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Facebook Messenger finally gets an unsend feature

You can now retract messages on Facebook Messenger—but act fast.

On Tuesday, Facebook Messenger finally got an unsend feature. Unfortunately, it only gives you up to 10 minutes to delete the message. Once the time limit passes, you’re out of luck.

The unsend feature works for one-on-one sessions and group chats. To use it, simply tap on the message you want to delete. You’ll notice a new option that says “Remove for Everyone.” Click on it, and you’ll delete the message in question. Facebook will then replace the text with an alert, notifying everyone in the chat the message has been scrubbed.

The feature is handy in the event you mistype something or accidentally send the wrong photo to a friend. But it’s pretty much useless if you drunk message your ex one night and then wake up the next morning realizing you made a horrible mistake.

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In contrast, Facebook-owned WhatsApp gives you one hour to delete a message, while the app Telegram gives you 48 hours to remove a bad text.

So why did Facebook settle on the 10-minute time limit? Most of the times, people actually delete messages within a minute of sending them, the company told PCMag. Extending the time limit longer might also introduce ways to abuse the unsend function as well, the company said, without elaborating. Still, Facebook plans to monitor use of the new feature, and will tweak the time limit if needed.

The company has been promising an unsend feature since last April after Facebook was found mysteriously deleting messages company CEO Mark Zuckerberg had sent on the app. Facebook said it did so for security reasons, but the whole incident raised questions about why normal users didn’t have the same privilege. Now you sort of do. But you won’t be able to recall any messages you’ve sent months or years ago. The best you can do is delete the message from your own chat window.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

For decades he didn’t give up trying to ID a boy and his killer. The obsession finally paid off just before this North Carolina detective retired

Bobby Whitt, shown in an undated photo, was killed in 1998 and left near an interstate.

Bobby Whitt, shown in an undated photo, was killed in 1998 and left near an interstate.

(CNN)For years Maj. Tim Horne had a box under his desk he’d bump his leg into almost every day.

He didn’t move the box, because it was in his “damn way” on purpose.
The box was stuffed full of information about a cold case of the worst kind, the killing of a child, and he just had to solve it.
The investigator for the sheriff’s department in Orange County, North Carolina, put off his retirement for months, until last week, hoping he could get final answers in the 1998 killing of a 10-year-old boy.
    He wanted resolution, he said, not just for the family, but for himself. He had investigated the case since the day the decomposed body was found underneath a billboard near an interstate.
    “This has been my child for 20 years,” he said by phone. “I needed closure also.”
    The boy’s remains were discovered in September 1998 by a maintenance crew doing yard work. Horne came to the scene and was there for hours as the crime scene team took photos of the skull, collected the remains, and looked for other clues to identify the body and figure out why someone did this.
    This week, authorities announced they had identified Robert “Bobby” Adam Whitt, born in Michigan and raised in Ohio. They said a suspect is already in custody.
    “This case is an example of dogged determination of investigators who refused to give up. The efforts of Maj. Tim Horne and the entire investigation division were exemplary,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said.

    A heart-wrenching mystery

    The case drove at his heart from the very beginning, Horne said, because it involved a child, one who had been left out in the elements so long officers didn’t immediately know whether it was a boy or a girl. Later, clothing would give them their first gender clue.
    There were obstacles from the first days of the investigation, because there were no reports of missing children that matched the child. And Horne didn’t know that about 200 miles away there was another body — an adult woman who 20 years later would be identified as the boy’s slain mother.
    Horne, 50, said he tried to keep the boy’s case in the public eye. Wherever he went he would talk about it. If he went to seminars or classes he would reach out to instructors about the case and how to solve it.
    In his office, he intentionally set the box with the case file in his way. It was a reminder.
    He already knew everything that was in the file, but he wanted to make sure it was on his mind.
    “I didn’t think I would forget the case, but I wanted to be sure,” he said.
    Horne also regularly drove by the billboard where the remains were found. He was hopeful he’d catch the killer coming back to check out the scene, so if there was a vehicle pulled over, Horne would wheel in and have a chat.
    There were moments in the case when he grew disheartened. Despite the killing getting some national publicity, there weren’t any tips that moved it in a positive direction.
    A well-known forensic sculptor named Frank Bender made a 3D bust of the boy that was featured in a 2011 documentary about Bender called “The Man Who Faced Death.”
    Parabon NanoLabs was working with the boy’s DNA.

