If you’re planning on picking up Apple’s new wireless AirPods— the company’s first set of cord-free Bluetooth earbuds launching with iPhone 7— Spigen’s $10 AirPods Strap is a must-have accessory.
The AirPods Strap is a simple but extremely useful product for Apple’s upcoming wireless earbuds. Available for pre-order today, the strap will make sure you never lose your AirPods while also adding back the convenience of being able to rest them around your neck and other places.
The lightweight but durable TPE rubber strap attaches one AirPod to the other, allowing you to rest them on your neck like regular Bluetooth earbuds that have a cable between each ear.
Since there’s no tools required— you just slide each AirPod into the built-in sleeve on each end of the strap— you can still have the freedom of quickly removing one or both sides and going back to being cord-free at any time.
The strap is around 55.6cm or 21.8-inches long similar to most Bluetooth earbuds that use a cable.
The Spigen AirPods Strap also includes a wire holder clip that lets you wrap it up neatly without tangling for traveling and storage. That way you can keep it together with the charging case that comes with Apple’s AirPods, as pictured below:
While truly wireless, cord-free earbuds have many advantages in certain scenarios, having a cable between each earbud is something that many have come to rely on. Runners and others often don’t have pocket space to store a wireless earbud like an AirPod momentarily, which forces them to either hold it or lose it. Or imagine if one AirPod falls out when biking or during other physical activity. The Strap would keep it attached to the other one and prevent you from losing it for good.
It’s something many have pointed out with Apple’s new AirPods, noting that lack of a cord will likely increase the chances of users losing one or both. And not being able to rest one or both cord-free earbuds around your neck is an annoyance with all truly wireless earbuds.
Apple’s new AirPods, arriving in October for $159, were announced alongside the iPhone 7 earlier this month at Apple’s press event on September 7. They’ll offer 5 hours battery life and come with a charging case that adds an extra 24 hours battery while on-the-go.
Far from the “boring” launch predicted by haters and relentless Apple rumormongers, Wednesday’s iPhone 7 event delivered plenty of big surprises.
Along with our first legitimate looks at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and the new Apple Watch Series 2, we got a promising peek inside Apple’s increasingly powerful and polished ecosystem. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s iPhone 7 event.
iPhone 7 is a beautiful monster
We’ll be getting not one but two new black iPhones, including a Jet Black model that looks like it would perfectly match Darth Vader’s headgear (who cares if it might launch “Scuffgate“?). And while those and the silver, gold and rose gold iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus might look similar to last year’s models, the similarities stop there.
A newly customizable Home button gains loads of additional functionality. Rough-housers will appreciate new water- and dust-resistant features, while shutterbugs will love the powerful new camera (especially the dueling 12MP lenses on the iPhone 7 Plus).
The Retina HD display is 25 percent sharper, while the new stereo speakers crank up two times louder with increased dynamic range. iPhone 7 models will come with EarPods as well as an audio-to-Lightning dongle (hey, it’s ugly but it’s free) to make up for the missing headphone jack.
But the really big improvement is the new Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip, which Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, called a “rocket ship.” Look for gigantic performance improvements (it’s 40 percent faster than the A9 inside the iPhone 6s) as well as better battery life.
Preorders start at 12:01 a.m. Pacific this Friday, Sept. 9, with iPhone 7 starting at $649 and iPhone 7 Plus starting at $769. Shipping starts ship Sept. 16.
Apple Watch goes deep and wide
Updates and expansions to Apple’s wearable computer line go far beyond the slimmer/better device (and the watchOS 3 improvements) the world expected. The “completely reengineered” Apple Watch Series 2 comes with a second-gen Apple-designed SiP that packs a “crazy amount of performance,” according to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.
The new display is twice as bright. Built-in GPS offers new potential to apps for running and hiking. And the whole thing is built into a “swim-proof” case that’s water-resistant to 50 meters, with speakers that eject water after a dunking.
A partnership with Nike is yielding a running-centric Apple Watch Nike+, while an $1,149 Hermès model will fill the fashion niche. And there’s even a ceramic Edition model that will start at $1,249.
As with iPhone 7, preorders for new Apple Watch models start at 12:01 a.m. Pacific this Friday, Sept. 9. Apple Watch Series 1 models, largely similar to the original Apple wearable but with a new dual-core processor, start at $269. The further upgraded Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $369.
