iPhone 11 lineup features Ultra Wideband technology
In a press release last year, NXP said Ultra Wideband will give mobile devices several new and interesting capabilities, such as being able to unlock a car's doors when the device comes in close proximity of the vehicle, potentially foreshadowing a feature that could come to the iPhone down the road.
"With the SR100T, mobile devices will be able to communicate with connected doors, points of entry, and cars to open them once approaching," said NXP in a press release. "Lights, audio speakers, and any other connected device with UWB sensing capability will be able to follow users from one room to another, and smart connected technology will intuitively be embedded in people's lives."
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max models are equipped with an Apple-designed U1 chip with Ultra Wideband, allowing the devices to understand their precise location relative to other nearby U1‑equipped Apple devices. On iOS 13, for example, there is a directional AirDrop feature where you can point an iPhone 11 at another iPhone user to instantly share files with them.
On its iPhone 11 Pro page, Apple teases that the directional AirDrop feature is "just the beginning" of what is possible with Ultra Wideband, adding that "amazing new capabilities" are coming later.
Last year, MacRumors uncovered evidence of Apple working on Tile-like item trackers in iOS 13 code. The so-called AirTags will also support Ultra Wideband, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggesting that iPhone 11 models will be able to locate the tags with precise accuracy in both indoor and outdoor areas.
MacRumors exclusive: Find My app with hidden "Items" tab for AirTags
The distance between two Ultra Wideband devices can be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices, with much more accuracy than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi.
It is unclear when Apple plans to announce its item tracking tags, or if development of the product has been abandoned.
In any case, it appears that Ultra Wideband really is just getting started.
The new trade-in iPhone values on the trade-in program page match the values offered on Apple's online store when purchasing new devices. There are no special trade-in prices for Macs, iPads, and Apple Watch models when ordering a new device, so this only applies to iPhones.
We've compiled a list of all device trade-in reductions below for convenience. The new maximum estimated trade-in values are shown in bold alongside yesterday's values in brackets.
The reductions appear to have occurred not just on Apple's U.S. online store, but in other countries and regions as well, including the United Kingdom. Tech blog iFun.de was first to spot the reductions in Apple's Germany online store.
Apple has heavily promoted its iPhone trade-in program at its retail stores and on its website for over a year now, and CEO Tim Cookrecently claimed the increased emphasis has been effective, noting that a third or more of customers that visit its retail stores end up trading in an older device for a newer one.
Using Apple's trade-in service is always going to be more simple than selling to a person, but the convenience of doing so will cost you. You're never going to get quite as much money from a trade-in service as you can get from direct sales, but there are some tips and tricks worth knowing before considering a trade-in. Check out our full trade-in guide for more advice.
Brydge, known for its range of keyboards designed for iPads, debuted a new keyboard designed for the iPad Pro. This new offering, priced starting at $200, includes a multi-touch trackpad that uses AssistiveTouch functionality to do things like activate the dock, bring up App Exposé, and more.
Brydge also showed off a standalone iOS trackpad that might see a release later in the year, and a vertical docking station for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Aukey Omnia Chargers
Aukey is launching a new series of GaN chargers for USB-C devices, offered with various port options (USB-A and USB-C) and different wattages for your iOS and Mac devices. Aukey isn't launching these until the second quarter of 2020, and pricing info isn't available yet.
Hyperjuice 100W GaN Power Adapter
Speaking of power adapters, Hyper was on hand to show off its new HyperJuice 100W GaN charger option, which comes with two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports to charge all of your devices at one time. The credit card-sized charger can even charge up two MacBook Pros at one time.
There are a ton of smart home products at CES, including the HomeKit-enabled Kohler Setra faucet. The touchless faucet can be turned on and off using HomeKit commands, and it can dispense a specific amount of water. It also monitors water usage and lets consumers track their water consumption.
Moen HomeKit Shower
If you've ever wanted to be able to interact with Siri while showering, Moen has a product for you. The U by Moen Smart Shower lets you choose one of 12 custom presets through Siri voice commands or through the Moen app.
