It’s that time of year again when the latest iPhones hit shelves, prompting many to wonder if they should take the plunge into iOS for the first time, or upgrade to a new handset. Apple announced four new iPhones this week at its hardware event, mirroring the last year’s offerings. The new iPhone 13 and 13 mini feature smaller notches at the top of their touchscreens, the new A15 Bionic processor and longer battery lives. The higher-end iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max smartphones have fancy finishes, 120Hz Super Retina XDR displays, and improved cameras along with the A15 Bionic chipset and better battery lives. Here’s how to order the iPhone 13 series and the iPhone 13 Pro series.
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini
The iPhone 13 and 13 mini will be available for pre-order starting at 5am PT (8am ET) on September 17 and will be widely available on September 24. The iPhone 13 starts at $799 while the iPhone 13 mini starts at $699.
Apple focused on refining the iPhone 13 series this year, trickling down some advanced features from last year’s Pro line to the standard models. Both the iPhone 13 and 13 mini have a nearly identical design to last year’s iPhone 12s, but they have a 20-percent small notch at the top and screens that are 28-percent brighter. Screen sizes have remained the same, too, measuring 6.1-inches on the iPhone 13 and 5.4-inches on the 13 mini. Apple managed to pack larger batteries in both handsets, so iPhone 13 users will get about 2.5 hours of extra use when compared to the iPhone 12, while iPhone 13 mini users will get about 1.5 extra hours.
Inside both smartphones is the new A15 Bionic chipset and neural engine and Apple promises 50-percent better performance than the competition. The cameras have been upgraded as well: the dual system has a new wide camera sensor and lens along with the sensor-shift optical image stabilization system that we saw on the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year. Both the iPhone 13 and the 13 mini support expanded 5G as well, which will be available on 200 carriers in 60 countries by the end of this year.
As far as configurations go, the iPhone 13 and 13 mini are both available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage capacities. Apple has a new lineup of colors as well: pink, blue, midnight, starlight and Product Red.
iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will be available for pre-order starting at 5am PT (8am ET) on September 17 and will be widely available on September 24. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099.
Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro at Apple starting at $999 Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro Max at Apple starting at $1,099 Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max at Best Buy Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max at Walmart
It’s all about the screens and the cameras for these smartphones. While screen sizes haven’t changed, both the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have new Super Retina XDR displays with ProMotion, 1,000 nits of brightness and refresh rates up to 120Hz. We first saw this technology on the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and now it’s been brought down to the higher-end iPhones.
The triple-rear camera system also got a big boost this year. It now features a new 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, along with a new ultra wide camera that has a f/1.8 aperture and autofocus. The primary “wide” camera is the largest Apple has even put in an iPhone and it features a f/1.5 aperture and 1.9-micron pixels. Apple also made it possible to shoot at up to 6x optical zoom, enabling macro photography, and it added new features like Cinematic Mode for videos, which uses machine learning to get things like better focus, better low-light performance, Time-lapse and Slo-mo video and more.
Inside the Pros is the A15 Bionic chipset with a 16-core neural engine, which Apple says will help the iPhones run 50 percent faster than the competition. The company also touts the handsets’ enhanced durability and battery life. The iPhone 13 Pro series includes a surgical-grade stainless steel band and finishes that are resistant to abrasions and corrosions, and the lineup is IP68 water-resistant. As far as battery life goes, the iPhone 13 Pro should last 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last up to 2.5 hours longer than its predecessor.
As for configurations, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage capacities and both are available in four colors: sierra blue, silver, gold and graphite.
Facebook to pay up to $14.25 million to settle U.S. employment discrimination claims
Facebook Inc has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle civil claims by the U.S. government that the social media company discriminated against American workers and violated federal recruitment rules, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
The two related settlements were announced by the Justice Department and Labor Department and confirmed by Facebook. The Justice Department last December filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of giving hiring preferences to temporary workers including those who hold H-1B visas that let companies temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specialty occupations. Such visas are widely used by tech companies.