Apple does care about games
Mario is coming to the iPhone for the first time, thanks to a surprise partnership with Nintendo. The new game, called Super Mario Run, sparked immediate enthusiasm among casual gamers everywhere.
Apple also sewed up another big deal, this time with Niantic Labs. That’s right, Pokémon Go is coming to Apple Watch (even if the formerly white-hot game is already fading a bit from the public eye).
Apple’s future is wireless
Calling its controversial move to kill the headphone jack “courageous,” Schiller sang the praises of Apple’s new AirPods, which will ship in late October for $159. “Our team at Apple has worked so hard to create something new that delivers on the opportunity of how good a wireless experience can be,” he said.
Schiller promised to deliver us from the “joys” of Bluetooth with the AirPods, which he called a “technical tour de force” based on Apple’s new W1 chip. The tiny earbuds deliver five hours of listening, connect seamlessly to Apple devices, and switch automatically between them depending on what you’re listening to. They also come in a wireless charging case that gives you 24 hours of listening, all in a form factor smaller than the EarPods cases we’re all so used to seeing.
New Beats headphones will also use the W1 chip.
The leaks never stop, but they are never enough
We probably knew more about the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch than ever before about an upcoming Apple product. And the leaks didn’t stop: Amazon and even Apple itself leaked info confirming the new phone’s name just before and during Wednesday’s iPhone 7 event.
We were expecting the inevitable performance boosts — and the death of the headphone jack, and even a glossy black iPhone with a better camera — but the number of truly surprising revelations seemed shocking. Perhaps even more so to a bunch of Apple rumor hounds like us here at Cult of Mac.
A ceramic Apple Watch? Super Mario Run on iOS and Pokémon Go on Apple Watch? Real-time collaboration in iWork? A gigantic post-show price cut on iPad Pro? It’s good to know Apple can still surprise us (in a good way).
Apple is at the top of its game
The iPhone 7 keynote came at a critical juncture for Apple. iPhone sales continue to slide. Apple is embroiled in a fierce and expensive European tax battle. And a series of modest, slow-building successes like the Apple Watch and Apple Music haven’t done much to quell the post-Steve Jobs chatter about an innovation drought in Cupertino.
But Wednesday’s exceptionally strong presentation of the latest, greatest Apple hardware and software should give pause to Cupertino skeptics.
Throughout the iPhone 7 event, Cook and the other Apple execs looked relaxed, focused and poised to usher us into the shiny future we’ve all been anticipating. Just for a moment, the Irish tax nightmare, Touch IC Disease and other Apple problems disappeared in a wave of cheery execs, bubbly celebrities, slick and compelling videos, and the lineup of sleek new products.
“We’re just at the beginning of a truly wireless future we’ve been working toward for many years,” said the disembodied voice of Apple design chief Jony Ive during one of his probably patented industrial design porn videos.
While Schiller called Apple “courageous,” there’s another word that springs to mind: confident.
For Apple, the future looks more than just wireless. It looks simple, and elegant, and packed with the kind of legitimate innovation — sometimes incremental, sometimes mind-blowing — that can make our lives better almost without us even noticing.
It’s truly a good time to be swimming in the Apple ecosystem (especially once you get that new waterproof Apple Watch). And just wait until tomorrow …
The iPhone 7 is almost here and it wouldn’t be an Apple AAPL +0.94% launch without Ming-Chi Kuo spoiling all the surprises. The KGI Securities analyst (widely regarded as “the best Apple analyst on the planet”) has revealed 15 major changes coming to both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus…
Obtained by AppleInsider, the list reads as follows:
New True Tone displays like the iPad Pro range, with laser based proximity sensors for faster response times
32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage tiers will replace 16GB, 64GB and 128GB
2x 12MP dual rear camera limited to iPhone 7 Plus, uses 1x wide angle and 1x telephoto lenses
Upgraded ambient light sensors on both new iPhone cameras for better low light shots
Camera flash LEDs doubled from two to four with warm and cool colours
3.5mm headphone jack removed
Lightning EarPods and a 3.5mm to Lightning headphone adaptor included in the box
Second external speaker and integrated amplifier for louder, richer output
Basic IPX7 water resistance – both phones can withstand splashes and full submersion for up to 30 minutes. Not quite Galaxy S7 level (one hour+), but close.
