Apple explains what ‘Clean Charging’ is for iOS 16.1 – but it’s US only for now

iOS 16.1 is now available for iPhone 8 and newer handsets, and it comes with an interesting carbon-saving feature that helps bolster Apple's eco-friendly credentials – and the company has now explained how it works.

In a support document, Apple states that when this feature is enabled, your iPhone gains an overview of the carbon emissions being used in your area, and iOS 16.1 will charge your device during times when cleaner energy production is being used.

It's an interesting feature, and it makes us wonder how this could expand to Apple's other devices.

A reduced carbon footprint for your MacBook Pro?

Macbook Pro 14-inch

(Image credit: TechRadar)

iPhones are one of the most repeatedly charged devices that many of us rely on every day, but most of us don't think about where the electricity we use to charge our iPhones comes from.

At the moment, this feature is only available to people in the US, though we hope it gets a global rollout soon. If you're in the US and you don't see Clean Energy Charging in your battery settings, you need to have Location Services enabled, alongside System Customization and Significant Locations. These can all be found within in Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services.

It's too early to tell if the Clean Energy Charging feature will make a big difference in carbon emissions, but if it does, could we see it come to other Apple products, such as Macs and MacBooks?  With rumors that new M2 MacBook Pros could be arriving soon, it could be perfect timing for this feature to pop up in a future macOS Ventura update.

Apple recently published a press release, calling on its supply chain to fully decarbonize by 2030 and use fully-renewable sources, so it's clear that the company is getting serious about minimising the environmental impact of its products.

We're expecting the company to go harder in its renewable-energy efforts in the near future, further showing the industry how it can thrive in a clean-energy world while we enjoy sending memes to friends over iMessage.

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Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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Apple forgot about its own Studio Display in latest iOS update

It seems that Apple forgot about the A13 Bionic processor that powers its own Studio Display, as a recent firmware update caused the monitor to malfunction.

On April 8, Apple stopped signing iOS update 15.4 after it pushed down update 15.4.1 on March 30. Normally when an update stops signing, it’s not available anymore and can no longer be installed. But since Studio Display uses 15.4 and cannot install 15.4.1, this meant that over the weekend users were out of luck.

According to MacWorld, anyone with issues using the monitor was met with a message stating: “Apple Studio Display firmware update could not be completed. Try again in an hour. If the problem persists, contact an authorized Apple service provider.”

As of April 10, Apple has fixed the issue and users have reported that the firmware update was installed without a hitch. However, the tech giant will most likely need to overhaul the signing and un-signing of iOS updates since multiple products require various versions to operate.

This isn’t the first time the Apple Studio Display needed a fix. Soon after its launch, the monitor received an update in order to fix the low quality of its webcam, as reported by multiple outlets such as TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal.


Analysis: the perils of an ecosystem

When you have a whole lot of products that are supposed to work with each other seamlessly, but they aren't running on the same system, problems are bound to pop up.

While Apple is known for a very tight product catalog that keeps the number of models currently being sold to a fairly lean lineup, Apple has been expanding its offerings in recent years.

Whether it's the Apple HomePod, the recent Apple AirPods 3, or any number of its MacBook and Mac products, Apple is having to juggle a lot more discrete systems that are supposed to work without the user even really thinking about it. It's kind of Apple's thing, so while it's kind of funny to think that Apple accidentally nerfed its own high-end workstation monitor by mistake, it's also symptomatic of a growing number of interlocking products where it becomes harder to predict what any single change to the system will have.

While Apple typically runs a tight ship, we wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of this kind of thing in the future. 

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WWDC 2022 is official for June 6 – expect to see iOS 16, M2, and more from Apple

After much speculation, Apple has announced its developer conference, WWDC, will be held in San Jose between June 6 and June 10, with a keynote being held on June 6, where it's expected to announce iOS 16, macOS 13, and more.

Mirroring previous years, the event will be fully remote, with the keynote being streamed on June 6, and developer sessions across the week will also be held remotely.

Apple's conference is usually where we will see updates to iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and its other software be showcased. Last year brought widgets to iPadOS 15, while we saw Focus be brought to iPadOS, iOS 15, watchOS, and macOS to help your productivity.

We expect the next versions to be announced, but we'll be covering everything that Apple announces, once June 6 arrives.

How you can take part in WWDC 2022

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WWDC has always been a week-long event, as Apple wants to communicate with its developers on the newest features that it hopes will benefit the apps that are across the App Store.

Regardless of going online-only in the past two years, the sessions have always been a helpful guide to developers, in talking to Apple engineers in solving some issues and being inspired to try out new features.

But there's also been plenty of events and apps held by Apple enthusiasts, whether they've been held around San Jose or as online events.

However, the first port of call would be Apple's Developer app. This will allow you to see which events you can keep track of, while also allowing you to download certain sessions to watch at a time that better suits you.

But if you're planning on visiting San Jose regardless, plenty of developers on Twitter will most likely be going too. And if you're a developer, see if you can take part in community sessions for when the next versions of iOS and macOS are announced, so you can brainstorm features and ideas for your apps.

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Apple thinks it has the tools to take your SMB to the next level

After launching in beta last year, Apple has announced that Apple Business Essentials is now available to all small businesses in the US.

The iPhone maker’s new service brings mobile device management, 24/7 Apple support and cloud storage from iCloud together into flexible subscription plans.

