Today, the European Commission has put forward legislation that would require all portable electronic devices to have a USB-C port — including Apple's iPhone. The proposal itself hasn't yet gone into effect (it stills needs to pass a vote in the European Parliament), but as much as I wish Apple would finally put USB-C on the iPhone, I'm actually hoping it doesn't pass. For several reasons.
Unless you own an iPhone, you probably haven't thought about Beats much in a few years. Apple bought the company for three billion-with-a-B dollars in 2014, and its more recent products have been increasingly Apple-focused, Lightning charging ports and all.
But the new Beats Studio Buds break with that tradition. Like newer iPads and MacBooks, they charge with the correct cable (USB-C, that is) and support Fast Pair, meaning they're equally at home on Android as on iOS — and at $150, they look like a bargain next to the $250 AirPods Pro. But while I've certainly enjoyed using them, some missing features stop the Beats Studio Buds from being an unqualified home run.
In January 2020, members of the European Parliament voted to establish a universal charging connection for smartphones sold in the EU. Since then, we've been waiting for this effort to be passed into law, and as of this morning, it's one step closer. The European Commission has now put forward legislation that would establish USB-C as a common charger for mobile devices, finally requiring a universal standard no matter the smartphone.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro were unveiled by Apple a few days ago. Not only are folks on the iOS side of the pond getting an all-new A15 processor, improved cameras, a smaller notch, and (in the case of the Pro, at least) a 120Hz adaptive display, but the new phones also nail the looks department as well. If there's one aspect where we have to give Apple credit, it's definitely how beautiful its phones look. If you want to add some Apple-themed flair to your device, you can now download the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro's wallpapers.
We're all eagerly awaiting the release of Android 12, but it's not the only mobile OS update launching this fall. iOS 15 went live for iPhone and iPad users yesterday, complete with improved notifications, a new customizable "Focus" mode, and more. Google has been spending its time getting apps ready for Material You, but it's also bringing some changes to its services on Apple devices, taking advantage of all the new capabilities brought forth by iOS 15.
As usual, Apple’s recent mega-event created quite a stir across the entire tech industry and beyond. One little-talked-about segment of the keynote looked at what Apple is doing with its subscription-based fitness service that builds upon and supplements its blockbusting timepiece. Many of the new Fitness+ features that Apple demonstrated on stage truly show the power of deep integration across platforms — and, at the same time, hold a mirror up to Google and its comparatively feeble efforts in the fitness space.
Over the past months, I haven't been shy about expressing my appreciation for the Pixel 5's physical dimensions. After years of carrying larger and larger phones, which culminated with the Pixel 4 XL, it felt great to go back to a smaller device that just fits in my hands and my tiny female pants' pockets, and where I don't have to stretch my thumb like Mrs. Incredible to reach the opposite top corner. However, for a brief moment, it looked like we were starting to dig the grave to bury the idea of smaller phones, but there's a new wind blowing and it breathed new life into the category.
I've been an Android user since the Nexus One, but I have to admit: the recent generations of iPhone have tempted me. Apple's industrial design is amazing as ever, the Magsafe accessory system is innovative and flexible, and the Apple Watch continues to absolutely stomp any wearable alternative. Don't get me wrong — I still love my Pixel 5, and I know I'd miss the hell out of all the sweet customization that Android enables and even encourages. But as a technology journalist, it wouldn't kill me to give the other side of the aisle a try for a while.
Apple announced the seventh iteration of its famous Watch today. The design and signature look remain, despite many small adjustments, but the biggest improvement that Apple touted is a 20% larger display compared to the previous Series 6. Looking at that big, beautiful screen, then glancing down at the Galaxy Watch 4 on my wrist, I couldn't help but sigh and wonder, once more, why we couldn't have more choice in the Android world. I would love to have a rectangular watch running Wear OS.