Apple Car in 5+ Years; OneDrive Auto Backup for All; Fitbit Charge 3-Touchscreen; MoviePass Zombie Accounts

A VP of engineering recently left Tesla to go back to Apple. He had previously worked at Ford. This seemed to point to Apple shifting Project Titan back to building an Apple car, not just software they could sell to auto makers. Now, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has one of the most accurate records when it comes to Apple predictions, says Apple will launch an Apple Car between 2023 and 2025, and calls it ‘the next star product.’ According to macrumors.com, Kuo thinks Apple will revolutionize the auto business the way they did the phone market with the iPhone in 2007. Apple’s work in AR could help ‘differentiate the Apple Car from peers’ products.’

If you are on Windows 10 and use Microsoft’s OneDrive, MS has added a great new feature…OneDrive can now automatically back up documents, pictures, and desktop folders. Theverge.com reports that if you use multiple Win 10 PCs, OneDrive folder protection will automatically keep all these folders in sync, too! Business users saw this feature appear available in June, but now it’s coming out for all users. Just hit OneDrive Settings, and go to the Auto Save tab, then click the update folders button.

The upcoming Fitbit Charge 3 will have a full touchscreen, unlike the present Charge 2 with its quasi-touchscreen. TechCrunch.com says that, in addition, Android Authority has discovered that it will be swim-proof down to 50 meters, and have notification reply capability, but on the down side…it won’t have built-in GPS….so you’ll still have to schlep your smartphone along for a jog if you want GPS data. No pricing has leaked out, but the fitness tracker should be out in plenty of time for the holiday season.

MoviePass may be only 3 months from ‘passing away,’ but in the meantime, has a new issue for subscribers…or former subscribers…to deal with. According to engadget.com, people who had cancelled their accounts, then later either checked the app about their account or just to see what movies were available (there were TWO last weekend) got a splash screen with ‘Updates to Your MoviePass Plan’. If you clicked the ‘agree’ button to make it go away, MoviePass reactivated your account! There’s an X in the upper right corner…best to click that and close the screen. Meanwhile, MoviePass will run out of money in 90 days if some movie angel doesn’t show up with lots of cash.


Amazon Touchscreen Echo Leak; Smart Speaker Market Set to Double; Spray On Touchpads

As with all tech companies, Amazon plays with different versions of products. Thenextweb.com got its hands on a pic of one version for the upcoming Alexa powered touchscreen Echo, and the tech media collectively threw up. The wedge shaped gadget with a 7 inch screen has been universally panned. A prior leak had a short round tower with a smaller touchscreen angled on top. Let’s hope the previous leak is closer to what actually drops…probably later this month. It is said to be equipped to make video calls, and may have visual recognition, like the hapless Fire phone.

With a touchscreen Echo in the pipeline, the Google speaker finding homes, and Apple reported to be working on a high end smart speaker, 9to5mac.com has picked up a report from Reuters that says smart speaker use will double in the US this year. They are looking at 35.6 million. Amazon is expected to hold a little over 70% of the market.

Want a touchpad somewhere? Just spray it on! That’s the concept behind Electrick (with a ‘k’), a design from some brainy folks at Carnegie Mellon University. Techcrunch.com says it is mainly the brainchild of a PhD student named Yang Zhang, and it uses small electrodes attached to the edges of a painted surface. You can put a touchpad on wood, plastic, dry wall…reportedly even Play Doh and Jell-O. The tech is set to be demonstrated at a conference in Denver.