Next-Gen AirPods to Spark Intense Competition in Smart Earbuds Market Next Year

For an idea of the potential health integrations Apple has in mind for future AirPods, a new patent awarded to Apple on Tuesday (spotted by 9to5Mac) shows AirPod-like devices performing heart rate monitoring and taking body temperature measurements.

With smartphone shipments slowing, more brand vendors are said to be paying attention to wireless earbud sales as a way to generate growth in the near-term, with a view to long-term strategic improvements in the ear-device space, according to Kuo.

Earlier this week, Kuo said he expected Apple’s AirPods to see “dramatic growth” over the next two years, with new AirPods with a wireless charging case to debut in the first quarter of 2019, and an “all-new design model” following in the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo also said that fewer than 5 percent of iPhone users currently own AirPods, and with over 1 billion iPhone users worldwide, there are “great potential growth opportunities” for the accessory. Almost a year ago, Kuo predicted Apple would launch upgraded AirPods in the second half of 2018, but Apple’s difficulties in bringing its AirPower charging mat to market likely impacted those plans.



Read More


How tech has revolutionized restaurant hospitality

Technology has proliferated in the restaurant industry over the past five years, as eateries look to improve both efficiency and the customer experience. Fast food aficionados have already become accustomed to one new form of service: Ordering from kiosks instead of cashiers. These kiosks have assumed most of the restaurant tech spotlight, cutting labor costs, increasing efficiency, and reducing human error. While kiosks may be successful for fast food chains or to-go based stores, that method isn’t as functional for traditional, sit-down restaurants.

In a sit-down restaurant, technology is geared more towards improving the guest experience, rather than getting as many customers in and out of the door as possible, according to Steve Fredette, president and co-founder of Toast. A widely-used point of sale system for restaurants, Toast is a cloud-based platform designed to improve efficiency for both customers and employees.

Toast and similar products allow waiters to take orders, payments, and customer signatures on handheld devices, and can also read digital gift card QR codes and send texts alerting customers that their food is ready. These tools are now commonplace in many restaurants.


Read More


Apple Launching Free ‘Hour of Code’ Sessions at Apple Retail Stores Starting December 1

Apple today announced that its annual Hour of Code event is set to take place from December 1 to December 14 at all of its retail locations around the world.

Apple customers can register for thousands of free Hour of Code sessions starting today. Hour of Code sessions are available for customers of all ages, with Kids Hour sessions available for aspiring coders aged six to 12. Children will be able to explore coding using robots, while participants over 12 years of age will be able to attend sessions that use Swift Playgrounds and the iPad to learn coding concepts.

Apple is also introducing Swift Coding Club, a new program dedicated to teaching coding with Swift outside of the classroom. Students and mentors can access a new Swift Coding Club kit that provides students aged 8 and older with the ability to create apps and explore coding using Swift Playgrounds and App Development with Swift.


Read More


Trump Suggests Tariffs Could Be Placed on iPhones and Laptops Imported From China

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he might implement a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and laptops imported from China.

Trump is set to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week, and he said he is prepared to implement additional tariffs on products that are not currently subjected to tariffs should negotiations not go well.

Starting in January, the U.S. is set to increase tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China to 25 percent from 10 percent, which Xi Jinping is hoping to delay with the upcoming meeting. According to Trump, it’s “unlikely” he will hold off on implementing the upcoming increase.

Apple devices are currently exempt from tariffs, though there were worries that the Apple Watch and AirPods would be included in the most recently released tariff list. Trump ended up exempting a product category that includes the Apple Watch, AirPods, and other smart watches and fitness products.


Read More


Apple Releases iOS 11.2.2 Update to Address Security Vulnerabilities

iOS 11.2.2 is the ninth official update to the current iOS 11 operating system.

The update includes fixes for “Meltdown” and “Spectre”, two serious hardware-based vulnerabilities, which allows hackers to gain access to sensitive user information through the execution mechanism of a CPU. However, there are currently no reported exploitation issues of this matter affecting Mac and iOS device users, so users shouldn’t rush to worry. Apple has already begun to address the matter by implementing a security patch in the current update.

Since these vulnerabilities require a malicious app to be loaded onto a user’s device, we highly recommend that users only download trusted applications from the App Store. It is imperative that users install the update as soon as possible.

