Posts with «personal investing ideas & strategies» label

The FAA has reached a deal with Verizon and AT&T for C-Band 5G at airports

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has reached an agreement with AT&T and Verizon (Engadget's former parent company) regarding the rollout of their C-Band 5G networks at and around airports. The agency said the three sides have found common ground "on steps that will enable more aircraft to safely use key airports while also enabling more towers to deploy 5G service."

According to the FAA, the providers offered "more precise data about the exact location of wireless transmitters and supported more thorough analysis of how 5G C-Band signals interact with sensitive aircraft instruments." The agency said it used the data to "determine that it is possible to safely and more precisely map the size and shape of the areas around airports where 5G signals are mitigated, shrinking the areas where wireless operators are deferring their antenna activations. This will enable the wireless providers to safely turn on more towers as they deploy new 5G service in major markets across the United States.”

The accord follows a months-long tussle between airlines and wireless providers over C-Band 5G. AT&T and Verizon voluntarily delayed the rollout for six weeks to address concerns that their services could interfere with aircraft systems and electronics, due to C-Band frequencies being close to ones used by altimeters. 

Earlier this month, the CEOs of airlines including Delta, United and Southwest claimed in a letter to the federal government that the networks could affect their planes' instruments and lead to a “catastrophic” event. 

AT&T and Verizon activated their C-Band 5G networks last week after agreeing to create temporary buffer zones around dozens of airports — they haven't switched on C-Band 5G towers within two miles of some runways. They also argued that similar networks have been deployed in 40 other countries without issue.

It's not clear when AT&T and Verizon plan to turn on C-Band 5G towers closer to airports following the FAA agreement. AT&T declined to comment on the development. Engadget has contacted Verizon for comment. 

The CTIA, a trade association for the wireless industry, was bullish about the news. "This is a positive development that highlights the considerable progress the wireless industry, aviation industry, FAA and FCC are making to ensure robust 5G service and safe flights," CTIA chief communications officer Nick Ludlum told Engadget in a statement.

Meanwhile, the FAA said it would continue discussions with helicopter operators and other stakeholders in the aviation industry "to ensure they can safely operate in areas of current and planned 5G deployment."

What we bought: How the Kobo Libra 2 got me out of a reading slump

From time to time Engadget editors take time out to talk about what they've been buying for themselves, with their own money. This week, Commerce Editor Valentina Palladino gives her take on the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader.

I’ll be honest, the pandemic took a toll on my reading habits. A lot of the time I previously spent reading was now spent doom- and hate-scrolling on my iPhone. I didn’t want to drag that habit into 2022, so I deleted the biggest scroll-hole culprits from my phone (Instagram, Twitter) and decided to upgrade to the Kobo Libra 2 as a gift to myself.

The Libra 2 isn’t my first e-reader – an old Kindle Paperwhite still languishes in my drawer – but I wanted a change that would both get me out of a physical reading slump while also lessening my dependence on the juggernaut that is Amazon’s Kindle store. I came to this decision late last year after pulling out my old 2018 Paperwhite and reading a book on it. The experience was noticeably laggy, taking several minutes to properly sync my books and fetch titles I had borrowed from my local library. It was also apparent to me how annoying the Kindle was to hold. I primarily read with the device in my right hand, and because the Paperwhite’s size bezels are quite thin, that meant I was often accidentally turning the page when my fingers brushed the screen’s edge.

Enter the Libra 2, one of the company’s latest e-readers whose larger chin is home to physical page buttons. I knew I wanted one with this design, and if I had wanted to go the Amazon route, I would have been left with only the Kindle Oasis to consider. On top of the fact that Amazon’s devices support a limited number of file types, I just didn’t want to drop $250 on an e-reader. Kobo, on the other hand, has four devices with this design, with the Libra 2 being the most affordable of that bunch at $180.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

The practicality of the larger chin and page-turn buttons can’t be overstated; they’re some of my favorite things about the Libra 2. My hand doesn’t cramp anymore when I read because I can easily switch from one hand to the other depending on if I’m at my desk, curled up on the couch, or peeking an eye out from under the covers in bed. Landscape reading mode has become a favorite, too, and I also like the tactical feel of the page-turn buttons so much that I rarely, if ever, tap the screen to progress in my current read.

The screen on the Libra 2 is also noticeably sharper than that of my old Kindle Paperwhite. It’s a seven-inch E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen with what Kobo calls “ComfortLight Pro,” which just means you can adjust the brightness and color temperature. I keep the temperature adjustment on the “auto” setting so the screen’s lighting becomes less blue and more yellow as the day goes on, making it my most comfortable screen to stare at right before bedtime. Plus, the numerous font, font sizes, line spacing and margin options let me customize text to my liking, making the entire reading experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

The Libra 2 is also waterproof, but it’s one of those features I don’t actually use every day and I’ll only fully appreciate it if the e-reader gets an unexpected dunking in a hotel pool. Same goes for the audiobook feature: I listen to books primarily through Overdrive's Libby app, so I haven’t tested the Libra 2 as an audiobook machine yet. However, the USB-C charging port is something I can appreciate in my day-to-day as it charges the device from nearly zero to full in a couple of hours. So far, the Libra 2 has lived up to its promise of having a weeks-long battery life as I’ve only had to charge it once in the month or so that I’ve had it.

So the Libra 2’s hardware has proven to be just as good in practice as it was on paper. But in addition to hardware, Kobo’s Overdrive and Pocket integrations were two big things that made me seriously consider making the switch from Kindle. Having all of my reading material in one place – specifically a place that’s not my phone – would surely stop me from falling down a scroll hole every night, right?

The answer is yes – mostly. (I still scroll sometimes, I’m but a mere mortal.) Saving articles to Pocket throughout the day is super easy and I can turn to them at night when I have more time to read. But the kicker for me is Overdrive, which I can browse directly on the Libra 2 and borrow titles from my library with just a few taps. I also use the Libby app in conjunction with this – when Libby and my Libra 2 are signed in with the same library card, any e-book I borrow via Libby automatically shows up on my Libra 2 like magic. Holds also show up on the e-reader with the amount of time I have left to wait; once it’s my turn, a cute little “borrow” button pops up, allowing me to get reading almost immediately. While Amazon’s Send-to-Kindle feature is also an easy way to get library books from Libby to a Kindle, I find this direct integration more convenient.

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Where this becomes a bit cumbersome is if you have multiple library cards attached to your Overdrive account (which I do). You’ll have to sign out on the e-reader and sign in again with the specific library you’re trying to access. Most people will probably never have to do this, but just be aware if you’re like me and frequently check out multiple libraries’ catalogs with the hopes of getting the shortest wait time possible for your next read.

I try to use my library as much as possible, but it’s also worth noting that buying books on the Libra 2 is also convenient. You can purchase titles directly on the device from the Kobo store and I’ve yet to find a book that I want to purchase that Kobo doesn’t have. I frequently dump titles that none of my libraries have into my Kobo wishlist, and I was surprised to find that it had lesser-known books like This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik along with anticipated upcoming titles like How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix. 

If you live in the US, you’ve probably been fed the idea that Amazon’s Kindle book store is the most formidable on the web – and while that may be true, it’s not the only option available. Same goes for Kindles themselves: they may be the most ubiquitous e-readers, but if you’re even remotely interested in loosening the vice-grip Amazon has on your reading life, a Kobo device could do the trick.

AT&T is rolling out multi-gig fiber internet to more than 70 cities

Following the activation of its C-band 5G network last week, AT&T is now upgrading its fiber-based broadband service with two new plans that top out at 2Gbps and 5Gbps, respectively. The company says its new multi-gig fiber broadband will be available in more than 70 metro areas including Dallas, LA and Atlanta. Currently, AT&T’s fiber broadband covers around 15 million customers across 90 markets, with the ISP looking to expand its network to reach more than 30 million customers by 2025.

While AT&T’s new 5 GIG plan is almost certainly overkill for a typical household (even with a bunch of people making Zoom calls at the same time), the ongoing pandemic and shift towards working and schooling from home continues to put a strain on families with more limited internet.

The new 2 GIG plan is set to start at $110 per month plus tax (or $225 a month for a business fiber), while the faster 5 GIG plan will cost $180 per month (or $395 a month for businesses). Notably, AT&T describes both plans as offering “symmetrical” speeds, which means customers should see equally fast download and upload speeds. That last part is important for anyone who has to move large files around, especially when a lot of older internet plans often featuring upload speeds that are significantly lower than download speeds.

In addition to its new multi-gig fiber plans, AT&T is updating its fiber internet plans with more straightforward pricing. AT&T says this means new customers won’t get hit with any equipment fees, data caps or annual contracts, with initial pricing locked in for at least 12 months. So your bill should just be the price of the service plus tax, with AT&T throwing in perks such as its ActiveArmor internet security, speedy Wi-Fi 6 routers, and a free HBO Max subscription for customers with top-tier plans (either the gigabit, 2 GIG or 5 GIG plans).

