Samsung Leak-4 Versions of Galaxy S10; iPhone Xs & Xs Max Ram & Battery Info; Fitbit Care Service; Woof! Sony’s Aibo Robot Dog

The Samsung Galaxy S9 hasn’t set any records so far…in fact, it’s the slowest selling Galaxy S phone series since 2012. That may be changing, though. Bgr.com says a new leak points to as any as 4 Galaxy S10 models! All will be powered by 7 nanometer chips like the new iPhones. It appears all will also be ‘full screen’ designs, again like Apple’s phones. On top of that, besting Apple at least this time around, there will be at least one with a triple-lens camera…AND a dual lens front selfie cam, too! The phones should rock an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor…it will live behind the display, so no fooling around to find the sensor on the back. There will be a new Chapter model, with slightly less dramatic specs, plus the main phone…with a 5.8 inch super AMOLED display, a bigger one with a 6.44 inch screen, and the 5 cameras, finally…a 5G model! We may see all of these, plus the long-rumored folding Samsung shoe at CES in Las Vegas this coming January.

Thanks to China’s Ministry of Industry, we now know the memory size of the new iPhones and their battery size. Macrumors.com reports that both the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max have 4 Gigs of RAM…the upcoming XR has 3 Gigs. The Xs Max sports the biggest battery ever in an Apple handset…3174 mAh, while the XR will have 2942 mAh. The Xs loses battery capacity compared to the X, going from 2716 down to 2658 mAh, a drop of 2.2%. Apple touts 90 more minutes of use time from the Xs Max over the old X, but several early testers say they are doing noticeably better than that.

Apple is far from alone when it comes to wearables getting into the health market…Fitbit has launched Fitbit Care, a service that will coat on staying well…whether it comes to slogging through your fitness plan or managing diseases. According to theverge.com, the service is a premium product designed for health care customers or employers and health systems that use Fitbit to keep tabs on employee health (and keep costs down.) There’s a new app (of course) called Fitbit Plus. It processes data from your Fitbit and other medical devices like blood pressure monitors. The app also features a social platform. First users are those with health insurance from Humana, which already provides customers with Fitbits. We will probably see a number of other companies dive in now that both Apple’s Watch and Fitbit devices have embraced health whole hog…or maybe that’s half-hog….or vegan, artificial hog.

Grab your credit card, and swallow hard…Sony’s revamped Aibo robot dog is up for pre-order in the US. Engadget.com says the adorable pup for early adapters, robot fans, and dog lovers that are allergic to actual pets ships mid-December. You’ll get Aibo, an ‘aibone,’ a pink ball, paw pads, and 3 years of AI cloud service…all for the small fee of (gulp) $2900! That’s more than a couple vet visits and a year’s supply of dog food for most! If you have the nearly 3 grand to throw down, hurry…it’s a limited edition!

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iPhone XR Could Be Half New iPhone Sales; Zuck Says FB Needs Help On Election Prep; Mapillary Partners With Amazon- Parking Spot Tech

DigiTimes is prediction that Apple’s new lineup of iPhones should end up with sales of over 85 million units the second half of this year. Macrumors.com reports that DigiTimes also predicts that the new, less expensive iPhone XR could account for over half of new iPhone sales. The estimates are based on supply chain information and Apple’s previous year sales. The XR goes on preorder next month, while the two more expensive models, Xs and Xs Max can be preordered tomorrow.

With less than 60 days to the US midterm elections, Mark Zuckerberg is warning that Facebook can’t fight election interference alone. According to businessinsider.com, Zuck dropped a 3,000 word essay titled “Preparing for Elections.” He says Facebook has started proactively cooperating with state officials to solve the problem of election interference. Although not apologizing for Facebook’s role in the last elections re fake news, Zuckerberg has admitted he should have taken the problem more seriously, and the essay crystalizes his (and Facebook’s) thinking on how they can do better moving forward…but that they need the help of governments, other tech companies, and journalists.

Mapillary has partnered with Amazon Rekognition for visual data analysis to try to make it easier for people to find parking in congested urban areas. Venturebeat.com says the Swedish startup is developing a street level imagery platform that used computer vision tech to enhance digital maps. They will use Amazon’s text-in-image feature to scan parking sign data on a massive scale. The startup already has 350 million images, but will need the Amazon system to read the text on signs that tell how many spaces are available, etc. In initial tests of 40,000 signs, they are correct 95% of the time. Any app that makes it less of a hassle to find parking will be welcomed everywhere.


Apple Recapple

Apple is about to ship their 2 billionth iOS device…2 billion iOS devices, first billion dollar company. Suppose there’s a connection here?

Watch

It will be called Watch Series 4, despite rumors to the contrary.
The display is bigger, and curves over the corners. Screens are 35% and 32% larger, but the watch is thinner, and has thinner bezels to get more screen space. New faces display multiple time zones or more health and fitness complications. There are faces that display sports scores, some spacey ones with moving graphics.

The digital crown now includes haptic feedback….it’s more precise. The new speaker is 50% louder, and the mic has been moved to the opposite side from the speaker so you won’t get feedback.

New back is now ceramic and sapphire. Radio signals can pass through both the front and back, giving better coverage for calls.

New faster processor, dual core 64 bit with 2X faster performance.

New accelerometer and gyroscope can detect hard falls. It will pop up a screen that says the fall is detected, do you want to call for help. If you don’t in a minute, it will call 911 for you.

The heart rate sensor has been upgraded. It will now notify of a low heart rate, it can screen heart rhythm and will notify you if it detects AFib. The optical sensor does this. There is a new electrical sensor that will allow you to take an electrocardiogram! This ECG sensor is a first in consumer devices. Open the app, put your finger on the digital crown. It takes only 30 seconds. If things are normal, it will tell you sinus rhythm. If you have atrial fibrillation, it will also tell you. It will save as a chart printout like you get when you have an ECG in a clinic so your doctors can read it. It saves those as a pdf.

The monitor has received clearance from the FDA! It should be available later this year. The health data is encrypted on the device and in the cloud.

Battery life is the same 18 hours as Series 3.

Colors are: Silver, Gold, & Space Grey. Order on Friday the 14th, available on the 21st. Watch OS 5 drops on September 17th.

Series 4 starts at $399, Cellular at $499. The older Series 3 will be $279.

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iPhone

It will be the Xs (small s…the only thing we didn’t know for sure about the name.) They say Ten s…most people will call it the Xs….excess, and excess Max, LOL!

Surgical grade stainless steel bezel. New gold finish. So gold, silver, and space grey. It will stand 2 meters in the water for 30 minutes.

The Xs Super Retina OLED display is 5.8” . The display has a 60% better display than the X. The 6.5” version Max is Apple’s biggest display ever. It’s the same size handset as the 8 Plus, but with bigger display. You can see split views on the larger phone.

They have widened the stereo field for the speakers over previous models.

Face ID.

It has faster algorithms and a faster secure enclave chip, so will recognize your face and unlock the phone faster.

The new chip is called the A12 Bionic. It’s a 7 nanometer chip…the first ever. 6.9 billion transistors. 6 Core CPU, 4 Core GPU, and Neural engine. The new neural engine is 8 cores, up from 2 in last year’s iPhone X. 5 trillion operations per second.

Apps will launch 30% faster.

You can get the new Xs and Xs Max with 512 Gigs of storage.

Apple says the new phone can do real time machine learning, which is important for photography and Animoji.

Siri shortcuts will allow you to combine tasks…kind of like using computer macros to run multiple tasks.

Game developer Bethesda Game Studios showed off capability of the new system with their Elder Scrolls Blades.

Nexteam showed a new app called Homecourt that uses the camera and processors to check 6 metrics for every basketball shot taken…you can analyze your form, release time, and other insight into improving your game.

