iPhone 8 Color Rumor; 3 OLED iPhone 9 Models; Amazon Prime Poised to Pass Up Cable TV; Alexa Can Tell When Your Stuff is Out for Delivery; Future 3D Printing-Star Trek Replicator?

The latest iPhone 8 rumor is that there will be 4 colors, and one will be mirror like. 9to5mac.com says it will be either sliver or black…which is confusing, since there is already the pretty mirror-like Jet Black. Perhaps with the glass back, it will be even more mirror-like. You can admire it before you stuff it in an Otterbox so you don’t break your precious thousand buck toy! In other future iPhone news, 2018 reportedly will bring 3 new iPhone models, and all will have OLED displays. It’s over a year away, but Nikkei sees Apple suppliers preparing to meet the expected demand.

Amazon Prime is nipping at cable TV’s numbers. According to recode.net, there are 79 million US homes that have Amazon Prime, including Prime Video. That compares to 90 million who are paying for cable or satellite this year. Amazon’s numbers grew from 66 million to the 79 million year over year, to they may pass up pay TV by next year! It’s a desirable market, too…over 80% of America’s wealthiest households have Amazon Prime.

If you are like most of us, you probably go to Amazon’s website and obsess over when your loot is going to be delivered. Theverge.com says you can ask Alexa ‘where’s my stuff,’ and your Echo will track deliveries. Now, just in time for prime day, your Echo will also light up a different color on delivery day. Alexa will ask you if you want to be notified when your package is out for delivery. For some of us, the Echo’s LED ring will probably actually stay that ‘out for delivery’ color all the time!

3D printing just gets more amazing all the time. They are building everything from toys to food to cars to houses right now…some admittedly pretty crude. Zdnet.com says the logical extension will be the Star Trek replicator making our food …or ‘Tea…Earl Grey….hot!’ They point out that there is a difference between printing materials at the molecular level and the micron level, but it’s really not that much. We may not see this right away, but it’s definitely on the horizon. With improving printers to work at the molecular level and better voice assistants, we could all be Captain Picard in this lifetime!


Samsung Smart Glow LED Coming to Galaxy J2 & Galaxy 8; More Memory for iPhone 7; The Chemputer Will Grow Drones & Our Robot Overlords

Samsung has been working on an LED ring that glows different colors and flashes different patterns surrounding the rear camera for notifications. 9to5google.com reports that it will be out on the Galaxy J2 next week in India, and will be a feature on the upcoming Galaxy S8 we should see next spring. It’s designed to give notification of priority messages or calls you can set from people you most want to her from.

After some iffy rumors elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that the iPhone 7 will indeed ditch the 16GB tier. For the first time ever, the base iPhone model will come in at 32GB. It’s looking like the 7 will have 64 and 128 gig options, and the bigger Plus or Pro will have 128 and 256 gig memory at additional cost. With bigger, better cameras, Apple figures we’ll all be shooting more pictures and video than ever.

BAE Systems has posted concept video footage of a process to create drones of the future. The so-called Chemputer could enable advanced chemical processes to grow aircraft and some of their complex electronic systems, conceivably from a molecular level upwards. They have trademarked the word chemputer, btw.

The video shows a drone being produced in a large vat of chemicals and then moved to a staging area where a robotic arm inserts what are, presumably, the drone’s engine components. Sure this is just a concept, but BAE Systems has a track record of turning concepts into reality. It’s kind of a logical extension to making things too complicated for 3D printing. Get ready to welcome our drone and robot overlords!

Google and Twitter Partnering For Instant News Articles

Google and Twitter are partnering on making their own version of instant news articles. Recode.net says they are teaming up with a small group of publishers, and should launch this fall…joining the likes of Facebook, Apple, and Snapchat. The plan is for either Twitter users or people using Google search who click on a link via their smartphones to see the full article pop up on screen nearly instantly, instead of having to wait several seconds. A big difference between the Google-Twitter partnership and the others is that this one is based on open source publishing tools. The articles are also cached from the publishers’ sites, not hosted by Google. An interesting twist is that it will operate without either Google or Twitter branding.

It’s both amazing and a little creepy…we are on the verge of becoming like Wolverine! After a Spanish man lost his sternum and part of his rib cage to cancer, surgeons at Salamanca University installed a 3D printed replacement out of titanium. Gizmodo.com reports the implant was made by Anatomics in Australia. This isn’t the 3D printer the geek next door has in the garage…titanium is tricky…it’s a $1.3 million electron beam Arcam 3D printer. The patient was out of the hospital after 12 days, and is recovering well…and part of him is pretty bulletproof, now!

LG’s Urbane Smartwatch Gains Independent Phoning

LG has upgraded it’s new Watch Urbane already. Engadget.com says it can call on LTE without a phone, make NFC payments, and use mobile data…but it has a third the battery life of a phone. It also has a two way radio feature-calling Dick Tracy! LG will show more of it at Mobile World Congress in March.

Future iPhones will be harder than ever for thieves to unload. BGR.com reports that Apple has patented a feature that requires the passcode to shutdown. Otherwise, the phone LOOKS shut down, but still transmits its location to Find My iPhone.

Amazon has filed patents for actual on demand delivery. According to Geekwire.com, they would print at a warehouse or even show up with a truck, and 3D print the item for you on the spot.

LG Smartphone Sales Are Up Dramatically

Sales are flat for Samsung, but LG shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the third quarter. Techcrunch.com says that’s up 39% from a year ago. The flagship G3 did well, but was helped by sales of mid price models.

The former head of Google Wallet has launched Poynt, a so-called ‘future proof’ point of sale machine for stores. The verge.com reports it will read magnetic strip cards, chip & pin cards, NFC like Apple Pay, QR codes, and even Bluetooth Beacons.

HP has revealed more about its new 3D printing tech. Engadget.com says it uses a 4 step process to print 3D parts similarly to how an inkjet printer prints documents. HP claims products like gears could be made 10 times faster than with conventional methods.

The Nexus 6-Bigger than iPhone 6 Plus, With a Price to Match

Google’s monster 6 inch Nexus 6, just introduced yesterday is $650, up from the $350 of the old Nexus 5. Geek.com says they’re positioning it as a flagship handset. Preorders start October 29th.

Lenovo, the Chinese laptop company spun off from IBM, already makes smartphones, but is starting a new company to focus exclusively on smart devices. Cnet.com reports they will primarily focus on internet sales in China.

Another use for 3D printing…WonderLuk is using it to customize fashion accessories. Techcrunch.com says they believe in 5 years, 3D printing will allow for perfectly fitted clothes, delivered to your door.

Android Wear Gets a Smartphone App

Android Wear, Google’s smart watch system, now has a companion app, according to tech crunch.com. The app lets you configure your smart watch on your Android phone’s bigger screen.

Engadget.com reports that scientists at Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and University of Sydney have gotten past a major hurdle in printing 3D organ replacements. They can now also print the blood vessels in them.

Apple has a new patent to make your devices more secure. 9t05mac.com says it automatically configures security and other settings of a device based on biosensors that determine the location and habits of the user.