iOS

New 10.5-inch iPad may debut alongside Siri Speaker at WWDC

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is typically a parade of software announcements, not hardware. While we’re expecting iOS 11 and the next version of macOS to take center stage, rumor has it Apple plans to switch it up and announce two new devices: the Siri Speaker and a refreshed iPad Pro.

Apple hasn’t said anything about either product, but rumors and speculation from well-placed sources have all but confirmed the Siri Speaker, Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo. And while we’ve been hearing about a redesigned iPad for months now, the 2017 iPad released earlier this spring didn’t exactly push the iPad lineup forward (but that $329 price tag is pretty sweet).

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to unveil a 10.5-inch iPad Pro at WWDC’s opening keynote on June 5, he said in a research note obtained by 9to5Mac. Macworld will be there to cover the announcement, but here are Kuo’s predictions:

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Amazon Prime Video reportedly coming to the Apple TV, answering countless prayers

Amazon Prime Video has some of the best original TV shows and Oscar-worthy new movies (Best Picture winner Moonlight is coming soon), which is why it infuriates me that I can’t stream that content directly on my Apple TV. But that’s about to change.

Recode is reporting that Apple and Amazon are working out their long-standing differences to bring a Prime Video app to the Apple TV App Store sometime this summer. Insert literally all the raised hands emojis here.

My current workaround is to open the Prime Video app on my iPhone and then use AirPlay to beam whatever I’m watching to my Apple TV. It’s easy enough to do, but when faced with the choice of going through those extra steps or just watching whatever’s new on Netflix, I almost always choose the latter. (This is why I’m still not caught up on the third season of Transparent. I know, I know, don’t @ me.)

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Apple could finally launch a Siri speaker at WWDC

After months (and months and months) of rumors, Apple’s long-awaited Amazon Echo rival may be announced as soon as June.

According to KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and noted Apple leaker Sonny Dickson, Apple is preparing to launch its Siri-powered speaker at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, though it won’t officially go on sale ‘til later this year.

It’s unclear exactly what Apple would name the device (we’re guessing “Siri Speaker” isn’t the official name), but Kuo is predicting that it will be “Apple’s first home AI product” with seven tweeters and a subwoofer. You can also expect it to cost more than an Amazon Echo, because, well, Apple.

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Apple safety reports hint at augmented reality glasses, sort of

Is Apple really making a Google Glass-esque augmented reality device? We’re still skeptical, but a new report indicates the company is at least testing some sort of head-adjacent wearable.

A safety inspector contracted with Apple accidentally emailed an incident report to hundreds of Apple employees, who then sent the document to Gizmodo. The report details 70-plus health and safety incidents that involved Apple employees, two of which experienced injury or pain to the eye after using a mysterious prototype. What kind of prototype would hurt your eye? Perhaps a pair of augmented reality glasses?

One report described a February 21 incident: “After BT4 user study, user advised study lead, that she experienced discomfort in her eye and said she was able to see the laser flash at several points during the study. Study lead referred her to optometrist and secured prototype unit for analysis.”

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Apple and Facebook are serious about augmented reality glasses, according to new report

A new report brings back the speculation that Apple is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses, and paints Facebook as a direct competitor.

According to the Financial Times (note: this article is behind a paywall), Apple and Facebook have stepped up their efforts to develop augmented reality glasses. Previously, Apple’s AR efforts were linked to the iPhone, and Facebook seemed occupied with the virtual reality capabilities of Oculus. Now, both tech giants are eager to create an AR wearable, according to the report.

But don’t hold your breath. Even though Apple is rumored to have been working on AR glasses for over a year, they won’t arrive until at least 2018, the Financial Times reports. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has stated that his vision for AR glasses could take up to ten years to perfect.

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New iPad rumors: Planned Apple Store outage on Tuesday—could it be new iPads?

Spring is just around the corner, which means we’re likely getting close to another Apple event—and the rumor mill is starting to churn. As first spotted by MacRumors, Japanese site Mac Otakara recently claimed that Apple will host an event in March with its new iPad Pro lineup in the starring role. But now we’re not so sure—maybe an event will happen in April, after Apple Park opens, or perhaps Apple will just update the product mix in the Apple Store without a press event at all.

Until it’s official, we’ll collect every rumor here and add our two cents, right up until the moment the new models are unveiled onstage.

What’s the latest?

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Report: Apple working on new Mac chip to reduce reliance on Intel processors

Speculation about Apple creating its own chips to replace Intel processors has long been part of what keeps the Apple rumor mill churning. On Wednesday, a Bloomberg report provided more fuel for the mill, with details on what Apple could be doing to rely less and less on Intel.

According to a report by Mark Gurman and Ian King that cites unnamed sources, Apple is working on a new Mac microcontroller that would handle processes that are currently performed by Intel processors. Apple’s new Mac chip is based on the T1 chip used in the new MacBook Pro to run the laptop’s Touch Bar. Codenamed T310, the chip would handle low-power mode functions usually performed while the Mac is engaged in Power Nap: receiving email; syncing data in apps like Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, and Notes; software updates; and more.

Like the T1, the T310 is an ARM-based chip. Using an ARM-based chip instead of an Intel one would further reduce power consumption. The T1 is solely dedicated to the Touch Bar, but the T310, according to Gurman and King’s sources, would have more integration with other hardware components, such as storage and wireless components.

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