The iOS 11.2.2 update can be downloaded free of charge for all eligible device in the Settings app. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update

Read More


Apple Sets Record-Breaking App Store Sales

Apple sets the bar once again by exceeding sales of $300 million in App Store purchases on New Year’s Day 2018, a record-breaking first for the company. This success began on the week of Christmas Eve when customers made purchases and downloaded apps that resulted in profits of $890 million during that seven-day period. Augmented reality-related apps have been making a massive impact as of late, such as the Pokémon GO app, which rose back to #1. Other popular titles include the shopping applications Amazon and Wayfair, and social media applications Snapchat and Pitu.

To regularly advertise the many new and popular apps that are currently making an impact in the tech world, Apple has created a “Today” section of the App Store for users to access.

Read More


Apple’s iPhone Named ‘Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017’

Apple’s signature smartphone continues to impress as it takes the title as the best-selling product of 2017. Apple recently achieved this same title previously in 2016. Currently sitting at a whopping amount of 223 million, the iPhone’s sales exceeded many analyst expectations.

iPhone surpassed other top-selling technologies including Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 (33 million), Amazon Echo Dot (24 million), Apple Watch (20 million), and the Nintendo Switch (15 million).

Read More


Apple Announces $29 iPhone Battery Replacements for iPhone 6 or Later

As of today, Apple has confirmed that it will replace the internal battery of all eligible iPhones (6 or later) for a $29 fee, regardless of any feedback from an official diagnostic test. This came after recent reports that Apple would only replace internal batteries that retain less than 80 percent of its original capacity. In addition, any customers who paid the original $79 fee to replace their battery before the new pricing was put into effect on December 30th, 2017, are eligible for a refund directly through Apple.

Apple can run an official diagnostic test on your phone’s battery remotely and does not require a trip to the Apple Store. Apple Support may be reached via phone, online chat, or email.

Alternatively, you may make a Genius Bar appointment at your nearest Apple Store if you choose to do so.

Read More


Amazon Prime Video Now Available for Apple TV

Now available in more than 100 countries, the Amazon Prime Video app makes its long-awaited debut for third, fourth, and fifth-generation Apple TV models. This is a big deal, as Apple’s set-top box is one of the last platforms to support this streaming service.

In addition to a familiar interface spanning across all other streaming platforms, the Amazon Prime Video app is special to the Apple TV in that utilizes Universal Search, a feature available only to Apple TV that allows users to search for all available Amazon Prime Video content using a system-wide search. In addition to this useful feature, the TV app is also integrated with this streaming service, allowing for even further accessibility.

The streaming service is also available in 4K for televisions sets and a first for 4K Apple TV users. Amazon Prime Video does require an Amazon Prime subscription, for a price of $10.99 per month, or $99 for the entire year.

Read More


Apple Pay Cash: The All-New Convenient Way to Bank

Apple Pay Cash, much like Venmo and PayPal, is a peer-to-peer payment service that allows users to transfer money easily through the iOS interface.

To take advantage of this feature, the user must first activate Apple Pay Cash on their device via the instructions below:

1. Open the Wallet app
2. To set up Apple Pay, tap “Add Credit Card or Debit Card”
3. Follow the on-screen instructions and tap “Set Up Touch ID & Passcode”
4. If you already have Touch ID & Passcode enabled, you will not need to set one up for Apple Pay

Once your payment information is saved to the Wallet app:

1. Open any conversation in Messages
2. Tap the Messages App Store icon
3. Choose the “Apple Pay” icon
4. Tap the “+” or “-” buttons to enter an amount
5. Tap “Request” or “Pay”
6. Press the blue arrow to send

In the Wallet app, the money you’ve sent is listed as “pending” after sending a payment. This status will remain until the recipient accepts it, and all paid transactions are listed under “Last Transaction.”

There is no charge for sending money via Apple Pay Cash or a debit card, however, there is a 3% fee for using a credit card. After receiving your funds, it may be added to your Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app, or transferred to any bank account.

Apple Pay Cash is now available for iPhone 6 and later, iPhone SE, all iPad Pro models, the fifth-generation iPad, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 models running iOS 11.2.

Read More