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Why iOS Is the Best for Accessibility

Apple Accessibility Icon

Dragons. Artificially Intelligent Assistants. Screens that react to pressure and not just taps. Together they sound like the makings of a sci-fi story. In reality, though, it’s the story of billions of dollars worth of research and development that have turned iOS devices into powerhouses for the blind and developmentally disabled.

Steve Jobs may have famously touted the campaign slogan “It Just Works” when talking about Macs, but seeing Accessibility on iOS devices is where it’s really impressive.

I recently had the opportunity to attend an Accessibility Workshop at an Apple Retail store. In attendance were nearly 20 deaf, blind and developmentally disabled individuals. What they were able to do with their phones and iPads made me severely question how much I get out of my own devices!

Siri, the talking assistant in all iOS devices, opens up huge control of the iPhone and iPad even without needing the dexterity to handle a phone. Sending texts, replying to emails, opening and closing apps, and even taking selfies are just as a simple as saying “Hey, Siri” or holding down the home button.

One blind man demonstrated how he was able control his entire phone without even having to look at it. VoiceOver and Speak Screen will audibly describe everything on a webpage, app or even the interface. For privacy, blind users can also use headphones and black out the screen.

But that’s just the beginning.

Technology comes built-in that makes the devices open to any one with physical or motor skills. Assistive Touch is a feature that allows a user to pre-program custom gestures on the screen. For example, one tap of your finger on the screen can be a “pinch” or “swipe”, and you only need the one finger to do it. Another accessibility feature, Switch Control, allows you to navigate sequentially through onscreen items.

Deaf users can also utilise unique features like custom vibrations and flashes of the camera- light to communicate notifications on their phone.

Apple has also developed technologies like Guided Access for individuals with Autism or other sensory challenges.

Additionally, iOS Devices are all compatible with a wide-range of external braille interfaces and hearing aids.

And it all comes ready-made in the package. Similar software for a computer could cost into the hundreds of pounds, and even then only offer one or a few of these tools. iOS devices come pre-programmed for easy use for anyone that wants to use it.

And the best part? It just works. 

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Are Cheap iPhone & iPad Chargers Safe?

Who doesn’t love a good knockoff that looks the part? Sometimes we’re ok with that extra stitching or the way they spelled the label wrong – at least it was cheap! Or maybe not. Regardless, when it comes to your mobile devices, be careful when skimping on cheap USB chargers. At the least, they can fail or not work as you expected, at the worst they can destroy your device.

Apple iOS devices charge via a proprietary Lightning Connector in the current models and older models used an equally proprietary 30-pin connector. While many companies sell USB chargers, not all chargers are created equal. In fact, they are often not sanctioned by Apple.

Fake Blown iPhone Charger 

“Why’s that a big deal,” you ask. Apple’s charger is £15, and I found one online for £5.” Or maybe you found a cheaper multiple device charging station for your iPads. Why’s it matter?

The simple answer is that Apple takes their products very seriously. They are extremely careful about their vendors, and the products they make compatible with their products. Since 2013, they’ve even offered a replacement program for anyone using an unsanctioned 3rd party adapter just to stop their customers from potentially damaging their devices.

“Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues. While not all third party adapters have an issue, we are announcing a USB Power Adapter Takeback Program to enable customers to acquire properly designed adapters,” says the press release behind the program.

As part of the program, Apple will toss out the USB charger for you environmentally. They are utterly happy to throw it away for you. That says something of the danger.

But what is the danger of using a cheap adapter? In a word, overheating. In most cheap USB charges, the voltage is either too high or too low. Taking a knockoff adapter apart also exposes that most lack the required insulation inside the charger. Meaning that the device itself can either get very hot (becoming a safety hazard) or be putting out the wrong voltage to your device causing irreparable damage to the connector and/or battery.

Additionally, most knockoffs lack proper insulation, correct wiring and regulators causing safety hazards even aside from the potential damage to the device.

Isn’t that worth the extra money?

But, don’t take our word for it. Search the web for stories of cheap third-party adapters that have caused iPhones to burn up, to catch on fire, or just stop working forever. In Wandsworth, UK a woman was taken to hospital after her iFake charger exploded while she was on the phone.

