Today, a launch invitation confirms that Black Shark will be launching a new gamer-centric smartphone to compete against the likes of the Razer phone. This invite mentions April 13 as the date that the company will announce such a device in Beijing, China. The company is actually backed by Xiaomi, so the device will likely feature the Black Shark branding and not Xiaomi’s. It will definitely be easier to spell and pronounce than “Xiaomi” in western markets. Qualcomm’s logo is also on the invite so we will likely see a Snapdragon 845 inside this device. Other expected specs…
We may well get a new Apple Watch this fall — if so, here are the rumors and speculation you need to know about now.
Apple Watch Series 3 debuted in September of 2017 but, as is my wont, I’m already thinking about the next version. What will it look like? What new features will it have that pique my fancy?
March 28, 2018: Apple Watch Series 4 could feature a bigger display, redesigned body
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI is at it again, this time with a report concerning the next iteration of the Apple Watch. According to Kuo’s report, coming via 9to5Mac the Apple Watch Series 4 will launch later this year with a new design, as well as a 15% larger display.
With a launch in the third quarter of 2018, Ming-Chi Kuo says the new watches will have a 15% larger display. All Watches to date come in 38 mm or 42 mm screen sizes.
If it’s indeed true that the Apple Watch Series 4 will have both a redesigned chassis and a bigger display, there are questions to be answered. First: how will this redesign impact what we currently think of as the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches? How big will this redesign be? And, perhaps most importantly: will I have to get all new watch bands to use with the Series 4?
When’s the next Apple Watch going to come out?
There’s not a ton of speculation out right now, but if we were betting folk, we might lean toward the Fall season, around the same time as the next iPhone. That would mean a Fall 2018 launch for the Series 4 Apple Watch — on par with what we’ve heard previously. Not only does that give the company the year to perfect new hardware, but it would continue the Watch’s release cycle alongside Apple’s most popular product, the iPhone, standardized in 2016 with the release of the Series 2. Given that the Apple Watch requires an iPhone to function, it seems logical to pair the two.
What’s it going to look like?
Apple still hasn’t released official numbers on how well the Watch and its various lines are doing, but I’d expect both the Sport and steel Apple Watch casings to show up in Series 4 — though we might see a new anodized color option in the Sport line. (Perhaps a Product RED Sport?)
We also might see a new Apple Watch Edition, replacing the Ceramic model. (Personally, I’m rooting for meteorite.)
What about a round version?
While I’d love to see some variation on Apple Watch styling, a round Apple Watch would require a round interface; on top of that, to prevent fragmentation, watchOS would have to work on both rounded rectangle and circular Apple Watches. That’s a big challenge for the company’s software team, and perhaps not one Apple feels up to tackling for 2018.
What sizes will it come in?
Some people like big watches, just like some people like Plus-sized phones, so we won’t say never on the prospect of a bigger model; that said, 38mm and 42mm seem to be doing well for the company for now, though, and will probably continue into series 3.
What kind of bands will be available?
Expect new Fall colors for Apple’s Sport, Woven Nylon, Classic Buckle, and Modern Buckle, along with a potential new mystery band or two. We might also see new Nike and Hermès colors as well, and perhaps other designers getting into the mix.
As MacRumors noted earlier in 2017, Apple has filed patents for modular bands that could add additional functionality to the watch, including additional battery life, haptics, health sensors, and more, though it’s hard to bet on when (if ever) a patented product will see the light of day.
How about the internals?
The S1P and S2 processor powering the Series 1 and 2 Apple Watch gave the original “Series 0” Apple Watch a huge upgrade; the S3 in the Series 3 even more so. An S4 system-in-package for Series 4 should provide a similar boost. Also, the smoother watchOS gets, the better for everyone — I still run into lags here and there, especially on third-party apps.
What about battery life?
