The Morning After: Thursday, February 16 2017

Welcome to the return of iPhone rumors. It's already that wonderful time of the year as leaks, rumors and supply chain-side intel offer a glimpse into what Apple's cooking. Or not. Global gaming show E3 is starting sooner this year, with Xbox set to…

Analyst rumor: iPhone 8 ‘function area’ to replace home button

While we're still months away from finding out exactly what's what with any new iPhone, the rumor mill is already running at full tilt. Following up on earlier reports of a 5.8-inch edgeless OLED screened device arriving as the "iPhone 8," well-conne…

BlackBerry’s share of the smartphone market is virtually zero

BlackBerry may be hoping for a recovery in its smartphone business, but it's hitting rock bottom right now. Gartner analysts estimate that BlackBerry's once-dominant platform hit 0.0 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2016. Yes, zilch….

AppGratis Shuts Down

AppGratis today announced that, after seven years of operations and more than 50 million app installs globally, it has shut down.



The service offered hand-picked apps for free or up to 90% off on a daily basis through its website and Android app, and formerly through its iPhone app, but its popularity had seemingly faded over the years.

Apple removed AppGratis from the App Store in April 2013 as part of a broader crackdown on apps which might be “similar to or confusing with the App Store.” AppGratis said it was “far from finished” despite the huge blow, and it went on to last nearly four more years until its shutdown today.

App discovery remains an issue on the App Store, which has some two million apps according to our sister website AppShopper. Last year, Apple introduced search ads on the App Store to help developers promote their apps, but the feature is not particularly helpful to those with limited marketing budgets.

(Thanks, Joe!)
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Crunch Report | Flying Car for $400,000

Musical.ly releases Ping Pong, a new video messenger app, PAL-V is pre-selling its flying car, Elon Musk talks about the symbiosis of mind and machine and Apple might be contemplating wireless charging for the iPhone 8. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Kanex’s New Foldable Travel Keyboard Works With Up to Four iOS Devices

Kanex today announced that its MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard is now available for purchase following its introduction at CES 2017 last month.



The universal keyboard, compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices, features an ergonomic V-shape layout with a foldable and compact design, making it a convenient accessory for travel. The keyboard can wirelessly connect to and switch between up to four devices such as iPhones and iPads via Bluetooth 3.0.

The keyboard has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides “hours” of typing time on a single charge, and it recharges with an included micro USB cable.

Kanex’s MultiSync Foldable Travel Keyboard is $49.95 on Amazon and Kanex’s website.
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Apple Ranked World’s Fourth Most Innovative Company Thanks to Expanded Chip Focus

Apple has ranked fourth in Fast Company‘s annual list of The Most Innovative Companies of 2017 published today, moving up three spots from its seventh-place finish in 2016. Apple trailed behind Amazon, Google, and Uber, and directly ahead of Snapchat, Facebook, and Netflix.



The publication credited Apple for designing four of its own chips last year, which allows it to “control its own destiny,” including the A10 Fusion chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, W1 chip in AirPods, T1 chip in the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and S2 chip in the Apple Watch Series 2.

“We pick the projects where we feel like we can make a difference—the big customer-impacting features,” says Anand Shimpi, who works on hardware technologies at Apple. So the stunning depth-of-field effect from the iPhone 7 camera? That’s directly enabled by the new A10 chip. “The actual production of the stored portrait image is because of things that we put into the [image signal processor],” Shimpi says.

Each chip has resulted in technological breakthroughs for Apple. The W1 chip in AirPods, for example, is programmed to automatically route the audio to each earphone, and engage the microphone, while its low power usage results in industry-leading battery life up to five hours on a single charge.

The S2 chip in Apple Watch Series 2 models results in performance improvements without sacrificing battery life, and the four-core A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is up to two times faster than the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and delivers the longest battery life—up to two hours longer—of any iPhone ever.
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Apple takes a big step toward wireless charging on iPhones

Rumors have swirled for a while that Apple might embrace wireless charging beyond smartwatches (including for the next iPhone), and the company only seems to be stoking those expectations. Apple has quietly joined the Wireless Power Consortium, whic…