WWDC: Apple Unveils iOS 13, iPadOS and Project Catalyst

At this week’s WWDC, Apple unveiled its latest mobile operating system for iPhones and iPod touches, iOS 13, which includes faster performance, upgraded Siri, Dark Mode, advanced Photo and Camera tools, and new privacy features. The company also announced a separate iPadOS for its tablets, which features the same upgrades as iOS 13 in addition to multitasking improvements and a redesigned home screen. Apple is encouraging developers to create new apps that work across all its devices, including Macs. The company announced Project Catalyst (formerly code-name Marzipan), a set of tools that make it simple for developers to make their apps accessible on the Mac. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Unveils iOS 13, iPadOS and Project Catalyst

UPDATE: FandangoNOW Joins Movies Anywhere Ecosystem

Yesterday we reported that FandangoNOW had become the latest retailer to join the Movies Anywhere digital ecosystem. FandangoNOW is the fifth participating retailer, joining iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and Vudu. While the announcement was accurate, we mistakenly suggested that Movies Anywhere is a Disney-branded service. While Movies Anywhere is owned by Disney, and some of its underlying tech was developed for the previous Disney Movies Anywhere platform, it should be clarified that the current Movies Anywhere is jointly controlled by five studios: Fox, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney. Continue reading UPDATE: FandangoNOW Joins Movies Anywhere Ecosystem

Riding AirPod Success, Apple to Debut High-End Headphones

Following the success of Apple’s AirPod earphones, the tech giant is planning another music-centric product with a push into the high-end headphones market. This would potentially compete with its own Beats by Dre brand, which Apple acquired in 2014 for $3 billion. According to people familiar with the product’s development (Apple reps declined to comment), Apple is working on wireless, noise-canceling, over-ear headphones for launch at the end of 2018 unless ongoing development challenges push back the release. Continue reading Riding AirPod Success, Apple to Debut High-End Headphones

Facebook Pursues App Ecosystem: AR Powered by Cameras

Bolstered by last summer’s breakout popularity of “Pokémon Go,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has shifted focus from VR to AR, which combines the real and digital worlds. At the annual F8 conference, he stated that Facebook will make its AR tools available to developers to create everything from custom masks to filters. Partners already include Nike, Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. The shift to AR puts Facebook in competition with its rival Snap’s Snapchat and Microsoft HoloLens. Continue reading Facebook Pursues App Ecosystem: AR Powered by Cameras

Apple Experiences Strong Holiday Sales Numbers for iPhone 7

Analytics service Mixpanel reports that Apple had a decent holiday season, as more iPhone 7 devices were sold than Google Pixel smartphones. During the first few days following Christmas, iPhone 7 numbers “increased by 12.7 percent, compared with an 8.5 percent increase for Google’s newest flagship,” explains TechCrunch. “And when comparing iOS to Android devices in general — including phones, tablets, and iPods — more new Apple devices were switched on … after Christmas than Android devices.” Apple devices had the most global activations leading up to Christmas, while Samsung came in second. The number of “Apple Watches increased by 8.9 percent … the first three days after Christmas,” but “that’s down from 18.6 percent during the same time last year.” Continue reading Apple Experiences Strong Holiday Sales Numbers for iPhone 7

Oculus Aims for High-End Virtual Reality with $600 Headset

Despite a sticker price of $599 for its new Rift VR headset, Oculus VR has already sold out its preorders, resulting in an extension of its shipping date. The headset, over $100 more expensive than originally predicted, also requires the processing power of a PC that costs in the vicinity of $1,000. Starting in February, Oculus will sell a bundled headset/PC for $1,499. The expense of the Rift is justified, say observers, since its quality needs to sell VR to a public that has, in the main, never experienced virtual reality. Continue reading Oculus Aims for High-End Virtual Reality with $600 Headset

Scent Messaging Tech Allows for Aromas to Be Shared Digitally

An increasing number of startups are looking to integrate scent into the world of digital messaging. Similar to how perfumed stationery would help spark memories, new technologies are bringing scents to books, video, clothing and more. Companies such as Scentee and Vapor Communications are already in the process of releasing products to create scent messaging. David Edwards, one of the three founders of Vapor, describes the goal of the product: “To be able to deliver scent like iPod delivers sound.” Continue reading Scent Messaging Tech Allows for Aromas to Be Shared Digitally

Google Amps Up Competition with Free Version of Play Music

A week before Apple was set to unveil its streaming music service, Google came out with a free, albeit limited, version of Play Music, which began as a $9.99-a-month subscription service in 2013. Google is offering the service to lure more listeners to its subscription version, which loses potential customers when they are asked to input credit card information. Whether this strategy pays off is unclear, and some industry analysts wonder if Google is cannibalizing its own services or amping up its music creds in a competitive streaming music environment. Continue reading Google Amps Up Competition with Free Version of Play Music

Apple Watch Expected to Increase Foot Traffic in Apple Stores

The highly anticipated Apple Watch will begin shipping April 24, and Apple is hoping for big returns, even if store visitors do not purchase the pricey new wearable. Analysts expect the Apple Watch to draw many curious customers who want to see exactly what a smartwatch entails and whether it is worth the investment. Developers are also anxious to explore the possibilities of a wearable, and Apple received more than 1,000 Apple Watch apps in just four days last week. Continue reading Apple Watch Expected to Increase Foot Traffic in Apple Stores

Apple to Unveil New Watch, Beats Music Service and Apple TV

Apple has scheduled two upcoming events during which the company is expected to share more about the release of some of the year’s most anticipated products, including the relaunch of Beats Music, a new Apple TV set-top, and the Apple Watch. The company will introduce the remake of Beats Music, a streaming music service with curated playlists, at an event in June. Meanwhile, today’s “Spring Forward” event will likely feature the long awaited Apple Watch and its Watchkit applications. Continue reading Apple to Unveil New Watch, Beats Music Service and Apple TV

Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Today marks the last day that Google Glass in its current form will officially be available for $1,500 as part of the Explorer Program. Late last week, the company announced that it would stop selling the smart glasses and the device would no longer be developed by the Google X research division. However, Google Glass is expected to continue as a standalone project with former Apple exec Tony Fadell in charge. Fadell is known for helping to design the iPod and inventing the Nest thermostat. Google purchased Nest last year. Continue reading Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Neil Young’s High-End Pono Music Player Available Next Week

Musician Neil Young’s high quality Pono music player is slated to hit retail stores next Monday retailing at $399. Young designed the music player to exceed the audio capabilities of any MP3 player currently on the market. The PonoPlayer will have a limited release, initially hitting about 80 locations throughout the U.S. Audio files for the Pono will be available from the PonoMusic Store that went live earlier this week. Young made his announcements in front of an enthusiastic crowd at CES in Las Vegas. Continue reading Neil Young’s High-End Pono Music Player Available Next Week

New Study: The Mystery Behind the Way Teens Listen to Music

According to a recent Piper Jaffray study, contrary to popular belief, teenagers have yet to abandon the MP3 as the traditional way to listen to music. Given a sample of about 7,200 teens, Piper Jaffray concluded that nearly 42 percent preferred an MP3 player to Pandora, local radio, CDs, Sirius XM and other streaming services. This data however, omits key trends, including the use of Spotify and YouTube, and may not be the best interpretation of how teenagers listen to music today. Continue reading New Study: The Mystery Behind the Way Teens Listen to Music

HP Unveils Design-Oriented Computer, Plans for 3D Printer

HP is planning to release a 3D printer in 2016 that the company claims will perform up to 10 times faster than today’s 3D printers. Primarily targeting large industrial companies, the printer is expected to be more affordable than models currently on the market. HP also announced a new all-in-one computer system called Sprout, with a 3D scanner as its most innovative feature. Sprout, available November 9 starting at $1,899, is a design-oriented system that includes a projector, camera, and touchscreen. Continue reading HP Unveils Design-Oriented Computer, Plans for 3D Printer

Apple is Taking Steps to Protect iCloud Users from Hackers

Apple introduced security measures in the wake of high-profile celebrity images being hacked from personal iCloud accounts. Apple now alerts users when their iCloud data is downloaded to a new device, and the company has added a two-factor authentication option. Users of anonymous image board Anon-IB, one of the forums hackers used for stealing and sharing photos, are reportedly angry. They are complaining that the leaked celebrity images have exposed their secret hacking techniques. Continue reading Apple is Taking Steps to Protect iCloud Users from Hackers

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