As with processor, the Series 2 and series 3 watches both gained big improvements to battery life, with both models now lasting a full 18-hour day — with workouts — without needing a charge. Apple can never stop innovating in this arena, however, especially if it plans to one day allow the watch to sleep tracking (without having to own separate “day” and “night” Apple Watches).
Will Series 4 get full cellular data, decoupling it from the iPhone?
Series 3 brought LTE but only when coupled with an iPhone and some services, like SMS, require the iPhone to be on-network. It’s convenient because it means you don’t have to get and manage a separate cell number just for your watch, but it also means the watch isn’t really an independant LTE device.
So, could Series 4 cut the coupling? Maybe. If Apple can figure out a way to keep it simple.
Any new health sensors?
Health is a huge part of the Apple Watch’s message, but right now, the company’s somewhat limited in what it can do without FDA approval — and the organization’s involvement during development, which could compromise Apple’s vaunted security policies.
The current Apple Watch has a pulse oximeter on the rear casing; when pressed against your wrist, it uses a technology called photoplethysmography to measure how fast blood is flowing through your veins. Currently, Apple just uses this sensor for pulse readings, though in theory, the company could also use it to check the oxygen saturation in your blood, or (as suggested by a recent patent uncovered by AppleInsider) identify who’s wearing the watch based on your heart patterns.
There are currently third-party apps that do this on the iPhone by having you press your finger up against the rear camera and flash, but they’re expressly marked with warnings that disqualify it as “official” testing hardware, and encourage anyone with medical problems to see a doctor. (See my above comment about “FDA-approved and tested.”)
The same goes for blood pressure and glucose monitoring. CNBC reported that the blood sugar monitor has made significant progress.
The initiative is far enough along that Apple has been conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area and has hired consultants to help it figure out the regulatory pathways.
While they would be fantastic statistics for users with blood pressure problems and diabetes, Apple may be better off pairing with third-party Bluetooth devices that are FDA-approved. That’s not to say we won’t see these sensors in the Series 3 — but if we do, expect to hear about them through the FDA’s approval process first.
Additionally, if the company can improve battery life, we may well see the introduction of sleep tracking. There are a few apps (like David Smith’s excellent Sleep++) that can do this already on the watch, but they require significant battery use and the ability to charge the timepiece in the morning.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see more information from Apple’s chief operating officer and Health spokesperson Jeff Williams on CareKit and ResearchKit; both features have the potential to change patients’ lives for the better, and Apple will no doubt be touting the studies — and any new trials — as part of the Watch experience in the Fall.
Will I be able to use my Android phone with the Series 4?
We haven’t heard anything to that effect. But if the company wants to make Apple Watch available to the largest group of users, it’s a smart move to consider — and there’s precedent in Apple Music, iTunes, the iPod, and iPhone. And given that Android Wear watches support the iPhone, there may be a strong business incentive to move in that direction.
Of course, Apple may want to keep the Watch platform-exclusive; depending on the wearable’s features, it might be another good way to convert users to iPhone.
Any word on watchOS 5?
A few nibbles here and there, mostly around new sports activities for the Workout app, like Yoga.
What do you want the next Apple Watch to look like? Me, I’m hoping for at least some of the following:
- More health features: An oximeter (to read blood oxygen levels) would be pretty cool, as would a second-generation sensor with better pulse tracking during workouts.
- A slimmer case: I wouldn’t trade it for battery life, but if anyone could figure out how to make a thinner watch with the same battery tech, it’s Apple.
- Always-on display: Like a slimmer case, this requires Apple to have its battery needs in check; that said, it’s one of my only remaining nitpicks with the current generation of Apple Watch.
- Round face: Honestly, I don’t know if I actually want this or just want to see Apple’s take on it. Either way, round faces are traditionally more flattering to ladies’ wrists (though they need to be sized accordingly).
- Decorative bands: I’d love a more eclectic, jewelry-style band from Apple. Why not?
As expected, Apple has unveiled a highly affordable iPad at the “Field Trip education event.” Looking at the new iPad features, price and specs, I can firmly say that the tablet is primed to win over students.
