Tag - CES
There is nothing wrong with jargon. If there weren't jargon, everybody in every industry would be saying gigantically long sentences with every word spelt out and defined with footnotes. So when someone asks you about storage on computers, you are perfectly sensible to say SSD is better than HDD. You're sensible and you're mostly right, but you're still going to get that blank look you know so well from your family and friends.
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.
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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