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Apple's Best of the App Store in 2017: Calm, Splitter Critters, Affinity Photo and The Witness
Thursday December 7, 2017 1:10 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today published its annual Best of 2017 charts for the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBooks Store, highlighting the top media content and trends across 2017.
Apple's App Store editors chose two standout games and two standout apps for the iPhone and the iPad as their best of 2017 picks. On the iPhone, meditation app Calm and popular game Splitter Critters won top honors, while photo editing app Affinity Photo and puzzle game The Witness took the top spots on iPad.
- iPhone App of the Year: Calm
- iPhone Game of the Year: Splitter Critters
- iPad App of the Year: Affinity Photo
- iPad Game of the Year: The Witness
Apple shared apps that are part of the top Trends of the Year, which included augmented reality apps like IKEA Place and Very Hungry Caterpillar, meditation-style apps like Calm and Joyable, multiplayer games like Art of War: Red Tides and The Elder Scrolls: Legends, and modern storytelling apps like Hooked and Serial Box Publishing.
Apple has also published the top apps for 2017 across multiple App Store charts. Top free iPhone apps included Bitmoji, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, while top paid iPhone apps included Facetune, HotSchedules, Tabs amp; Chords, Enlight, and the 7 Minute Workout Challenge.
On iPhone, the top games included Super Mario Run, 8 Ball Pool, Ballz, Snake vs. Block, and Word Cookies. Top paid iPhone games included Heads Up!, Minecraft, Plague Inc., Bloons TD 5, and Monopoly.
YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Chrome were the top free iPad apps, while Procreate, Notability, Toca Life: Hospital, Toca Life: Salon 3, and GoodNotes 4 were the top paid iPad apps.
Super Mario Run, ROBLOX, Rolling Sky, Word Cookies, and Bowmasters were the top free iPad games, and Minecraft, Geometry Dash, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Bloons TD 5 HD, and the Escapists were the top paid iPad games.
The full list of top iPad and iPhone apps and games, along with additional details on the top App Store content in 2017, is available through the App Store on an iOS device.Tag: App Store
17 comments
Apple's Rumored 2018 6.1-Inch Lower-Cost iPhone With LCD Display Could Feature Metal Back
Wednesday December 6, 2017 4:20 pm PST by Juli Clover
Apple will release three iPhones in 2018, including two OLED models and one LCD model that could feature a metal back like the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, reports Nikkei.
Citing a source "privy to the company's product designs," Nikkei says the LCD model will feature a 6.1-inch display, while the two OLED models will measure in at 5.8 inches and either 6.2 or 6.3 inches.
The LCD model with a metal back will "come in several colors," much like existing aluminum iPhones, and the body for the device could be manufactured by Casetek, a Pegatron subsidiary.
Nikkei's information is in line with previous details shared by KGI Securities Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often has accurate insight into Apple's plans, though there is some variance in size predictions for the three devices.
Kuo believes Apple will introduce three iPhones in 2018: an OLED model that measures in at 5.8 inches like the current iPhone X, an OLED model that measures in at 6.5 inches that will serve as a sort of "iPhone X Plus," and a 6.1-inch model that features an LCD display.
Kuo's 2018 iPhone predictions
Kuo has said that all three models will feature a full-screen edge-to-edge design and a TrueDepth camera system like the current iPhone X, but he made no mention of a different casing material. The current iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus all feature glass backs to support wireless charging.
A 6.1-inch LCD model with a metal body presumably made of aluminum would not be able to work with wireless charging, and it is not clear if Apple is willing to take a step back and remove a new key feature from future iPhones.
The 6.1-inch LCD model has thus far been described by Kuo as a lower-resolution model that will be more affordable than the two OLED models, with the aim of targeting the low-end and midrange markets.
Since earlier this year, we've been hearing hints of a two device lineup next year, with Apple planning to introduce a larger-screened OLED iPhone to sell alongside a new 5.8-inch model, which seems like the next logical iteration of the iPhone X. The first rumor of a third device with an LCD display came from Kuo in November.Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
162 comments
Hands-On With the New Amazon Prime Video App for Apple TV
Wednesday December 6, 2017 3:46 pm PST by Juli Clover
The long-awaited Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV finally debuted today after a wait that spanned six months since it was first teased at WWDC.
