If you haven’t heard, Apple’s using magnets to allow for easier Qi-charging on its iPhone 12, as the MagSafe charger just snaps to the back of the iPhone. You can even snap a wallet attachment to your phone as well (though it moves around a little bit in your pocket).
The arrival of MagSafe to the iPhone, and not USB-C, may have been a disappointment for many. Samsung has been using USB-C in phones since 2016’s Galaxy Note 7, and Apple typically doesn’t wait this long to catch up.
MagSafe, though, could be Apple’s out for USB-C. In fact, Apple’s history gives us reason to think it could skip USB-C for the iPhone and go completely wireless.
Why MagSafe could kill Lightning in the iPhone 13
Apple added the Lightning connector in 2012, with the iPhone 5 and its iPods. Ever since, that port has taken over all iPhones and multiple iPads. It’s good for fast charging and capable at data transfers. But like many things, Apple will inevitably replace it with something else. Just ask the 30-pin dock connector, which lasted 11 years (Lightning is approaching that mark, currently at 8).
As I referenced in an article about Lightning headphones in 2016, there’s a corrosion issue in the plug side of the Lightning port that causes poor connectivity. One of my colleagues is having Lightning port troubles right now, and that’s pushing him to update to the iPhone 12.
Then, remember the rumor from late 2019, where reputable Mac prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo told analysts that the iPhone 13 could be completely wireless. That didn’t make much sense back then, as Qi charging was still plenty awkward.
But it did sound like standard Apple: removing all the ports and buttons it could, in a race to the future. Just ask the headphone jack how it fared in the rest of the industry (Samsung even removed it from the Galaxy Tab S7). Apple gets ahead of the competitors when it comes to turning standards into “legacy ports,” and other companies often follow suit.
MagSafe changes that, by taking the weird “is it placed right?” game out of the standard-issue Qi-charging experience. That being said, it’s not really perfect. At least not yet.
Why MagSafe won’t kill Lightning in the iPhone 13
As noted in our iPhone 12 review, MagSafe charging has the same drawback of Qi-charging. It’s not exactly fast. You can charge an iPhone 12 to 50% with Apple’s 20W wired charger, while Apple’s 15W MagSafe charger took an hour to get to half-full.
When the iPhone is supposed to be the best phone you can get, nobody will want that slow charging. It would then take Apple (or someone else) making an advancement in Qi-charging technology to bring MagSafe up to speed, or for some unlikely change in consumer habits where people accept slower charging, likely by charging more frequently, for smaller amounts of time.
Plus, Qi-charging can’t send data, and one of the big perks of Lightning and USB-C is that it can be used for backing up your devices. Apple may try its best to push everyone to backup to iCloud, but they probably know they can’t make that work for everyone.
There’s also the matter of the European Union, which voted in favor of a universal charging standard this past January. As most readings of the situation say, this would require all smartphone makers to adopt the same charging standard. This is meant to increase convenience and cut down waste, and it’s a very good idea.
This act from the EU still needs to be turned into a law. But if and when it does go through, it probably means that Apple can’t just ditch all charging ports and go for MagSafe only, because that’s still requiring a different cord, even if it doesn’t plug into your iPhone.
I don’t know what Apple’s waiting for. The company could easily switch from Lightning to USB-C in the iPhone at any time — much like it did with the new iPad Air.
Maybe adding 5G and MagSafe were the only big physical changes that the company had time for with the iPhone 12. But MagSafe shows a potential plan that Apple could have had before the EU pushed them to go USB-C. We’ll have to see next year, and in all the iPhone 13 leaks we expect to see along the way.
Sonos One Wi-Fi speakers are $40 off today – The Verge
Sonos ran an all-too-short one-day sale on its Wi-Fi speakers last week for Black Friday. The good news is that they’re discounted once again at Best Buy and Amazon, though the price cuts aren’t as steep. Both the Sonos One SL without microphones and the Sonos One (Gen 2) are $40 off at either retailer. This puts the One SL at $140 and the One (Gen 2) at $160. Neither are best-ever prices, but given that they’re within $10 of their lowest costs, we thought you’d like to know about these deals.
