Death of AirPower: What no one’s talking about! This week, on The CultCast


AIrPower CultCast 382
AirPower's dead! But the real problem is why...
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: The death of AirPower — the real problem that no one is talking about. Plus: 2019 iPhone rumors point to some wildly useful new features; more evidence the 2018 MacBook, Air and Pro keyboards are still having problems. And we wrap up with a review of Leander’s favorite wireless charging mat, Lewis’ take on the new AirPods 2, and Erfon’s got a favorite new podcasting gadget on an all-new Under Review.

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#382 – Death of AirPower: what no one’s talking about!


On the show this week

@erfon / @lewiswallace / @lkahney

Pre-Order Leander’s new book, signed!

What went wrong with Apple’s doomed AirPower charging mat?

  • AirPower is officially dead. It’s the first time in Apple’s history that they canceled an announced, but unreleased product.
  • It’s been about 1.5 years since Apple titillated fans by revealing a wireless charging mat that supposedly would charge not one, not two, but three Apple devices at the same time.
  • Overheating problems reportedly posed the biggest hurdle for bringing AirPower to market. We heard rumors and rumblings for more than a year that Apple faced serious technical hurdles as it tried to make AirPower a reality.
  • Most wireless charging mats have only one power-generating coil. Some specialized chargers offer two coils, placed far apart. Apple tried to put three or more charging coils into one pad so you could place your device anywhere and it would start charging.
  • One of John Gruber’s sources said the design would never work; it violated the laws of physics.
  • But here’s the real AirPower problem no one’s talking about…

Two-way charging and bigger batteries rumored for 2019 iPhones

  • According to a new report from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is reportedly planning to add two-way charging that will allow it to recharge your Apple Watch, AirPods and even other iPhones.
  • If this feature sounds familiar, it may be because Samsung included on the Galaxy S10+…
  • Kuo also claims battery capacity will increase between 10% and 25% on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max successors. The iPhone XS successor will get the biggest gains, while the iPhone XR successor is expected to get minimal battery gains.
  • Other rumored features for the 2019 iPhone lineup includes a three-lens camera on the back, improved Face ID sensors, a more powerful A13 processor and possibly support for Apple Pencil.

The MacBook keyboard fiasco is way worse than Apple thinks

  • That’s according to David Heinemeier Hansson, founder of Basecamp and creator of Ruby on Rails.
  • Apple keeps insisting that only a “small number of customers have problems” with the MacBook keyboards. “That’s bollocks,” Hansson writes. “This is a huge issue, it’s getting worse not better, and Apple is missing the forest for the trees.”
  • “So here’s some anecdata for Apple. I sampled the people at Basecamp. Out of the 47 people using MacBooks at the company, a staggering 30% are dealing with keyboard issues right now!! And that’s just the people dealing with current keyboard issues. If you include all the people who used to have issues, but went through a repair or replacement process, the number would be even higher.”
  • “Worth noting here is that the 3rd generation membrane keyboard did nothing to fix the issues. Six out of thirteen – nearly half!! – of the 2018+ MacBooks we have at the company have a failed keyboard.”
  • Hansson also did a Twitter poll that currently has more than 7,300 responses.
    • 37% have no keyboard issues.
    • 11% had issues that were fixed by Apple
    • 52% have issues now that they’re just living with.
    • He’s calling for Apple to do a Total Recall….