Apple might switch to USB-C, fast charging in the future

Bye, USB-A!



If you’re an iPhone user, you’re probably gushing at how fast your Android-toting friends are charging their phones. Forever a den of exclusivity, Apple has always kept its devices behind FireWire and Lightning. However, a new rumor hints that the brand might open its doors to outsiders in the future.

According to a post from China’s social network Weibo, Apple is allegedly developing power adapters and devices that will support USB-C in the future. These devices include a new USB-C charger that includes a USB-C to Lightning cable adapter.

Currently, iPhones ship with just a 5W USB-A power adapter. Sadly, Apple’s default falls behind Android’s fast charging. Thankfully, the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X models already come with fast charging support. However, to activate this, users need to buy additional accessories.

The supposed new charger tops out at 18W. As such, it should natively support fast charging. If implemented, the charger should significantly cut down charging times.

Also, the rumored charger supports USB-C. While the charger will still have the Lightning cable, having a USB-C base might fast track the USB-A’s extinction across all devices. It’s important to note that the newest MacBooks only have USB-C ports.

Finally, sketches of the planned charger indicate a change in design. Whereas current Apple chargers have a prism shape, this new one will sport a more oval shape.

Of course, without an actual statement from Apple, take this with a grain of salt. The brand has supposedly cracked down on any of its internal plans leaking to the public prematurely.

However, to add to the rumor’s credibility, the charger will add validity to the iPhone’s move to USB-C support last year. Further, the cited source also mentions supply chain sources, one of the few third parties who will see planned products before launch.

If it’s coming, it should come out within the next one or two iPhone generations.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s next iPhone might sell for only $550


Apple might make a ring you can wear on other parts of your body

Patent granted



Earlier this year, Samsung reportedly started development on a smart ring, a fitness tracker shaped like a ring you were on your finger. Now, based on a new patent, Apple is doing the same. However, the company’s iteration goes beyond just a ring meant for your finger.

As first reported by Apple Insider, the American government has recently granted Apple a patent for an “electronic system with ring device.” Though the depicted device repeatedly shows a ring worn on a finger, the patent description also describes other uses, such as on a “wrist, arm, leg, neck, head, and/or other body part.”

The patent was written vaguely enough to accommodate a lot of uses. One example that the patent describes is NFC technology activating when in range of certain devices and objects. For example, a user can use a wearable bracelet or anklet to enter a gated area. A user can also receive information through the wearable when near a book or another device.

Naturally, the described device will also have tracking capabilities. It’s possible that the wearable is meant to pair with Apple’s other devices in its ecosystem such as an iPhone or an Apple Watch.

That said, a patent rarely corresponds to a finalized product. While the possibilities of such a device are numerous, it’s also possible that Apple won’t move forward with an actual product. Currently, smart rings are still a relatively niche segment.

SEE ALSO: Samsung is working on a smart ring

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WhatsApp will let you hide all your secret chats with a password

Passwords can even have an emoji



Secret chats is a boon to the online community. However, while the feature can protect your conversations from online snoopers, nothing can stop anyone who grabs your phone and goes through all your apps. Now, WhatsApp is finally adding an extra layer of protections for those who use secret chats on the platform — a secret code.

For anyone engaged in secret conversations, a password seems like a no-brainer. While the feature has been a long time coming, its launch is still welcome today. With the new version, users can hide all their secret chats with a passcode.

Plus, the passcodes are more unique than most. Rather than just a short PIN or a traditional password, users can use emojis too. Allowing emojis can add an even more secure lock to those private conversations.

Once secured, the locked chats will no longer pop up by default on WhatsApp’s main feed. While users can still toggle their visibility on and off, users will have to input their secret passcodes into the app’s search bar to see their list of secret chats.

While the feature is still rolling out now, users already have existing options to lock individual chats away from prying eyes. These measures include fingerprint scanning, face recognition, and good ol’ passwords. The new feature is more meant to hide all of them at the same time, especially when a shoulder snooper can just spot locked chats right from the list.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp might soon let you chat with Telegram, other apps

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Google Messages adds new features similar to iMessage

Photomoji sounds familiar



It’s been a great month for RCS. Recently, Apple, the messaging standard’s longstanding rival, finally announced support for RCS coming in 2024. Now, it has reached another huge milestone: 1 billion active users, according to Google. To celebrate, Google has announced new features coming to Messages.

RCS has been the standard for Google’s Messages for a while now. However, despite reaching a significant number of users over the years, Messages has often trailed Apple’s iMessage in terms of features. Today, Messages is finally getting a healthy infusion of the latter’s newer developments.

For one, the new Photomoji feature can turn your photos into message reactions. Using the onboard AI, Google can automatically turn the subject of any photo for use in the app. Messages will also save these for future use. Now, while this might sound familiar for iOS users, Google will not require users to turn photos into stickers before using them in iMessage.

Users can also change the color of their bubbles, digging at the ongoing green versus blue debate between iOS and Android.

Additionally, Voice Moods will allow users to add an emoji to sent voice messages. Even before playing them, recipients will already have an idea what the tone of the message will be. And speaking of the format, Google also improved the audio quality for voice messages.

Finally, Messages will have Screen Effects going forward. Like other messaging platforms (like Messenger and Viber), typing certain phrases such as “I love you” will cause the screen to react appropriately. In Viber, for example, typing “happy birthday” will cause balloons to fly up from the bottom.

These updates are slowly rolling out through a beta version coming to select countries and devices.

SEE ALSO: Apple is finally solving its green bubble problem

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