Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank – first MagSafe battery pack

Anker has created a wireless battery pack that makes use of Apple’s proprietary MagSafe magnetic charging and mounting system. The PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank clicks on the back of the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max to give it charge.

The pack will only support 5W wireless charging from the 5,000 mAh cell but if you want charging to be a little quicker, the bank also has a USB-C port that supports 10W output.

As most iPhone owners will use a case of some sort, Anker is compatible with MagSafe cases. Hence, users can attach it to any iPhone 12 series device with or without a case.

At the moment, these battery packs will only be available in the US at a cost of $39.99 with an 18-month warranty. Apple is said to be creating its own wireless solution but at the moment, this is the only option.

Apple reveals four new iPhones

There is no need to beat around the bush, those that know will have watched the event live. If you didn’t, this is for you. Apple has released four new iPhones – iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max.

The key takeaways from it is 5G connectivity for all phones, the design harks back to the iPhone 4 with stainless steel frame but with a 2020 form factor and four sizes and prices.

iPhone 12 and 12 Mini
So let’s get to the 12 Mini -it is 5.4-inch iPhone, suitable for those you truly dislike the massive screen craze. It doesn’t lose out on any of the larger phones, still getting 5G connectivity, IP68 rating and the Super-Retina XDR display. The iPhone 12 is the same but in a larger 6.1-inch format fitted with the same A14 Bionic chip, the double rear cameras and a new Ceramic Shield front cover, said to provide the biggest jump in durability for an iPhone. The phones also introduce MagSafe, high-powered wireless charging using magnets that opens up to a new world of accessories that can easily attach to the iPhone.

Both phones will be available in five aluminum finishes, including blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED with either 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage. The iPhone 12 starts at $799 and the 12 Mini starts at $699 with deliveries starting October 23rd and November 13th respectively.

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
If those phones didn’t really take your fancy, the 12 Pro and Pro Max are those targeting the serious photographers and videographers. Offered as a 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch Super-Retina XDR screen with 1200 nits of brightness. As with the other 12s, the Pros come with IP68 rating, Ceramic Shield front cover, 5G connectivity, A14 Bionic chips and MagSafe. What makes these the Pro versions are the camera systems.

The iPhone 12 Pro features the new seven-element lens Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, with a 27 percent improved low-light performance in photo and video; the Ultra Wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, perfect for capturing more scene in tight spots; and a 52 mm focal length Telephoto camera, bringing the optical zoom range to 4x. iPhone 12 Pro Max takes the pro camera experience even further – the ƒ/1.6 aperture Wide camera sensor has 1.7μm pixels for a massive 87 percent improvement in low-light conditions. It also includes the expansive Ultra Wide camera and a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera for increased flexibility with closer shots and tighter crops. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range. And then there is Apple ProRAW which allows users to shoot in RAW but also keep the computational functionality of using an iPhone giving full creative control over color, detail, and dynamic range natively.

If that wasn’t enough, Apple has added LiDAR to the Pro line. This allows the camera system to measure light distance and use pixel depth information to create a better image or scene. This is great for AR and greatly improves autofocus in low-light.

Then onto video. The Pro series is said to be the first and only devices that enable end-to-end HDR video with Dolby Vision, up to 60fps. This allows users to grade live and then can be sustained during editing straight from the Photos app.

Both of the Pro series will be made available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models in graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue starting at $999 for the 12 Pro and $1,099 for the 12 Pro Max delivered from October 23rd and November 13th respectively.

iOS 14: What you need to know

2020 is the first year that Apple’s WWDC or World Wide Developer Conference wasn’t held in front a large physical audience. This time, digital only using a familiar format but making use of the vast Apple campus and some pretty swanky transitions. A lot was discussed and previewed; the $100 million initiative to combat racism and investing in education and criminal justice reform.

The biggest news to come out of WWDC 2020 is definitely iOS 14, the upcoming operating system for iPhone with some new design features. Now, there are elements Android users will be familiar with, but this doesn’t mean that Apple shouldn’t be able to include them too and here are some of the ones we are most excited for:

Redesigned Home Screen

An iPhone home screen was only as configurable as moving/removing apps around the screen and subsequent pages. Now though, the home screen supports widgets, meaning you can get more information at a glance that you could ever before. Yes, it isn’t anything new when you look over to the other ecosystems but for Apple users this is pretty big.

Simply drag a widget from the ‘Today’ view and place it on the home screen. Pin or resize to your hearts content and if you like having different information fed to you at different times of the day you can try out the ‘Smart Stack’ feature which will use on-device intelligence to push the right widget based on time, location, and activity.

Digital car key

Your iPhone pretty much is everything you want it to be; a phone, a camera, a credit card so why not let it also be your car keys? You can register your car key in the Apple Wallet, (only if you own the new BMW 5-Series for now, with more models being added) and when you walk up to it, you can unlock via NFC. Rest the phone on its pad on the centre console, start the car and you are good to go. With that, users are able to set specific driving profiles with certain restrictions if needed.

What if your battery runs out, I hear you call out? Well Apple have thought about that too, the phone will still be able to unlock the car for up to five hours after you hit 0%, plenty of time to get back in the car and give the phone some juice.

App library

Swipe right to the very last page on an iPhone with iOS 14 and it opens the new App library. Similar to an Android app drawer, this is where you can see all of your apps at a glance. The apps are organised into folders by category and the phone will suggest a collection in the top left whilst the most recently added apps will in the folder to the top right.

