Apple Registers xrOS, Likely to Power Mixed Reality Headset

Apple has reportedly registered the name xrOS in association with its upcoming extended reality eyewear, expected to be released in 2023. The xrOS moniker represents a switch from another operating system’s name, realityOS, that had been used internally with regard to the device. Whatever the new system is eventually called, the highly anticipated gear will be Apple’s first major debut in a new product category since the Apple Watch was introduced in 2015. Apple’s wearables division contributed more than $41 billion to the company’s bottom line in the last fiscal year, accounting for about 10 percent of its overall sales revenue. Continue reading Apple Registers xrOS, Likely to Power Mixed Reality Headset

Apple Reveals the Best in Apps, Games, Music for This Year

French social media app BeReal, which has users post unfiltered daily selfies at random times and is now available in eight languages, took App of the Year honors from Apple’s 2022 App Store Awards, which recognized 16 global “apps and games that inspired users to engage more deeply with the world.” Fitness tracker Gentler Streak won in the Apple Watch category, with genealogy program MacFamilyTree 10 voted best Mac App of the Year, while Spanish-language app ViX took the TV App of the Year category. GoodNotes 5, which takes digital note-taking to the next level for Apple Pencil support, was named best in class for the iPad. Continue reading Apple Reveals the Best in Apps, Games, Music for This Year

WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Apple unveiled a slew of new tech at WWDC 2022, previewing macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, the next MacBook Air with new M2 chip, the Apple Pay Later service, password updates, new security features and more. Propelled by the tagline “Personal is powerful,” iOS 16 is crafted around helping customers create individual experiences, with ways to customize the Lock Screen, organize desktops and optimize video calls. The Stage Manager feature of macOS 13 Ventura allows easier multitasking and promises updates to improve Spotlight and Apple Mail. Safari is substituting “passkeys” for passwords, allowing users to login to websites using their iPhones or Macs. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Apple is reportedly poised to compete in the modem market. The company is said to be laying the groundwork to create chips that control the Internet connectivity of its mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. In theory, the move paves the way for an always-on future where smart glasses and augmented reality achieve ubiquity, and iPhones and other Apple mobile devices have faster download and streaming speeds. Observers say Cupertino’s high bar to entry means creating a chip that outperforms those made by Qualcomm, current manufacturer of Apple’s connectivity chips. Continue reading Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Arizona Is First State to Accept Identification via Apple Wallet

Working with Arizona and Apple, the Transportation Security Administration has deployed digital verification for state-issued mobile driver’s licenses or identification cards stored in the Apple Wallet app on iPhones and Apple Watches. While 30 states say they are exploring digital IDs, Arizona becomes the first in which the TSA has begun using the system, activated Wednesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. For now, the feature is available only for TSA PreCheck passengers at select checkpoints at one airport, but as other states’ device manufacturers sign on, TSA says it will expand the program. Continue reading Arizona Is First State to Accept Identification via Apple Wallet

Apple Has a Record $123.9 Billion Quarter Despite Chip Crisis

Apple, the world’s most highly valued public company, hit an all-time quarterly revenue record of $123.9 billion for Q4, an 11 percent increase year-over-year. The company also saw profits up 20 percent to $34.6 billion for the quarter despite the supply chain issues that plagued the industry. “We are gratified to see the response from customers around the world at a time when staying connected has never been more important,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the company’s earnings release, attributing the robust performance to “our most innovative lineup of products and services ever.” Continue reading Apple Has a Record $123.9 Billion Quarter Despite Chip Crisis

Apple Eyes an Earlier Launch Date for Its Self-Driving Vehicles

Apple is accelerating its plans to enter the self-driving car market, with 2025 the new target date to launch a fully automated electric vehicle that the company is hoping to produce without steering wheel or pedals, although an emergency takeover mode is under discussion. Interior designs under consideration are said to look radically different than today’s cars, with u-shaped or side-facing seating configurations. Apple’s secretive car venture, known as Project Titan, is being led by technology vice president Kevin Lynch, who was instrumental in the success of the Apple Watch. Continue reading Apple Eyes an Earlier Launch Date for Its Self-Driving Vehicles

