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All posts tagged "Apple"

  • Apple Homepod review roundup: what do critics think of speaker?

    Whether they want to admit it or not, the Apple HomePod is the company's first foray into the smart speaker arena, slapping Siri on a high-end speaker. The device is going up against the Google Home and Amazon Echo range. So what do critics think of Apple's debut smart speaker? Phone Arena The website's John Velasco praised the speaker's design, but noted that it was bigger than the Google Home and could be mistaken by your cat for a scratching post. However, the reviewer bemoaned the power cord, which "isn't meant to be user-detachable". Moving to actual usage, Velasco says that setting the...

  • Apple HomePod: which music streaming services are supported?

    The Apple HomePod is the firm's long-overdue foray into the smart speaker market, even if they're branding it as a high-end audio speaker instead. Nevertheless, music lovers will appreciate the tech going into the device, but what about supported music services? Apple has updated its HomePod spec page (h/t: Ars Technica) with "audio sources", specifically listing Apple Music, iTunes music purchases, Podcasts, iCloud Music Library, Beats 1 Live Radio and Airplay from other Apple devices to the speaker. In other words, it looks like Google Play Music, Spotify, Deezer and other third-party music streaming services aren't properly integrated into the HomePod then. You'll...

  • Qualcomm paid Apple for exclusivity, fined €997m, EU rules [Update: Qualcomm to appeal]

    Chipmaker Qualcomm has been fined €997-million (US$1.2-billion) by the European Union for paying Apple to turn down cellular chips from rival companies. "Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance. Qualcomm paid billions of US dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals," the European Commission's Margrethe Vestager was quoted as saying in a statement. "These payments were not just reductions in price -- they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones...

  • Apple HomePod gets release date – but nothing for SA yet

    The Apple HomePod represents the Cupertino company's foray into the popular smart speaker sector, currently dominated by the likes of Amazon and Google. We were originally supposed to get a December 2017 release, but the company decided to shift the launch to 2018. Now, Apple has given us a release date, launching on 9 February and being available to order online from 26 January. You'll need to splash out US$349 for the speaker. The launch countries are a pretty short list, being the USA, UK and Australia, but expect France and Germany to join the party in "spring". So that means no...

  • Digicape now offers iPhone battery replacements in SA too

    Earlier this week, news broke that the iStore chain of  retailers would be offering battery replacements to affected iPhone owners, falling in line with Apple's own battery replacement programme. The programme came after it emerged that Apple was stealthily throttling older iPhones with depleted batteries, eliciting scorn from Apple users around the world. Now, Digicape has joined the iStore in offering battery replacements at a reduced price in South Africa, coming in at R430 too. "If you suspect that the battery of your iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 or 7 Plus may need to be replaced, bring your device in...

  • Now Xiaomi has copied Apple’s gestures

    Xiaomi gained a reputation in its early years as a company that heavily copied Apple, from hardware design and product names to the look of its MIUI Android skin. The company has come a long way since then, revealing innovative wares like the Mi Mix range. But the most recent addition to the MIUI skin is a blatant copy of Apple's iPhone X gestures. Called Full Display Gestures and coming to the MIUI 9 beta, it offers virtually identical gestures to the OLED iPhone. "In the newly introduced full display gestures, if you want to go back to the Home screen, you...

  • Watch these 5 smartphone brands in 2018

    2017 was a year for tall screens and itsy bitsy borders, delivering high-end smartphones with a distinctive look compared to years prior. Apple, Samsung, LG and others got on this bandwagon, offering a host of other features as well. But what could we expect from these players next year? We look at a few mobile brands you should be watching in 2018. Apple Let's start with the juggernaut. The company enjoyed both a tick and a tock year, offering the otherwise safe iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (review) devices. But it was the iPhone X that really stood out, serving up that...

  • Apple cracks down on lootboxes, devs now have to disclose details

    Lootboxes have become one of the most contentious issues in the gaming industry in recent times, as everything from PC and console titles to smartphone games offer the feature. Whether it's an endless running game or a blockbuster action title, "randomised" item drops have become a key fixture in games. And developers have allowed users to actually buy these item drops too, making for a key avenue of cash. Now, Apple has decided to step up to the plate, Polygon reports, issuing a new set of guidelines for App Store developers that implement lootboxes. "Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that...

  • Yes, Apple is basically throttling older iPhones (but here’s why)

    The iPhone has hit the headlines for some interesting reasons this week after a reddit thread and testing by respected developer Primate Labs. Primate Labs, the developer of the GeekBench benchmark tool, as well as redditors, pointed out that iPhones with degraded batteries saw throttled performance. In fact, the reddit thread saw the user run a Geekbench test, replace their old battery with a new one, and then re-running the test. "I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single (core) and 2512 Multi (core). This did not change whether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my...

  • 5 good 2017 smartphones that just missed out on greatness

    We've already looked at a few smartphones that you should certainly avoid, but what about solid or good smartphones that just miss out on greatness? Whether it's a significant flaw or a few missteps in an otherwise solid package, here are a few good smartphones that don't quite reach giddy heights. LG G6 I really enjoyed using the LG G6, representing a return to form of sorts for the company. The improved wide-angle camera, water-resistant design and tall screen all came together to make a lovely package. The phone felt rather durable too, while endurance was solid enough for a full day of...