This means the home screen cleaner can be kept cleaner and all the apps can kept in the app library rather than spread out over numerous pages.

Siri

Siri has had an overhaul to bring it up to the standards of 2020. Given a more compact design, popping up as a swirling globe rather than the full page as before. It has more answers too, stated as having over 20X more than it did three years ago so expect better answers to those trivial questions we all ask our ‘virtual assistants’. Another great thing Siri has added is that it can now send voice messages directly.

Compact design

Elements including calls, FaceTime and Siri among others are now more compact, showing up as button notifications rather than the whole screen as it used to. Picture in picture has also been added to give you more freedom when you are on a FaceTime call but you need to check your calendar before accepting the invitation to a bbq.

Updated Maps

Apple Maps has been constantly improving over the years to claw back users from Google Maps and in iOS 14 it is going green. Own an electric car? Well Apple Maps has you covered. Input the type of electric car you drive and it will plan the route with compatible chargers along the way.

Maybe you prefer taking a bicycle… Apple Maps has that covered too. It takes elevation changes into account and alerts you if you are set for a sweaty uphill battle or an easy flat cruise. It also gives you the option to avoid busy roads when picking a route. If you are visiting a new city, Maps has also thrown in a new feature called ‘Guides’ which offers curated content showing you where to eat, shop and explore.

Translate

Translate offers conversation between two people in 11 languages. Simply turn your phone into landscape mode and hit the microphone in the middle and the app will listen before translating to the desired language and playing audio.

Sometimes it is difficult for people to understand your phone in a busy, noisy environment so Apple has added the attention mode which shows the enlarged translation to get a person’s attention.

App clips

Have you ever tried to read something on the go and you are directed to the app store to download the app? The team that developed iOS 14 were aware of how frustrating that is and added app clips. This allows you to interact with apps to a certain extent without needing to download it. You can rent a scooter, order a coffee and pay for parking without needing to download the full app.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the features in iOS 14, as there have been changes to Messages, Memoji, health app, privacy, Home and more. You can find the full list here.

iOS 14 will be available in Autumn and the list of compatible phones are iPhone 11 series, XS series, XR, X, 8 series, 7 series, 6S series and iPhone SE.

Instagram Magnets

Instagram has blown up as an App since it was created. it has now been purchased by Facebook for a cool $1 billion.

Everyone knows that more often than not these cool photos that we take with our smartphones will only end up on the cloud somewhere only being seen by those few.

A company called StickyGram now has the answer. it will let you print any of your favourite instagram prints and turn them into fridge magnets. Its pretty simple. sign in with your instagram details, pick your favourite nine images to make a sheet and then purchase. as easy as the A…B….C. each sheet of nine cost $14.99 with free postage worldwide from the UK.

Each StickyGram is 50mm x 50mm. That’s approximately the same size as they appear on your iPhone.

you check them out for yourselves right here.

Sonastand for iPhone

Everyone who has an iPhone or has ever watched a video on one will know that the sound isn’t too great.

The only solutions people have had are cup your hand around the speaker or place it in an empty glass to let the sound echo.

iPhone owners including myself know that this isn’t the greatest solution and this is why two guys Colin and Bob have come up with the Sonastand.

The Sonastand is a machined aluminium acoustic stand for the iPhone 4/S. It holds the phone in landscape mode which is great for watching videos or using FaceTime. Its specially designed sloped shape allows you to plug the charger into your phone while you use the Sonastand.  They  machined the Sonastand out of a solid chunk of aluminum. It’s virtually indestructible and is so small you can take it everywhere. it will be available in four sizes to accommodate your iPhone in its skin, case or birthday suit.

Doesn’t even need batteries which is perfect if you’re at the beach or on a picnic.

The one thing these two guys ask for is a little backing to get this project up and running commercially.

and if anyone wants to back this project you can do here.

take a look at the sound differences in the vid below:

 

Baby monitor for the future

no product is safe from the technological revolution. This baby monitor by Withings is one of them.

Withings is a company that has taken the baby monitor which was more like a one way walkie-talkie and brought it into the 21st century. It brings the best technology for viewing your loved one as they sleep in their cots. This can all be seen from your iPhone. The monitor will show the humidity, temperature, noise and movement. The Monitor also allows you to scan the room, even zoom in on your baby sleeping.

In the past, a typical baby monitor would only let you listen in on your child, now if you see that your child has woken up, you can interact with them through the baby monitor. Sing to them, even turn on a night-light from your iPhone app. The monitor wouldn’t look out-of-place at an Apple store, being a glossy white cube which opens up to reveal the camera and large command button.

 

Take a look at the video below and feel comfortable leaving your son or daughter in their cot while you enjoy your evening.

Price for this is €299  

Nike+ FuelBand

who ever says you can’t mix sports with social media?

Nike have taken this concept a step further by releasing a band known as the ‘Nike+ FuelBand’. it is a wearable band sort of like a bracelet with an accelerometer  that allows you to track steps, calories spent and your ‘Nike fuel’ which is a score that you earn whenever you move.

You can track your activity using the Nike+ website by syncing over USB and lets other users track your progress and also lets top athletes congratulate you on your goals.

There is a line of LED’s ranging from red to green that lets you keep track of the fuel gained over the day.

It is pretty cool and will definitely look into investing in one when paired with my new Nike FreeRun +2 which I will write a review on in the coming weeks.

 

The cost will be around €120 or $150 if you from USA from any Nike Stockist.

 

now check out the 2nd video below