From the Editor's Desk: It's always a back-and-forth with Apple these days
Another week has come and gone, and while it's a little slower than normal, there's still a few Apple-related things I want to talk about, so let's dive in.
It seems that the Apple Car rumors continue to fly. I'm pretty sure that we will continue to hear about the Apple Car for a few years, at least until it starts to hit production around 2024, and maybe be on the road by 2025. Anyway, this week, it seems that Hyundai executives are under investigation over insider trading during those rumors — oops! As I said last week, the first rule of Apple Club is, well, don't talk about Apple Club. It seems some Hyundai employees used those reports to its advantage, and we all know that's a big no-no. And of course, angering Apple by revealing to everyone that you're partnering up is just going to end up with your own company being dropped, so really, Hyundai should have known better. At least try to be like Nissan and deny all possible rumors about involvement with the Apple Car.
And while we're talking about Apple Car, there's a report that Apple is talking with multiple suppliers for LiDAR tech for the car, which would be pretty cool. LiDAR is used in the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPad Pro (2020) models. With LiDAR, it shoots out multiple pulses of invisible light in one direction, and these pulses help measure how long it takes for the light to get back to the sensor. In short, it's like shooting invisible lasers to detect how far away an object is, or the depth. With such technology implemented into an Apple Car, it could mean more of a fully automated experience, as the LiDAR scanners would be used to determine the proximity to nearby objects on the road. Of course, this is all still very early, but it's one step closer to an automated future on the road. Too bad I probably won't have the several hundred grand that the Apple Car may cost, hah — a girl can dream!
Anyway, let's take a pivot and talk about things that are closer to actual release. We're approaching the end of February, so you know what that means? A March Apple event is (probably) just weeks away! Two of the things that we will most definitely see will be a new iPad Pro and — drumroll please — AirTags! Of course, this is just a Prosser rumor, but he has a strong accuracy rating in recent times. I currently still have the 2020 11-inch iPad Pro, so I don't think I will be upgrading that anytime soon, but AirTags? I need those!
There have been a few times when I don't remember where I put my keys, and if it weren't for my husband, I probably would never have found them. I've been avoiding getting a Tile tracker or something similar, because as someone who is already heavily vested in the Apple ecosystem, AirTags and the Find My app would work much better. Other use cases for AirTags could be to put it in your car to find it in a parking lot, dog tags, your kids' coat or backpack to always know where they are, and more. These are just a few of the use cases for AirTags that are on the top of my head right now, and I'm sure other people can get more creative with them. I would be curious if Apple's AirTags would use replaceable batteries, or if it's rechargeable. I guess we will find out next month.
Another thing that has caught my attention is the possibility of Apple creating a MagSafe battery pack. Though whether it's going to actually happen is in the air. Still, the thought of a portable little battery pack that I can just slap onto the back of my MagSafe-compatible iPhone 12 Pro case, and not deal with cables or ugly battery packs, is exciting. I don't need a battery pack much these days when I'm staying home, but when we can travel and go out again, a MagSafe battery pack would be most awesome.
We also had a real Nintendo Direct this week, which was packed with a ton of exciting game announcements. The thing I'm looking forward to the most though, is Monster Hunter Rise and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. I never actually played Skyward Sword on the Wii U since I didn't have the console, so this would be my first time playing it — exciting! And I've poured hundreds of hours into a few Monster Hunter games (Tri, 4U and Generations on 3DS, and World on PS4), so I can't wait for a new installment to hunt together with my husband. I was definitely tempted by the Monster Hunter Rise Edition Nintendo Switch console, but I already got the Animal Crossing Edition one last year. However, I did manage to snag the Monster Hunter Rise Edition Pro Controller, so at least I'll have a proper controller to play the game with!
Until next time.
- Christine Romero-Chan
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Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.
Meh I'll stick with the battery pack and cables already out there. Won't have to worry about it becoming dislodged (because the magnets aren't strong enough) and still able to get a fast charge (without losing much like you do with the wireless charging apple uses and allows on their devices).
You know you can already buy Mag-Safe battery packs. Check Amazon. That is of course distinct from MagSafe®. I have one. It is clearly not as fast as I imagine an Apple version would be. It is however practical, and keeps me from juggling a cable and 'two' devices.