Apple's set-top box is one of the last platforms to support the Amazon Prime Video app, which is now available on third, fourth, and fifth-generation Apple TV models. We spent the afternoon checking out the new app for a hands-on look at its feature set.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
If you've used the Amazon Prime Video app on an iOS device or on another platform like a console, the interface will be immediately familiar, organized into sections that include Originals, Movies, TV, Kids, Video Library, and more.
Content available from Amazon Prime Video includes TV shows like "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and movies like "The Big Sick," with Amazon adding new options on a regular basis. Amazon Prime Video requires an Amazon Prime subscription, priced at #36;99 per year or #36;10.99 per month.
Movies and TV shows in Amazon Prime Video can be added to your Watchlist, which is synced across all of your devices, and the Apple TV's Siri Remote can be used to search for Amazon content from within the app.
Universal Search is also supported, so Amazon Prime Video content will come up in systemwide searches on the Apple TV, and integration with Apple's dedicated TV app is included in countries where the TV app is supported, with access to Up Next syncing and content recommendations.
Integration with the TV app is nice, as is Universal Search, because both features let you access Amazon content without needing to use the Amazon Prime Video interface.
For the 4K Apple TV and supported television sets, supported Amazon Prime Video content plays in 4K HDR.
Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV is available in more than 100 countries, and it is also available on iOS devices. [Direct Link]Related Roundup: Apple TVTag: Amazon Prime VideoBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
91 comments
Apple's Greg Joswiak Talks iPhone X Face ID, Display and A11 Chip
Wednesday December 6, 2017 12:12 pm PST by Juli Clover
Tom's Guide today shared its list of "2017 Innovation Award Winners," which of course includes the iPhone X, among other products like the Nintendo Switch, the DJI Spark, and the Amazon Echo.
Apple's iPhone X took the Tom's Guide "Best Overall" award for its Super Retina Display, Face ID, and A11 Bionic chip, and the site's iPhone X writeup includes some interesting commentary from Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of product marketing.
For the iPhone X's Super Retina Display, which incorporates the first-ever OLED panel in an iOS device, Joswiak says Apple had to "do a lot of engineering" to come up with "panels that were better" to address traditional OLED issues like oversaturated colors.
The iPhone X is using its own color management system, a folding panel design that stacks circuits for minimal bezel, and other technology improvements to outshine competing smartphone displays.
Reiterating previous comments from Apple executives on Face ID, Joswiak says Touch ID was never planned for the iPhone X. Prior to the launch of the device, there were rumors suggesting Apple had tried and failed to embed Touch ID both under the display. Apple execs say Face ID was planned for the iPhone X from the beginning. "We had a line of sight on how to do real facial recognition, in a way never done before," said Joswiak.
The "notch" on the iPhone X, which some believe is a questionable design decision, houses what Joswiak says is "one of the most densely packed technology areas" Apple has done. The notch includes a 7-megapixel camera, an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, a speaker, a microphone, and a dot projector, all of which powers the TrueDepth system that enables Face ID and other features like Animoji.
At the heart of the iPhone X, there's an A11 Bionic chip with two performance cores and four high-efficiency cores that work together to make the iPhone X incredibly fast. An included neural engine powers Face ID and other machine learning tasks, while an embedded M11 Motion coprocessor captures motion-based data.
Apple's chip team "worked hand in glove" with the rest of Apple's hardware and software teams to design chips that are "perfectly suited" for the iPhone X's feature set. "That's huge," said Joswiak. "No one else can match that," he added.
Josiwak's full commentary on the iPhone X, which includes additional details about each feature, can be read over at Tom's Guide. The Innovation Award list also highlights multiple other products across categories like Augmented Reality, TV, Graphics, Design, Game, Entertainment, CPU, Tablet, Peripheral, and more.Related Roundup: iPhone XTag: Greg JoswiakBuyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
82 comments
Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 With Compatibility Improvements for Third-Party USB Audio Devices
Wednesday December 6, 2017 10:27 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple today released macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second update for the macOS High Sierra operating system available for Apple's Macs. macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 comes a little over a month after the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, the first update to High Sierra.
macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on all compatible Macs that are already running macOS High Sierra.
No major outward-facing changes were found in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 during the beta testing period, but according to Apple's release notes, it offers security and feature improvements. The update improves compatibility with third-party USB audio devices, it introduces better VoiceOver navigation when viewing PDF documents in Preview, and it improves the compatibility of Braille displays with Mail.The macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.
