Every iPhone Gets ‘the Notch’ Next Year; Google Files Go! is Live; Tesla Behind Global Battery Shortage?

Latest word is that Apple will again have 3 iPhones next year. One will be a freshened iPhone X, another a super-sized iPhone X with OLED display, and a third phone…which will have an LCD display, but still sport ‘the notch’ at the top. Bgr.com reports that Apple may offer up to 512 gigs of storage, and the iPhone X Plus (or whatever it will be called) will have TWO SIM card slots. The updated X will still be a 5.8 inch screen, and the Plus 6.5”. The LCD screen model will run somewhere between $650 and $900, and will have the TrueDepth camera for 3D facial recognition, but it won’t have 3D Touch and will have a single lens camera on the back. Apparently, 3D sensing abilities on the rear camera won’t make it into next year’s iPhones.

Google Files Go! is out of beta and available if you are running Android 5.0 or higher, and also with Oreo 8.1 (Go Edition.) According to engadget.com, the Go Edition runs in a slimmed down version on less powerful Android phones. Files Go! gives direct access to downloads, files, apps, pix, video and audio, and will be handy for freeing up space. You can either offload to an SD card or to the cloud. Files Go! lets you backup to Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and other apps. Files Go! uses Bluetooth for device discovery, and it allows file sharing across devices over WiFi, which is super handy.

There’s apparently a worldwide shortage of cylindrical batteries caused by Tesla scooping them up for the Gigafactory in order to ramp up car production. Engadget.com says Panasonic has given most of its Japanese supply to Tesla to jump start production, leaving everyone else needing the power packs to scrap for whatever Samsung, LG, and Murata (previously Sony) can spare…which is not much. IT, electric vehicle, and home appliance companies may be scrambling to cover the shortages through the 1st half of 2018.

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Amazon Cloud Drive Now Mobile

Amazon is now live with dedicated apps on both Android and iOS for Cloud Drive. According to techcrunch.com, the Amazon answer to Dropbox, Google Drive, and the rest just got the iOS app over the weekend. The Android app was out in June. Amazon has done this a bit under the radar, with no formal announcements. The mobile versions complement the desktop versions already available, and are aimed at productivity…where previously Amazon had focused more on saving your pictures and music. Amazon’s Unlimited Everything plan lets you store everything in its cloud for just $60 per year. Its Unlimited Photos service is even cheaper at $11.99 per year. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are much pricier when you start getting up into the terabytes of storage space. Plus, Dropbox individual accounts are capped at 1 TB.

Over all of recorded history-for better or worse- a lot of tech innovation has come from military wants or needs. Here’s a project that could produced amazing results eventually for civilian use if it comes to fruition. The Department of Defense is working to develop a hypersonic jet that could fly anywhere in the world in 4 hours. Military.com says it would fly at Mach 5. The Concorde only flew slightly above Mach 2! Air Force Chief Scientist Mika Endsley hopes a joint project between the Air Force and DoD will have the blazing fast plane airborne before 2023!


New Technology Recaptures Phone Energy and Extends Battery Life

One of the most ingenious gadgets ever is in the pipeline. Nikola Labs has cooked up an iPhone 6 case that harvests electricity from the cellular, wi-fi, and Bluetooth transmitters in your phone. According to techcrunch.com, they will launch a Kickstarter by the end of the month for $99, and have a case out by September. Nikola claims they can recycle enough RF energy to give you 30% more battery life! The tech can be used in other devices that have little RF transmitters like smartwatches and tablets.

Dropbox is going to drop an update for iOS in the next few weeks that will let you create Microsoft Office files from scratch online…not just edit them. Engadget.com reports that it will also bring commenting functionality. No word on when an Android release is coming, but you can bet it’s in the pipeline, too.


Testing the First Real Drone Delivery System

No, it’s not Amazon! The first actual test of drone delivery is being launched by Swiss Post, the Swiss postal service. They’ll use the service of Matternet starting this summer. The Matternet One drone can deliver about 2.2 lbs 12 miles on a charge. Swiss Post thinks that’s enough to deliver light packages such as documents, medical supplies, and parts. Check out tech crunch.com for more.

The widely used Dropbox cloud synced storage system has already expanded into photo storage and mail. Now, they are beta testing Dropbox Notes, a collaborative note taking function. It sports a similar interface to Google Docs, and competes with that as well as Evernote. The verge.com reports that so far, it looks like a corporate focused beta, not yet available to individuals.


Microsoft Opens Up Office To Other Cloud Services

Microsoft has announced cloud storage integration for Office with other than their own cloud service. According to office.com, one of Redmond’s official blogs, in addition to OneDrive and Dropbox, you now have built in file integration for iPad and iPhone. They are also working on Android, Salesforce, Box and Citrix.

Patentlyapple.com reports that Apple has patented a video headset that you slide an iPhone or iPod into for the video. It has picture in picture, so you can still see your surroundings or view email and the like. It’s controlled by haptic touch and Siri.

Worldwide, 1.2 billion smartphones were sold last year, according to German analysts GfK, in a report picked up by tech crunch.com. That was a 23% increase, mainly powered by bigger screen models and South America. They see 14% growth this year, due to saturation of countries in Asia.


MS Office Mobile Gets Dropbox

Microsoft just announced partnering with Dropbox 2 weeks ago, and an update out today of Office Mobile on Android incorporates Dropbox as a storage option. Thenextweb.com says you can also create links to share OneDrive documents within the app.

Sapphire screens on iPhones aren’t here, but Corning has just rolled out Gorilla Glass 4. Theverge.com reports that this newest version survives drops of 3 feet 80 % of the time. Clarity is the same as on Version 3.

If you’re particularly concerned about governments spying on you, check out Detekt. [That’s D-e-t-e-k-t.]Cnet.com says the free open source software launched by Amnesty scans your computers for surveillance software.


Thinner Apple Laptops Coming

According to macrumors.com, Apple will launch a thinner Macbook by the end of the year or early 2015. The 13 inch non-retina Macbook Pro will be retired at that point.

Dropbox just announced that Dropbox Pro is being consolidated from 3 price tiers to just one. Thenextweb.com reports that it’s $9.99 a month for a massive 1 TB of storage, plus remote wipe and password protected guest files.

Engadget.com says London is trying out inductive charging stations at bus stops for their electric and hybrid busses. If it works well, it could be huge. Imagine San Francisco streets without the overhead wires currently there for electric busses.