Directive Games demoed use of AR to emulate playing an arcade game with friends. They will have a game out later this year.

CAMERA

Apple is staying with 2 lenses…12MP wide and 12MP telephoto lenses… f1.8 lens with a bigger sensor. The sensors are twice as fast as before. It does record in true stereo sound for video.

Now, the Image signal processor uses the Neural engine. Should give better red eye fix, and better result on hair and things like glasses. They are introducing Smart HDR. It will detect motion, and not only shoot instantly when you hit the button, but it will shoot multiple shots and use the engine to merge the best of each for a single great shot.

They have improved the portrait mode and stage lighting mode. Bokeh has been improved for better background blur in portraits.
There’s a depth slider in portrait mode you you can adjust the depth of field AFTER taking the pic!

The new Xs and Max have Dual Sim card tech one physical and an e-SIM …this enables you to set up two different phone numbers, use two different plans, or use one number for travel and another at home. The phone will show you if it is…for example…the home line or business line. (China will get two actual physical SIM cards.)

iPhone XR….The new, cheaper model. It’s aluminum, with the LCD screen, and white, black, blue, coral, and yellow colors. [Also (Product)Red.]

It only has one camera lens, but the screen goes edge to edge, and the phone has Face ID. Its 6.1” display is dubbed “Liquid Retina.”

No 3D Touch but it has Haptic Touch like the MacBook Pro. It also runs the A12 Bionic chip.

12MP wide angle camera with the bigger sensor, but only has the one lens…no ‘telephoto.’ You still have support for the Tru-Depth camera in the front.

This will have an hour and a half more battery life than iPhone 8 Plus.

$749 for base iPhone XR— Order October 19, ships October 26th.
$999 for base iPhone Xs
$1099 for base iPhone Xs Max
Preorders for both this Friday, ship next Friday.

Prices for the older phones now will be: iPhone 7 from $449 and 8 from $599.

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Also covered: updates to HomePod software and Apple TV OS. Both those updates drop next Monday.

Mac OS Mojave will be out September 24th.


Last Minute Apple Tidbits

From an Apple sitemap leak noticed by AllThingsHow: iPhone names are confirmed — iPhone Xs (or XS), iPhone Xs Max (or XS Max) iPhone Xr (or XR)

iPhone XS will be available with three storage options: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB

6.1-inch iPhone ‘iPhone Xr’ — will be available in black, white, red, yellow, coral and blue colors

The new Watches will come in new sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm (up from 38 and 42)

NO new iPad Pro will be introduced today.

Apple’s event starts at 10AM this morning.


Last Minute Apple Rumors; Ford’s Electric Crossover; AT&T Adding 5 Cities to 5G Coverage

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for pretty reliable Apple rumors, has dropped a few today, ahead of the Apple rollout Wednesday. According to macrumors.com, Kuo says Cupertino will replace Lightning with a USB-C port on the upcoming iPad Pro. The new iPhones will have 5W power adapters…not the rumored higher wattage ones. The new, cheaper MacBook will have TouchID but won’t have a Touch Bar, and the Watch 4 will all have a ceramic back and support EKG in addition to a thinner bezel and bigger face. As for the iPhones, Kuo thinks the new 6.1” one (which will ship late September or early October) will account for 65-70% of the new iPhone models shipped.

We’ve been hearing that Ford is aiming to drop all sedans save the Mustang, and focus primarily on SUVs and pickups as they move to electric vehicles. Now, that automaker has teased an electric performance crossover SUV codenamed the ‘Mach 1.’ Theverge.com reports that Ford has increased its investment in EV tech to $11 billion. Note that in the teaser image, the tail lights mimic those on the original Mustang.

AT&T has announced they are adding 5 more cities to their 5G network by the end of the year. Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio will join the 7 cities already announced: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh and Waco. Waiting to get the faster service until early 2019: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. The carrier is also working on its Project AirGig, which is designed to cover rural populations that don’t have access to high speed internet. They will apparently roll out cheaper plastic antennas that can be mounted on existing poles, buildings, etc to increase coverage.


