Apple May Let Chrome & Gmail Be Defaults on iOS; Microsoft Defender Coming to Android & iOS; CBS All Access Getting Tons of New Content; Hyundai Takes Automatic Shift to New Levels

Apple is thinking about letting users use third party apps as the default on iPhones and iPads. Theverge.com reports that this includes Chrome as a default browser and Gmail as your default mail app. As Ron Popeil of infomercial fame used to say, ‘But wait…there’s more!’ Apple is even reportedly working on allowing third party music services like Spotify run directly on the HomePod smart speaker. Another possibility is that they will allow Siri to send messages over third party messaging apps. The changes could come as soon as later this year with the release of iOS 14. Part of the sudden magnanimous attitude by Apple may be driven by the EU’s antitrust investigation into how Apple manages its platforms.

Microsoft has announced that they will make available their Defender software to Android and iOS devices later this year. According to CNBC, they expect it to help you protect your devices from malware and phishing attacks. Redmond had already announced a more robust Office package for mobile devices, essentially compressing Word, Excel, and Powerpoint into one Swiss Army knife type app. Defender was originally introduced on Windows PCs back in 2006, and Microsoft says security has become an $80 billion market.

CBS All Access, the streaming service owned by ViacomCBS post merger, is expanding and picking up content. Techcrunch.com says they will be offering a broad pay service, in addition to their existing free streaming service and premium Showtime stream. In addition to more movies and shows, they will have more content from brands like Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Smithsonian, and Paramount. CBS says they will be adding 30,000 TV episodes and up to 1,000 movies to the service.

Hyundai is really taking automatic shift to a new level. Automatic transmissions have always had the task of shifting through the gears with a goal of either better performance or better mileage than most drivers can get shifting manually. Cnet.com reports that Hyundai has developed a predictive Information and Communication Technology Connected Shift System. What it does is utilize info from 3D navigation maps, cameras, and radar to further optimize shifting via software. A fuel saving example: you’re stuck in a long stretch of beep and creep traffic. The system will keep the car in neutral as much as possible, only shifting back into gear when you press the pedal and need to move. According to Hyundai (which will also use the system in their Kia line), the automation dropped the number of shifts on winding roads by 43%, and drivers used their brakes 11% less. The system can tell when a driver is merging onto a freeway, and automatically goes into sport mode for quicker shifts. Once at speed, it will return to economy mode. Hyundai says the system will be out soon. A later version using LTE (or better…5G) will be able to predict shift patterns as you approach stoplights.



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