Cheap iPhone Charger Exploded Cheap iPhone Charger Exploded

Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan–Davies said: “A dodgy charger has resulted in a woman being taken to hospital and unless people stop buying iFakes there will be more incidents and it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.

“Genuine chargers may cost more and you may think you are only paying for the brand name, but you’re actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be of better quality and specifically designed for your phone.

“For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?”

Our recommendation? Go the extra mile, and be sure your next charge is a lasting one.

If you’re responsible for keep large numbers of iPad, tablets or phone charged in your school or business. Consider using an USB Multi Charger Station like the Chargebus 1050 which meets all health and safety and USB battery charging safety regulations. Making it a safe place to charge multiple mobile devices. Contact us for more information.

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iPad Pro Quietly Adds Support for USB 3.0

Apple Products have had an interesting relationship with USB products in years past. From the days of their introducing FireWire in their machines as a replacement for the USB hardware to completely circumventing it by inventing their own Lightning Connector. Apple has a long found a way to work around the slower transfer speeds that USB 1.0 and 2.0 had in the past.

Very silently, though, their latest iOS powerhouse device – the 12” iPad Pro – has been found to offer USB 3.0 support through the Lightning Connector. Why is this significant? Consider the older technology. Though the Lightning Connector has been around for a while, the other end of the cable is a standard USB 2.0 plug. USB 2.0 taps out at a theoretical 480 Mbits per second.

USB 3.0 has a theoretical data transfer speed of 4.8 Gbps per second (or 4,800 Mbits.) Get the picture? It’s fast.

However, you’ll need an adapter of some sort to make it a worthwhile change.

 

iPad USB 3.0 SD Card Reader
iPad USB 3.0 SD Card Reader

Since the tech blog Ars Technica broke the story in November, there hasn’t been anything on the market to actually utilise this new capability in the iPad Pro, until now. Apple has upgraded support in their SD Card Reader for iPad to handle USB 3.0 speeds, meaning that you’ll be able to transfer pictures and videos to your iPad Pro much faster than before.

The jury is still out on what further technologies could be made available. As noted, the real benefit to USB 3.0 is the upgraded speed of transfer. So, while it’s only good for transferring pictures from an SD card to your iPad faster right now, there is potential that it could also make syncing with iTunes, your computer, or other peripheral devices faster as well. It also means the way that data transfers from the tablet to devices. Think a smoother recording via AmpliTude for guitarists, faster uploads to your school computer’s image editing or video editing software, and a faster copy of large iOS updates from Apple Configurator.

Either way, as more technology becomes available, faster is always better. In 2016 Onefruit will release USB 3.0 versions of their popular Chargebus Multi Chargers.

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iPad Pro Blurring Lines, Rather Than Breaking New Grounds

Apple CEO Tim Cook famously bashed the Microsoft Surface when the first generation device was released by challenging the philosophy behind the device. Microsoft pushed it as a device that could replace your laptop. With the new Microsoft Surface 4, they took that one step further by installing the desktop version of Windows into the mobile device. 

When Apple announced the iPad Pro earlier this year, the 12.9” tablet drew comparisons to the Surface, and rightly so. At that size, it’s the size of most of Apple’s MacBook line, and only a few hundred grams lighter than the MacBooks. So, is it the tablet that can replace your laptop?

Rather than replace, the iPad Pro certainly seeks to make your forget about it.

The real difference is Apple’s decision to stick with iOS on the device, rather than scaling down OS X. 

The larger real-estate on the screen dose make using just about every app better. Add in new iOS 9 features like Split Screen and productivity takes a boost. The new stereo speakers (the first iOS device to have stereo instead of mono speakers) really shine by using a new feature that adjusts the balance of the audio depending on how you’re holding the device. 

In the work-room, presentation, home office and education settings, the mobile device has great potential. Reviewers are singing its praises.

However, it’s not without its failings. At 12.9” many reviewers say the device is not comfortable to hold one handed. This may make walking and taking notes a little difficult. Too, you are limited to the range of iOS apps, which while expansive doesn’t always compete with its desktop versions of apps. Additionally, the pricey iPad Pro smart keyboard ($169) and iPad Pro-only pencil ($99) are sold separately. 

While the device is making headway with Apple fans, and has businesses and schools looking at the possibility of using it, the extra price point may be a hard sell for early adopters. 