    Retirement just had to wait

    In 2018, Horne had the option to retire in June after 30 years. There was no way he was leaving. Not only did he need to resolve the boy’s case, but he also had another cold case, a double murder from the 1970s, that he wanted to solve.
    “It was unfinished business,” he said, but he still worried. “No matter how long you stay there comes a day when you have to step way.”
    But then new methods of looking at DNA changed the case, just as in other cases, including leading to an arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer. The new DNA results in North Carolina showed the boy was first-generation Asian-American, something investigators hadn’t known.
    Genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, who also worked on the Golden State Killer case, found a probable cousin of the boy’s living in Hawaii.
    Horne got on the phone with that person and got some clues. He tried to find other relatives in other states. He called 20 people during his Christmas break. No one got back to him right away.
    On December 26, at 1:44 p.m. — he won’t forget the time — a call came from the 513 area code in Ohio.
    Finally he had Bobby’s name, just five days before his last official day. He also learned that the boy’s mother, Myoung Hwa Cho, was missing, so he kept going even into the new year. He could still be a cop as he used up his remaining vacation time.
    With new information, they got a hit in the database of missing cases. There was an unidentified woman who had been found along I-85 in South Carolina about the same time Bobby was discovered. A DNA comparison showed she was Bobby’s mother, who was from South Korea. Authorities there helped confirm her identity.
    Horne spent his last days wrapping up the other cold case, and working the final stretch of the investigation into the killings of Bobby and his mom. Horne spent more than a week in his car driving to interviews, making hundreds of calls, spending each waking minute on finishing before his retirement became official.

    Finishing with names and a suspect

    Horne said he couldn’t talk about the ongoing parts of the case, including whether he had talked to the suspect, who is in federal prison because of another case. The suspect has not been identified by authorities nor charged in the killings.
    Horne sounded exuberant but also exhausted, like a marathoner who just crossed the line.
    “You almost want to collapse,” he said.
    But he had one last job to do, even though he’s now just Jim and no longer Maj. Horne. He spent Tuesday talking to the media, telling the story about how he didn’t want to give up and noting that thanks to a team effort that involved other investigators, forensic modelers, genealogy experts and DNA labs, he can move on with the rest of his life.
      Horne, who has a son born a few years after the killing, isn’t quite sure what he’s going to do in these next years. His past 20 have been so consumed with working he hasn’t really had a chance to look ahead. He knows his wife has a few things on her list.
      There is one thing he looks forward to: testifying at a trial for Bobby’s killer.

      Everyone finally agrees China can’t be allowed to take over the world

      Oh my, how times have changed.

      Huawei executives doing the perp walk. American universities shuttering Confucius Centers. Voters in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and elsewhere rejecting leaders who have cozied up to China. Malaysia and others demanding better deals from Beijing or otherwise trying to dig their way out of the Chinese debt trap.

      The days when people were ok with China taking over the world are coming to an end. Fast.

      For years, supporters of Chinese policies argued that a rising China would grow to accept international norms and be a net contributor to global peace and prosperity. Meanwhile, critics made gloomy predictions that an increasingly powerful China would exert an increasingly destabilizing influence.

      That argument is over.

      Chinese telecom giant Huawei has become the posterchild for what’s wrong with China – and with good reason. Rather than act as a responsible global company from a responsible nation, Huawei has acted like a pirate on the high seas, abiding by no laws but its own. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost.

      Headquartered in Shenzhen, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. describes itself as an “employee-owned” business, claiming that its approximately 80,000 employees hold almost 99 per cent of its stocks. However, the vast majority of those shares are controlled by a small group of people who enjoy close ties with the Chinese government and the Communist Party. Few people doubt that Huawei operates as an arm of the government, and U.S. intelligence agencies have warned American citizens not use the company’s products and services.

      Meng Wanzhou, Hauwei’s chief financial officer, is under indictment for allegedly attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran. She was arrested in December in Canada, and U.S. officials have now filed for extradition.

      Separately, Huawei is also under indictment for engaging in allegedly illegal trading practices – mostly stealing stuff from T-Mobile. Stealing intellectual property from U.S. firms is nothing new for Chinese firms. Indeed, intellectual property theft is the centerpiece of the U.S. trade representative’s November report on Chinese business practices.

