Items tagged with Lightning

Apple is no stranger to removing ports from its devices. On the MacBook side, the company killed off MagSafe, HDMI, and SD card readers (among other things) in an effort "simplify" things. Even the iPhone has not escaped the scalpel, as caught a lot of heat when it removed the 3.5mm headphone jack starting with the iPhone 7 in 2016. Now a new report coming from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that Apple is on the path to removing another well-used (and incredibly important) port from the iPhone. According to Kuo, Apple will remove the Lightning port from the iPhone starting in 2021. Now before you jump to the conclusion that Apple is dropping the Lightning port in favor of USB-C, we must stop... Read more...
Are you miffed that the latest iPhone doesn't have a dedicated 1/8" audio jack? Well, Apple likely won't be alone, as other smartphone OEMs may be looking to ditch the venerable headphone jack in order to take advantage of audio over USB-C. This week, the USB-IF (Implementers Forum) announced "USB Audio over USB Type-C", and it's touting it for much the same reasons that Apple does with its latest iPhone. USB-IF expects this standard to be used for headsets, mobile devices, docking stations, gaming setups, VR solutions, and more. Notebooks are not mentioned, but it seems certain they'll all support USB-C in the near-future, which of course will be able to be used for audio. "Device... Read more...
Leave it to the creative folks at Apple to take its sweet time fixing a problem it created, and then charging a premium for that fix. To be more specific, Apple is finally offering a USB-C to Lightning cable, which will set you back $25 for the version that's 1 meter (~3.3 feet) long, or $35 to double the length to 2 meters (~6.5 feet). So what's the big deal? Well, up until now you were pretty much out of luck if you owned a Retina MacBook and a mobile iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) and wanted to tether them, either for the purposes of transferring data or to charge your mobile gadget. Oh sure, you could buy an adapter, but that's just another plastic accessory to carry around—ain't... Read more...
The fact that Apple is planning to remove the standard 3.5-inch audio jack on future iPhones has been the subject of much debate over the past couple of months. Some iPhone devouts have even begun warning Apple that this will be the move that pushes them to alternative platforms. It's not hard to understand why: we all have our favorite pair of earbuds or headphones, and those would effectively become incompatible with future iPhone (without the use of an adapter). Considering the fact that the current 3.5-inch audio jack is good enough even for pros to use speaks volumes about Apple's motive here. Apple's always been a company that's loved cutting features for the sake of a finished product... Read more...
If you’re a fan of increasingly thin smartphones that prioritize looks over larger batteries for increased runtimes, Apple’s next generation iPhone might be right up your alley. According to sources for Mac Otakara, Apple’s obsession with everything thin will kick into overdrive next year when the presumed “iPhone 7” launches without a 3.5mm headphone jack. The 3.5mm headphone jack, which has been a mainstay on iPhones since the original debuted in 2007 (albeit in recessed form), has reportedly been deemed outdated and unnecessary by Apple. In addition, the port takes up precious space within the iPhone’s chassis that could be dedicated to more important components. But more importantly,... Read more...
As we discovered just the other day, Apple's latest iPad, Pro, isn't too repairable, scoring just 3 out of 10 on iFixit's scale - 10 being the best. Somewhat humorously, that's still a lot better the 1 out of 10 score the Surface Book received earlier this month. Nonetheless, the teardown helped highlight a feature Apple kept mum on: a USB 3.0-compatible Lightning port. That means that with the right cable, users would be able to enjoy transfer speeds going through a 5Gbps bus. That's theoretically ~625MB/s peak, but more accurately would top out at around 500MB/s in the real-world thanks to overhead. Currently, Lightning connectors utilizing USB 2.0 would peak at just over 30MB/s. The storage... Read more...
In addition to the revised 15-inch MacBook Pro and 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina Display news from this morning, Apple has introduced a new accessory for all Lightning-equipped iPhones: the iPhone Lightning Dock. The addition of the dock is surprising for two reasons. First, why did it take so long for Apple to release a Lightning Dock compatible with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus? Secondly, is Apple out of its Vulcan mind by charging $39 for a hunk of plastic? To add insult to injury, Apple doesn’t even include an extra Lightning USB cable in the box; you’re on your own on that front. For $39, you’d expect a little extra love from Apple, but I digress. With that said, the iPhone Lightning... Read more...
