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Tag - Battery
The short version of today's Pointers is that your battery is fine, it just doesn't look like it's charging. So the answer is to not worry about it, but that's fine to say to you now, it's not fine when it's late afternoon and you cannot tell whether your phone is going to make it through the evening. While there is as yet no fix for the bug, if you're seeing the problem, then take these steps and it'll help.
Apple has acknowledged there may be an issue with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, with regards to the battery indicator. Following complaints from iPhone owners that the battery percentage indicator can occasionally freeze after the time on the device is changed, which means the user doesn't have an accurate measurement of remaining battery life and could potentially run out without warning, Apple has confirmed it is looking into the problem and seeing if it can come up with a solution to the issue.
Rather than do a simple hands-on on a given battery pack -- which are becoming increasingly popular because people cannot get off their smartphones or tablets (and to be fair, they are pretty awesome) -- we thought we'd compare three different models with different purposes. The idea is not so much to pick a "winner" as it is to show off the differences and best use cases for each of the three external battery packs, which all perform perfectly well. For this article, we're looking at a 10,000mAh Superpak unit from Unu, a 13,400mAh unit from Lumsing, and two larger models from Anker (15,600mAh and 20,100mAh, respectively).
You might not want it, but you might, and you definitely know someone who would. This is Apple's first entry into the battery case market, with a silicon protective cover that also charges your iPhone. The iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case -- which also works for the previous iPhone 6 model, but not the Plus versions -- is not exactly pretty, and it doesn't do a great deal, but what it does, it does well. Moreover, it brings a handy solution to the problem of low battery power that many iPhone users see frequently enough that they're reading this.
We long to call this Look Back in Anker -- but the worst we can say about this external battery, after weeks of exhaustive use, is that we have a tiny little niggle or two. It's still just a big battery, and yet that size and that weight hasn't proved to be a problem. Instead, the Anker E7 has slotted into our workflow, and our bag, as if we always had it.
It's easy to say that Apple took their own battery reserve ideas from the Apple Watch and applied it to iPhones with iOS 9, but they also improved it along the way. Hugely. Where the Apple Watch can be switched into Power Reserve easily, it removes so many functions that it practically bricks the device, and it is a pain trying to switch it back off. In comparison, the iPhone Low Power Mode is far more clever. So clever, that you many never need to know how to switch it on yourself, you just say yes when the phone asks you. However, there are going to be times when you know you'll have battery issues, and when you'll benefit from thinking ahead.
We've all been there -- that moment when you realize that your phone or tablet is dying, and you're barely through your day. And of course, this only ever seems to happen when being near an outlet just isn't an option. For most people, we go into critical battery saving mode, dimming the screen, turning off the vibrate function -- we've all got our own battery conservation strategies. Scosche has got our backs, though, with their portable powerbank, the GoBAT 6000.
It's a battery. The Anker E7 is a big battery, you carry it around with you, you use it to recharge your iPhone, that's it. It's quite heavy, it's shiny enough to be slightly slippy, and ... um, we're struggling now. You get a nice bag with it, does that help? While we've just told you everything we can, we are nowhere close to telling you everything we want to. Plus, when we sit people down and enthuse about this, they edge away -- until they realize it has enough power to recharge their iPhone, too.
Android users have called us iPhone owners "wallhuggers" because we keep needing to recharge our phone batteries. We do. We are. I'm not convinced Android users are actually any different, but it doesn't matter: even if they had infinite battery life, I'm not going to swap to Android because it would mean swapping to Android. Yet power is a big problem for me, and there has never been a day that my iPhone didn't need recharging. Unfortunately, there have been many, many days when I couldn't recharge it, so at best I was ekeing out time by using it less, and at worst I was carrying a shiny black brick with me. Until I bought a Mophie Powerstation external battery.
Smartwatches with higher-capacity batteries could soon be hitting the market, if manufacturers adopt a new battery from LG Chem. The battery, hexagonal in shape, is said to provide up to 25 percent more capacity compared to similar-sized rectangular batteries, which the company believes can provide up to four more hours of battery life, a significant addition to the amount of time current smartwatches are capable of lasting for between charges.
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko