In response to the Trump administration’s trade war with China, major tech companies are preparing to relocate key manufacturing operations. According to Bloomberg, Google is moving production of its US-bound Nest thermostats and motherboards to Taiwan. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is shifting at least some production of its Switch console to Southeast Asia. At the same time, China has allegedly warned companies that they will face permanent consequences if they cooperate with Trump administration trade restrictions.
Apple’s music ID app Shazam has always been a handy tool to have on your phone, but it has one small inconvenience – it can only identify music which is either played through your device’s internal speakers or picked up by its microphone.
When Engadget video producer Chris Schodt reviewed the new Mac Mini back in November, it had been four years since the previous model was released. The 2018 upgrade includes an eighth-generation Intel processor and a plethora of ports in a space gray recycled aluminum body, all of which make for a polished and flexible machine. However, Chris thought the lack of a dedicated GPU was a big miss here, particularly for the sort of pro users Apple was trying to court.
In the future, you might be able to ask Siri to play your Spotify music and podcasts. According to MacRumors, iOS 13 and iPadOS will open the SiriKit framework to third-party music, podcast, audiobook and radio apps. So, when it comes to playing DJ, Siri will be able to control more than your Apple Music, Podcast and TV apps — formerly known as iTunes, RIP.
You can pinpoint the exact moment when Apple lost the WWDC audience on Monday. John Ternus, the company’s VP of hardware engineering, had just revealed that the Pro Display XDR, its new high-end 6K monitor, will cost $4,999. That’s pricey, but reasonable considering all of the features it offers. But then there was one more thing, and not the good kind. One hour, forty two minutes and five seconds into the keynote stream, he revealed that the Pro Display’s stand is a separate $999 purchase. The crowd, which was mostly enthusiastic until then, erupted into cautious murmurs — enough to make Ternus stammer as he continued on. He was completely unprepared for the Apple faithful to question the glorious technology being bestowed upon them.
It appears Apple left one item out of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday: its Tile-like tracking device. Earlier this spring, we learned that Apple is supposedly working on a tracking tag, but the company didn’t mention it amidst news of its updated operating systems, Mac Pro and HomeKit security improvements. However, in the iOS 13 beta, developers spotted an asset package for a device with the product type “Tag1,1.” As 9to5Mac reports, that type of asset package is used for pairing devices by proximity — like AirPods and HomePod. It’s more evidence to support rumors that Apple is working on a tracking device.
Once iOS 13 rolls out, you’ll be able to use these console controllers easily with your device, no workarounds needed. With Apple reportedly spending “hundreds of millions” to get games to be a part of its subscription package, it’s good to know that controllers we already generally like and probably have laying around will be able to keep doing their job.
Apple unveiled a slew of new features and updates at this year’s WWDC that will impact every corner of its ecosystem. In addition to iOS 13, macOS Catalina and watchOS 6, Apple also unveiled the new iPadOS for, you guessed it, the iPad. Users can expect a long-awaited dark mode in iOS, a more natural-sounding Siri, an Apple Watch that can stream audio and an array of new editing features for Photos. Software changes weren’t the only announcements at this year’s WWDC, though. As expected, we’re also getting a new Mac Pro this fall, complete with a new 6K Retina display with a revolving stand. Consumer demands for more security were also addressed with much-needed privacy updates, including a new “Sign-in with Apple” feature for third-party apps.
Accessibility has become a popular avenue for tech companies lately, and today Apple revealed its latest push: Voice Control. With macOS Catalina and iOS 13, you’ll be able to control your devices completely with your voice. At WWDC, Apple showed that this can be used to do things like launch apps and select emoji. You can also ask it to simulate actions like a long press or access things typically done with swipe or gesture — like the app switcher. Most importantly, the company says your voice is processed on the device. Nothing is sent to, or stored by, Apple.
Where does macOS go from here? Sailing, apparently. Apple announced today that the next version of macOS (10.15) will be known as Catalina. And one of the big new features is a complete rethink of iTunes, which is now broken out into individual Music, Podcast and TV apps. Based on the quick preview from Apple’s WWDC keynote, the Podcast app looks a lot more useful for finding new shows, thanks to a bit of machine learning. The TV app will also finally bring support for 4K HDR video to Macs, something that was only possible with the Apple TV 4K until now.
Apple is making the iPad more powerful with the new iPadOS, and a lot of these fresh features are all about productivity. The Files app is getting a huge upgrade, complete with zip and unzip features, local storage, a new Column View, folder-sharing through iCloud Drive and support for SMB file sharing.
Plus, for the first time on iPad, plug in a thumb drive or pop in an SD card and read files directly from either. You’ll be able to import files directly into apps like Lightroom, as well.
Apple is continuing its privacy-based assault on Google and Facebook. At its WWDC event, the company unveiled HomeKit Secure Video and HomeKit for Routers. Both services are meant to protect the privacy of Apple customers.
It wouldn’t be WWDC without new features for Apple Health. We knew the company had big plans for the app this year based on Tim Cook’s comments in January, but now we’re getting details on the improvements that will arrive with iOS 13 and watchOS 6. First, Apple is working on improved menstrual cycle tracking in its Health app — appropriately called Cycle Tracking. And to help, the company will also offer Apple Watch tools for tracking your cycle. The Health app can help women identify their most fertile period, in addition to letting you know when your period is likely to start. It will work with the iOS version of the app as well, no Watch required.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is about to get underway, and there should be plenty of news in store at the opening keynote. We expect to learn details about iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS and more. We might even get a peek at new hardware.
For the record, the appropriate response to being called a slut isn’t, “I’d blush if I could.” But that’s what Siri is programmed to say. According to a report by the United Nations, the fact that most voice assistant are gendered as young women is reinforcing harmful stereotypes that women are docile and eager to please, even when they’re called lewd names.
It’s been a tumultuous week for Huawei. Five days ago, President Trump declared a national emergency to ban the sales and use of telecom equipment that pose “unacceptable” risks to national security. While the executive order didn’t explicitly name countries or companies, it tasked the Commerce Department with drafting enforcement plans. Hours later, the department added Huawei to its so-called entity list, indicating it believes the company is violating “national security and foreign policy interest.”
Apple’s approach to digital video can best be described as slow and steady. While iTunes and the iPod effortlessly transformed the way we purchased and listened to music, it took the company years to figure out how to position the Apple TV. For the most part, films and TV were just additional categories in iTunes, which, as its name implies, was primarily focused on music. But now that Apple finally has a solid 4K set-top box, the next issue is helping people organize everything they have to watch.
Despite being a hugely popular headphone brand, Beats has had one glaring hole in its wireless headphone lineup: true wireless earbuds. Thanks to a hint in iOS code, the Powerbeats Pro weren’t exactly a well-kept secret, and as expected, they carry the latest Apple tech that’s also found inside version 2.0 of the AirPods. At $249.95, the Powerbeats Pro is near the top end of the true wireless spectrum price-wise, and its over-the-ear hook design isn’t for everyone. However, the combination of features and sound quality makes quite the impression.
Apple is reportedly working on a new NFC feature that will allow iPhone users to make Apple Pay purchases by tapping special, NFC-equipped tags. That means retailers won’t need bulky terminals, and iPhone users won’t need to download a third-party app before, say, buying clothes or adding miles to their scooter rental. According to 9to5mac, Apple is partnering with Bonobos clothing store, PayByPhone parking meters and Bird scooters on the initial roll out.