So, while AT&T’s new fiber plans aren’t cheap, they should supply ample bandwidth for data-hungry people like content creators and stream video enthusiasts. To find out if you live in an area covered by AT&T’s new multi-gig plans, you can check availability on AT&T’s fiber landing page here.

Vi from ‘League of Legends’ arrives in ‘Fortnite’

Fans of Riot’s Arcane have a long wait ahead of them before season two of the animated series arrives. In the meantime, you can at least play a few matches of Fortnite with a new character from the show. Epic Games will add Jinx’s sister Vi to the battle royale’s in-game Item Shop today (January 22nd) at 7PM ET. You can buy her outfit alongside a handful of themed items, including a punching practice emote.

Unfortunately, Vi won’t come with her signature Hextech gauntlets. Instead, Epic will offer Jayce’s Warden Hammer, which the company maintains is Vi’s “weapon of choice while her gauntlets are being repaired.” If you purchase the skin through the Arcane Vi Bundle, you’ll also get the rad Piltover’s Finest loading screen.

What’s more, if you missed the chance to buy Jinx’s skin when it debuted back in November, you now have another opportunity to add it to your collection. Epic will relist the outfit, alongside the Jinx Arcane bundle, at the same time it adds the Vi outfit to the Item Shop.

The Morning After: Peloton denies pausing production on its bikes

New Year fitness resolutions aside, many of us are cautiously making our way back to the gym. What about our home workout spaces? What about your Peloton bike? Following reports from CNBC that the company had put production on hold for its standard Bike and Tread (treadmill) products, as well as looking to cut costs, Peloton says it’s not halted production. However, and note the choice of words, Peloton CEO John Foley said in a letter to employees that the company is "resetting [its] production levels for sustainable growth."

And what to do if you’ve moved on from your Bike? My dad used his stationary bike almost daily when I was growing up. And when he didn’t, it made a pretty functional clothes rack.

— Mat Smith

Why are airlines and telecoms fighting over the 5G rollout?

5G tech has the potential to disrupt sensitive aircraft avionics.

Today, as carriers expand their 5G networks across the country, they’re faced with a dangerous prospect: That one of 5G’s spectrum bands may interfere with the radio altimeters aboard commercial aircraft below 2,500 feet, potentially causing automated landing controls to misjudge the distance from the ground and crash. This forms the basis of a fight between the US airline industry and the country’s phone carriers.

Continue reading.

Oura’s third-generation Ring is more powerful

But not for everybody.


Arguably one of the most subtle wearables, the Oura ring is back. It’s smarter, it has a subscription service and it lasts almost a week between charges. But is there enough to recommend it above the Fitbits and the Apple Watches out there? It’s not a device that every fitness person will love, but Oura seems a less ostentatious way of tracking your life. Senior Editor Daniel Cooper slips on the third-generation smart ring.

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Playing Casio’s singing keyboard

Who needs humans?


Casio hasn’t been a serious player in the world of synthesizers for some time. Recently, the company teased what seemed like a return to real-deal synths. What we got is the Casiotone CT-S1000V. It looks like a mid-range Casiotone that uses the company’s flagship AiX engine, with vocal synthesis tossed in as a bonus. In short, it’s a singing keyboard.

The novelty of being able to whip up some lyrics in the companion app, send them to the CT-S1000V and play the words as a melody was more than enough to pique Terrence O’Brien’s interest.

Continue reading. loses $34 million in hack that affected 483 accounts

The cryptocurrency exchange published the results of its investigation.'s Chief Executive Kris Marszalek has admitted that hackers compromised over 400 customer accounts. While the issue was fixed immediately, and the company has fully reimbursed the affected users, unauthorized withdrawals totaled 4,836.26 Ethereum (ETH), 443.93 Bitcoin (BTC) and approximately $66,200 in other currencies. Based on current exchange rates, that's $15.3 million of ETH and $18.7 million of BTC for a total of $34 million in losses.

Continue reading.

Amazon is opening its first physical clothing store

Amazon, but make it fashion.

Amazon is opening its first-ever Amazon Style physical clothing store with the promise of a high-tech shopping experience, confirming a rumor from last year. It will offer brands consumers "know and love," according to Amazon, and an app will let you choose an item, size and color and send it directly to a fitting room or pickup counter. The first store is coming to The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles sometime "later this year," the company said.

