News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Report: 2018 iPhones may exclude headphone adapter

A new research note obtained by MacRumors suggests that Apple may be planning to unbundle the Lighting to 3.5mm Headphone Jack adapter from this year’s iPhone models. In the research note, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates state “We currently model no dongle this year,” and Barclays has lowered its quarterly and yearly revenue guidance for Cirrus Logic — the supplier of audio components in the adapter — by up to five percent as a result. It appears, however, that the Barclays analysts are merely guessing at this point, and have mentioned in prior research notes that it may take until May or June before they know for certain. That said, however, Barclays analysts did accurately predict last year that Apple would continue to include the adapter in the 2017 iPhone models, based on visits with Apple’s supply chain partners in Asia.

Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s departure from KGI will likely diminish Apple focus

One of the best-known analysts for supply-chain rumours on Apple, Ming-Chi Kuo, has reportedly left his post at KGI Securities for another firm, according to The China Times, as reported by Mark Gurman. Kuo has been known for breaking much of the pre-release news for Apple’s flagship products over the past couple of years, often providing uncannily accurate predictions on what could expected from upcoming iPhones and iPads, long before most other rumours began to circulate. While Kuo’s predictions aren’t 100 percent accurate, he has been the most accurate analyst by a wide margin, making numerous predictions on future iPhone models as far back as 2015, as well as predicting the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch models, and the three 2017 iPhone models. The report of Kuo’s departure from KGI Securities suggests that in addition to moving to a new firm, Kuo will also be focusing his future analysis on technology companies other than Apple. [via 9to5Mac]

Shure unveils KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphone System

Shure has announced the KSE1200, a lower-cost version of its high-end KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System. Like it’s older sibling, the KSE1200 system is a portable audio-ampliciation system that provides high-fidelity listening in just about any environment, with an extremely high level of detail and isolation for a portable listening device. The KSE1200 provides the same basic performance and technology of the KSE1500, but omits the DSP and digital inputs, resulting in a more compact and affordable device — the KSE1200 is priced at $1,999 versus the $2,999 price tag of the KSE1500 — but acknowledges that most users of portable media players already have a DSP built-in; as Matt Engstrom, Senior Category Director of Product Management at Shure points out, “The new KSE1200 system was developed for those who prefer the electrostatic sound signature using their own DAC” and allows Shure to provide an electrostatic sound solution at what is arguably a more affordable price, albeit it one that still remains only within the purview of serious audiophiles. The KSE1200 Electrostatic Earphone System will be available for purchase in May.

Apple Podcasts surpasses 50 billion all-time downloads and streams

Apple Podcasts have now surpassed 50 billion episode downloads and streams, according to a new report by Fast Company. Summarizing the growth of the medium, the report notes that according to Apple, the company’s podcasting platform is now home to over 525,000 active shows, encompassing more than 18.5 million episodes in over 100 languages in 155 countries. Apple Podcasts have grown exponentially in recent years, since their humble beginnings in 2005, with seven billion podcast downloads in 2014 almost doubling to 13.7 billion by 2017.

Report: Apple working on wireless AR/VR headset for 2020 launch

Apple is actively working on developing a headset for both augmented reality and virtual reality applications, a new report by CNET reveals. According to a person familiar with Apple’s plans, the project, codenamed T288, is still in its early stages, but assuming it remains on track is slated for a 2020 release. The current design would involve an 8K display for each eye and would be untethered from a computer or smartphone, according to the source, although it would b paired with a dedicated box powered by a custom Apple processor, using a high-speed, short-range wireless connection.

iTunes lands in the Windows 10 app store

iTunes is finally available in Microsoft’s Windows 10 app store, almost a year after Microsoft announced that it would be coming, originally promising it would arrive by the end of 2017, although Apple later clarified that it wouldn’t be making the end-of-year deadline, saying it needed “a little more time to get it right.” The Windows 10 app store eversion of iTunes is the same as the desktop version that can be downloaded directly from Apple, but it will be updated and available through the Microsoft Store, and will be especially useful for Windows 10 S Mode users, who are restricted to apps from the Microsoft Store. [via The Verge]

Apple announces exit from the Wi-Fi router business, discontinues AirPort line

Apple has officially announced that its entire AirPort product line is being discontinued, and that the company will not be making any more wireless routers in the future. In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple said “We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.” This includes the full AIrPort Extreme and Time Capsule models as well as the smaller AirPort Express. Although Apple hasn’t pulled any of its AirPort models from sale, meaning that they can still be purchased while supplies last, the company hasn’t announced any price drops either, although of course third-party retailers may opt to do so in order to clear out stock of the now-discontinued products.

