CES: Xreal Offers Spatial Computing with Air 2 Ultra for $699

Xreal, the Chinese XR company formerly known as Nreal, debuted its Air 2 Ultra AR glasses at CES 2024 this week in Las Vegas, with the $699 item scheduled to ship to U.S. buyers in March, crowding the February 2 release date Apple just announced for its $3,500 Vision Pro mixed reality headset. Though currently aimed at developers, who can preorder now, the Air 2 Ultra will be available for purchase online from Xreal to anyone in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the UK, in addition to China and the United States. Continue reading CES: Xreal Offers Spatial Computing with Air 2 Ultra for $699

Intuitive Mammoth App Aims to Simplify Accessing Mastodon

Mozilla-backed Mammoth wants to lure social media users to the fediverse, presenting its latest iteration, Mammoth 2, as “the easiest way to quit Twitter/X for good and join Mastodon.” Having added a “For You” feed earlier this year, Mammoth 2 now debuts on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, delving deeper into news and curation. New “Smart Lists” are filled with recommended posts, suggested connections and accounts to follow. The future of social “is being built today on ActivityPub and Mastodon,” Mammoth’s creators claim, calling for “an open protocol anybody can build on,” as with “email or the open web.” Continue reading Intuitive Mammoth App Aims to Simplify Accessing Mastodon

Xreal $400 Air 2 AR Glasses are for Games, Movies and More

Xreal (formerly Nreal) is releasing its Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Pro augmented reality glasses. The latest iteration of AR glasses from the company is designed for everything from movies to TV to games. The Air 2 AR glasses “can turn whatever the wearer is viewing into a big screen experience” of up to 330-inches, the company claims, citing the integration of Sony Semiconductor Solutions’ Micro OLED displays that pack a whopping 4,032 pixels-per-inch to deliver “a crisp and visually stunning virtual screen” in Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 per eye. An ultra-high contrast ratio of 100,000:1, and 500 nits brightness ensure sharp detail. Continue reading Xreal $400 Air 2 AR Glasses are for Games, Movies and More

Nvidia to Pursue Mobile and PC Markets with Arm Processors

Not content with dominating what is currently the hottest processor market in the world — chipsets for artificial intelligence — and leading among GPU suppliers, Nvidia is branching into CPUs. The 30-year-old company, whose market cap passed the $1 trillion mark in May, is said to be “quietly” developing chips to run Microsoft’s Windows OS, tapping into a global market that hovers at about 300 million PC sales per year, 70 percent of which use Windows, according to Statista. Nvidia is reportedly pursuing its plan via a licensing deal with Arm, whose tech powers 200 billion mobile processors shipped each year. Continue reading Nvidia to Pursue Mobile and PC Markets with Arm Processors

Roblox Adds Facial-Tracking Vid Chat, Expands to PlayStation

Roblox is adding an expressive, avatar-based video chat called Roblox Connect to its virtual world in an effort to keep its young user base engaged as it grows up while also potentially expanding its audience. “We’re essentially packaging a Hollywood-style motion capture studio into something that runs on a mobile phone or laptop — without the need for equipment or motion-tracking dots,” Roblox explains, pointing out that the device’s on-board camera is all that’s needed to capture facial motion and convey it in real time. Also, Roblox is is coming to PS4 and PS5 next month, while the company will allow game creators to sell 3D virtual goods. Continue reading Roblox Adds Facial-Tracking Vid Chat, Expands to PlayStation

Netflix Beta Tests Its Game Streaming on TVs and Computers

Netflix continues to expand its game ecosystem. The company released a TV game controller for iOS devices earlier this month and has just begun beta testing its game streaming on TVs in Canada and the UK, with plans to begin tests for computer play in the coming weeks. Participating in the tests are partner devices including Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Players, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Nvidia Shield TV, Roku devices and TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, and Walmart Onn, with plans for more manufacturers to be added on an ongoing basis. Continue reading Netflix Beta Tests Its Game Streaming on TVs and Computers

