Quick Takes: What Wasn’t Announced at Apple Event, CarPlay Vehicles at New York Auto Show, and More

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Wednesday, March 28

What Wasn’t Announced at Apple’s Event

Yesterday, we shared a video recap of everything Apple announced at its education-themed event, including a new entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, a new Schoolwork app for classrooms, and other education-related software updates.

Apple’s invite made it very clear that the event would be focused on education announcements, but there were still quite a few hardware and software possibilities that had a slim chance of being—but ultimately weren’t—mentioned:

  • Lower-priced MacBook Air: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a more affordable MacBook Air will launch in the second quarter of 2018. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said the notebook probably wouldn’t be ready for Tuesday’s event, which proved to be the case.

    When to expect it: Apple has refreshed the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro in April or May before, and announced the updates via press releases, so that’s one possibility. Otherwise, the new MacBook Air will likely debut at WWDC 2018 on June 4, near the end of the second quarter.

  • AirPower: A trio of reports claimed Apple’s multi-device charging mat will be available to order by the end of March. However, despite Apple’s online store going down ahead of Tuesday’s event, the AirPower wasn’t anywhere to be found when the site came back online.

    When to expect it: There are still two weekdays remaining in March, so there’s a possibility the AirPower could be added to Apple’s online store within 48 hours. Otherwise, the reports may have been off the mark. Apple has only confirmed that the AirPower will be available at some point in 2018.

  • A second-generation iPhone SE: Apple unveiled the current iPhone SE in March 2016, and given multiple rumors about a so-called iPhone SE 2, the new version could have debuted at the Chicago event. However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had already cast doubt on the idea.

    When to expect it: A sketchy Chinese report recently claimed that Apple will unveil a new iPhone SE at WWDC 2018 in June. While certainly a possibility, Apple hasn’t introduced a smartphone at the event since the iPhone 4 in 2010. Beyond WWDC, a new iPhone SE could conceivably be announced in September alongside a new iPhone X and iPhone X Plus.

    iPhone X in gold rendered by Michael Flux

  • Gold or (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhones: Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang and Twitter account OnLeaks said Apple may release a (PRODUCT)RED edition of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and/or iPhone X. Ben Geskin and Japanese website Mac Otakara expect a gold iPhone X.

    When to expect it: On March 21, 2017, Apple unveiled a special (PRODUCT)RED edition of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If it plans on doing similar this year, then perhaps we’ll see a wave of press releases highlighting availability of the new colors and the AirPower very soon.

  • iOS 11.3: Apple could have used its event to mention when the software update will be publicly released, but it elected not to do so.

    When to expect it: Apple said iOS 11.3 will be available in the spring, which began last week. There has already been six beta versions, and iOS 11.3 was released for the new iPad just hours ago, so it’s very likely the update will be available in a matter of days.

Teacher Reactions to Apple’s Event

Apple’s last education-focused event prior to Tuesday was in January 2012 in New York, where it announced iBooks 2 with interactive textbooks, iBooks Author, and a new version of iTunes U for iPad.

Just over six years later, many teachers and IT directors for school systems were eager to see what Apple had in store for them. And now that the event has concluded, many of those individuals have shared their initial thoughts, which aren’t entirely positive. We’ve rounded up some articles below:

CarPlay Vehicles at New York Auto Show

CarPlay in 2019 Lexus UX

Today is press day at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday. Many automakers have unveiled vehicles compatible with CarPlay, including the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and 2019 Lexus UX:

  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
  • 2019 Toyota RAV4
  • 2019 Lexus UX
  • 2019 Audi A6
  • 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback
  • 2019 Acura RDX
  • 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec
  • 2019 Cadillac CT6
  • 2019 Cadillac XT4
  • 2019 Ford Fusion
  • 2019 Subaru Forester
  • 2019 Honda Insight
  • 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2019 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
  • 2019 Kia K900
  • 2019 Kia Optima
  • 2019 Kia Sedona
  • 2019 Nissan Altima

For more coverage of Apple’s event, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

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911 Wasn’t Set Up With Cell Phones In Mind. Google Could Change that.

