Lightning December 12, 2015

AAPL: 113.18

-2.99
Stock Chart

Three years ago, Apple released the original Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, a larger, faster, and more expensive version of a Camera Connection Kit component it had previously developed for Dock Connector iPads. When I tested it back in 2012, I noted that the reader was working 3 times faster than its predecessor when used with the then-current iPad (4th-Gen), and 50% faster with the original iPad mini. Since then, iPads have only gotten faster, while the Reader has stayed unchanged.

This week, Apple subtly replaced the accessory with the Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader (USB 3), which carries the same $29 price and arrives in a nearly identical box. As the parentheses suggest, the new Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader is capable of running at USB 3 speeds if the connected iPad supports USB 3 — for now, only the iPad Pro does — but it’s backward-compatible with earlier USB 2 iPads, and thanks to iOS 9.2, both old and new Readers now work with iPhones. If you have an iPad Pro, or plan to get a new Apple device in the future, the new version should be a no-brainer purchase over its predecessor, though other options (such as Eye-Fi’s excellent wireless SD cards, reviewed here) can eliminate the need for card readers altogether, even if they operate at slower speeds…

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Lightning December 8, 2015

AAPL: 118.23

-0.05
Stock Chart

A bumpy battery case isn’t the only new product from Apple this month. The iPad-specific Lightning to SD Card Reader has been replaced with a newer version with the same name, appearance, and price, but one important electronic difference. It now takes advantage of the faster USB 3 transfer speeds supported by new iPad Pros and works with iPhones…

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Lightning December 4, 2015

AAPL: 119.03

3.83
Stock Chart

At the start of the week we saw Apple officially pull the plug on Beats Music after using it as the foundation for Apple Music which includes a streaming radio station dubbed Beats 1 as a salute. On the hardware front, Apple is totally marching forward with the headphone and speaker business it acquired after buying Beats for $3 billion a year and a half ago. The first totally new product to come from Apple under the Beats brand is the recently announced Beats Pill+ ($195, reg. $229), a portable Bluetooth speaker that recharges over Lightning like iPhones and iPads.

The Pill+ marks Apple’s first real step back into the speaker business since briefly entering it in with the iPod Hi-Fi from 2006 to 2007; aside from color variations and wireless models, all other Beats hardware has been designed before the Apple move. Still, Apple’s new portable speaker resembles previous versions of Beats hardware more than you might expect from the iPhone maker in 2015. There’s even a companion Pill+ app for both iOS and Android. And even though this is clearly a Beats-branded product and not purely Apple, there’s something for fans of both to like, but is it the best speaker in its class?

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9to5toys 

Lightning December 2, 2015

AAPL: 116.28

-1.06
Stock Chart

Apple has consistently worked at making the iPhone ever slimmer, and has been willing to make compromises to achieve that, most notably in battery-life. But with the iPhone 6 and 6s, it is close to the limit on how slim an iPhone can be – and the reason for that is the oldest piece of tech in the phone. The iPhone 6/6s is not very much thicker than the diameter of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

3-5mm

The latest iPod touch shows that Apple has a little more room for manoeuvre (above photo Anandtech, below iFixit).

ifixit

But really not much. If Apple wants to continue the iPhone’s diet, at some point very soon it’s going to have to ditch the 3.5mm headphone socket in favor of an alternative. There are four possible options open to it …  expand full story

Lightning November 27, 2015

AAPL: 117.81

-0.22
Stock Chart

Citing a reliable source, a report from Japanese blog Macotakara claims that Apple plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone port from the upcoming iPhone 7, helping to achieve a “more than 1mm” reduction in thickness compared to the iPhone 6s. While the screen shape and radius will remain similar, the device will once again become Apple’s thinnest iPhone ever, albeit with a new restriction: headphones will only be able to connect over Lightning or Bluetooth… expand full story

Lightning November 3, 2015

AAPL: 122.57

1.39
Stock Chart

With thousands of generic battery packs now on the market, it takes something special to make a new option stand out, and Nomad’s new Wallet for iPhone certainly succeeds. Shaped like a standard bifold wallet, the Wallet hides a 2,400mAh battery pack in its spine, as well as a 3″ Made for iPhone-certified Lightning cable.

Nomad notes that the goal was to produce a wallet that wasn’t any thicker than what “guys are already sitting on.” Made from Saffiano leather and measuring 4.7″ by 3.5″ by 0.75″ when closed, Wallet can hold six cards and a bunch of cash, in addition to providing at least a full recharge for pre-iPhone 6 models of the iPhone, and around 100% for the just-released iPhone 6s. Wallet for iPhone is available for preorder now for $79, and shipping on November 16; the price will go up to $99 for all orders placed after November 15. A gallery of images is below…

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9to5google 

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