With small form-factor, the newly introduced iPad looks pretty impressive. One of the biggest features of the tablet is the support for Apple Pencil.
New iPad 2018 Features, Price, Specs, and Release Date
“iPad is our vision for the future of computing and hundreds of millions of people around the world use it every day at work, in school and for play. This new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for inspiring creativity and learning,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing.
The iPad 2018 doesn’t boast a new design. It looks pretty similar to the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
It also has more advance Touch ID that allows them to securely authenticate app, make a purchase and even unlock the device with ease.
The tablet sports an ultra-lightweight design. It weighs just one pound. Students would have no problem in carrying the iPad.
Apple’s new tablet can deliver up to 10 hours of long battery life after being fully juiced up. For normal use, it should be sufficient. Though it would have been better had there been more battery life.
200GB Storage Free
Apple offers up to 200GB free iCloud storage on the new iPad. It’s one of the biggest highlights of the tablet and I think it’s going to attract a lot of users.
It has 8 MP rear camera, which would be great for snapping photos and recording videos. Kids would love to use the powerful camera to scan objects.
With the smart FaceTime camera onboard, they will enjoy chatting with friends and loved ones.
The iPad is powered by A10 Fusion chip that makes it highly efficient and fast. Thanks to the powerful processor, students can watch videos and play games to their heart’s liking. It also has LTE, GPS, Compass options.
Apple Pencil Support
Finally, Apple Pencil support comes with the smaller iPad. Young learners will love creating masterpieces. It has same tilt as well as pressure sensing as the more powerful iPad Pro. Moreover, students will get $ 10 discount on Apple Pencil.
The iPad also works with Logitech case and keyboard. Logitech Crayon pencil, which works with the tablet, has been priced at $ 49.
Enormously Helpful Apps
New versions of Pages, Numbers, Keynote are compatible with the pencil. All three iWork apps are available for free on the iPad.
Focus on Education Like Never Before
The tech giant announced that the already existing iOS “Classroom” app is going to arrive on Mac, starting with a beta this June. The company has also introduced “cloud-based” app named Schoolwork to allow teachers to assign handouts as well as track progress of their students.
Apps will be integrated with Schoolwork through Apple’s ClassKit API. It will be available for teachers starting from June. Apple has also announced “Apple Teacher” professional learning program which will be available online. It’s designed to help teachers build skills, chart their progress and also launch new lesson plans.
They can earn badges shaped like gold stars that will encourage them to continue to give their best.
Students can take the full advantage of AR to make learning or research more creative. For instance, they can look at an environment on a table. E.g., building a dam and get to know how it impacts the river!
The tablet has been priced at $ 329 for consumers. It’s available for just $ 299 for schools.
9.7-inch iPad 2018 Release Date
The new iPad is available from today and ready to ship from this week.
That’s pretty much it!
Even though iPad already enjoys huge popularity among students, Apple has decided to make further inroads in this customer segment to bolster the sales of the tablet.
While the entire tablet market seems to be going off the handle due to lackluster sales, iPad sales have always been on the higher side. And I believe, this move is going to prove extremely decisive in ramping up the sales of the iPad.
- How to Use Split View in iOS 11 on iPad
- Multitasking on iPad in iOS 11
- How to Use Drag and Drop in iOS 11 on iPad
- Best 10.5-inch iPad Pro Cases
- Best 10.5-inch iPad Pro Keyboard Cases
The post New 9.7-inch iPad 2018 Features, Price, Specs and Release Date: A Delightful Asset for Students appeared first on .
Here are Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S specs, features, price and release date info that you need to know about after Xiaomi made it official today.
[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]
When is iPhone 9 being released? What will the specs be? Will it have special features? Here’s everything we know!
iPhone 9 — or iPhone X2, or whatever Apple ends up calling the 2018 iPhone — is widely expected to come next fall. But with iPhone 8 and iPhone X both on the market now, there are several ways Apple could go for the next generation. This article is continuously updated to include the latest news and rumors so you can be among the first to find out. Bookmark it, save it, share it, and check back often!