Razer surprised us at CES this year with a Razer-branded Kishi mobile gaming controller designed for the iPhone. The controller fits over the iPhone, connecting to the Lightning port, and adds clickable analog controls and thumbsticks on both sides of the iPhone.
Razer was also showing off its Arctech iPhone cases for Apple's latest iPhones, which are great if you like the Razer aesthetic.
Dell Concept UFO and Ori
Dell was showing off a little Nintendo Switch-like gaming console, which is just a prototype at this point in time. The Concept UFO (designed with Alienware) runs Windows 10 and it can be used both in handheld mode or docked to a TV. Since this is just a concept, Dell isn't planning to release it, but it's a project that came from Dell's exploration of different form factors.
Dell also had a second concept product, the Ori, at CES. The Ori (short for Origami) is similar in design to Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold, able to fold in half for usage as a laptop style device or fold out to be used as a tablet. The Ori is also something that's not really slated for an official release.
OnePlus Concept Phone
The OnePlus Concept One is a conceptual phone that has a disappearing camera feature. The glass on the back of the phone can turn opaque to hide the rear-facing cameras, which is a neat trick. This feature isn't ready to ship, and it doesn't do much but hide the cameras and add a neutral density filter to the lenses.
Samsung Indoor Garden Fridge
Samsung showed off an indoor gardening fridge which is in no way Apple related but is super nifty for those who like fresh herbs but don't have the space for a garden. The garden fridge will let people grow herbs and produce indoors all year round with cool, controlled temperatures, built-in lights, and a built-in watering system.
Samsung Ballie Robot
Samsung's Ballie Robot received a lot of attention at CES, mostly because it's not entirely clear just what it's going be useful for. Ballie is, well, a robotic ball that rolls around your house and can respond to voice commands. It's supposed to do things like serve as an alarm, record video, play with pets, or manage smart home devices, but mostly it just rolls around.
Sony Vision-S Concept Car
Sony showed off the Vision-S, an electric concept car packed with Sony technology. Sony doesn't plan to sell the Vision-S, even in a limited edition capacity, but it was neat to see a car packed with a series of rectangular displays for doing everything from watching media to viewing car data.
There's also high-end Sony sound equipment and a Sony LIDAR setup that powers side view cameras that replace the traditional mirrors. Sony is hoping that its concept car gives consumers and car manufacturers ideas about the kind of technology that can be added to vehicles.
JBL Bar 9.1
JBL debuted a unique soundbar at CES this year. The JBL Bar 9.1 offers wireless surround sound with a soundbar base and two detachable battery powered rear speakers that can be removed and placed anywhere.
It's also equipped with AirPlay 2, Dolby Atmos, and Dolby Vision support, but it will be priced at $1,000 when it launches later this year.
Masimo, a medical technology company that designs pulse oximetry devices, has filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the Cupertino company of stealing trade secrets and improperly using Masimo inventions related to health monitoring in the Apple Watch.
According to Bloomberg, Masimo claims that Apple stole secret information by pretending to have a working relationship with Masimo, and then hiring Masimo employees. Masimo also believes the Apple Watch is infringing on 10 Masimo patents.
Masimo, and its spinoff company Cercacor, claim that Masimo's technology for non-invasive health monitoring helped Apple overcome performance issues with the Apple Watch. Apple allegedly relied on Masimo tech when developing the light-based heart rate sensor used in the Apple Watch, among other technologies.
According to Masimo, Apple first contacted the company in 2013 and asked to meet for a potential collaboration, with Apple asking to "understand more" about Masimo's products to potentially integrate Masimo technology into future Apple devices. After what Masimo considered productive meetings, Apple began hiring away important employees.
Ahead of when the Apple Watch was released, Apple hired Michael O'Reilly, who had served as the Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs at Masimo. He has been working on Health Special Projects at Apple, and had a hand in the development of the Apple Watch.
O'Reilly wasn't the only hire from Masimo, as Apple also took on other former Masimo employees along with employees from other health-related companies during the time the Apple Watch was being designed. Marcelo Lamego, who served as CTO of Cercacor, for example, joined Apple not long after O'Reilly.
Masimo says Apple received confidential information from its hires, and launched a targeted effort to obtain "information and expertise."
Masimo and Cercacor are aiming to block further use of their patented inventions and are asking for unspecified damages. The two companies also want to add their engineers to four patents that were granted to Lamego after leaving the Cercacor.
13 years ago today, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at Macworld in San Francisco and surprised the world with the very first iPhone.
Jobs introduced the iPhone as if it were three separate products: an iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device. Today, the iPhone is still all of those things, but also so much more.
Apple has sold well over a billion iPhones since 2007, and as of last January, the company's active installed base had hit 1.4 billion devices. Though iPhone sales were down last year, the iPhone continues to be Apple's single most successful product.
Apple has steadily improved the iPhone over the years, refining the design over and over again, updating the camera, and adding new biometric features, and all of these changes have made the iPhone even more indispensable in our daily lives. Improvements over the years:
2008: App Store and 3G network support
2009: Personal Hotspot and video recording capabilities
2010: New form factor and Retina display
2011: Siri and iCloud
2012: 4-inch display, Lightning connector, and LTE
2013: Touch ID fingerprint sensor
2014: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays
2015: 3D Touch, Live Photos, and 4K video recording
2016: Waterproofing, dual-lens camera for iPhone 7 Plus, no headphone jack
2017: No Home button, 5.8-inch OLED full screen display, wireless charging, fast charging, Face ID
2018: 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED screen sizes, three iPhone lineup
2019: Night mode, triple-lens cameras
Rumors suggest the iPhone is going to see a major overhaul in 2020, with Apple set to debut 5G connectivity, a revamped iPhone 4-style frame design, 5.4, 6.1, and 6.7-inch iPhone sizes, and a time-of-flight laser-based camera system for better depth calculations and AR capabilities.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to receive an award from the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar this month, reports Bloomberg.
Cook is scheduled to meet with the Irish Taoiseach in Dublin on January 20 to receive the award, "in recognition of the iPhone maker’s 40 years of investment in Ireland," according to IDA Ireland, the country's investment agency.
Apple and Ireland both appealed the ruling, but the European Commission opened litigation against Ireland in October 2017 for its failure to procure Apple's back taxes.
Apple has already finished paying the $13 billion in back taxes it owes. If the order is eventually overturned, the money will be returned to Apple.
In 2018, Apple abandoned plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland after facing significant pushback from local residents concerned about its potential effects on local animals as well as arguments over its proximity to a shut-down nuclear power plant in Wales.
Apple's European headquarters are located in Cork, and last year it expanded the campus with a new building that provides space for an additional 1,400 employees.
Apple's European Job Creation page reveals that it now supports 1.7 million jobs across Europe, including around 1.5 million jobs attributable to the App Store ecosystem, some 17,000 of which are based in Ireland.
Apple's website notes that it "has been based in Cork for over 35 years and now directly employs 6,000 people throughout Ireland supporting all aspects of the business." The company also says its Irish team has "doubled in size over the last five years and includes over 80 different nationalities."
Apple saw a significant jump in smartphone shipments in China last month thanks in part to the popularity of the iPhone 11, according to Bloomberg.
The iPhone maker’s shipments in China grew 18.7% year on year in December to roughly 3.18 million units, according to Bloomberg calculations based on government data on overall and Android device shipments. The increase marked an acceleration from the prior months, which were buoyed by the iPhone 11’s release in September. The numbers come from the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, a government think tank.
Apple's iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro brought significant improvements in battery life and camera quality over previous models, and have been well received by consumers and critics in China.
Apple's business last year in the country was strengthened in other ways, too. The company benefited from a sales tax cut that allowed it to decrease the price of its products, while investors took comfort in what Apple CEO Tim Cook called a "much better tone" in the China-U.S. trade relationship.
