Category: New Releases

What’s next for Apple?

Seems like it’s pretty likely that we’ll see an Apple media event near the end of next month! There is a chance that these plans may be delayed however, depending on the continued impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

 

The rumored event would take place on March 31st and would see the reveal of a cheaper ‘iPhone 9’ alongside refreshed iPad Pro models. The new iPad Pros would apparently have a triple-lens rear camera system with 3D sensing.

 

We may also see mention of ‘AirPods Pro Lite’ (what?),  a cheaper set of AirPods without noise cancellation, water proof and magnetically charged AirTags item trackers, and a new “CarKey” feature to let an iPhone or an Apple Watch to unlock, lock, and start NFC-compatible vehicles. You will also be able to send CarKey in conversations with an individual.

 

This is all a little up in the air because of the aforementioned epidemic, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Also in the works for Apple; it seems like you’ll be able to set Third-Party Web Browser and Mail Apps as Defaults in iOS 14, and there is a chance that in the future Apple will allow third-party music services like Spotify and Pandora to be streamed directly on the HomePod with Siri.

 

 

 

Apple Maps redesign

Apple today announced that all users in the United States can now experience a redesigned Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls and more.

 

From Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services:

 

“We set out to create the best and most private maps app on the planet that is reflective of how people explore the world today. It is an effort we are deeply invested in and required that we rebuild the map from the ground up to reimagine how Maps enhances people’s lives — from navigating to work or school or planning an important vacation — all with privacy at its core. The completion of the new map in the United States and delivering new features like Look Around and Collections are important steps in bringing that vision to life. We look forward to bringing this new map to the rest of the world starting with Europe later this year.”

 

Features include:

 

‘Look Around’ – an interactive way to visually explore a city with 3D imagery.
 

‘Collections  – ‘Users can easily build and share lists of places they love or want to go to with friends and family.
 

Customers get quick and easy navigation to the places they visit every day with ‘Favorites’.
 

Real-time transit information gives detailed transit schedules, live departure times, arrival times, the current location of a bus or train en route, and system connections to help plan a journey.
 

Share ETA sends an estimated time of arrival to family, friends or coworkers with a simple tap. The receiver can follow along on the journey, and Maps will even update them with a revised estimate for when the traveler is arriving if a significant delay occurs.

 

Flight status uses on-device Siri intelligence to scan for information stored in Mail, Calendar or Wallet and proactively serves flight information for terminals, gate locations and departure times, as well as flight changes or cancellations for upcoming travel.
 

By using Indoor Maps for airports and malls users can see what level they’re on, restroom locations and even which stores and restaurants are open.
 

Siri Natural Language Guidance provides more natural-sounding directions that are even easier to follow, such as “At the next traffic light, turn left.”
 

Flyover offers a way to see select major metro areas with photo-realistic, immersive 3D views.

 

 

Maps it the best, we get it.

 

 

What will the first half of 2020 bring for Apple?

Let’s collect all the little rumours falling off the Apple tree shall we?

 

*Tile-like item tracking tags potentially called “AirTags”

 

*Blue tooth supported high-end (possibly over ear) headphones

 

*A 4.7-inch, low cost (~$399) iPhone with a similar design to the iPhone 8, but with a faster A13 chip and 3GB of RAM.

 

*Refreshed iPad Pro models that have a triple-lens rear camera system that supports 3D sensing for augmented reality

 

*Small wireless charging mat. So Apple canceled its AirPower charging mat last year due to quality concerns, which may have been fixed by now. The Airpower charging mat would have been able to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods case simultaneously.

 

*Lastly, it’s predicted that we’ll have refreshed MacBook Pro and/or MacBook Air models.

 

What are you most excited about?

 

 

Apple posts record revenue & other tidbits from earnings call

Apple today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2020, which corresponds to the fourth calendar quarter of 2019.

 

Let’s start with this: Apple’s market capitalization has now grown to over $1.4 trillion. Or, to put it another way, Apple’s valuation is now more than Germany’s 30 largest listed companies that make up the DAX index on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

 

I think the appropriate word here is ‘Egads’.

 

Last year they failed to report a quarterly revenue record for the first time since the iPhone’s 2007 release. This last quarter earnings call was much cheerier – having posted record revenue and a return to profit growth. Accordingly, Apple’s shares jumped 2 percent today in after-market trading.

 

The tech giant reported revenue rose 9% in the December quarter to $91.82 billion, driven by sales of devices and services connected to the iPhone such as wearables, apps and subscription services. For instance, the wearables earnings category, which includes AirPods, Apple Watch, Beats headphones, HomePod, etc. hit $10 billion, up from $7.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. The addition of a credit card and video-subscription service helped increase sales of services 17%.

 

Sales of iPhones, which account for more than half of its revenue, rose 8% to $55.96 billion, and the number of active Apple devices world-wide rose to 1.5 billion from 1.4 billion a year ago.

 

From the man himself:

 

“We are thrilled to report Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for Services and Wearables. During the holiday quarter our active installed base of devices grew in each of our geographic segments and has now reached over 1.5 billion. We see this as a powerful testament to the satisfaction, engagement and loyalty of our customers — and a great driver of our growth across the board.”

 

Sweet day for Apple & investors!

 

 

 

Looking ahead to 2020 iPhones

Rumor has it that Apple plans to release FIVE new iPhone models in 2020! Likely starting with an iPhone SE 2 type model with a 4.7-inch LCD display in the first half of the year, and then followed by 4 more models in the second half.

 

The rumored iPhone SE 2 will probably resemble the iPhone 8, but faster, with a 4.7-inch display with bezels and a Touch ID home button.

 

The second lot of models are predicted to all be higher-end all-OLED models consisting of 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch sizes which will support 5G with a Qualcomm X55 modem.

 

So:

 

A 4.7-inch iPhone SE 2 with LCD display, single-lens rear camera, and no 5G support, a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 with OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, and 5G support, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 with OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, and 5G support, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro with OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, and 5G support and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max with OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, and 5G support.

 

Phew.

 

There are also rumors that one of these later models will not have a Lightning connector and will instead offer a “completely wireless experience,”.

 

Sound exciting? And exhausting? Little bit of both?

 

 

Apple’s Holiday Gift Guide is here!

Apple has released it’s 2019 holiday gift guide!

 

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, the Apple Watch Series 5,  and the AirPods Pro are Apple’s top gift recommendations for this year.
Also part of the guide are the Beats Solo Pro,PopSockets PopGrip, Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, DJI Mavic Mini, the DJI Osmo 3 Gimbal, and an Xbox Wireless Controller.

 

Apple’s annual holiday return period is also active, which means that purchases made between November 15, 2019 and December 25, 2019 can be returned until January 8, 2020.

 

Apple has two-day shipping on all purchases, however later in December we’ll likely see faster shipping options available.

 

Check it out!! 

Apple Healthcare Studies update!

Apple has released its Research app today, making it easier for users to contribute to three studies related to: heart and movement, women’s health, and hearing.

 

If you do want to participate, you can download the free Research app from the App Store and enroll in the multi-year studies starting today. After enrolling, and using an iPhone or Apple Watch, you can contribute movement, heart rate, and noise level data captured during everyday activities.

 

The three studies are as follows:
Apple Women’s Health Study. In partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), this is the first long-term study of this scale focused on menstrual cycles and gynecological conditions.

 

Apple Heart and Movement Study. In partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Heart Association, this is a comprehensive study of how heart rate and mobility signals relate to hospitalizations, falls, heart health and quality of life.

 

Apple Hearing Study. With the University of Michigan, this study is the first of its kind to collect data over time in order to understand how everyday sound exposure can impact hearing.

