Skype over Alexa; Apple Cuts iPhone Production Orders; Space-X Approved for 7,000 Com Satellites

Microsoft has enabled Skype to work on Amazon’s Alexa devices. The rollout should be complete this week. Theverge.com reports that Echo-type hardware will be able to handle basic calling, and the Echo Show will include video support for Skype. Users will also be able to call mobile and land lines using SkypeOut, and call their contacts by simply asking Alexa to ‘Call Siri on Skype.’ OK, not really Siri…unless maybe you have a friend with that name, which would be nearly as confusing as having a pal named Alexa.

Apple has pared back production orders for the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR, due to ‘lower than expected demand,’ according to a Wall Street Journal report picked up by macrumors.com. Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest cuts are for the XR, which has been whacked by a third of the original 70 million units originally scheduled. Some suppliers are calling the handsets a flop, but with Apple reporting record breaking revenue of $61.5 billion on iPhones during the launch quarter, that’s a stretch. Since Apple is going to quit reporting unit numbers for iPhone sales going forward it will make it even harder to track sales…but competitor Samsung hasn’t reported unit numbers in some time.

SpaceX has gotten FCC approval to launch over 7,000 satellites. Cnet.com says they will be in very low earth orbit, and will give the company the ability to provide global satellite broadband service. The FCC has also signed off on requests from Kepler Communications, Telesat Canada, and LeoSat MA to offer broadband in the US by satellite.

Advertisements

Pixel 3 Will Support Real Time Google Lens; iPhone Xs Max Outselling Xs; Changed Chrome Login Requirements; LinkedIn Sharing Company & Workforce Data

Lately, the leaks have been coming fast and frequently about the Google Pixel 3 phone, due out next month. 9to5google.com says a new one involves Google Lens. Lens already integrates with the camera app on Pixel phones. A leaked video, since taken down, shows the Pixel 3 supporting real-time results with Google Lens natively inside the Google Camera app. In other words, the Pixel 3 will be able to process results for things Lens recognizes directly within the viewfinder…for example, if you are looking at a business card, it will suggest adding an email address you don’t have…you won’t have to actually take a picture of the card to select dropping the address or other info into your contacts list.

So far, Apple’s biggest and most expensive phone ever is outselling it’s smaller sibling. Theverge.com reports that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has found that the iPhone Xs Max is selling at 3-4 times the rate the smaller Xs is selling at. Gold and Space Grey are more popular colors, and the 256 gig storage version is most popular so far. There have been rumors out today that Apple is still having manufacturing issues with the cheaper iPhone XR, and the release date for it may be delayed a bit in October…but Kuo says he’s confident the choke points slowing it down will dramatically improve after October.

The latest Chrome update has new login requirements stashed in it, and Google didn’t bother to alert users. According to business insider.com, a cryptography expert and professor at Johns Hopkins named Matthew Green found the change. By being logged in, users unwittingly send their browser data to Google. There is apparently a new ’sync consent’ menu that Google claims allows users to opt out.

LinkedIn will, for the first time, share its data on companies and workers. Geekwire.com says their newest tool, Talent Insights, lets users run detailed reports on individual companies, talent populations, skills, and other categories….for a fee, of course. You can drill down on what areas are hotbeds for specific types of talent, who employs them, what schools they come from, pay range, and more. Around 100 companies have been testing Talent Insights ahead of the official launch. The annual subscription cost varies, depending on the customer.


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.