‘iPhone 7s’ and ‘iPhone 7s Plus’ Said to Come in All-New Red Color, Lack New Design and Wireless Charging

red-iphone-7sApple will release updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next year, aptly called the “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus,” according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The report claims the smartphones will retain the same aluminum design as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only internal changes, including the addition of a faster A11 chip.

The report added it is highly probable the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will come in an all-new red color alongside current Black, Jet Black, Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver options.

Multiple rumors suggest Apple plans to release three new iPhone models next year, including updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with traditional LCD displays and a larger premium model with an OLED display and glass casing, but reports have been conflicting about which features will be included on each model.

If this report is accurate, it could signify Apple’s plans to release a completely overhauled glass-backed iPhone with a curved, bezel-free OLED display and wireless charging at the high end of its 2017 smartphone lineup, while making only incremental upgrades to its traditional 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones with LCD displays.

An earlier report from Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review said Apple plans to release three glass-backed iPhones next year, while it was said the 4.7-inch iPhone would get wireless charging, so there remains a lack of consensus among rumors—perhaps unsurprising given new iPhones are likely over nine months away.

Mac Otakara was first to report about Apple’s plans to remove the headphone jack and add a new Jet Black color for the iPhone 7 lineup, but its track record is not perfect. Its rumor from November about Apple adding a “Jet White” color for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has also yet to materialize.

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Music reaches the 20 million subscriber mark

apple-music-big Apple Music’s growth has been nothing if not steady since launching in June of last year. The streaming service hit 13 million paid subscribers in April and beat the 17 million mark in September.
This week, the company announced a nice round milestone, telling Billboard that it now counts 20 million paid members among its ranks, making that a 15-percent increase in three months. Read More

‘myLINGO’ iOS App Lets Users Listen to Spanish Audio Tracks in Real Time at the Movies

A new app called myLINGO lets Spanish-speaking users listen to studio-recorded dubs of the most popular movies while they’re in theaters, thanks to backing from studios including Disney, Paramount, and Sony. The app has also obtained “strategic partnerships” with Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Theaters within the United States.

myLINGO works by letting users search for the movie they’ll be watching, and then downloading the Spanish audio track to their iPhone, which is recommended to be done at home on Wi-Fi. After that, the app does all the work by listening for the film’s audio through the iPhone’s microphone, and delivering the Spanish version through the user’s headphones “in perfect sync with the film.”

mylingo-app-2

The company noted that the app’s tracks are “studio-sanctioned Spanish versions” of each film available on the app, which were originally created and distributed for international release. The audio translations only play if the app can hear the movie on screen, includes a dark mode that prevents distractions in the theater, and once the movie is over the audio file self-deletes from the iPhone. Right now, myLINGO is only available for Apple’s iPhone.

“Hispanic audiences spent approximately $2.5 billion at the box office in 2015, proving a big incentive for cinemas to cater to this market segment,” said Olenka Polak, co-founder and CEO of myLINGO. “Even so, our research shows that nearly half of all Spanish-dominant Americans avoid going to the movies because films aren’t shown in Spanish. myLINGO addresses that challenge as a partner to both studios and exhibitors, with an innovative way to drive new customers and revenue,” she added.

The app’s business model sets prices on a movie-by-movie basis. Users will have to pay $1.99 for each audio track they wish to listen to at the theater, although a few movies currently in the app — including Disney’s Moana and Marvel’s Doctor Strange — are free “for a limited time.” myLINGO also doesn’t support Bluetooth or any wireless headphones and recommends users remember to bring their wired headphones with them to the movies.

The limit on the app’s use in its current state is placed on the studios supporting it, but there are still popular films out now and coming soon that users will be able to try with myLINGO, including: Moana, Office Christmas Party, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Passengers. Other languages are coming down the line, but myLINGO CEO Olenka Polak told Variety that the focus is only on Spanish at this time because “we want a clear marketing message.”

