Category - Mobile-phones
Google is allegedly working on producing a new smartphone it will produce itself, according to a report, with the first release potentially arriving at the end of this year. Rather than relying on a third-party manufacturer to actually produce the devices, a report claims Google is intending to go into hardware production itself, giving it increased control over the overall experience consumers will get to have with the mobile device, instead of just the software that the existing Nexus device range uses.
BlackBerry is continuing to hemorrhage money, after its latest financial results show it endured a net loss of $670 million for the most recent quarter. Revenue for the Canadian smartphone producer is also poor, pulling in just $400 million over the three-month period ending in May, a year-on-year drop of 39 percent, with the balance sheet hammered by a list of adjustments and a hefty asset impairment charge pushing it into the red.
There are, it would seem, two types of iPhone owners: those who buy their device based on price, and thus don't really consider how much storage it has, for one reason or another -- and those who write angry letters to Tim Cook every month demanding a 1TB capacity iPhone. Long-time Mac and iPhone users who have been using the devices for a long time are dumbfounded that Apple still offers a 16GB base capacity for most of its iOS devices (and still offers "anemic" base storage levels for some Macs, like the MBA), but this Pointers will lead you down the path of Zen, and the validation of all things. Even 16GB.
Let's cut to the chase on this one -- we're putting up our 66th episode a day early because this one may have a short shelf life. We tried, heaven knows, to limit our "predictions" to things that are incredibly likely to happen, or if not incredibly likely, then we just indicated if we liked the idea or not. That said, you know part of our "it's complicated" relationship with Apple is that every time we think they're going to zig instead of zag, they in fact zagnut (yes, that candy bar is still being made). So here goes the road to WWDC, littered with speculation that's going to make us look (smart? dumb?) come Monday. Show notes after the player.
The next upgrade of Bluetooth is on the way, with a formal announcement from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) expected to take place next week. In an email, Bluetooth SIG executive director Mark Powell advises the name of the new wireless standard will be Bluetooth 5, with the official unveiling containing more details about what to expect from this latest version taking place at an event in London on June 16. Among the highlights are claims that BT5 will include a speed boost of up to four times the current rate under Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), and double the current range.
We belong in the camp that says the best iPhone case is the AppleCare insurance program. For we love the feel of the phone without anything getting in the way. Unfortunately, whatever you may feel about cases, there are jobs where they are a practical necessity. If you have a job in, say, construction -- or maybe you spend your day running around a hospital, then the OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone 6/6s is startlingly strong, and surprisingly cheap.
On Monday, we covered a range of tips in our last Pointers that are designed to help keep your identity and files safe, along with a few tips for avoiding the obvious scams. This time, we'll discuss some of those in more depth, add a few new ones, and bring up the most vulnerable point of attack on your security -- anyone having physical access to your machine. As Mac or iOS device owners, we enjoy a pretty strong level of security -- but as we use our computers and mobile devices more and more for important data and secure transactions, it becomes ever more important to be vigilant. Internet freedom isn't free, to borrow a phrase.
Research firm Gartner has predicted more bad news for news for smartphone makers, forecasting that the annual growth of the global smartphone market will be as little as 7 percent for 2016. This is only half of the 14.4 percent growth that the global smartphone market achieved in 2015, and well down from the rapid growth of 2010, when global smartphone growth was a stratospheric 73 percent. The report aligns with Apple's own outlook for the next quarter, where it also expects to record relatively soft sales.
It's not as if we often think we've seen it all before, but a car mount for an iPhone is surely a car mount for an iPhone. It has to go in your car, it has to hold the phone, there's not exactly a world of possibilities here. Yet we haven't seen, and we didn't expect, the Bracketron TekGrip Power Dock. It took a little getting used to, but we are used to it now, and we're rather fond of it.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE