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Review: iDevices Wall Switch

iDevices' new Wall Switch is the company's second new HomeKit product of 2017, joining Wall Outlet in the arena of its installable devices. Wall Switch replaces any standard wall switch with a Wi-Fi HomeKit-enabled switch that provides basic on and off controls. Like many of iDevices' other products, the company has also included an independently-controllable multicolour LED night light in the centre of the switch that can be used to help locate it in the dark, or simply provide a small mount of ambient night lighting for a room.

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Apple rolling out ‘Today at Apple’ educational courses starting in May

All of Apple’s 495 stores will begin featuring ‘Today at Apple’ educational sessions focusing on a wide range of topics starting sometime in May, the company announced today. While most will be led by Apple employees, the company also teased that in select cities participants will be treated to sessions from “world-class artists, photographers and musicians.” The free programs will focus on activities centered around Apple devices, like iPhone photography, drawing with the Apple Pencil and coding classes for kids that teach the company’s Swift programming language. For more advanced users, Pro Series courses will also provide “a deep dive into Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X with sessions on color correction and grading to post production, or audio mixing to editing for emotion, and more.”

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Smart home device maker iDevices acquired by Hubbell

Smart home device maker iDevices has been acquired by Hubbell, a company that’s been around for more than 100 years. As with many such acquisitions, iDevices claims nothing will change with its day-to-day operations, pledging that, “We will continue to support and update our existing products and make new ones; all while utilizing the backing and expertise of Hubbell to accelerate our growth and leadership position in the IoT space.” Hubbell has been around since the early days of electricity, gaining initial fame by patenting the now-ubiquitous pull chain lamp socket. According to the release, the partnership will see iDevices focused on “developing and designing smart home solutions” and utilizing Hubbell’s “extensive expertise in manufacturing and distribution across residential, commercial and industrial markets.”

Apple delays ‘Carpool Karaoke’ release to ‘later this year’

Apple is delaying the release of its “Carpool Karaoke” adaptation for Apple Music, now saying only that “‘Carpool Karaoke: The Series’ will premiere on Apple Music later this year,” Reuters reports. During the Code Media conference in February, Apple said the show would debut in April, but a launch party scheduled for March was postponed without explanation, and another rescheduled for this Monday was also scrapped. A statement from CBS Television Studios echoed Apple’s vague timeline, saying, “We’re excited about our ‘Carpool Karaoke’ for Apple Music, and look forward to everyone seeing it later this year.”

Dutch court rules Apple can’t replace broken iPads with refurbished models

A Dutch judge has ruled that Apple can’t use refurbished iPads to replace broken ones covered by its AppleCare warranty, Tweakers reports. While Apple’s terms of service explicitly state that the company can use refurbished units as replacements, the judge ruled that Apple can only issue refurbished replacements to customers who initially purchased a refurbished unit. “If a plaintiff had purchased a refurbished or replacement iPad, Apple may replace it with a refurbished or replacement copy,” the judge said. “But if the consumer, as in this case, purchased a new iPad, She is entitled to a new iPad as a replacement.”

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Chinese blog claims Apple is only releasing two iPhone 8 models, no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus

Chinese blog Mic Gadget is saying that everyone else has Apple’s 2017 iPhone plans wrong, claiming that their “friends from Foxconn” shared news that the company is planning to release just two iPhone 8 models and no iPhone 7s or 7s Plus. The rumor is a fairly shaky one since the source has no track record of accurate leaks and the report seems based on news that “Foxconn will begin to receive the first deliveries of the material for packing the goods in the last week of the June.” But even though this report is the outlier in the current swirl of rumors, this entire iPhone cycle is different than Apple’s usual annual fall release schedule. Today Nikkei added more support to the growing consensus that the iPhone 8 may not launch until late October, claiming that issues with the OLED displays, concerns over the new smaller printed circuit boards and overheating problems with the wireless charging modules are pushing back production schedules.

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Apple releases fourth betas of iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, and tvOS 10.2.1

Apple has rolled out a fourth set of iOS 10.3.2, tvOS 10.2.1, and watchOS 3.2.2 betas to registered developers. The iOS 10.3.2 beta 4 release notes list SiriKit, VPN, and Siri fixes, while tvOS 10.2.1 beta 4 fixes an issue that caused the Apple TV to sometimes wake from sleep with an AirPlay error.

Images claim to show iPhone 8 prototype with glass back, vertical camera

A man best known for creating phone renderings based on rumors and leaks has posted a series of photos on Twitter that he says show one prototype of the new iPhone 8. Benjamin Geskin said the device—photographed by someone behind the wheel of a BMW—are of a CNC model from Foxconn. When questioned in the Twitter thread, Geskin claimed a friend sent him the images of the device, which lacks a home button and features an edge-to-edge screen, a vertical dual camera, a lengthened power button and a glass front and back with a metal band around the edge. Wihile the phone doesn’t include the fingerprint scanner on the back that some other rumors and leaked renderings have shown, the device’s appearance is in keeping with some of the most prominent rumors presently circulating—even though it lacks any identifying marks that would peg it as coming from Apple. But given that Apple is said to still be undecided on its final model, it’s possible that even if the device is genuine, it still may not be the final model that the company is expected to mass produce later this year. [via MacRumors]

Apple works on alternative power sources, new uses for waste heat in Denmark data center

Apple’s latest data center in Denmark will be powered by renewable energy, some of which will come from local farm waste, MacWorld reports. Apple is working with Aarhus University to create a system that uses agricultural waste products to generate methane, which can then be used to power its data center operations. The reaction also produces a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be returned to the farms, a “mutually beneficial relationship” according to Apple’s recent environmental report. The heat generated by the data center will also be captured and rerouted to the local district’s heating system to warm homes in the community. The Danish facility and another in Ireland expected to be partially powered by energy generated by ocean waves will come online this year.





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