Apple-WWDC & iPhone News; Amazon One Day Shipping & Shrinkage; Google Pixel Price Screw Up; USAF Gets Lasers Dr. Evil Would Love

New rumors for what we might see at Apple’s WWDC have landed. According to 9to5mac.com, the Apple Watch may get its own App Store ON the Watch! This would launch with WatchOS 6. ‘Dose’ and ‘Cycles’ apps for pill reminders and menstrual cycle tracking respectively. A couple watch faces with ‘X-Large’ fonts. iOS 13 will get Dark Mode toggling right in the Control Center, and a new, systemwide Sleep Mode is coming that also works in Control Center. It turns on Do Not Disturb, darkens the Lock Screen, and mutes all notifications. An improved Maps app, including easier setting of frequent locations.

On the iPhone front, well-reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 2019 iPhones will get a new antenna design…a modified-PI structure. It should help coverage with high-frequency cellular transmissions. It should bring better performance to LTE, and obviously looks ahead to 5G tech. A down side…the new tech is 10-20% more expensive…but don’t expect that kind of a bump in prices…that’s just for the antenna part, which isn’t a huge factor in iPhone materials costs.

It’s been reported that Amazon is gearing up for 1 day shipping for Prime members as standard. Now, CNBC has crunched the numbers, and determined that Amazon can ALREADY ship one-day to 72% of the US population. The have made significant progress in building their delivery network in the past 4 years, via acquiring planes for Prime Air and adding more delivery partners. According to RBC Capital Markets, Amazon has double the distribution space as Home Depot! If you need something immediately, a brick and mortar store is still your best bet in most cases, but one-day delivery cuts in to that advantage significantly.

With all the security Amazon has around their distribution centers, and horror stories about employees tracked so closely that can barely take a bathroom break, you’d think shrinkage…or employee theft…would be almost impossible. Apparently not! Geek.com reports that 4 Amazon warehouse workers have been busted in Delaware for making off with $100,000 worth of Apple Watches and other merchandise. In a police photo after the bust, you can make out some 9 Apple watches, an iPad, and a laptop. Trial dates have been set for 3 of them, with a warrant out for the 4th, who flew the coop.

We reported last week on how soft sales had seen Google offer 50% off on Pixel phones if bought through GoogleFi. Now, 9to5google.com says there was a screw up. People who chose to but the phone with a payment plan were accidentally charged full price for the phones…not even the $200 discount Google is still offering on them! Google has acknowledged the goof, and is making the discount price good to all who bought phones through this channel.

Dr Evil’s greatest thrill in Mike Myers’ Austin Powers movies was ‘Sharks with fricking laser beams!’ He would probably get a pretty good rise out of what theverge.com is reporting now. Apparently, the US Air Force has successfully tested a jet mounted laser system that can shoot down multiple targets…whether they are surface to air launched missiles or air to air from enemy planes. The laser system can reportedly recharge nearly instantly, so it is a formidable defensive weapon. Of course, it comes with the usual military naming convention…SHiELD….for Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator. The one down side is true of all lasers…weather. It will be of limited or zero usefulness in heavy fog, etc. The Army is also testing such a system for Apache attack choppers, and the Navy is working on one for warships. Pew, pew, pew!



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