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Tag - EarPods
Today's Pointers column is about a part of the iPhone we all take so much for granted that we almost don't remember its there: the earbuds (or, if you have a more recent iPhone, EarPods) and the little controller they come with. As with iOS and OS X generally, it should not surprise you that there may be hidden abilities in there: this is true of many aspects of Apple's hardware and software. Both in Apple's own supplied earphones and Apple-compatible third-party ones with the little controller, there are some less-obvious and downright-secret features you may not know.
Apple may release some updated EarPods in the future, potentially wireless versions, if a report about a recently-discovered trademark filing is to be believed. A trademark application for "AirPods" was filed on September 22, and though the company applying for the mark isn't labeled as Apple, it is suggested that some details about the application hint strongly that Apple is in fact behind the application, using another name in an attempt to keep the application quiet.
Apple is experimenting with ways to use bone conduction technology with its EarPods, in order to make calls through headsets clearer for both parties. The patent application, recently published but originally filed in February last year, explains a system where untethered earbuds include a multitude of sensors and microphones that can combat background noise and wind, allowing the wearer to be better heard by the other party of a call.
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue -- joined by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine -- offered an explanation of the company's $3 billion buyout of Beats, and also discussed Apple's upcoming product pipeline. He noted that a deal for Beats and/or the people behind it has been in development for a decade, and that together the two companies should be able to speed up products that are being kept secret.
The ink hasn't even dried on Apple's acquisition of Beats and Dr Dre (Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine, both newly anointed executives at Apple have already made a public gaffe a piece. Firstly, we saw Dr Dre quaffing Heineken beer and bragging about the deal before it was made official. Then just late yesterday, in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference, Jimmy Iovine publicly criticized Apple's pre-packaged headphones (its EarPods) as being for little more than "to see if the sound [on the device] works." While it might have been a casual off-handed quip, it wouldn't have amused the team responsible for developing Apple's EarPods. Nor is it something you would ever expect hear coming from an Apple executive, indicating that this union may take a little while to become fully settled.
Apple's senior VP of design, Jonathan Ive, has collaborated with U2's Bono and industrial designer Marc Newson on a special set of EarPods for a charity auction. The set is plated in 18-karat solid rose gold, and will offered as part of the (RED) Auction, meant to benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Canadian company SPRNG has recently begun shipping its SPRNG clip for Apple EarPods. Although Apple says that the EarPods are designed to sit just outside the ear canal and stay there on their own, some users complain that they can move around or fall out when on the move or when jogging in particular. The SPRNG clip promises to end those issues if you're experiencing them by adding a stabilizing, flexible strut to the EarPods that sits in under the antihelix of a user's ear -- so do they work as promised and is the $10 asking price worth it?
A company that makes digital hearing aids with the trademark name "HearPod" is suing Apple over its "EarPods" trademark, claiming infringement. Filed in Hawaii, the "HearPod" trademark was originally issued in 2007, five years before Apple introduced its EarPods headphones. Oddly, Randolph Divisions is suing for infringement rather than claiming any harm from consumer confusion between the two similar-sounding brands. Apple owns the US trademarks for both "EarPods" and "Apple EarPods," but Randolph Divisions owns the "earpods.com" domain name.
A new iFixit teardown has exposed some of the inner workings of Apple's new EarPods. The product notably uses paper cones, a first for any set of Apple headphones. The earbuds Apple previously included with mobile devices relied on plastic cones, in theory hurting sound quality.
Two of the videos shown during the two-hour iPhone 5 and iPod rollout on Wednesday have found their way to YouTube through unofficial channels. In addition to a new ad for the iPod line -- the first in years -- there is also a mini-documentary around the making of the new EarPod headphones, narrated by Apple's SVP of Design, Sir Jonathan Ive. In it, Ive details the process that went into making what he calls the "impossible" task of creating a single set of headphones that would fit nearly anybody.
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe