Car

Apple Music time-synced lyrics, Apple Podcasts now available on Porsche’s all-electric Taycan

The Taycan, an all-electric car made by German automobile manufacturer Porsche, has gained exclusive integration with Apple Music's time-synced lyrics. The vehicle features over 600 PS and a 90 kWh battery. The Taycan previously became the first-ever car maker to integrate the Apple Music service directly via the car's built-in touchscreen display, no CarPlay needed.

This tweak shows Spotify’s car mode interface at all times

The Spotify Music app sports a magnificent Now Playing interface that rivals even Apple’s own first party Apple Music streaming app in terms of aesthetics and usability. But if you’ve ever linked your iPhone to your car via Bluetooth before, then you’ve unquestionably witnessed Spotify’s simplified Now Playing interface.

Even if you’re not driving, this Now Playing interface may be preferred in some cases because it’s easier to operate whether you’re distracted or not. A newly released and free jailbreak tweak dubbed Spotify Car Mode Emulation by iOS developer aesthyrica can force your Spotify app to show this Now Playing interface all the time, whether you’re connected to a car via Bluetooth or not.

Apple needs revolutionary LiDAR sensors for self-driving cars

Apple has held preliminary discussions with four unnamed suppliers of LiDAR sensors for self-driving vehicles. That might indicate that the Cupertino giant has rebooted its self-driving hardware, code-named Project Titan, although the sensors could also be for the vehicles used in the company's in-house shuttle service for employees.

Charging your Apple Pencil 2 could prevent you from unlocking your car

Wireless charging in the second-generation Apple Pencil may interfere with your car's key fob and cause intermittent issues when attempting to unlock the vehicle, Apple has acknowledged.

As first noted by French blog iGeneration.fr (Google Translate), a recent update to Apple's support document covering using Apple Pencil with iPad or iPad Pro explains that the wireless charging feature of Apple Pencil 2, when being used, tends to clash with key fobs.

Should that happen to you, store the stylus separately so it doesn't charge wirelessly when attempting to unlock the car or simply move the tablet away from the key fob.

If you're charging your Apple Pencil (2nd generation) with your iPad Pro and your car's keyless entry device (key fob) is nearby, signal interference might prevent you from unlocking your car with your key fob.

If this happens, you can simply move your iPad Pro away from the key fob or remove your Apple Pencil from your iPad Pro and store it separately. When Apple Pencil is finished charging, any resulting signal interference will cease.

I own both the latest iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, but have yet to experience this issue (for context, I drive my car every day and my iPad goes with me everywhere I go). Aside from Apple's advice, I'd also recommend trying holding your fob closer to the antenna, usually located near the radio antenna, that communicates with the door locks.

In one example, a DJ’s light-control panel was designed to send out intermittent signals but somehow transmitted a continuous stream of data on the same frequency used by some vehicle remote controls, as explained in a recent WardsAuto article:

Since the beginning of the year motorists in a section of Yonkers, 15 miles (24 km) north of Times Square, were unable to unlock their cars with remote-control fobs. Some drivers of cars without keys simply were unable to enter their vehicles because of unexplained electronic interference.

Due to poor shielding or wiring, some key fobs can generate harmonic interference and even unintentional interference. The same goes for a whole host of other wireless devices, including your iPad Pro's Wi-Fi and the tiny wireless charging coils in the new Apple Pencil.

Key fobs generally trigger signals on two bandwidths: 315 mHz and 434 mHz.

Photo: A Tesla key fob has an option to pull the car forward and backward remotely

Apple dismisses 200+ employees from its stealthy autonomous vehicle initiative

Apple this week reportedly laid off more than two-hundred employees from its stealthy autonomous vehicle group, dubbed Project Titan.

Other employees who were impacted by the project's restructuring are staying at Apple, but moving to different parts of the company.

According to people familiar with Apple's motives who spoke with CNBC, the layoffs were internally billed "as a kind of restructuring under the relatively new leadership."

A spokesperson for the California firm was quoted as saying:

We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.

We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.

"The most ambitious machine learning project ever" could not be a more apt description of any autonomous driving project, really.

Apple last August hired Doug Field, Tesla's engineering vice president, to lead the Project Titan team alongside Apple's former un-retired hardware chief Bob Mansfield.

Although investors have burned billions of dollars on autonomous driving startups and companies like Tesla, Uber, Waymo and Cruise, the technology just isn't there yet.

In 2016, Project Titan shifted focus from electric cars to autonomous driving systems, but fruits of those efforts have yet to materialize as details of what Apple's up to are hazy.

What do you think about Project Titan?

Let us know in the comments!