Apple’s long-rumored Amazon Echo competitor is real. It’s called the HomePod (yes, I know). “We want to reinvent home music,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the company’s WWDC keynote. The Apple Speaker is focused on music first, not Siri.
Apple’s SVP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller said Sonos aren’t smart speakers and Amazon Echos aren’t good speakers. So Apple wants to combine the best of both worlds. It’s a smart marketing strategy. HomePod is shipping later this year — it’s not quite ready for prime time.
When it comes to tech giants, Apple and Amazon have one of the better rivalries.
Both are trying to be the living-room platform of the future. Apple is doing that through Apple TV; Amazon is doing that through its Fire sticks and boxes. Neither wants to cede ground to the other, which has meant they haven’t been playing nice.
The result? No Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV owners, and no Apple TVs available on Amazon.com. For now.
Last week, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the company would invest $1 billion in a U.S. “advanced manufacturing fund.”
As the CEO of a manufacturing company, even I have no idea what Cook means by an “advanced manufacturing fund,” and I don’t think Apple (AAPL, -0.82%) wants me or anyone else to know, which is why it makes for such good publicity. The company announced last week that its cash reserves hit $256.8 billion in the fiscal second quarter, then doesn’t give any other specifics, and saves those specifics, as Cook says, for a later date. Apple will keep beating the drum of how it’s “investing in America,” but won’t ever provide any specifics as to how the money is used other than to create more manufacturing jobs or how many American jobs it creates. And if it does, it will be harder to trace than an Iranian cash deal.
Rejoice lovers of petite-sized iPhones, for Apple is granting additional storage bounty — announcing today it’s doubling the current storage capacity of the iPhone SE.
The new four-inch display iPhone comes with either 32GB or 128GB on board storage, replacing the prior 16GB and 64GB models — but with only a small price-tag bump for the more capacious model (+ $50, to $499), and no price change for the $399 starter model.
As with all iOS devices there’s no ability for users to expand storage capacity themselves via a removable memory card. You get what you’re given on the storage front — so being given more is very welcome.
Last week, Apple finally revealed its grand plan to conquer your TV: a new Apple TV app that brings all your shows and movies together in one place and serves you recommendations.
The idea makes sense. Apple thinks apps are the future of TV, and that eventually you will have separate subscriptions to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu, and so on — maybe you already do.
In that world, it will be annoying to have to navigate a bunch of different interfaces and menus. So Apple will do it for you with a new app called TV, which not only works on your Apple TV, but also on your iPhone or iPad.
It looks as though 90% of the Apple power accessories sold on Amazon, such as chargers and cables, are fake, according to a legal document from Apple obtained by Patently Apple. In the document, Apple claims it bought “well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables” from Amazon and found that nearly 90% of the accessories were fake.
Apart from potentially not working as well as genuine Apple products, Apple also claims that counterfeit Apple power accessories can cause property damage and even bodily harm. The company says in the document that counterfeit accessories are often poorly built with “inferior” — and even missing — parts, and they don’t go through industry-standard safety tests. As a result, they risk catching fire or sending “deadly” electric shocks to users during normal usage.
First they came for the bulky 30-pin docking connector. Then the 3.5mm headphone jack was removed from the iPhone. What will Apple remove next? A newly granted patent published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office offers another clue. In a bid to reduce the physical imperfections on the iPhone’s external design, Apple could drop the lightning port.
Patent #9,453,976 was granted today, and details a system where data could flow between two devices through an optical interface. This would use a series of tiny holes that in concert would allow enough optical information to pass through:
It’s worth wondering if we’d be further along in our quest for the ultimate smart home if we had never called it a Smart Home.
The idea that an entire dwelling could achieve something approaching sentience in one-fell swoop was always ludicrous. While our homes represent a singular idea, they’re comprised of a million competing ones. Invariably it’s a hodgepodge, an eclectic mix of design, decor, gadgets and interfaces.
We buy what we like and what we think will fill a utility gap. The refrigerator is purchased for one reason, while the electric stove is for another. Our dish washing machine might be from Kenmore while our clothes dryer is from Samsung.
We buy one set of shades for one room and a different set for another.
In the early days of the smart home revolution, manufacturers tried to sell consumers on a cohesive idea: turnkey systems installed by professionals with a centrally managed interface that only a Mensa candidate could figure out.
How does Apple head off accusations that the iPhone 7 will look dull and alienate people? Perhaps by giving prospective owners the one thing they all crave…
Continuing his prolific run, the ever reliable Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks) of Nowhereelse.fr took to Twitter last night to announce a source close to him has revealed the iPhone 7 will receive the largest iPhone battery upgrade in the line’s history.
Hemmerstoffer says the iPhone 7’s battery capacity will jump over 14% compared to the iPhone 6S, an increase from 1715 mAh to 1960 mAh in real terms.
The Indian government has rejected a request by Apple to import and sell refurbished iPhones in the country, Bloomberg reports.
It’s a major setback to Apple’s India strategy, a major component of which was reusing old iPhones as a low-cost option in addition to selling new iPhones, which are too expensive for many Indians.
Indian smartphone companies opposed Apple’s application, according to Bloomberg.