commerce Department plans to act before January 20, when Trump leaves office. "By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information," the executive order states. Such data collection "would permit China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, and build dossiers of personal information," the document adds.The named apps are extremely popular with Chinese mobile device users, and if the order was successful, the bans would be a significant blow to Chinese Americans who use apps like WeChat to communicate with Chinese citizens. The new orders are in addition to two earlier ones signed by Trump in August that attempted to ban transactions with WeChat and TikTok's parent company, ByteDance. The first order was blocked by a judge in September and then again in October, while a preliminary injunction granted by another judge in December prevented the TikTok ban from going ahead. Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.This article, "Trump Signs Executive Order to Ban US Transactions With WeChat Pay and 7 Other Chinese Apps" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums

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