Official Apple Watch Charging Dock Packaging Shown in Leaked Photo

Apple is developing its own in-house docking solution for charging the Apple Watch, reports French site iGeneration [Google Translate]. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, iGeneration says the dock will be called simply the „Magnetic Charging Dock,“ a name also seen in alleged packaging photos below.

Circular in shape, the dock appears to support the Apple Watch in two orientations, both laid flat over the top in portrait mode and on its side in landscape mode, useful for Nightstand mode. The charging puck within the dock seems to adjust from flat to upright to accommodate both orientations.

The Magnetic Charging Dock is said to come with a Lightning cable that will be used to charge the Apple Watch through the dock, but it does not include a USB power adapter. The packaging for the dock lists a price of €89, which likely means it will be priced at $79 in the United States.

At $79, the Magnetic Charging Dock is significantly more expensive than Apple’s dock for the iPhone, but it appears to have a more complicated design with the ability to support both portrait and landscape charging. It is not known when the dock might go on sale, but the completed packaging signals an imminent release date.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tag: igen.fr
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Review: Quarter is an External Battery for the iPhone That Charges With a MagSafe Cable

Beaver Electronics Co. has debuted a unique fast-charging external battery for the iPhone, which it’s dubbed „Quarter,“ because it takes less than a quarter of the time to charge compared to a normal external battery. The secret lies in the charging method – Quarter has a built-in MagSafe port that allows it to be connected to MacBook’s MagSafe Power Adapter.

Apple does not allow third-party companies to use its MagSafe technology, so Quarter has been created without Apple’s permission and with components Apple likely would not approve of, but its super fast charging capabilities are undeniably enticing.

Design wise, Quarter is similar in size to an iPhone 6 Plus. It’s just as wide and a bit shorter, but quite thick and heavy. It’s 12.5mm thick and it weighs 180 grams. It’s made from aluminum and has an an extra lip at the top with a hole that could be attached to a bag or backpack, but given its size, I’m not sure anyone would want to use it that way so that extra bit of material is extraneous and an unusual design choice.

There are four indicator lights on the Quarter that are lit by a built-in LED. These lights let you know how much power is left, activated by shaking or tapping the Quarter. A shake or a tap is also how the Quarter is turned on to begin charging a device it’s plugged in to.

On one end of the Quarter, there’s a MagSafe port, a USB port, and a micro-USB port. The USB port can be used to charge an iPhone or other iOS device, while the micro-USB port and the MagSafe port are both used to charge the Quarter itself. Charging with MagSafe is fast, but if the only available option is a micro-USB cable, it’s also able to charge that way. As seen in the photo below, the ports on the Quarter don’t quite line up, which is an unfortunate design decision.

The Quarter claims to charge much faster with MagSafe than an external battery that’s charged over micro-USB, and in my testing, that was an accurate claim. It has a 5,000mAh battery and after draining it completely, it took about 35 minutes to charge to full capacity. I plugged it in at 3:35 p.m. and it was full just before 4:10 pm using a Retina MacBook Pro MagSafe Power Adapter. You’ll need to supply all of your own cables, of course.

With a full charge, Quarter was able to charge my iPhone 6s Plus from a totally dead battery to 100 percent in two hours and 15 minutes. Charging my iPhone 6s Plus to fill used up approximately 3/4ths of the battery (with one bar left on the indicator), leaving enough to also charge my iPad from 78 percent to 87 percent. At that point, the battery pack was exhausted.

While the Quarter only has enough capacity to provide one charge for the iPhone 6s Plus, it will be able to provide more power to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, both of which have smaller batteries than Apple’s larger devices. It will charge an iPad Air 2 or another iPad, but likely not to full.

According to the Quarter’s advertising, it can garner enough power to charge an iPhone 5s after just 15 minutes of charging. This was also accurate. After draining the battery, I charged the Quarter for 15 minutes and then plugged it into a completely dead iPhone 5s. It was able to charge the iPhone 5s to full on that single 15 minute charge.

Charging the Quarter via MagSafe caused it to become uncomfortably hot, which was concerning. I wasn’t able to measure the temperature, but it was hot enough that I wouldn’t want to touch it or hold it in my hand when it’s charging. When charging via micro-USB or when used to charge an iPhone, it stays cool to the touch.

To achieve fast charging via MagSafe, Beaver Electronics designed Quarter with a battery core voltage of 7.4V and redesigned the internal circuit. „We managed to reduce the internal resistance by optimizing the Li-Ion polymer battery,“ reads the site.