This update:
- Improves compatibility with certain third-party USB audio devices
- Improves VoiceOver navigation when viewing PDF documents in Preview
- Improves compatibility of Braille displays with MailFor more information on the macOS High Sierra operating system, make sure to check out our dedicated macOS High Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
157 comments
Here's How Apple Improves the iOS and Mac User Experience While Protecting Your Privacy
Wednesday December 6, 2017 8:29 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple has added a new entry to its Machine Learning Journal with in-depth technical details about how it uses differential privacy to gather anonymous usage insights from devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
At a high level, differential privacy allows Apple to crowdsource data from a large number of users without compromising the privacy of any individual.
There are two types of differential privacy: central and local. Apple has chosen to use the local setting, which means that data is randomized before being sent from devices, so that its servers never see or receive raw data from users.
When users set up their device, Apple explicitly asks users if they wish to provide usage information on an opt-in basis. If a user declines, no data is collected by Apple unless they choose to opt in at a later time.
The toggle for sending usage information can be found under Settings  Privacy  Analytics on iOS 10 and later and under System Preferences  Security Privacy  Privacy  Analytics on macOS Sierra and later.
Apple says the data it collects helps to, for example, improve the QuickType keyboard's predictive words and emoji suggestions, and to help identify problematic websites that use excessive power or too much memory in Safari.
An opted-in user who types an emoji, for example, may trigger usage information to be collected based on the following process:
鈥 The data is immediately privatized via local differential privacy.
鈥 The data is temporarily stored on-device using a technology called Data Protection, which is explained on page 11 of Apple's iOS Security Guide.
鈥 After a delay, a random sample of the data is collected and sent to Apple's server.The data sent to Apple does not include device identifiers or timestamps of when the events in the usage information occurred. The communication between a device and Apple's server is encrypted using TLS.
In iOS, information being shared with Apple for the categories of data that are protected using Differential Privacy is visible under Settings  Privacy  Analytics  Analytics Data, in entries that begin with "DifferentialPrivacy."
In macOS, users can launch the Console app and view the information under the Differential Privacy category of System Reports.
On a side note, the blog post reveals that "Face With Tears of Joy" is the most popular emoji, used by more than 25 percent of English-speaking users of Apple devices. We saw this chart before, but now it's labeled along the y-axis.
For a detailed explanation of the mathematical algorithms that Apple is using, the Learning with Privacy at Scale entry in its Machine Learning Journal is a worthwhile read.Tag: Differential privacy
40 comments
Apple and Amazon Confirm Amazon Prime Video on tvOS Supports 4K HDR and 'Up Next' in TV App
Wednesday December 6, 2017 7:11 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Following the early morning launch of the long-awaited Amazon Prime Video tvOS app, both Apple and Amazon have now posted press releases about the launch, each confirming a few details about Prime Video on Apple TV.
Firstly, Apple's PR officially confirms that Amazon Prime Video does support Apple's centralized TV app. This means that users can use Siri Universal Search to find Amazon Prime Video content, and add it to their "Up Next" queue of shows and movies. Prime Video content will then appear within the TV app and users can immediately jump into their shows without needing to navigate to the Amazon app itself.
Some MacRumors staff members were able to get this working this morning, but it appears that Siri Universal Search and playback of Amazon shows within the TV app are not entirely rolled out yet, so you may have to wait a little longer to see these features functional on your own Apple TV. In total, Apple said that Prime Video brings the amount of TV episodes and movies that Siri can search on Apple TV to 1.3 million.
鈥淎mazon Prime Video is one of the most eagerly anticipated apps to come to Apple TV, so we鈥檙e excited to bring all of that great content to customers,鈥 said Eddy Cue, Apple鈥檚 senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. Importantly, Apple also mentioned that Prime Video is integrated into the TV app "where available," so users outside of the United States, Australia, Canada, Norway, and Sweden will still not be able to use the TV app.
Apple also confirmed that Prime Video for Apple TV "further expands the library of TV shows and movies available in 4K HDR on Apple TV 4K," so owners of the latest Apple TV will gain access to Amazon's 4K content with the new app.
