The Morning After: Someone made a USB-C iPhone

·Bureau Chief, UK
·4-min read

Years ago, I wrote this piece about how I really wanted the iPhone to adopt USB-C and retire its Lightning connector. This was just after the advent of the company’s first iPhone Pro models with pro level features, like surgical-grade stainless steel and, er, three cameras. Fast-forward to now, just after the launch of the iPhone 13 series, and I still don’t have my USB-C iPhone. Fortunately, there are engineers that like a challenge. 

On his YouTube channel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology student Ken Pillonel teased an iPhone X with a USB-C port, promising a full video later on how it was done. In an earlier video, he also explained how he reverse-engineered the Lightning connector, pulling out an integrated circuit from a third-party cable and hooking it all up to a USB-C connector. Yes, this is not something most of us should attempt. 

It’s certainly possible for Apple to do the same, given the iPad Pro and new mini have USB-C ports. Europe recently proposed USB-C charging as standard for all phones and electronic devices — which may speed up Apple’s adoption. 

— Mat Smith

Google countersues Epic Games for sidestepping fees on in-app purchases

It said the company ‘willfully breached’ its Play Store developer agreement.

Google has countersued Epic Games over in-app purchases on Fortnite, saying it "willfully breached" its Play Store developer agreement. Epic originally sued Google in August, shortly after it filed a complaint against, and was countersued by, Apple. "Epic has alternatively been unjustly enriched at Google's expense," the company said in its complaint. 

In case you forgot, Epic sued Google when it removed Fortnite from its Play Store after a Mega Drop update gave players a way to bypass Play and get discounted items.

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Apple is holding its next event on October 18th

Didn’t we just have an Apple event?

Apple Unleashed event invite
Apple Unleashed event invite

Apple will hold a second fall product event on October 18th at 1 PM ET. The invitation for the virtual Unleashed presentation doesn't provide many clues, but we’re expecting to see 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, powered by souped-up M1X processors.

Apple might also introduce third-generation 'basic' AirPods — headphones we thought we’d see at the iPhone just months ago.

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Motorola Edge (2021) review

Improvements where they were needed most.

Motorola Edge stood in puddle.
Motorola Edge stood in puddle.

Motorola’s Edge, updated for 2021, still makes compromises but in adding a fast 144Hz display, a more consistent fingerprint sensor and better software support, it addresses many of the shortcomings of its predecessor. If you can forgive the middling camera and its missing wireless charging, there’s a lot to like about this phone. For now, the unlocked 256GB model is $600, but it will eventually cost $700. Another strong midrange phone is here.

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Tile teases its first ultra-wideband tracker to go up against Apple’s AirTags

The company has also upgraded its existing lineup.

Tile is making a tracker that uses both ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth and will work across both Android and iOS. UWB devices can transmit directional and spatial data to narrow down their location more accurately than over Bluetooth alone.

The Tile Ultra tracker's Point and Locate feature lets you use augmented reality to find the item with turn-by-turn directions and a visual indicator of where the tracker is. Tile's working with Google to refine the feature for Android 12 and UWB-capable phones. It’s set to arrive in early 2022.

Until then, the company has announced the new Tile Pro, as well as revamped versions of Sticker, Slim and Mate trackers. The Pro is the company's most powerful tag to date, with a finding range of 400 feet.

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Netgear's new quad-band WiFi 6E mesh router costs $1,500

For that premium router feel.

Netgear routers
Netgear routers

How much would you pay for the fastest home wireless networks possible? At least it’s a three-pack.

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VanMoof's fastest e-bike yet tops out at 31MPH

The company plans to start shipping its first hyperbike in late 2022.

VanMoof V hyperbike
VanMoof V hyperbike

E-bike maker VanMoof wants to get riders from A to B more swiftly with its first high-speed model. The VanMoof V is the company’s first hyperbike, which will be able to hit a top speed of 31MPH (50KMH).

VanMoof is pitching this as a car replacement for city life and longer commutes, but as speed limits for e-bikes vary across cities and counties, the e-bike will have matching integrated speed settings. As it develops the VanMoof V, the company plans to work with lawmakers and governments on e-bike rules, including geofencing and speed regulations.

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