Release of Apple HomePod Postponed

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, November 24, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Apple reported last 17 November that it was delaying until early next year the release of its HomePod speaker set to compete with Amazon's Alexa-powered devices and Google Home as a smart home and music hub.

The delay means Apple will miss the key holiday shopping season in the fast-growing segment of connected speakers.

"We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," Apple said in an emailed statement.

"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

Apple announced the device at its developer conference in June.

Powered by Apple's Siri digital assistant, HomePod is priced starting at US$ 349, at the high end of the market, and is designed with high-quality audio to pair with the Apple Music subscription service.

But Apple is late to a marketplace dominated by Amazon and Google, with a handful of other players entering the race.

While Amazon and Google have released no specific sales figures, a survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners showed Amazon Echo having an installed base of 20 million units in the United States, or 73 percent of the market, at the end of the third quarter.

Google Home had sold 7 million devices, grabbing a 27 percent market share.

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Apple TV 4K Needs to Fix Its Video Output Problem

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, November 20, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Apple TV
Apple TV 4K saw the set-top box leap into the same league as its rivals. However, despite getting so much right, the device still had a handful of flaws, including its one video output fits all functionality.

AV enthusiasts cried foul, and it seems Apple heard their wails. According to the latest tvOS developer beta, Apple TV 4K will soon automatically switch its display settings to match the native frame rate and dynamic range of a video.

Currently, Apple TV 4K auto-configures those outputs during the set-up stage. Apple claims that this helps to avoid the irksome jittering that plagues some TVs when they switch in and out of HDR modes. The company's solution is to strong-arm the best video setting for the set.

So, if the Apple TV sets to output 4K Dolby Vision HDR, it will carry on displaying that format, even if users switch to a video made for standard dynamic range and standard definition. Users can still force the Apple TV to display specific resolutions and refresh rates, but they would expect a modern (not to mention pricey) set-top box to better handle itself.

In the near future, it will. With tvOS 11.2, Apple will introduce a new "Match Content" setting within the device's audio and video menu. It will essentially put users in control of the video output, allowing them to choose to match the dynamic range and refresh rate -- although, both will be disabled by default.

There's no ETA on when the update will arrive, and Apple warns that it will only work with "compatible apps." But, as long as it fixes the issue at hand, customers should be pleased. Then, the only thing missing from the stellar device will be Dolby Atmos support.

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iPhone X Are Using OLED Display

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, November 17, 2017 | | 0 comments »

iPhone Display
Apple's bezel-less "X" is the first iPhone with an OLED screen. This is a technology known for its greater contrast and saturation, but also for its tendency to get burn-in. To make sure customers understand that their US$ 1,000 phone might suffer from image persistence in the future, the tech titan has updated the iPhone X's display support page to explain how an OLED screen works.

The company explains that the "slight shifts in color and hue" when viewing the screen off-angle are perfectly normal. It also says OLEDs exhibit slight visual changes with long-term use, such as showing remnants of a high-contrast image displayed on the screen for extended periods of time even when it's already showing another image.

Those two are also the most common issues Pixel 2 XL owners have with their Android Oreo devices. By pre-empting potential complaints, Apple is most likely trying to avoid facing a similar debacle. In Google's case, though, some customers' complaints might be warranted, since they reportedly got burn-in as soon as a week after their purchase.

Despite the warning, Apple assures customers that their pricey new phones aren't going to have less-than-perfect displays anytime soon. The company says it "engineered the Super Retina display to be the best in the industry in reducing the effects of OLED "burn-in."

And, as AppleInsider notes, iPhone X uses OLED made by Samsung. The Korean conglomerate also manufactures OLED screens for Pixel 2, which doesn't suffer from the same issues as its bigger sibling.

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Toyota Wants You To Walk With Concept-i

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, November 07, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Giant car-maker Toyota is conceptualizing the future outside the box with one of two new Concept-i vehicles it revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show this year. The Concept-i Walk is a sidewalk mobility device, which takes up the same physical space as a person walking, and which can anticipate and avoid collisions automatically

According to TechCrunch, it looks sort of like a scaled down Segway, but it's designed for easy operation for anyone using single joystick for navigation and acceleration. As mentioned, it occupies no more space than a single pedestrian, either, which means it should be easy to use in real world settings now, without any requirements in terms of changing behavior to accommodate the new transportation mode.

The Concep-i Walk has a slim body, culminating in the integrated control joystick which is ergonomically designed to work with human body. When the vehicle detects danger using its onboard sensors, it provides an alert and then automatically avoids whatever it seems, including this like a child darting out in front of its path, for instance.

