Best Alternatives to Apple’s Now-Canceled AirPower

Apple on Friday made the unprecedented move of canceling work on the AirPower, the wireless charging mat that was supposed to charge the Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods all at once.

There are already a number of AirPower-like alternative products on the market, and we're likely going to be seeing additional replacements in the future. None of these accessories do exactly what the AirPower promised because there are dedicated spots to charge each device, but each option will charge more than one device at one time.


1. Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition ($139) - Nomad's Apple Watch Base Station has an Apple Watch charging puck for charging the Apple Watch, along with a double coil Qi wireless charging pad. You can use the wireless charging pad to charge the iPhone horizontally, but if you put the iPhone vertically, it frees up a little spot for charging the AirPods, so all three devices charge at one time. We reviewed the Nomad Base Station and liked it quite a lot, though it is quite expensive.


2. Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock ($127) - This is another expensive dock, but it's another that we reviewed and liked quite a lot. Belkin's Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock has an upright charging space for wirelessly charging an iPhone and a space for the Apple Watch, but this isn't a dock suitable for the AirPods. Still, it's a good option for dual device charging.


3. SliceCharge 2 Wireless Charging Mat ($60) - The SliceCharge 2 has an Apple Watch charging puck in the middle and two wireless charging coils at the sides, so you can either charge two iPhones or an iPhone and an AirPods 2 Wireless Charging Case. It's affordable, slim, and supports 7.5W wireless charging for the iPhone.


4. ZENS Dual + Watch Wireless Charger (99 euros) - The Dual + Watch Wireless Charger from European company ZENS is another option that we recently reviewed and were impressed with. It has a stand for charging an Apple Watch, along with a base that can wirelessly charge two iPhones at one time. It's 99 euros which is pricy, but ZENS does ship worldwide. This dock is temporarily out of stock, but it's coming back in May.


5. NytStnd AirPods Trio ($109) - The Nytstnd will charge your AirPods, Apple Watch, and iPhone all at once, but there's a catch - there's no wireless charging for AirPods. The Apple Watch charges via a standard Apple Watch charging puck (that you supply), while there's a wireless charging pad for iPhone, a Lightning port for AirPods, and one extra Lighting port. On the plus side, you can charge all three items at once and there's also an extra spot for storing keys or other odds and ends. You also don't need the new AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case to use it.


6. Unravel Wireless Charger ($99) - This interesting little charger features three charging stations, one for AirPods, one for Apple Watch, and one for iPhone. You can lay them flat or roll them up in a configuration that works for you if you only need to charge two devices at once. We haven't tried this, but it's a neat design and the reviews look to be largely positive.


Affordable AirPower Alternatives From Amazon


If you go to Amazon and type in "AirPower" or "Wireless Charging Station" you'll see a whole slew of cheap wireless chargers that promise to charge your Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods all at once. We haven't tested any of these options and can't verify whether they work, and at these price points, there's no way they're using Apple-certified components.


Still, if you're looking for an alternative to the AirPower that's super affordable, these might be what you want. We'll list some of the options that are getting better ratings below.

  • Conido Wireless Charging Station ($42) - This charging station has an upright charger for the iPhone, an Apple Watch charging puck with stand, and a slot for charging the AirPods, but with Lightning instead of wirelessly.


  • OLEBR Charging Stand ($39) - The OLEBR is similar to the Conido, but it uses Lightning for the iPhone and the AirPods while offering a charging puck for the Apple Watch. So this one isn't wireless at all, but still charges multiple devices at once.


  • MQOUNY Wireless Charger 3-in-1 ($39) - This stand is rather compact, offering an upright wireless charger for the iPhone, an Apple Watch charging puck, and above that, a holder for the AirPods that charges them over Lightning.


  • Bestand 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand ($48) - This wireless charging stand has an upright wireless charger for the iPhone, a charging arm for the Apple Watch, and a Lightning connector for charging the AirPods.


  • IBIS 9W Dual Wireless Fast Charging Station 3 ($40) - There's no space for the Apple Watch on this one, but it will charge your iPhones and your AirPods with Wireless Charging Case.


More Charging Options


The iPhone and the AirPods Wireless Charging Case will work with any Qi-based wireless charger on the market, so there are an endless number of single device wireless chargers you can get as well.

Feedback


Have a favorite AirPower alternative that we didn't list here? Let us know in the comments.


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Key iOS Chip Architect Gerard Williams III Departs Apple

Gerard Williams III, lead designer of Apple's custom iOS chips from A7 to A12X, has departed the company, according to CNET. While no indication of a change has been made on his LinkedIn profile, it does offer a glimpse into his design prowess.

Williams' presence goes back even further into Apple device history, as he served as the technical lead for the Cortex-A8 design, ARM's first superscalar core design and the heart of the iPhone 3GS. His role evidently grew over the years, with CPU architecture responsibilities eventually evolving into ownership of the entire system on chip (SoC), which houses CPU, graphics, image processing, secure enclave, motion, and AI cores.

A look at his patent portfolio shows he was a key force behind Apple's foray into mixed CPU core clusters starting with the A10 Fusion chip, and transitioning into full heterogeneous cores with the A11 Bionic. His body of work also includes an emphasis on cache, memory, and energy efficiency. These have become key differentiating features as seen in performance benchmarking from sites such as AnandTech.