鈥淭here is nothing that excites us more than delighting our customers, and we are thrilled for them to stream Prime Video on Apple TV,鈥 said Mark Eamer, Vice President of Prime Video. 鈥淭he app arrives just in time for the highly anticipated new season of The Grand Tour, which launches on December 8th, and Prime Video members streaming on the Apple TV 4K will have the exceptional viewing experience of 4K HDR.鈥 Apple went on to discuss the newly added Live Sports section of the TV app, as well as further touting the "hundreds of 4K HDR titles" that users can discover on iTunes. Additionally, the company pointed out that tvOS 11.2 now allows Apple TV 4K users to choose between having their video playback converted to the best format their TV can support, or outputting the video in its original frame rate and dynamic range. Check out more information on the tvOS 11.2 update right here.Related Roundup: Apple TVBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
132 comments
Apple Plummets to Lowest Ranking Ever in Glassdoor's Annual List of Best Places to Work
Wednesday December 6, 2017 6:16 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple has ranked 84th on Glassdoor's annual list of the best companies to work for in the United States, after finishing no lower than 36th every year since 2009. In fact, heading into 2012, Apple was 10th on the same list.
It is Apple's lowest-ever finish over the decade that Glassdoor has published these Employees' Choice Awards:
鈥 2018: 84th
鈥 2017: 36th
鈥 2016: 25th
鈥 2015: 22nd
鈥 2014: 35th
鈥 2013: 34th
鈥 2012: 10th
鈥 2011: 20th
鈥 2010: 22nd
鈥 2009: 19thApple trailed well behind several other technology companies in the rankings, including first-place Facebook, fifth-place Google, 21st-place LinkedIn, 31st-place Adobe, 39th-place Microsoft, and 65th-place Yahoo.
It's not just technology companies that are on the list, with fast food chain In-N-Out Burger and Southwest Airlines among others that made the cut.
Glassdoor said the rankings are based on its proprietary awards algorithm, which calculated the quantity, quality, and consistency of company reviews submitted by employees between November 1, 2016 and October 22, 2017.
Apple earned a 4.3-star rating out of five during that period, compared to Facebook's leading 4.6-star rating. Glassdoor says the average company rating is 3.3 stars among the more than 700,000 employers reviewed on the jobs site.
Apple has an overall 4.0-star rating on its Glassdoor company profile. Apple CEO Tim Cook was ranked the 53rd best CEO of an American company on Glassdoor last year, with a 93 percent approval rating.
The rankings mirror a recent survey of the most ideal employers for tech professionals in the United States, in which Apple ranked fourth, behind Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In that survey, however, Apple was ahead of Facebook.
We've reached out to Apple to see if the company has any comment about the results, and we'll update this article if we hear back.Tag: Glassdoor
231 comments
Amazon Prime Video App Launches on Apple TV [Update: TV App Supported]
Wednesday December 6, 2017 3:41 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
It's been six months since Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Amazon Prime Video would be coming to Apple TV later this year, and now that app is officially beginning to roll out to tvOS devices in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and several other regions across Europe.
Similar to other versions of Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app allows Prime subscribers to sign into their accounts and watch Amazon Prime exclusive TV series, as well as browse a collection of movies. Users can add shows and movies to a watchlist, sync their watchlist across devices, and use Apple TV's Siri Remote to search for Amazon content from inside the app.
The updated Amazon Prime Video iOS app now supports Universal Search, allowing users to look up Prime videos using the native search function on their devices. Version 5.0 of the iOS app also supports iPhone X displays. While the tvOS app is a separate component of the installation, Amazon Prime Video is available on pre-app store third-generation Apple TVs as well as fourth-gen and 4K Apple TVs, according to the release notes. (A simple reboot on a third-gen Apple TV should cause Prime Video to appear on the main screen.)
Prior to its official launch, there were numerous release date rumors surrounding the Amazon Prime Video tvOS app. The first pointed to its launch on the day of the iPhone X keynote event, and then a separate report from Recode countered that rumor with sources that claimed the app would not be ready at that time. Later in September, the next rumor predicted its launch alongside Thursday Night Football, and when that date came and went the most recent rumor -- sourced from a Redditor claiming to work for Amazon -- predicted an October 26 debut.
Yesterday, a redditor opened up the App Store and saw an Amazon Prime Video story as the top feature in the "Today" section, after he had manually turned his device's clock forward by a day. He linked the section on reddit, which other users were able to see temporarily before the content was pulled by Apple. The "Today" App Store description in question specifically referenced Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV, which was finally launched today.