      Oh, there are other charges as well, such as the Chinese government’s highly organized attempt to subvert international trade sanctions. But the trade report is replete with evidence that Hauwei is not really a private company gone rogue. Rather, it appears to be just another corporate puppet on Beijing’s string, one deeply engaged in economic warfare.

      But don’t blame the growing disenchantment with China on Hauwei alone. It began two years ago, at the19th Chinese Communist Party Conference, when President Xi Jinping laid out his expansive vision for China’s role in the global economy. His “Belt and Road Initiative” destined to encircle the world with Beijing’s golden tentacles; together with his expansive territorial claims, he surely caused the hearts of the party faithful to quicken.

      But Xi also got the rest of the world rethinking the wisdom of handing China the keys to the global car.

      Since then a great deal of research has been devoted to analyzing and illuminating China’s behavior. One notable report from Sharp Power explains how China manipulates information. Another, from the Center of International Private Enterprise, explains how China uses “corrosive capital” to undermine the rule of law and threaten democracy.

      Today, countries that used to think of China as a benevolent checkbook are starting to question whether it was wise to turn over their telecom structure to a company that does the bidding of an aggressive foreign power with only its own interest at heart.

      Now that China has the world’s attention, the question is: What’s next? This is no time for a new Cold War, but the Trump administration has been right to let China know that corrupt business practices and expansionist territorial claims will not go unchallenged. The U.S. can and must defend its interests for the long term.

      The dust-up over Huawei aside, there’s a good chance the U.S. and China will cut a trade deal in the next 30 days. That would not be a bad thing. Even a limited deal, for a limited time, would show that Washington has Beijing’s attention, improve some market access for the U.S., and remove uncertainties from global markets.

      As for dealing with rogue companies like Huawei, the U.S. should emphasize the necessity of abiding by the rule of law. Washington must not trade away criminal prosecutions in exchange for trade deals or other “concessions” from Beijing. When people break the law, they should be prosecuted for their crimes – not be used for negotiating “leverage.”

      Similarly, per the Huawei/T-Mobile case, Chinese companies that steal trade secrets should be subject to the full range of legal punishments, including sanctions as well as criminal prosecutions.

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      Further, companies that knowingly use stolen intellectual property should be considered traffickers in stolen goods (a federal offense). Once convicted, they should be punished the way any company or individual would be for trafficking in stolen physical goods.

      The world is wising up to Beijing’s “good guy” act. It’s time for China to pay the piper.

      CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JAMES JAY CARAFANO

      Exxon’s oil and gas output finally stops shrinking

      New York (CNN Business)ExxonMobil's investments in American shale are paying off.

      Exxon's (XOM) total oil and gas production increased slightly during the fourth quarter, the company said on Friday. That marks a milestone of sorts for mighty Exxon. Output had declined four straight quarters and nine of the previous 10.
      Texas-based Exxon was late to the shale revolution that occurred in its own backyard. But it's spent heavily in recent years to catch up.
      Exxon said US oil production jumped 11% last quarter. That growth was driven by a 90% surge in output from the Permian Basin, the booming West Texas shale play.
        Exxon also halted a recent string of profit misses. The company's per-share earnings of $ 1.41 blew away the Street's estimate.
        Net income fell 28% last quarter due to the impact of tax reform and asset writedowns. Excluding those items, net income nearly doubled to $ 6.4 billion.
        "Strong results during a period of commodity price volatility demonstrates ExxonMobil's ability to deliver superior cash flow in different market environments," Exxon CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.
          Exxon shares climbed 2% in premarket trading.
          In a shift for Exxon, Woods will field questions from analysts during a conference call later on Friday. In the past, Woods and his predecessor Rex Tillerson sat out these conference calls.

          GE pays $1.5 billion to finally resolve subprime loan allegations

          New York (CNN Business)General Electric's power business keeps crumbling, but the beleaguered company put to rest a major question mark by reaching a $ 1.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department.