He came to Apple with a splash, as the A7 was Apple's first 64-bit CPU core. This design arrived on the market over a full year before competitors like Qualcomm and Samsung could respond and largely cemented the technical prowess of the SoC team Apple had created.

If confirmed, his departure would follow the more well-known CPU architect Jim Keller, who was part of Apple's acquisition of PA Semi. More recently, Apple's SoC team lost its lead Manu Gulati, whose vacated role was assumed by Williams. Apple has had some success at retaining key technical executives, however, as the recent rumors of SVP of Hardware Technologies Johnny Srouji's candidacy for Intel CEO fizzled out. Apple also managed to keep Bob Mansfield despite having announced his retirement.

As for potential destinations, Intel has become the number one destination for high-profile technical leads, as they have lured many key AMD executives, as well as former Apple lead Jim Keller. Intel has been absorbing members of the press as well as it seeks to reclaim its technical leadership in the industry, taking on long-tenured PC Perspective writers, including editor-in-chief Ryan Shrout.


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Picking the Best iMac to Buy in 2019

If you're considering buying a new iMac but have yet to pin down which machine in Apple's range is right for you, then keep reading. Our expert guide arms you with all the information you need to ensure the model and configuration you choose is best suited to your specific needs.


Apple offers essentially three types of iMac, two of which come in several base configurations, and you can customize the internal specifications of your chosen iMac at the point of purchase, so it's a good idea to consider what kind of machine you'll need ahead of time.

A well-specced iMac should last you a good few years, and apart from RAM on the 27-inch models, you can't upgrade the internal components of Apple's all-in-one desktops at a later date, so it's important to choose wisely. First, let's take a look at Apple's 4K and 5K iMacs, the two models in the company's range that received the most recent bump in configuration and specs options.

4K and 5K iMacs (2019)


In March 2019, Apple refreshed its Retina 4K and 5K iMac all-in-one desktop computers, upgrading the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models with new processors and graphics chips, but sticking with the same tried-and-tested design used since 2012, and the same 4K and 5K displays as the previous generation.


Which of these two iMac sizes you should buy is likely going to be driven by display size for most people, as both models are very capable machines for the average user. The 27-inch model does offer more horsepower, however, so if you're looking for maximum performance you'll want to opt for the larger, more expensive size.

In terms of connectivity, every iMac comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet.

Apple says the new 21.5-inch iMac models deliver up to 60 percent faster performance than the previous generation, while the new 27-inch iMac models deliver up to 2.4 times faster performance than the previous generation, narrowing the gap between the high-end standard iMac and the iMac Pro workstation.

21.5-inch 4K iMac


Apple sells two base configurations of the new 21.5-inch 4K iMac, both running on eighth-generation Intel processors. The iMac with 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor starts at $1,299, while the iMac with 3.0GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) starts at $1,499. See below for a breakdown of their key features.



3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation
Intel Core i3 processor

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable to 32GB

  • 1TB hard drive

  • Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable to 32GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 4K 4096-by-2304 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


27-inch 5K iMac


Apple sells three base configurations of the new 27-inch 5K iMac: Two mid-range models that feature eighth-generation Intel six-core processors, and a high-end model that boasts a newer ninth-generation Intel six-core processor. The memory in the cheapest base model is configurable up to 32GB, but both the more expensive mid-range machine and the high-end 5K iMac can be configured with up to 64GB of memory.


The 5K iMac with the 3.0GHz six-core Intel i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz) starts at $1,799, the iMac with the 3.1GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz) starts at $1,999, and the iMac with the ninth-generation 3.0GHz six-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz) starts at $2,299. See below for a breakdown of the key features found in the three models.


3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 32GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 570X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard


3.1GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB

  • 1TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 575X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard

3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz

  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB

  • 2TB Fusion Drive

  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory

  • Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard
Like with the 4K iMacs, customers can swap out the included Magic Mouse 2 for a Magic Trackpad 2 for an extra $50, or choose to receive both for an additional $129.

Display and Resolution


The main thing that sets apart Apple's 4K and 5K iMacs is of course screen size and resolution. The 5K 27-inch iMac has a resolution of 5120 by 2880, while the 4K 21.5-inch iMac has a resolution of 4096 x 2304, and both models feature 500 nits brightness and wide color support for vivid, vibrant colors and impeccable picture quality.


Screen size shouldn't be the only deciding factor when buying an iMac though, because Apple has packed its entire 5K iMac range with beefed up internals for faster performance.

Processor Choice


Apple has decided to stick largely with Intel's eighth-generation processors in 2019 (Intel has already released a full range of Core i9 chips), but Apple says its chosen processors deliver up to 2x the performance of the previous generation iMacs. The biggest gains in CPU performance generally can be gauged by the processor's number of cores, which is why all 5K iMacs come with at least six cores, and why the jump to Intel's eight-core i9 processor costs an additional $500 on the 5K mid-tier configuration.

If you're considering a 21.5-inch 4K iMac for undemanding tasks like emailing, web browsing, and general productivity, then a quad-core i3 processor should suit your needs well, but if you're looking to do something more CPU-intensive like gaming or video-editing then it's worth paying the extra $300 on the mid-tier configuration for a six-core i5 processor.

