All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Apple developing dedicated AI chip

Apple is working on building artificial intelligence technology directly into its hardware, a new report by Bloomberg reveals. According to a “person familiar with the matter,” Apple is developing a new processor, dubbed the “Apple Neural Engine,” that will be dedicated to AI-related tasks. The goal is to improve how AI tasks such as facial recognition and speech recognition are handled by incorporating it into a specialized hardware chip that would optimize performance as well as providing for more advanced capabilities. Complex AI tasks are currently handled by software processes that use the existing CPU and GPU hardware, requiring the workload to be shared with other tasks being performed on the device. A dedicated module would ensure that AI-related tasks are handled more efficiently both in terms of processing speed and battery consumption.

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Report: Sources suggest Apple has succeeded in creating a screen-integrated Touch ID sensor

Apple has succeeded at integrating Touch ID technology into the display of the next-generation iPhone, according to a new report unearthed by MacRumors. The original report comes from Chinese-language site Economic Daily News, which claims to have received the information from sources at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of Apple’s key suppliers. TSMC sources apparently confirmed Apple’s achievement during a technology convention earlier this week in Taipei. At the symposium, TSMC reportedly discussed the lack of a home button on the redesigned OLED iPhone, attributing it to Apple’s implementation of “an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen.”

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Daily Deal: iKlips miReader 4K

For Friday’s iLounge Deal, you can get the iKlips miReader 4K for only $46.99 — that’s 20% off the regular price. This 4K card reader and storage device changes the meaning of “external drive” featuring a Lightning connector, a micro USB port, and a micro SD slot so you can quickly and easily share files between all of your devices, and it’s fast enough to let you record, view, and edit 4K videos, raw DSLR shots, and GoPro action clips. The micro SD slot lets you supply your own card in any capacity up to 256 GB, and it’s designed to be compatible with just about any case and supports pass-through charging from the micro USB port, so you can even charge your iPhone while transferring data. The companion iOS app lets you backup, view, transfer, capture and manage all of your photos, music, videos, and documents in one easy to use app, and even supports recording 4K video directly to the micro SD card.

Get the iKlips miReader 4K now for only $46.99

Tip of the Day: Checking the Weather in the Maps app in iOS 10.3

If you’re a frequent Apple Maps user, you might appreciate a new little trick that Apple snuck into iOS 10.3. The iOS 10 Maps app redesign added a small indicator showing the current weather, but now in iOS 10.3 if you have a 3D Touch capable device you can view a weather forecast simply by pressing down firmly on the weather icon. A light press will let you “peek” at the current weather forecast, and if you press a bit harder it will take you over to the iOS Weather app.

What’s particularly useful about this is that the weather information will pertain to whatever area you’re viewing on the map, so while it’s only slightly faster for your home city than opening the Weather app or widget, it’s a particularly useful shortcut when you’re looking at a map view of another city.…

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Apple announces Live Stream of WWDC 2017 Keynote

Apple has added an events page for its upcoming WWDC 2017 Keynote, confirming that the Jun. 5 event will be live streamed, similar to prior years. As usual, Apple will use its own HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology introduced in 2010 to broadcast the event so that users of any relatively recent iOS or macOS device can view it in the Safari web browser. PC users can view the event using Microsoft Edge on Windows 10; older versions of Windows don’t appear to be supported. For Apple TV users, the event will be broadcast in the Apple Events tvOS app; interestingly it also appears that Apple will still be broadcasting the event to second- and third-generation Apple TV devices, suggesting the “Apple Events” channel will simply appear on these now-discontinued models in time for the event. [via MacRumors]

Mac: IK Multimedia Syntronik

IK Multimedia has built a well-deserved reputation for creating powerful and authentic digital music tools, and the company’s new Syntronik is sure to be another hit with musicians. The new virtual synthesizer promises to take the virtual instrument game up another big notch with 38 iconic synths and string machines samples with IK Multimedia’s usual attention to detail. The app features a new hybrid sampling and modelling synthesis engine combined with a large set of high-quality modelled effects. Over 2,000 preset sounds are included that cover a huge selection of vintage synths, including some ultra-rare classic synthesizers that few will ever have an opportunity to lay their hands on.