          GE (GE) announced on Thursday that its adjusted profit declined more than Wall Street analysts had been anticipating. The latest stumble was driven by an $ 872 million loss at GE Power, the company's turbine division.
          But GE is finally moving past its decade-old subprime disaster. The company said it agreed in principle to pay a $ 1.5 billion civil penalty to settle the the Justice Department's investigation into WMC Mortgage, the subprime lender that was shut down a decade ago.
          Investors are probably relieved that GE doesn't need to pay more than the $ 1.5 billion it previously set aside for WMC.
            GE's stock climbed 7% in premarket trading.
            "We have more work to do, but I'm encouraged by the changes we're making to strengthen GE and create value for our shareholders, customers, and employees," CEO Larry Culp said in a statement.
            After a horrendous 2017 and 2018, GE shares have spiked 20% this year on hopes that the worst is over. Although GE is still worth just a fraction of its all-time high, it's one of the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 in 2019.
            GE Power, which makes turbines used in natural gas and coal power plants has been the company's biggest problem for years. The fossil fuels division has been hurt by the rapid rise of renewable energy.
            Power orders slumped 19% in the fourth quarter, driving revenue down by 25%. The company blamed "continued execution and operational issues." GE vowed to improve its power discipline, project management and execution. GE Power has been slashing jobs and shutting facilities.
            As expected, the bright spot at GE was its booming aviation business, which benefited from soaring orders for engines. GE Aviation logged a 24% jump in quarterly profit and reported an 89% surge in orders for its LEAP engine program.
              Culp, the first outsider CEO in GE's history, was hired last year to turn around the iconic maker of light bulbs, MRI machines and jet engines. Once the world's most valuable company, GE has been slammed by years of bad decisions, including poorly timed acquisitions and heaps of debt.
              The new CEO moved swiftly to fix GE's broken balance sheet. Culp slashed GE's dividend to a penny, sped up its divorce of oil-and-gas giant Baker Hughes (BHGE) and unloaded more businesses.

              Corey Feldman finally shopping his much-hyped child abuse documentary at Sundance

              While security was heightened surrounding Sundance screenings of the explosive Michael Jackson doc “Leaving Neverland,” festival attendees noticed that Corey Feldman is also at the fest being tailed by a bodyguard.

              But it turns out Feldman is in Park City, Utah, separately shopping a doc of his own that details shocking sexual abuse in Hollywood. (As a young star, Feldman was close friends with Jackson, but he wrote in his 2013 memoir, “Coreyography,” that the singer never acted inappropriately toward him.)

              Feldman’s rep explained to Page Six that the “Goonies” star is at Sundance to meet with distributors for his own documentary, in which he reportedly investigates a Hollywood pedophile ring that preyed on young actors — including himself.

              He’s said that he feared for his safety while making the doc, which was financed through Indiegogo.

              Last year, Feldman claimed an attacker tried to stab him, reports said.

              His rep told us, “There were the two attempts on his life and many threats, so he has had security since launching his campaign.”

              Jackson’s estate has slammed “Leaving Neverland” as “character assassination.”

              Lawmakers react to Trump’s partial shutdown announcement: ‘The longest shutdown in American history will finally end’

              Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reacted Friday to President Trump’s announcement that he would support a short-term bill to re-open the government, following a months-long partial government shutdown and stalemate between Republicans and Democrats on funding for a wall at the border.

              “I am very proud to announce we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said in the Rose Garden on Friday.

              The bill is expected to hit the Senate floor immediately and if passed, will keep the government running until Feb. 15. However, the deal appeared to include no money for a wall or steel barrier, but Trump said he hoped negotiations would continue to come to an agreement on wall funding.

              Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying he “was glad” that both sides were able to make a deal that would also allow them to “negotiate a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.”

              “I’m glad the closed portions of the federal government will re-open and get back online,” the statement said. “I’m glad that the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard, law enforcement, the TSA, and all the other federal employees will not have to go longer without pay for their work, and will receive their back pay. I know the pain that this episode has caused to many Kentuckians and to people around the country. They deserve this resolution.”

              He then pointed his comments toward Democrats, saying he hoped they would “stay true to the commitment they have stated constantly over the past weeks – that once government was re-opened, they would be perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith on full-year government funding that would include a significant investment in urgently needed border security measures, including physical barriers.”

              Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted about Trump’s announcement, describing it as being “great news” for federal employees furloughed during the partial shutdown.

              “The longest shutdown in American history will finally end,” Schumer tweeted. “The president has agreed to our request to open the government then debate border security. This is great news for 800,000 federal workers & millions of Americans who depend on government services.”

              Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said the president’s announcement has allowed Democrats a chance to negotiate border security. However, if talks prove to be unsuccessful, “executive action is still very much under consideration.”

              During Trump’s remarks, he made reference to his earlier comments about declaring a national emergency, but said he didn’t want to use the “very powerful weapon.” He has sought $ 5.7 billion in money toward a wall or steel barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border

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              “The president is sticking by his commitment to keep our communities safe and has assured me that nothing will deter him from accomplishing that goal,” Meadows said in a statement. “His resolve remains steadfast. Democrats now have yet another opportunity to come to the table and negotiate, where all Americans will be able to judge for themselves whether they’re truly serious about securing our border.”

              Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has announced her intention to run for president in 2020, said on Twitter that the partial shutdown “has been a nightmare” for furloughed Americans workers who “shouldn’t have had to pay for the president’s vanity project.”

              Fox News Adam Shaw, Chad Pergram and Jason Donner contributed to this report.

              Tencent can finally start making money on new games in China again

              Hong Kong (CNN Business)Tencent is back in the game in China.

              After a nine-month freeze that hammered Tencent's (TCEHY) stock price, Chinese authorities have started allowing the internet company to make money off new mobile games again.
              China's State Administration of Press and Publications began issuing new game licenses late last month, wading into an estimated backlog of more than 7,000 titles that had built up during the epic halt on approvals.
              But the first three lists of approved titles featured none from Tencent, the world's largest gaming company. It's break came with the announcement Thursday of the latest batch of licenses, which included two of its games.
                Investors welcomed the news, pushing Tencent shares up as much as 3.8% in Hong Kong on Friday. The stock has lost about 25% of its value in the past year.
                The company is still waiting for licenses for some of its most popular mobile games. Those approvals, rather than the ones announced Thursday, will make the real difference for its earnings.
                Jefferies analyst Karen Chan said in a research note that she expects Tencent's revenue growth from mobile games to accelerate in the second quarter as it gets permission to launch more and more titles.
                NetEase (NTES), another leading Chinese gaming company, also received its first new approval for one title on Thursday.
                The Chinese government stopped approving licenses that allow companies to make money from new mobile games last March. Since the freeze was lifted in late December, regulators have approved fewer than 400 new games, leaving thousands more in limbo.
                The freeze came amid an increasingly restrictive environment for China's gaming industry. In August, the Education Ministry announced plans for new rules to control the number of games and limiting the time children spend playing them.
                Tencent was hit hard by the crackdown. Gaming accounts for more than 40% of the company's revenue. Last year, the regulatory pressures contributed to a rare quarterly profit decline and helped wipe billions off its market value.
                Tencent is still waiting for approval for some of its most highly anticipated mobile games like "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds."
                  Titles like that were probably left off the first few batches of licenses because they "are more sophisticated in design and therefore have to go through a longer review period," Tony Cheung, an analyst with stock broker CFSG in Hong Kong, wrote in a note to clients this week.
                  China is the world's largest gaming market, accounting for a quarter of global revenue, according to market research firm Newzoo. It expected China's total gaming revenue to reach $ 38 billion in 2018.

                  Spanish expert miners finally ready to reach missing toddler who fell down well 11 days ago

                  Spanish rescuers believe they are just hours away from reaching a two-year-old boy who fell into a narrow, 360-foot deep borehole eleven days ago.

                  The rescuers announced that after installing the final length of tubing to support a vertical shaft running parallel to the hole, they are ready to make the final push to reach the area where toddler Julen Rosello is believed to be.

                  SEARCH FOR SPANISH TODDLER WHO FELL DOWN BOREHOLE HITS MAJOR SETBACK

                  The final move will include a team of expert miners being lowered down into the shaft in a special capsule, The Local reported. They will attempt to dig using special pickaxes, drills and shovels in a bid to reach the boy.

                  The miners, who are part of a specialist brigade, will attempt to dig out a 12 foot gallery and support it with wooden beams in the area of the borehole where the toddler is thought to be, according to the report.

                  In this photo taken on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, drill and excavating machinery work on top of the mountain next to a deep borehole to reach a 2-year-old boy trapped there for six days near the town of Totalan in Malaga, Spain. Spanish officials say rescuers are making slow progress in exceptionally difficult conditions to reach a 2-year-old boy who fell into a narrow, deep borehole in the countryside eight days ago.

