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The most important new cable iPhone owners can buy: Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning

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Ever since the release of the 2015 iPad Pro 12.9, if iOS device owners wanted to take advantage of rapid USB PD charging capabilities, they had to spring for Apple’s overpriced, questionably durable USB-C to Lightning cable. There was no third-party solution, because accessories OEMs like Anker had no way of purchasing the USB PD compatible version of the Lightning connector (C94) from Apple’s internal suppliers.

Also: Hey Apple: Forget AirPower. Get your accessories act together

Now, three years since the release of the 2015 iPad Pro 12.9, and going on nearly a year and a half since the September 2017 release of the iPhone 8 (the first model that permitted USB PD rapid charging), Apple has finally allowed OEMs to purchase that connector as part of its MFi Licensing Program. The connector, which contains a special chip of Apple’s own design to regulate power, costs under $3 in volume orders.

The first OEM, which has released a cable for pre-order, is Anker — probably the most reputable of third-party cable, charger, and battery accessories for Apple and Android devices.

I was able to obtain an early sample of this cable, the PowerLine II, which initially comes in a 3-foot length for $15.99. If you have current-generation iOS products that can accommodate USB PD charging, you need to immediately order a few of these.


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Why immediately? Well, first, it’s about $4 less than Apple’s version at retail. That doesn’t sound like a heck of a big difference, but let’s look at the two cables closely.

anker-versus-apple.jpg

The Anker PowerLine II is on the top and the Apple OEM USB-C to Lightning is on the bottom. First, which may not be obvious due to the closeup, is the much thicker insulation on the main cable length itself. It’s made out of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), which makes the cable much more durable than Apple’s part and virtually all other charging cables on the market overall. The Anker cable has a lifetime warranty and is tested with an MTBF of about 12,000 bends.

I’ve purchased at least a dozen of the original Apple USB-C to Lightning cables for use with various OEM Apple and third-party USB PD charging products, and many become damaged after about three months of use. I’ve become so used to this that I always carry spares in my bag, and I have a box with Apple’s OEM ready to give to friends and family that need them in a pinch, because they die so often.

The other thing you will notice is a much more robust enclosure around the Lightning and the USB-C ends of the cable, particularly where the cable meets the head ends. There’s very little bendy-ness there, which will prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

img-3679.jpg

This is a confirmation of 18W power draw from iPhone XR using the Anker PowerLine II via an OmniCharge USB-C.

Since you are replacing your junky Apple OEM cable, you should also consider Anker’s PowerPort Atom PD 1 (pictured top, with PowerLine II cable), a new USB-C tiny wall charger that can deliver up to 30W of power to a USB PD-compatible device. That means it’s good for your new iPhones, your iPad Pros, and your MacBooks — and, of course, your new Android devices and your USB PD batteries that need charging, as well. 

It’s tiny compared to Apple’s OEM USB-C chargers, because it utilizes Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, which is state of the art in component miniaturization for charging accessories manufacturing. Alternatively, you should also have a look at RAVPower’s GaN charger, which is flat and has a 45W capacity and a folding 2-prong AC connector. I’ve been using this product and the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1, and both are very good. 

Have you been waiting for a decent USB-C to Lightning cable that doesn’t fall apart after a few months? Talk Back and Let Me Know.


Affiliate disclosure: ZDNet earns commissions from the products and services featured on this page.

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Does Elon Musk really even want to buy Twitter? – TechCrunch

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When The New York Times got its hands on some of Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter, a company that he is in the process of purchasing, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Musk knew what he was buying.

Per the Times’ reporting, we learned that Musk expects to bolster Twitter’s revenue to “$26.4 billion by 2028, up from $5 billion last year,” while growing the company’s user base from “217 million at the end of last year to nearly 600 million in 2025 and 931 million six years from now,” boosting average revenue per user by nearly $6 over the same time frame.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money.

Read it every morning on TechCrunch+ or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


Those numbers might have made SPACs blush, but they showed something critical in the Musk pitch: that Twitter had huge amounts of value that he, Musk, could unlock with his plan.

Since then — the Times broke the Musk investor pitch 11 days ago — matters between Musk and the social media company have become tenuous as its potential acquirer took to the company’s service to complain, prod, and backtrack.

Musk’s displeasure with Twitter has centered around the issue of bots. Not all bots on Twitter are malicious or bad; some are even entertaining. But too many bots, or even the wrong sort, matter because they can dilute the user experience on the social service by spamming real users, and inflate the company’s advertiser-focused metrics.

On May 13, Musk threw the financial world into a frenzy by stating on Twitter that his deal to buy the company was “on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” Whether he was able to make such a decision is not clear based on the deal documents.

Although he said he was still “committed” to the deal, Musk ran an experiment involving a set of 100 users to see how many were bots.

