Gruber: AirPods might launch in time for Christmas

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 12, 2016

An authorized Apple retailer claimed today that the upcoming W1-equipped BeatsX earphones may not release in another 2-3 months. But what about AirPods? Daring Fireball’s John Gruber said loosely on the latest episode of The Talk Show that AirPods, the company’s first Bluetooth earphones, may arrive in time for Christmas after all, albeit in very limited quantities. You’re advised to take this speculative report with a grain of salt because the sources Gruber’s learned this from are not very reliable, according to the man himself. Read More

 

Spotify has gone cold on rumored SoundCloud deal

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2016

Spotify, the world’s top on-demand music service, is not buying Berlin, Germany-headquartered audio distribution platform SoundCloud after all, TechCrunch has learned.

Spotify has reportedly given up on its latest effort to buy SoundCloud realizing, after months of talks, that any such deal would probably negatively impact its impending initial public offering (IPO) and expected expansions in China, Russia and South Korea. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Galaxy S8 to beat iPhone 8 to virtual Home button & bezel-free appearance

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2016

Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy smartphone appears to be poised to beat Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 to the punch now that Bloomberg has corroborated much of SamMobile’s report saying the Galaxy S8 will be a bezel-free device with a wraparound display featuring an in-screen Home button. The phone should be unveiled in February 2018 and launch in March.

That way, the Samsung device should enjoy a six-month lead over the iPhone 8’s expected fall arrival. However, the Korean giant is considering scrapping plans for a dual-camera on the Galaxy S8 due to “higher manufacturing costs”, one of the sources told the news gathering organization. Read More

 

Report: Apple close to striking major partnership with NHL

By Cody Lee on Dec 7, 2016

The National Hockey League has informed teams that it is in late-stage negotiations with Apple over a major partnership, reports TSN. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Canadian sports outlet says the deal could see iPads and other technology come to NHL team benches.

Apparently the League has been in talks with Apple, and competitor Microsoft, for several years, but discussions with the iPhone-maker accelerated after a similar deal with the NBA fell through. The source says this pact could still dissipate, but it’s pretty far along for that to happen. Read More

 

Apple wants to offer rentals for movies that just came out in theaters

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is in discussions with Hollywood studios about eventually offering home rentals for new movies two weeks after they’ve hit the silver screen, but at a price.

New flicks are usually available for purchase on the iTunes Store 90 days after theatrical releases, followed by rentals two to four weeks later.

Movie studios are now said to be discussing rentals two weeks after they open in theaters though encryption is among the concerns in these talks, the article notes. Read More

 

With T-Mobile’s new Digits service, your number can be used across multiple devices

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

U.S. wireless carrier today unveiled a new service, called Digits, which aims to uncouple your phone number from your mobile devices and wireless service plans.

According to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, Digits makes it so that you can use your T-Mobile number across multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, desktop PCs and wearable devices.

Digits will also permit you to use multiple T-Mobile numbers on the same device, making it easy to combine your work, home and personal numbers on a single smartphone with calls and texts appearing from the same number. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn rumored to spend $7 billion on U.S. expansion

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is said to be considering pouring as much as $7 billion into a massive expansion of its operations in the United States, looking to create 50,000 jobs within the country in the next four years, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Foxconn is reportedly looking to build a collection of U.S.-based assembly plants.

The company has confirmed being in preliminary discussions regarding expansion of its U.S. operations. CNBC earlier posted a slide which pegs the investment at $7 billion. Read More

 

iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus rumored to come in a brand new Red color option

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Apple is prototyping as many as ten next-generation iPhone models, and most analysts agree that the company will probably launch a trio of new handsets next year: an ‘iPhone 8’ with a wraparound OLED screen and all-new industrial design and LCD-based ‘iPhone 7s’ and ‘iPhone 7s Plus’ models. According to a new report Wednesday from the fairly reliable Japanese outlet Mac Otakara, LCD iPhones may come in a brand new Red color option. Read More

 

Apple’s machine learning researchers are now free to publish their findings

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 6, 2016

Apple demands that its machine learning (ML) experts and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers do no publish their findings in research papers or share results of their work with fellow ML/AI experts, which scientists think is preventing the company from recruiting the brightest minds in the field. Realizing its mistake, Apple is changing its stance.

As announced by Russ Salakhutd, Apple’s director of AI research, the company’s machine-learning researchers are now free to publish some of their breakthroughs in and confer with colleagues. Read More

 

Galaxy S8 rumored to drop 3.5mm audio jack, adopt USB-C & use in-screen Home button

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 6, 2016

SamMobile is reporting today that Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy S8 smartphone will replace the physical Home button with a non-moving variant embedded right behind its AMOLED screen. The firm is also said to adopt USB-C for charging and data transfer and ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack to make the phone thinner and lighter.

The Galaxy S8 should be unveiled in February 2017 and could beat Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 to the virtual Home button. Read More

 

iPhone 7 demand reportedly starts fading as iPhone 8 rumors continue picking up steam

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2016

Apple has enjoyed success with the new iPhone 7 family as the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus models saw strong demand, in some part due to Samsung’s Note 7 debacle. But demand for latest iPhones may have started to fade recently, forcing Apple to cut back on orders, Taiwanese supply chain sources told trade publication DigiTimes.

