Top insider says 2018 iPhone X will feature much faster data speeds – BGR

Even though the iPhone X hasn’t even been out for a full month, the Apple rumor mill never takes a day off. And neither, apparently, does Ming-Chi Kuo who has yet another research note regarding Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup. In a note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo writes that Apple’s next-gen iPhones will incorporate a brand new antenna design that will ultimately improve LTE transmission speeds.

Kuo’s note reads in part:

Antenna design upgrade a key factor in anticipated boost to LTE transmission speed in new 2H18F iPhone models. As a LTE antenna FPCB material, LCP is superior to PI in properties related to high-frequency, thermal performance and moisture resistance. We predict 2H18 new iPhones will be equipped with two LCP LTE antenna modules same as iPhone X or more, but with higher specs to support 4×4 MIMO standards.

Incidentally, Kuo just a few days ago issued a report claiming that Apple’s 2018 iPhone models will include remarkably faster baseband chips sourced from both Intel and Qualcomm. Kuo also believes that 70-80% of the baseband chips on next year’s iPhone lineup will come from Intel. On a related note, Qualcomm earlier this month filed suit against Apple for allegedly sharing proprietary information about its LTE chips with Intel.

As for what Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup will look like, Kuo doubled down on his report from last week, reiterating that Apple will introduce a revamped iPhone X along with two additional devices: an edgeless 6.5-inch iPhone with an OLED display and a 6.1-inch iPhone with an edgeless LCD display. Assuming Kuo’s projection is accurate, it will be interesting to see what Apple does with its iPhone 8 models. Will they simply remain as-is or might they see an S-style upgrade? Either way, it’s clear that edgeless displays with Face ID instead of Touch ID will soon become the de facto design for all new iPhone models.

Image Source: MacRumors

iPhone X and 8’s wireless charging get 50 percent faster


The new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X all come with wireless charging.

James Martin/CNET

Apple’s latest iOS update makes wireless charging on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X 50 percent faster. 

Currently the three iPhones wirelessly charge at a rate of 5 watts, but the iOS 11.2 update allows them to charge at a rate of 7.5w, which is a 50 percent increase. The charging update was spotted and tested out by MacRumors.

Although wireless charging is new to the iPhone, it’s been around on Android devices for several years. iPhones use the Qi wireless charging standard, which maxes out at a rate of 15w. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, for example, supports 15-watt fast wireless charging.

You won’t need to buy a new charger to take advantage of faster speeds. The Mophie and Belkin wireless chargers that Apple sells are already capable of delivering 7.5w of power. Apple has said on the chargers’ listings since their releases that it will enable “fast wireless charging” with a later software update — it’s likely that iOS 11.2 is that update.

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AirPower: Apple’s charge-everything tech


Apple is also planning on releasing its own wireless charging mat, AirPower, that’s designed to charge multiple Apple products at once. It isn’t clear if AirPower would use the faster charging speeds.

To push those charging speeds, the iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus will charge even faster with a USB-C to Lightning cable setup. The configuration requires buying a handful of accessories, but it can reach top charging speeds if you don’t mind the wires. If you want to stay wireless, you’re stuck at 7.5w for now.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on this story.

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Will the Galaxy S9 be faster than the iPhone X? – BGR

When the Galaxy S8 came out this spring, it was the first high-end handset of 2017 to pack a processor built on 10nm process technology. We expected the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8995 to be faster than Apple’s A10 Fusion 16nm chip that powers last year’s iPhone 7 generation. However, the iPhone 7 consistently beat devices with 10nm chips inside.

Next year, the Galaxy S9 may debut a brand a processor that’s even more efficient and faster than the Galaxy S8 chips. But will it be faster than the A11 Bionic 10nm chip inside the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8?

Samsung is far from telling us anything about the Galaxy S9, but the company did announce on Wednesday that it’s ready to produce 8nm chips. The company said that three months ahead of schedule and it’s ready to take orders for its “8-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology, 8LPP (Low Power Plus).”

Does that mean the Galaxy S9 will get 8nm chips next year? Reports did say the handset will enjoy a brief Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 exclusivity, without mentioning what type of process technology the new chip will use.