Apple has worked hard to deliver synchronized data across all of your iDevices with iCloud, but for those who aren’t so keen on trusting the cloud with their data, there’s a device coming called the iStick that allows you to transfer files locally. Yes, it’s a USB flash drive (nothing interesting there)--however, it also has an integrated Lightning connector (ah, there we go). iStick HYPER (by Sanho), the company behind the iStick, says that it’s currently the only USB flash drive with Apple’s proprietary connector, and it works with iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices. Available in capacities of 8GB ($129), 16GB ($169), 32GB ($199), 64GB ($299), and 128GB ($399),... Read more...
Apple has added a spec to its MFi (Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod) program that allows for a headphone connection via the Lightning port instead of the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, and the functionality will come via an iOS 7.1 software update. According to 9to5Mac, the Lightning port will allow headphones to receive lossless stereo 48kHz digital audio streams--as well as a mono 48kHz output, which means that users’ headphones could have a microphone to allow for voice input. Thus, you could ostensibly control the audio (volume up/down, pause/play, and even perhaps app launching). Credit: 9to5Mac There will be two types of headphones: Standard Lightning Headphones will be simpler and will... Read more...
The Consumer Electronics Show hasn’t officially started just yet, but that hasn’t prevented a number of companies from showing of their wares a bit early at venues other than the Las Vegas Convention Center. We’ve already had a number of private briefings that we’ll be able to talk about soon; in the meantime we’ve got some goodies from MSI’s suites at the MGM Grand Hotel to show you. MSI had a number of components on display in one suite and a host of notebooks, peripherals, mobile workstations, and All-In-One systems in another.   MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning One of their hottest components was the upcoming Radeon R9 290X Lightning with tripe-slot/triple... Read more...
Great news for those waiting for the tried-and-true USB connector to follow the path of Apple's thinner, smaller lightning connector... at least in terms of overall size. While mini-USB and micro-USB are certainly tiny by most definitions, they're still a little chunky when seen on some of the world's slimmest phones and tablets. In order to keep progress marching on, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that a next-generation plug is in development. The USB Type-C connector will be compatible with USB 3.x and 2.x technologies, but the most important part is this: it'll be both smaller than the existing plug, plus it'll be reversible. The reversible bit is probably Lightning's biggest improvement,... Read more...
Apple has famously eschewed any industry standardization with its device connectors in favor of proprietary options, including when it rolled out the new Lightning connector and sucker punched an entire side industry’s worth of iOS accessories that weren’t compatible with new iPhones and iPads. Frank Nuovo, Nokia’s phone design guru, is on record as saying that Apple needs to get with the program and switch to a standard micro USB connector as essentially the rest of the mobile industry has done. “I think that the world is frustrated that you have to have a proprietary connector at this point of maturity in the mobile phone world, we have reached a point where these phones... Read more...
Apple’s walled-garden approach to mobile is legendary, and rarely was the company’s control over the entire iPhone/iPad, iOS, and apps ecosystem more evident than when it changed its proprietary 30-pin connector to the new Lightning interface and effectively punched an entire industry of iOS accessory makers (and customers who suddenly owned products incompatible with their new iPhones) in the neck. Makers of iOS accessories have to go through Apple’s MFi program in order to ensure that their products are up to Apple’s rigorous standards, and in the case of Lightning connectors, ensure that Apple has given them authentication chips that go into each Lightning cable. Credit:... Read more...
Anticipation for Apple’s rumored plastic budget iPhone is high--not so much because it’s supposed to be a killer device as people want to see if it will be any good. A company called Techdy claims that it’s snagged one of the devices and produced copious photos and a little teardown to show it off. The photos show a white-backed device that has a 4-inch screen (which is also probably plastic), and there are two mic ports, a headphone jack, a Lightning port, and a four-hole speaker grill. There is also a camera and LED flash on the back. Bear in mind that Techdy is a company that specializes in knockoffs of phones--in fact, it’s already selling an Android lookalike of the... Read more...
It was just last week that NVIDIA launched the excellent GeForce GTX 780, which is essentially a scaled-back GeForce GTX Titan, at much more palatable—but still relatively high—price. NVIDIA is not quite done making news, however. As is typically the case when NVIDIA launches a graphics card in a new product family, derivatives that continue to flesh out the product stack are soon to follow. First came the GeForce GTX 780 and today marks the arrival of its little brother, the GeForce GTX 770. The GeForce GTX 770 looks much like the GTX 780 and Titan, but underneath its cooler assembly lies a different sort of animal, though it’s an animal many of you will likely be familiar... Read more...
