Smart Connector

New iPhone 7 dummies show what Space Black model might look like

With a little more than three weeks left until Apple’s supposed unveiling on September 7, various iPhone 7 dummies have been cropping up everywhere. Judging by the comments, many of you are excited about a rumored Space Black (or Deep Blue?) colorway replacing the Space Gray finish in the iPhone 7 lineup.

A fresh batch of images posted yesterday to Chinese microblogging service Weibo, republished by AppleInsider, showcase an alleged 4.7-inch iPhone 7 model in Space Black, as well as two 5.5-inch models with and without a magnetic Smart Connector on their backside.

Crisp iPhone 7 Plus snaps show Smart Connector and, confusingly, no Mute switch

The industry-standard 3.5mm headphone jack may not be the only widely-used feature that is thought to be on the chopping block for the next iPhone. A new batch of high-resolution photographs that surfaced last evening appear to show off a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus model that doesn’t seem to have the Mute switch on its side.

The photos were posted by French bog NowhereElse. The same publication released a set of images yesterday that gave us the clearest look yet at the iPhone 7’s subdued antenna lines.

This iPhone 7 design drawing lacks stereo speakers

As you know, prior rumors have insisted that Apple’s iPhone 7 will arrive outfitted with the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector and a dual-speaker setup.

Hope you’re ready for some bad news though: design blueprints that surfaced today pour cold water on those rumors, suggesting strongly that the new phones won’t have stereo speakers. As for two compelling hardware additions—the Smart Connector and dual-lens cameras—they’ll be iPhone 7 Plus-exclusives.

Reliable Japanese blog reaffirms Smart Connector, no headphone jack and other iPhone 7 rumors

Mac Otakara, a fairly reliable Japanese-language blog, learned from its own sources this morning that the rumors pertaining to some of the more controversial iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus features are in fact true. No headphone jack? You bet! That CAD design rendering supposedly sourced from Apple manufacturer Catcher Technology which gave us a closer look at a trio of suspicious-looking dots on the back of the phone? Yup, that’s a Smart Connector! Wait, what?

Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro with True Tone Display, A9X chip, Apple Pencil support & more

At its press-only media event Monday morning, which is currently underway in Cupertino, California, Apple has formally announced a smaller iPad Pro alongside the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and more. As previously suspected, the new device is a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro model that shares the same powerful internals with its bigger brother rather than it being a third-generation iPad Air.

These include Apple’s most advanced A9X processor, a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen with pixel support for the Apple Pencil, the Smart Connector that allows accessories to attach magnetically and provides power and data, and other perks—and it weighs less than a pound, which is the same wight as the iPad Air 2.

iPhone 7 Plus to get iPad Pro’s Smart Connector?

Chinese website Bastille Post on Tuesday published a purported image of Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 7 Plus that it swears is the real deal.

The photo, obtained from an unnamed source,  seems to corroborate prior rumors that the iPhone 7 Plus will come outfitted with a dual-lens camera system on the back.

It also reveals a curious hardware addition that the rumor-mill has not predicted thus far: a Smart Connector. If true, the Smart Connector may be coming to all iOS devices. As you know, Apple first unveiled the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro last fall. 

Claimed iPad Air 3 case has holes for quad speakers, Smart Connector and more

After posting images of a purported iPhone 7 case with holes for a pair of speaker grilles and dual cameras on the back, gadget leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer today posted on Twitter images of a claimed iPad Air 3 case.

Corroborating the notion that Apple’s third-generation iPad Air is basically a smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro with the same A9X processor, Smart Connector and a four-speaker setup like the iPad Pro, the images show off openings in the right places for quad speakers and the Smart Connector.

Apple releases first over-the-air firmware update for iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard

Apple has issued its first firmware update for the iPad Pro’s $169 Smart Keyboard accessory. After attaching a Smart Keyboard to their iPad Pro, users will see an iOS prompt informing them of the availability of the new software. They can postpone updating the Smart Keyboard update or select to apply the new firmware immediately.

As reported by AppleInsider, the new firmware software for the accessory is delivered as an over-the-air download and is transferred to the Smart Keyboard through Apple’s new magnetic Smart Connector on the iPad Pro.

New iPad Air 3 design drawing reaffirms quad speaker and Smart Keyboard rumor

Another iPad Air 3 design drawing, published Monday by Engadget, seems to support the thesis that the forthcoming device refresh will be outfitted with four speakers and include support for the Smart Connector. As you know, both of these features have made their debut with last fall’s release of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

The alleged design drawing follows a similar image which the French blog NowhereElse.fr posted a week ago. That drawing gave us our first glimpse into the Smart Connector and four speakers, both of which are now believed to be in tow for the iPad Air 3.

New in iOS 9.3 beta 2: accessory firmware updates via iPad Pro’s Smart Connector

Aside from headline features such as Night Shift mode, new 3D Touch shortcuts, Notes improvements and more, the most recent beta of iOS 9.3 has been found to allow the iPad Pro to update accessories’ firmware through its Smart Connector.

As noted by German developer Stefan Wolfrum and relayed by Oliver Haslam over at Cult of Mac, Wolfrum was greeted with an “Accessory Update Available” prompt after plugging a Logitech Connect keyboard case into his iPad Pro.

Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case Review: a great keyboard solution for iPad Pro owners

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for iPad Pro is a great solution for those of you who are heavy typers.

Because this keyboard case, unlike Apple’s Smart Keyboard, fully surrounds the iPad Pro when closed, it actually saves you money to go with Logitech’s offering over Apple’s Smart Keyboard + Silicone Case combo.

Of course, the protection elements offered by the Logitech Create are mere side points to the main questions: How does this keyboard perform for typers? Can I use the Logitech Create to type long-form content, or is it primarily suited for quick text outbursts? How does it fair when attempting to lap type? These are concerns that anyone who’s interested in doing real work with the iPad Pro will have.

The Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case isn’t without a few downsides, but for those of you primarily concerned with having a serviceable keyboard available at all times, it’s a very good option that’s worthy of your consideration.