Apple working with Beats to bring wireless earbuds to the iPhone 7

iPhone 7

It’s fair to say that quite a few people were infuriated by rumors that Apple might be abandoning the 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-connected accessories. There’s an ongoing petition to keep the connectivity option, signed by more than 215,000 people, and counting.

Now some new insider info reiterates the 3.5 jack’s future demise, adding that Apple and its subsidiary Beats Electronics are working on developing wireless earbuds to launch alongside the iPhone 7. And we’re talking wireless-wireless, with no cables at all, much like the Moto Hit, the Earin, and the Bragi Dash.

What might very well be called the Airpods (Apple has the trademark registered) are reported to feature microphones too, for noise cancelling and summoning Siri. No ports will be found on them, instead they will ship with a carrying case with built-in battery – again, a similar design to already existing solutions.

Apple’s wireless earbuds are more than likely going to be sold separately. Competing models don’t come cheap, the Earin has a suggested retail price of £159 ($230), though being a Kickstarter-ed project, you could have picked up a pair for half that and you can’t actually order them now. Meanwhile, the Bragi Dash is $299/€299, and the Moto Hint is the cheapest at $130 MSRP.

Whatever the price, you wouldn’t expect Apple to bundle such a premium accessory with the iPhone 7. At least the source confirms that there are going to be Earpods with a Lightning connector inside the box.

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Apple announces ‘biggest ever’ holiday for App Store with $1.1 billion sales in two weeks

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Apple on Wednesday announced that its App Store has had the biggest holiday ever with a record-breaking $1.1 billion revenue in the two weeks ending January 3, as customers increased their spending on apps and In-App Purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases.

“January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million,” said Apple. “It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.”

“The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

iPad Pro with Keyboard

“We’re grateful to all the developers who have created the most innovative and exciting apps in the world for our customers. We can’t wait for what’s to come in 2016.”

Since its inception in the summer of 2008, the App Store has now paid developers nearly $40 billion, and that’s after Apple’s 30 percent cut. One-third of that revenue was generated in the last year alone, emphasizing the power of the ecosystem.

The year’s most popular App Store categories across Apple products? Gaming, Social Networking and Entertainment, according to Apple.

“Games and subscription apps dominated this year’s top grossing titles including Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, Game of War – Fire Age and Fantasy Westward Journey, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Match,” said the firm.

In the Apple TV’s App Store, which launched in October 2015, the most popular apps include Rayman Adventures, Beat Sports and HBO NOW. As for the Apple Watch, the most popular apps include Nike+ Running and Lifesum in the Fitness category, and iTranslate and Citymapper in the Travel category.

Source: Apple

Samsung Galaxy S7 to have an Apple-like 3D touch and microSD Card

The Wall Street Journal has posted some tantalizing new details about Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S7. The report paints a picture of the S7 as being a minor upgrade to the major revamp that was the Galaxy S6 but with a few new features to entice upgraders.

The biggest news, according to the Journal, is that the S7 and S7 Edge will feature a “pressure-sensitive display” which the report notes “will be similar to that offered by rival Apple Inc. on the iPhone 6s earlier this year.” Apple’s 3D Touch hardware launched with the iPhone 6S, Apple rolled out support to the core OS interface and packed-in apps, and tons of third-party apps (even Google) added support for it. Samsung lacks the sway over an app ecosystem that Apple has, so while it can update the core OS interface, we doubt many other apps will support the pressure-sensitive display, as was the case with Samsung’s early foray into fingerprint readers.

In the “not surprising” category, the Journal said that Samsung will again be releasing two versions of the phone—the flat-screened Galaxy S7 and the curved-screened Galaxy S7 Edge—and that both devices will look “will look largely similar” to their predecessors. The report said the phone is slated to launch in March with an unveiling at Mobile World Congress, which is similar to the Galaxy S6 timeframe, and it will come with a USB Type C-port, which is quickly becoming a standard for new devices.

The Galaxy S6 was the first Samsung flagship to scrap the microSD card slot, but data hoarders will be glad to hear that the microSD card is reportedly returning. It’s apparently only coming to the flat device, though—the report says that the microSD slot will not appear in the Galaxy S7 Edge.

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2015 was the year Samsung removed the MicroSD slot from its entire flagship lineup, but it was also the year Google made an SD slot more useful than ever by adding an “adoptable storage” feature toAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow. The feature allows a user to declare an SD card “permanent” and format it just like internal memory. The internal and external memory pools are then merged together and managed by the OS, giving users more storage without making them worry about file management.

In the “very surprising” category, the report says Samsung is “considering adding a retina scanner” to the Galaxy S7. For now the report seems unsure about if the feature will actually make it into a retail product, noting that with three months to go until release, “features could change.”

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Apple releases iOS 9.2 to the public

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

If you have any modern iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it’s time to drop whatever you’re doing because Apple has a brand new version of the iOS platform for you. iOS 9.2 isn’t a major update by any means, but it includes a wide range of bug fixes and enhancements that users will definitely appreciate. And best of all, it’s available to the public beginning right now.

Apple’s new iOS 9.2 software includes updates to the Safari View Controller across the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Beyond that, this release is all about bug fixes and refinements, which users will certainly appreciate. It’s available right now as an over the air update or as a download accessible through iTunes.

iOS 9.2 is compatible with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini or later, iPad Pro, and 5th or 6th generation iPod touch.

Also released on Tuesday were new versions of Apple’s watchOS and tvOS software.

The Jailbreak community is waiting for the release of Taig/Pangu Jailbreak now after iOS 9.2 has been released.

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Google Calendar gets Reminders!

Google Reminder

We normally use our Calendar for scheduling meetings at work, remembering dates with friends, and keeping track of all our other commitments. But often our to-do list is elsewhere, separate from the Calendar that organizes our day, and we end up overcommitted or miss something important because we forgot to check our list. Gmail also has had a “to-do” feature for the longest time, but it was pretty useless, as it was a simple standalone, one-off feature that probably graduated from Labs at one point. It was never integrated, and almost everyone complained about it. Luckily Google has listned and is fixing that today.

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Google is rolling out the ability to add reminders in Google Calendar for iOS and Android (web is coming soon).

Here’s what the team had to say about the update:

You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do.

You can also create a Reminder from Google Inbox, Google Keep and Google Now on your Android device. So basically, you can say “Remind me to take out the trash today at 1pm” and it’ll add it up on your calendar just like that.

Reminders will be rolling out this week with the latest versions of Calendar on Google Play and the App Store.