The story is a little different with the 5K iMacs because whichever configuration you choose you're getting a very decent level of processing power, but if you plan to be doing graphic design or any kind of rendering then you'll likely benefit from a higher-clocked six-core CPU or even an eight-core i9 processor, which is where the real power lies.

Graphics Cards


Apple continues to offer AMD Radeon Pro graphics across its entire range of new 4K and 5K iMacs, so if you're an NVIDIA fan then you're out of luck. That said, the new models follow in the footsteps of the 2018 MacBook Pro by offering Radeon Pro Vega graphics options in their built-to-order customization options.

The 21.5-inch iMac now features either a Radeon Pro 555X GPU or a Radeon Pro 560X by default, but if you want more power you can configure a custom model with a Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU (with 4GB of memory). Graphics on the 27-inch models include the Radeon Pro 570X, 575X, and 580X GPUs for prebuilt models, with the Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU (with 8GB of memory) available as a custom option for the highest configuration.

We haven't had a chance to test these Vega GPUs, but Apple advertises up to 80 percent faster graphics performance with them compared to the previous iMac lineup, so they should be plenty enough for pros with video- or graphics-heavy workloads and users looking to play graphically intensive 3D games.

RAM Options


All of Apple's new iMacs come with faster 2,666MHz DDR4 memory, but the base models come with just 8GB of RAM installed, which is considered a bare minimum these days, and certainly not sufficient for most professional multi-tasking workloads.


Customization options for the 4K iMac range and the lowest priced 5K iMac base model include up to 32GB of RAM (an additional $600), while the mid-tier and high-end 5K iMac models offer up to 64GB of memory, which slaps a whopping $1,000 onto the total cost if you max it out.

Apple has always made customers pay a premium at purchase for more RAM, but fortunately you can upgrade the memory yourself at a later date, but only on the 27-inch models – the new iMacs include a user-accessible memory slot on the rear, and third-party memory upgrade kits are the invariably cheaper option. Upgrading the RAM on the 21.5-inch models can be done yourself, but it's a rather tricky process and not sanctioned by Apple.

Storage Options


The high-end 21.5-inch 4K iMac and all of the 27-inch 5K iMac base models come with either 1TB or 2TB Fusion Drives. A Fusion Drive is basically a Serial ATA drive "fused" with a solid-state drive. Frequently accessed data is stored on the faster flash portion of the drive, while less frequently accessed files live on the mechanical hard drive.


The idea is that combining the two storage technologies allows users to benefit from both fast access and voluminous capacity at a much lower cost than solid-state drives of equivalent capacity. However, Fusion Drives have been known to throw up issues such as "splitting" drives, and they're still vulnerable to the same mechanical failures at traditional Serial ATA drives, so we'd recommend paying the extra to get an iMac with 256GB ($100), 512GB ($300), 1TB ($700) of solid-state storage instead. (On the highest end 5K iMac base model, Apple also offers a 2TB SSD option for $1,100.)

Surprisingly, Apple still sells the mid-range 21.5-inch 4K iMac base model with a 1TB Serial ATA Drive running at 5400 RPM. A traditional mechanical platter drive should be regarded as a serious bottleneck for any modern Mac, and we highly recommend that you pay the extra for solid-state storage. The base model 21.5-inch 4K iMac in particular has a 1TB SSD upgrade option for the first time.

21.5-inch Non-Retina iMac


Apple still sells a low-spec 21.5-inch iMac for $1,099. This model didn't see any 2019 upgrades and has a slower dual-core Intel i5 processor, a non-Retina 1080p display, and less powerful integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics.


It's a low-cost option if you don't plan to use your iMac for CPU-demanding or graphics-heavy tasks, but most users looking for a desktop solution are probably better off buying Apple's much more powerful Mac mini and supplying their own display and peripherals. The features include the following:

2.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

  • 8GB 2133MHz memory, configurable to 16GB

  • 1TB hard drive

  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

  • 1920-by-1080 sRGB display

  • Magic Mouse 2

  • Magic Keyboard

Other Mac Desktop Options


Mac mini


Apple's Mac mini presents an excellent option for anyone looking to buy a desktop Mac without breaking the bank. Not only did Apple refresh the Mac mini in October 2018, going down this route means you're free to choose your display and peripherals separately.


The new Mac mini, which comes in Space Gray, features quad-core and six-core 8th-Generation Intel Core processors that are up to five times faster than the previous Mac mini, four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, support for up to 64GB RAM, and all SSD configurations with up to 2TB of storage available. It also includes Apple's T2 chip for added security.

iMac Pro


Released in October 2017, the 27-inch iMac Pro was designed by Apple as a workstation for creative professionals who are looking for an all-in-one desktop with cutting edge hardware and blistering performance.


As a result, the iMac Pro narrows the gap between the highest-end 5K iMac and Apple's redesigned Mac Pro, set to launch in 2019. It features the same design as the standard iMac, but with an all-flash architecture and a thermal design that supports an Intel Xeon processor with up to 18 cores and a top-of-the-line Radeon Pro Vega graphics.

