Editor for 9to5Mac and 9to5Google. You’ll find Michael’s articles most often on 9to5Mac where he covers news, reviews, and how-tos. Reach out to Michael with tips, deliberations, and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
DuckDuckGo switches to privacy-focused Apple Maps to ‘set a new standard of trust online’
DuckDuckGo, the popular search engine alternative to Google has announced today that its address and map searches on mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple’s MapKit JS framework. DuckDuckGo is one of the first companies to rely on MapKit for its data and touts the privacy that the move brings to its users.
A new breakthrough in Bluetooth chip technology has shed the battery that typically comes with the small hardware component. Wiliot is seeing success with its paper-thin Bluetooth sticker chip that could land in devices later this year. The chip is able to be battery-free by harnessing the ambient radio waves to power it and has a lot of potential use cases.
Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip
Pandora launches its own in-app voice assistant on Android and iOS w/ ‘Hey Pandora’ command
Following the end of the “we added voice commands to it” convention last week, Pandora has today announced its own voice assistant, otherwise known as Pandora Voice Mode, for its Android and iOS applications. Rolling out soon to free and paid users, the new assistant will make it easy for users to control stations, perform common actions within the app, and more.
Netflix has announced that it will again be raising its prices for its streaming video plans. We saw the last price hike in October, and the latest jump is the biggest since the company’s launch. These changes come ahead of Apple launching its own video streaming service as soon as March.
Anker unveils MFi USB-C to Lightning cables slated for March, Kickstarter-backed alternative promised for April
Last year we learned that Apple would be opening up its MFi program to USB-C/Lightning cables so third-parties can expand the options on the market (and offer cheaper alternatives). After seeing a preview of Belkin’s upcoming cables, Anker is out today with details about its options that will be arriving in March. Also, a lesser-known brand has just successfully met its funding goal on Kickstarter for a line of durable, braided nylon USB-C to Lightning cables and is promising to ship them by April.
As Apple and Qualcomm’s FTC trial continues today, we’re learning more details about the quarrels between the two companies. As reported by CNET, one of the more interesting tidbits from Apple’s COO Jeff Williams was that the company wanted to put Qualcomm’s 4G chips in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, but Qualcomm refused to sell them to Apple.
After originally rolling out support for the iPhone XS Max and XR displays back in October, Instagram broke the optimized resolutions with an update last month. Now, an update today has solved the issue, but also requires Instagram users to be running iOS 10. In related news, YouTube has released an update that now takes full advantage of the new iPad Pro displays.
How to pay for Spotify Premium in the iOS app
Want to upgrade your free Spotify account to a Premium one and looking for where to sign up on the iPhone or iPad app? Follow along for how to pay for Spotify Premium in the iOS app.
[Update: Shipping next month for $660] Robin Telecom claims to offer the first HomeKit enabled doorbell with its ProLine Doorbell
Robin Telecom, based in The Netherlands, has what looks like the first HomeKit doorbell approved by Apple. The company’s ProLine Doorbell also includes features like an all aluminum design, 130° field of view, HD video, and more.
Barclays is out today with a forecast that iPhone 11 will include support for the newest generation of Wi-Fi. This prediction comes as we’ve been learning more about the triple-camera system that could land with the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 along with improvements to Face ID, new antenna tech, and more.
Ikea launches braided MFi Lightning cable in Sweden for $9, US plans unclear
Ikea is out with another Apple accessory, this time a braided nylon MFi Lightning cable at an affordable price. This latest release comes after news about the company launching its HomeKit smart blinds that are priced well below other manufacturers and will be arriving in the US soon.
How to improve hearing by turning iPhone and AirPods into remote microphones
AirPods are great fully wireless earphones, and they can also be used as a sort of hearing aid device with iPhone as a remote microphone. Follow along for how to improve hearing by turning iPhone and AirPods into remote microphones with the iOS Live Listen feature.
T-Mobile and Sprint promise to stop selling user location data to third-parties, for real this time
Update: AT&T now says it will also stop selling user location to aggregation services, according to CNET.
After Motherboard published details about a concerning investigation into how US wireless carriers are selling user location data to third-parties, T-Mobile and Sprint have made some fresh promises. They say they will end the practice of selling users’ data to third-party aggregators that often have little to no oversight.
Samsung to announce Galaxy S10 at February 20 Galaxy Unpacked event
After rumors courtesy of the Korean Herald that Samsung would unveil the Samsung Galaxy S10 a week prior to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company has taken to Twitter to confirm the Galaxy Unpacked 2019 for the S10 event with a cryptic video.
How to find out what USB ports are on your Apple devices and other electronics
Whether you just got a Mac, iPad, iPhone or a device from a different brand, follow along for how to find out what USB ports are on your Apple devices and other electronics.
How to rotate iPhone and iPad videos taken in the wrong orientation
Whether you accidentally took a video in the wrong orientation, or someone shared a video with you that you’d like to edit, follow along for how to rotate iPhone and iPad videos taken in the wrong orientation.
Scosche’s BaseLynx modular charging and organization system has sections for Apple Watch, wireless iPhone charging, and iPad Pro
Scosche is out today with details on its new BaseLynx modular charging and organization system for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more. The customizable charging system allows users to configure a solution to their needs with components for Apple Watch, Qi wireless charging for iPhone, as well as wired USB-C and USB-A charging for iPad, and more.
iOttie has unveiled several new products at CES this week. The most interesting new accessory looks to be the Easy One Touch Connect, which is an iPhone and Android smartphone car mount with Alexa voice control built-in and one-handed docking and undocking. iOttie has also shown off another car mount, and a power bank with Qi wireless charging with USB-C.