Tag - Apple Car
According to people familiar with Apple's plans and an examination of LinkedIn profiles, Apple has been meeting with companies with expertise in designing and building charging stations, and has also been busy hiring engineers with expertise in the field. A major barrier to consumer adoption of electric vehicles is the charging process, which can be lengthy and inconvenient due to a lack of charging station infrastructure – it would be a key area that in developing an electric car, that Apple would be looking to make more user friendly.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has used his latest investment note on Apple to comment on the unexpected news that Apple has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing app Didi Chuxing. Munster argues that the investment is a sound one, and that it confirms Piper Jaffray's view that Apple is indeed working on an Apple Car. Although ride-sharing and building a car seem somewhat removed from one and other, Apple could potentially build its own electric vehicles, and combine them with a ride-sharing app and software ecosystem -– this could potentially be more profitable than selling cars in the traditional way. Further, according to Munster, it shows Apple diversifying itself beyond its core consumer electronics business.
This week, The MacNN Podcast deals with an unusually wide variety of topics, ranging from serious (the future of encryption) to farcical (we'd daresay anyone listening could design a better theoretical Apple Car than what Motor Trend came up with). This is a pretty good week for Apple fans, a bad week for BlackBerry fans, and a goldmine for "what th--?" type news stories. We talk about what we'd do if we ran Apple, the latest DOJ-FBI shenanigans, and much more, along with a very unusual App of the Week.
Based on various rumors and other speculation about a possible "Apple Car" the company is allegedly working on, automotive trade publication Motor Trend on Thursday published a multi-page but fact-free speculative spread on what such a vehicle might be like. A number of 3D renders of the alleged project, designed by Garrett DeBry and rendered by Mind Over Eye, appears to envisage a car version of the iPhone and iPad designs, including the gold colors. The fanciful illustrations imagine Tesla-like "wing" doors, LED-based ambient interior lighting, and wireless charging for the electric vehicle.
Having shirked our responsibilities because recording a podcast on the Friday before a major Apple event on Monday would be a fool's errand, The MacNN Podcast returns this week with analysis of the March 21 Apple Event, discovers the meaning of the cryptic press invitation tagline (maybe), celebrates the 15th anniversary of OS X, updates you on the latest wrinkles in the FBI and DOJ cases against encryption, and revives talk about the Apple Car because why not. All this and much, much more on this jam-packed catch-up episode.
Rumors, while they are often at least somewhat inaccurate, very spoiler-y, and occasionally just not true at all (still no Apple Watch 2 ...), are born of a boundless optimism for the future and the thrill of mystery -- qualities that you just can't hate. This week, Rumor Roundup tries not to rain on the parade of the latest claims, reports, and speculation regarding a leaked part for next fall's iPhone 7, the possibility of refreshes in the MacBook family lineup, and at least one analyst who -- after finally giving up his dream of an Apple HDTV -- has now reshaped that dream to look like a car.
This edition of Rumor Roundup will begin with what we understand is a fact: Apple VP of Product Design Steve Zadesky is leaving Apple. The Wall Street Journal reports that he has informed colleagues of his departure for personal reasons. The loss will be a blow to the company: Zadesky worked on the iPhone and iPad, and has been working extensively with Liquidmetal -- the special alloy Apple owns the rights to under license. However, it is his rumored role as the head of the Apple car-technology project, which allegedly stems from is former role as a Ford engineer, that feeds the rumor mill.
Hyundai has revealed that it will launch its 2017 Elantra with both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto support, along with adding a second USB port to the car in order to facilitate charging other devices while the iPhone or Android device is connected to the infotainment system. The company also said it will announce other models to gain CarPlay and Android Auto support, and hinted that some current model year owners may be able to add the technology to their existing vehicles.
Apple has hired Jonathan Cohen for an unnamed project away from Nvidia. Cohen was the director of Nvidia's Software Solutions machine learning program, and the hire is sparking rumors about the future of the hypothesized Apple Car and other artificial intelligence programs at Cupertino.
Two major auto manufacturers are said to be in talks with Apple about a variety of possible partnerships, from Continental's hopes that it could participate in any rumored Apple Car creation to BMW's desire to collaborate with the iPhone maker about bringing some its existing and future car technology to its auto lineup. BMW went out if its way, however, to specifically deny that its talks with Apple have anything do with developing or building a car.
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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