As you'd expect, the iMac Pro comes with a premium price tag, starting at $4,999 and going up to over $15,000, but then it is the most powerful desktop machine Apple has ever built. That said, the recent update to the standard iMac means the gap is no longer as big as it once was, and most users should find them more than powerful enough for their needs.

Mac Pro


Apple's "trash can" Mac Pro aimed at professionals hasn't really been updated in over five years and Apple says a completely re-engineered Mac Pro is coming later this year, so at this point it's nearly impossible to recommend the current model.

The Mac Pro largely appeals to a different market than the iMac anyway, so if you're a mainstream consumer, the Mac Pro shouldn't really be on your radar.

So... Which iMac Should You Buy?


As we noted above, display size is likely the main factor for most buyers, so you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want the smaller 21.5-inch 4K model or the larger 27-inch 5K model. Both have great displays and will offer plenty of performance for the average consumer.

Once you've decided on a display size, you'll need to choose your base model and any upgrade options. We recommend going with all-SSD storage if your budget allows, or at the very least upgrading the 21.5-inch model to a Fusion Drive.

Everybody's needs are different, but we think for most users just looking for a desktop machine to be used primarily for email and web browsing, the default specs are likely enough. If you're planning on doing gaming, video production, or other demanding tasks, then it's time to look toward upgrades for the processor, RAM, graphics, and storage capacities. Fast Thunderbolt 3 ports give you some flexibility to add accessories like external storage drives later, so definitely think most carefully about components like the processor and graphics card that can't be upgraded later.

We don't recommend purchasing the $1,099 entry-level 21.5-inch model, as it hasn't been updated in several years and was already a barebones machine when it first launched. It's only for those on a very tight budget or for educational bulk purchases, as its lower-resolution display and internals lag significantly behind modern specs.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Buy Now)

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Hands-On With Apple’s New iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini 5

Apple last week surprised us with a brand new iPad in the iPad Air family and a new iPad mini 5, both of which are outfitted with Apple's latest chip technology.

Both the iPad mini 5 and the iPad Air 3 began shipping out to customers, and, as of today, are available in stores. We picked up both tablets to give MacRumors readers a look at Apple's new middle-tier iPads.

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Priced at $399 for the iPad mini and $499 for the iPad Air, Apple's refreshed iPads are not as expensive as the iPad Pro (starts at $799) nor as affordable as the 6th-generation 2018 iPad (starts at $329), and the hardware and design match up with a middle-of-the-road tablet.

The iPad Air is using the same design as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, while the iPad mini 5 uses the same design as the previous-generation iPad mini 4. Both tablets feature thick top and bottom bezels, with the bottom bezel housing a Touch ID Home button for biometric authentication purposes.


In comparison, the iPad Pro has much slimmer bezels thanks to the removal of Touch ID in favor of Face ID, while the $329 iPad has the same general design but a body that's not as slim.

When it comes to the screen, both of these tablets are using a laminated Retina display that supports wide color for vivid, true to life images and True Tone for adjusting the white balance to match the ambient lighting in the room. It's a better display than the non-laminated display on Apple's cheapest iPad, but lacks the ProMotion technology used in the iPad Pro for a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz.


The iPad Air and the iPad mini support the original Apple Pencil, so for the first time, Apple's entire iPad lineup works with either the original Apple Pencil or the Apple Pencil 2.

Inside, the iPad Air and the iPad mini are using the A12 Bionic chip, which is the same chip that's in the 2018 iPhone lineup. The $329 iPad is still using an A10 Fusion chip from the iPhone 7 era, while the iPad Pro models use a faster A12X chip.


Functionally, both the iPad Air 3 and the iPad mini 5 are the same tablet with the same specs, with the only difference between the two being screen size and Smart Keyboard compatibility. The iPad Air has a Smart Connector that can be used with a Smart Keyboard, which costs $159. There's no Smart Keyboard for iPad mini because it lacks a Smart Connector.

The two iPads have mediocre 8-megapixel rear cameras, the same camera that's in the $329 iPad, but the 7-megapixel front-facing camera is the same camera (minus Face ID technology) used in the iPad Pro. It's odd to have front and rear cameras that are nearly on par, but it makes sense if you think of the iPad as a FaceTiming device more so than a photography device.

Both of these iPads offer significant performance improvements over their predecessors. The iPad mini 5 is a good deal faster than the iPad mini 4, and the iPad Air is faster than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (though it lacks the same ProMotion technology). It's also leagues faster than any previous iPad Air model as that was a line that was last refreshed in 2014 before being revived in 2019.

Old iPad Air on left, new iPad Air on right

If you're using an older iPad and are in need of an upgrade, you're not going to go wrong with the iPad mini 5 or the iPad Air 3 given the incredible speed boosts these tablets bring thanks to the A12 chip. As everyday tablets, the iPad mini and iPad Air are a solid value and a welcome addition to Apple's iPad lineup, which was previously split between high end (iPad Pro) and low end (iPad). Check out our iPad Buyer's Guide for help choosing an iPad if you're not sure which one is right for you.

You can get the iPad mini for $399 for 64GB of storage, and 256GB is available for $549. The iPad Air starts at $499 for 64GB of storage, with 256GB available for $649. Cellular models are available too, for an extra $130 over each base price.

What do you think of the new iPad mini and the new iPad Air? Have you purchased one or are you planning to get one? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad Air

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Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple IDs of Professional Musicians and Athletes

Kwamaine Jerell Ford, a Georgia hacker who was caught breaching the Apple accounts of professional musicians and athletes, today pled guilty to accessing those accounts and stealing credit card information from his victims.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Virginia (via The Verge), Ford targeted high-profile athletes and musicians and tricked the victims into providing their Apple account passwords.
"The high profile victims in this case are an example that no matter who you are, hackers like Ford are trying to get your personal information," said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "This case demonstrates the need to be careful in protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious e-mails. Hopefully this is a lesson for everyone, not just the victims in this case."
Starting in March 2015, Ford used a phishing scheme to get the login credentials for the Apple accounts. He targeted NBA players, NFL players, and rappers, sending thousands of phishing emails spoofing legitimate customer service accounts.

Posing as an Apple support representative, Ford asked victims to send their usernames, passwords, and answers to security questions.

After getting this information, Ford would log into the Apple accounts and attempt to take them over. According to Apple, there were hundreds of unauthorized logins to victims' Apple accounts.

Stolen credit card details were then used to pay for things like air travel, hotels, furniture, money transfers, and more. He has been charged with six counts each of wire fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He pled guilty to one count of computer fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

For Apple users concerned with hacking attempts, it's always best to be wary. Apple does not email or cold call users asking for account information, so calls and emails requesting data are fake.

Apple has a dedicated support page with information on how to avoid phishing emails and other scam techniques that malicious individuals employ to extract information from Apple users.


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Apple Officially Cancels AirPower

Apple today canceled AirPower, the charging mat that it first announced in 2017, because of an inability to meet its high standards for hardware, reports TechCrunch.


AirPower was designed to charge the Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods all at once, but after Apple announced the device in 2017, there were persistent rumors of difficulties and no product ever launched. Apple says work on the product has been canceled entirely because the company has been unable to achieve what it was aiming for with the AirPower.

"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 a statement provided to TechCrunch.

AirPower was introduced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X, and at the time, Apple said it would launch in 2018. 2018 came and went with no sign of AirPower and no word from Apple on when it would materialize.

There were, however, continual rumors of production, engineering, and manufacturing difficulties. Rumors suggested that there were problems with heat management, inter-device communication, and interference because Apple wanted to design a charging device where you could put an iPhone, Apple Watch, or AirPods anywhere on the mat to charge.

This required layering multiple charging coils, resulting in a device that ran too hot, which turned out to be an engineering issue Apple couldn't solve.

AirPower was supposed to work with the Wireless Charging Case for the AirPods that was released last week, and it was also meant to charge Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 models and all iPhones that support Qi-based wireless charging. With Apple having released the AirPods Charging Case just recently, there was speculation that an AirPower launch was imminent.

The cancelation of AirPower comes as a shock as there have been continual signs that the product was still in the works. AirPower mentions were still included on the newly launched AirPods Charging Case, and Apple recently secured a trademark for the AirPower name. There have also been ongoing rumors of a spring launch, so it appears that Apple worked for months on AirPower solutions before ultimately deciding to nix the project.

Ending work on a project that was already announced and shown off is unprecedented in Apple's recent history.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Watch Roll Organizer and Apple Watch Band Set From Southern Straps

For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Southern Straps to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a set of Apple Watch bands and a Watch Roll that’s designed to organize your all of your Apple Watch bands and accessories.

Southern Straps makes a range of Apple Watch bands in nylon and leather, and recently expanded into organization with the launch of the Watch Roll, a clever little roll up pouch that’s perfect for Apple Watch.



The Watch Roll, priced at $90, is available in either black suede or brown suede, both of which are soft to the touch but durable enough that it’s going to last for years to come.



The Watch Roll has three large pockets for carrying watches or other accessories, while three smaller pockets are sized for carrying additional Apple Watch straps. The Watch Roll is great for Apple Watch and its accessories, but also ideal for watch collectors who have more than one watch.



Southern Straps sells the Watch Roll on a standalone basis, but the company also offers combo packs that combine the Watch Roll with several watch bands at a discount.



Southern Straps makes high-quality nylon bands in a range of colors, along with leather bands in either black or brown, both of which match well with the Watch Roll. The nylon bands are durable and comfortable, while the leather bands are supple and hand stitched.



All of Southern Straps’ bands come with a multi-year warranty and are available in multiple sizes and with lugs to match multiple Apple Watch finishes.



There are several discounted band and Watch Roll combos that Southern Straps offers to meet each individual’s tastes and needs. All of the combos come with a Watch Roll, two nylon bands, and one leather band for $150.