yntronik includes 17 amazing instruments, available as a collection or separately, with over 2,000 preset sounds covering a wide selection from 38 of the most iconic to ultra-rare and painstakingly multi-sampled vintage synthesizers. Syntronik’s synthesis engine goes well beyond traditional sampling thanks to a brand new analog modeled filter section created with the utmost expertise from IK, the pioneer in virtual crcuit modeling. This is coupled with exclusive DRIFT™ technology to accurately reproduce the behavior of oscillators from real hardware synths. All of this combined with an effects section that is unrivaled in the world of virtual instruments along with advanced features like 4-part layers, splits and arpeggiators make Syntronik the ultimate source of inspiration with the widest palette of synthesizer sounds ranging from exact reproductions of the originals to sounds never heard before that will stand out from the crowd in productions covering any genre and style.

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Wemo to add support for Apple HomeKit

Belkin has announced that it will at long last be bringing HomeKit to its lineup of Wemo home automation accessories. The added compatibility will come in the form of a new HomeKit-enabled Wemo Bridge that will provide the interface between existing Wemo Smart Plugs and Light Switches — including the company’s recently-launched Wemo Dimmer — to enable them to be used with Apple’s HomeKit system. Although Wemo created some of the earliest iOS-based home automation products, for unknown reasons the company was oddly not on board with HomeKit when Apple first launched, leaving Wemo products as outliers in a home automation ecosystem that’s become increasingly dominated by HomeKit accessories due to their higher degree of interoperability. Despite the lack of HomeKit support, Wemo continued to expand its compatibility in other areas, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, and IFTTT. Much like other HomeKit bridge solutions from companies like Philips and Lutron, the Wemo Bridge will connect to any home Wi-Fi router via an Ethernet cable, pairing with HomeKit as a single accessory and exposing all associated WeMo devices to the HomeKit platform. The Wemo Bridge for HomeKit is expected to be available later this fall. Pricing will be announced at the time of availability.

Apple creates new Editor-in-Chief position for Apple News

Apple has created a new Editor-in-Chief role for Apple News, appointing veteran editor Lauren Kern to the post, Politico reports (via MacRumors). Describing it as a “move that’s sure to raise eyebrows” in media circles, Politico adds that Kern is one of New York magazine’s “most high-ranking editors” as well as having formerly been a deputy editor at The New York Times Magazine. While there’s no information available on what Kern’s responsibilities will be in the new role, which is an entirely new position within Apple, it obviously suggests that Apple is continuing to forge ahead with its News app and service, possibly taking it in some new directions. Apple has not yet confirmed the hiring, and Kern declined to comment.

Daily Deal: Drive Genius 5 Standard License

In our iLounge Deal for today, we’re offering Drive Genius 5 for only $39 — that’s 60% off the regular price. This award-winning app will help you keep your Mac running smoothly, optimizing and cleaning up OS X for optimum performance and keeping you up to date on potential hard drive issues before they become catastrophic. With Drive Genius 5 you can create a bootable secondary drive to easily repair your main hard drive, track down large files and duplicates to save disk space, check for and repair possible file and folder corruption, and much more. Plus the new Drive Pulse feature can scan your system automatically and identify malware even while in idle mode.

Get Drive Genius 5 now for only $39

Apple releases AirPods firmware 3.7.2 update

Apple has released a new AirPods wireless firmware update. While no release notes are provided with AirPods updates at this point, the update likely just includes bug fixes and performance improvements for the wireless earbuds. AirPods firmware updates should be automatically transferred from a paired iPhone to the AirPods whenever they’re connected; users can check the version number from the iOS Settings app, under General, About, AirPods. [via MacRumors]





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