Less Than 2 Weeks to Amazon Prime Day; Apple Patents Concert Recording Killer Tech

Get your plastic ready, Amazon Prime members! The 2nd Prime Day is coming up July 12th, and Amazon is touting 100,000 deals according to geekwire.com. They also say some customer complaints have been addressed…you’ll be able to track deals by item and category through the mobile app now. Prime Day last year eclipsed Amazon’s biggest Black Friday for sales.

Apple has patented a sure fire way to make sure no Deadheads ever buy another iPhone. Thenextweb.com reports that they’ve patented a way to block recordings of concerts using infrared signals. It can basically remotely disable your camera! On the plus side, the tech also would allow messages to pop up about museum exhibits, or you could point it at an item and get a tip about a discount, so there’s that. Before everyone starts marching on Cupertino, keep in mind just having a patent granted doesn’t mean Apple is going to be using the tech, either soon or ever.


Samsung Working on a Glass-Like Visor; Huawei Sticking With Android for Now; Twitter Adds Stickers

Digitaltrends.com says Samsung recently filed a patent application for Samsung Ahead, a headset described as a “wearable computer” built “in the shape of a helmet.” Yes, that smacks a bit of Google Glass. The application describes an operating system for a “digital electronic device” that sports built-in support for “electronic display modules” like a screen, plus headphone hardware capable of “MP3” and “MP4” playback and “digital communication” and such peripherals as “digital camera” and “camcorders.” Somehow, ‘Helmet Heads’ or ‘Samholes’ doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘Glassholes.’

Just last week, The Information reported that Huawei has assembled a team working to replace Android for their smartphones and tablets. Bgr.com reports that the company’s CEO Richard Yu went on social media site Weibo over the weekend to confirm that Huawei will continue to use Android as long as Google keeps it open. Samsung has already shown just how tough it is to launch a new OS and have it take hold. Tizen has been in various stages of release since 2012, but try to find someone that’s not a mega-nerd who has even heard of it.

Thenextweb.com notes that Twitter is introducing stickers for images uploaded to your feed, which are also searchable when tapped. Here’s how it works: you upload an image to Twitter, then pick a sticker or stickers to put on it. Once you post the image, stickers become searchable when tapped. You can only use Twitter’s stickers, not 3rd party ones. It may seem a bit silly, but with a sticker, you don’t have to use up your 140 characters with hashtag words, so it can save big space on your posts.

Sharp May Be Third Supplier of OLED Screens for 10th Anniversary iPhone; Netflix May Launch Downloading

According to 9to5mac.com, Apple may not need to rely completely on the two major manufacturers of OLED screens for the iPhone 8. While Samsung and LG currently manufacture most of the world’s OLED screens, Sharp expects to be doing the same ‘before 2018’.

A story in Light Reading picked up by bgr.com says Netflix will go live by the end of the year with downloading, which would allow offline viewing as an option. Not surprisingly, Netflix will not confirm or deny this. Although most people are generally happy streaming TV shows and movies, this would be a big plus for road trips and flying, or places where you know they aren’t going to have a fast or reliable internet connection.

Samsung Gets Laptop That Converts to Tablet; Repositioned Sensors on iPhone 7 Mean New Cases

Samsung is getting in on the growing market for laptops that convert to a tablet, thanks to a bendy hinge. Lenovo has had success with their convertibles, and Mashable.com reports that now Samsung had dropped the Notebook 7 Spin in 13.3 and 15.6 screen sizes. They run Windows 10 with Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processors, and start at $800 for the 13 incher and a grand for the 15. The Notebook 7 Spins should be in Best Buy stores the 26th.

Besides moving the antenna bands, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus should be indistinguishable from the 6S models…that is, unless you are a case or screen protector maker. According to appleinsider.com, Apple has moved the ambient light and proximity sensors, on the front panel. Those, in addition to the larger camera openings needed will make present case models and screen protectors obsolete. I will probably go for the larger phone model anyway, but for those who aren’t…thanks a lot, Apple….you’ll have to buy new cases when you upgrade.