Continue reading.


The biggest news stories you might have missed

Consumer Reports now rewards driver monitoring, but only Ford and GM pass muster

'Zero Trust' is the guiding principle of Sikur's latest security-focused smartphone

Wandercraft's latest exoskeleton lets paraplegic patients walk with a more natural gait

Amazon one-day sale knocks up to 40 percent off Anker chargers and accessories

PlayStation's Wrap-Up is back to break down your PS4 and PS5 stats for 2021

Canon's EOS R5C is a hybrid cinema camera with 8K video and 45-megapixel stills

'Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga' will arrive on April 5th loses $34 million in hack that affected 483 accounts

In an interview with Bloomberg TV,'s Chief Executive Kris Marszalek has admitted that 400 customer accounts were compromised by hackers. He said his team detected unauthorized transactions made from the accounts, but that they'd fixed the issue immediately and fully reimbursed the affected users. Now, the company has published a report revealing details from its post mortem. Apparently, 483 accounts were affected and the unauthorized withdrawals totaled 4,836.26 ETH, 443.93 BTC and approximately $66,200 in other currencies. Based on current exchange rates, that's $15.3 million of ETH and $18.7 million of ETC for a total of $34 million in losses. 

JUST IN: CEO @cryptocom’s Kris Marszalek discusses the site's recent hack with @BloombergTV’s @emilychangtv. "Customer funds were never at risk."

— Bloomberg Live (@BloombergLive) January 19, 2022

Before the company revealed the scope of the hack in terms of lost funds, blockchain security analytics company PeckShield Inc. said may have lost cryptocurrency worth $15 million. At least 4,600 of the coins lost were Ethereum, and half of them are reportedly being washed — a process that obfuscates a coin's transaction trail. Meanwhile, Bitcoin research firm OXT Research said the company's loss might be worth up to $33 million.

The report explained that the company's risk monitoring systems detected unauthorized activity a few days ago, wherein transactions were being approved without two-factor authentication for a small number of accounts. As a result, the cryptocurrency exchange paused withdrawals on the evening of January 16th. Indeed, people in the comments on its Twitter announcement revealed that they had funds stolen even if they had 2FA enabled. 

In another tweet posted on January 17th, Marszalek said that "no customer funds were lost," the company's infrastructure was down 14 hours and that his team strengthened its security in response to what happened. The report expounded on that last part, revealing that revoked all customer 2FA tokens and implemented additional security measures that required all account users to re-log-in. The company said the move is necessary, because it migrated to a completely new 2FA infrastructure. However, it intends to eventually move away from 2FA and to true Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). has also introduced an additional security measure that requires users to wait 24 hours before they can withdraw to a newly registered whitelisted address. Finally, the company is launching the Worldwide Account Protection Program (WAPP) on February 1st for users who want additional protection for their funds. 

WAPP can restore up to $250,000 of a participating user's money in case a third-party gains access to their account. That said, to qualify for the program, users must enable multi-faction authentication on all transaction types and not be using a jailbroken device. To be able to recoup their funds under the program, they must've set up an anti-phishing code at least 21 days before an unauthorized transaction, file a police report and provide a copy, as well as complete a questionnaire to support forensic investigation. 

Amazon is opening its first physical clothing store

Amazon is opening its first-ever physical clothing store with the promise of a high-tech shopping experience, confirming a rumor from last year. It will offer brands consumers "know and love," according to Amazon, and an app will let you choose an item, size and color and send it directly to a fitting room or pickup counter. 

Amazon said it will offer "hundreds of brands" chosen by fashion creators and "feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on" It didn't specify which, but its online store currently carries products from designers like Oscar de la Renta, Altuzarra and La Perla. However, many luxury and high-end brands have resisted listing goods online with Amazon.

The stores will offer double the number of styles of traditional stores, while not forcing customers to search manually for the right size or color. Instead, if you see a clothing item you like, you can scan its QR code using the Amazon Shopping App to see sizes, colors, customer ratings and other details. You can then send it to the fitting room or directly to the pickup counter if you don't need to try it on. As you might expect, it also uses an AI-powered algorithm to recommend more products based on what you've already picked. 

You can open the fitting room door using the app, with all the items you've picked inside. Each one offers a touchscreen that lets you continue shopping and request new items to try on without having to leave. They'll then arrive in "minutes" thanks to tech that Amazon also uses in its fulfillment centers. 