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iPad In-Flight Entertainment Systems – Onefruit Helping To Power Sky Movies

iPad IFEA Coventry business is helping to keep thousands of iPads charged for passengers to watch in-flight films.

Ben Goulding-Huckle came up with the idea of developing a quick and efficient way of charging and storing large numbers of iPads, tablets and mobiles after previously organising AV equipment for the events, conferences and exhibitions industry.

He launched Onefruit after meeting the owner of a military electronic equipment business and they decided to work together to design, manufacture and sell a range of equipment called Chargebus.

The 26-year-old attended a training course run by Coventry University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship and was assigned a business mentor for 12 hours of free support which gave him the impetus to properly market the Chargebus product range which works in countries all over the world.

Ben has already delivered a large number of Chargebus’ to help keep 17,000 iPads charged for in-flight entertainment.

He said: “Chargebus is like having a mobile charger but on an industry-scale. Airlines are starting to use iPads on aeroplanes rather than having screens on the back of a seat for a number of reasons – the extra weight of every screen leads to extra fuel costs and there is the extra costs of making each screen.

“After each flight, the iPads can be collected and re-charged for the next flight quickly and easily.

“Data can be synced for television programmes and films for in-flight entertainment so it is the equivalent of having a big USB Hub since data can be transferred.

“The biggest difference between this product and others on the market is that normally when you start transferring data to mobile devices it drops the power right down to allow the data to move across but with the Chargebus it continues to charge to full capacity as well as copying the data which is good news for environments such as aeroplanes.”

A London airport is another customer of Ben’s which is using his products to enable its travellers to charge and sync their personal devices before take-off.

Onefruit is also developing relationships with schools in the UK, Switzerland and France and large businesses based in the UK.

Robin Underhay from Coventry University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship said Ben had started a business in a market which had the capacity to grow massively in the future.

He said: “Being able to charge huge numbers of mobiles, tablets and iPads can be difficult if you don’t have the right equipment and Onefruit is making the most of a gap in the market.

“It is particularly exciting that Ben has already had a huge order for the Chargebus’ to keep thousands of iPads charged during the air for travellers to watch films during their journey.

“With technology products it is important to keep your marketing material simple and concise and the support Ben received from his business mentor was really important in helping him achieve that particularly in the early stages for a business start-up.”

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The Apple Pencil Just Works

The media, and non-Apple users, are always mystified by the zeal of the corporate giant’s ability to turn out huge numbers on seemingly small upgrades. When you think about it, how silly is it that Apple is selling a pencil for £80, and they’re sold out everywhere. Not mention, the demand is causing auction website eBay to see the new device sell for over £400.

Crazy, right?

That is, until you use it. Then you get it..or you wish you had it.

Using Apple Pencil with iPad Pro  Using Apple Pencil with iPad Pro

The Apple Pencil is a stylus in word only, and built to work with the new iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it won’t work with any other iOS or desktop devices.

What Apple has done is recreate one of man’s longest used writing implements, and brought it to the 21st century. There is a reason it’s sold out. “It Just Works”.

If you’ve used a pencil before, it feels just as natural. The weight, the abilities…everything. Apply more pressure for deeper strokes in a drawing app. Tilt the pencil to shade as you would on paper. There is even just a little bit of feedback so it feels like you’re writing on a piece of paper.

While these may seem gimmicky, businesses and students have been looking for a working stylus since the advent of tablet computers from Windows. Most styluses are clunky, slow to respond and rarely produce the same results of writing with a real pen and paper.

Apple Pencil Charging Time

With the Apple Pencil, I was able to sign my name on a contract, and it looked (and felt) like my signature. The one catch is that the device has a battery life of 12 hours. However, a small adapter allows you to charge the Pencil for 15 seconds in the iPad Pro Lightning Port, and get 30 minutes of battery life.

That’s just enough to sign that next purchase order, or finish your lecture notes.

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iTunes U – Apple’s Unsung Killer App

iTunes U Icon

Search the web and you’ll find countless “best education apps” lists for Apple’s iOS devices. The number of apps just keeps on growing. How do you keep up? How do you find solid educational content? How do you weed out the good from there bad? What if you’re a high school student, college student or lifelong learner?

iTunes U Interface

Here’s a suggestion. Rather than scour the App Store for the next top educational app, take a moment to explore Apple’s iTunes U.

iTunes U is free app released by apple in 2007. Since then, it has grown to a robust resource for on-going education.  It has thousands of courses from teachers from thousands of fields – everything from a pre-school teacher that is providing educational videos on counting to Yale Professors discussing economic theory.

