Friday, May 5, 2017

Amazon's touchscreen Echo device leaks

After a low resolution image was reported by tech news outlets earlier today, notorious device leaker Evan Blass has released a high resolution image of a purported Amazon Echo device with a touchscreen.

Amazon has been rumored to be working on such a device for a while. I’m not sure I see the entire benefit of having a touchscreen on a communal device, unless you’re already standing/walking, but it will be interesting to see what features Amazon brings forward.

Amazon Video app may finally arrive on Apple TV →

Peter Kafka and Jason Del Rey for Recode:

Amazon and Apple may have reached a truce. The tech giants, who are increasingly competing for customers’ time, eyeballs and money, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies. Amazon employees expect the app to show up on Apple’s hardware in the third quarter of the year.

It’s about time. I use my Apple TV daily, and while I shop a ton on Amazon, I have to say the lack of an Apple TV app has turned me off from watching Prime Video. Amazon can (and has done) whatever they want, but I don’t see why they shouldn’t be trying to reach their user base on whatever hardware they own.

Perhaps we will also see a return of the Apple TV hardware to Amazon as a result, since Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) indicated the device was pulled due to a Prime Video app not existing for it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple Music needs a force-upload option (or equivalent)

Most people don’t have 40,000+ MP3s anymore, unless you’re my Dad. You see, my Dad is a music enthusiast, and ex-party DJ, so he has amassed quite the collection of music over the years. This collection includes rarities, alternate versions, region-specific masterings of albums, you name it. This presents some challenges when he uses Apple Music. To understand the issue here, let me first break down the three distinct services involved…

Read on

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Microsoft Surface Laptop *looks* nice

From the marketing to the actual laptop itself, everything about this screams “Apple”, except for the touchscreen, fabric keyboard, and USB 3 port. This is why competition is good. For those not ready to embrace a MacBook with USB-C, Surface Laptop might prove to be a good choice.

Although, a starting price of $999 with only 4GB of RAM and a 128GB drive is incredibly measly these days. Not to mention the host of concerns regarding Windows 10 S being discovered.

Apple Watch apps disappear →

Neil Hughes for Apple Insider:

In the last few weeks, the latest update for Google Maps on iOS ditched support for the Apple Watch. Its removal was not mentioned in the release notes, and Google has not indicated whether support for watchOS will be reinstated. It’s the same story with Amazon and eBay, both of which previously included Apple Watch support in their iOS apps. Both were updated in late April, and as of Monday, neither includes an Apple Watch app.

On a recent roadtrip, I thought I was going crazy trying to find the Google Maps app on my Watch–no wonder. Apple Watch hardware needs to catch up to the software. I have a feeling the next generation Apple Watch (Series 3) will hit the right balance of fast hardware and not-having-to-wait-for-apps-to-launch/run-ness. In other words, I think it might be the ‘iPhone 4’ of Apple Watches.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Rumored Siri Speaker

I think we will see a “Siri Speaker” soon enough. The latest rumors indicate an announcement at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. Weather, stocks, movie times, etc. are table stakes. Here’s what I believe Apple needs to do in order for the Siri speaker to be more than a novelty.

Read on