Mophie today announced it is launching a new line of basic charging accessories for Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad, including a wireless charging pad, two car chargers, and a variety of USB and Lightning cables.
Wireless charging pad: Delivers up to 7.5W of power on contact to recharge Qi-enabled devices like the iPhone 8 or newer. Available in white or black. Can charge through cases up to 3mm thick. $39.95.
USB-A car charger: Single USB-A port with 12W charging output. Made of anodized aluminum with charge-indicator light. $24.95.
Dual USB-A car charger: Two USB-A ports with 12W charging output. Made of anodized aluminum with charge-indicator light. $29.95.
USB-A to Lightning cable: 1-meter cable for $19.95. 2-meter cable for $29.95.
USB-C to Lightning cable: 1-meter cable for $19.95. 2-meter cable for $34.95.
USB-A to USB-C cable: 1-meter cable for $19.95. 2-meter cable for $24.95.
USB-C to USB-C cable: 1-meter cable for $19.95. 2-meter cable for $24.95.
The accessories will be available on Apple.com and in select Apple Stores starting today, followed by Mophie.com later in July.
Product listings are not immediately available, but they should be soon.
Apple has reportedly stopped selling iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus in India, meaning anyone in the market for a new Apple smartphone will have to shell out more for a later model.
According to The Economic Times, the strategy indicates Apple is no longer prioritizing shifting iPhones in the country by volume and is instead refocusing efforts on increasing its revenue there.
To that end, Apple's distributors in India are said to be informing retailers that supplies of the above iPhone models have stopped and the new "entry-level" iPhone will be the iPhone 6s. This will increase the starting price of an iPhone in India by almost Rs 8,000 (around $116).
Apple has been assembling the iPhone SE in India as well as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 over the last couple of years. Given the shift in strategy, idle capacity in these factories may now be used to expand production of other models, according to the report.
The decision is said to have been taken after Apple improved its revenue and profit in India by 12 percent over the last year, despite selling less iPhones than the previous year. Apple India’s sales in the April-June quarter went up after it brought in a promotion to drop iPhone XR prices.
"Cupertino does not want Apple India to chase volumes by discounting at the cost of profit," said one leading trade partner of Apple. "These models which are being phased out will increase the average selling price of iPhones in India and boost both profit and revenue." Apple India declined to comment on the matter.
In the Indian market, Apple ranks 11th and accounts for just one percent of India's phone sales, and sold fewer than one million iPhones during the first half of 2018. Comparatively, rival smartphone maker Xiaomi sold more than 19 million during that period, according to data gathered by Counterpoint Research.
According to a recent report, Apple CEO Tim Cook is believed to be working behind the scenes to "remold Apple's failing India strategy," in bid to revamp the company's presence there.
Apple has also been re-focusing efforts in India in hopes of expanding production outside of China in the wake of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Last summer, Apple detailed a new India strategy with official retail stores, overhauled relationships with independent retailers, more frequent sales, and improved apps and services.
Some of these plans have started to come to fruition, as Apple has now finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India.
Twitter today announced the launch of a new Twitter.com experience on the desktop, which includes several new features and design changes.
The Twitter website on desktop has a whole new look that's cleaner and more modern, along with support for bookmarks so you can save tweets plus an easily accessible Explore page for getting a quick look at what's trending. Design wise, it's similar to the Twitter for mobile experience.
Account switching can be done using the side navigation bar, which is an easier way to manage multiple accounts. The new Dim and Dark Mode Lights Out themes have been added, and there are other new color options to personalize your profile.
Airmail users awoke today to find out that the popular email app has switched to a subscription-based pricing model on the iPhone and iPad.
Airmail for iOS is now free to download on the App Store, but push notifications and multi-account support have become premium features priced at $2.99 per month or $9.99 per year in the United States. The app was previously available for a one-time, upfront cost of $4.99 with all features unlocked.
In response to this story, Airmail informed MacRumors that users who purchased the app still have access to multiple accounts but not push notifications, which it describes "a side service of the app." Those who purchased the app within the last four months will also have up to a four-month grace period.
Unsurprisingly, many Airmail users have voiced their displeasure about this on Twitter and Reddit after already paying $4.99, especially since developer Bloop apparently failed to provide users with any advanced notice about the change.
And so came an end to using #Airmail. In my opinion it is bad practice to suddenly remove a feature and make it paid one (on an paid app). Especially when the feature itself didnt really work well from the beginning. IAP and subscriptions should be used for new func not existing. pic.twitter.com/UbGKaoAp8c
At face value, the change appears to violate Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, which state "if you are changing your existing app to a subscription-based business model, you should not take away the primary functionality existing users have already paid for." We've reached out to Airmail and Apple for comment.