Kristen Clarke, assistant U.S. attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, called the agreement with Facebook historic.
“It represents by far the largest civil penalty the Civil Rights Division has ever recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision,” Clarke said in a call with reporters, referring to a key U.S. immigration law that bars discrimination against workers because of their citizenship or immigration status.
The case centered on Facebook’s use of the so-called permanent labor certification, called the PERM program.
The U.S. government said that Facebook refused to recruit or hire American workers for jobs that had been reserved for temporary visa holders under the PERM program. It also accused Facebook of “potential regulatory recruitment violations.”
Facebook will pay a civil penalty under the settlement of $4.75 million, plus up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of what the government called discriminatory hiring practices.
“While we strongly believe we met the federal government’s standards in our permanent labor certification (PERM) practices, we’ve reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program,” a Facebook spokesperson said, adding that the company intends to “continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world.”
The settlements come at a time when Facebook is facing increasing U.S. government scrutiny over other business practices.
Facebook this month faced anger from U.S. lawmakers after former company employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen accused it of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety. Haugen has turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators amid concerns that Facebook has harmed children’s mental health and has stoked societal divisions.
The company has denied any wrongdoing.
In Tuesday’s settlements, the Justice Department said that Facebook used recruitment practices designed to deter U.S. workers such as requiring applications to be submitted only by mail, refusing to consider American workers who applied for positions and hiring only temporary visa holders.
The Labor Department this year conducted audits of Facebook’s pending PERM applications and uncovered other concerns about the company’s recruitment efforts.
“ Facebook is not above the law,” U.S. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda told reporters, adding that the Labor Department is “committed to ensuring that the PERM process is not misused by employers – regardless of their size and reach.”
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham)
U.S. FCC commissioner wants new restrictions review for Chinese dronemaker DJI
A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday said he wants the U.S. telecommunications regulator to begin the process of imposing new restrictions on Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the agency should takes steps toward adding DJI, the world’s largest dronemaker, to the so-called “Covered List” that would prohibit U.S. Universal Service Fund money from being used to purchase its equipment.
DJI, which accounts for more than 50% of U.S. drone sales, said its “drones are safe and secure for critical and sensitive operations… Our customers know that DJI drones remain the most capable and most affordable products for a wide variety of uses, including sensitive industrial and government work.”
In March, the FCC designated five Chinese companies as posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks.
The FCC named Huawei Technologies Co, ZTE Corp, Hytera Communications Corp <002583.SZ), Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co.
Carr noted that the FCC has a separate ongoing effort to decide whether to continue approving equipment from entities on the Covered List for use in the United States.
“ DJI drones and the surveillance technology on board these systems are collecting vast amounts of sensitive data-everything from high-resolution images of critical infrastructure to facial recognition technology and remote sensors that can measure an individual’s body temperature and heart rate,” Carr said in a statement. “We do not need an airborne version of Huawei.”
He said the FCC in consultation with national security agencies “should also consider whether there are additional entities that warrant closer scrutiny.”
In December, DJI was added by the U.S. Commerce Department to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist.
In January 2020, the U.S. Interior Department said it was grounding its fleet of about 800 Chinese-made drones, and earlier halted additional Interior Department purchases of such drones.
In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned U.S. firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones.
(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Bill Berkrot, William Maclean)
Google announces Pixel 6 phone with new chip, subscription service
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced the newest iteration of its smartphone – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – which will be powered by the company’s first chip called Tensor.
The tech giant also launched Pixel Pass, a subscription service starting at $45 per month for U.S. customers that will include the Pixel 6 and access to the premium versions of YouTube and YouTube Music.
Pricing for the Pixel 6 will start at $599, while the Pixel 6 Pro, which includes a telephoto lens and upgraded front camera, starts at $899.
The phones will go on sale at U.S. wireless carriers on Oct. 28.
(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Richard Chang)
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