Amazon Prime Video was one of the last remaining streaming service holdouts to release a tvOS app, so users will now be able to rely on the 4th and 5th generation Apple TV devices a little more without having to use a PlayStation 4, Fire TV, or Roku to jump to Amazon's video catalog. In terms of other Apple products with Amazon Prime Video apps, users can also watch Prime shows on iPhone and iPad with the company's iOS app [Direct Link], which also supports downloading select videos to view offline.
Tim Hardwick contributed to this article.
Update: MacRumors has been able to confirm that Amazon Prime Video also supports Apple's TV app.
Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Amazon, Amazon Prime VideoBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
246 comments
Apple Accidentally Promotes Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV in App Store, Launch Could Be Imminent [Updated]
Tuesday December 5, 2017 7:18 pm PST by Juli Clover
There are 26 days left until the end of the year, which is the deadline for when Apple said the highly-anticipated Amazon Prime Video app would be coming to the Apple TV. A launch could perhaps come as soon as this week, and maybe as even as early as tomorrow, based on an App Store leak spotted on reddit.
After setting his iPhone date to December 6, a redditor opened up the App Store and allegedly saw an Amazon Prime Video story as the top feature in the "Today" section. He linked the section on reddit, which other users were able to see temporarily before the content was pulled by Apple. The "Today" App Store description in question specifically referenced Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV.
Apple pulled this a few minutes ago. (Hi Apple?)
As said, my time/date is set to tomorrow. That is relevant because I saw the story at the top of the "Today" tab when I opened the App Store. That is how I obtained the link.
Thus my guess is that the story is ready for launch on the App Store tomorrow, and sometime around midnight Eastern or PST, both the story and the updated app itself will go live. That's approx 9-12 hours from now. We'll see.If the App Store leak is genuine, and it appears to be based on multiple reports from different reddit users, it means Apple already has content written up for the Amazon Prime Video release. That the content was visible on December 6 suggests a launch could be imminent.
Apple first announced the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. At the time, Apple said the app would be coming later this year, but months have passed since then with no sign of it. There have been continual launch rumors, though, all of which have been incorrect.
Amazon Prime Video is one of the only major streaming video services absent from Apple's set-top box. The service is provided as a benefit to Amazon Prime members who subscribe to Amazon's #36;99 per year Amazon Prime service. Amazon Prime Video features thousands of TV shows and movies, along with original content produced by Amazon.
Update: The App Store has been updated with a new "Today" page for the Amazon Prime Video app on iOS and it makes no mention of the Apple TV app. It also has different wording than the original that was spotted earlier today.Related Roundup: Apple TVTags: Amazon, Amazon Prime VideoBuyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)
81 comments
Apple Says iOS 11 is Now Installed on 59% of Devices
Tuesday December 5, 2017 2:54 pm PST by Juli Clover
iOS 11 is now installed on 59 percent of iOS devices, according to new statistics Apple shared this week on its App Store support page for developers.
That's up from 52 percent on November 6, indicating iOS 11 adoption has grown just 7 percentage points over the course of the last month.
33 percent of iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices continues to run iOS 10, while 8 percent of devices run a version of iOS earlier than iOS 10.
iOS 11 adoption has been slower than iOS 10 adoption. Based on Apple's official App Store numbers, for example, iOS 10 was installed on 54 percent of devices in October, a month after the operating system had been released. Comparatively, iOS 11 was only at 52 percent in November, a month and a half after launch.
Apple has already released several updates for iOS 11, but that doesn't seem to have improved installation rates, especially as many of those updates have been made available to address major bugs found in the operating system.
Over the weekend, Apple released iOS 11.2, the second major update to iOS 11. iOS 11.2 introduced Apple Pay Cash in the United States, but the update was released early to fix a date bug that was causing crashes on December 2. As a result, Apple Pay Cash was not initially available and wasn't provided to customers until yesterday.
With Apple Pay Cash now available, though, customers who have been reluctant to upgrade may install the iOS 11.2 update to access the new feature, so it's possible we'll start seeing improved installation rates in Apple's next App Store support page update.Related Roundup: iOS 11
189 comments
iPhone X Charging Speeds Compared: The Fastest and Easiest Ways to Charge Your iPhone
Tuesday December 5, 2017 11:31 am PST by Juli Clover
With the addition of both fast charging and wireless charging to Apple's 2017 iPhone lineup, there are more ways than ever to charge your iPhone. Every method is different -- some are faster and more expensive, while others are slower but more convenient.
We tested several charging accessories from both Apple and third-party manufacturers with the iPhone X to see how charging speeds compare across different charging methods. These tests also apply to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which share many of the same features available in the iPhone X.
Accessories Tested
- Apple's default 5W iPhone charger (Free with iPhone, #36;19 alone)
- 5W wireless charger from Choetech ( #36;16)
- 7.5W Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad from Apple ( #36;59.95) (Tested at 5W and 7.5W)
- Apple's default 12W iPad charger (Free with iPad, #36;19 alone)
- 18W USB-C power adapter from Choetech ( #36;17.99)
- 29W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 12-inch MacBook, #36;49 alone)
- 30W USB-C power adapter from Anker ( #36;30)
- 87W USB-C power adapter from Apple (Free with 15-inch MacBook, #36;79 alone)
The 5W and 12W chargers from Apple were paired with a standard Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at #36;19. All USB-C charging accessories were paired with a USB-C to Lightning cable from Apple, priced starting at #36;25.
Methodology
We used the same iPhone X for all tests, plugged into the same outlet. Between tests, the battery was drained to one percent, and then battery percent was checked at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes while charging.
For all tests, the iPhone X was placed into Airplane mode with no apps running. The display was deactivated except for the four time checks. Tests were conducted without a case on the iPhone X.
Results
The absolute fastest way to charge an iPhone 8, iPhone X, or iPhone 8 Plus is with a USB-C power adapter and an accompanying USB-C to Lightning cable. Charging with USB-C activates a "fast-charge" feature that's designed to charge the iPhone to around 50% in 30 minutes, and I saw about that level of charge in all of my USB-C tests.
5W wireless charging and 5W wired charging with the standard iPhone adapter were the slowest methods that I tested. 7.5W wireless testing was faster than 5W wireless charging, but not by much.
Click to enlarge
Charging at 12W with the iPad adapter wasn't ultimately too far off of the fast charging results at the end of an hour, making this one of the better compromises between cost and speed.
USB-C
I tested both Apple's 29W and 87W USB-C chargers that come with the 12-inch MacBook and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, respectively, along with much cheaper 18W and 30W chargers from Choetech and Anker. I saw little difference in charging speeds between 18W and 87W.
Click to enlarge
At the 30 minute mark in all tests, my phone was charged to between 45 and 49%, and at 60 minutes, I reached 77 to 79% battery life. The slowest charger was the Anker 30W, but the overall difference was so small that I think it can be chalked up to random variance. My charts are using 1 charging result, but I did test many of these chargers multiple times with the same general results.
Apple's 29W MacBook charger costs #36;49 and the USB-C to Lightning cable costs #36;25, so you're looking at about #36;75 for this charging method, but luckily, third party USB-C power adapters work the same way and are more affordable. That 18W Choetech charger I tested, for example, is just #36;18, while the one from Anker is #36;30.
Apple's 29W USB-C power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable
There are cheaper non-official USB-C to Lightning cables on Amazon, but given the problems we've seen with some third-party USB-C cables, it may be best to stick with verified Apple hardware as far as the cable goes. I didn't test third-party Lightning to USB-C cables, but I wouldn't expect to see major speed differences.
Choetech's 18W USB-C power adapter and Anker's 30W USB-C power adapter
If you go with Apple's cable and something like the 18W Choetech charger, you can get a fast charge setup for just over #36;40. If you want to try your luck with a non-official cable, you can get fast charging for under #36;30.
Standard iPad and iPhone Chargers
All of Apple's iPhones ship with a standard 5W power adapter and USB-A to Lightning cable, and charging with the standard setup is excruciatingly slow comparative to other charging methods. It's not faster than 7.5W wireless charging and it can't compare to charging with power adapters that put out more juice. At 30 minutes, for example, it had only charged my iPhone to 21 percent, and I only made it to 39 percent after 60 minutes.