The total width of the base is less than a person's shoulder width, and its length front-to-back is less than a person's average stride – so it takes up less space than a person walking, Toyota says. And unlike vehicles like the Segway, there's no body weight shifting required, with steering designed around that single handle, which is positioned at about stomach height so that it can be used in a relaxed position by the rider.

All a driver needs to do is lightly flex their wrist right or left to make turns, as it's designed to work with limited arm mobility for greater accessibility.

The vehicle has three wheels for stability when stopping, and the wheelbase is variable to provide stability at multiple speeds. Also Toyota's Yui personal AI agent is here, too, carrying the assistant across the Concept-i line, which includes the original concept vehicle revealed at CES this year, and now the Walk and the Ride, too.

Yui on the Concept-i Walk has a projector built-in for visual communication, allowing it to project contextual information on shop windows for instance, and speakers for voice communication.

Its total cruising range on a single charge is around 6 to 12 miles. and Toyota is aiming to have it weigh around 44 lbs, which is relatively portable for a personal vehicle like this. It'll have a maximum speed of around 4 miles per hour, since it's designed to work with the existing flow of pedestrian traffic.

This concept reflects a growing interesting at Toyota to work on solutions across personal mobility, and to unlock freedom of movement for groups including seniors that traditionally have had problems with this. It's still just a concept, but Toyota seems committed to exploring mobility at all levels, and also to designing an assistant experience that follows the user across each part of that journey as well.

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PhP 100k Is The Black Market Price Of iPhone X

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, November 06, 2017 | | 0 comments »

iPhone X Philippines
Apple's iPhone X went on sale in the United States and other major markets a few days ago, leaving Filipinos who were shut out from the official release to contend with re-seller prices.

The 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone, the first with a nearly bezel-less display, sells for roughly PhP 90,000 in local stores, almost double the price if based on its US$ 999 tag in the US.

"Ang binabayaran kasi diyan is yung ikaw yung first few na unang magkakaron ng iPhone X dito sa Pilipinas," one online seller told ABS-CBN News by phone.
(What you're paying for is the privilege to be among the first few owners of iPhone X in the Philippines.)

Official Apple retailers in the Philippines, Power Mac Center and Beyond the Box, and Smart Communications list only the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus as forthcoming early 3 November.

The two handsets, unveiled at the same time as the iPhone X last September, retain the same form factor that Apple started in 2014 with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They have been available unofficially in the Philippines since October.

The seller said the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also sold for nearly PhP 100,000 when they first hit the gray market.

Some merchants abroad even held bids for resellers in the Philippines, further padding the price of the iPhone X, according to the seller interviewed by ABS-CBN News.

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Apple Pay Accounts for 90% Mobile Transactions

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, November 02, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Apple Pay
While everyone will have to wait a little longer for Apple to launch payments in iMessage, a few days ago, Jennifer Bailey, Apple's VP of Apple Pay, announced a series of other milestones for the digital wallet and payments service that competes against the likes of Android Pay from Google, Samsung's wallet and others efforts from retailers and banks.

The advances point to how Apple wants to steal a march when it comes to using phones as a proxy for a card or cash, and there is some anecdotal evidence that it's working: merchants and others who have partnered with Apple say that Apple Pay is accounting for 90 percent of all mobile contactless transactions globally in markets where it’s available.

"Apple Pay is the future of everyday spend," said Bailey on stage at the Money 20/20 conference that kicked off in Las Vegas yesterday.

Bailey also announced that the service is launching in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the UAE in the next few days, bringing the total number of countries where it is used up to 20. And she said that 4,000 issuers worldwide now work with the wallet (that is, there are now 4,000 credit and debit card issuers whose cards can now be uploaded to and used via Apple Pay).

While these may not sound like a massive numbers on their own, 20 markets represents a full 70 percent of the world's card transaction volume, she noted. This underscores how Apple is approaching the roll out of its payment service: it is moving first to where the money is.

With that expansion, she also revealed a bit more about how Apple Pay is going to become more ubiquitous, not just in terms of retailers where you can use it, but in terms of use cases.

When Apple Pay Cash it turned on, for example, it will operate like Venmo, allowing users to transfer money quickly to each other via iMessage, Siri and other channels -- a service that "thousands" of Apple employees are now already using in a closed beta before the service is turned on more widely later this year in an iOS 11 update.

But in addition to that, users will also be able to take that money and spend it directly at retailers and others that accept Apple Pay.

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