Griffin, Aukey debut smaller, lighter, faster wall chargers

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Griffin PowerBlock Range
Griffin PowerBlock Range of Ultra-Compact USB-C PD Fast Charging Wall Chargers with Gallium Nitride (GaN) Technology
Photo: Griffin

CES 2020A slew of smaller wall chargers with better charging speeds are soon to hit the market and two companies – Griffin and Aukey – used the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday to show off their newest units.

Aukey’s Omnia and Griffin’s PowerBlock lineup are made from gallium nitride, or GaN, a next-generation semiconductor material with 100-times the speed of old silicon technology. They are well-suited for high-power transistors capable of operating at high temperatures. As a result, components are smaller, lighter and faster to charge, up to 70% faster than standard chargers.

Samsung’s new spinning Sero TV coming to U.S. with AirPlay 2

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Samsung Sero TV coming to U.S. with AirPlay 2
Launched last May in South Korea, the Samsung spinning Sero TV is coming to America with AirPlay 2 support.
Photo: Samsung

CES-2020-bug-2With the advent of more verticle videos on social media platforms, Samsung is introducing its Sero pivoting TV in the U.S. with Apple AirPlay 2 support.

Samsung showed off its new Sero TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday with plans for its release in the second half of this year. No specific price was revealed, but Samsung launched the 4K display in South Korea for roughly $1,640 last May.

Apple exploring satellite network to beam data directly to iPhones

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satellite
The iPhone maker seems serious to create a satellite network to beam data directly to devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Photo: ESA

Apple is building a larger research group to investigate ways to transmit data directly to iPhones and other devices, Bloomberg reported Friday.

According to the report, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly made the project a company priority.

AirPods Pro owners scratch and sniff … blueberries

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AirPods Pro blueberries
Some AirPods Pro owners smell blueberries when they open their new earbuds. An expert says that's not surprising.
Photo: Envato Elements

Some AirPods Pro owners report an unusual smell emanating from the plastic and rubber casings of Apple’s hot new earbuds. Of all things, they say they detect a whiff of … blueberries.

One expert tells Cult of Mac the aroma could be deliberate, or simply a result of chemical compounds in the plastics.

Does Apple’s Night Shift mode really work? New study questions its effectiveness.

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The Night Shift mode on Apple products may not be worth the hype. Using dim, cooler lights in the evening may be more beneficial to our sleep and health.
The Night Shift mode on Apple products may not live up to the hype.
Photo: Envato Elements

Blue light from iPhones or MacBook Pros might not be keeping people up at night as originally thought, according to new research.

The bottom line … the Night Shift mode on Apple products — meant to dial down the amount of blue light emitted by displays — may not be as effective as expected. Using dim, cooler lights in the evening, and bright, warmer lights in the day might prove more beneficial to our health.

Apple TV app debuts on Amazon Fire smart TVs in U.S.

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Fire TV Edition Smart TVs
A month since its debut on Amazon Fire Stick devices, the Apple TV App is now available on Fire TV Edition Smart TVs in the U.S.
Photo: Amazon

The Apple TV App is now available on Fire TV Edition Smart TVs in the U.S., slowly increasing its availability on various third-party streaming players and televisions.

The addition includes built-in Alexa voice-command support to ask for AppleTV+ programs and to open the Apple TV app.

Amazon adds Apple Podcasts on Echo speakers

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Echo
You can now play Apple Podcasts on Amazon Echo devices and link your Apple ID for easier control.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon has added support for Apple Podcasts on Amazon Echo devices, enabling users to stream more than 800,000 shows.

Users can link their Apple ID to the Alexa app, giving them the ability to not only play, but pause and resume podcasts where they left off.

Orangetheory Fitness launches workout tracker for Apple Watch

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Orangetheory Fitness rower
The Orangetheory Fitness franchise has created a small accessory that attaches to an Apple Watch band to track your heart rate during exercise.
Photo: Orangetheory Fitness

The nation’s 13th-largest health club chain, Orangetheory Fitness, will begin supporting Apple Watch in its 1,300 franchise studios by March, the company said Thursday. That will make it the first fitness brand to officially partner with Apple on a fitness studio solution.

The fitness franchise created a small accessory, called the OTbeat Link, that attaches to an Apple Watch band to track the heart rate of customers during exercise classes.