Apple has brought in one of its most highly regarded former executives to head up its secret automobile project, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bob Mansfield, who joined Apple in 1999 and was a top executive under Steve Jobs, lead the development of some of Apple’s biggest products, including the MacBook Air, iMac and iPad. After announcing his retirement in 2012 only to reverse course and stay with Apple working “on future products” just 2 months later, Mansfield moved from his post heading the company’s hardware engineering teams to lead a new group that later produced the Apple Watch. Mansfield made another public exit from Apple’s executive team in 2013, but earlier this month employees at the company began noticing all of the senior managers on the Project Titan car project were now listed as reporting to Mansfield. Neither Apple nor Mansfield responded to requests for comment about the move.
Following through on its pledge from earlier this year, Ford has announced its entire 2017 line of cars, SUVs, light trucks and electric vehicles will offer Apple CarPlay, with future, over-the-air updates via Wi-Fi to keep it up-to-date with the latest technology. CarPlay will work with Ford’s in-house SYNC 3 connectivity platform, making it “smartphone-ready” and providing access to Siri voice controls, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Phone, Messages and third-party apps like Spotify and Pandora. “Ford is not taking the traditional approach of introducing Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto on a few piecemeal models or as an expensive option on luxury vehicles only,” said Jeffrey Hannah, Director of North America for global automotive technology research firm SBD. “The guesswork for consumers is over – if you buy any 2017 Ford vehicle with SYNC 3, you drive off the lot with both of these innovative technologies ready to go.”
Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be even more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th. — Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016
Well-known leaker Evan Blass has sent out a series of tweets claiming the new iPhone will be released on Sept. 16, which would be slightly earlier than recent history. Apple released the iPhone 6s/6s Plus on Sept. 25 of last year — also a Friday, which is typical.
Meanwhile, German site Apfelpage has its own big prediction about the new iPhone, with its sources inside a Chinese manufacturer claiming the new device will be named the “iPhone 6 SE.” The source said packaging has already entered production under that name, but also claimed they had only seen information related to the 4.7-inch phone, shedding no light on how the company would handle naming its new 5.5-inch device, which at least some sources have claimed would be dubbed the “iPhone Pro.”
Two photos allegedly leaked by workers in the Chinese supply chain purport to show a new 12.9” ‘iPad Pro 2,’ Apple Insider reports. An anonymous source said the photos came from an Apple supplier currently working on an iPad Pro model scheduled to enter production in late September — but as noted, the images don’t provide much to verify their authenticity. While the pictures show devices bearing a previously unseen model number that is consistent with Apple’s numbering convention, the device identifier could have been forged. And even if they are legitimate, the display shows the device to have only 12GB of storage, which seems to hint at it being a prototype rather than a finished product, if anything. Improvements like a faster processor, better camera, and the addition of the True Tone display technology seen in the 9.7” iPad Pro would all seemingly make their way into a new 12.9” iPad Pro, but there’s been no word on a potential launch timeline at this point, as the rumor mill has been relatively quiet on the iPad front this summer.
Today in iLounge Deals, you can pick up the Titan MFi-Certified Lightning Cable for only $22.49 — that’s 24% off the regular price. Wrapped in two layers of flexible, high-strength steel and backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty, this Lightning cable can withstand all types of outside elements from electricity spikes to happy puppies looking for a chew toy. In addition to the toughness of the cable itself, the connectors are in a sealed one-piece housing fused directly over the cable, ensuring that the ends won’t fall apart or break either.
While Netatmo is probably still best known for its Urban Weather Station system for monitoring temperature, rainfall, and wind, the company has also been actively working on expanding its Netatmo Welcome smart home camera that it introduced last year, adding improved facial recognition along with enhancements such as FTP and Dropbox storage for users who would prefer to save videos to their own server or the cloud. Now, in addition to software enhancements, Netatmo is building Welcome into a home security hub with its new Netatmo Tags ($99), a set of durable door and window security sensors that tie into the Welcome system.
Apple is planning to jump on board the fashion trends for the 2016 Olympic Games with a lineup of special edition Apple Watch bands representing the flags of fourteen of the major countries who will be participating in the Games. A new report in GQ reveals that the new limited-edition nylon bands will be sold exclusively at the Apple Store, VillageMall in Barra da Tijuca for $49 beginning in early August, and will include bands for the U.S.A., Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and The Netherlands.
A new research note from Deutsche Bank (via Business Insider) reports that the next-generation iPhone will include a “Lightning-to-audio dongle” in the package rather than a set of Lightning-equipped EarPods. Although the research note confirms several other recent rumors about the upcoming iPhone, including the elimination of the 3.5mm audio jack in favor of a Lightning connection, it cites supply chain sources claiming that Lightning headphones will not be included in the package; however it’s unclear whether this means Apple will simply continue to include the 3.5mm EarPods of prior versions, or eliminate the headphones from the packaging entirely.
Today in iLounge Deals, we’re offering Screens 3 for Mac for only $12.99 — that’s 56% off the regular price. This user-friendly remote access tool lets you access your Mac from anywhere you have an Internet connection using any other Mac, Windows, or Linux PC or even your iPhone or iPad using the companion iOS app (sold separately). You can even set up actions to automatically trigger each time you disconnect from your Mac, configure secure connections via SSH tunnelling, transfer content between local and remote clipboards, and more.
If you’ve got a new MacBook but often find yourself needing a bit more expansion between work, school, or home, Kensington’s new SD1500 USB-C Mobile Dock ($90) may be just what you need. Featuring not only USB port expansion for your mouse, keyboard, or portable storage device, the SD1500 gives you a gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to a wired network, and an HD VGA and HDMI port for displaying video on a 4K/1080p monitor or projector.