The classes are free, and have no sign up. It’s like auditing a college course, or having a guest teacher. The people producing these works are also fun to watch and listen to!

For a school on a budget, this a great resource. For someone looking for extra learning opportunities, the plethora of material is priceless. Additionally, as businesses pay for consulting services or sign up for online education websites like Lynda, they can instead listen to SEO strategies from the pros, get business tips in their field of study, and grow their skill set for free.

Check out iTunes U, and bask in countless hours of free content!

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How long does Apple Watch take to charge?

How long and how much power does it take to charge Apple Watch using a Chargebus 1650 multi charger?

It took around 3 hours to fully charge the 42mm Apple Watch from a completely drained state to a fully charged state. With the power current peaking at 0.36 Amps. This is a third of the power that the iPhone uses to charge.

However, Apple watch continued to charge at a low 0.1 Amps even after being fully charged. This is why Apple watch can still feel warm to the touch after an overnight charge.

Apple Watch charging power over time.
Apple Watch charging power over time.
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How Big Is the 42mm Apple Watch Battery?

Here at Onefruit, we test all of our USB multi chargers with the latest Apple devices. With the launch of the Apple Watch, we couldn’t wait to test it with a 16 Port USB charger.

As a company who investigate a load of battery powered devices, we were curious to the capacity of Apple Watch’s battery. There has been many teardowns of Apple Watch, most notably by iFixit. They revealed that the 38mm Apple Watch had a battery capacity of 205mAh. For comparison, your iPhone 6 carries a 1,810mAh battery.

38mm Apple Watch Battery
38mm Apple Watch Battery

However, neither Google nor Apple could help with finding out the battery capacity of our 42mm Apple Watch which we were testing.

There are very few teardowns of the 42mm Apple Watch, I guess most people don’t want to open up the more expensive version. A website called TechRepublic did have 42mm Apple Watch teardown. Their photography was no where near the quality of iFixit making it difficult to read the numbers on the battery.

applewatchteardown18-2Luckily, the battery also has the watt-hour (Wh) number written on the back in a larger font. The 42mm Apple Watch battery has a capacity of 0.94Wh compare to 0.78Wh of the 38mm battery. But, what we really want is the milliampere-hour (mAh) number. For this we need the batteries voltage.

Apple Watch InsideAfter some sharping up in photoshop, you can just make out that the battery is running at 3.76 volts.

To convert watt-hour to milliampere-hour we must times the watt-hour (Wh) by a 1000, divided by the voltage in volts (V).

mAh = Wh x 1000 / V

250mAh = 0.94 (Wh) x 1000 / 3.76 

So the 42mm Apple Watch battery has a capacity of 250mAh compared to the 205mAh of the 38mm Apple Watch. This means the 42mm version has a 22% bigger battery then the 38mm.

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Mobile deployment Business Solutions by Onefruit

At Onefruit we have always kept an eye on trending needs of businesses. Technology has always affected businesses and brought paradigm shift in making businesses profitable. When some businesses have not been able to adopt the technological advances, those results in redundant processes. So, our aim is to make available information seamlessly and reach out to businesses by various media. Our business solutions are simple yet robust.

The need of businesses is multi dimensional and they must be looked at diligently and addressed as fast as possible. In current times, businesses have even become more complex, because of their local and universal spread. Keeping this in mind our business charging and syncing solutions like Chargebus 1050 helps the business workers, visiting clients as well as prospective visitors to use our affordable  , attractive and easy to charging stations.

All our mobile charging stations are quality checked and highly compliant to industry policies. They are compliant to safety and security issues. So be it an Android device or a gadget by Apple with iOS operating system, there is no hesitation shown by business when they procure our solutions.

Another group of mass users of our solutions are at schools or educational institutions. Using our mass charging and deployment solutions, they can easily charge their device. We also make available universal cases for resting them while they are being filled. The design, functionality, safety, higher number adaptability and universality of our solutions make us an emerging and leading seller of mobile deployment solutions.