In this week’s Apple Core rundown, we’ll take a look at how Apple fits into the foldable phone trend and the hurdles it has to clear to make an iPhone bend. We’ll also learn about the latest health feature rumored to be coming to the Apple Watch, and the 10 winning pics from Apple’s Shot on iPhone Challenge photography contest have been revealed.
Will Apple launch a foldable iPhone?
The foldable phone trend has taken 2019 by storm, with companies such as Samsung, Huawei and FlexPai unveiling the bendable devices that will soon be in consumers’ hands. The verdict is still out on whether these foldables represent the future of smartphones, but if it is, a flexible iPhone can’t be too far behind.
Will Apple jump on the foldable phone trend?
There’s been plenty of evidence that Apple is interested in making a foldable phone. The company has foldable phone patents that date back to 2011, with blueprints for a hinged phone that can bend in half similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Apple even got its first patent for a foldable device approved in 2014, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This year Apple registered what seems to be an extension of those original designs, with more details that show the device folding out as well as in. But Apple may choose to take it a step further. Another patent discovered by My Smart Price shows a flexible device with a wraparound display that can take different shapes. And in case you’re having a hard time picturing a bendable iPhone, Dutch industrial designer Roy Gilsing created some pretty realistic renders published in Foldable.News that show what this could look like.
Still, there are a few hurdles the company has to clear before a foldable iPhone becomes a reality.
The first and perhaps the most important one is Apple’s screen issue. It’s no secret that Apple relies on Samsung for some of the OLED screens for its newer iPhones. According to Goldman Sachs analysts cited in Business Insider, Samsung is not willing to share its foldable screen tech just yet, especially not with its biggest rival.
In the meantime, Apple has reportedly chosen LG as a secondary screen manufacturer, a company that has also been experimenting with foldable screen technology for TVs, but it may be a few years behind Samsung when it comes to phones.
Then there’s the issue with materials. Most of the foldables phones announced so far use some kind of polymer blend to cover their screens, aka plastic. But given Apple’s long-standing relationship with glass-maker Corning, it’s doubtful the company would cover its screens with plastic, even if it means waiting until the company can develop a bendable glass solution to fit their needs. Based on our recent trip to Corning’s HQ, we know the company has already developed bendable glass, but it still cant fold completely in half like the plastic on some of these other devices coming to the market.
And lastly, there’s the user experience. It’s unlikely Apple would choose to launch a foldable iPhone unless the software was in place to support it. This means the company would first have to open up the platform to developers to start envisioning what this foldable experience would look like on an iPhone.
All this to say, we’re not getting a foldable iPhone in 2019. Some say 2020 could be an option, but even that seems like a stretch given these limitations. Apple will inevitably be late to the bendable phone game, but it may not be that bad. Our own Roger Cheng pointed out in his commentary that foldable phones right now are a bit of a tease, with hefty price tags, limited availability and potentially buggy software.
The Apple Watch will soon track sleep
The next Apple Watch may finally be going to bed with you. Apple is rumored to be testing out its new sleep-tracking features in secret sites around its Cupertino HQ, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
But don’t expect to see overnight results. The report says also says that these sleep feature may not come until 2020. Before launching any new health feature, Apple is known to put it through rigorous laboratory testing, which could take a while. Plus the company would still have to figure out a way to extend the battery life on the Apple Watch to accommodate 24-hour tracking. The current Apple Watches can barely make it a full 24 hours between top-ups, and still require overnight charging while other competitors with similar sleep-tracking features can go up to one week on a charge. Samsung, Garmin and Fitbit have had a sleep-tracking features that measure both the quantity and quality of your sleep in their wearable devices for years now, but the only way to analyze your zzz’s on the Apple Watch has been with third-party apps.
Will Apple Music get a new Home?
For a very brief moment in time, Google Home users could have caught a glimpse of Apple Music on the Google Home mobile app. And though the button to link the account didn’t actually work, it got everyone thinking that maybe Apple Music would be coming to the Google Home. Shortly after the news broke, though, Google dismissed that idea in a statement to Bloomberg, saying it was all due to a software bug and that the company had nothing to announce. In an earlier statement, Google mentioned that Apple Music is currently only available for Google Assistant users on mobile phones.
Either way, Apple Music on the Google Home wouldn’t be too much of a stretch, as Apple continues to grow its services business beyond Apple products. Android users have been able to download the Apple Music app for a while, and it recently became available on the Amazon Echo. This year Apple also announced that new Samsung Smart TVs will be getting access to iTunes, and Airplay 2 will become available in other smart TVs in 2019.
One of the winning shots from the #ShotoniPhone campaign.
Results from the Shot on iPhone competition
Ten lucky iPhone users will soon have their pictures displayed on billboards and in Apple stores all over the world. This week Apple published the results of its #ShotOniPhone photography competition, where regular users were invited to submit their best shots.
The group of winners came from different countries including Germany, Israel, Singapore, Belarus and the US, and not all were photographers by trade. The shots ranged from black-and-white landscapes to colorful close-ups of water drops on glass, and not all of them came from the latest iPhone model. Two were shot on the iPhone 7, and one was shot on the iPhone 8 Plus.
After a bit of controversy over the fact that the competition didn’t mention compensating the artist, Apple said the winners will receive a licensing fee for their work, but didn’t reveal the exact amount.
Miss out on PS5 preorders? There was one for sale on eBay for $25,000 – CNET
Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday. Sony When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only…
Preorders for the PlayStation 5 appeared to sell out shortly after they began on Wednesday.
When Sony announced the $400 entry price for its PlayStation 5 video game console Wednesday, it said preorders would start the next day. Many large retailers decided to start sales early, surprising fans who quickly surfed to websites only to learn the device had already sold out. But not at eBay. The popular auction site was filled with listings for PlayStation 5 consoles ready to sell on Thursday promising the seller had secured a preorder and would ship the device immediately after it arrived.
PlayStation 5 launch details
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“This is ** CONFIRMED PREORDER**,” one eBay seller wrote. “Updates will be provided all the way!” wrote another. The ordeal was an unusual hiccup for Sony, whose PlayStation 5 launch has been built on carefully planned slow reveals of various features like 3D audio, faster game loading times and the design of the device.Sony took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize to fans over the ordeal, though it appeared to be caused by retailers jumping the gun on preorders a day early, and promised more supplies would be made available.
Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details. And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020
Still, sellers on Sunday were attempting to offload preorders on eBay for between $750 and $1,000, about double the $400 starting price of the console without a Blu-ray drive, or double the $500 starting price for the PS5 that has it. This eBay listing may set a record for the most expensive PS5. But that’s only if the buyer pays.
One seller’s auction though had risen to $25,100, after 11 bids and a starting price of $800 on Thursday afternoon.The eBay listings aren’t likely to last though. The auction site’s listing policies on pre-sale items require that the item must be delivered within 30 days of purchase on eBay. “Our Trust teams are aware of this issue and we are taking the appropriate action,” an eBay spokeswoman said.The buying and selling frenzy is one of the first public signs of how in-demand Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Xbox Series S will be when they land on store shelves this November.
2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance – Roadshow
The GTS looks great in Carmine Red. Steven Ewing/Roadshow At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera.…
The GTS looks great in Carmine Red.
At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera. I’ve driven the S and I’ve driven the Turbo, but the GTS is the Macan I’d park in my garage.
LikeOutstanding chassis balanceSports car-like steeringSonorous sport exhaustRobust infotainment tech
Don’t LikeTwin-turbo V6 lacks characterGets expensive in a hurry
The GTS uses a detuned version of the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan Turbo. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque — noticeable reductions compared to the Turbo’s 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. But on the road, you’d have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, though I think that’s less egregious when the associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least makes up for this somewhat with a standard sport exhaust, which adds some sonority to the powertrain’s buttoned-up demeanor.Porsche says the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I genuinely don’t believe that less-than-half-a-second discrepancy is something anyone can feel during daily driving on public roads. And since the engine’s torque is fully available from just 1,750 rpm, there’s never a lack of urgency to the GTS’ acceleration, whether pulling away from a stoplight or just trying to shoot the gap between slower cars on the highway.
The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is always up for an impromptu downshift via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and the Sport and Sport Plus modes — the latter is part of the $1,360 Sport Chrono package — alter the throttle and transmission programming just enough to liven up the Macan’s character. You could drive the GTS in Sport mode all day, every day without it ever feeling high-strung, while Sport Plus is best left for tighter sections of winding roads where you’ll want to take advantage of its tendency to hold gears up near the engine’s redline.The GTS’ powertrain is fine, but the chassis, steering and brakes really make this Macan feel special. Porsche’s adaptive air suspension comes standard and can lower the Macan by 10 millimeters in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers are a perfect match to the air-ride system, delivering a smooth ride on broken pavement while keeping the GTS taut and composed on smooth stretches of canyon roads. Even with my tester’s upsized 21-inch wheels and staggered 265/40 front and 295/35 rear tires, the Macan never feels too stiff or too floaty for any given scenario. Honestly, the ride quality might be the GTS’ single best attribute.
These 21-inch wheels and low-profile ties don’t ruin the GTS’ ride.
Porsche always gets its cars’ steering right, and the Macan GTS is no exception. The weight and communication on offer are more akin to that of a 718 Cayman than any other compact SUV, with a right-sized steering wheel adorned with only a few redundant controls. My tester has Porsche’s Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which were kind of bad when they first launched on the Cayenne, but have since been reworked with new pads, better pedal feel and a more progressive stopping experience. Now, these brakes are quite good and reduce dust buildup on the wheels. Whether they’re worth the $3,490 upgrade over the perfectly fine standard steel brakes, though, is hard to say.
One option worth adding is Porsche’s brake-based torque-vectoring tech, for $1,500. This ability to modulate power from side to side at the rear axle improves the Macan’s cornering reflexes, making this already-sharp little crossover even more entertaining. You’ll never feel it working, but you’ll find it easier to keep up with smaller, more powerful sports cars on mountain roads.Going for the GTS gets you the Sport Design exterior treatment, with black-painted exterior accents, LED headlights and a darker tint to the rear taillight bar. Inside, you get sport seats wrapped in leather, though you can have the whole cabin done up in Alcantara suede with Carmine Red stitching as part of the $4,790 GTS Interior Package. Like all Macans, the GTS is plenty comfortable for driver and passenger up front, but the rear seats are awfully small, even by compact SUV measurements.The PCM infotainment tech is new but the rest of the interior is showing its age.
The Macan got a welcome tech upgrade as part of a refresh in 2018 and now runs Porsche’s Communication Management infotainment software on a 10.9-inch touchscreen. PCM continues to impress with its quick responses to inputs, online search tools, bright graphics and reconfigurable home screen. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay are standard, but Android Auto is still a no-go. Too bad.Look below the touchscreen, though, and you’ll find a sea of controls on the console — a reminder that the Macan is a bit older than Porsche’s other models. Sure, the rows of buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use, they just look outdated, especially compared to the flush, backlit designs of Porsche’s newer products.I’d love to tell you about all of the Macan’s standard driver-assistance features, but as is the case with every Porsche, all the good stuff costs extra and is available a la carte. A surround-view camera is $1,200. You can buy lane-change assist and lane-keeping assist for $700 apiece, or just spend $1,380 and get them as part of a bundle. Adaptive cruise control comes in for an additional $1,170, and if you want freaking keyless entry, that’s an extra $800, too. Sheesh.The Macan is hands-down the best-driving compact luxury SUV.
There are myriad options available for the Macan GTS, so its $73,450 starting price (including $1,350 for destination) is just that: the start. My Carmine Red tester is a German-spec model that Porsche flew over for testing, so I don’t have an exact price for the SUV you see here. Playing around to the best of my ability on Porsche’s configurator, I’m going to guesstimate an as-tested price of $94,000 out the door, give or take a few Benjamins.If you compare price tags, the Macan GTS is sort of a hard sell against competitors like the BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43, both of which can be nicely equipped for less than the Porsche’s starting MSRP. But the Macan — especially the GTS — is the best-driving, best-balanced SUV of the bunch and handily punches above its weight. If performance is a priority, you definitely get what you pay for.
Google Home: Two settings to achieve max smart home privacy – CNET
Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home. Josh Miller/CNET Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a…
Keep your personal information private by setting up Voice Match on Google Home.
Some things Google Home knows about you are obvious — what music you like, how bad you are at math — because those are the things you rely on it for the most. But Google Home ($130 at QVC) knows a lot more about you than you might realize. That’s because your smart home speaker is tied to your Google account, so it’s also connected to a deep well of personal information, like your email address and debit or credit card number. That means privacy and security settings are just as important with Google Home as with your Gmail account.A lot of the same steps you should take to protect your Gmail account, like using a strong password and checking your recovery contact information, will help secure Google Home as well. But you may not know how to get to those settings using the Google Home app, which may be the only Google app you have on your phone or tablet.
Our newsletter sends you the best tips for your Google Home smart speaker.
Here’s how to find and set the two most important privacy and security settings using the Google Home app.Facial recognition technology has come under fire from privacy advocates, but it can also be used to help secure your data.
Secure your privacy with voice or face recognitionWhen you set up a Voice Match profile on Google Home, your smart speakers will listen for your voice and use it like a fingerprint to identify you. That way, only you can check your calendar, add to your shopping list or watch your YouTube playlist on Nest Hub smart displays. Other people can still use Google Home and can even set up voice profiles with their own Google accounts, but only you will have access to your information.That said, turning on Voice Match means possibly giving Google data about what you sound like. Google says that information is stored on your devices themselves and not in the cloud, although it may be “temporarily sent to Google to better identify” you. If you’re not OK with that, this feature is not for you.Here’s how to set up Voice Match with Google Home (the process is the same for Face Match, only it uses your device’s camera and your face rather than its microphone and your voice):1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. On the horizontal menu bar, tap Assistant and then scroll down and tap Voice Match.3. Tap Add a device. The Google Home app will scan your current Wi-Fi network for compatible devices. Once it does, tap Continue. 4. Under Activate Voice Match on this device tap the box labeled I agree, then scroll to the bottom of the next screen and tap the next box with I agree.5. Follow prompts to teach Google to recognize your voice.Two-factor authentication isn’t foolproof, but it does add a layer of security that makes breaking into your online accounts more difficult.
How to set up two-factor authentication on Google HomeTwo-factor authentication, aka two-step verification, isn’t a completely foolproof means of securing an online account, but it’s miles better than nothing at all. Having two-factor set up on Google Home means if anyone were to try to, say, set up a Google Home smart speaker using your stolen login info, they’d likely be thwarted unless they had also lifted your smartphone. The point is that it won’t hinder nor degrade your experience using Google Home, so there’s really no reason not to set it up.The first thing you need to do is different depending on your phone:Android: make sure you’re signed into the account you use for Google Home by opening Settings, then tap Accounts and then Add Account. Choose Google and sign into your account.iPhone: Download the Gmail app from the App Store, if you don’t already have it, and sign in with the account you use for Google Home, then Allow notifications when promptedTwo-factor authentication won’t impact how you use your Google Home smart speaker once you’ve set it up.
The rest is the same for every phone:1. Open the Google Home app, then tap your personal icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Assistant settings.2. Beneath the You menu, tap Your data in the Assistant then scroll to the very bottom.3. Under More option to manage your privacy, tap the box labeled Google Account.4. Scroll the horizontal menu bar at the top (the one that has Home, Personal info, Data & personalization) over and tap Security.5. Under Signing in to Google, tap Use your phone to sign in. On the next screen tap Set It Up then enter your password and tap Sign in.6. The screen should now say What you need with Your phone (with your phone listed) and Touch ID checked. Tap Next.7. Beneath Try it you should see the email address for your Google Account. Tap the button labeled Next beneath it.8. You should immediately get a notification on your phone asking Trying to sign in? (if you’re on an iPhone this notification will come from the Gmail app). Tap the notification and select Yes.9. If your phone asks if you want to use either facial recognition or fingerprint identification (whichever your phone has) select Yes.10. Go back to the Google Home app, which should now say It worked! Turn it on? and tap the box that says Turn On.Check out our full guide to shoring up your Google Home privacy and security settings here, or our even broader guide to securing your overall Google account here. For email-specific privacy settings, here are four Gmail settings to change right away.