That’s especially true with the rumor-mill in high gear regarding next year’s massive iPhone 8 upgrade and all the talk of the so-called Tenth Anniversary iPhone gaining all-glassbezel-free industrial design and a wraparound OLED displays akin to that on the Galaxy S7 edge. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple plans to use drones and new indoor navigation features to improve Maps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2016

Apple is assembling a team of robotics and mapping experts that will use data-collecting drones to capture and update Maps information faster than its existing fleet of minivans that use cameras and other sensors to collect Maps data.

The company has reportedly hired at least one person from Amazon’s Prime Air division to help run the drone team, which is being assembled in Seattle. In addition, Apple is working on a brand new indoor view in Maps.

Indoor features would use pressure sensors, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in latest iPhones to let users easily navigate indoor areas such as airports, museums and other high-traffic buildings, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Alan Levin reported Thursday. Read More

 

Cook: AirPods shipping over the “next few weeks”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 30, 2016

We were originally promised the AirPods in “late October” before Apple delayed launch because, as the company explained in a statement, “we don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready.” Since then, multiple sources reported conflicting availability information pertaining to the product, ranging from end of November to year-end to January 2017.

According to an alleged reply that a MacRumors reader received after emailing Tim Cook, Apple’s first Bluetooth earphones with an in-house designed W1 wireless chip will be shipping to customers over the next few weeks. Read More

 

Is watchOS 4 finally going to get the Home screen right?

By Steffen Reich on Nov 30, 2016

Much was made of Apple’s third major software overhaul for watchOS this year with Control Center and the Dock seeing the light of day, finally making for a much beefier experience on our wrists. The one other central interface of Apple Watch received no love though, meaning users are still embroiled in a love-hate relationship with their watch’s Home screen. It is easy to let patience wear thin with respect to Apple not pushing the Home screen on Watch forward, then again it took Apple more than a couple of years to refine the iPhone’s Home screen, just to put matters into perspective.

Regardless of the pace at which Apple is planning to shape up the screen accessed by pressing the crown, design and functionality changes are eventually going to take place. It’s a highly emotive topic and any watch owner will be able to raise one or two aspects they either dislike about the Home screen or wished to be fundamentally different. Personally, with the arrival of my snappier Series 2 watch, the Home screen is about the only qualm I still have with Apple’s youngest product line. So there, let me add my voice to what the Home screen in watchOS 4 needs to implement in order to catch up with the rest of the operating system.

Read More

 

FDA emails reaffirm Apple may be developing a pair of cardiac monitoring devices

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Thanks to a recent Freedom of Information Act filing, we now know that Apple is still interested in developing a pair of FDA-regulated devices dedicated to cardiac monitoring.

This was revealed in a recent email exchange between officials at Apple and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was obtained Tuesday by Mobihealthnews.

Economic Daily News reported on Apple’s alleged interest in the creation of two health-tracking hardware products back in August. According to that report, the devices—one of which described as a “killer” gadget—should release some time in 2017. Read More

 

Amazon working on premium Echo model with 7″ touchscreen to “fend off competition”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Bloomberg’s well-informed Mark Gurman reported Monday that online retail giant Amazon is developing a brand new premium model of its Echo wireless speaker that will feature a built-in seven-inch touchscreen in an effort to “fend off competition” from Google’s Home device and Apple’s rumored entry into the connected home market with its own Siri-powered hardware.

Amazon may release a higher-end Echo device, known internally as “Knight,” early next year. It will target kitchens and cost more than the current Echo models. Read More

 

KGI predicts massive iPhone 8 upgrade cycle, 4.7″ model to feature wireless charging

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to clients this morning, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, predicting record 150 million iPhone sales in the second half of 2017. A 4.7-inch iPhone 8 with an LCD screen and glass casing should feature wireless charging, he wrote.

“Unprecedented replacement demand” will, of course, be led by a rumored high-end iPhone 8 model with brand new industrial design, power-saving OLED display technology and other “notably superior specifications” from the “less exciting” 4.7 and 5.5-inch LCD iPhones. Read More

 

100+ new creatures coming soon to Pokémon GO

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2016

After analyzing new code in a Pokémon GO update coming next month, The Silph Road has discovered that developer Niantic Labs will be adding more than a hundred new creatures to the popular augmented-reality game, including normal and legendary ones.

In addition to the new species, the code confirms other new features like Pokémon trading, player vs. player battles, new ways to raise/train your monsters and more.

The most recent Pokémon GO update added a Nearby Pokémon feature, the purple shape-shifting Pokémon, called Ditto, and other perks. Read More

 

Apple is said to have more than ten different iPhone 8 prototypes under development

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2016

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple has as many as ten different iPhone 8 prototypes under development, including a higher-priced model with an advanced display based on power-saving organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology that multiple industry sources, analysts and supply chain makers have been talking about for months now.

Asian suppliers have been asked to increase output of thinner OLED displays and submit prototype screens “with better resolution than ones from Samsung” to Apple. Read More

 

10.9″ iPad Pro to have the same footprint as 9.7″ model thanks to skinnier bezels

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2016

A new report Monday from the fairly reliable Japanese outlet Mac Otakara claims that Apple’s rumored 10.9-inch iPad Pro model (10.1/10.5-inch, depending on a source) will have the same footprint as the current 9.7-inch models thanks to a lot skinnier bezel on the left and right side.

Citing unnamed Taiwanese sources, the publication reports that the device will also be a tad thicker than the existing 9.7-inch iPads at 7.5 mm, making it thicker than the iPad Air 2 (6.1 mm) and the same thickness as the original iPad Air. Read More