Apple Unveils iPhone 13 and Watch Series 7 at Annual Event

In the midst of troubling press attention as the company faces antitrust claims and ongoing criticism of its App Store business model, Apple unveiled its iPhone 13 and Watch Series 7 during a streaming event yesterday. Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared live on a virtual set rather than the traditional in-person stage as a precaution during COVID-19. Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro features a new camera system that promises a new cinematic mode, improved low-light capabilities and an updated ultra-wide lens. The Apple Watch 7, touting a revamped look, includes new features such as a larger screen, softer corners, more support for e-bikes and fall detection for cycling. Continue reading Apple Unveils iPhone 13 and Watch Series 7 at Annual Event

Hardware Demand Results in a Successful Quarter for Apple

Apple’s last fiscal quarter brought in a profit of $23.6 billion, with analysts predicting the year’s total profit will exceed $70 billion, almost one-third more than last year. Revenue also surpassed Wall Street estimates, up 54 percent to $89.6 billion. Apple announced a 7 percent increase to its cash dividend to 22 cents per share; the board authorized an increase of $90 billion to an existing share-repurchase program. Strong consumer demand for the iPhone 12, Mac computers and iPads is responsible for the results. Continue reading Hardware Demand Results in a Successful Quarter for Apple

Apple Begins Working on Its Own Cellular Modem for Devices

Apple has begun building its own cellular modem for smartphones, to replace those now purchased from Qualcomm, according to Apple senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji. He added that it is one of the few wireless chips that Apple designs, along with the W-series in the Apple Watch and U1 Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip in the iPhone. In addition to reducing costs, moving the modem in-house could eventually lead to cellular connectivity becoming a standard feature for the iPad, Apple Watch and other devices. Continue reading Apple Begins Working on Its Own Cellular Modem for Devices

EU’s Antitrust Probe Expands to Include the Internet of Things

The European Union’s antitrust unit has broadened its focus of Big Tech companies to include voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa and the growing number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager noted the threat of a big company pushing the market until “competition turns into monopoly.” With regard to IoT, she pinpointed voice assistants as the “center of it all,” but included any digital device that records consumer data from Apple Watch to an Internet-connected refrigerator. Continue reading EU’s Antitrust Probe Expands to Include the Internet of Things

Big Tech Companies Make Progress on AR Smart Glasses

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Magic Leap, Microsoft and Snap are among the Big Tech companies working on creating smart glasses that we can wear everywhere — and that may even replace our smartphones. Currently, glasses are too big (and expensive), but in time are expected to achieve a sleeker form factor and come down in price. Smart glasses promise to dramatically shift how we engage with the world, and some advocates believe we will eventually be able to replace every screen we use with a single pair of glasses. Continue reading Big Tech Companies Make Progress on AR Smart Glasses

Apple Is Developing AR/VR Headset, Glasses, 3D Sensors

As reported in The Information, Apple is planning to launch a hybrid augmented reality/virtual reality headset in 2022 and a pair of AR glasses the following year. This recently released report stated that Apple chief executive Tim Cook spoke about the AR project in a 1,000-employee meeting, an unusually large gathering for the company. The report contained detailed information about Apple’s ideas about wearable AR devices. Apple has also developed a new 3D sensor system that will be integrated with the AR and VR devices. Continue reading Apple Is Developing AR/VR Headset, Glasses, 3D Sensors

Google $2.1B Acquisition of Fitbit to Face Antitrust Scrutiny

Google is buying wearable fitness-tracking company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. But the deal already faces antitrust scrutiny as well as concern about the massive amount of personal private health data that Google will gain with the purchase. Google stated — and Fitbit chief executive James Park reiterated — that health data would not be used for Google’s advertising business, but that might not be enough for regulators. The 12-year old Fitbit pioneered wearables before the advent of smartwatches. Continue reading Google $2.1B Acquisition of Fitbit to Face Antitrust Scrutiny

Apple Showcases Upcoming Devices, Subscription Services

At the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino on Tuesday, Apple unveiled three new iPhones and announced the $4.99 monthly fee for its TV+ streaming video offering (to launch November 1) and Arcade video-game service (coming September 19). The iPhone 11 models — starting at prices ranging $699-$1,099 — tout updates such as new colors, improved battery life, more camera lenses, Night Mode for low-light photography, and the option to record video by simply holding down the camera button. The tech giant also unveiled an upgraded 10.2-inch iPad with A10 processor in addition to a new Series 5 Apple Watch featuring more power (starting at $399), while reducing the price of its Series 3 model about 30 percent to a low $199. Continue reading Apple Showcases Upcoming Devices, Subscription Services