This week on AI: Apple readies new iPads & AirPods, AirPlay 2 goes MIA, HomePod vs. Sonos & more

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Top stories included an imminent iPad refresh, Apple plans to buy a battery ingredient directly from miners, and word that updated AirPods could be ready later this year.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Apple readies Siri for the HomePod by adding a podcast-powered news brief

 The HomePod had a bit of a notable production setback, back in December, but Apple’s high-end smart speaker is still on track for an “early 2018” release. As it preps for the release of its first Siri-focused device, the company is making some tweaks to its voice assistant. As 9to5Mac first noted, the latest beta version of iOS (11.2.5) sports a new news feature. “Hey… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Google Contacts v2.4 readies multi-SIM support and prepares a new suggestion to fix nameless contacts [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Contacts came out yesterday, but it unfortunately doesn’t seem to solve the recent issue with contact syncing that some Oreo users are reporting. This update appears to mostly fix bugs, but it does come with a couple of minor tweaks and some preparation for new feature additions in the future.

What’s New

Left: v2.3. Right: v2.4.

I rarely bother with pointing out phrasing changes when they don’t actually change any functionality, but since the Suggestions screen will be immediately relevant to the teardown and this change speaks to the nature of what’s to come, it’s worth giving a mention to this one.

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Google Contacts v2.4 readies multi-SIM support and prepares a new suggestion to fix nameless contacts [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets

Blood-delivering drone company Zipline readies for launch in Tanzania

Zipline, a California-based robotics company that has made a name for itself delivering blood by drone in Rwanda, has just announced plans to operate its services in Tanzania by early next year.

In an interview with The Verge, Zipline co-founder and chief executive Keller Rinaudo said that the company plans to work with the Tanzania Ministry of Health and the country’s Medical Stores Department to open four distribution centers in Tanzania over the next four years, with the intent to deliver blood via drone to over a thousand public health facilities in the country.

Zipline also wants to expand services in Tanzania to include on-demand delivery of other medical supplies, things such as emergency vaccines, HIV medications, and…

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The Verge – All Posts

Nintendo Readies Mario for E3 Spotlight

Nintendo will provide numerous activities and spotlight its in-development titles at next month’s E3 in Los Angeles. However, it once again has decided not to host a traditional press event, despite the fact that Nintendo was one of the first companies to establish the tradition of holding a pre-show briefing for institutional investors, analysts and the media. Competitors including Sony and Microsoft soon followed suit, and third-party publishers, including Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, recently joined in.