Looking ahead, the double-digit growth in shipments bodes well for Apple in the buildup to the Chinese New Year, which falls in late January this year.
However, the company still has some work to do if it is to put a significant dent in the market share of local vendors led by Huawei, which gained a dominant position domestically last year, despite its struggles abroad.
During the January 2019 CES event, TiVo demoed a TiVo app to the Apple TV, but a year later, the project is "in limbo" and an Apple TV app is no longer being actively developed.
In an interview with TechHive at CES 2020, TiVo vice president of consumer products and services Ted Malone said that while Apple TV app plans haven't been canceled, it's not TiVo's focus at this time.
"My bet is we'll get Android, and because of that we'll get the Fire TV, because it's the same app, just different qualifications," Malone said. "I think Roku and Apple are in limbo."
TiVo had initially planned to release new apps for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV at some point in 2019, allowing TiVo users to access TiVo DVRs on other TVs throughout the home without the need to purchase TiVo Mini boxes, but limited resources, technical challenges, and strategy changes have delayed those plans.
According to Malone, TiVo has to transcode video before sending it to other devices, which results in quality and performance issues that TiVo has not been able to resolve. The company has also been working on the TiVo Stream 4K and the TiVo+ streaming service, and an Apple TV app is not a priority.
Malone said that TiVo needs to "double down" on the streaming market and not get distracted by a "bunch of things people want, but aren't really going to move the needle."
Apple TV+ series "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" is set to launch on February 7, and star and creator Rob McElhenney has shared some insights into working with Apple ahead of the show's debut.
In an interview with Variety, McElhenney said that Apple was "really helpful" in the creative process. He said that Apple would push back on aspects of the show that it felt strongly about, but ultimately deferred to McElhenney and his team.
Pushback, he said, is an essential part of the creative process as working with no challenges is "never a good thing."
"Deference would assume we always know what we're doing and when we walk into the room everyone should just be quiet," he says. "That is dangerous because then you have no opposition, and it doesn't make for the best process."
Prior to the launch of Apple TV+, there were rumors that Apple was not allowing more mature content and attempting to keep the service family friendly, but that has turned out to be inaccurate. Multiple Apple TV+ shows feature violence, adult themes, and adult language, much like other streaming services on the market, though there are some shows tailored specifically towards children such as "Helpsters" and "Ghostwriter."
Prior information has suggested that Apple has been rather involved in some of the TV shows on Apple TV+, and there were reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives were "intrusive," making Apple "difficult" to deal with, but McElhenney doesn't appear to have felt Apple's involvement was over the top.
On the topic of Apple TV+ reviews, McElhenney said that Apple is "working out some kinks," and that getting episodes to critics was "a little tricky" but that has now "been ameliorated." McElhenney also said that Apple has been helpful addressing any issues that have popped up. "Any time we've called and said we have an issue, it's all hands on deck and they fix the issue and we move forward," he said.
Matt Cherniss, Apple's head of development, told Variety that he feels like Apple's promotional campaigns have been "really strong" and that everyone he's spoken to has been "really happy with the launches of their shows."
Cherniss also called McElhenney is an "incredible creator." He said that "Mythic Quest" is a great combination of humor, characters, and social commentary, which is why Apple chose to support it.
"Rob is an incredible creator" says Matt Cherniss, Apple's head of development. "It's really rare to find someone who can be a showrunner, a head writer and the star of the show. He is that unique kind of talent." As for "Mythic Quest," he adds: "It was really a combination of humor, smart social commentary, great characters and some surprising heart. That made us feel like it was a great show to have on our service."
"Mythic Quest" was written by McElhenney and his "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" co-star Charlie Day, though Day does not star in the series.
According to McElhenney, "Mythic Quest" will set itself apart from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" through the characters. On "Sunny," the characters are awful people no one is meant to relate to, but in "Mythic Quest," the audience is intended to be invested in the journeys of the main characters.