You can feel free to buy items online that you found in the store, with the same prices in both places. Items can be returned in store, and any item you've scanned will be saved in the shopping app so you can revisit it later. 

Amazon has already opened a number of Fresh grocery stores, along with book stores and even a hair salon. It didn't say if it would use its cashierless "Just Walk Out" tech found in Fresh and Whole Foods, but it will use the Amazon One palm recognition service for checkout. The first Amazon Style store is coming to The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles sometime "later this year," the company said.

Apple now requires verification for education discounts in the US

Apple has closed a loophole in the US that allowed buyers to take advantage of its education pricing even if they're not actually a student or a teacher. As noticed by a Redditor, the US Apple Store now requires buyers to verify their status via UNiDAYS to be able to purchase MacBooks, iPads and other devices from its education portal. The tech giant's education discount typically knocks off 10 percent from a device's original retail price. It applies to currently enrolled and newly accepted college or university students, as well as teachers and faculty/staff at a school for any grade level.

The change happened sometime over the past few days, based on snapshots from the Wayback Machine, which don't show the UNiDAYS verification requirement even in its latest record for January 17th. Prior to this change, Apple doesn't require its customers in the US to verify their status unlike its stores for other locations such as the UK that have long required UNiDAYS authentication. It didn't even ask for a .edu email address. The company simply occasionally checks customers at random and then charge the difference to their credit card if it determines that they're not truly eligible for the education discount. 

Now, when buyers go to the Apple Education website, they won't even be able to see the device listings. They'll have to click through to the UNiDAYS' partner page for Apple first, where they need to sign in or register for verification. Once they're in, they can buy what they want, so long as it's within the device limits for the promotion. Buyers can only avail of the discount for one desktop, one Mac mini, one laptop, two iPads and two accessories per year.

That time France tried to make decimal time a thing

Though Marie Antoinette would be hard-pressed to care, the French Revolution of 1789 set its sights on more than simply toppling the monarchy. Revolutionaries sought to break the nation free from its past, specifically from the clutches of the Catholic church, and point France towards a more glorious and prosperous future. They did so, in part, by radically transforming their measurements of the passage of time.

Throughout the 18th century, most French folks were Catholic as that was the only religion allowed to be openly practiced in the country, and had been since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. As such, the nation had traditionally adhered to the 12-month Gregorian calendar — itself based on even older, sexagesimal (6-unit) divisible systems adapted from the Babylonians and Egyptians — while French clocks cycled every 60 minutes and seconds.

But if there was little reason to continue using the established chronology system aside from tradition, the revolutionaries figured, why not transmute it into a more rational, scientifically-backed method, just as the revolution itself sought to bring stability and new order to French society as a whole? And what better system to interpose than that of the decimal, which already governed the nation’s weights and measures. So, while it wasn’t busy abolishing the privileges of the First and Second Estate, eliminating the church’s power to levy taxes or just drowning nonjuring Catholic priests en masse, France’s neophyte post-revolution government set about reforming the realm’s calendars and clocks.

The concept of decimal time, wherein a day is broken down into multiples of 10, was first suggested more than thirty years prior when French mathematician, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, argued in 1754, “It would be very desirable that all divisions, for example of the livre, the sou, the toise, the day, the hour, etc. would be from tens into tens. This division would result in much easier and more convenient calculations and would be very preferable to the arbitrary division of the livre into twenty sous, of the sou into twelve deniers, of the day into twenty-four hours, the hour into sixty minutes, etc.”

By the eve of the Revolution, the idea had evolved into a year split into 12 months of 30 days apiece, their names inspired by crops and the prevailing weather in Paris during their occurrences. That there are 365 days in a year is an immutable fact dictated by the movement of the Earth around our local star. So, 12 months of 30 days apiece resulted in 5 days (6 in a leap year!) left over. These, the revolutionaries reserved for national holidays.

Each week was divided into 10 days, every day was split into 10 equal hours, those were split into 100 minutes, with each minute divided into 100 seconds (roughly 1.5 times longer than conventional minutes) and each second into 1000 “tierces.” Individual tierces could also be divided into 1000 even tinier units, called “quatierces.” The implementation of tierces would also lead to the creation of a new unit of length, called the “half-handbreadth,” which is the distance the twilight zone travels along the equator over the course of one tierce, and equal to one billionth of the planet’s circumference — around 4 centimeters.

