Apple wants to fly drones around to do things like examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction, the person said. The data collected would be sent to Apple teams that rapidly update the Maps app to provide fresh information to users,
This is an interesting idea, although reportedly there are restrictions on Apple's ability to operate the drones. In the United States, it appears to be limited to line-of-sight use, so a team will have to be on the ground near the drone operations.
Netflix's Eddy Wu:
While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.
Netflix's full catalog isn't available for download, nor even all of its original content. The ability though is a big step towards expanding their reach. I could see this practical for people who don't even have broadband at home, they may load up a device at work or in a cafe and watch later on the couch.
Apple slates four Macs to be obsoleted
Apple will discontinuing support for four Macs at the end of 2016.
The following Macs will be classified as either vintage or obsolete in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region:
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
- Mac mini (Early 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
If you live in Turkey or California, Apple will support these models for an addition two years as required by law. Everyone else may find it difficult to find service parts if something goes wrong.
Newer Tech announces high-powered USB-C power adapter
Newer Technology's NuPower 60W USB C Power Adapter is a new charging solution for Apple's newer laptops. In addition to Apple, the adapter can replace USB-C adapters from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Google.
The NuPower 60W USB-C Power Adapter offers over twice the charging capability as Apple's 29W USB-C Power Adapter. Newer Technology says the adapter allows for faster charging.
In addition to a USB-C port, the NuPower 60w USB-C Power Adapter also has a conventional USB-A port. This provides an additional dedicated USB port for charging devices.
The NuPower 60W USB-C Power Adapter is available now for $59.99.
When the iPhone 7 isn't waterproof
As we learned this week, the water-blocking gaskets aren't the only things that can fail on an iPhone. The internal rubber seal on the iPhone 7 Plus's screen is vulnerable, too, especially if it hasn't been properly seated.
My fiancÚ's phone was brand-new and in a case -- it had never been dropped or cracked, but the internal display seal failed on its first underwater outing. Attempt an underwater dunk if you have ever dropped your phone or had the screen replaced, and the chances of your display seal being mis-seated increase dramatically.
Unfortunately, even if you wind up with a defective model -- as we did -- Apple doesn't officially cover water damage in its warranty. You'll need AppleCare+ not to pay an outrageous sum to replace your device. Thanks to the phone being covered, it was just $99, but you only get two incidents at that price -- drown your iPhone a third time, and you'll be paying half of your original purchase price for a replacement.
I think if Apple is going to promote the iPhone as water proof, it should back it up if it fails without cause. Otherwise, they should just boast splash-proof, which seems a much more realistic claim.
Report: Next iPhone expected to have curved OLED
The Wall Street Journal:
An iPhone with an OLED screen could be introduced as one of several models to be unveiled, people familiar with the matter said, but would come with a higher price tag because OLED displays are more expensive to produce.
Apple might decide not to release the model because it is one of more than 10 prototypes being considered, the people said.
The next iPhone seems to have more hype earlier than previous cycles. Perhaps it's Apple aggressively working prototypes, perhaps it's Apple's loosened gripe on its supply chain, or simply the next iPhone is expected to be big after the iPhone 7's physical design was unchanged from previous two generations so to do something big.
Interesting tidbit though is Apple has a lot of irons in the fire it seems. No idea if that's typical or if those prototypes are all that different from each other.
Frankie's Holiday Apple Ad
Apple started running this sentimental ad as the holiday season formally kicked off. It's a little goofy, but sentimental holiday message.
President-Elect Trump pitched Tim Cook on iPhone production
President-Elect Trump in an interview with the New York Times:
I was honored yesterday, I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, 'Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you're making your product right here.' He said, 'I understand that.' I said: 'I think we'll create the incentives for you, and I think you're going to do it. We're going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you'll be happy about.'
Trump prides himself as a dealmaker, so it will be interesting to see how he can pursued companies like Apple to do things that may or may not be in its best interests. And then what will investors think about that.
As I understand it, the issue of creating iPhones domestically isn't just about costs. There's tooling shortages and capacity issues. Apple wants to have its major products refreshed for its biggest sales period in the last half of the year. As a result, it has to produce very large quantities in a short period of time. The alternative is stockpiling inventory for months or spending months catching up with demand. Either puts Apple at a competitive disadvantage as others companies come in with newer devices during peak sales times while Apple either can't fill orders or have aged products.
Also, it's unclear what would happen with any peak capacity when they Apple doesn't need it and what happens to all those workers.
Report: Apple leaving the AirPort router behind
Apple Inc. has disbanded its division that develops wireless routers, another move to try to sharpen the company's focus on consumer products that generate the bulk of its revenue, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple began shutting down the wireless router team over the past year, dispersing engineers to other product development groups, including the one handling the Apple TV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision hasn't been publicly announced.
One one hand, the AirPort Extreme has some features that make it easy for Apple customers to manage a home network. On the other hand, a lot of functionality over the years have been stripped away or simply missing.
I still use my tower AirPort Extreme, but I've thought about branching out to more advanced and configurable router. Part of me wondering if something new was coming, whether hardware or a major software overhaul, but sounds like I shouldn't hold my breath.
Doom on the Touch Bar
Developer Adam Bell ported the classic shooter game Doom to the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar. The game plays entirely on the Touch Bar.
On a 2170x60 display, this is gloriously impractical, which is what makes it great.