"Mythic Quest" will focus on a game studio that runs a popular World of Warcraft-style game. McElhenney will play Ian Grimm, the game's creative director, and other stars will include F. Murray Abraham, Danny Pudi, Imani Hakim, Charlotte Nicdao, David Hornsby, Ashly Burch, and Jessie Ennis.
For those interested in additional detail on "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet," Variety's full interview with Rob McElhenney is worth reading.
Apple is kicking off 2020 with an all-new Night Mode photo challenge, inviting users around the world to share their best Night Mode photos captured with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max.
iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models turn on Night Mode automatically when the camera detects low-light situations. A crescent moon icon at the top of the display turns yellow when the feature is active.
Apple will accept submissions from today through January 29. A panel of 10 judges will evaluate submissions and reveal five winning photos on March 4. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate, and Apple employees are not eligible. Apple has shared a PDF with full rules and eligibility details.
Apple says photos are allowed to be edited with Apple's Photos app or third-party apps and software. If edited, you must state what apps or filters you used in the image caption or comment. Any photo shot with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max in Night Mode since September 20 qualifies.
The winning photos will be shared on Apple's website and on its Instagram, Twitter, WeChat, and Weibo pages. They may also appear in ads and on billboards, at Apple Stores, or in a third-party photo exhibition. Apple says it will pay a licensing fee to the winning photographers for use of such photos in its marketing.
To participate in the challenge, share your Night Mode photos on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #ShotoniPhone and #NightmodeChallenge. Weibo users can participate using #ShotoniPhone# and #NightmodeChallenge#. Apple says to note which iPhone model you used to capture your image in the caption.
High-resolution photos can also be emailed to email@example.com, using the file format "firstname_lastname_nightmode_iPhonemodel."
When available, the Apple TV app will allow owners of newer LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs to stream Apple TV+ shows and movies, use the à-la-carte Apple TV Channels feature, access their iTunes libraries of movies and TV shows, and buy or rent more than 100,000 shows and movies from the iTunes Store.
The Apple TV app is already available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Apple TV, select Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and select Samsung smart TVs.
"2019 was the biggest year for Services in Apple's history. We introduced several exciting new experiences for our customers, all while setting the standard for user privacy and security," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We begin the new decade with incredible momentum and gratitude to our customers who have shown such enthusiasm for all of our Services, and we continue to celebrate the work of the world's best creators, storytellers, journalists and developers."
Here are some key takeaways from Apple's services highlights of 2019, including some things that the company says customers can look forward to in 2020:
App Store customers spent a record $1.42 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, a 16 percent increase over last year, and $386 million on New Year's Day 2020 alone, a 20 percent increase over last year and a new single-day record.
Over 50 percent of Apple Music listeners have used the new time-synced lyrics feature that was introduced in 2019 with iOS 13.
Apple TV+ "made history" as the first streaming platform to receive multiple Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in its launch year, and is the first and only streaming service to debut instantly in over 100 countries and regions.
Apple News draws over 100 million monthly active users in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.
In 2020, Apple News will provide live coverage of key moments in the US presidential election in partnership with ABC News.
Apple Podcasts now delivers listeners over 800,000 shows in 155 countries.
In 2019, entry to more than 150 stadiums, ballparks, arenas and entertainment venues around the world was available with contactless tickets on iPhone and Apple Watch.
In 2020, customers will be able to tap their iPhone and Apple Watch to ride trains and buses in Washington, D.C., Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan, Guangdong, and will be able to access dorms and services at additional universities across the US.
Over 75 percent of iCloud users are protected with two-factor authentication, an extra layer of security designed to ensure that no one else can access their account or data.
During its last earnings call of 2019, Apple revealed that in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2019 its services segment brought in $12.5 billion, up from $10.6 billion in the year-ago quarter and $11.46 billion in the third quarter of 2019. Services grew 18 percent year-over-year, and Apple said that it saw growth in all regions around the world.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that almost every one of Apple's services had set new all-time revenue records, including its search ad business, Apple Music, Apple Care, cloud services, and the App Store. Apple's services category is now the size of a Fortune 70 company by revenue.
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