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iOS 14 features real-time headphone audio level measurement, here’s how to enable it




Apple added a hearing feature on iOS 13 last year to prevent users from being exposed to high levels of sound with headphones for extended periods of time. The company is now expanding this feature with real-time audio level measurement on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.

Previously with iOS 13, iPhone users were already able to check the audio level from headphones. You can find this information by searching for “Headphone Audio Levels” in the Health app. From there, users can check the audio level records in decibels and also whether they’re fine or too loud.

Repeated and long-term exposure to sounds below 80 decibels is considered “OK” while repeated and long-term exposure to sound above this level can lead to permanent hearing damage. The measurement is done automatically when you use a compatible headphone, such as the AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Beginning with iOS 14, you can measure headphone audio levels in real time with a new option available in Control Center. This new feature has a similar interface to the Apple Watch Noise app, which measures the audio levels of the environment instead of headphones.

If what you’re hearing exceeds the 80 decibel level, the measurement icon will turn yellow instead of green. While this works with most headphones, Apple says the measurement is more accurate with AirPods and other certified headsets.

If you’re already running iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 on your iPhone or iPad, you can follow the following steps to enable real-time headphone audio level measurement:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Control Center
  3. Swipe down and look for the Hearing option
  4. Tap the green “+” button to add Hearing to Control Center

The next time you access Control Center while listening to a song with headphones, you’ll see the audio measurement icon in action.

iOS 14 is expected to be available to the public this fall. A public beta version will be available later this month.

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Hands-on: Rampow 61W GaN USB-C Power Adapter [Video]




Today we are taking a closer look at the new Rampow USB-C Power Adapter. Ready for your all of your MacBooks and other other mobile devices, it packs in the latest charging tech in a particularly tight and robust package. Now available with an exclusive discount alongside our hands-on video below, hit the jump for more details on the new, ultra-compact USB-C charger. 

You can get the Rampow USB-C Power Adapter for $25 (Reg $49) with code 9to5BFNG for a limited time.

The new 61W Rampow USB-C Power Adapter — available in both black or white — is designed for fast charging in a super compact package, a fraction of the size of Apple’s comparable wall adapter. 

With support for the USB Power Delivery standard 3.0 as well as QC 2.0 and 3.0, the new 61W Rampow offering can take your 13-inch MacBook Pro, for example, from 0 to 50% in about 30-minutes. That is quite a bit faster than Apple’s OEM option which will, according to Rampow’s tests, only provide around 40% charge in the same time frame. 

Rampow USB-C Power Adapter:

Charging speeds aside, one of the main draws of the latest from Rampow is the notably condensed footprint. The implementation of GaN and PI (Power Integration) tech allows for the much smaller form factor you’re seeing here. Along with the usual benefits concerning power waste and component efficiency, this has paved the way for Rampow to offer a drastically smaller charging solution. Nearly half the size of the Apple-designed alternative, the Rampow USB-C Power Adapter is both faster and easier to lug around in your daily carry than most.  

Another element of the design to point out here is the actual plug folding mechanism. It just feels more robust and sturdy compared to Apple’s charger, giving an impression of longevity you might not necessarily get from competitors here. 

The Rampow adapter is UL, FCC and RoHS certified with what the company calls “active safeguards” to protect against ugly overheating issues and the like. You’ll notice Rampow is shipping its new power adapter solution with a lifetime warranty as well. 

The new Rampow USB-C Power Adapter is now available for purchase at Amazon for $49.99. However, 9to5Mac readers can use code 9to5BFNG at checkout to knock 50% off the total from now through August 14, 2020. 

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Watch SpaceX troubleshoot iPad issue with NASA astronauts using AirDrop during spaceflight




Law breaking boats weren’t the only surprises SpaceX experienced during an otherwise smooth NASA astronaut splashdown over the weekend. An issue involving a custom SpaceX app on the iPad also made a cameo appearance during the crewed return trip from the International Space Station to Earth.

iPad mini manuals

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is a 21st-century capsule equipped with giant touchscreen panels and digital spaceflight manuals viewed on iPads. Through part of their journey, astronauts inside the capsule wear special space suits with touchscreen-compatible gloves for controlling the buttonless control panels and paperless manuals. The spacecraft is also programmed to fly itself during spaceflight with the option for crew to take over as needed.

These special space suits actually connect to the ship to handle communication, cooling, and pressurization. Astronauts can also strap their Apple tablets onto their flight suits to avoid losing their digital manuals during flight or while experiencing zero gravity. It’s a modern alternative to overly complicated control switches and thick instruction set binders.