March 18, 2018: Apple rumored to be dumping OLED, going MicroLED for future iPhones
There’s always a next display technology. We’ve gone from CRT to LCD and Plasma to OLED. Next on the list might well be MicroLED, a technology that could offer better than OLED quality with LED-backlit longevity and consistency. And Apple’s all over it.
Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, according to people familiar with the situation.
The technology giant is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. MicroLED screens use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and promise to make future gadgets slimmer, brighter and less power-hungry.
Instead of a single backlight, like iPhones up until iPhone 8, or self-lighting, like iPhone X, MicroLED uses individual LED backlights for each pixel and sub-pixel.
It won’t be ready for years and something else could always come along in the meantime. But, if MicroLED is the next new, Apple will be well-positioned to take advantage of it — and in a way that gives it a differentiated advantage over current OLED suppliers like Samsung.
What will the next iPhone be called?
Up until this year, Apple’s naming pattern had been consistent: iPhone [Number] followed by iPhone [Number + s].
- iPhone: 2007
- iPhone 3G: 2008
- iPhone 3GS: 2009
- iPhone 4: 2010
- iPhone 4s: 2011
- iPhone 5: 2012
- iPhone 5s: 2013
- iPhone 6: 2014
- iPhone 6s: 2015
- iPhone 7: 2016
But 2017 changed everything. Instead of iPhone 7s, we got:
- iPhone 8
- iPhone X (iPhone “Ten”)
So, what follows iPhone 8 and iPhone X? Will it be iPhone 9 and iPhone X2? Just iPhone 9 or iPhone X2? Something else entirely?
Apple can name the next iPhone anything it wants. iPhone 9. iPhone X2. iPhone Edition. iPhone Pro. iPhone Mother of Dragons. It’s purely a marketing decision.
For the sake of simplicity, iPhone 9 will be used in our rumor roundup until we hear otherwise.
Will there be an iPhone 9 Plus or an iPhone 9 SE?
Quite possibly. The advantage of iPhone X is that it puts a bigger-than-iPhone-Plus display into a roughly the same size casing as a regular iPhone. That leaves open two possibilities:
- iPhone 9 Plus: Same size as iPhone 8 Plus but with an even bigger, 6-inch (ish) display.
- iPhone 9 SE: Same size as iPhone SE but with an iPhone 8-like 4.7-inch (ish) display.
When will the iPhone 9 be released?
Since the iPhone 5, Apple has announced every flagship iPhone during a special event held the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of September.
- iPhone 5: September 12, 2012
- iPhone 5s: September 10, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 9, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 9, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 7, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 12, 2017
- iPhone X: September 12, 2017
Likewise, since the iPhone 5, Apple has shipped every flagship iPhone the second Friday following the event, with the exception of the iPhone 6s in 2015, which shipped the third Friday following the event, and iPhone X, which shipped on November 3:
- iPhone 5: September 21, 2012
- iPhone 5S: September 20, 2013
- iPhone 6: September 19, 2014
- iPhone 6s: September 25, 2015
- iPhone 7: September 16, 2016
- iPhone 8: September 22, 2017
- iPhone X: November 3, 2017
Past patterns are the best indicator of future events, but they aren’t perfect. Apple can and will throw curveballs whenever the company’s logistics or strategy demands. So, be aware of the dates but don’t be bound to them.
What can we expect in the iPhone 9 design?
Now that Apple has debuted an all-new design language with iPhone X, it’s possible the company will stick with it for at least another generation. That was the pattern with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. With iPhone 6 through iPhone 8, Apple changed materials and manufacturing processes but stuck with the same design language for four years.
- iPhone 3G: 2008 — Plastic shell.
- iPhone 4: 2010 — Antenna band and glass back.