You can download myLINGO on the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tag: myLINGO

Discuss this article in our forums

HP Launches 4K ENVY Display With USB-C for New MacBook Pro

HP today launched its 27-inch ENVY display with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a built-in USB-C port for charging the new MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, or most other USB-C devices at up to 60 watts over a single cable.

hp-envy-27-display-4k

The IPS LED-backlit display features a clean design with a micro-edge bezel, matte black rear panel, and a thin aluminum stand. The base can be detached for VESA wall or arm mounting, but a bracket is not included.

hp-envy-27-display-ports

The display has a 60Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync, designed to eliminate stuttering and tearing in games and videos by locking the refresh rate to the framerate of the graphics card.

Tech specs:

• 27-inch IPS LED display with ultra-wide 178° angle viewing

• 4K Ultra HD resolution (3,840×2,160 pixels)

• 16:9 aspect ratio with 142 PPI

• 60Hz refresh rate

• 99% sRGB color gamut

• Typical brightness of 350 cd/m2

• Built-in ports: 1 USB-C, 1 DisplayPort 1.2, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 HDMI 1.4

• USB-C Power Delivery up to 60 watts

• AMD FreeSync

• VESA mounting

Included in the box:

• A/C power cable

• USB-C cable

• DisplayPort cable

• HDMI cable

HP’s new ENVY 27 Display is available on HP.com and at select retailers in the United States for $499 starting today. The price point is about $200 cheaper than some competing USB-C displays, such as the LG 27UD88 and Lenovo ThinkVision X1, but features and connectivity vary.

One display that may be a better buy in the near term is LG’s and Apple’s new UltraFine 4K display. While it has a smaller 21.5-inch screen, the UltraFine has “Cinema” 4K resolution (4,096×2,304), built-in speakers, 3 additional USB-C ports, higher 500 cd/m2 brightness, and a wider DCI-P3 color gamut.

LG’s UltraFine 4K display is $524—only $25 extra—until December 31. Afterwards, its price returns to $699.95, which will make it a less attractive option compared to HP’s ENVY 27 display, although still worth consideration.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: USB-C, HP, 4K displays
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone Assembler Foxconn in Early Talks to Expand U.S. Operations

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is in preliminary stages to build a collection of assembly plants within the United States (via Reuters), potentially fulfilling President-elect Donald Trump’s wish that Apple would move the majority of its manufacturing to the U.S. instead of overseas.

Foxconn decided to make a statement about its U.S. expansion after details of the move were picked up and shared by CNBC yesterday. The news alleged that Foxconn would be investing $7 billion into its U.S. expansion and aiming for the creation of 50,000 jobs within the country, all in the next four years. Foxconn simply stated that more details will come after its talks with “the relevant U.S. officials” are over.

foxconn-states

Image via CNBC

“While the scope of the potential investment has not been determined, we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant US officials,” the Foxconn statement said.

In the meetings with Donald Trump, Japan’s SoftBank also looked towards U.S. expansion and pledged $50 billion in its investment stateside, along with 50,000 new jobs of its own, “a move the U.S. President-elect claimed was a direct result of his election win.” In a call made to Trump by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Trump mentioned to the CEO that one of his goals and future achievements would be to “get Apple to build a big plant in the United States,” by offering the company incentives and “a very large tax cut” to do so.

Cook was said to have remained neutral on the subject by saying “I understand that” in response to Trump, while Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is said to be less enthusiastic about the idea due to inevitably higher production costs compared to China. Cook explained one of the major reasons Apple’s manufacturing is so heavily centered in China is due to the country’s large number of individuals with the required “vocational kind of skills.”

China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.

Foxconn does have manufacturing facilities on a very small scale in the U.S., in Virginia and Indiana, along with logistic locations in California and Texas. Apple has a comparably limited facility in Austin, Texas which manufactures the company’s Mac Pro.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Foxconn

Discuss this article in our forums

Sony’s PlayStation Division to Release 6 Mobile Games for iOS Next Year

Sony is set to release up to six games for iOS in the financial year starting April in the hope of replicating Nintendo’s phenomenal success with Pokémon Go (via Reuters).

The upcoming titles will bring popular Sony franchises such as Everybody’s Golf to iOS devices for the first time, said the company. Previously Sony has only launched a few games for smartphones through its music entertainment division, but the new games will be “mobile designated” and be produced through its PlayStation business.

Everybody's Golf - Sony game

Everybody’s Golf on PlayStation 4


Sony also revealed on Wednesday that it is working on 10 mobile gaming titles, including those to be released next year. The 10 titles include PaRappa the Rapper and Arc The Lad. Japan will be first to get the games, before rollout to other Asian countries and eventually likely elsewhere, depending on initial success.

Despite its huge success in the console market worldwide, Sony is facing increasing heat from mobile in countries such as Japan, the world’s third largest game market where mobile gaming accounts for more than half of the $12.4 billion market, according to games research firm Newzoo.

The announcement comes just a week before Nintendo debuts Super Mario Run on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The endless runner game goes live on the App Store on December 15 for $9.99.

Tag: Sony

Discuss this article in our forums

Amazon Rolls Out Music Unlimited ‘Family Plan’ to the U.K. for £15 per Month

Amazon has expanded its Family Plan for Amazon Music Unlimited to the U.K., following initial rollout across the U.S. last month.

The plan costs £15 a month, or £149 a year, which works out at a lower price of £12 per month. The subscription supports up to six family members (at least 13 years of age) for simultaneous listening and personal recommendations.

Amazon UK family plan music

On the plan, a single family member uses a “shared payment method” to pay for the subscription, such as a debit or credit card that Amazon uses to charge each month for the service. Each member can make purchases on Amazon and Amazon Music Unlimited with the shared payment method, while the main subscriber receives notifications of all activity within the group. The plan also retains the same functionality as the Individual Plan subscription.

Amazon Music Unlimited has a library of 40 million songs and is available under four optional plans. Prime members can sign up to the streaming service for £8 per month or £79 per year, while non-Prime members pay £10 per month. For Echo or Echo Dot owners, a cheaper £4 per month plan is available, but is restricted to music playback on the smart device.

Discuss this article in our forums

Fitbit Buyout Will See Pebble’s Time 2 and Core Wearables Canceled, Refunds Issued

Late last month we reported that Fitbit was closing in on a deal to acquire smartwatch maker Pebble “for a small amount”. Bloomberg has now revealed that the buyout will cost “less than $40 million” and exclusively concerns Pebble’s software assets, which are being sought by Fitbit “in a bid to better compete with Apple”, according to people familiar with the matter.

pebble_family_wht_crop_web

Yesterday’s update on the details of the acquisition comes at a time when the wearables market as a whole appears to be facing increased uncertainty and significant profit hurdles. Earlier this week, in response to IDC market research claiming that Apple Watch’s share of the wearables market had fallen to 5 percent, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch’s sell-through rate had hit a new high. Cook was responding to data which suggested fitness trackers “reigned supreme” in the market, yet Fitbit has seen its own struggles, with the company’s shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter.

To improve its standing in the market, Fitbit reportedly wants to hire Pebble’s software engineers and testers, and get hold of intellectual property including the Pebble OS, watch apps, and cloud services. The $40 million buyout sum does not include Pebble’s debt and other obligations, product inventory or server equipment, all of which will be sold off separately, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous.

The news also confirms the end of the road for Pebble’s entire product line-up, including its most recent smartwatch announcements, the Pebble 2, Time 2, and the Pebble Core. The Pebble 2 has already started shipping to people who funded the startup through crowd-funding site Kickstarter, but the Time 2 and Pebble Core will be canceled and refunds will be issued to Kickstarter backers, said the sources.

Following the buyout, Pebble’s offices will be closed and former engineers will relocate to Fitbit offices in San Francisco. There’s no word yet as to whether Fitbit will decide to use the Pebble brand in future.

The deal will make Pebble stock held by employees “worthless”, said sources, with the money earned on the acquisition going to debt holders, vendors, some equity investors, and Kickstarter refunds for the Time 2 and Pebble Core orders.

Tags: Pebble, Fitbit

Discuss this article in our forums