News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple hoping to convince UAE to lift FaceTime ban

Apple is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to get the ban on FaceTime lifted in the country, alongside Microsoft which is undertaking an effort to get similar restrictions lifted on Skype, CNBC reports. Both services have been illegal in the country for years, along with other VoIP services, due to telecommunications laws designed to allow a monopoly by the country’s own telecom companies by forcing customers to pay for their calling services. UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Director General Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri confirmed the talks this week, noting that they’re related to Apple and Microsoft’s plans to make more investment in the UAE, and the governments desire to build stronger relationships with major tech companies. Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on VoIP calling services last September, although similar bans still exist in other Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar and Oman. [via 9to5Mac]

Nokia selling digital health business back to Withings co-founder

Nokia has announced that it is in fact selling off its digital health business, and in an ironic twist, it’s being sold to Éric Carreel — the co-founder and former chairman of Withings, the company that Nokia bought the business from in the first place. The move signals an end to Nokia’s foray into the consumer market, after it announced earlier this year that it was undertaking a “review of strategic options” regarding its Digital Health business, which it acquired when it purchased Withings two years ago. The sale, which is expected to close in late Q2 2018, pending the approval of certain terms and conditions, is expected to be part of Nokia’s shift to become a business-to-business and licensing company. [via Engadget]

IK Multimedia unveils UNO Synth

IK Multimedia has broken new ground, releasing its first hardware synthesizer in the form of UNO Synth, a new monophonic synth that provides a wide analog sound palette, easy programmability, and on-the-go portability. UNO Synth is the culmination of IK’s own decades of experience in software and hardware audio development and a collaboration with Italian boutique synthesizer maker Soundmachines and IK’s synth guru Erik Norlander, taking the types of features and capabilities that IK has been known for in its software apps and bringing them to a powerful hardware synth that can deliver a range of sounds from the classic to the modern. While the new synth packs a lot of power, IK has also taken steps to make it accessible to first-time synth users, with 100 presets and an easy-to-play keyboard, but it’s also designed with the experience professional in mind, providing a true-analog audio path, powerful synth engine, and more.

Apple Q2 2018: $61.1B revenue, 52.2M iPhones + 9.1M iPads sold

Apple reported its second quarter 2018 financial results today, with 52.2 million iPhones and 9.1 million iPads sold. The company posted quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion and quarterly earnings of $2.73 per diluted share. In Q2 2017, Apple had revenue of $52.9 billion and earnings of $2.10 per diluted share.

For Q3 2018, Apple is providing guidance of revenue between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, and gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent. Apple’s earnings call will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern time, and can be heard live on the company’s investor website.

Qualcomm lowers licensing rates in effort to appease Apple

Qualcomm is adjusting its licensing model to lower fees, Reuters reports, in a move that will hopefully help to resolve the company’s ongoing battle with Apple and others over what the other companies have called unreasonable licensing rates and royalties. The new terms would allow handset makers such as Apple to license Qualcomm’s smaller set of “standard essential patents” for a lower rate of 3.25 percent, as opposed to the normal five percent fee that Qualcomm charges for rights to its full patent suite. The “standard essential patents” are said to include only those need for access to mobile data networks, but Qualcomm has in the past tried to push customers to licensing both sets of patents to avoid lawsuits. Now, the company is taking steps to make it easier for customers to license just the lower-cost set of patents, as well as adding the patents for the next-generation 5G wireless network to the basic suite at no additional cost.

Apple releases third developer betas for iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1

Apple has released a third round of developer betas for iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4, and watchOS 4.3.1. The release notes reveal only minor changes and fixes compared to the prior betas. iOS 11.4 brings back Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2 support — at least in the betas — but it remains unclear whether these features are planned to actually be included in the final release of iOS 11.4 or are once again being included solely for testing purposes; the release notes still state that Messages in iCloud is included “for testing and evaluation purposes.”

Rumor: Apple could be looking to acquire Condé Nast

A new rumor briefly reported in The Guardian (via 9to5Mac), suggests that Apple may be interested in purchasing Condé Nast. The rumour was mentioned as an aside in a larger report on Apple’s general move into media, and suggested that Apple may be “looking to buy parts of all of the troubled magazine publisher,” going on to suggest that such a move would be intended to further Appel’s push to become a luxury fashion accessory, lifestyle, and content brand. Although The New York Post followed up on this report by citing Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg as denying the rumours outright, saying, “We are not for sale.” The Guardian report also didn’t cite any specific sources, only vaguely mentioning that rumours have circulated, although it also mentioned “insider” sources as saying that Condé Nast has been struggling to turn a profit, and lost $100 million last year despite revenues of $1 billion. It’s also worth noting that the rumours mentioned suggested that Apple may only be looking to buy “parts of” Condé Nast, and may have therefore been indirectly related to Apple’s recent acquisition of Texture from Next Issue Media LLC, of which Condé Nast is a stakeholder.

Olloclip unveils Mobile Photography Box Set for iPhone X

Olloclip has designed a new mobile lens system specifically for the iPhone X, allowing users of Apple’s flagship iPhone model to benefit from the same lens enhancements that other iPhone users have long been enjoying. Featuring premium multi-element glass optics, the lens kit includes the Fisheye + Macro 15x and Super-Wide lenses — Olloclip’s Core Lens Set — along with a new Connect X mounting system that provides several new features unique to the iPhone X. An expanding lens mount opens easily to accommodate screen protectors and easily align with both front and rear cameras, and users can flip the individual Connect lenses to use the iPhone X Telephoto lens instead of the main lens. Additional lenses are also available for the iPhone X system, including an ultra-wide lens with a 155-degree action camera field of view, a 2x telephoto lens to provide optical zoom, and Macro 14x/7x and Macro 21x lenses for better closeups of small objects. As with Olloclip’s other lens systems, the Connect X mount requires a careless iPhone, although Olloclip is also releasing a new slim case for iPhone X users this month that will be compatible with the lenses. The entire Connect X lens system lineup for iPhone X is available now on olloclip.com; the Mobile Photography Box Set for iPhone X is available now at olloclip.com, Amazon, and will be available in June at Apple locations worldwide for $99.99.

Logitech releases Keys-to-Go in three fun new colors

Logitech has expanded the color palette for its Keys-To-Go ultra-portable Bluetooth keyboard, adding Stone, Blush, and Smokey Blue to the line-up for those who prefer something more whimsical than basic black. Designed to be a keyboard that you can take anywhere, whether for an iPad, iPad mini, or iPhone, Keys-To-Go comes with an iPhone stand and is compatible with just about any Bluetooth device, including not only iOS devices and the Apple TV, but also Macs, and Android and Windows devices. Keys-To-Go continues to be ultra-slim, ultra-light, and therefore portable enough to tuck into a messenger bag or purse, and provides a smooth surface that’s easy and comfortable to type on while being safe from spills and easy to clean. Keys-To-Go is available in the new colors today for $69.99 from Logitech.com.

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 component 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 accurate 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.

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

/* * * APPLE AFFILIATE LINK MAKER * * */