Minor Refresh of iPhone 7-Big Changes Next Year; Samsung Gear 360 Cam Now in Limited US Availability

After we noted reports here Monday that Apple would keep the audio jack on iPhone 7, several similar stories appeared Tuesday in WSJ, CNBC, & Business Insider, saying Apple WILL ditch the 3.5 mm phone jack. Looks like Apple may have planted these stories….sorry headphone fans, we’re all screwed. You will either need a Lightening adapter and dongle, or new Lightening or wireless headphones. Music companies will love this, as with no analog output, digital rights management will make sharing music harder. Also, reports are the 7 won’t be a major update…1 mm thinner, and moved antenna bands, but basically the same as the 6S and 6S Plus, albeit with upgraded processor and memory, and the dual camera on the Plus. Apparently, the tech isn’t ready for what Jony Ive wants until next year…OLED screen, and all glass phone…no physical button, and no bezel around the edges for iPhone’s 10th anniversary.

Samsung announced their Gear 360 VR camera earlier this year, and said it wouldn’t be available for a while in the US. That time has arrived, according to cnet.com. The cam is in limited availability for $350. If you’re able to score one, you can shoot your own VR videos for VR headsets. This week, you can only buy it at VidCon in Anaheim, and Samsung says they will have more details about further availability later. They have been on sale in South Korea and Singapore since April.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Rumors; Huge Twitter Video Move

The Samsung Galaxy S8 may sport a UHD 4K display, and feature a dual main camera. 9to5google reports that and unnamed source in China claims Samsung is looking at an Ultra HD 4K display. The downside would be a huge battery drain, but it would produce a fantastic VR experience. Much more likely is a dual camera setup, which LG and Huawei already have, and Apple is supposed to be rolling out on the iPhone 7 Plus in September.

On the topic of video, Twitter is making a huge change involving Vine. According to recode.net, they are introducing a feature to Vine videos. the Vines will still be 6 seconds, but along side them will be a function allowing 140 second videos! Twitter is also adding a Watch Mode and expanding the video length in the main app from 30 to 140 seconds! They will also allow content creators to use Twitter Amplify and run pre-roll ads before a Vine starts…Twitter will keep 30% of the revenue, with the content creators getting 70%.

iPhone 7 May Retain Headphone Jack; B of A ATMs getting Apple Pay; Twitter Acquires Another Machine Learning Company

Some new leaked pictures from a generally reliable source indicate that one of the biggest…and most hated….rumors about the iPhone 7 may not be true. Engadget.com says snaps from Chinese repair shop Rock Fix show a lightening port assembly that includes the beloved 3.5 mm audio jack. Also shown in shots are a dual SIM tray and 32 and 256 Gig chips, indicating that the base phone will be 32 gig, not 16, and there will be 256 Gig memory option.

9to5mac reports that Bank of America has some ATMs in place that allow withdrawing cash using Apple Pay. One was spotted in Redondo Beach with the Apple Pay logo and an NFC reader. You can’t make deposits with it, but of course you can already make those using B of A’s app on a smartphone, as well as do transfers between accounts. So far, it only works with B of A’s own cards, not others. Chase and Wells Fargo have also announced adding Apple Pay to ATMs but none have been seen yet.

Twitter has bought Magic Pony Technology for 150 million, according to TechCrunch.com. They use neural networks….basically machine learning…to improve images and videos. The technology can also help develop graphics for VR and AR. Twitter already had bought machine learning tech companies Whetlab and Madbits.

WWDC Keynote Brief Hilights

iOS 10

If you use the notifications on the lock screen, Raise to Wake lets you see them before you hit the button and go to the home screen.

3D Touch allows you to reply to apps including 3rd party ones right from the lock screen.

Control Center has a right swipe now, with a dedicated music screen.

You can also right slide on Lock Screen, and get to the Camera.

Left swipe, and get to your widgets.

They are opening up Siri to developers. Some interesting things should come from this!

Improved contextual suggestions when you’re typing through deep learning.