Airmail for iOS won an Apple Design Award at WWDC 2017. The app has a straightforward, minimalistic design with a single unified "All Inboxes" view for quick email management. If you swipe from the left, more options emerge, including access to folders for to-do lists, snoozed emails, and attachments.
Bloop also recently raised the price of Airmail for Mac from $9.99 to $26.99.
Update: In a statement provided to MacRumors, Airmail developer Leonardo Chiantini said the change was made due to "increasing backend service expenses" and argued that making push notifications a subscriber-only feature does not affect the app's core functionality.
Chiantini added that existing users will continue to have access to multiple email accounts. His full response follows:
Airmail for iOS is now free and new users can use the app with a single account and no push notifications.
Customers who purchased the app can still have access to multiple accounts but not push notifications which, is a side service of the app and is not preventing the use of the app's core functionality.
We do understand users frustration, the decision was made to keep the business sustainable as we face increasing backend service expenses.
Customers who purchased the app in the last 4 months will be granted a grace period of premium subscription up to 4 months (depending on the purchase date).
Update 2: Airmail also says it is not using system push notifications of CloudKit or other operating system features, but its own server infrastructure.
There are a few deals going on as we head into the weekend, including an ongoing discount on the latest AirPods update, a sitewide discount on Pad & Quill, and deep discounts on Apple's iPad Smart Covers.
AirPods With Wireless Charging Case
Amazon has further discounted the new AirPods With Wireless Charging Case, now priced at $179.00, down from $199.00. This is a solid $20 discount on the normal price of the most expensive AirPods, which Apple just updated earlier this year with all-new "Hey Siri" and wireless charging features.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Furthermore, you can get the AirPods With Charging Case for $144.99, down from $159.00 on Amazon. We routinely track the best deals on AirPods in this guide, so be sure to bookmark it and check it often if you're shopping around for the AirPods.
Pad & Quill
Accessory maker Pad & Quill is offering shoppers a chance to save 15 percent sitewide when using the code SUMMER15. Pad & Quill sells a variety of leather-bound Apple accessories, including iPad cases, MacBook cases, iPhone cases, and bands for the Apple Watch.
You can also browse the retailer's high-end bag line, including briefcases, messenger bags, travel organizers, laptop bags, and more. Head to Pad & Quill now to browse the site and use the code SUMMER15 soon to save 15 percent on your order.
iPad Smart Covers
Target is offering notable discounts on Apple's Smart Covers for the 9.7-inch iPad and 10.5-inch iPad Pro or iPad Air. You can get the 9.7-inch Smart Cover for $10.49 in Charcoal Gray, down from around $40.
The 10.5-inch Smart Cover is available for $11.84 in Charcoal Gray, down from around $50. These are some of the lowest prices we've seen on Apple's official Smart Covers, so head to Target to check out the accessories soon if you're interested.
Apple and McDonald's have teamed up to offer free fries every Friday in July.
Today, and on July 19 and July 26, customers can use Apple Pay in the McDonald's app and get free medium fries with a minimum $1 purchase before taxes, excluding any dollar menu items. The promotion is limited to the United States.
Hulu today launched support for 4K streaming on the Apple TV 4K and Chromecast Ultra, after first removing 4K content from its service in the summer of 2018 (via The Streamable).
With the return of the feature, and its new availability on Apple TV 4K, Hulu subscribers can now watch Hulu Originals like The Handmaid's Tale, Castle Rock, and Catch-22 in 4K.
According to The Streamable, Hulu shows in 4K stream at 16 Mbps and only support SDR, lacking HDR or Dolby Vision. At this time only Hulu Originals are available in 4K, but the company has said that more shows will gain the 4K treatment in the future.
Hulu also introduced a new guide for its live TV streaming service Hulu With Live TV (via Engadget). The new guide offers an extended look at what's coming up on every channel in the next two weeks, including which episodes are new and how long they last.
Image via Engadget
Earlier this year, Disney gained full operational control of Hulu in the wake of a deal made with Comcast. Disney has previously said that it plans to keep Hulu as it is and focus its own properties on the Disney+ streaming service. According to CEO Bob Iger, Disney's full ownership of Hulu will create an "even more compelling" service.
Amazon is developing a higher-quality version of its popular Echo smart speaker, according to a new report today by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
Prototypes of the cylindrical speaker are wider than the current Echo to squeeze in additional components including at least four tweeters, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter.
The speaker is reportedly being developed to include improved audio to rival Apple's HomePod and other competing speakers on the market. According to Gurman, the Echo has lost some ground to more premium smart speakers that are marketed as offering superior sound.
The Echo, which went on sale in 2015, will grab 63% of the U.S. market this year, according to EMarketer. But it has lost some ground to the Sonos One, Apple Inc. HomePod and Google Home Max -- all of which claim to deliver superior audio. Google now has 31% of the market, while the rest have a combined 12%. The HomePod isn't selling as well as Apple expected, and the company recently dropped the price.