Samsung’s announcement provides other clues that 8nm chips may soon reach mobile phones. The company says that the 8nm chips will “provide differentiated benefits for applications including mobile, cryptocurrency and network/server,” and says the company can quickly ramp up production. Apparently, Qualcomm will continue to work with Samsung on mobile chips.

“8LPP will have a fast ramp since it uses proven 10nm process technology while providing better performance and scalability than current 10nm-based products,” Senior Vice President of Qualcomm RK Chunduru said.

These 8nm chips are expected to offer 10% lower power consumption and an up to 10% area reduction compared their 10nm equivalents. Speed improvements are also expected, although it’s too early to talk benchmarks.

It’ll also be interesting to see whether the new 8nm chips can outperform the iPhone X’s A10 Fusion. The iPhone X proved to be faster than most Android phones out there, although it did suffer some defeats against the iPhone 7 and the Note 8.

While Samsung manufactures chips for Qualcomm, it also makes its high-end silicon for Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices. This week’s announcement also indicates that Samsung is probably working on the next-gen Exynos chip, although the company did not make any statements in that regard.

While the mobile industry may move to 8nm chips next year, Apple might not do it. TSMC, which manufactures the A-series chips for iPhones and iPads, eyes 7nm chips for next year.

New Report: Your Old iPhone Isn’t Slowing Down With iOS 11 (It’s Actually Faster)

Perception is everything with technology. When reports that the latest operating system for iPhones, called iOS 11, was making older phones slower, I had to wonder. Would Apple purposefully make an older iPhone slower to make people want to upgrade? Is there a conspiracy that is intended to line the coffers of the most famous company in tech?

Then I actually installed iOS 11 on an older iPhone 6. It actually seemed faster to me.

I ran multiple apps, including the Chrome browser, the Gmail app, Outlook, and several others. I even tested the game Infinity Blade. In all of my tests, the iPhone 6 seemed to run about the same. In fact, I swear it seemed just a hair faster for some Apple apps, like Mail.

Last week, the results were confirmed by Futuremark, which makes benchmarking software. After running performance tests on older models, the company confirmed the speed is likely a result of user perception–the phones run roughly the same speed. A small note about the testing suggested that some of the latest features–perhaps those that depend the most on the processor such as multitasking or gaming–run a tad slower.

Why the misinformation about older iPhones slowing down?

Here’s my theory.

Users are likely comparing the new iOS on their phone–since it is a free download and is easy for anyone to install–to how it runs on a newer iPhone. Yet, that’s not really fair. Apple makes no claims about iOS 11 speeding up an older phone, and a newer phone will run faster. The same apps on an iPhone 8 run much faster with iOS 11 than they do on an iPhone 6. After a user installs iOS 11 on an older phone, he or she might be comparing the suddenly “sluggish” phone to a newer model at the Apple store or that a friend uses.

To use a car example, that’s like using a higher octane fuel in an older Mazda Miata and then complaining about how slow it is compared to a new Miata. But the speed is dictated by the fact that the older Miata has around a 128-horsepower engine. The new model has a 155-horsepower engine. Changing the fuel isn’t going to make the older model seem sporty, but it might seem like the car feels slower if you expected a change in performance.

This is where the analogy starts to break down. An older iPhone actually does get a little faster for some of the most common Apple apps. I tested the Photos app and it definitely lets you swipe through photos a bit faster after loading iOS 11. And, maybe due to how Apple has improved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but my older phone connected faster.

If your phone does feel more sluggish, there are a few things to try. One is to free up memory by closing a few apps and deleting a few files. Every operating system likes to have room to breathe. Also, make sure you reboot the phone. That can work wonders, and I’ve heard of a few friends who thought iOS 11 seemed faster after a reboot.

Your perceptions will surely change once you know the facts. If you still think iOS 11 makes an older phone slower, try driving a Miata from 2007. It’s slower than the sunrise.

Palette’s Lego-like controls made me a faster video editor

As with other niche products, Palette Gear began on Kickstarter. It was a decent success, earning $150,000 or so, but most important, the company actually followed through and shipped it to buyers. It’s now a commercial product that you can buy at B&H Electronics and elsewhere, and the company has consistently added more functionality. Most important for video editors, Palette recently unveiled advanced integration with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

For video-editing control surfaces, the choices are narrower than with Lightroom. Blackmagic Design makes very powerful control surfaces for its DaVinci Resolve video-editing software, but the cheapest — the Micro Panel — is $995. You can also go with the Behringer BCF-2000, a motorized $299 audio mixer that can be programmed for video. For the $300 price, Palette’s Expert Kit is ready to go and is one of the most, if not the most, cost-effective options.