RHA releases MA650 Wireless in white

RHA has released the MA650 Wireless in a new white aesthetic, the latest design in RHA’s MA range, and the company’s third wireless headphone. Featuring a minimalist design and a solid, premium build, the MA650 includes a noise-isolating form and a 12-hour battery life, and is targeted specifically at those with active lifestyles. Tap-and-go NFC pairing allows quick connections with multiple supported devices, and a universal remote works for switching between music, calls, and voice assistant activation at the touch of a button. The silicone neckband also provides haptic vibrations of incoming calls and notifications. The MA650 Wireless is priced at $99.95 and is available now on Amazon and RHA’s website.

New leaked photos claiming to be ‘iPhone SE 2’ show glass back, headphone jack

A new set of leaked photos reported by 9to5Mac purport to show the much-rumoured “iPhone SE 2” sporting a glass back for wireless charging along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, confirming some rumours while refuting others. Although reports of an updated iPhone SE have been all over the place, with initial reports last fall of a new version launching in 2018 later refuted, before resurfacing last month as a result of regulatory filings. The most recent rumours have suggested that the new model might ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack and could even feature wireless charging, in addition to getting the faster A10 processor found in the iPhone 7 series.

 

Cook and Trump discuss trade issues and China at White House meeting

As first revealed yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook met privately with President Donald Trump and two the President’s aides yesterday in the Oval Office to discuss trade issues, Reuters reports. In addition to Trump, Cook also spoke with the president’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The White House said the meeting between the President and the Apple CEO had been in the works for a couple of weeks, and was described as a White House official as “good” although neither party provided any further details on the discussions other than that they were in the context of trade.

Sonos announces AirPlay 2 compatible speaker lineup

Sonos has announced more specific details on which of its new speakers will be gaining AirPlay 2 support this year, according to The Mac Observer. While the company announced last fall that AirPlay 2 support was in the works, that announcement provided no specifics. Now, Sonos has confirmed that AirPlay 2 support will be coming to “newer Sonos speakers,” specifically listing the Play:5, Playbase and Sonos One. Sonos notes that the older players simply don’t have the necessary processing power to support AirPlay 2.

Lexus 2019 ES to add CarPlay support

Lexus has announced that it will be bringing Apple CarPlay to its 2019 ES sedan, one of the last upscale car brands to gain support for Apple’s in-car platform. Notably, the new Lexus model won’t be getting support for Android Auto, although Alexa voice control is also being included, with features that will allow you to issue commands to your car from Alexa devices inside your home. Toyota has long been the lone holdout among major car manufacturers in adopting CarPlay, with the company only bringing support for Apple’s in-dash integration to its 2018 lineup, and obviously delaying into 2019 for its premium brand.

Google releases ‘Google Tasks’ for iOS

Google has released Google Tasks, the company’s first standalone app for natively managing tasks on an iPhone. The new app is part of a major redesign of Gmail that began rolling out today, and although the new app appears to be pretty basic, it promises to bring some order to the chaos that has been task management in Google’s apps — previously a hodge-podge between “reminders” that could be set in Google Inbox, Google Calendar, and Google Keep, and an older simple web-based “Tasks” apple that existed primarily within the Gmail web interface.

Tim Cook to have private meeting with President Trump

Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to have a private meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office today, as first noted by Jon Passantino of BuzzFeed News. According to a later tweet by President Trump, the two will be discussing, among other things, “how the U.S. has been treated unfairly for many years, by many countries, on trade.” While this isn’t the first time Tim Cook has met with President Trump — Cook attended a panel with other industry executives last spring, but according to the White House schedule, this will be a private one-on-one meeting held in the Oval Office and closed to the press.

Apple releases iOS 11.3.1, fixing iPhone 8 replacement display problem

Apple has released iOS 11.3.1, addressing the issue with third-party display replacements reported earlier this month. According to the release notes, the update “addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 8 devices because they were serviced with non-genuine replacement displays.” The update notes also repeated the same cautionary warning first shown in iOS 11.0.3 last fall, stating that “non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly.”

