ZOAKS Weekly Summary from the Latest News #10–1
Week 2–1, Mar. 2021
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance — and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.” — Oprah Winfrey
“In the long term, artificial intelligence and automation are going to be taking over so much of what gives humans a feeling of purpose.” — Matt Bellamy
● Apple launched a new page on its official website that highlights carrier offers for customers who are buying a new iPhone 12 model. The company shows some of the trade-in deals currently available from US carriers for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
● Called “iPhone Carrier Offers,” the new page found within the existing iPhone page on Apple’s website features deals from AT&T, T-Mobile/Sprint, and Verizon. Apple says customers can now find “the latest carrier deals directly from Apple.”
● Apple announced last year the new App Store Small Business Program, which allows small developers to pay a reduced commission to Apple for sales made through the App Store. However, developer Sean Harding shared his story on Twitter about how he became ineligible for this program.
● We don’t know if the company will ever make exceptions for cases like this, but if you’re a developer, be aware that transferring your apps from one account to another may result in you never being able to join the App Store Small Business Program.
● We’ve been hearing rumors about the 2021 iPad Pro update. The main change will probably be the mini-LED display technology that is going to appear on the 12.9-inch model. As rumors suggest an Apple event will be held on March 23, here’s everything we know about the looming iPad Pro update…
● Reports still suggest that the new iPad Pro will launch in Q1 2021. According to DigiTimes, the mini-LED technology will be the main change of this year’s iPad line.
● According to multiple reports and analysts, this new iPad Pro will have a chip based on the A14, the same processor available on the fourth-generation iPad Air, and the iPhone 12 lineup.
● Last week, a new Apple Pencil leak surfaced on the internet. With a glossy design, this could be a new accessory for the iPad Pro. While this Apple Pencil looks similar to the first-generation model, we can’t see a Lightning port, so it could mean that it’s for the newer iPads.
● Apple announced a major new investment project, revealing its plans to establish a European Center for Chip Design in Munich, Germany. The financial commitment will exceed 1 billion euros over the next three years.
● The facility will hire hundreds of employees and focus on advancing mobile and wireless technologies, including 5G. The research and development will ultimately inform future Apple silicon chip designs.
● The new Munich facility will reinforce Apple’s existing engineering presence in Germany with a focus on mobile wireless semiconductors (5G, 6G etcetera). The location will span about 30 square kilometers, and Apple plans to move in by the end of 2022. Like all of Apple’s global operations, it will be powered by 100% renewable energy.
● Stories about Apple Watch changing people’s lives are becoming more and more frequent, and this time the smartwatch helped a man save his life in Somersworth, New Hampshire. William Rogers fell through the ice on Sunday, and things might have been even worse if he hadn’t been wearing his Apple Watch.
● Apple Watch has a feature called Emergency SOS, which automatically calls local emergency services when the user asks Siri or if the watch detects a sudden fall. Some of these features can also be enabled on the iPhone, as we explain in this how-to guide. There are also other important features such as the ECG app that helps users identify potential heart disease.
● The US Patent & Trademark Office today published a patent application from Apple relating to its smart ring project, which could be used with AR, VR, and MR applications. This is the latest evidence of Apple’s continued work in AR and VR.
● This newer patent uses a different method with a self-mixing interferometry (SMI) sensor-based gesture input system. The majority of the invention relates to a smart ring being used alone or in pairs, with or without an Apple Pencil for AR, VR, and MR applications.
● As part of Apple’s efforts to be more transparent about privacy on its devices and operating systems, the company today launched a new webpage on its official website that shows privacy labels for all Apple-developed apps. This includes native iOS and macOS apps as well as other apps from the company available in the App Store.
● Apple apps already had privacy labels since the feature was introduced in December 2020, but now users can find all this information in one place. The webpage lists all apps created by Apple, such as Apple TV, Apple Music, Health, Mail, and even Pro apps like Final Cut and Xcode.
● In addition to the App Store privacy labels, Apple is also working on a new feature called App Tracking Transparency that will be released to all users this spring with iOS 14.5. Once this feature goes live, apps will no longer be able to track users between other apps and websites without requiring users’ permission.
● Bloomberg says those talks have mostly fizzled out as carmakers do not want to be reduced to a mere contract manufacturer in the supply chain. Instead, Apple is likely to turn to contract manufacturing specialists like Foxconn or Magna. This would be a repeat of the iPhone playbook.
● If the Apple Car was successful, the carmaker would essentially be cannibalizing its primary business. Therefore, the most logical choice is an existing contract manufacturer like Foxconn or Magna. This follows on from the previous reporting by Bloomberg that Apple’s negotiations with Hyundai and Kia have stalled.