Photos….significant changes. Adding object and scene recognition to Face recognition, and giving you the opportunity to see pix on a map. It’s all done locally on the iPhone. They also will categorized by trip and dates, and groups of people. A new interface is supposed to pull all these together through a new tab called Memories. In addition to your pix from an event, it will create a collage of what it picks as best, and even put them into a movie with sappy music. You can use key words like ‘epic’ to get different sappy music.

Maps has some cool new proactive updated functions, but also open to developers too, now. For example, Open Table would not only show the location, but you could book a reservation, book a car, and pay for both with Apple Pay all within the app.

Apple Music has finally gotten a redesign from the ground up. It will open to your library first, and they’ve added downloaded music to playlists, songs, artists, etc. You can finally see which songs have actually been downloaded to your phone, instead of being in the cloud.

There is also a discovery playlist, and new curated music, or you can use the Artist Connect to see stuff artist you follow have uploaded…pix, tour info, etc.

Updated design to their Apple News. It will create categories for you based on what you read. They also rolled out subscriptions, so you can now read publications right in the app.

HomeKit- They have added cameras, door locks, air conditioners, and more, and some major builders are integrating HomeKit into new houses now. A new app called Home has all your HomeKit controlled accessories on one screen. Scenes lets you lock the door, turn lights down and off, etc.

You can access all of your stuff from your phone remotely through Apple TV securely.

They have added transcription to voicemail on your phone, so you can read it instead of listening. Another feature uses a giant database to show if incoming calls from unknown numbers might be spam or telemarketers.

Your contact card remembers how you usually communicate, and hi lights that…if you text or call or Skype, or whatever mode you prefer.

Messages is the most frequently used app on iOS. They have added rich links that ads art work from the web automatically. You can tap camera in Messages, and it brings up a live viewfinder right in Messages so you can shoot and send.

Emoji are 3 times bigger in Messages. They have added emoji predictions, and even can add them after you finish tapping….it will hi light words that have emoji associated with them and you can tap and add.

They have added bubble effects…you can make the bubbles wiggle, jump in size, or even appear in ‘invisible ink’ so stuff will appear then disappear right in the app.

Quick replies allow you to quickly select a thumbs up, etc, but you can also scribble with your finger in your own crummy handwriting.

You can now access Apple Music right in Messages, and share songs.

They have a Jib Jab function that lets you plug in faces of your friends on a wacky moving Jib Jab character.

iOS 10 supports all iOS 9 devices except the iPhone 4s and iPad 2.

Mac OS update is called Sierra.

Siri is coming to the Mac, as the headline feature update. They are saying ‘it’s the same Siri we know and love,’ or in the case of some of us, know and hate…

Using the Continuity feature, where your devices sense each other, will now use the connection between Watch or iPhone to auto unlock and log in to your Mac, using a super secure connection. It only works when you’re right by it.

A universal clipboard will let you copy and paste items from, for example, your iPhone right to the clipboard on the Mac!

iCloud Drive will allow you to access stuff in your Documents and Desktop between Macs and from your Mac to your iPhone.

A new interface is offered to let you store older files in the Cloud, and will auto clear some stuff to free up space. For example, it will clear the Safari cache monthly.

Apple Pay is coming to the Mac….it will be web based. Now there will be a ‘pay with Apple Pay screen that will pop up. While shopping online, you can authenticate with your iPhone or Watch.

TV OS….Sling TV available today. New remote app that mimics Siri Remote. Live Tune in lets you load a channel app and start watching instantly.

Watch OS 3.0

Apps will load instantly. Scribble allows you to write replies in addition to just picking Apple’s canned ones. There are a number of updated screens, including showing the temp or your exercise circles on the home screen. You can swipe through the apps quickly, or even swipe faster using the little dots at the bottom of the screen.

A screen gives you a choice of different timers, and another shows you your calendars and to-do lists, etc.

One of the cool new adds is SOS, which will call 911 (or whatever emergency number in different countries) and it will also send your medical card…then, notify your family or contacts you have chosen automatically…and show them a map of where you are. It works over cellular or Wi-Fi.