Is a Smart Keyboard with a trackpad coming our way?

Apple MIGHT be working on a new Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro that includes a trackpad – which would be rad.

 

The keyboard would also most likely have thicker, waterproof keys covered with a polyurethane material, backlit keys and scissor switches.

 

Upcoming ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to be unveiled at the same time. They’ll probably be the same size as the current ‌iPad Pro‌ models (11 and 12.9-inches), with a square-shaped camera cutout, which means that there’s a possibility ( if there’s no back cover) that the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ would be compatible with 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models as well.

 

If this keyboard is a reality, we’ll see it and the new iPad Pro models soon – likely during the first half of 2020, perhaps really soon as in March 31st, however it’s currently unknown if there’ll be issues with production because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

 

 

 

Apple Celebrates International Women’s Day

Apple has announced the “She Creates” initiative at Apple Stores, which will see Apple host more than 5,000 ‘Today at Apple’ sessions highlighting inspiring female creators using photography, design, technology, business, and film. This is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, which falls on this Sunday, March 8th.

 

Apple wants to celebrate International Women’s Day all the way from March 1st through 31st by encouraging us to learn from inspiring female creators, share ideas with others, and explore new perspectives in hands-on sessions using iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

 

From Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People:

 

“Celebrating the work, spirit and contributions of women is so important to Apple, we’re thrilled to recognize International Women’s Day through the ‘She Creates’ programming series and bring these experiences to our stores so everyone can be inspired by some of the world’s most passionate and innovative creators.”

 

As well as ‘She Creates’,  every day in March Apple will highlight apps and games created by female developers, designers, and entrepreneurs through the App of the Day and Game of the Day features, and there’s a new International Women’s Day collection on Apple TV highlighting women who are “changing the narrative through storytelling across the movie and TV landscape.”

 

Additionally, on March 8th, Apple will release a curated collection on Apple Podcasts called “Changing the Narrative,” which features podcasts celebrating women podcasters, shows, and stories and lastly,  Apple Watch owners can earn an International Women’s Day ‌Apple Watch‌ award and stickers by completing a walk, run, or wheelchair workout of 20 minutes or more.

 

You can find out more here! 

 

 

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 postpones China reopen

At the moment, Apple’s corporate offices, retail stores, and contact centers are closed because of the Coronavirus. The original plans were for them to reopen on February 10th, but that date has been postponed, with no new one decided as of yet.

 

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and People, Deirdre O’Brien, sent out an email Apple Store staff in China with an update to say that Apple is continuing to work with heath experts and will be issuing further updates.

 

You can see the email in full below. (Via MacGeneration):

 

“Team, I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.
 

Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.
 

We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.

 

Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.

 

Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.

 

As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.”

 

Deirdre

 

iPhone supplier Foxconn has also told staff at its Shenzhen plant to stay at home and has yet to list a return date.

 

We’ll keep you updated when they do!

 

 

 

 

NYPD switches it up

The NYPD has been using handwritten memo books for over a century and on February 17th will be making the switch to an iPhone App for note taking which will be available in real time.

 

The NYPD has been providing officers with smartphones since 2015, and there are now 37,000 iPhones in use.

 

The idea is that case related notes will be more accessible using the app, with no information getting lost, data won’t be able to be faked, and it will all be easily searchable by date or keyword.

 

The app will also streamline all the information, and cut down on paper waste.

 

NYPD Deputy Chief Anthony Tasso told The New York Times that the digital system will allow for entries to be used as valuable crime fighting data. “It gives us the abilities we did not have before, when memo books were left in officers’ lockers and we didn’t have access to a vast amount of information,” he said.

 

 

Apple Watch for the win?

The Swiss watch industry is estimated to have shipped a total of 21.1 million units worldwide in 2019. Which is a lot of watches.

 

BUT The Apple Watch shipped an estimated 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, which is a lot more.

 

Unsurprisingly, according to the data, the Apple Watch is more popular among younger buyers, whilst older customers prefer the traditional Swiss. Apple Watch is most popular in North America, Western Europe, and Asia.

 

BUT these numbers are actually a guesstimate, as Apple doesn’t release Apple Watch sales numbers. So… make of that what you will. Watches are cool.

 

 

Pssst- Flip phones are back!

An allegedly leaked video shared on Twitter by mobile leaker Ben Geskin shows Samsung’s “Galaxy Z Flip” phone – and it looks pretty rad.

 


If you don’t know, flip phones are the best and might have been one of the best parts of the 2000’s.

 

This flip phone appears to have two cameras on the back next to a digital clock readout. It’s 6.7 inches and will likely be more affordable than its predecessor, The Fold, which costs $1,980.

 

Motorola is also coming out with a Razr flip phone which is currently available for pre-order for $1500, with phones arriving in stores on Feb 6th. –

 

 

The Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be officially revealed alongside the Galaxy S11 at Samsung’s Unpacked event on Feb 11th in San Francisco.

 

Bring on the Flip!

 

Mythic Quest:Ravens Banquet

Happy Tuesday! Need something to keep you going until the weekend? Check out the ‘first look’ of  “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” an Apple TV Plus show by the creators of “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia” that’s will debut on Friday, February 7th.

 

The plot centers around a team of video game developers running a popular World of Warcraft-style video game and stars Rob McElhenney. See the trailer below, and the first look below that!

 

 

 

 

Apple has ordered nine half-hour episodes.

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?