Big iPhone Name Rumor; Apple Watch 4 Resolution Bump; Google Maps Feature Coming; Self-Emptying Roomba

The rollout of the new iPhones and Apple Watch is less than a week away, and more has leaked out, of course. Remember the uproar (and memes) about the naming of the ‘iPad?’ Well, according to businessinsider.com, Apple may be poised to do it again with the new bigger iPhone. Word is it will be called the iPhone Xs Max. Now, we all know Apple pronounces ‘X’ as ‘Ten,’ but no one else in the world does. So…the most expensive iPhone will be the ‘Excess Max,’ huh? Oh, Apple….the memes will practically make themselves!

The latest leak about the Apple Watch 4 indicates it will have a resolution of 384×480, and apps will be capable of showing much more content. 9to5mac.com reports that in one marketing pic for the upcoming Watch model, you can count up to 9 complications! It is widely expected that the Watch will have a bigger screen size staying in the same basic space by reducing the bezel all the way around the screen.

Google is testing out several new features for Google Maps. Bgr.com notes that one of those should really please users. It’s called ‘Current Trip,’ and allows you to use Maps to check on restaurants, shows, and the like, then return to your driving directions without having to input things all over again. Another great feature combines your trip into a ‘Commute’ option. This one shows you your drive and transit portions of a trip together. Both features should make Maps users very happy when they are released.

The iRobot Roomba has taken it to the next level. The flagship 980 model not only maps your floor and vacuums unassisted… it not only returns to the dock to recharge….now, the little moving disc EMPTIES itself! Engadget.com says the $949 robotic vacuum now does with a vacuum in the charging doc that sucks all the dust, dirt, and debris out of the Roomba while it charges, so it’s ready to go again. The dock/dust bin, called a Clean Base, signals you when it’s full and needs to be emptied…it can hold about 30 dumps from the Roomba. Just pull out the dirtbag (ok, Dirt Disposal Bag…$15 for a 3 pack…I just liked being able to write dirtbag) and pop in a fresh one.


Always On Apple Watch; Twitter Boss Kept White Supremicists; Audi Starts Building 1st e-SUV; Nanobots Swarm For Medical Procedures

It may not be out by the models next week, but Apple is working on an always-on Apple watch display. Bgr.com says the trick is to minimize burn on OLED screens, which an always-on condition causes. Apple is toiling on a method of artificially adjusting the brightness and colors of particular areas of the screen, which would minimize burn. People have been clamoring for an always on time display at the least (raising hand here), so lets hope this happens. The Apple Watch 3 can make it (barely) 3 days on a charge, and it may be that the new model coming out on the 12th can even improve on that.

Lots of sets of eyeballs, not to mention bots and trolls, must be pretty critical to Twitter. Gizmodo.com reports that Jack Dorsey overruled staff to keep Alex Jones and White Supremacist Richard Spencer on the platform. The Twitter CEO is apparently terrified of infuriating a loud, angry extreme conservative movement, so he caved on banning high profile accounts like conspiracy master Alex Jones. The Wall Street Journal reported extensively on this, but Twitter is officially denying it.

Audi ramped up production on its first all-electric SUV last week, according to techcrunch.com. The company plans to show the e-tron SUV September 17th in San Francisco. Audi had been working on an e-tron quattro for several years. The electric SUV is being built in Brussels, Belgium where the company also has its own battery production line. the e-SUV is supposed to have fast charging capability and a range of about 250 miles. It should go on sale by the end of the year.

New research from Chinese University/Hong Kong indicates that a magnetic field can be used to control movement of swarms of nanobots, and implement swarm behaviors. Cnet.com says this could be used by surgeons to perform complex medical tasks. By using swarms of nanobots, surgeons may be able to target drug delivery, cancer therapies, and do eye surgeries. A university team has already begun animal tests on the nano-swarms.