We were expecting the iPhone 12 series in 2020 to bring the first 5G iPhone, perhaps alongside a range of 4G devices, but it seems Apple might be charging ahead with its 5G program faster than we thought.
That’s according to analyst firm Wedbush Securities, which released a report on Apple’s plans for 2020. The outlook is supposedly optimistic with demand for the iPhone 5G said to be meteoric when it’s released.
The Wedbush reports says, “We believe iPhone 11 is just the front end of this current ‘supercycle’ for Cupertino with a slate of 5G smartphones set to be unveiled in September that will open up the floodgates on iPhone upgrades across the board”.
It’s intriguing that the iPhone 11 is considered the frontrunner of this new ‘supercycle’ given that it’s not a 5G phone, but that does mean we could see the 5G iPhone be rather similar to the 2019 iPhones in terms of design.
In fact, Wedbush expects there to be five iPhones released in 2020, although of course they likely won’t all be 5G. We’re expecting the iPhone SE 2, an affordable iPhone which will likely be 4G and could have a ‘Pro’ version too, but it could be that all the rest of the new iPhones are 5G-ready.
You can already buy 5G phones now, but they haven’t gained mainstream popularity yet, mainly thanks to the price but also due to the lack of connectivity as 5G is only available in a select few areas. However, when Apple launches its 5G iPhone popularity could increase, prompting many more people to buy the devices, and also encouraging developers to work with the tech more.
It still remains to be seen if Wedbush’s predictions of 200 million to 350 million sales for the 5G iPhone are accurate though, given Apple is behind the curve with 5G phones.
Yes, Amazon Luna dodges Apple’s cloud gaming rules — when will Nvidia and Google? – The Verge
You might be wondering: “Did Amazon just break Apple’s App Store guidelines by bringing a cloud gaming service to iPhone?” And I can understand why, given that I told you just last week how Apple doesn’t permit Google Stadia in anything close to its current form, and Amazon’s just-announced Luna is a lot like Stadia. Wouldn’t the same rules apply?
But the truth is that Amazon has a simple way to get around Apple’s App Store rules entirely — and it’s making me wonder how long it’ll be before Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and others follow suit.
The short version: Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the App Store, and it doesn’t need to. As Engadget reports, it’s a progressive web app (PWA), which is mostly a fancy name for a website that you can launch and run separately from the rest of your web browser. Engadget says it can even appear as an icon on your home screen, making it look like a normal app before you tap it.
Being a web app makes it exempt from Apple’s App Store rules, a fact that Apple itself is well aware of — because two weeks ago, Apple actually mentioned this idea in its updated rules. I’ve bolded the important part:
4.9 Streaming games
Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.
Amazon making use of the workaround? Not so surprising. What’s surprising is that Google, Nvidia, Microsoft and others have waited this long.
We’ve known for a decade that you can play a top-shelf game in a web browser. If I’m exaggerating, it’s only by three months: in December 2010, I wrote about streaming Mass Effect 2 in the web browser on an original Atom-powered netbook, using the service that would later morph into Sony’s PlayStation Now.
And Google has known for eight of those past ten years that a web browser can natively stream those games, too: before he graduated to run the whole company, Sundar Pichai was the one to demonstrate that exact thing on a Google stage. Stadia launched with support for Chromebooks and the Chrome web browser, too — but also launched with an app on Android, and an app that can’t play games on iOS.
Meanwhile, Nvidia’s GeForce Now recently made the leap to Chromebooks by creating a WebRTC version of its app, which potentially opened the door to a web browser version on top of its apps for Mac, Windows and Android — a door so wide that it apparently already works if you really try. Some Redditors have recently reported that Stadia, too, works on iOS if you can trick it into thinking you’re using a supported web browser:
There were questions about how well these services ran on the web, of course, particularly around controller support. And sure, perhaps Google, Nvidia, and Microsoft could optimize performance and quality if they had a native app instead of relying on web standards — and, in the case of iOS, relying on the WebKit browser engine Apple requires all iOS browsers to be based on. (That’s also part of the App Store rules, too; see 2.5.6.)
But run it does — well enough, apparently, that Amazon is willing to hang part of the success of its new Luna platform on iOS web browsers.
With Apple unwilling to budge and Amazon showing a way forward, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before others do the same. Though I’m not quite sure about Microsoft… I’ll explain why in a future story.
Amazon brings Netflix to Echo Show, reveals new Alexa features – MobileSyrup
During the company’s fall hardware event, Amazon revealed several new Alexa features for all of its Echo hardware and more.
One of the more low-key, yet still important announcement was the fact that Amazon is bringing Netflix to the Echo Show. While most people probably don’t watch movies on smart display, official YouTube and Netflix apps were sorely missed when Amazon announced the product, so it’s nice to see at least one of them finally make it to the platform.
Alexa does group calls
Group calls are also coming to Echo devices, allowing you and your whole family to jump on a call together from the comfort of your living room. You can even set up the feature from Alexa to work with the command “Alexa, call my family,” to start a group chat.
Zoom comes to Echo Show
Popular video chat app Zoom is coming to the Echo Show, which should help some people make group calls. A few people I know that keep an Echo Show 5 on their desk will likely be happy with this new feature.
This feature is designed to help the elderly or someone who can’t be left alone at all times. You set it up in the Alexa app, and then can say “Alexa, call for help” to get quick access to a preset emergency contact.
The other part of this feature is kind of creepy. The Echo device then looks for motion, and if it doesn’t detect movement at a pre-set time, it sends an alert to the emergency context so they can call to check-in.
“Alexa, delete everything I’ve ever said”
This command deletes all the voice data that Amazon has gathered from you in an easy way. Amazon also mentioned that in the future, users will be able to set Alexa to never record their conversations in the app.
New sound detectors
Amazon is taking its ‘Guard’ platform to the next level with new sound-based routines. That means Alexa can now listen for things like a dog barking or a baby crying and adjust smart lights automatically.
These seem very simple, but if Amazon rolls out enough sound triggers, people will be able to set up a lot of automatic routines that could streamline their smart home setup considerably.
You can learn more about Alexa’s new features here.
Apple acquires Scout FM app that transforms the podcast experience with smart stations – 9to5Mac
Apple recently acquired the startup Scout FM, according to a Bloomberg report. The company offers an app that creates smart stations for podcast listeners, bringing a similar experience to radio stations.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the acquisition, but no further details were provided. The report mentions that Apple bought Scout FM earlier this year to enhance its own podcast platform amid growing competition from Spotify.
As we covered once here on 9to5Mac, Scout FM brings a different approach to the podcast experience. Instead of offering individual podcasts, the app creates smart podcast stations based on different topics, such as sports or technology.
Scout FM uses artificial intelligence to identify user preferences and suggest new relevant content. Prior to being removed from the App Store, the app was available for Apple devices and it was also compatible with CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.
Apple has been investing in its Podcasts platform with new features and the production of original shows, as Spotify has been increasingly growing with similar efforts. The company didn’t say how Scout FM will be incorporated into its Podcasts app, but we’ll probably see some new related features beginning next year.
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