 

From the Source,  Apple COO Jeff Williams:
“Today marks an important moment as we embark on research initiatives that may offer incredible learnings in areas long sought after by the medical community. Participants on the Research app have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact that could lead to new discoveries and help millions lead healthier lives.”

 

For those understandably concerned about privacy, an enrollment screen explains how data will be used and allows a user to control the type of data shared with each study, and Apple says the data collected will never be sold to third parties.

 

In other health study news, Stanford Medicine has today published results from the Apple Heart Study that kicked off in 2017, marking the third time data from the study has been shared.

 

Stanford & Apple wanted to determine whether the Apple Watch is able to detect atrial fibrillation, which can be an indicator of serious heart health problems.

 

A total of 419,297 people in the United States participated in the study, and according to researchers, the low number of warnings in the study indicates that the device does not cause an excess of false notifications in healthy people who wear the watch. Additionally, it ultimately determined that the ‌Apple Watch‌ can detect atrial fibrillation.

 

The full Apple Heart Study published by Stanford Medicine can be read in The New England Journal of Medicine.

New MacBook Pro is here! All the details.

Apple has announced it’s 16-inch MacBook Pro!

 

The new laptop features a large display with a resolution of 3072×1920 pixels and slimmer bezels than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, as well as an updated “Magic Keyboard” that returns to a scissor mechanism (rather than butterfly). It also has Intel’s latest 9th-generation processors with up to 8 cores, up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage, a redesigned six-speaker sound system and upgraded microphones, and a larger 100Wh battery for longer battery life.

 

 

Something that should make many people happy, the new MacBook Pro still has the Touch Bar, but it also has a physical Esc key*virtual high five*, and  the Touch ID sensor has been separated from the Touch Bar.

 

 

So here’s the crunch. All sweet things come at a price: starting at $2,399 to be precise. OR if you want to be super fancy, you can max it out – get a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz 8‑core Core i9 processor, 64GB of RAM, 8TB of SSD storage, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics for $6,099. Sure, go on!

 

 

It’s currently available through Apple.com and the Apple Store app, and will be available in Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers later this week.

 

Check out this video if you need some well shot/edited footage to convince you to spend the dosh!

 

 

 

 

Lastly, Apple has also announced that a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be available starting in December. The new ‌Mac Pro‌ will be available with up to 8TB of SSD storage, an 8-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon processor, a Radeon Pro 580X GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, and will start at $5,999.

 

 

The Pro Display XDR will cost $4,999, or $5,999 for a version with a “nano-texture” matte coating. The stand costs $999 and a VESA mount costs $199.

 

 

 

New Apple show casting news

Now that the first run of Apple TV+ shows have seen some success and been renewed (The Morning Show, See, For All Mankind, and Dickinson),  Apple has begun working on their upcoming shows.  Adam Scott has been cast as the lead in a project called “Severance”, described as a workplace thriller set at a company “looking to take work-life balance to a new level.”

 

 

The show will have a 10 episode first season ( launch date unknown as of yet), was created by Dan Erickson and will be produced by Ben Stiller.

 

You can get free 7-day trial for ‌Apple TV‌+, which costs $4.99/ month or $49.99/ year. Apple is also offering all customers who purchased an ‌Apple TV‌, iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod touch after September 10 one free year of access to ‌Apple TV‌+.

 

 

New Apple TV+ show!

You’ll never guess what it is!

 

Well, you might have guessed in the end, but you don’t have to, because here’s the answer: Apple has picked up the rights to  “A Christmas Carol,”: a live action musical!

 

So many good things in that sentence, could we fit anymore in? Yup! It’s going to star all round good guys Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, who will also produce.

 

Apparently , and for good reason, the show was the subject of a harsh bidding war, but Apple won out with, well, money. According to reports, they’re paying above $60 million just for talent.

 

“A Christmas Carol” will be added to Apple’s Apple TV+ streaming service, which premieres on November 1st. It’s not known specifically when “A Christmas Carol” will be available, presumably near… Christmas?