SanDisk’s 2-in-1 flash drive lets iPhone, Mac, iPad securely exchange files [Review]

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SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe review
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe has both USB-C and Lightning connectors for maximum compatibility.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive Luxe includes both Lightning and USB Type-C connectors so it plugs into almost any computer. You can easily access the same collection of files from an iPhone, Mac or iPad without resorting to iCloud, etc. Even better, the drive is small and comes in an all-metal casing.

I tested the iXpand Luxe with multiple devices. Here’s its strengths and weaknesses.

Why a portless iPhone would be a nightmare

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Apple, please don’t saddle us with a portless iPhone. This wouldn't be better.
This wouldn't be better.
Photo illustration: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A reliable source says Apple is considering stripping the Lightning port from future iPhone models and replacing it with … nothing. Hopefully, it’s not too late to stop this terrible, terrible idea.

A portless iPhone is possible. And there are even a few advantages. But the significant drawbacks make the idea something that should be dropped like a burning bag of poo.

No USB-C: Lightning connector will stay until iPhone goes all-in on wireless

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iPhone-Lightning
Lightning isn't going anywhere.
Photo: Tinhte

Apple ditched Lightning for USC-B on the iPad Pro in 2018, but you shouldn’t expect a similar move for this year’s iPhone 12 refresh, according to an Apple leaker.

A Monday tweet by Fudge, aka @choco_bit, suggests that the iPhone 12 will come with a Lightning port. The reliable tipster says Apple will continue to use the proprietary Lightning until the iPhone goes all-in on wireless charging.

Mophie‘s fast-charging powerbanks debut at Apple stores

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The Mophie Powerstation lineup for 2020.
The latest Mophie external batteries charge an iPhone at the fastest speed possible.
Photo: Mophie/Zagg

The Apple Store today began offering three external batteries from Mophie. All have Lightning ports, and two include an integrated Lightning cable that provides 18W of power, making fast iPhone recharges on the go a breeze. The top-of the-line new Powerstation model also adds built-in wireless charging.

Apple says EU’s potential charging cable mandate ‘stifles innovation’

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iPhone Lightning connector
New regulations could force Apple to ditch Lightning cables in Europe.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple today argued against the European Union’s demands for standardized charging cables for smartphones and other devices.

New regulations being considered by the EU could force Apple to ditch the iPhone’s familiar Lightning connector for an industry-wide alternative. Apple said the move “stifles innovation” and hurt smartphone buyers.

“Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience,” Apple said in a statement to Cult of Mac. “We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.”

How Apple’s going to make MacBook Pro even MORE Pro, this week on The CultCast

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CultCast 423 MacBook Pro
Apple's about to make your MacBook Pro even Pro-er...
Photo: @YSR50

This week on The CultCast: Apple is working on a way to make your existing MacBook Pro far more powerful — we’ll tell you everything we know. Plus: Get your wallet ready … the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro you’ve been waiting for is (probably) right around the corner. And we’ll tell you why Apple might soon be forced to ditch Lightning in iPhones and iPads.

And stick around for our spoiler-free review of the full first season of See!

Out thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast, and use offer code CultCast at checkout for 10% off your first purchase.

2021 may be the year iPhone finally loses its Lightning connector

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iPhone Lightning connector
New regulations could force Apple to ditch Lightning cables in Europe.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to deliver at least one iPhone model without a Lightning connector next year, according to a new Barclays report.

The device won’t make the switch to USB-C, as previous rumors have predicted. It is instead expected to rely solely on wireless connectivity options for both charging and data transfer.

Barclays analysts also believe that this year’s iPhone refresh will bring an improved TrueDepth camera system that could mean even better Face ID.

6 ways to charge your iPhone

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iPhone charge
Charging -- not just about cables any more.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Charging an iPhone used to be so simple. You’d grab your 30-pin dock connector cable, the one that was almost as big as an AirPods charging case, and you’d jam it into the huge slot on the bottom of your iPhone. Then you’d wait.

Today, the kids don’t know how easy they have it. They can plug in a svelte, skinny Lightning cable to charge their iPhones, but they can also opt for several other ultra-modern (and probably fashionable) charging methods. Hell, even the olde worlde cable method has some high-tech, high-speed alternatives.

Let’s get right into it. Here are six different ways you can charge your iPhone.