Space bugs

But no technology is so perfect that it can’t bug out during an astronaut return flight home in a brand-new spacecraft that’s never landed crew before. One of the crew iPad mini tablets briefly became the subject of a quick dialogue between SpaceX Crew Operations and Resources Engineer Anne Menon and NASA astronaut Bob Behnken.

SpaceX Crew Operations and Resources Engineer Anne Menon (top left) at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California

The communication started with Astronaut Behnken explaining that he had an issue with something before communication dropped out momentarily. A few seconds later, the astronaut read out an error message presumably from the custom SpaceX application created for the iPad.

“A timeline application on my tablet, uh, gives me a error message that says Safari cannot open the page, and then it’s got a HTML address because your iPad is not connected to the internet,” Behnken reported. “Can you confirm that Wi-Fi is off and AirPlane Mode is on,” asked Menon. Then the NASA astronaut improvised with a go-to troubleshooting step.

“Yes, uh, Wi-Fi is off and AirPlane Mode is on. If you have the display cameras up, I’ll try to show it to you,” Behnken suggested. “We will take that,” Menon replied. “We’re coming up on a ground station pass and we have the display camera up. And Dragon SpaceX, can you bring that a little bit closer? Dragon SpaceX, we’ve got a good image of that. Thank you, we will look into that and get back to you. And to be clear this is just happening, Bob, on your tablet, not on Doug’s?”

“Yes, it’s happening on my tablet,” Behnken answered. “I did have a fine timeline before but when we started to set up and load the changes that you just read up to us it just went to that page instead of the timeline I had up before.”

View from 4:16:21

AirDrop to the rescue

Astronaut Behnken took a break from the iPad’s timeline app issue to take some space photography of Australia and prepare for an overnight sleepover in the Crew Dragon capsule before arriving back on Earth the following day.

The issue with updating the digital timeline app was later determined to mostly likely be caused by a caching issue when saving an update. SpaceX eventually requested that astronaut Doug Hurley take screenshots of his day timeline as a backup in case his app experienced the same caching issue. Then each astronaut was instructed to briefly turn on wifi to enable the iPad’s AirDrop feature for wirelessly sending the screenshots between iPads.

It was also explained that mission critical documentation would be located in Adobe Acrobat on the tablet and would not be affected by the caching issue. At any rate, the slight blip in functionality is likely to be among the limited issued that will need to be addressed before the next astronaut splashdown. (Other issues include tighter security to keep boaters away, a better effort to remove dangerous gases from around the spacecraft before astronauts exit, and an additional backup generator for SpaceX’s recovery vessel.)

Mission success

NASA astronauts Behnken and Hurley successfully splashed down inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola on Sunday. The final step concluded their mission to test the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft for human spaceflight.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The first operational mission aboard the International Space Station since the completion of the demonstration mission will launch from Kennedy Space Center in mid-September. Astronauts for the later Crew-2 mission have already been selected, including astronaut Megan McArthur (Bob Behnken is her husband), who will return to the ISS in the same spacecraft used by the SpaceX Demo-2 mission.

NASA unveiled plans to have overlap between Crew-1 and Crew-2 on the International Space Station during each six-month duration mission.

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Report: Apple led global Q2 tablet shipments with 14 million iPads




Apple posted record results for the June quarter which sent its stock price soaring. Now Canalys is out with its estimates on global tablet shipments that detail how much Apple is leading Samsung, Amazon, and others.

Apple’s June quarter performance included $59.7 billion in revenue with $11.25 billion in profit. One of the strongest areas of growth for the quarter was iPad revenue, with the company highlighting it saw an increase of 31% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Apple doesn’t break out unit numbers but just shared that iPad brought in $6.58 billion in sales in Q2 (fiscal Q3). Canalys is out today with its estimate on how many units Apple shipped and how it compared to the competition.

The analysis points to 14.2 million iPads shipped in the June quarter giving Apple a 38% market share of the global tablet sales for the period. Samsung came in second with 18% of the market. Huawei and Amazon came in third and fourth, respectively with 12% and 8% shares.

Interestingly enough, even though Apple certainly had an amazing quarter, Canalys estimates that Samsung, Huawei, and Amazon all saw greater growth when it came to tablets. The firm pegged Apple’s iPad unit growth at 19.8% while Samsung saw 39.2%, Huawei had 44.5%, and Amazon achieved 37.1% unit growth.

That contributed to Apple losing 2% of its global market share. The entire tablet market saw growth of 26.1% YoY.

Apple iPad units shipped

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