- iPhone 5: 2012 — 16:9 aspect ratio, chamfered edges.
- iPhone 6: 2014 — Bigger screens, rounded edges.
- iPhone X: 2017 — Edge-to-edge display.
There’s always a possibility Apple will iterate more quickly following iPhone X, but it’s likely what we’ll see with iPhone 9 is multiple sizes of the same design.
Will touch ID make a comeback?
With iPhone X, Apple deleted the Home button and Touch ID along with it. Instead, we got Face ID. It’s always possible Apple will bring Touch ID back, implementing it below the OLED display.
What colors will the iPhone 9 be offered in?
So far Apple has saved the new iPhone finishes for the years absent big redesigns, save for 2017’s iPhone 7 Project RED special edition.
- iPhone 5s: 2013 — Gold.
- iPhone 6s: 2015 — Rose gold.
- iPhone 7: 2016 — Black and jet black.
- iPhone 7: 2017 — (Product) RED.
- iPhone 8: 2018 — “New” gold.
Here again, Apple can do anything the company wants, any time the company wants, including introducing new colors at any time.
Apple Watch Series 2 being released in white ceramics sent the internet atwitter with thoughts of iPhone 9 being made out of the same material. Tougher than stainless steel, it still remains to be seen if it would hold up in a device as big as an iPhone or iPhone Plus.
Notably, Greg Koenig of Luma Labs thinks it unlikely, writing on Atomic Delights:
More bluntly, not only is Apple not using any new ceramics manufacturing technology in the new Watch Edition, they are not even utilizing the primary patent the original Quora article pins most of its extrapolations on – that patent described a vacuum liquid slurry casting process for ceramics. The Edition watch uses a very common pressed powder forming method.
In short, not only does the ceramic Watch quash any hopes of a ceramic iPhone, I think it actually indicates that Apple isn’t chasing down ceramics for iPhone production any time on the horizon.
What specs will the iPhone 9 have?
Since Apple introduced the company’s first branded system-on-a-chip (SoC) in 2010, every new iPhone has come with a new A-series chipset. If Apple sticks to that pattern, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will ship with Apple A11 processors. New SoC typically take advantage of better processes that let them be faster and more powerful but also more energy efficient.
Apple has also been adding coprocessors to handle motion voice activation, fusion cores, and neural engines. A12 will continue to push Apple silicon forward. That inclues a second generation custom GPU as well.
What about an iPad Pro-style Smart Connector?
Apple typically introduces a technology in one device and then rolls it out across the lineup. Retina was like that with iPhone 4 and Touch ID with iPhone 5s. The Smart Connector, which debuted with the iPad Pro in the fall of 2015, attaches via a magnet and runs power, data, and ground directly from the device. It currently powers Apple’s Smart Keyboard and a similar keyboard from Logitech, with more expected to follow.
Apple could certainly engineer a Smart Connector for iPhone 9, but what it would be used for is a more interesting question. Apple made a smaller Smart Keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but would the company make an even smaller one for iPhone 8 Plus? For iPhone 8 standard?
What about the display? Will we get ProMotion?
With iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple brought TrueTone to iPhone. It makes sure the color temperature of the display matches the ambient color temperature. That way, whites don’t look yellow or blue — they look white. Like paper.
What iPhone 8 and iPhone X didn’t get was ProMotion.
Introduced with the 2017 iPads Pro, ProMotion allows dynamic refresh so the display can ramp up to support Apple Pencil and impossibly smooth scrolling, and ramp down to conserve power.
Like TrueTone, once you see it, you want it everywhere. Including the next-generation iPhone.
Will the iPhone 9 be waterproof?
iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPad X are water resistant but not waterproof. Rated IP67, they can survive accidental splashes, dunks, and floods, but isn’t rated as highly as some competing phones from Samsung and others.
Although swimming with an iPhone may not be on everyone’s wish-list, those whose jobs or pastimes expose them to the elements, and even those who want to do underwater photography at shallow depths would be thrilled by IP68.
