Apple Has Set the Stage to Eliminate the Charging Port

This week Apple held its virtual October event highlighting its latest iPhone models. For the first time, Apple has revealed 4 iPhone models for its annual line up. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “the iPhone 12 begins a new era for the smartphone. Many might assume Cook was referring to 5G connectivity with that statement, and while I agree 5G is part of the equation, I believe Cook’s vision for the future of the iPhone is much more ambitious. 

The iPhone 12 series has numerous new features and improvements over last year’s iPhone 11 series of phones. For one, all of the iPhones in Apple’s lineup are equipped with OLED displays. Significant camera improvements make their way across all of the new iPhones. However, only the 12 pro series of iPhones will receive the new Lidar camera sensor, which will be used for 3D Mapping for improved AR and even faster autofocus. 

One new feature that Apple did introduce this week that I feel will have significantly more impact in the coming years, and that feature is MagSafe on the iPhone. All of the new iPhones are equipped with an array of magnets on the phone’s rear to assist with perfect alignment for apples fresh MagSafe accessories. You can even charge your new iPhone through this rear magnetic mount with a new MagSafe charger. 

The introduction of this new charging method is a subtle warning for a future many in the tech community has seen coming for some time now. Apple is getting ready to kill the charging port on the iPhone. For those hoping that the iPhone would ever adopt a USB-C port like the MacBook and iPad Pro, I’m sorry to report that Apple plans to eliminate this port altogether. In the past, Apple has said its vision of the iPhone was to be a port less and buttonless slab of glass, and this new MagSafe standard is apple setting the stage to eliminate one of the essential ports on an iPhone or any device for that matter.

You may be asking yourself why would apple eliminate the charging port on their devices. Apple has a record of pushing the technology community forward, even when they understand these transitions will be uncomfortable. Eliminating this port will work wonders for the device’s security, blacking nearly all brute force attempts to access data stored on the device. Having no port would also increase the device’s resistance to dust and water elements, damaging the device or causing the device to deteriorate faster. 

I believe Apple is pragmatic about this new standard and easing its customers into this change slower than usual. The iPhone 12 series will still have the option to charge via the lightning port on the phone’s bottom. Apple is hoping its users will adopt this charging method now, so they will have the proper hardware already on hand when apple is ready to make the switch to a port less iPhone. I believe that change is coming sooner than we think, perhaps as early as the iPhone 13.

Without a doubt, this change will stress those who aren’t prepared to make the switch, no matter Apple’s efforts to soften the blow.

Instagram Finally Enables Dark Mode for iPhones Running iOS 13 Just in Time for Halloween!

 

To the delight of Dark Mode enthusiasts everywhere, Instagram has enabled a dark theme for its app. If users want to take advantage of Dark Mode for Instagram, they need to be running iOS 13 on their iPhone. Instagram, by default, has a bright white interface that can be uncomfortable to look at for long periods, especially in darker environments. Aesthetics aside, dark mode for Instagram will be much easier on the eyes due to its darker interface. Perhaps it will also be easier on battery life for phones with OLED displays.

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To ensure you can use Dark Mode on Instagram, follow these steps.

  1. Make Sure you are running iOS 13 (You can make sure in the settings app)
  2. Update your Instagram app to the latest version (Version 114.0)
  3. Enable System Dark Mode on your iPhone. (Settings or Control Center)
  4. Open the newly updated version of Instagram
  5. Enjoy your new spooky Instagram!

 

 

Apple Needs A Bundling Option for its Upcoming Services 

 

Apple has numerous new services slated to become available later this Fall. Apple Arcade and Apple TV + (Plus) will be joining the ranks of Apple Music, News (+), and iCloud. These services are here to provide content and experiences for iOS and MacOS users across a variety of Apple devices. Apple is shifting much of its branding power behind these services in an attempt to bring in new streams of revenue for the company. It’s no secret that smartphone sales are becoming stagnant across the spectrum, including the iPhone. With customers demanding more and more features from phones, the cost of making them has intern gone up dramatically, as have the prices that customers pay. Smartphone users are holding on to their phones longer and not upgrading as often as they used to. Apple and investors are hoping that this push for services will help recoup revenue lost from stagnant iPhone sales.

As of June 2019, Apple has persuaded 60 million people to sign up for their Apple Music subscription service. Those numbers are in contrast to Apples biggest competition in the music streaming industry, Spotify, which has over 200 million active users. Spotify, however, has a free ad-supported option for music streaming and about half of their user base is using their free model. Spotify still has a remarkable 100 million paid subscribers to its premium service.

Apple isn’t only trying to get a slice of the music streaming pie. Apple is also gunning for the likes of Netflix and Amazon and the video streaming industry. Apple intends to compete with these media giants by creating their original content and releasing it on their streaming platform, Apple TV +. Unlike Apple Music, Apple has to create its content, which, as Netflix and Amazon have discovered costs billions of dollars. Not only is creating this programming expensive but its also a massive risk. These shows and movies have to resonate with audiences, develop a following, and most importantly be critically acclaimed and win awards. Unlike Apple TV+ Netflix and Amazon have TV shows and movies that aren’t their original content. This means all they had to do is pay for a license to run the show. The Alternative would have been funding the show from the ground up, which is significantly more expensive. Of course, Apple is free to pursue this route as well, however, the owners of popular content like Disney want their segment of the streaming market. At the end of their contract with Netflix, Disney is pulling all of their properties from the platform and is launching their own this Fall called Disney +

Disney knows the steaming industry is crowded and highly competitive. If you look at Disney’s acquisitions over the past couple years like Marvel, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox, and ESPN, it should all be clear as to their motives. Owning these properties means they own the rights to stream them without having to pay licensing fees. Disney is taking full advantage of the properties they have control over and are bundling them into one easily accessible package.

Apple is spending an estimated 6 billion dollars on it’s streaming and services efforts. Apple certainly has the cash in excess to take these kinds of risks. I, however, think Apple should follow in Disney’s footsteps to their approach to services, and that is bundling! For a limited time like Disney Plus, or more of a permanent fixture, Apple should bundle a few of their various services with each other. For example, I am a subscriber to Apple Music myself and a Publisher on Apple News, I, however, am not subscribed to Apple news plus. However, if Apple offered a bundle of both news and music for $15 a month instead of the $20, it would be separately, I would likely go for that option. I can see parents considering an Apple TV + subscription, and perhaps their children want Apple Arcade. I feel more parents would more likely add Apple Arcade if they could get access in a bundle. Who knows, Apple customers might have been waiting in mass for these services and won’t require any packages or other offers. I, however, am on a tight budget, and with all the new players entering the streaming market, each company needs to persuade customers as to why theirs is the best.