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Musk says Twitter deal is dead unless CEO can prove spam stats – TechCrunch

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In a new tweet fired at Twitter before market open, Elon Musk has reiterated that his $44BN deal to buy the social media platform is on hold over the issue of spambots.

But now he’s tacitly accusing the company of lying over the proportion of fake/spam accounts on the platform, claiming its CEO “publicly refused to show proof of <5%”.

Musk has also set what sounds like an outright ultimatum — writing: “This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

He further suggests the platform could have more than 20% fake/spam accounts, linking to a report on comments he made in Miami on Monday saying he believes a fifth of Twitter accounts are fake/spam bots.

The tweet looks designed to pile yet more pressure on Twitter’s management which has already suffered the indignity of having Musk tweet a poo emoji at CEO Parag Agrawal (see our earlier report) in very public discussion about the spambot issue, among other Musk-generated ‘noise’.

With this latest Twitter CEO-targeting tweet, the shitposting billionaire may be engaging in more trollfaced bullyboy tactics — by seeking to drum up more negative publicity (on Twitter) that’s intended to hammer Twitter’s stock price — in a bid to force the company to accept a lower offer, if only to get him to shut up.

Or, well, he’s looking for a way to exit the deal entirely.

At the time of writing Twitter’s share price was down a further 2.75% pre-market. The stock has slid in recent weeks as Twitter grapples with Musk-shaped bumps in the road, from a high of around $50 at the time his offer was accepted to a low of around $37 now.

Let’s hope the mafia isn’t taking notes from Musk’s playbook on ‘the power of a social media megaphone platform’.

It’s notable that the Tesla CEO waived his right to do due diligence when he agreed to buy Twitter last month — presumably to encourage Twitter to accept what he’d couched as his “best and final offer” after its board initially sought to evade the takeover. So whinging about the percentage of bots he’s buying now is either stupidity or calculated stupidity. 

Although his urging that Twitter open itself to “external validation” on the bot detection issue could at least endear him to the independent research community.

Musk also agreed to a non-disparagement clause as part of the deal to buy Twitter. But apparently he doesn’t understand what that word means. Or, else, he continues to act as if binding legal agreements simply don’t apply to him.

Twitter was contacted for comment on Musk’s latest accusations. At the time of writing it had not responded but Bloomberg has just tweeted that the company told it it remains “committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable”.

The company has also filed a preliminary proxy statement on the acquisition, further suggesting it’s committed to the deal as agreed.

In its recommendation to shareholders, the board writes:

“The Twitter Board unanimously recommends that you vote: (1) “FOR” the adoption of the merger agreement; (2) “FOR” the compensation that will or may become payable by Twitter to our named executive officers in connection with the merger; and (3) “FOR” the adjournment of the special meeting, from time to time, to a later date or dates, if necessary or appropriate, to solicit additional proxies if there are insufficient votes to adopt the merger agreement at the time of the special meeting.”

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Hinge’s latest feature aims to help users spark conversations about self-care – TechCrunch

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Dating app Hinge is introducing a new “Self-Care Prompts” feature that is designed to inspire initial conversations between matches about self-care priorities. Hinge’s in-app prompts are conversation starters that users answer as part of their profiles and are displayed to potential matches. The prompts are designed to allow users to showcase their personality instead of having a generic bio. With this latest launch, users can now select up to three new self-care prompts to spark conversations about mental health awareness.

There are 15 new self-care prompts that users can answer and add to their profiles. The prompts include “My last journal entry was about…,” “The last I cried happy tears was…,” “My friends ask me for advice about…,” “To me, relaxation is…,” “I feel most supported when…,” “A boundary of mine is…,” “When I need advice, I go to…,” “I hype myself up by…,” “My cry-in-the-car song is…,” “My self-care routine is…,” “I wind down by…,” “Therapy recently taught me…,” “My therapist would say I…,” “My happy place is…” and “I get myself out of a funk by…”

hinge self care prompts

Image Credits: Hinge

Hinge says it hopes these prompts will make it easier for users to share their wellness journey early on in conversations. The company says it found that 97% of Hinge users want to date someone who actively takes care of their mental health, but only 9% feel comfortable bringing up therapy on a first date.

“Talking about mental health has gone from an “oh no” to a must-have in modern dating,” Hinge’s director of relationship science, Logan Ury, said in a statement. “People have been working on themselves and want to be with someone who’s done the same. By adding Self-Care Prompts, Hinge is helping singles show that they prioritize their mental health, and are ready to connect in a deeper, more authentic way.”

The new self-care prompts join the existing prompt packs on Hinge, including, “About Me,” “Story Time,” “Let’s Chat About” and “Voice First.” Hinge’s “Voice First” feature, which rolled out last fall, went viral on TikTok as users shared their experiences with the feature. Voice Prompts allow users to answer a prompt through a 30-second voice recording, which allows for some funny stories to be shared in a more personal way.

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