When the 911 emergency number was set up in 1968, there was no way to know how cellphones would change the way people use the service. Today, it’s still difficult for operators to pinpoint the exact location of callers to send out help – but Google could change all that.

The search giant has been testing out a way to use the technology that identifies the user’s location in Google Maps to help out the emergency services. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a sample of 911 calls made using Android phones over the course of December 2017 and January 2018 saw geolocation data sent directly to the operator.

Currently, carriers can detect the location of a device by triangulating their distance from several cell phone towers, but this isn’t particularly accurate.  The study found that Google’s data gave an average location estimate radius of 121 feet, whereas carrier data averaged out at 522 feet.

At present, it falls to the operator to find out the exact location emergency responders need to be sent to from the caller. Given that they might be flustered, or potentially in a place they’re not familiar with, this can be a difficult prospect.

In this kind of situation, a slight improvement on the response time can be life-saving. Research published by the Federal Communications Commission suggests that as many as 10,000 lives could be saved annually if emergency response times were improved by just one minute.

Google has had the technology to provide this service for some time – it was rolled out in the U.K. and Estonia in July 2016, according to a report from Ars Technica. Many feel uncomfortable with the idea of allowing their smartphone to track their location, but in emergency circumstances, it’s easy to see the benefits.

The post 911 Wasn’t Set Up With Cell Phones In Mind. Google Could Change that. appeared first on Futurism.


Apple’s new ‘Close Your Rings’ ad definitely wasn’t well thought-out

Apple HomePod rings problem solution

The HomePod, Apple’s opening salvo in the war against Amazon Echo and Google Home, is off to an inconspicuous start. Despite fawning reviews about the speaker’s sound quality, the HomePod failed to sell out, and a number of features like multi-room support or stereo pairing don’t work at launch.

To make a bad launch worse, it was revealed this week that the $ 349 speaker can leave a white ring on some wooden surfaces. Apple tried to downplay the issue, saying that it’s ‘not unusual‘ for a speaker to do that, but by that point, the ‘Ring of doom’ narrative was already too strong.

So it’s just a little too close to home that Apple launched a new page on its website today promoting the Apple Watch’s activity features called “Close Your Rings.” You have to assume it was a long-planned addition, and on any other day, no one would notice or care.  But when Apple’s fighting a PR battle against the HomePod leaving rings, telling people to close them might not be the best idea.

“Close Your Rings” is Apple’s not-quite-so-catchy version of “Just Do It:” it’s supposed to be a motivational slogan for people who wouldn’t otherwise work out, but are now being encouraged to do so because of some digital nagging. The name derives from the Apple Watch’s activity tracker, which uses a growing circle to map your activity for the day: When you hit your goal, the ring is closed.

Apple – BGR

Sending a Tesla into space wasn’t such a dumb idea

Maybe it’s my instinctive distrust of bored billionaires treating the world as their playground, but I’m always dubious about Elon Musk’s various moonshot projects. He seems to be enjoying it all a little too much. Latest among his outlandish ideas was the concept of sending a Tesla out into space with yesterday’s historic Falcon Heavy rocket launch. I thought it was just another indulgence of a febrile mind, but then I saw the Earth fly-by videos and suddenly it all made sense.

Elon Musk, the master salesman of our times, has found the…

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Google Assistant is now on Android Auto, because apparently it wasn’t before

According to an announcement made by Google at CES, the company’s Google Assistant is now on Android Auto. If you’re a bit confused by this, that’s understandable. Apparently, the previous implementation was just a simpler voice search. Now that things have been upgraded to the full Google Assistant experience, you’ll have a wider range of functions and tools available behind the wheel. 

At first, this announcement didn’t make a lot of sense, as you’ve been able to “OK Google” your way about Android Auto for quite some time.

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Google Assistant is now on Android Auto, because apparently it wasn’t before was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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

Apple’s flagship Chicago retail store wasn’t designed to handle snow

Apple’s new flagship retail store in Chicago, the one with a MacBook-shaped rooftop, is nothing short of an architectural marvel. At least, that’s how some news reports put it when the store opened back in October. Beyond standing out among the less inspired buildings of the downtown Chicago area, the new Apple Store also happens to be very poorly thought through considering its thin roof now has dangerous icicles hanging perilously over public walkways.