  • Combo 1: Brown Suede Watch Roll, Green Nylon Band, Sand Nylon Band, and Brown Leather Band
  • Combo 2: Brown Suede Watch Roll, Blue/White/Red Nylon Band, Blue/White Nylon Band, and Black Leather Band
  • Combo 3: Black Suede Watch Roll, Black/Red/Green Nylon Band, Black/Gray Nylon Band, and Black Leather Band
  • Combo 4: Black Suede Watch Roll, Blue/Green Nylon Band, Blue/Red Nylon Band, and Grown Leather Band

We have five Strap & Roll Combos to give away to MacRumors readers, with winners able to select the combo of their choice along with size and lug color. To enter to win, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Southern Straps Watch Roll and Band Combo
The contest will run from today (March 29) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 5. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 5 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

This article, "MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Watch Roll Organizer and Apple Watch Band Set From Southern Straps" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Deals Spotlight: AT&T Offering iPhone XR at No Cost When You Buy a New iPhone on AT&T Next

AT&T this week is offering customers the chance to buy one iPhone and get another at no extra cost, as long as both are purchased on an AT&T Next installment plan with an eligible wireless line. iPhones eligible for the offer include: iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XR, XS, or XS Max (priced up to $1,449.99).

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

With the deal, if you buy one of these iPhones then AT&T will give you up to $750 in credits, which will cover the entire cost of an iPhone 8, 64GB iPhone 8 Plus, or 64GB iPhone XR. You can also choose to put the $750 credit towards a 256GB iPhone 8 Plus, 128GB or 512GB iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max.

The credit will start within three bill cycles, and AT&T will send catch-up credits once it starts. The credit will be applied monthly over the entire agreement term. This includes either AT&T Next for 30 months or AT&T Next Every Year for 24 months.

AT&T's offer ends on Sunday, March 31, so if you're interested head to the carrier's website to browse for a new iPhone. More deals and discounts can be found in our full Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tag: AT&T

This article, "Deals Spotlight: AT&T Offering iPhone XR at No Cost When You Buy a New iPhone on AT&T Next" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Texture to Shut Down May 28 Following Launch of Apple News+

Apple-owned Texture has announced that it will be shutting down on May 28, 2019, pointing customers towards Apple News+.


Texture is a subscription-based magazine service that Apple acquired last year to serve as the foundation of its own Apple News+ magazine and newspaper subscription service launched earlier this week.

As noted by TechCrunch, this news is unfortunate for Texture subscribers who use Android, as Apple News+ is only available on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple News+ costs $9.99 per month in the United States, the same price as Texture, and is also available for $12.99 per month in Canada.


This article, "Texture to Shut Down May 28 Following Launch of Apple News+" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Picking the Best iPad to Buy in 2019

In March 2019, Apple updated its iPad lineup with two new tablets: the fifth-generation iPad mini and the 10.5-inch iPad Air. These models are now part of Apple's full iPad line, also including the 9.7-inch iPad, 11-inch iPad Pro, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro to make five models total.

iPad Comparison



Which iPad is right for you?


If price is your biggest consideration, you'll want to look at the basic 9.7-inch iPad, knowing it has older technology in it. If you're looking for portability, check out the iPad mini, and if you want a mid-sized iPad with a bit more to offer than the entry-level iPad, check out the new iPad Air.

What about the iPad Pro? Apple's high-end iPads are in a class by themselves, and it shows in the price. Unless you're a pro-level user or cost is no object, you'll probably want to look to cheaper options, but the iPad Pro models deliver cutting-edge technology for those who need it.

With that quick overview out of the way, let's take a look at what each model has to offer.

iPad Models


9.7-inch iPad


Starting at the low end of the iPad price spectrum, Apple has the basic 9.7-inch iPad starting at $329 for the Wi-Fi only model. This iPad is perfect if you're on a budget as it's also frequently on sale, and is popular in the education field.

It has the most important features users are looking for in an iPad, like a generous display, Touch ID, and a decent rear camera, as well as support for the first-generation Apple Pencil if you're into drawing, handwritten notes, and other tasks that don't work quite as well with your finger.

iPad Comparison Chart
That low-end price tag does mean there are a few sacrifices, however, as the front FaceTime camera is relatively low resolution compared to other iPads and the display is a definite step down as it lacks rich wide color support, True Tone technology that automatically adjusts overall tone based on ambient light, and an antireflective coating that helps minimize glare on other models. The display also isn't laminated to the cover glass, so you'll notice a bit of an air gap rather than feeling like you're directly touching the screen.

Key specifications include:
  • A 9.7‑inch Retina display

  • Home button with Touch ID

  • A10 Fusion chip

  • 8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video

  • 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera with HDR

  • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil

  • Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards

  • Lightning port

  • Colors include: silver, space gray, and gold

iPad mini


Next up is the newly-updated iPad mini, which starts at $399 for Wi-Fi only models. Apple's refresh of this smaller-sized tablet improved its internals and introduced support for the first-generation Apple Pencil, making it a capable mid-range tablet with ultra portability.

With a display size of 7.9 inches, you can't quite call it pocketable, but the iPad mini is definitely great for having something small on the go that still offers a much larger screen size than even Apple's largest iPhones.


Looking beyond the display size, this is a very capable device using the same A12 Bionic chip from Apple's latest iPhones, so it's a speedy tablet. You'll get an improved display compared to the entry-level iPad, a much better front FaceTime camera, and support for the first-generation Apple Pencil.

Key specifications include:
  • Fully laminated 7.9‑inch Retina display with True Tone

  • Touch ID

  • A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine

  • 8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video

  • 7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR

  • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil

  • Compatible with Bluetooth keyboards

  • Lightning port

  • Colors include: silver, space gray, and gold

10.5-inch iPad Air


In the middle of the iPad family now sits the 10.5-inch iPad Air, starting at $499 for Wi-Fi only models. Apple's brand-new iPad Air is now the perfect mid-tier option with a nice screen size, speedier internals, and first-generation Apple Pencil support.

The iPad Air and iPad mini have nearly identical specs aside from the display size, so size is likely going to be the most significant factor if you're deciding between the two.


The only other significant difference is that the iPad Air has a Smart Connector for easy connection to a Smart Keyboard accessory if you prefer a hardware keyboard for your iPad. The iPad mini's smaller size means it doesn't support a Smart Keyboard, although you can still pair a Bluetooth keyboard with it if you like.

Key specifications include:
  • Fully laminated 10.5‑inch Retina display with True Tone

  • Touch ID

  • A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine

  • 8MP back camera with HDR and 1080p HD video

  • 7MP FaceTime HD front camera with Auto HDR

  • Compatible with first-generation Apple Pencil

  • Compatible with Smart Keyboard and Bluetooth keyboards

  • Lightning port

  • Colors include: silver, space gray, and gold

iPad Pro


If you're looking for true portable workstation power, then the last two iPads in the lineup -- the iPad Pro models -- could be what you're interested in. These tablets were updated in late 2018 with Face ID and a near bezel-less design that mirrors the look of the iPhone X family.

These iPads, which start at $799 for the smaller 11-inch model and $999 for the 12.9-inch model, are a step up from the iPad Air in almost every way, from an improved "Liquid Retina" display with rounded corners and ProMotion technology for smoother display performance to a more powerful A12X chip and a better 12-megapixel rear camera with flash. You'll also get support for the second-generation Apple Pencil, which magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro and charges wirelessly.


To be honest, the iPad Pro is overkill for most mainstream users, but if you're a pro-level user or just want the latest technology, the iPad Pro has a lot to offer.

The main difference between the two iPad Pros is their screen sizes, so the following key specifications are for both models:
  • 11‑inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina displays with ProMotion technology and True Tone

  • Face ID

  • A12X Bionic chip with Neural Engine

  • 12MP back camera with Smart HDR and 4K video at 30 fps or 60 fps

  • 7MP TrueDepth front camera with Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and Smart HDR

  • Compatible with second-generation Apple Pencil

  • Compatible with Smart Keyboard Folio and Bluetooth keyboards

  • USB-C connector instead of Lightning

  • Colors include: silver and space gray

Customization Options


Now that we've looked at the base specs of each of iPad models, it's time to think about various options like storage, cellular connectivity, and AppleCare+.

Storage: There are several storage options for each iPad, so think about how much you might need. On the low end, the 9.7-inch iPad is available in two sizes not seen anywhere else in the iPad family: 32GB ($329) and 128GB ($100 upgrade at $429).

For the just-released iPad mini and iPad Air, Apple is offering two storage options: 64GB ($399 for mini and $499 for Air) and 256GB (a $150 upgrade on the previous prices).


Lastly, the iPad Pro has the most storage capacity options. You can choose from the base 64GB option ($799 for 11-inch and $999 for 12.9-inch), or 256GB ($150 upgrade from base), 512GB ($350 upgrade from base), and 1TB ($750 upgrade from base).

Power-heavy users should always look to the higher-capacity iPad models to ensure they don't have to worry about constantly deleting apps and other files for storage space. Otherwise, Apple's iCloud is a great way to offload files and lets you opt for a cheaper iPad with less storage.

Unless you're storing a large local music library, downloading lots of video for offline playback, have a ton of huge apps, or doing pro-level work requiring lots of large files, mainstream users can usually get away with the lowest-tier storage options.

Cellular Connectivity: If you need to ensure that you can use your iPad at any time, including when you're not near a Wi-Fi connection, you can opt for a Wi-Fi + Cellular option to ensure you're always connected.

Cellular support adds $130–$150 onto the price of all corresponding Wi-Fi iPad models, depending on which iPad and which storage capacity. You'll also have to sign up for a data plan for an additional cost with a supported carrier, like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon in the United States.

All told, it's not a cheap upgrade, and many users prefer using their phone as a hotspot to deliver connectivity to a Wi-Fi iPad while on the go. But if you're phone plan doesn't allow for hotspot usage or you just want the convenience of having your iPad connected directly to a cellular network at all times, the option is there.

AppleCare+: New iPads come with one year of hardware repair coverage through Apple's limited warranty policy, as well as up to 90 days of complimentary support. But if you want more coverage, Apple offers optional AppleCare+ packages priced at $69 for the 9.7-inch iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Air or $129 for the iPad Pro.

AppleCare+ extends your iPad's coverage to two years from the purchase date and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, subject to a service fee of $49 plus applicable taxes in the United States. Prices vary elsewhere.


iPad AppleCare+ plans also cover accidental damage to the Apple Pencil for up to two years with a $29 fee plus tax per incident. AppleCare+ provides 24/7 priority access to support advisors via online chat or phone for up to two years after the iPad's original purchase date.

Apple charges high fees for accidental damage to a new iPad without AppleCare+, so as with most forms of insurance, the plan can pay for itself if ever used. AppleCare+ must be added within 60 days of purchasing a device.