The development of a higher-quality Echo marks a new phase in Amazon's attempt to gain ground in the smart speaker segment. The company has previously introduced halfway-house solutions to improve the audio of the existing cylindrical Echo by offering a standalone subwoofer and connections to link the speakers to a hi-fi stereo system. The Echo range will also receive minor updates this fall, people familiar with the plans told Bloomberg.
In addition, Gurman's report includes details on Amazon's effort to ramp up work on its home robot, which has wheels and can be controlled by Alexa voice commands.
People familiar with the project have reportedly described prototypes that are about waist-high and navigate with the help of an array of computer-vision cameras, but it still isn't clear what purpose the robot would serve.
Amazon originally intended to reveal the robot, known internally as "Vesta," as early as this year, but the machine isn't quite ready for mass production, according to the report.
Apple will soon allow hardware developers to manufacture additional Made for iPhone (MFi) certified adapters including USB-C to Lightning audio adapters, reports Japanese site Mac Otakara. Apple is said to have recently informed developers who participate in the MFi program about the change.
MFi program members were informed of the changes in Apple's "MFi Accessory Interface Specifications Release R31," which specifies support for new adapter types compatible with iOS devices.
Apple is designating an MFi certification for Lightning to USB-C audio adapters, such as the one
Anker announced in May, designed for Macs with USB-C ports and the new iPad Pro. The adapter allows Lightning headphones to be plugged into a USB-C port.
The Belkin cable offers both Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Lightning ports, allowing users to connect to a secure network while continuing to charge their iOS device. The PoE compatibility also provides an additional way to connect and charge simultaneously with a single cable.
According to the report, Apple's latest Lightning-to-Ethernet adapter specification includes the Realtek Gigabit Ethernet Controller "Realtek RLT8111EPU".
As a result of the new specifications, additional third-party options for USB-C to Lightning audio adapters and Lightning-to-Ethernet cables are expected to appear on the market.
Belkin today announced a new range of charging cables, called the Boost Charge made with DuraTek collection. The company said these cables were built with durability and strength in mind, and each one comes with a leather strap for organization.
Each cable comes in two color options (white and black), while the USB-C to USB-C cable includes a pink color option. For the basic Lightning to USB-A cable, you can choose between 4ft, 6ft, and 10ft sizes.
The USB-C to Lightning cable supports fast charging on iPhone, which can charge up your iPhone 8 or later by up to 50 percent in 30 minutes. All the cables in the new range are touted as having a strengthened design that lasts 10 times longer than standard cables.
The new cables are available to purchase now on Belkin.com, but some of the cables haven't gone live for purchase yet. The Boost Charge cables will also be on Apple.com.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
Walmart has a new 50 percent discount on Apple's official Sport Loop and Sport Band for the Apple Watch, only in 44mm sizes. These accessories usually sell for $49.00, but you can get select colors for just $24.99 during Walmart's sale.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
As of writing, Sport Loop colors available include Hibiscus and Nectarine; Sport Band colors include Blue Horizon and Lavender Gray. As previously noted, the discounts today are focused on the 44mm sizes, which will fit both 42mm and 44mm Apple Watches.
Any Walmart orders over $35 qualify for free shipping, or you can opt for free in-store pickup. If you're on the hunt for more deals and bargains, be sure to head to our full Deals Roundup.
Over two years after the first iPhone SE devices were assembled in India, Apple is now exporting some India-made iPhones to European markets. The news comes from three people aware of Apple's plans, who stated that iPhone assembler Wistron recently began exporting some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models from India to Europe (via The Economic Times).
The iPhones are first being built in Wistron's facility in Bangalore, and about 100,000 units per month are being exported. Apple first began this process a few months ago, in a move that should further cement India as one of the company's assembly and manufacturing hubs outside of China.
The other two people, who are senior executives in the industry said that the export volumes were about 70-80% of the total capacity at the facility. Wistron has been making iPhone 6 since the year before and iPhone 7 since the beginning of this year.
According to industry watchers, Apple is said to be treating India "more as a production hub than a significant market" for device sales. The company will start manufacturing higher-end iPhone models locally in India through Foxconn, and as much as 70 to 80 percent of the output of those devices might be exported elsewhere.
Apple has been re-focusing efforts in India in hopes of expanding production outside of China in the wake of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. Last summer, Apple detailed a new India strategy with official retail stores, overhauled relationships with independent retailers, more frequent sales, and improved apps and services.
Some of these plans have started to come to fruition, as Apple has now finalized a list of locations for its first retail store in India.
MacRumors attracts a broad audience
of both consumers and professionals interested in
the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on
purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.