Supplier Appears to Confirm iPhone 8 Wireless Charging & Waterproof; Twitter Freshenes Design; Flight Prescreening By Fingerprint Being TestedPosted: June 15, 2017
the CEO of Apple’s prime partner in India, Wistron, let it slip that the iPhone 8 will indeed be waterproof and have wireless charging! 9to5mac.com reports that he was speaking to shareholders about different testing for the new handset, and mentioned that those features would alter the assembly and after-testing process a bit. iPhone 7 already got a good level of water resistance.
Twitter is trying to bulk up on new users, and has put a new coat of paint on the app across all platforms….mobile desktop, and web. According to techcrunch.com, its’ not a major makeover…mainly a move in settings, different typography, change in icon shape, and round profile pictures. A lot of these features were already in use on the Android app, but now have made the jump to all Twitter’s other platforms.
The TSA Precheck is nice for people who fly frequently, but now they are testing out making it even quicker and less painful. Cnet.com says TSA is testing out a fingerprint scanner….you won’t even need to show your boarding pass and Driver License or passport. The biometric screening is being tested out in Atlanta and Denver right now. As long as bad guys don’t get hold of James Bond type peel off fake fingerprints, it should be golden.
The Google Pixel is a good phone, but not near what it needs to be to cut into Apple or Samsung. 9to5google.com says they are looking to rectify some of its shortcomings with the Pixel 2. Rumors had already been out about possible waterproofing, but it looks like they are especially focusing on the camera. Google is reportedly testing better chipsets from a couple different manufacturers. The Pixel 2 likely won’t get a higher megapixel size, but better low light shooting and more features. Of interest, however, is that a ‘B’ model is being tested…a lower price point Pixel. Don’t get too excited though…it appears to be aimed at different markets, and not for US release.
The smartphone market the last 6 years has pretty well been Apple, Samsung, and everyone else fighting for scraps. Now, according to macrumors.com, Huawei is angling to go from just being China’s largest smartphone maker and #3 worldwide to #1. They are shooting for passing up Samsung and Apple by 2021, just 4 years from now. They have made big inroads in European markets, but so far, haven’t dented the US. Part of the problem for them has been no carrier agreements, but Huawei has now hired a former Verizon negotiator, so look for them to try to ‘go big’ in the US.
Just as traditional cable companies are trying to win back cord cutters with so-called ‘skinny bundles’ that feature less content and a lower price, Hulu is building a cable-like TV package that will go for around $40 a month. According to businessinsider.com, it would give viewers live channels, and Hulu hopes to have it out first quarter of next year. So far, it would have Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN, Fox Broadcast, News, FX, and the Fox national and regional sports channels. Comcast hasn’t agreed to license NBCUniversal or it’s other channels so far, as they likely view the new Hulu service as a direct competitor.
A division of LG-LG Innotek, has revealed a fingerprint sensor module that lives under the glass cover or screen of your smart phone. 9to5google.com says this would allow for more waterproof models and a sleeker design….without the physical button below the screen. It reportedly has an accuracy of .002%! LG thinks they can have it out in a phone by next year.
We’ve heard a lot about the ‘boring’ iPhone 7, which won’t change on the outside and won’t have a new, killer feature. Now comes a sketchy rumor out of China that it will have a flush, touch sensitive home button and waterproof, dustproof case. 9to5mac.com says Apple would use haptic feedback to make a flush, capacitive area act like the physical home button. A new, flat black case may join space gray and the golds for a new color choice that echoes of the old iPhones.
Speaking of old iPhones, another Apple product…the Apple Watch…has apparently sold twice as many units as the original iPhone did its first year. Bgr.com reports that a consensus of analysts is that Apple has pushed out between 12 and 13 million Apple Watches. That’s not only twice as many as the original iPhone sold in a year, it’s 61% of the global smartwatch market. Not bad for a flop.
Screen shots posted on Reddit Sunday indicate that the Google Play Store and millions of Android apps may be headed to the Chromebook and Chrome OS. According to cnet.com, arstechnica.com was able to replicate an option in settings on a second generation Chromebook Pixel that says ‘Enable Android apps to run on your Chromebook,’ which shows momentarily, then disappears. No response from Google, of course.
We just reported yesterday about the possible dual rear cameras iPhones may be getting, and have also covered the likely loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack and waterproofing…as the commercial goes…’but wait…there’s more!’ Apparently, there’s a method to their madness in ditching the headphone jack and making people use the lightening port…and therefore buying new headphones…Apple is working on baking in noise reduction tech for both music and phone calls. Bgr.com says another possible killer feature may be coming…wireless charging! If you are like the 200,000 people mad enough to sign a petition demanding Apple not drop the headphone jack, go ahead and join them…but Apple will surely ignore it and do as it pleases. THAT’s one thing left over from Steve Jobs that will never change!
Lately, my Nest thermostat showed up with a low battery reading, and disconnected from the web. I now find that I’m not alone…there’s apparently a software bug that’s causing this. According to gizmodo.com, Nest has admitted that some people have the problem, and that they are working on it. Nest suggests a manual restart until a fix in in place. I did a modification of this…plugged it into my computer USB port for a hour to charge, then reset the date and time. Interestingly, it loses connection with my wi-fi network and wants to join an unprotected one, so you might check that out, too.
Another rumor has the iPhone 7 being waterproof, and in addition, appleinsider.com is reporting it will used new compound materials to conceal antennas, losing those unsightly plastic antenna cover bars. There is some hand wringing that iPhone 6S sales won’t be as good as the 6 had, but the holidays were great for Apple…according to a Flurry Insights report picked up by appleinsider.com, 49.1% of all devices activated Christmas week were from Apple. Phablets were only 13% of last season’s sales, but this year they grabbed 27% of the device market.
Whether we like it or not, there will be more glassholes. Google Glass lives! Hi resolution images of the next generation Google Glass have showed up on an FCC site. They look almost identical to the previous model, but have a hinge to fold just like regular glasses. The prism is larger, as well, according to arstechnica.com. This version of Google Glass is supposed to be enterprise only, and not intended to retail customers.
Apple has a number of patents that never get used, but this is intriguing…Electronic Device with Hidden Connector. Bgr.com reports that the tech allows an opening like a USB port or headphone jack to automatically seal. It uses an elastomer, that expands and seals the moment a connector is removed. Not a sure thing, but rumors that the iPhone 7 might sport this technology, combined with others to prevent water damage, and make a waterproof iPhone.
Two more companies have joined to race to get self-driving cars on the road. Samsung and Baidu are dipping their toes into the water, according to theverge.com. Unlike what Apple is reportedly doing, Samsung is focusing on components for a driverless car. Baidu, however, is working on actual self-driving vehicles that could serve as public shuttles. The Chinese state news agency says they have already built a fully self-driving car based on a BMW 3 series that can hit 62 mph in a test. A former Googler is now assisting with the project.
Ticket Zen, the app from the dubiously named Terrible Labs, has hooked up with PayByPhone’s municipal parking payment service. Techcrunch.com says now you can scan the bar code on the ticket with the Android or iPhone app, and pay a parking ticket instantly.
Samsung is dropping a key feature of the Galaxy S5 on the upcoming S6. Bgr.com reports the S6 will NOT be waterproof! They will make an ‘active’ version with waterproofing…for an extra charge.
The Kahn Academy has revamped its iOS app, and now ALL the training videos there are available on iPads for the first time. The verge.com says that includes 150,000 learning exercises! It automatically syncs with your desktop, too.