2GB RAM for iPhone 7, 3GB RAM for iPhone 7 Plus
Next generation A10 chipset sees CPUs hit 2.45GHz clock speeds and 20-30% performance gains
3D Touch 2.0 sensor with more distinct haptic feedback
Home button replaced with non-clicking touch sensor with haptic feedback
Antenna bands removed from the back of both models for cleaner look
Two new colours: dark black and piano black (latter in limited quantities for 256GB model); space grey colour option ended
We have seen an alleged screenshot of a GeekBench report before for the iPhone 7 but that one turned out to be fake. Ahead of the official unveiling on Wednesday, another set of purported GeekBench results for iPhone 7 has surfaced although this one is a bit more convincing.
The results suggest a significant performance boost associated with the new Apple A10 chip in the iPhone 7, with a headline score of 3379 for single-core and 5495 for multi-core. This is about 35% higher than what a typical iPhone 6s unit reports.
The GeekBench report identifies the device as an iPhone9,3 – suggesting at least 3 different variants of the device. There is no iPhone 8,3 corresponding to an existing generation iPhone; the existing lineup has model identifiers iPhone8,1 and iPhone8,2 for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, respectively.
Synthesising other rumors, this GeekBench reports 2 GB RAM. This suggests the iPhone in question here is a 4.7 inch model; it has been reported by many sources that the 5.5 inch iPhone 7 will be getting a RAM bump to 3 GB as it is necessitated by the dual camera advanced image processing software.
The clockspeed in the iPhone 7 GeekBench is low, under 400 MHz. This made us a little skeptical about the results’ legitimacy but a conversation with a GeekBench engineer indicates this is not necessarily abnormal. iOS does not report such statistics directly so the benchmarking app has to guess and these guesses can be wrong. KGI analysts believe the A10 will have a maximum clock speed of 2.4 GHz.
Assuming it is real, it is also interesting to note that the iPhone 7 under study appears to be running iOS 10.1 — a future version of iOS not yet seeded to developers. As always, it’s worth remembering that benchmarks are synthetic test environments and do not represent real-world performance.
Just because the test scores are 35% higher does not mean the iPhone 7 will always (or ever) be 35% faster in daily use. iPhones are so powerful very few tasks take any time at all in normal usage; most things happen instantly.
GeekBench also only stresses the CPU and memory throughput of a mobile SoC: these results do not say anything about the performance deltas of the Apple A10’s GPU. That being said, Apple loves to ramp the power of its GPUs so we expect the iPhone 7 to post impressive scores on this axes too … when it is official.
Nevertheless, the iPhone 7 will still be a very impressive and powerful phone. Brand new top of the range Android devices still fail to beat the iPhone 6s on single-core performance … so the iPhone 7 is likely to be at the top of the tree for some time yet.
All of this just increases the hype ahead of the actual iPhone 7 announcement on Wednesday. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac for coverage of all the announcements.
The purported “iPhone 7 Plus” back of box was uploaded anonymously and sent to AppleInsider on Thursday. It shows the details for a 32-gigabyte handset model, but features one key difference from earlier leaks.
Under a description of what’s inside the box, the packaging claims the purchase is bundled with new “AirPods Wireless Earphones.” Earlier leaks instead showed their units including new EarPods with Lightning Connector.
Notably, the earlier photos also made mention of a Lightning to Headphone Jack Adapter being included in the box. But the latest image for a 32-gigabyte “iPhone 7 Plus” with “AirPods” makes no mention of a 3.5-millimeter headphone adapter being bundled.
Such images, which include just plain text on white paper, are easily faked. But if legitimate, the images could indicate that Apple plans to expand its iPhone lineup this year to include different configurations with and without new wireless headphones.
The company is rumored to debut a new set of completely wireless earbuds, featuring separate left and right earpieces with no wire between them. The product is believed to be named “AirPods,” information known thanks to a regulatory filing that was uncovered earlier this week.
It’s been reported that the new “AirPods” will feature a proprietary Bluetooth chip developed from Apple’s acquisition of Passif Semiconductor in 2013. That company was a specialist in power efficient chipsets.
The packaging leaks, if legitimate, suggest Apple might utilize a two-pronged attack to counter backlash against the elimination of the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. Options for bundled adapters (with Lightning EarPods) or completely wireless earbuds in the “iPhone 7” box could negate many user complaints. And the option of an “iPhone 7” with “AirPods” — and without a Lightning to headphone adapter — would appeal to users who are looking to ditch the wires entirely.
