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News bites – the stories you may have missed (6 January 2023)

Plenty of Apple, iPhone, and iPad news gets released every single day – but we know you’re busy, so we’ve got your back. Here, we’ve picked out some of the most important stories from the past week or so and summarized them for easy digestion. You’re welcome.

Let’s take a quickfire look at some of the most interesting recent headlines of late. As ever, click through to read the full stories if you want to know more!

Apple helps bring MagSafe to Android

The Wireless Power Consortium has announced the new Qi2 standard, which replaces the current Qi standard behind the vast majority of mobile wireless charging systems. The key improvement this time around is a very familiar-sounding magnetic alignment system. No, they haven’t pinched the idea from Apple. In fact, its seems as if Apple itself helped out. “WPC member, Apple, provided the basis for the new Qi2 standard building on its MagSafe technology,” says the WPC. Could we see future MagSafe chargers working with Android phones, and vice-versa?

Apple dictates manufacturing process to Samsung

Apple reportedly asked Samsung to change the way it makes displays for the iPhone 14 Pro. Apparently, Apple was worried that the new Dynamic Island notch would be susceptible to moisture and oxygen thanks to the unique drilling process. According to Korean website The Elec, these worries prompted Apple to intervene and request that Samsung change from a laser-based technique to an inkjet printing one, which would seal the edges of the drilled area. Thankfully, Samsung subsidiary Semez was well equipped to handle this change.

Foxconn refutes iPhone order cut claims

A Foxconn source has denied claims that Apple had reduced its iPhone orders for December. It had been widely reported that Apple was lowering production of the iPhone 14 line due to lower-than-expected demand. However, according to Reuters, a Foxconn source has claimed that growth in December was comparable to the month prior, even for smartphones, suggesting that Apple hadn’t cut its orders at all. Production has been hampered by Covid-related lockdowns, but Foxconn has said that its output has “basically returned to normal”.

Apple drops voice actors for audiobooks

Apple has released a series of audiobooks that don’t feature human voice actors. In their place the company has utilized AI-generated narration. As The Guardian points out, Apple has made no announcement about the move, possibly because it’s likely to attract as much negative attention as positive. The audiobook market is a $1.5bn industry these days, and Apple’s move to cut out the human factor will essentially serve to funnel even more of that money into its pockets. Search for “AI narration” in the Books app, and you’ll find a series of books that are “narrated by digital voice based on a human narrator”.

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