Tag - CES
Welcome to the first MacNN Podcast of 2016! We hope we didn't break our New Year resolutions already by getting this out a day late, but you know Bowie died, right? Though it happened after our recording sessions, you have to take time to grieve, you know? The man was a living legend. Anyway, we're back and talking about the CES show in Las Vegas, where all the things you will and won't be buying people for Christmas next year debut. This year there were some themes: we assess them, and throw in some other news as well!
Three accessory manufacturers -- Kanex, Zagg, and Actionproof -- showed off some new charging docks for the Apple Watch at CES last week. Actionproof's new $40 "Bozon" figure holds the watch in place horizontally for nightstand mode or vertically if preferred, works with most bands, and includes some cord management in the unit. Kanex's unnamed stand does not have a price or release date yet, but includes its own magnetic induction charger.
Mobile broadband provider Karma is starting to reduce the speed of its Neverstop subscription service, after some users used the service for their home Internet connection. A small contingent of subscribers have allegedly used hundreds of gigabytes of data, some also apparently getting around Karma's restrictions on home video streaming devices, with the high usage forcing the company to look into placing more restrictions on the available speed.
Gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer's latest attempt at the wearables market is a watch, though the company claims it to be a "watch with smart functions" instead of a typical smartwatch. Following after the Nabu fitness tracker, the Razer Nabu Watch borrows many of the traits of its predecessor, combining it with a digital watch that includes a second screen, one that can display notifications from a smartphone connected over Bluetooth.
Olympus has introduced the Stylus Tough TG-870 to its ruggedized camera range, one built to withstand the elements and the knocks expected from outdoor activities. Stablemate of the TG-860, the TG-870 offers a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a 5x optical zoom, with the camera able to survive 50-foot dives into water, temperatures as low as -10C (14F), seven-foot drops, dust, and can resist crushing by up to 220 pounds of force.
Sony has introduced two new video cameras with 4K video recording capabilities at CES, with both aimed at the consumer market. The FDR-AX53 is an upgrade from last year's AX33 HandyCam, while the HDR-AS50 is an action camera that not only offers the high-resolution recording functionality, but also introduces a new redesigned body that makes it easier for owners to get started filming with the imaging device.
Samsung is going to be adding support for iOS devices to its Gear S2 smartwatch in the future, the South Korean electronics giant confirmed at CES. The smartwatch, launched last August, is currently only able to work with Android smartphones, both Samsung's own and those from other manufacturers, with VP Alanna Cotton advising on stage during a keynote that iOS support for the smartwatch will be arriving sometime later this year.
Kodak has created a follow-up to the PixPro SP360 action camera, one which could be attractive to those producing VR-friendly spherical videos. The PixPro SP360 4K is similar in construction to its predecessor, resembling a cube with a domed camera lens on the top for a 360-degree video, but aside from the higher resolution, it can also be combined with a second unit to create a complete spherical video, compatible with Facebook and YouTube's 360 video services.
Canon has launched a collection of new cameras at CES, with five more imaging devices entering the PowerShot range. A pair of super-zoom PowerShot SX cameras, the 20.3-megapixel SX540HS and the 20-megapixel SX420 IS, are joined by a trio of compact snappers in the PowerShot ELPH product line: the 20.2-megapixel PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, the 20-megapixel ELPH 190 IS, and the 20-megapixel ELPH 180.
Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries around the world, after the video streaming service went live in 130 new countries simultaneously during a presentation at CES. The launch now means Netflix is effectively available in almost all countries, though it is still exploring whether it can launch its service in China, and it cannot operate in Crimea, North Korea, and Syria due to US government restrictions on American companies in those territories.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel