The latest prediction from Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst who is has the best track record for Apple, is that it will release an iPhone without any ports in 2021. This idea has been floating around for the iPhone for some time. Whenever I point out that it's time for the iPhone to join every other phone and Apple's own laptops and iPad Pros and adopt USB-C instead of Lightning, somebody tells me it's more likely that the iPhone will just go portless.
I have, as you might guess, some feelings. I'm just not confident that "Bluetooth will be better next year," the old joke about how it sucks now but they promise it won't soon. Will the sorts of things people need a cable for — like the USB microphone I literally used with my iPhone this morning to record a Vergecast segment with Liz Lopatto — be able to work well with current wireless standards?
To answer that, I invite you to talk to anybody who regularly tries to wirelessly send high-resolutions photos from their cameras to their iPhones.
But even if you assume all that works out, not having a cable to charge is just damnably inconvenient. Think how often you use your phone when it's plugged in. With current wireless charging options, it's awkward as hell. You have to leave it sitting on a table or in a dock instead of in your hand.
Will Apple come up with some kind of magical wireless charging solution that works at middle distances instead of direct-contact pads? I wouldn't bet on it, not by 2021. Will there be weird cabled charging pads people carry around? Will Apple manage to speed up wireless charging speeds? This is the company that had to cancel its own wireless charging pad, AirPower.
All this is just grumpiness based on speculation. I don't want to believe Apple would do something that would so inconvenience so many of its customers. Maybe all of it will come to naught because Kuo got this one wrong — his track record is impressive, not perfect.
Amazon is offering a deal on a two-pack of Philips Hue smart bulbs, specifically its newer model that can operate via Bluetooth instead of requiring a pricey Hub. You can get two for $34.99, and included with the bundle is a third-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker. This is an affordable way to get your smart home project off the ground.
Make time for this story by Zoe Schiffer. Slack logs from inside the company show the absolutely atrocious way managers treated employees. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my jaw was hanging open in disbelief at the things that were said to employees in open chat rooms.
Tom Warren's excellent story on Microsoft's new design language got a little lost in the news shuffle today, so I wanted to call it out here. I think once Microsoft's Surface devices hit the market these design notes are going to become more important. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Android developers adopted this language, it looks consistent, clear, and nice.
I bought one of these and I agree with nearly everything Brent Rose writes here. It really is a near-perfect camera for me because I actually do need the extra zoom more than the larger aperture for work, but I get it that true vloggers wouldn't.
Boyd described one incident in Asia where highly toxic fluorines escaped into the factory parking lot, and layers of employees' windscreens started to literally disappear. "You can't even imagine what's happening to the people exposed to it directly in the air outside," she said.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.