Accessories


Each iPad has a plethora of accessories to choose from for protection, style, or usability, many of which Apple creates and sells itself on Apple.com and in Apple retail stores.

Apple Pencil: The Apple Pencil is a stylus most popular with artists but also used by others, providing a comfortable and streamlined way to interact with the tablet. The second-generation Apple Pencil introduced sleek design changes, magnetic charging on iPad Pro, and gesture controls, none of which are available on the original Apple Pencil.


It might be unclear which iPads support which Apple Pencil models, but with the new iPad mini and iPad Air it's become a bit simpler. In short, the iPad Pro uses the second-generation Apple Pencil while all other iPad models work with the first-generation Apple Pencil.

- First-Generation Apple Pencil ($100): 9.7-inch iPad (2018), fifth-generation iPad mini (2019), 10.5-inch iPad Air (2019)
- Second-Generation Apple Pencil ($130): 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018)

In the end, if you're only looking to purchase an iPad as a convenient app-browsing, email-checking, or FaceTime device, you don't need an Apple Pencil. But if you're an artist or other creative with a penchant for drawing or taking digital handwritten notes, Apple's stylus is definitely an enhancement to the iPad experience.

For a more in-depth look at the differences between the two Apple Pencils, check out our comparison.

Cases: Apple sells Smart Cover and Smart Folio cases for all of its iPads, priced depending on the size of the device. You'll pay $39.00 for a 9.7-inch iPad Smart Cover, $39.00 for an iPad mini Smart Cover, $49.00 for an iPad Air Smart Cover, $79.00 for an 11-inch iPad Pro Smart Folio, and $99.00 for a 12.9-inch iPad Pro Smart Folio.


These cases magnetically attach to your iPad, offering a degree of protection while also allowing you to place the tablet in numerous angled positions. The difference between the two is that the iPad Pro's Smart Folio cases protect the rear of the tablet as well as the front, while the Smart Cover cases only protect the front.

Keyboards: If you're looking to do a lot of work on an iPad Pro, Apple also sells the Smart Keyboard Folio at $179.00 for the 11-inch model and $199.00 for the 12.9-inch model. This case is just like the Smart Folio, with an added Bluetooth keyboard for enhanced productivity. A similar accessory is available for the 10.5-inch iPad Air.


These Apple-made cases are compatible with iPads that have a Smart Keyboard connector, which is a special port that magnetically attaches the keyboard to the side of the iPad.

Otherwise, you can also look into popular iPad keyboard manufacturers like Brydge, Logitech, and Belkin, all of which sell Bluetooth keyboards that connect to iPads wirelessly. Keyboard cases are more expensive than your average case due to the added input use, but if you really plan on doing a lot of work and writing on your iPad, the two-in-one keyboard/protection combo is the way to go. The hardware keyboards give a much better typing experience and free up screen space on your iPad by getting rid of the software keyboard.

Cables: Apple's iPad lineup now has differing cable standard, making matters a bit confusing. The easy way to remember is that if you're purchasing anything that's not an iPad Pro, you'll be charging the iPad with a regular Apple Lightning cable.


If you're going with an iPad Pro, then you'll be using USB-C cables. All iPads come with their required cables in the box, but if you don't have many around the house it's always a good idea to stock up on more. Apple sells individual cables, but you can always shop around on Amazon for cheap and reliable brands like Anker, Aukey, and RAVPower.

So... Which iPad Should You Buy?


Overall, Apple's brand-new 10.5-inch iPad Air is a perfect all-encompassing tablet that should hit the check marks for many buyers. You can do everything from quickly browsing Twitter and checking emails to getting a few hours of work done with a paired keyboard, which isn't bad for the $499 starting price.

If you're someone who has preferred the 7.9-inch form factor of the iPad mini over the years, Apple's latest small-sized tablet is well worth the update and has nearly all of the features of the new iPad Air. The iPad mini doesn't have a Smart Keyboard connector like the iPad Air or a Smart Keyboard case of its own, but since the iPad mini isn't exactly a workstation device, that's not a bad trade-off (plus, you can still connect it to a Bluetooth keyboard if you want).

For $100 less than the iPad Air at $399 (64GB Wi-Fi), you'll still have a nice laminated display with True Tone and antireflective coating, Touch ID, the speedy A12 Bionic chip, first-generation Apple Pencil support, and the same cameras, all in an ultra-portable 7.9-inch tablet.


If you're shopping around for a cheap tablet for a kid, definitely consider Apple's 9.7-inch iPad, which sees discounts below its $329 price tag pretty often. Sale prices in the $230–$250 range are not unheard of, and pairing the iPad with a super-rugged child-proof case is a perfect birthday or holiday present. Frugal shoppers should also check out Apple's refurbished store to shop around for older-model iPads offered at discount.

And, of course, on the other end are the power users. If you're willing to spend the money to spec-out a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you'll get a super reliable mobile workstation with 10-hour battery life in a 1.4 lb package. If you travel frequently for work, or just like setting up at a coffee shop during the day, the iPad Pro has a chance to become your MacBook replacement with a paired keyboard.

The most recent additions to Apple's iPad lineup provides a wide variety of options and offers clear distinctions between tablets that should help make your decision a little easier.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad mini 5, iPad, iPad Air

This article, "Picking the Best iPad to Buy in 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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