Decimal time was formally adopted by National Convention decree in 1793, “The day, from midnight to midnight, is divided into ten parts, each part into ten others, and so forth until the smallest measurable portion of duration.” As such, midnight would be denoted as 00:00 while noon would be 5:00.

Public Domain

At midnight of the autumn equinox on September 22nd of that year, France’s Gregorian calendar ushered in 1st Vendémiaire Year II of the French Republican calendar. From there on, every new year would begin at midnight of the Autumn equinox, as observed by the Paris Observatory.

“The new calendar was based on two principles,” a 2017 exhibition at the International Museum of Watches, Looking for Noon at Five O’Clock, noted. “That the Republican year should coincide with the movement of the planets, and that it should measure time more accurately and more symmetrically by applying the decimal system wherever possible. Non-religious, it advocated a rational approach and honored the seasons and work in the fields.”

The main advantage of a decimal time system is that, since the base used to divide the time is the same as the one used to represent it, the whole time representation can be handled as a single string.

On one hand, this system offered the clear advantage that both the numerical base used to define the time and the numerical base used to divide it are the same number. For example, quick, how many seconds are there in three hours? The answer, most people will Google, is 10,800 — 60 seconds/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 3 hours. In decimal time, you simply get 30,000 — 3 hours x 10,000 seconds/hour.

However, due to an oversight in its otherwise logical design on account of gaps in astronomical knowledge, the Republican calendar struggled to properly accommodate leap years. “The four-year period, after which the addition of a day is usually necessary, is called the Franciade in memory of the revolution which, after four years of effort, led France to republican government, National Convention decreed. “The fourth year of the Franciade is called Sextile.”

Problem is that leap years, if we’re counting new years by midnights on the autumnal equinox in Paris, don’t consistently happen every four years. By equinox measure, the first leap year of the Republican calendar would actually have to occur in year III while the leaps in years XV and XX would happen half a decade apart.

There were also more practical issues with swapping the nation’s chronology over to an entirely new system, like the fact that people already had perfectly good clocks which they’d have to replace, were decimal time to remain in effect. It was also wildly unpopular with the working class who would only receive one day of rest out of 10 using the Republican calendar (plus a half day on the fifth), rather than the existing Gregorian one-day-in-seven, not to mention that the ten-day week played havoc with traditional Sunday religious services, seeing as how Sunday would cease to exist.

Overall, the idea simply failed to capture public support — despite edicts demanding the creation of decimal-based clocks — and was officially suspended on April 7th, 1795. The French then took a quick crack at metric time, which similarly measured time’s passage in factors of ten but based its progression in conventional seconds (aka 1/86400th of a day). Of course all of these efforts were rendered moot when Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, made peace with the Vatican and reinstituted the Gregorian calendar, thereby relegating both the Republican calendar and decimal time to the dustbin of history. The lesson here being, unless you’ve TNG’d yourself into a temporal loop, don’t try to fix what isn’t already broken, especially when it might earn you a trip to the guillotine.

Apple may have dropped built-in noise cancellation on the iPhone 13

Apple's "Noise Cancellation" accessibility feature has been a staple on past iPhones, but may have been permanently removed from the iPhone 13 series, 9to5Mac has reported. The feature is designed to "reduce ambient noise on phone calls when you are holding the receiver to your ear," a feature that can help make calls easier to hear. 

"Phone Noise Cancellation is not available on iPhone 13 models, which is why you do not see this option in [the Accessibility] settings," Apple support told one of 9to5Mac's readers. When the reader asked for clarification, the support team confirmed that the feature is "not supported."

Questions about noise cancellation came up on Reddit and Apple support pages shortly after the phone went on sale, with readers noticing that it was no longer available on the Accessibility page. The feature is still available with iOS 15 on past iPhone models, but is nowhere to be found on the iPhone 13. 

"Noise Cancellation" normally uses an iPhone's camera microphone to detect and remove ambient noise around you, so you can more easily hear the other person on a phone or FaceTime call — something that can be valuable for the hard of hearing. The issue only applies if you use the handset by itself without, say, Apple's AirPods noise-cancelling earphones. (It does not affect what others hear; for that, Apple introduced the Voice Isolation feature with iOS 15.)  

Apple has yet to officially confirm that the feature has been permanently removed on iPhone 13 devices; so far, the only word about it has come indirectly from Apple Support. As such, Engadget has reached out to Apple for further clarification.