Apple has refreshed its 12 inch Retina MacBook. According to 9to5mac.com, there are new Skylake processors, increased overall performance, and a new rose gold color. They say the updated internals give you an additional hour of battery life. It continues to have the single USB-C port and edge to edge keyboard, and remains $1299. A quibble with Apple: their so-called rose gold is a lot more pink than the rose gold you find in watches, pens, and musical instruments. You can always go space grey or silver, though. Processor speed gets bumped to 1.2 gigs, and it comes with 8 gigs of memory standard, and the graphics are 25% faster. It’s available today at Apple’s website or Apple Stores and resellers.
Samsung has built an Android app that alerts kids….or adults for that matter, when they have mobile device screens too close to their face. According to thenextweb.com, it’s called Safety Screen, and uses facial recognition to calculate if a smart device is too close to the user’s face. If so, a cute animation pops up to let the user know…it disappears when the gadget is moved to a safer distance. The app’s creators say kids are more at risk for developing computer vision syndrome than adults. Parents set it up, and password protect the app, and it’s ready to go.
The iPhone SE will look almost identical to the iPhone 5s on the outside. 9to5mac.com says the updated 4 inch iPhone, which will be shown Monday, does have less shiny edges and slightly curved glass, but otherwise is a dead ringer for the 5s. Inside, however, it’s a whole different thing…the SE will sport the fast A9 processor and M9 chip, so it will offer ‘Hey Siri’ always on support, as well as an NFC chip for Apple Pay and a 12 megapixel camera that records 4K video. It will have 16 and 64 gig memory, and include the Rose Gold color option of the 6 and 6s. Best….it starts at $450.
Sony has announced that you can preorder the PlayStation VR starting next Tuesday. We reported earlier this week that the VR would be $399, but that’s not including camera or controllers. Now, according to bgr.com, Sony has clarified that an official launch bundle will be available for $499 including PlayStation Camera, a couple Move controllers, and PlayStation VR Worlds game. The limited preorders start at 10am Eastern, 7am Pacific Tuesday, so get ready. Another preorder window will open this summer. The system should be here by the holidays 2016.
9to5mac.com spotted a report last night from Automotive News that Google has hired the former CEO of Hyundai to run its self-driving car program. In an email, he mentions the cars being used by millions of people, and saving thousands of lives. Google is still saying it has no plans to manufacture cars itself, but will partner with a number of different companies. They still seem on track to have a self-driving car on the market by 2020.
Apple told Financial Times that strong weekend orders indicate the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will beat the 10 million sold the first weekend of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year. In the past, the off-year ’S’ models have lagged behind sales of the pure numbered models. Thenextweb.com reports that the 6S Plus models show sold out right now, and the 6S rose gold models have a wait time of 3-4 weeks before shipping. We’ll know more if this sales pace will be maintained when the phones show up in stores next weekend.