“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in an emailed statement today.
Everything I’ve personally heard (Apple is saying nothing officially) about the AirPower delay has been related to tough engineering problems related to the laws of physics. Specifically, I’ve heard that they ran too hot because the 3D charging coils in close proximity to one another required very, very cautious power management.
We asked an engineer with experience building wireless charging systems what obstacles Apple was working to overcome. “Over time, these harmonics add up and they become really powerful signals in the air,” explains William Lumpkins, VP of Engineering at O & S Services. “And that can be difficult—that can stop someone’s pacemaker if it’s too high of a level. Or it could short circuit someone’s hearing aid.” If Apple’s multi-coil layout was spinning off harmonics left and right, it’s possible AirPower couldn’t pass muster with US or EU regulations.
Part of what’s astonishing about the AirPower cancellation is how last-minute it was, right on the heels of the AirPods 2 release. But Lumpkins says that happens sometimes. He speculated that Apple had AirPower working in their labs: ”Well, so what always happens is you get it functional first. No one looks at [Electro-Magnetic Interference] until the end.” The FCC rules for wireless charging devices like AirPower are quite strict, and limit exposure to 20 cm (8 in) above the device to 50 mW/cm^2.
Over the last year, we’ve reviewed a variety of wireless chargers at 9to5Mac that AirPower would have competed with. Notably, none of them offer all the features that AirPower was supposed to, but no company has figured out how to bring all of that functionality to market in one package.
While the following AirPower alternatives all feature some pros and cons, most of them offer the convenience of charging up to three devices at once in a single product and include Qi wireless compatibility. The good news is that all of these likely cost less than what Apple would have charged for AirPower. Let’s take a look.
A year ago, Apple acquired the digital newsstand app Texture to form the basis of its new subscription-based service, Apple News+, which launched on Monday. As some have expected, the standalone Texture app will soon shut down as a result. According to emails sent to current Texture subscribers pointing to a FAQ on the company’s website, Texture’s last day of service will be May 28, 2019. Existing customers will be offered a one-month free trial to Apple News+ to make the jump.
I can’t recommend that you get the new AirPods simply because Apple says they’re new and better. My experience from the first-generation AirPods to the new pair felt largely unchanged. Since Apple introduced the first generation of AirPods, the rest of the earbuds market has caught up to the concept, and the second-generation AirPods should move the category forward even more. In my opinion, they don’t really do that. And in general, it’s unwise to offer a blanket recommendation for a product that wedges directly into the ear. Earbuds are a subjective thing; what fits well on me (and the AirPods do) may not fit well on you.
But if you think you want AirPods, you have an iPhone already, and you’re willing to spend $160 to $200 on them, then you’ll appreciate the convenience of them. Just a couple seconds after you’ve popped them into your ears, you’ll hear the familiar cue that your AirPods are ready to go, for that phone call that just came in, for that YouTube video you’re about to watch, for any type of audio experience you expect you’ll partake in in the near future.
Of all of the entire current iPad lineup, the new iPad Air seems poised to be the one that best fits the needs of most people. The iPad Air's starting price of $499 seems fair for the quality of the experience, and if you're looking for an iPad with an expansive screen for watching movies, playing games, and doing light work, this is it.
From creating a shopping or to-do list to keeping track of your favourite recipes and wine labels, notes apps are incredibly handy. Your smartphone probably has a built-in notes app, but Google Keep and Evernote have a few advanced features which might earn them a spot on your devices.
Photoshop and I go way back. I had the first version in 1990, and it has served me well as a photo editor for both my landscape and deep sky work. Over the last couple of years, though, every time I use Photoshop or Lightroom in their Creative Cloud versions I can't help thinking something is wrong.
The software is increasingly buggy, and new versions fix some things and break others. If you'd have asked me 5 years ago if I could live without Adobe's photo editors I would have said no. Today, I'm rethinking the value proposition of both Photoshop and Lightroom.
The ECG function in Apple Watch represents the best value for money I’ve ever spent in technology. There may only be a few people like me who are helped out by this, versus the millions who will just run the ECG for fun and get confirmation of their normal heart rhythms. But helping those few is totally worth it. Trust me.
Twenty years ago this week, I sat in the ornate ballroom of the Metropolitan Club, on East Sixtieth Street, and watched a presentation by the executives of Priceline.com, an online-travel startup that was about to issue shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It was the height of the dot-com bubble, and the room was packed with fund managers, stock analysts, and other Wall Street types who were hoping to get in on the latest hot offering. As I recounted in a book that I wrote about the bubble, Richard S. Braddock, Priceline’s chairman and chief executive, told the crowd that the startup “had the potential to revolutionize not just the travel business, but automobile sales and financial services, too.”
A few days later, Priceline shares started trading, at sixteen dollars each. Investors flocked to buy them, and the stock closed the day at sixty-nine dollars, a pop of more than three hundred and thirty per cent. The buying didn’t stop there. Three weeks later, Priceline’s stock traded above a hundred and fifty dollars, valuing the company at more than twenty billion dollars, which was more than the capitalization of the entire U.S. airline industry. Two years later, after the bubble burst, the stock was trading at less than two dollars.
If you can live without AirPower for the past one, two years, you can live without AirPower.
Thanks for reading.