Will the iPhone 9 have distance charging?
iPhone 8 and iPhone X introduced inductive charging to iPhone. It uses the Qi-standard, though, and currently requires the iPhone to be placed in direct physical contact with the charging pad.
There have been rumors for a while that suggest Apple is also working on resonant inductive coupling, which would let devices charge even at a distance. (The greater the distance, the lower the efficiency.) So, instead of having to put the iPhone in direct contact with the charging pad, you can simply put it down anywhere nearby the power station.
It would make charging even more convenient and less error-prone. If Apple can nail it.
Okay, what do we know for sure?
Only that nothing is confirmed until an Apple executive holds an iPhone 9 up on stage!
Rumors about MacBook Air 2018 features, prices, and release date have been breaking the Internet for quite some time. Seeing the intensity of the grapevine, I thought it’s the right time to jump on the bandwagon to catch up with everything that’s expected to inject life into the virtually dead MacBook!
So, what are the features that are expected to embrace the notebook? Going by the winds, the laptop is going to be on the same lines as its predecessor, with just a bit of spec bumps. And the entire focus is going to be on reviving the entry-level MacBook lineup.
MacBook Air 2018 Release Date, Features and Price Prediction
So, what the Analyst Says?
Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo firmly believes that the Cupertino-based company will introduce a lower priced MacBook to attract those who wish to enter Apple’s vast ecosystem without having to spend a lot of dollars.
He predicts that the total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017; as against 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry.
“We expect Apple to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.” – KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo
DigiTimes has also reported that Apple is all set to launch a more affordable notebook, which is about the same level as that of the existing MacBook Air.
“Apple is preparing to release a new entry-level MacBook at the end of the second quarter with a price tag expected to be about the same level as that of the existing MacBook Air or slightly higher.” – Digitimes
MacBook Air 2018 Display
The upcoming MacBook Air is said to feature a better display than its predecessors. The laptop’s panel will come in 13.3-inches. The resolution, billed at 2560×1600, would be at par with Retina levels.
LG is reportedly manufacturing the display for the notebook and is said to supply the panel in April. And the machine will enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.
As far as assembly is concerned, Quanta Computer has 70% of the orders, whereas Foxconn Electronics has obtained 30%.
MacBook Air 2018 Storage
The current version of MacBook Air is available only in two storage variants like 128GB and 256GB. And we expect the upcoming version to fall on the same line.
Charging and Expansion
We don’t see many changes as far as charging and expansion are concerned. Apple is likely to retain the headphone jack.
- Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
- Thunderbolt 2 port (up to 20 Gbps)
- MagSafe 2 power port
- SDXC card slot
- 5mm headphone jack
MacBook Air 2018 Price
According to Kuo, the price point of the notebook would be somewhere around $ 799–$ 899. However, Digitimes reports that pricing will be the same as or a tad higher than the current MacBook Air ($ 999).
MacBook Air 2018 Release Date
Rumors have it that the tech giant will unveil the new MacBook Air at WWDC 2018. And, the pre-orders, as well as launch, will kick off soon.
Stay tuned for more
The post MacBook Air 2018 Release Date, Price, Features and Specifications: Apple’s Slimmest Notebook to Return to Life appeared first on .
Shown above, you can see how well the date meshes with the existing time indicator. The implementation is so clean that it virtually looks like something Apple would offer right out of the box…. Read the rest of this post here
“This tweak puts the date under the time indicator on your jailbroken iPhone X” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Microsoft has revealed Windows 10 Spring Creators Update release date, with the company continuing the ongoing aim to release a new, updated version of Windows 10 more regularly than you likely change your socks.
[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]
Philips has announced when its outdoor smart bulbs will be on sale and how much Hue fans will have to pay in order to bathe their gardens in multicolored light.
[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]
Activision today announced Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and also revealed its release date. Here are the details.
[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]