Apple snags rights to Ed Sheehan documentary, ‘Songwriter’

Apple has just won a big for world screen rights to Ed Sheeran’s new documentary, “Songwriter”, Deadline reports. Directed by Murray Cummings, the documentary shows Ed Sheeran at his beginnings, finding his handle on writing and performing his songs and working through his creative process. The deal is reported to be in the low to mid-seven figures for worldwide rights, and Apple is expected to make the release an event with a theatrical component alongside its release on Apple Music. The film made its world premiere in Berlin and made its North American debut this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. This marks the second Tribeca-premiered music documentary that Apple has acquired the rights to, following last year’s exclusive on the documentary based on legendary producer Clive Davis’ best-selling autobiography “The Soundtrack of Our Lives.”

Apple Music to strengthen push into country music with Nashville office

Apple Music is turning its focus to Nashville, Variety reports, with an announcement that Jay Liepis is relocating to Music City to head up a new team that will be “dedicated to being more involved with artists, managers, songwriters and the label community at large.” The move represents a new push into country music — an area that many of Nashville’s labels have lamented as lagging behind when it comes to the major music streaming services. Randy Goodman, Sony Music Nashville’s chairman and CEO, expressed his delight in the move by exclaiming “Thanks be to God!” adding that Liepis’ move to town will be “game changing” for the country music industry.

Apple VP Greg Joswiak, former designer Susan Kare to testify in Samsung damages retrial

As Apple and Samsung go back to court yet again, it appears from the newly-filed witness lists that top executives such as Tim Cook and Jony Ive won’t be called to testify. According to CNET, the lists include “industry experts and executives” from both Samsung and Apple, but not Apple’s CEO or CDO. Instead, Apple plans to call upon Greg Joswiak, VP of Product Marketing and Richard Howarth, a senior director on Appel’s Design Team who is also one of the co-inventors of the disputed patents. Joswiak is expected to testify on Apple’s marketing strategy and related market forces, while Howarth will talk about the design process at Apple and the patents themselves. The list of witnesses for Apple also notably includes Susan Kare, one of the original designers at Apple who was behind much of the iconic design of Apple’s original Macintosh computers, who could be expected to testify about icon and user interface graphics design in general, but may have some input on one of the specific patents involved in the case. Other expert witnesses that Apple may call include Ravin Balakrishnan, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto; Alan Ball, an expert on industrial design; Julie Davis, a consultant with expertise in accounting and damages analysis; Karan Singh, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, and Tony Blevins, a vice president of procurement at Apple.

European Commission assessing Apple’s proposed acquisition of Shazam

The European Commission has announced that it will be more closely scrutinizing Apple’s proposed acquisition of Shazam in light of concerns about stifling competition in the streaming music service market. According to the press release, the Commission is opening “an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple under the EU Merger Regulation.” on the basis that “the merger could reduce choice for users of music streaming services.” The Commission’s primary concern appears to be that acquiring Shazam would give Apple “access to commercially sensitive data about customers of its competitors” that would allow Apple to “directly target” those customers to encourage them to switch to Apple Music, thereby putting those competitors at a disadvantage. As a secondary factor, the Commission is also concerned that competitors would be harmed if Apple were to discontinue referrals from the Shazam app, although the Commission notes that it does not see Shazam as “a key entry point for music streaming services.” The Commission has set a deadline of Sept. 4, 2018 to come to a final decision.

Apple’s new App Store design can boost featured apps by up to 800 percent

Apple’s App Store redesign in iOS 11 is paying off for developers, with a new study from Sensor Tower (via TechCrunch) revealing that apps landing in the featured spots on the new App Store can see a boost in downloads by as much as 800 percent. The study analyzed data from Sept. 2017 to the present finding that the median U.S. iPhone downloads for apps that appeared in the “Game of the Day” spot increased by 802 percent during the week following the feature, as compared to the week prior. Apps landing in “App of the Day” saw a slightly lower but still significant boost of 685 percent. Increases were somewhat lower for apps simply featured in App Store Stories or App Lists, but still showed a demonstrable increase.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

HELLO FLIPPA