The folks at Palette shipped me the “Expert Kit,” complete with three dials, two sliders, two buttons and a central “brain” controller. The company advised me to try it with Lightroom as well as Premiere, saying that “we’ve still got some ways to go before [Photoshop and Premiere] are as complete of an integration.” The company needn’t have worried — I found the Premiere app covered just about every function I needed, and I didn’t experience any major problems or bugs with it.

The system works like electronic Lego, snapping together magnetically and using pogo pins to link the modules. All are controlled by a central “Core” brain that displays the current profile on a nifty LCD screen and attaches to your computer (Mac or PC) via a USB cable. Modules include a button, dial and slider, and you can chain together as many as you want, adding more modules at $50 each.

The $300 Expert Kit had enough functionality for me, but if I ever went back to doing video editing, I’d opt for the $500 Professional Kit, with six dials, four sliders and four buttons. There’s also a starter kit, with two buttons, a slider and a dial, priced at $200.

The software setup instructions were a bit vague, not telling me whether to install the app or hardware first. So I installed the software to start with, and after arranging the modules in a square as shown above, plugged them in afterward. That seemed to work just fine.

Next up, I launched the main app. Palette is set up with a number of “Quick Start” profiles based on your kit: Edit Starter, Professional and Expert, along with Grade, Vignette and Motion. It requires Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.3 or later, and I used the latest 2017 version. You need to first load the profiles you want to use, then stack them in tabs on the app. Once you launch Premiere Pro CC, you need to make sure that the Palette controller is enabled in the preferences.

Then, I was all set. After using the quick-start “Edit Expert Kit” profile for a bit, I quickly changed it to suit my own style. I used the dials for jogging, next or previous edit and zoom in/out on the timeline; the sliders for volume and mixer active track volume; and the buttons for start/stop playback and switching between Palette’s Premiere Pro modes (Edit, Grade, Vignette and Motion).

The quality of the hardware is good for a consumer product, but not at the same level as an expensive control surface from BlackMagic, for instance. I found the dials worked great, operating smoothly and allowing a press to reset. The sliders felt similarly good, but because they’re not motorized or mechanical, they could really use a button-like “reset” option like the dial — motorization would be ideal, though. The arcade-like buttons were fine, but one of mine had a quality-control issue, activating the control with just a slight touch instead of a full click.

I set up the “Grade” profile with the dials targeted to exposure, white, and blacks, the sliders set to temperature and saturation, and the buttons set to “next edit point” and, again, next profile. I left the “Motion” setting, which I primarily use to add pans and zooms to still images, on the default profile, and did the same with “Vignette.” If you use other functions often, you can create, save and export custom profiles. For folks who do a lot of audio editing in Premiere Pro CC, I could easily see setting up a profile for that.

Programming your own style is essential to making Palette useful. Every editor has his or her own workflow, so you have to figure out whether to use the keyboard, mouse or Palette for specific functions to be as efficient, precise or speedy as possible. If you can’t figure out how to create a decent profile for yourself, other users have created and uploaded them for Premiere, Lightroom and other apps.

For editing, I chose functions that I absolutely hate doing with a mouse or keyboard, like moving between edits, jogging and tweaking volume levels. I also tried to eliminate the keyboard as much as possible, as I’ve never been a keyboard person. After some practice, I believe that the Palette controller made my editing around 10-20 percent more efficient.

Because it was conceived for Lightroom, the Palette Gear really shines for Premiere Pro color-grading. With version 2015, Adobe overhauled the video app’s color controls with Lumetri, which is like a mashup of its Speed Grade color-correction app and Lightroom.

I can get a shot about 90 percent right with just a few controls (exposure, whites, blacks, color temperature and saturation), so I programmed those into the Palette “Grading” profile. One suggestion for the Palette folks: It would be nice if the “switch profile” button could also change the corresponding profile in Premiere Pro CC, selecting “Color” or “Effects” for Grading and Motion.