Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple introduces smart speaker HomePod mini
HomePod mini works with Apple devices so customers can seamlessly hand off music or automatically receive personalized listening suggestions on iPhone.
HomePod mini works with Apple devices so customers can seamlessly hand off music or automatically receive personalized listening suggestions on iPhone. Credit: Apple Newsroom

Apple today introduced the $99 HomePod Mini, its new smart speaker "that delivers impressive sound, the intelligence of Siri to get things done, and a smart home experience that offers comfort and convenience without complexity."

The new device comes in white, and space grey colors and shipping starts the week of November 16.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple unveils new iPhones, including 5G and MagSafe
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini introduce powerful new innovations and a beautiful design to the world’s best smartphone.
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini introduce powerful new innovations and a beautiful design to the world’s best smartphone. Credit: Apple Newsroom

During Tuesday's Apple Event, the company introduced four new phones: iPhone 12, the 12 mini, the 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max, with 5G technology, "ushering in a new era for the world’s best smartphone." The iPhone 12 models also introduce MagSafe, a "high-powered wireless charging and an all-new ecosystem of accessories that easily attach to iPhone."

iPhone 12 starts at $799 and will be available for preorder on October 16 while shipping starts on October 23.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple announces event for October, 13
Apple announces event for October, 13
Credit: Apple

Apple has announced an Apple Event for October 13 at 10 am local pacific time which will be online only like the company's last two events. Even though the invitation sent to the press had made no explicit reference to the iPhone 12, it's rumoured that the company will announce their new smartphone during the event.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple recommends resetting iPhones due to increased battery consumption by iOS 14
Apple recommends resetting iPhones due to increased battery consumption by iOS 14
Credit: unsplash.com / Arnel Hasanovic

Apple has published a proposed solution to a range of problems that include health apps that cannot be opened, missing fitness data, inaccurate reports on memory consumption and increased battery consumption on iPhones and Apple Watches on its website.

There the iPhone manufacturer advises users, who can detect "two or more" of the mentioned problems with their devices, to make a backup of their iPhone, to disconnect the Apple Watch and then to delete all data from their devices. Subsequently, users should restore their smartphone and Apple Watch from the backup. Apple recommends these steps to "prevent future data loss".

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Patent reveals Apple is working on foldable iPhone with "self-healing" screen
Patent reveals Apple is working on foldable iPhone with "self-healing" screen
Credit: Apple, Courtesy of USPTO

Apple has filed a patent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a foldable iPhone with a "self-healing" screen that could "heal" itself from scratches and dents "automatically." The patent called "Electronic Devices With Flexible Display Cover Layers" was filed earlier this year, but was only just made public, according to 9to5mac.com.

"During the operation of an electronic device, the display cover layer for the electronic device may be scratched or dented. To improve the aesthetics of the electronic device, it may be desirable for the presence of scratches and dents to be minimized. To help mitigate the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections in a display cover layer, the display cover layer may include a layer of self-healing material," the patent reads.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
Credit: Florian Schmidt courtesy Twitter

With a delay of almost nine years, the new Berlin airport is scheduled to be opened on the last day of October. A journalist from t-online has now spotted that parts of the IT systems at the Berlin airport still run on an outdated version of Windows XP that lost support my Microsoft latest in April 2019.

The system has been spotted in an elevator. Currently, it is unclear if the system is connected to the internet or to an internal network leaving the security implications unclear.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Nintendo to discontinue 3DS production
Nintendo to discontinue 3DS production
Credit: Nintendo (Reproduction)

Nintendo has stated on its website that the production of the Nintendo 3DS has been discontinued. This includes all devices in the series, including the 2DS editions.

The latest model had been released in 2017 before Nintendo has switched to the Switch.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Survey: Every third person in Austria is afraid of 5G
Survey: Every third person in Austria is afraid of 5G
Credit: unsplash.com / Jeevan Katel

According to a survey by the online price comparison platform durchblicker.at 39 per cent of the surveyed people ones are against the establishment of 5G radio masts, as results from a questioning of 1.200 households in the second half of August. Ten percent are afraid of 5G, 26 percent are "a little bit" afraid of it. Two thirds of those who express concerns cannot give a concrete reason for their fears.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple has designed a face mask for its employees

Apple's Engineering and Industrial Design teams have designed a minimalistic face mask called the "Apple Face Mask" which is being distributed to both corporate and retail employees. The mask has three layers and can be worn up to five times.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Credit: Huawei

The Korean electronics industry media magazine The Elec has reported based on insider information that Huawei will reduce the production of smartphones by 74% following sanctions from the United States that lead to a decline in sales.

Also, Samsung and SK Hynix have stopped delivering microchips to the Chinese company.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Credit: SkyDrive

Japan's SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of "flying car" projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Elon Musk announces presentation of "working" brain-computer interface
Elon Musk announces presentation of "working" brain-computer interface
Credit: Screenshot Twitter

With his company Neuralink, Elon Musk aims to establish technological interfaces to the brain. The goals is to improve the medical treatment of brain diseases and those of the central nervous system. Musk, who is best known for his other companies Tesla and SpaceX, has now announced on Twitter that a "working" neuralink device would be presented on Friday.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Chinese person pays €253,000 for phone number that ends with 88888
Chinese person pays €253,000 for phone number that ends with 88888
Credit: Jerry Wang

At an auction for phone numbers in China a person has paid 2,25 million yuan which are around €253,000 for a phone number that ends with 88888. Traditionally the eight is considered a lucky number in China as it sounds similar to the word "prosperity" in Mandarin when spoken.

In total over 5,000 bids for the phone number had been submitted and it is yet unclear if the winner has bought the number on behalf of a company or as a private person.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Amazon Alexa security issue could have allowed access to user data
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo Dot Credit: Amazon

Researchers from security firm Check Point found vulnerabilities, affecting Amazon Echo, in certain Amazon and Alexa subdomains that could have allowed outsider access to user's voice history, including all voice searches and conversation history.

Alexa users could have been easily tricked into falling for the vulnerability, which reportedly needed a single click on a malicious link crafted and sent by the hacker.

Amazon has already patched the flaw.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple announces commitment to become carbon-neutral for all products and supply chain by 2030
Apple announces commitment to become carbon-neutral for all products and supply chain by 2030
Credit: unsplash.com / American Public Power Association

Apple has announced the self-commitment to become a carbon-neutral company for all products it produces and its supply chain, stating that the company is already carbon neutral worldwide in regards to its corporate emissions.

The communicated date to hit the goals is 2030 and Apple aims to achieve this by reducing its emissions by 75 percent and in addition using technology to remove carbon from the environment. These "innovative carbon removal solutions" will be developed by Apple themselves with the aim to close the remaining 25 percent of carbons.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that "climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change".

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Many Android devices at risk after discovery of flaws in Snapdragon chip

More than a billion Android devices are at risk of data theft and of becoming spying tools because of more than 400 flaws discovered this week in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip.

If an user downloads content that’s rendered by the chip an attacker can exploit those vulnerabilities to install malicious apps without any permission and use them to monitor locations and listen to nearby audio in real time, withdraw photos and videos and even render the phone completely unresponsive.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
20GB of Intel documents were leaked online
20GB of Intel documents were leaked online
Credit: Takuya Oikawa (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

More than 20GB worth of Intel internal documents have been leaked, and it was publicly available on BitTorrent feeds. The leak contains data that Intel makes available to partners and customers under NDA.

The leak, posted Thursday night by Tillie Kottman, an IT consultant based in Switzerland, included source code, development and debugging tools and schematics, tools and firmware for the company’s unreleased Tiger Lake platform.

A misconfigured Akamai CDN server and files with the password “intel123” have been pinpointed as the apparent cause of the leak.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Credit: Donut Robotics (Reproduction)

The white "c-mask" by Japanese startup Donut Robotics that can translate Japanese into eight different languages. The tech smart mask needs to be worn over standard face masks to ensure protection and can amplify the mask wearer’s voice, make calls, transcribe speech and translate languages. The first 5,000 masks will be shipped to Japanese buyers in September but the company is looking to expand their market into China, the US and Europe at a later date.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple CFO Luca Maestri announces delay of next iPhones launch
Apple CFO Luca Maestri announces delay of next iPhones launch
Credit: unsplash.com/Drew Coffman

During Apple'2 Q3 2020 earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri revealed that the company is planning to launch the next iPhones "a few weeks later." Maestri didn't give a reason for the delay but it's assumed it's due to the impact of Covid-19.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
iPhone assembler Foxconn allegedly plans $1 billion investment into plant in India
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic Credit: Nadkachna (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Taiwanese hardware and technology company Foxconn allegedly plans to invest up to $1 billion in India. The goal is to expand an existing factory southeastern India near Chennai where the company assembles iPhones for Apple.

According to a source published by the news agency Reuters "There’s a strong request from Apple to its clients to move part of the iPhone production out of China". Neither Foxconn nor Apple have commented on the news.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Mac computers to use Apple-designed processors, and run iOS apps
Macbook with new ARM based processor
Macbook with new ARM based processor Credit: Apple (Reproduction)

During the WWDC today, Apple announced the switch from Intel to custom ARM-based processors for its Mac computers. The move means Macs will run on the same family of chips as the iPhones and iPads and will be able to run iOS applications natively.

"We expect to ship our first Mac with Apple silicon by the end of the year," said chief executive Tim Cook.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks-off online on June 22
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks-off online on June 22
Credit: Apple

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC20, will happen from June 22 to 26. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the time, the event will be online-only. It will include the keynote address, Platforms State of the Union, more tha 100 engineering sessions, all-new Developer Forums, and 1-on-1 labs with more than 1,000 Apple engineers.

WWDC20 kicks-off, with the keynote address, at June 22, 17:00 (UTC).

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple has been granted a patent for social distancing group selfies
Apple has been granted a patent for social distancing group selfies
Credit: Medhat Dawoud

Apple has been granted a software patent that could enable users to take selfies without being physically together. The software could ask users to take a selfie separately with Apple then digitally stitching the single images and videos together and arranging it so that multiple people would be seen in one image or video. The users would keep the original and merged versions.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple updates 13-inch MacBook Pro
The new 13-inch Macbook Pro
The new 13-inch Macbook Pro Credit: Apple Newsroom

Apple released its updated 13-inch MacBook Pro on Monday. The device comes with the new Magic Keyboard and an Intel 10th Gen processors "for up to 80 percent faster graphics performance". RAM can be upgraded up to 32GB and storage up to 4TB. The model starts at $1,299 in the US and 1,499€ in Europe.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Irish startup and health authority cooperate to deliver medicine via drones

The startup Manna Aero has started working with Ireland's health service in order to deliver prescribed medicine to patients after they've had a video call with their general practitioner, as well as essential goods such as milk or bread. The initiative is hoping that it can provide these necessities to around 500 smaller more rural Irish towns in the future if the test go well.