If HBO Max caught your attention yesterday with the news that all Warner Bros. films released through 2021 will debut day-and-date on the streaming platform, you understandably might want a subscription for yourself or to gift to someone else. For new and returning subscribers, you can save 20 percent by prepaying for a six-month subscription to the service. Instead of $90, it’ll cost you $70. Just note that this is non-refundable.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the latest installment that crams essentially four games into one package, has received a $10 price cut across all platforms at Walmart. The PS4 or Xbox One version of the game now costs $50 instead of $60. If you’re already gaming on the PS5 or Xbox Series X / S consoles, you’ll spend $60 (PS5, Xbox Series X / S) instead of $70.
It’s worth keeping in mind that if you get the PS4 / Xbox One version, there’s a $10 fee associated with getting the next-gen patch for either the PS5 or Xbox Series X / S. So if you just don’t want to fuss with that, get the pricier next-gen version instead.
What you need to know about COVID-19 antibody tests – Toronto Star
A COVID-19 antibody test is now generally available to Ontario residents, with a doctor’s requisition. The medical laboratory chain Life Labs began offering the Health Canada approved serology test on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Currently available in British Columbia and Ontario, the test costs $75.
However, internal medical expert Dr. Gerald Evans advises that the results of a COVID-19 antibody tests are not always straightforward. He said he can’t think of many clinical circumstances when a doctor would request this information.
“Really it has very little utility in the general practice of medicine,” he said. “Right now the only use that we have for an antibody test, based on the guidelines that are issued, is to use it to investigate children who present with a multi inflammatory syndrome (IMSC)…. That’s really the only clinical utility we have for it,” he said.
He also explained that not everybody who gets COVID-19 exhibits the exact same antibody response, which makes the virus different from others such as measles or chickenpox.
“Most people get something, but some people are what we call ‘low-level responders,’ meaning the levels of antibodies that they get could be below a detection level that we’re looking for.”
“So if you wanted to do this test because you’re saying ‘I recall being ill and I think it was COVID,’ you do an antibody test. If it’s negative, it doesn’t really say that you didn’t have a COVID-19 infection. It may mean that you were one of these people that had a very mild infection and didn’t get a big antibody response.”
He also explained that humans make three different types of antibodies in response to a virus — IgG, IgA, IgM.
“IgM antibodies disappear very quickly. If you’re more than a couple of months out from your infection, you won’t find them. IgA antibodies are super tricky because they go up and down, they disappear, and some people don’t make them at all.”
The IgG antibody, which he said believes the Life Labs antibody tests are based on, is much more stable.
Life Labs CEO Charles Brown called antibody testing “another piece of the puzzle to better understand COVID-19.”
The company also explains on their website that a negative result might mean a person has been infected, but that antibody levels were too low for the test to detect. They note that you might receive a negative result, even after being infected, if not enough time has lapsed since the infection, to allow for antibodies to develop.
“Antibody response varies from person-to-person and can take up to three to four weeks post-onset of symptoms or post-exposure to be reliably detectable by antibody assays,” the company said.
Both Dr. Evans and Life Labs note that the test cannot be used to determine a current infection.
“It doesn’t really help in the diagnosis of COVID-19. Antibodies are made after you’re infected or when you’re in that recovery phase,” Dr. Evans said.
Dr. Evans said that typically, the IgG antibodies for the measles can be detected by a test in anyone that has ever had, or been inoculated against, the virus, even years later. They also indicate immunity. In the case of COVID-19, he said, it’s not the same thing.
“We still don’t quite have the exact test that tells us that those antibodies we’re measuring are at a high enough level or are responsible for neutralizing the virus, which would then predict that you’re immune,” he said.
“We’ve found people that even have these antibodies, they may not be in sufficient quantity. Or, it may not be the right antibody that actually protects them and gives them immunity. That’s the big problem.
“You could imagine somebody saying: ‘I’m going to get the test done to show that I’m immune,’ and that’s not really what it’s telling you.”
Life Labs website states that a positive test result does not infer immunity. They recommend getting the blood test three to four weeks after the onset of symptoms, adding that it’s possible to detect antibodies up to four months post-exposure.
“We look forward, to continue building our support for the healthcare system’s response to the pandemic, where Canadians have access to more important COVID-19 information to help them make informed decisions about their health,” Brown said.
Health Matters: Two Alberta toddlers finally receive expensive, life-saving drug Zolgensma | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca
Health Matters December 3: Two Edmonton-area children, suffering from spinal muscular atrophy Type 1 and in need of a $2.8 million life-saving Zolgensma treatment, have finally received it — thanks to a twist of fate. And the winner of the Mighty Millions Lottery grand prize is revealed. Su-Ling Goh reports.
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