Apple is set to host a media event next Wednesday, Sept. 7 where it is expected to take the wraps off of its next iPhone and any accompanying accessories. AppleInsider will be there live with full coverage of the event from San Francisco.
With the iPhone 7 (or whatever it ends up being called) set to be launched next week, we already know a lot about Apple’s new phone. The iPhone 7 will largely look the same as the iPhone 6s with tweaked antenna lines and new cameras (dual cameras on the larger 5.5 inch phone). It also seems like Apple is preparing to add a new color option to the lineup, a ‘Space Black’ color variant.
A photo from Macotakara suggests that Apple will not be replacing the Space Grey color but instead add a glossy ‘Space Black’ shade as an additional color option. This would mean Apple would sell a total of five different coloured iPhone 7 units.
The Space Black color is described as a similar look to the ‘new’ (2013) Mac Pro or the Space Black Apple Watch. This is a black metal far darker than Space Grey with a glossy finish. The iPhone 5 came in a Slate shade but this would be darker than that, if the rumors come to fruition. The depicted SIM trays in the photo also indicate that the matte ‘Space Grey’ variant will be somewhat darker than what is seen with the iPhone 6s, but this is hard to discern due to lighting conditions and poor image quality.
The Macotakara article also says that both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will feature optical image stabilization: this is a change from the current lineup where only the larger phone gets OIS. The CMOS sensor will also be getting larger with the new phone, going from 1/3.2 inch to 1/3.06 inches.
Here’s all the purported iPhone 7 SIM trays side-by-side: Space Black, Silver, Space Grey, Rose Gold, Gold
As reported by many other sources, the larger 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus will also be getting a major camera upgrade. It will feature a dual-camera sensor system where the information from each lens is joined together in software to create a detailed final image. It may also enable optical zoom for the first time in an iPhone.
Mark your calendars, folks, it’s official. Apple has issued press invites to its next media event on September 7 at Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco at 10 am PT. The company is widely expected to unveil new iPhones and could unveil new MacBook Pros and the Apple Watch 2 at the same event.
The new iPhones are generally expected to feature a very similar design to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which suggests Apple could save the ‘iPhone 7’ name for 2017 models and use a version of the iPhone 6 name (like iPhone 6 SE) this year. While it’s unclear what Apple will name the new iPhones, we’ll go with the consensus of iPhone 7 until we learn otherwise.
While both models are expected to gain faster A10 processors and drop the 16GB tier for 32GB entry models, the most dramatic change is likely coming to the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus and not the 4.7-inch iPhone 7: a dual camera system. This could be used to emulate optical zoom where digital zoom basically crops a shot and loses detail.
Both iPhone 7 models are expected to introduce a darker color for the black-front model. The iPhone 5 introduced a dark blue color called slate that was prone to scuffing, and Apple has played with versions of its ‘space gray’ gunmetal gray color since the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 7 is expected to feature a return to a dark blue color or maybe even a near black ‘space black‘ option.
As you may notice in the alleged leaked cases above, Apple is also widely expected to drop the 3.5-mm headphone jack on both iPhone 7 models in a push toward Lightning, Bluetooth, and AirPlay audio.
As for the Apple Watch 2, the anticipated refresh will mark the first update since the current model was unveiled two years ago and released a year and a half ago. The design is expected to look generally the same, but much needed speed improvements are on the way and a GPS chip for mapping workouts and using location services is expected.
And 9to5Mac readers will be the first to express the need for updated MacBook Pros. The current lineup of Retina MacBook Pros features a design that hasn’t been refreshed in years and internals that sorely need updated.
The good news is that rumors have been very promising for MacBook Pros this year (as you can see with the render below). A slimmer design, Touch ID, and a dynamic OLED touch panel in place of static function hardware keys are all in the cards for the next MacBook Pro update.
While new MacBook Pros are expected sometime this year, recent reports have claimed Apple could hold off on unveiling these new models at this September event. In recent years, Apple has held an iPhone-focused event in September, then an iPad-focused event in October, and Macs have appeared when ready.
Last year, however, Apple packed all of its new products into a single fall event held in September including new iPhones, new Apple Watch colors and bands, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the fourth generation Apple TV. Apple later released the 9.7-inch iPad Pro at its March event earlier this year, new iPads aren’t expected until next year, and rumors of an updated Apple TV haven’t surfaced aside from one story late last year.
Apple will also likely give stage time once again to its upcoming software updates: iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10.