It was just last week that NVIDIA launched the seriously potent GeForce GTX 780, which is essentially a scaled-back GeForce GTX Titan, at much more palatable—but still relatively high—price. NVIDIA is not quite done making news, however. As is typically the case when NVIDIA launches a graphics card in a new product family, derivatives that continue to flesh out the product stack are soon to follow. First came the GeForce GTX 780 and today marks the arrival of its little brother, the GeForce GTX 770. The GeForce GTX 770 looks much like the GTX 780 and Titan, but underneath its cooler assembly lies a different sort of animal, though it’s an animal many of you will likely be familiar... Read more...
Yesterday, we reported that a Kickstarter project called POP, a wireless charging station that could support all mobile devices, got effectively shut down after Apple refused to allow the developer to implement both a Lightning connector and a 30-pin iPod connector in the same device. The developer, Jamie Siminoff, lamented the turn of events in a blog post and pledged to refund his backers. However, Apple has sent word out that it has (had?) changed its policy to allow the connectors to be placed side-by-side. Thus, the POP charger can live on, which should be good news for Siminoff and all his backers. Here’s the text of Apple’s statement: Our technical specifications provide clear... Read more...
The developers behind a Kickstarter project called POP (short for “portable power”), a multi-device charging station that would support virtually all mobile devices, were looking to raise $50,000 but found themselves flush with over $139,000 in support. The portable chargers looked promising, but the devs hit a brick wall when Apple denied their application to integrate the new Lightning interface into the POP devices. (Apparently, you can’t just use Lightning without expressed written consent from Apple.) Just like that, Apple torpedoed the whole project, which underscores just how powerful the company is. With the POP project dead in the water, the developers had another problem,... Read more...
NASA tells us that "contrary to popular misconception, lightning often strikes the same place twice." This would certainly explain why MSI is launching not one, but TWO 'Lightning' videocards, the N580GTX Lightning and R6970 Lightning. These cards play for different teams obviously, the N580GTX representing Nvidia and the R6970 entrenched in AMD's camp. But both cards sport many of the same features, including MSI's Power4 architectures with all kinds of component upgrades, like a PWM module that's twice as large as previous Lightning cards. Memory has its own indepedendent power supply using an 8-pin connector to better help with overclocking, and MSI says its next-generation Proadizer capacitor... Read more...
The Dell Lightning smartphone that was leaked to the world months ago has finally become a reality, but it's not what you think: the Lightning code name has been thrown aside for something that's much more esoteric. Dell's newest smartphone is the Venue Pro, and unlike most of the Windows Phone 7 units announced today, this unit actually isn't going to AT&T. Instead, it's going to T-Mobile USA. The Venue Pro is a real powerhouse, and it looks to rival the newly introduced DROID PRO by Motorola. This phone has a huge display, a 4.1" WVGA AMOLED capacitive touch panel that supports multi-touch. That's up there with the DROID X, and it won't be for people with small pockets. There's also a full... Read more...
The Computex convention in Taipei officially kicked off this morning, and that means you can expect a spate of product announcements at every turn. One of those comes from MSI, who has just announced their R5870 Lightning graphics card. Built around the same 40nm manufacturing process as other HD 5870 parts and sporting the same 2GB of RAM, MSI says they took things to a new level by using military class components, a unique cooling solution, and a voltage regulator function. Of interest to overclockers, MSI's Lightning iteration includes a 15-phase PWM design to provide more power to the GPU and memory, as well as a built-in dual 8-pin power source interface. It's all supplemented by server... Read more...
Today, MSI released the N260GTX Lightning graphics card. This latest offering from MSI looks to be aimed squarely at the hardcore graphics card overclocking enthusiast. Noteworthy features of the N260GTX Lightning include "Military Class" components, 1792MB of memory, Twin Frozr cooling, and MSI's "AirForce Panel" that allows access to overclocking features via a panel mounted in an available 5.25" drive bay. To further facilitate overclocking, V-check contact points for measuring GPU and memory voltage (with a Multimeter) are located near the edge of the graphics cards PCB. "Military Class" components MSI utilizes "Military Class" solid capacitors that they claim deliver 2.5 times the lifespan... Read more...
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