The deadly ice daggers have forced the closure of those spaces, as pointed out by local blogger Matt Maldre and reblogged by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. As Maldre explains, the fancy building design, while seemingly in service of Apple’s new “town square” ideal for its retail stores,…

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A U.S. president dominated this year’s list of most popular tweets. It wasn’t Donald Trump.


Twitter came out with its annual list of the most popular tweets, moments and hashtags of 2017 on Tuesday.

As expected, a U.S. president was responsible for many of the most liked and retweeted posts of the year. Perhaps unexpectedly: that that president was Barack Obama, not Donald Trump, who has claimed the title “The Twitter President” for his constant tweeting.

Obama was responsible for three of the top ten most retweeted tweets of the year, including the second most retweeted post of 2017, which he sent the weekend of the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Two other tweets from the @POTUS44 official account, which was originally the @POTUS account Obama held as President, were in the top ten.

The teenager who tried to get a free year’s supply of chicken nuggets from Wendy’s was the most retweeted tweet of the year.

Obama also had two of the three most Liked tweets of the year, including the tweet above which came it at No. 1. It has more than 4.5 million Likes. The third most liked tweet of the year: Obama’s shoutout to Senator John McCain after it became public that McCain was diagnosed with cancer.

Trump was still a big part of the year on Twitter despite being absent from the list of most retweeted posts. (Twitter only listed the top three most Liked tweets, and Trump wasn’t on that list either.)

PBS’s live coverage of Trump’s inauguration was the most watched livestream of the year, and Trump was also the most tweeted about “elected world leader,” ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

In case it wasn’t obvious, Twitter was full of political animosity in 2017. The year can be summarized by the four most popular U.S. activism hashtags:

  1. #Resist
  2. #MAGA
  3. #ImpeachTrump
  4. #TrumpTrain

A few other “winners” from 2017:

Most tweeted about TV show: Game of Thrones

Most tweeted about movie: Wonder Woman

Most retweeted athlete tweet: LeBron James calling Trump a “bum.”

Here are the top ten most retweeted posts of the year:










Recode – All

A New Black Metal Album Was Just Published — and It Wasn’t Made by a Human

Artificial Intelligence Shreds

Artificial intelligence has already proven its prowess at tasks, from driving cars to making nuclear reactors safer. Now, the technology is being used to create a black metal album that shreds just as fiercely as music produced by humans.

Coditany of Timeness is the product of a project undertaken by CJ Carr and Zack Zukowski. It’s a five-track black metal album that features songs with algorithmically generated titles like Timension and Wisdom Trippin’.

The music was produced by feeding an album called Diotima by Krallice into a neural network. Songs were broken down into short chunks, and the system was asked to project how the next section of the track would sound, before being told whether or not its prediction was correct – common methodology for teaching an artificial intelligence how to operate.

At first, the sounds that were produced were “noisy” and “grotesque,” according to an interview with Carr published in The Outline. However, it became more sophisticated thanks to a process that saw as many as five million guesses at how a black metal song should sound made over the course of three days.

OK Computer

Machine learning techniques allow AI to sift through a huge amount of content and output something completely new based on those influences. This is being used to create all manner of art.

We’ve already seen AIs write their own music, and produce visual artwork. They’ve shown promise when it comes to writing scary stories, and they can even come up with some decent ideas for Halloween costumes.

There are still questions to be asked about how this compares to human notions of creativity. However, AI-based art is a very fascinating prospect.

The post A New Black Metal Album Was Just Published — and It Wasn’t Made by a Human appeared first on Futurism.


For 6 minutes, Twitter was a Trump-free zone. It wasn’t long enough.

For six minutes today, the world experienced social media without Donald Trump. And just as we were starting to get into it, to become fully engrossed in the very essence of what made it so good to begin with — the heavy breathing, animal-like noises, and intense feelings of pleasure that only comes from experiencing someone in their rawest form — it was over. Maybe think about baseball next time, Jack? After the internet lit its collective cigarettes, but before it managed to get out of bed, the theories started to roll in. TWITTER JUST BANNED DONALD TRUMP! 😂😂😂😂😂 —…

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