Beaver Electronics is also selling an optional MagSafe car charger that can be used to speedily charge the Quarter in the car. Though it has a MagSafe connector on the end, it’s not suitable for charging a MacBook in the car.

Bottom Line

Quarter does exactly what it claims to do. It works with MagSafe and it charges in a fraction of the time that it takes standard external batteries to charge. Being able to charge an external battery enough to charge an iPhone 5s in 15 minutes or an iPhone 6s Plus in 30 minutes is undeniably useful.

On the downside, this is not an Apple-sanctioned product. Apple does not let third-party companies use its MagSafe technology, and there’s certainly a chance that Apple could get sales of the product shut down.

Quarter is limited to 5,000mAh and it is rather large comparative to some of the other solutions that are on the market, but its relatively inexpensive pre-order price tag and its fast charging capabilities make it worth the cost.

Pros:

Charges fast

Enough capacity for a full iPhone 6s Plus charge

Optional car charger

Reasonably priced

Cons:

Not Apple approved

Gets hot when charging

Somewhat bulky

How to Buy

Quarter is available for pre-order from crowd-funding site Pozible for $39. The company plans to begin shipping orders out in the middle of November.

Tags: review, battery pack, Quarter
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Take the pain out of hopping on a plane with these travel-ready lifehacks [Deals]

Getflix: Lifetime Subscription – 88% off Traveling shouldn’t mean leaving your favorite TV shows and movies behind. While Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services are shut off to anyone traveling outside the US without a tricky VPN or server masking arrangement, Getflix strategically channels traffic using Smart DNS in order to unblock 100 streaming channels. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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iFixit Tears Down Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2

iFixit has published detailed teardowns of the new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2, providing a closer look at the internal design and several matching components inside the trio of accessories.

The teardown experts first pried through the Magic Keyboard’s adhesive to uncover its logic board, rechargeable 793 mAh lithium-ion battery, Lightning connector cable and honeycomb-shaped spacer layer. iFixit also removed the keycaps to reveal Apple’s new scissor mechanism.

The Magic Keyboard logic board contains a Broadcom Bluetooth transceiver, ST Microelectronics microcontroller, NXP charging IC and Texas Instruments battery charger:

Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution
ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3
NXP 1608A1 Charging IC
Texas Instruments BQ24250C Single Input I2C/Standalone Switch-Mode Li-Ion Battery Charger

The new Magic Keyboard earned a low repairability score of 3 out of 10, with ten being the easiest to repair, due to the excessive use of strong adhesive and difficulty of opening the keyboard without damaging internal components.

iFixit then removed the adhesive feet on the Magic Mouse 2 and separated the lower casing from the mouse, revealing the mouse’s midframe. Popping four plastic clips led to a 1,986 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

The Magic Mouse 2 also has a capacitative touch-sensing array, tiny switch for clicking and a logic board with similar chips as the Magic Keyboard:

Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution
Unknown 303S0499—probably a proprietary Apple touch controller
NXP 1608A1 Charging IC
Texas Instruments 56AYZ21
ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3

Magic Mouse 2 received a low repairability score of 2 out of 10.

iFixit also tore down the Magic Trackpad 2, prying through its adhesive to reveal its Taptic Engine for Force Touch, 2,024 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, Lightning connector cable, touchpad, strain gauges and logic board with six chips:

Broadcom BCM20733 Enhanced Data Rate Bluetooth 3.0 Single-Chip Solution
ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB 72 MHz 32-bit RISC ARM Cortex-M3
NXP 1608A1 Charging IC
Texas Instruments BQ24250C Single Input I2C/Standalone Switch-Mode Li-Ion Battery Charger
Intersil ISL656A Two-Phase PWM Controller
International Rectifier IRFH3702 Single N-Channel HEXFET Power MOSFET

Magic Trackpad 2 also received a low repairability score of 3 out of 10.



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This rugged Lightning cable is a bully

Lust List: Scosche StrikeLINE Lightning cable Who needs 3 feet of rugged Lightning cable? Anyone who spends any time at all on the road, that’s who. I was just in Vegas staying at the not-so-awesome Planet Hollywood (I know, I know, don’t ask) and had to spend 20 minutes on my knees searching for an […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Hot deals ending soon: Here’s your last chance to save big on web developer training and lots more [Deals]

; It’s always a good time for a great deal, and we’ve got some good ones ending soon. Get in on dramatically dropped prices on top products like Dragon Dictate, REMXD bluetooth headphones, and lots more before they drop off the…Read more ›

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