Apple’s Sales Decline Tempered by Record for Services Arm

Apple experienced its third consecutive quarter of declining sales in Q2, with a 1.4 percent slip to revenue of $81.8 billion. But the Cupertino-based company managed to generate record performance in its Services division, up 8.2 percent to $21.21 billion. Sales of the company’s largest device segment, iPhones, underperformed estimates with $39.7 billion in sales, a 2.4 percent dip year-over-year. Overall, however, Apple slightly overperformed Wall Street expectations, which were forecast at $81.64 billion for the quarter ending in June. For Q2, Apple reported 1 billion paid subscriptions — including Apple Music, Apple TV+ and third-party apps. Continue reading Apple’s Sales Decline Tempered by Record for Services Arm

TSMC’s Advanced Chipmaking Plans Leak Before Biden Visit

TSMC has revised plans for its Arizona chip plant, reportedly the result of pressure from customers including Apple, Nvidia and AMD, who urged the Taiwanese company to reconsider its plan to output 5-nanometer processors that will be old news by the time the $12 billion plant opens in 2024. TSMC is expected to announce during a scheduled Tuesday visit by President Biden and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that it will output advanced 4-nanometer chips when production commences and will add a second nearby plant to manufacture even more sophisticated 3-nanometer chips. Continue reading TSMC’s Advanced Chipmaking Plans Leak Before Biden Visit

Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

Bolstered by iPhone 14 sales, Apple reported fiscal Q4 revenue up just over 8 percent, to $90.1 billion, with a 7.8 percent increase to $394 billion for the 12-month sales session that ended September 24. “We set an all-time revenue record for Mac and September quarter records for iPhone and wearables, home, and accessories,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts, noting “services notched a September quarter record as well, with revenue of $19.2 billion and more than 900 million paid subscriptions.” Even so, the company’s earnings produced a Rashomon effect as peak performance triggered pique among some. Continue reading Apple Has Record Quarter but Slowed Growth Worries Some

Apple Passkey Implementation Begins This Month via iOS 16

The world is preparing for a passwordless future, which Apple provides with the September 12 launch of iOS 16 and macOS Ventura next month. Known as passkeys, the password replacement will work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs, letting users log in to apps and websites and create new accounts without having to store a password. Made from a cryptographic key pair, the passkey is synced across iCloud’s Keychain. Google, Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Amazon are also in various stages of developing passkeys using standards created by the FIDO Alliance, which means they’ll all likely be interoperable. Continue reading Apple Passkey Implementation Begins This Month via iOS 16

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Mozilla’s Firefox Browser Defaults to Total Cookie Protection

Mozilla has made Total Cookie Protection the default setting for Firefox worldwide, turning it into what the company calls “the most private and secure major browser available across Windows, Mac and Linux.” Total Cookie Protection works by “confining cookies to the sites where they were created, thus preventing tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site.” The feature — which Mozilla promises won’t negatively affect the browsing experience — creates a separate “cookie jar” for each website visited, limiting behavioral insights to that one site rather than letting trackers link behavior across multiple sites. Continue reading Mozilla’s Firefox Browser Defaults to Total Cookie Protection

Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Weak and repeated passwords are a huge vulnerability when it comes to navigating one’s digital life, and it appears 2022 is the year online companies will make a concerted effort to navigate users away from passwords altogether. At the WWDC 2022 developer conference last week, Apple announced passwordless logins across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. Later this year, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura users will be invited to log into apps and websites using passkeys. Once a passkey is set up for an app or site, it gets stored on the device used to activate it. Tech giants Google and Microsoft are also backing the passkey protocol. Continue reading Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

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

Apple Reports Record $97 Billion Quarter but Somber Outlook

Apple’s fiscal Q2 was one of the best quarters in its 46 years of business. The company reported record revenue of $97.3 billion, up 9 percent year-over-year, far outperforming analyst expectations of $94 billion. More than $28 billion in operating cash flow and a return of nearly $27 billion to Apple shareholders resulted in the January through March period. But Apple warned that the outlook could dim in the current quarter, with China’s COVID-19 resurgence threatening to slow manufacturing, stymying sales by anywhere from $4 billion to $8 billion in fiscal Q3. Continue reading Apple Reports Record $97 Billion Quarter but Somber Outlook