Weekly Tech Roundup #11
Yep, this RoundUp has been monopolized by Apple's WWDC 2020 keynote!
ARM Mac Impact On Intel
Apple Macs are only a small part of the least profitable segment of Intel’s CPU business. On the Surface of things, nothing for Intel to worry about…today. But, in the long run, Microsoft and Apple might become unintentional co-conspirators against Intel’s x86 business.
Apple TV+ delivers a shiny new trailer for Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation'
Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference 2020 presentation wasn't all tech news. We also got a slick-looking trailer for the Apple TV+ original Foundation.
It's based on the series of novels by Isaac Asimov and it's a big story. Here's how Apple describes this take: "[T]he epic saga ... chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire."
Sure, let's go with that! You're not getting all the answers here because you're not supposed to. But there's a lot to like about what we're seeing here. Especially with a cast that features Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, Laura Birn, Terrence Mann, and Cassian Bilton.
iOS 14 will improve Apple Messages, but here’s how I’d make it even better
A few days ago, I started researching a trip I might make this fall (the coronavirus pandemic, notwithstanding), and I eventually came to a point of needing to speak with a representative from the hotel that I’ve got my eye on. But not via the phone — who has time for that? I wanted to quickly send a message to someone. My preference would have been through Apple’s Messages app, for which the iPhone maker unveiled a host of improvements at WWDC 2020 on Monday that will make the app lots more useful once the newest generation of the company’s mobile software, iOS 14, arrives this fall.
iOS 14 lets you perform actions by tapping on the back of the iPhone
Apple introduced several hours ago the latest version of iOS, revealing a bevy of new features for the operating system such as an app drawer and home screen widgets. While these and more features were announced at Apple's WWDC 2020 keynote, iOS 14 also includes some capabilities that have taken a backseat during the virtual event.
One accessibility feature that's coming with the OS is "Back Tap", which can help improve accessibility (via Apple Insider). It is designed to let you perform certain actions by tapping on the back of the iPhone. There are two options for the number of taps you can make in order to trigger an action. For example, you can double-tap on the phone's back to access the control center or triple-tap to summon Siri. This capability can be turned on by heading over to Settings, opening Accessibility, and then choosing Touch. You can assign any action to either the Double Tap or Triple Tap gesture.
Apple iOS 14: The best new features coming to the iPhone
Apple has announced a new version of its iOS operating system, with a host of new features including home screen widgets and updates to the messages feature.
At the company's Worldwide Developers' Conference, which this year was held remotely due to Covid-19, executives announced a series of updates to the software, as well as changes to the iPad and Apple Watch operating systems.
iOS 14 will be introduce in autumn for iPhone 6s and later. Here are the highlights.
Jodie Whittaker and David Tenant Judge Stay-at-Home Doctor Who Cosplay Contest
James Corden invites ‘Doctor Who’ superfans from the internet to participate in a cosplay competition, recreating characters from their home, and he surprises the participants with judges Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant, who show up in their own costumes.
NVIDIA and Mercedes partner to create a next-gen car computer
During a joint press conference held Wednesday, NVIDIA and Mercedes Benz announced that they are teaming up to develop a “revolutionary in-vehicle computing system” for the automakers next generation of luxury automobiles in 2024.
Touted as “the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile,” per an NVIDIA press release, this new software system will enable Level 2 and 3 driving autonomy — that’s on par and exceeding the current abilities of Tesla’s Autopilot, respectively — and Level 4 parking autonomy. That means that the vehicle will be able to, by and large, fit itself into parking stalls without any help from the human driver. There will still need to be a human on hand in case things go catastrophically sideways, but under normal conditions, there won’t be much call for them to intercede.
iOS 14's new accessibility feature notifies users of sounds like sirens and doorbells
Apple unveiled iOS 14 yesterday at its annual developers’ conference. The update brings with it some highly requested features such as an app drawer (called App Library), widgets on the home screen, picture-in-picture, and more. While the company demoed some features during its keynote, a lot of the minor yet significant features such as ‘Back Tap’ are being discovered as users install and use the developer betas.
Now, another useful accessibility feature that has been spotted in the OS is ‘Sound Recognition’. Reddit user Jsmith4523 posted a video (spotted by The Verge) of the feature in action, where once turned on, it recognizes a dog barking sound played on another phone next to the device and serves a notification to the user. It can identify a host of sounds such as the doorbell, a knock on the door, smoke detector alarms, and more. These sounds are then relayed to the user through the way of a notification, something that will be useful for those with hearing difficulties.
The Mac’s iconic startup chime is back in macOS Big Sur
Apple is bringing back the Mac’s iconic startup chime in macOS Big Sur. The company hinted it might return by playing the chime very prominently during yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, and people who have installed the first Big Sur developer beta have reported that it’s back. You can see a Mac on Big Sur play the chime while booting up in the video at the top of this post.
The startup chime was first removed from Macs in 2016 with the redesigned MacBook Pros released that year, and Macs released since then (with the exception of the 2017 13-inch MacBook Air) didn’t play the chime when you turned them on.
Apple’s Brilliant Plan to Dominate Without Intel Processors
At Apple’s annual developer conference on Monday, the company made a bombshell announcement: The Mac is switching to Apple-designed ARM processors, with plans to drop Intel for good.
The transition to what the company is calling “Apple Silicon” will provide a huge array of benefits to future devices and frees Apple from depending on Intel’s chipsets for its hardware, which has dictated how and when it could update MacBooks in the past. Apple expects the first devices powered by its own processors will arrive later this year.