                  In this photo taken on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, drill and excavating machinery work on top of the mountain next to a deep borehole to reach a 2-year-old boy trapped there for six days near the town of Totalan in Malaga, Spain. Spanish officials say rescuers are making slow progress in exceptionally difficult conditions to reach a 2-year-old boy who fell into a narrow, deep borehole in the countryside eight days ago. (Alex Zea/Europa Press via AP)

                  While the miners may reach the area where the boy is believed to be within hours, it could take up to 24 hours before they actually see the toddler.

                  “Those who are here risking their lives have faith that he is alive and that we will pull him out alive,” Bernardo Molto, spokesman for the Civil Guard police force in Malaga province, told AFP. “If not, they wouldn’t be working in these conditions.”

                  SPANISH RESCUERS RUSH TO SAVE BOY, 2, WHO FELL DOWN WELL

                  This comes after the rescue mission suffered a major setback after it emerged the shaft built to lower the miners wasn’t wide enough.

                  According to multiple reports, the borehole wasn’t marked at the time of the incident, while regional authorities said the required permissions weren’t acquired before it was dug.

                  On Tuesday, Spain’s Civil Guard said it launched a probe into whether the borehole was drilled illegally.

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                  People across Spain have been gripped by the plight of the boy and his family. The rescue attempt has suffered agonizing delays because of the rocky terrain.

                  Fox News’ Lucia Suarez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

                  Long-awaited Apple wireless charger may finally be coming

                  It’s not often that Apple promises a brand new product only to go completely silent on the idea and not deliver it — but that’s what happened last year.

                  At its annual iPhone product launch in September 2017, it touted a forthcoming wireless charging pad called AirPower which promised the ability to simultaneously charge your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.

                  With the arrival of iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the company introduced wireless charging to its devices. The technology means you can rest your device on a charging mat to juice the battery rather than plugging in a charging chord.

                  But to date, Apple has had to rely on third-party products (of which there are many) to provide this capability while promising its own game-changing tech to be released in 2018.

                  “We can make the wireless charging experience even better,” Apple executive Phil Schiller told the audience in 2017. “It might help move the entire industry forward.”

                  But last year came and went without a murmur on AirPower, leaving many to speculate why the product was so delayed. When the company removed almost all mention of the AirPower charger from its website last year, many thought it spelled the premature death of the device.

                  But hold off on writing the obituaries just yet because rumors abound that AirPower has gone into production.

                  Charging specialists ChargerLAB shared a post on social media recently that claimed a source close to Luxshare, the company which assembles Apple’s AirPods and USB-C cables, confirmed that AirPower was already in production.

                  Luxshare is a member of the Wireless Power Consortium behind the Qi standard of wireless charging devices.

                  ChargerLAB shared a screenshot of a text message conversation on popular Chinese app WeChat in which the source said they expected the product to be available soon, according to online translations.

                  It’s been reported that Apple engineers struggled with overheating problems as well as communication issues between the AirPower and devices placed on the mat, causing the long delay.

                  Earlier this month programmer Steven Troughton-Smith, who has written iPhone software in the past, took to social media saying he keeps hearing that Apple has “finally fixed it.”

                  Apple doesn’t comment on product speculation so only time will tell if this round of rumors actually come to anything. But if true, it sounds like AirPower could potentially launch in the first half of this year.

                  Whether it makes financial sense for customers to fork out for Apple’s long-awaited charging pad is another question altogether. Apple hasn’t indicated a price for AirPower but reports suggest it will cost somewhere in the range of $ 149 to $ 200 in the US, and could easily be more in the Australian market. If so, that might be a tough sell when Aussie customers can find dual charging pads for as little as $ 35.

                  APPLE RELEASES NEW SMART BATTERY CASES

                  In other Apple news this week, the company has launched brand new smart battery cases for its latest iPhone range, giving customers an added option to prolong their iPhone’s battery life while away from a power source.

                  According to Apple, the iPhone XS case adds up to 21 hours of internet use, 25 hours of video, or 33 hours of talk time. Similar benefits are provided by the XS Max case.

                  Meanwhile, the XR case gives users a bigger added boost of 22 hours of internet use, 33 hours of video, or 39 hours of talk time.

                  The smart battery cases cost $ 199 and can be found on the online Australian Apple store.

                  This story originally appeared in news.com.au.