Apple's 5W iPhone charger and 12W iPad charger
Apple's 12W iPad charger is much quicker, though, and it's affordable at #36;19. With the 12W iPad charger and a standard Lightning cable, I saw charging speeds that weren't too far off of what I got when charging with a USB-C power adapter. At the 30 minute mark, my iPhone charged to 39 percent, and at the 60 minute mark, I hit 72 percent.
That's not too bad for a setup that's one of the most affordable I found, and there are a lot of 12W equivalent third-party charging options on the market, including several with multiple ports and other conveniences.
Wireless Chargers
In general, wireless charging is slower than wired charging, but it's undeniably convenient, and if you're charging for a lengthy period of time, say at your desk at work or overnight on the night stand, the slower charging doesn't matter.
That said, 7.5W wireless charging, which was activated in iOS 11.2, was faster than the standard 5W wired charging method in my testing. There's also a noticeable but slight speed difference between 5W wireless charging and 7.5W wireless charging.
Click to enlargeem
I tested this difference using the 7.5W wireless charger from Belkin, which Apple sells, on both iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.1.2, which limited iPhone charging to 5W. The Belkin 5W charging result on iOS 11.1.2 is the result included in my graph.
I also tested a Choetech 5W charger that was much slower than the Belkin at 5W, so much so that I wasn't sure it was an accurate representation of 5W charging. From 1%:
- 15 minutes: 9%
- 30 minutes: 19%
- 45 minutes: 27%
- 60 minutes: 35%
There wasn't a huge difference between 5W and 7.5W charging in my experience, but 7.5W is faster. If you're buying a wireless charger, it's worthwhile to get a 7.5W+ charger that offers faster charging for the iPhone, but which chargers are compatible with 7.5W wireless charging remains something of a mystery.
The Mophie and Belkin wireless charging docks
We know the Belkin and Mophie chargers that Apple sells offer the faster wireless charging option, but it's not entirely clear if other higher-watt chargers from third-party manufacturers are able to charge the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus at higher speeds.
For a separate post on wireless charging options, we've been investigating third-party wireless chargers, and it's looking like there may be a restriction put in place by Apple to limit 7.5W charging to approved manufacturers. As an example, on the Amazon page for this charger from Choetech, which says it is 7.5W, there is this message:We get notice from Apple engineer that current IOS only support 5w qi wireless charging currently, 7.5w wireless charging is encrypted and never released to 3rd party manufacturer.We've heard similar information from other manufacturers, but it's all very nebulous and not something Apple has clearly outlined at this point. For that reason, if you want confirmed 7.5W wireless charging, go with the Belkin, the Mophie, or another charger that specifically states that it's compatible with Apple's 7.5W charging.
Choetech's 5W wireless charger
Just because a wireless charger offers more than 5W, it's not necessarily going to offer 7.5W charging speeds when used with an iPhone. If you're using wireless charging on the night stand or when sitting at a desk for long periods of time, 5W is perfectly adequate, and the third-party chargers are much more affordable than the Belkin and Mophie chargers.
On the subject of wireless charging, I also tested to see if case thickness impacts charging speed. I tested with a naked iPhone X, an iPhone X in Apple's Silicone case, and an iPhone X with one of the thickest backs I could find, the glitter-filled iPhone X case from Casetify. Charging speeds were almost identical in all three tests, and while the Casetify case was maybe about 2 percent slower, that can perhaps be chalked up to margin of error. There was zero difference with the thinner Apple case.
If your case works with wireless charging at all (and most do, with the exception of those that have rear magnets or are made from aluminum), it's going to charge at the same speed or nearly the same speed as a naked iPhone.
Conclusion
To get fast charging on iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, you don't need anything over 18W, and you don't need a USB-C power adapter that's from Apple. The third-party options work just as well, but you will probably want to pick up Apple's USB-C to Lightning cable over the alternatives.
Fast charging is going to get you the best charging times, but for less money, you can get the 12W iPad charger and use it with a standard Lightning cable to charge your iPhone almost as fast as you can charge it with fast charging. There's only about a 10 percent difference between the 12W iPad charger and USB-C charging.
It's not really worth it using the 5W charger that the iPhone ships with if you can help it, because it's incredibly slow.
Wireless charging is also a comparatively slow charging method, but it's convenient to be able to set your iPhone right next to you on a wireless charger and pick it up when necessary without the need to hassle with a cord.Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone XBuyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now), iPhone X (Buy Now)
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