Apple Business Essentials is designed to support SMBs throughout the entire device management life cycle from device setup to device upgrades while also providing strong security, prioritized support, data storage and cloud backup. It begins with simple employee onboarding which allows a small business to easily configure, deploy and manage the company’s products from anywhere.

VP of enterprise and education marketing at Apple, Susan Prescott provided further insight on the company’s complete solution for SMBs in a press release, saying

“Apple has a deep and decades-long commitment to helping small businesses thrive. From dedicated business teams in our stores to the App Store Small Business Program, our goal is to help each company grow, compete, and succeed. We look forward to bringing Apple Business Essentials to even more small businesses to simplify device management, storage, support, and repairs. Using this new service leads to invaluable time savings for customers — including those without dedicated IT staff — that they can invest back into their business.”

Apple Business Essentials

One of the most useful features in Apple Business Essentials is Collections which allows groups of apps to be delivered to employees or teams while settings such as VPN configurations, Wi-Fi passwords and more can be automatically pushed to devices.

To get started, employees simply need to sign in to their work account on their iPhone, iPad or Mac using a Managed Apple ID. Once this is done, they will have access to everything they need to be productive including the new Apple Business Essentials app from where they can download their organization’s work apps.

Managed Apple IDs for employees can be created by federating with Microsoft Azure, Azure Director and later this spring with Google Workspace identity services. This allows employees to log into their business laptops using a single business username and passwords.

Apple Business Essentials also works with both company-provided and personal devices and with Apple’s User Enrollment feature, employees’ personal information stays private and cryptographically separated from work data.

In addition to Apple Business Essentials, Apple has announced the launch of AppleCare+ for Business Essentials which provides organizations with 24/7 access to phone support and up to two device repairs per plan per year by individual, group or device. Employees can initiate repairs directly from the Apple Business Essentials app and an Apple-trained technician will come onsite in as little as four hours to get their devices back up and running.

Apple Business Essentials with up to 2TB of iCloud cloud storage starts at $ 2.99 per month after a two-month free trial while plans for AppleCare+ for Apple Business Essentials start at $ 9.99 per month.

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Apple could be working on a whole host of financial and banking tools

Apple is reportedly working on a multi-year plan to develop its own payment processing technology and infrastructure in an effort to further build out its portfolio of financial products.

As reported by Bloomberg, the move would allow the iPhone maker to reduce its reliance on outside partners but it could also enable the company to expand its payment features beyond the US.

According to people familiar with the matter that spoke with the news outlet, the multi-year plan would bring a number of financial tasks in-house including payment processing, risk assessment for lending, fraud analysis, credit checks and other customer-service functions like handling disputes.

Since Apple is reportedly investigating the idea of launching its own hardware subscription service, being able to run credit checks and risk assessments before providing customers with devices makes a great deal of sense.

Future financial products

Although Apple already offers a credit card as well as peer-to-peer payments for businesses, its efforts to develop its own payment processing technology and infrastructure  will be focused on future financial products.

Back in July of last year, news broke that the company is also working on a “buy now, pay later” feature for Apple Pay Transactions that would allow customers to pay for items across four interest-free payments every two weeks or across several months with interest. While the plan with four payments is known internally as “Apple Pay in 4”, the longer term payment plans have been dubbed “Apple Pay Monthly Installments”.

While Apple will continue its partnership with Goldman Sachs according to Bloomberg, the company has been discussing using in-house technology for its “Apple Pay in 4” plan. 

At the same time though, the company’s in-house financial services could allow it to expand future services to additional countries. Currently Apple Pay is available in over 70 countries but other services such as peer-to-peer payments, Apple Card and Apple Cash are still US-only.

The news that Apple wants to bring more of its financial services in-house also aligns with a recent job posting looking for a hardware validation engineer to help upgrade its datacenters. Storing financial data and handling transactions could put a heavy load on its systems which is why the company wants to upgrade its datacenters with “next-generation” storage and server equipment from Intel and AMD.

Via 9to5Mac

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It looks like Android 13 might include an important Apple AirTag safety feature

Google might be working on its own Bluetooth tracker detection software for Android smartphones, according to the latest reports.

Bluetooth trackers like the Tile Mate and Apple AirTag have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, by using Bluetooth connections, and an army of phones hooked up to the Tile or Apple’s Find My network, these tags can help users find lost objects at home and out in the wider world.

Unfortunately, plenty of bad actors use these same devices to stalk unsuspecting individuals.

Tile and Apple have introduced various safety measures to reduce the risk their devices pose, but there are still issues with the current system. The main problem is that, for Android phone users, the free Tile and Apple Tracer Detect apps don’t offer automatic detection – you have to manually initiate searches on each individual app.

Now it looks like Google is taking matters into its own hands according to a 9To5Google report. The site details lines of code it found in a Google APK that was recently uploaded to the Play Store that references tag detection for devices named Tile tag and ATag (likely referencing AirTags).

The code is still fairly bare-bones right now, but it strongly suggests that Google is working on in-built tracker detection for Android. 

It’s not clear if this detection can be set to run automatically – though this should absolutely be an option – but this feature would at least give Android device users a pre-installed one-stop-shop to check if they're being stalked by unknown trackers.

We don't know when this feature will be available, but it could drop fairly soon. There’s a chance that this tracker detection will be available later this year when Android 13 launches, and it might even launch as part of the next Android 13 beta. We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces. 

Even though there are early signs that the feature is being developed, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.

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