Tag - Rumor Roundup
As much as we lampoon some of the sillier rumors in this space, we do like taking a peek into the crystal ball of what might happen and picking out our favorites to bet on. As we all know, some of them come true, some of them never do, some may come true someday -- so they're like prayers, in a way -- and there is some fun in handicapping the likelihood of which camp a given rumor will fall. In recent years, the dead zone between the end of WWDC and the announcement of the new hotness(es) in the fall there comes a second "silly season" where analysts, pundits, and other assorted otherwise-unemployable types put out their guesses. This year, it is particularly contradictory.
We spend a fair amount of time in this space belittling the predictions and pontifications of pundits around here (one in particular -- though we would like to stress that it is the sites that unfairly balloon his above-average-but-imperfect record into gospel-like status that we actually don't care for, not the man himself). We love deconstructing rumors (where needed), rooting out the source, watching it evolve and refine (or be walked back and forgotten), and let's not forget: even if it's clearly nonsense, rumors can be fun and entertaining. We feed on them.
Really, rumor mongers? Really? WWDC's corpse is not even cold yet, and you're already walking back your weakest rumor by claiming it was going to be in there, but mean old Apple axed it? This is Standard Rumor Fizzle Excuse number two, right behind "delayed because of production problems." So let us be sure we have this right -- that dual camera lens you've been assuring us for months would be the lead visible difference in the otherwise-samey "iPhone 7," the one you showed us numerous mockups of, has been "cancelled" days before Foxconn cranks up the assembly to make 70 million of them for this fall because Apple just realized the technology is "immature?" Right. Sure.
Yesterday, we made the rookie mistake of saying that our previous Rumor Roundup column would likely be the last before Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off Monday. We're flattered that the rumor mill read that and said to itself "challenge accepted," but as a result here we are again with further revelations, real or imagined, of what is to come. Today, the rumors get a bit wilder -- including the notion of iMessage coming to Android, blue replacing "space gray" as a color option, and some drool-worth CGI mock-ups of what an OLED "function bar" might look like on a new MacBook Pro.
Welcome to what we will cautiously call "the last" Rumor Roundup prior to Monday's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, because calling it that practically guarantees we'll need to do one on Friday. There's not a lot of startlingly new rumors (or even parts leaks with the requisite BPP -- Blurry Photo "Proof"), but we do have some further clarification of previous MacBook-family claims, some evidence of forthcoming non-hardware changes (with evidence!), and one of our favorite rumor behaviors, the re-assertion of a rumor that is too going to come true, regardless of facts or common sense, or they will hold their breath until it does.
Recently, chipmaker Intel came out and admitted it could no longer keep up with Moore's Law anymore, and would move to what it called a "tick-tock-tock" cycle, in which a new chip family will now receive a third full generation of development and refinement before being replaced. Likewise, the rumor mill -- led by Ming-Chi Quo -- believe Apple will do the same thing, creating what amounts to a third iPhone 6, because Intel ... wait, Intel has very little to do with the iPhone. So the rationale makes no sense ... but when has that ever stopped a rumor?
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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