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How a handful of Apple and Google employees came together to help health officials trace coronavirus – CNBC

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Singapore’s new contact tracing app, TraceTogether, which is being used as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus in the city-state.

Catherine Lai | AFP via Getty Images

One of the most ambitious projects in Apple history launched in less than a month, and was driven by just a handful of employees. 

In mid-March, with Covid-19 spreading to almost every country in the world, a small team at Apple started brainstorming how they could help. They knew that smartphones would be key to the global coronavirus response, particularly as countries started relaxing their shelter-in-place orders. To prepare for that, governments and private companies were building so-called “contact tracing” apps to monitor citizens’ movements and determine whether they might have come into contact with someone infected with the virus.

Within a few weeks, the Apple project — code-named “Bubble” — had dozens of employees working on it with executive-level support from two sponsors: Craig Federighi, a senior vice president of software engineering, and Jeff Williams, the company’s chief operating officer and de-facto head of healthcare. By the end of the month, Google had officially come on board, and about a week later, the companies’ two CEOs Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai met virtually to give their final vote of approval to the project.

That speed of development was highly unusual for Apple, a company obsessed with making its products perfect before releasing them to the world. Project Bubble also required that Apple join forces with its historic rival, Google, to co-develop technology that could be used by health authorities in countries around the world.

The software, which Apple and Google now refer to by the softer-sounding term “exposure notification” instead of “contact tracing,” is due to be released on May 1. In recent weeks, the employees have been working nights and weekends to incorporate external feedback. The companies still have their critics, but the transparency has helped them win over some unlikely supporters, including in countries like Germany where officials were initially reluctant to work with Big Tech. 

CNBC spoke with five people familiar with the project to find out how it happened, from the earliest incarnations to the present day. The insiders declined to be named because they were not authorized by their companies to speak openly about the project.

Two approaches: Bluetooth vs GPS

Edouard Bugnion, a Swiss computer architect

Edouard Bugnion

Traditional contact tracing has been used to slow the spread of pandemics for years. It begins when a public health hears about an infected person and checks in with them to find out where they’ve been, and whom they might have come into contact with. A health official will then track down those people and suggest they get tested or socially isolate themselves.

Personal technology like cellphones can be used to facilitate digital contact tracing. A phone has various technologies that can be used to pinpoint where a user has been, and which other phones have come nearby, without requiring them to remember exactly where they were and who was nearby.

As the coronavirus pandemic took off, authorities turned to digital contact tracing as a possible way to help track and slow the spread of the disease without having to hire a large number of human tracers.

Some early contact tracing apps like Trace Together in Singapore used a phone’s Bluetooth signal, which has a range of about 30 feet, to figure out when two phones were near each other. Strong signals suggest that two people are very close, while weak ones suggest that they’re too far apart for there to be potential exposure (although experts like Ashkan Soltani, the former CTO for the Federal Trade Commission have warned it’s by no means a perfect system).

If a person was identified with coronavirus, they could let Singapore’s Ministry of Health look at the app data and notify other people who had been near them recently.

But there was a big usability problem.

On an iPhone, the app had to be running all the time in the foreground, or it stopped working. That meant that phones needed to remain unlocked — a nightmare scenario if they got stolen — and burned through battery life quickly. Apple App Store reviews for Trace Together included complaints from users that the app was preventing them from receiving notifications while they were out and about.

The alternative was to use GPS, which countries like China and South Korea had already leveraged to track exposure. But apps that tracked location draw immediate concern from privacy advocates. One human rights group went as far as to refer to the location-tracking apps in China as “automated tyranny.”

Involving Apple

On March 21, a Swiss engineering professor Edouard Bugnion reached out to Apple’s developer relations team to voice some of these concerns. Bugnion, the founding CTO of VMWare, recognized then that digital contact tracing apps would need Apple’s help to work well and preserve user privacy. 

He wasn’t the only one. Within a day or two, these issues came to the attention of Apple’s Myoung Cha, who’s responsible for the business side of the company’s growing health team. Cha, a senior strategist for the company’s health care division, reports to the company’s COO, Jeff Williams. 

Cha and a small team at Apple were already exploring methods of using smartphones for contact tracing. The early team included Ron Huang, who runs Apple’s location services group, and Dr. Guy “Bud” Tribble, a veteran Apple software vice president who is referred to internally as the “privacy czar.” Tribble, who is also a medical doctor, is known outside of Apple for speaking out in favor of federal privacy legislation, noting at a Senate hearing that in 2018 that privacy should be a human right. 

Huang agreed to loop in a group of engineers who were willing to volunteer their time to the project. They included some of the company’s in-house cryptography experts, Yannick Sierra and Frederic Jacobs (Jacobs has been credited for helping create the secure messaging app Signal). The team began researching some of the protocols for electronic contact tracing already underway at the Massachusetts Institute of Techology and EPFL, a similarly well-regarded research university in Switzerland.

Their idea would be to use Bluetooth to track phones’ proximity without detailed location data, like the Singapore app — but in a way that wouldn’t require apps to be running all the time.

The Apple employees also favored decentralized approaches. The idea was that a phone belonging to a user who had tested positive would send anonymous alerts directly to other phones that it had been nearby, instead of uploading all this information to a government or other central authority. This would prevent governments from building a database with detailed location or proximity information.

The Apple team also believed any system would need to be “opt-in,” where the individual gives consent to share information with other phones.

Cha shared this thinking on a call with Bugnion on April 6. “It was very clear to me from day one that Apple wanted to ensure the highest level of privacy,” Bugnion recalled.

The team knew they needed to execute quickly. By then, public health officials in many countries were taking contact tracing seriously as a way to help end lockdowns quickly and safely.

A group of researchers from Oxford University had already seen promising results in an early study: “Our models show we can stop the epidemic if approximately 60% of the population use the app, and even with lower numbers of app users, we still estimate a reduction in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths,” noted Christophe Fraser, senior author of the latest report from Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Bringing in Google

Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google, speaks about the new Google Nexus 6P during an event on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in San Francisco.

Tony Avelar | AP

Employees at Google were thinking through similar ideas.

The key employees taking the lead on the Google side included Yul Kwon, a senior director for the company and a former deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook (incidentally, Kwon is well known outside of Google as the winner of the 2006 show “Survivor: Cook Islands.”) Senior product manager Ronald Ho, who works on Bluetooth and connectivity efforts, was also heavily involved from the outset. Google had its own codename for the project, separate from Apple’s: “Apollo.”

Eventually, the team presented their ideas to Google’s vice president of Android, Dave Burke, who talked it through Apple’s Cha.

It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that the two companies, which have a long history of bitter competition in smartphones, would cooperate. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was convinced that Android had been built to mimic Apple’s iOS, and the two companies had a bitter legal fight before settling their differences in 2014. Although they coexist more peacefully now, they’re still tough rivals, with the two dominant smartphone platforms in the world.

But in this case, they knew they had to come together. A system for exposure notification needed to be interoperable, otherwise there would be huge gaps in coverage.

The two companies couldn’t formally announce plans to work together until they got a green-light from their CEOs. So Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai hashed it out on a virtual meeting several days ahead of the official announcement on April 10th.

“Contact tracing can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and can be done without compromising user privacy,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted triumphantly to announce the initiative. 

The privacy stance

Getty Images

The joint solution is not an app. Rather, the companies have published an application programming interface — API — which is a set of specifications that public health organizations can tap into to build their own contact tracing apps.

Here’s how it works. Once Bluetooth is turned on and the user opts in, the phone sends anonymous little chirps that other phones can listen into. Critically, Apple’s API means the app can continue to send these chirps out even if it’s not running in the foreground at the time.   

To ensure user privacy, the companies have lifted ideas from various open-source efforts like MIT’s PACT and Europe’s DP-3T. Google’s Burke has acknowledged that his team was specifically inspired by the work of DP-3T, nothing that he thought it “gives the best privacy preserving aspects of the contacts tracing service.”

One specific example inspired by DP-3T is the idea of using rotating codes, which involves the apps broadcasting a cryptographic key that changes randomly, while they monitor other nearby phones. Once the reports a Covid-19 diagnosis, the app will upload the cryptographic keys that were used to generate the codes from the past few weeks onto a server. Everyone else’s app downloads those keys, and looks for a match with one of the stored codes. If it finds one, the app will notify the users that they might have been exposed.

This allows the app to notify people who may have been exposed, without having to know their identities — or allowing those identities to be stored and tracked by any central authority.

“We are developing an app and system that could be deployed in Europe, and the world,” said Carmela Truncoso, a privacy researcher at EPFL and one of the key developers behind DP-3T. “That’s a lot of people. And we owe it to them to be transparent.”

The companies are increasingly making clear to the outside world is that their API isn’t a form of automated contact tracing that should be relied upon completely. Instead, it’s intended to support humans working at public health departments. Some countries are already on board with that, including Germany, Estonia, Singapore, and Switzerland. Others, like the U.K. and France, are still considering a more centralized approach. In the U.S., states are still largely taking their own approaches.

Going forward, there are still some major question marks about the potential for fraud and abuse. And the companies will need to address how they plan to vet the apps built on top of these APIs to ensure that these developers will not exploit any privacy vulnerabilities. 

But Marcel Salathé, a prominent Swiss researcher and epidemiologist, noted on Twitter last week that he is surprised to see two tech companies take privacy so seriously, while some governments advocate for more intrusive approaches.

“I’ve made a few correct predictions about Covid,” he tweeted. “But I would not in a 100 years have predicted this: U.S. tech companies provide a privacy-preserving framework to do digital contact tracing, and some European countries are lobbying them to lower the standards.”

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[Indie Live Expo] That Tiny Spaceship Trailer + Xbox One News + Demo News & More – Gamasutra

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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Game Name: That Tiny Spaceship

Developer: We Make Small Games

Release Date: 2020 (PC) / TBA Console

Platforms: Windows PC & Xbox One

Players: 1

Press Contact: [email protected] | 403 – 970 -5653

Calgary Alberta, Canada – June 5th 2020 – We Make Small Games is proud to be included in the Indie Live Expo being held by Playism and Ryu’s Office that takes place beginning tomorrow (June 6th) at 5 A.M MST. Because most of you will probably be asleep at that time, please find enclosed all of our announcements and media ahead of time.

EMBARGO: June 6th 7 AM MST / 9 AM EST

In our press kit you will find: Copies of our game’s key, several screenshots, full press release in two languages, an HD version of our most recent trailer.

Trailer YouTube Mirror

Press Kit Download

Press Kit Download (Mirrior)

Genre’s Collide

  • Single player space shooter inspired by the coin-op games and early home console games of the 1980s.
  • 4 missions – Beware obstacles and hazards lurk off screen!
  • Synth-wave inspired soundtrack
  • Colourful cast of characters who have enrolled in the D.R.O.O.L institute’s program to become licensed single-occupancy drone pilots.
  • Visual Novel sections in-between playable missions that explore our pilot’s academic struggles, interpersonal relationships and personalities.

Things Are Really Starting To Heat Up

With today’s trailer release we’ve revealed footage from our game’s second module – which is set above a blazing hot sun. D.R.O.O.L candidates will find that their craft can only take so much heat from the sun before the ship’s integrity starts to fail. Candidates will have to keep their ship from falling apart while dodging oncoming meteors, solar flares and at the end of a stage a large boss ship that can warp around!

Meet Our First Pilot

Players will be able to chose between 4 different playable pilots who will appear during “modules” (missions) while piloting the titular Tiny Spaceship as well as during Visual Novel sections that take place between modules.

We’d like to introduce you to our first revealed pilot, Urani!

Name: Urani

Age: 18 (Earth Years) 

Urani comes from a small, flooded planet on the outer edges of the galaxy. As such, they are an exceptionally strong swimmer. Ever curious, they joined D.R.O.O.L in order to have an excuse to explore the universe with impunity.

Setting Course For Xbox One

A version of That Tiny Spaceship will be released for the Xbox One home console after the Windows PC version has launched on Steam. That Tiny Spaceship on Xbox One will be published via the Xbox Creators Program and will be accessible in that section of the Store once published. More details surrounding the console version of That Tiny Spaceship will be revealed at a later date.

Regarding Release Platforms

When we originally announced That Tiny Spaceship back in May 2018 we specifically announced two platforms in addition to Windows based PC – Apple’s Mac OS and Open Source Linux as target platforms for the game.

Many things have changed in the previous two years – within the game’s scope and in the realm of desktop gaming as a whole. In regard to MacOS, the latest release has introduced changes to application development and troubleshooting any potential issues would require development resources that we do not have at this time. In regards to Linux support, the sheer number of distributions available could make official support very difficult.

Several third party options exist for players on MacOS and Linux to attempt to play our game. Abstraction layers and recent changes to some digital distribution system could potentially make That Tiny Spaceship playable on platforms that will not be officially supported.

Demo To Be Released In Summer 2020

A free playable demo containing the first Visual Novel section and the first introductory module will be made available on Steam later this summer. This will give players an introduction to That Tiny Spaceship and the game-play that we have to offer.

Minimum System Requirements (Revision)

Our Minimum System requirements have been slightly adjusted from the original specs announced when our Steam page went live. With the addition of the Visual Novel sections we’ll be putting quite a bit more HD art into the TTS than originally planned. To accommodate this the space requirements have been increased by 1GB.

OS: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10

Processor: Dual Core 2.0 GHZ

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Graphics: Intel HD 620 or Nvidia 950M / AMD HD 7970

DirectX: Version 11.0

Storage: 1.5GB

Sound Card: On-board sound or stand-alone equivalent

LEGAL FUFF

“We Make Small Games” Logo, Branding and Zee Character © 2018 We Make Small Games “That Tiny Spaceship” Logo, Branding, Original Graphics and “That Tiny Spaceship” vector design © 2018 We Make Small Games.

©2018  Valve  Corporation.  Steam  and  the  Steam  logo  are  trademarks and/or  registered   trademarks  of  Valve  Corporation  in  the  U.S.  and/or  other  countries.  All  rights  reserved.

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iOS 14 roundup: What we know before WWDC 2020 – 9to5Mac

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With WWDC 2020 coming up on June 22nd, Apple will finally introduce the first beta version of iOS 14 to developers. This year, 9to5Mac had access to an early iOS 14 build that revealed some of the new features for Apple’s mobile operating system this year.

Read on for our full breakdown of iOS 14 leaks and rumors.

iOS 14 feature roundup:

Tweaked home screen

iOS 14 is expected to keep most of the design aspects from previous versions of iOS without a major redesign, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have any interface refinements.

Based on leaked code obtained by 9to5Mac, we found evidence that iOS 14 will include a new home screen page that allows users to see all of their application icons in a list view. The list view will include different sorting options to show only apps with unread notifications, recently opened apps and smart suggestions from Siri based on your daily usage.

This particular feature might be similar to the current Apple Watch app list view, but with advanced sorting options available.

Apple is also working on home screen widgets, 9to5Mac learned. Instead of pinned widgets like on iPadOS 13, the new widgets will be able to be moved around, just like any app icon. However, this feature seemed to be in a very early stage of implementation, and it’s possible Apple scraps it before public release.

Wallpaper changes

iOS 14 will feature a redesigned wallpaper settings panel, which includes default wallpapers separated by collections, such as “Classic Stripes”, “Earth & Moon”, and “Flowers.” Instead of showing all wallpapers together, users will be able to scroll through each collection to find a specific wallpaper more easily.

Developers should be able to provide wallpaper collections and integrate them right into iOS Settings with a new Wallpaper API available to third-party apps. Users will also have the option to define a smart dynamic wallpaper that will only be used on the home screen. These dynamic wallpapers include a flat color, gradients, and a dark version based on the current wallpaper.

We discovered that it will be possible to set a custom wallpaper on CarPlay for the first time. Apple is testing this feature with the same default wallpapers from iOS 13, and they also automatically switch between light and dark versions.

Improved accessibility

With iOS 14, users will be able to receive alerts if the iPhone detects sounds like fire alarms, sirens, doorbells, and more. The system will translate these alerts into haptics for people who have hearing loss.

The camera will detect hand gestures to reproduce some specific tasks across the system, and code also points to a new “Audio Accommodations” accessibility feature which “can improve audio tuning over AirPods or EarPods for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.”

Immersive augmented reality

Apple is developing a new app internally referred as “Gobi” that will allow users to get more information about what they’re seeing around them through augmented reality. iOS 14 code reveals that Apple is testing its new AR system with Apple Stores and Starbucks, so people would be able to use the iPhone or iPad camera to learn more about a product.

These new AR features are supposed to be released to developers through ARKit, so they can create their own interactions with real environments.

More HomeKit controls

HomeKit is about to get a big update with iOS 14. The system will feature “Night Shift to Light” which essentially includes the ability to change the light temperature of compatible lamps during the day automatically, much like Night Shift does on iPhone, iPad, and Mac displays.

Apple is also expected to expand its HomeKit Secure Video system, which will be able to identify specific people on camera such as family members, so you’ll receive custom notifications.

CarKey

The CarKey API has been under development since iOS 13.4, but the feature is expected to be introduced with iOS 14. 9to5Mac found out that CarKey lets users unlock, lock, and start a car using an iPhone or Apple Watch.

The pairing process will be done through the Wallet app with NFC-compatible cars, as users only need to hold the device near the vehicle to use it as a key. iOS code hints that Car Keys can be shared with other people, such as family members. Drivers can invite them also through the Wallet app to have access to the key on their own Apple devices.

iOS 14 internal files also reveal that BMW may be the first car maker to support Apple’s CarKey later this year. We expect to learn more about Apple’s partners when CarKey is officially introduced.

Apple Maps enhancements

Apple Maps will show more details about Apple Stores and hardware repair availability in the future. With iOS 14, users will be able to check the availability of Genius Bar services at each Apple Store directly from Apple Maps. The app will tell users, for example, whether a specific store offers screen and battery repairs for the same day.

In addition to that, Apple Maps will highlight places that have seating for couples, discount for children, private rooms, and movie theaters with IMAX sessions.

Advanced iCloud Keychain

For iCloud users who don’t want to subscribe for a paid password manager like 1Password, 9to5Mac found evidence that Apple is testing some major changes to iCloud Keychain on iOS 14. Users will be warned about reused passwords, so they can avoid using the same password on multiple sites for security reasons.

There will be a new method to save two-factor authentication passwords, so users will be able to log in on compatible sites using only the iCloud Keychain, without SMS, email, or other less secure methods.

Clips API

Apple is working on a new way to offer specific parts of third-party apps across the system without needing to have them installed. Internally called Clips, this new API would developers to provide interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if users haven’t installed them.

The Clips API is directly related to the QR Code reader, so users will be able to can scan a code linked to an app and then interact with it directly from a card that will appear on the screen.

Developers will need to specify which part of the app should be downloaded by iOS as an Over-The-Air package to read that content. Apple is internally testing the Clips API with apps like OpenTable, Yelp, DoorDash, Sony, and YouTube.

Built-in translation

Safari will get built-in translator features with iOS 14, allowing users to translate web pages without any third-party app or service. This feature should be automatically activated for web pages in different languages, and translations will be processed locally by the Neural Engine.

The translation option is also being tested with other apps, such as the App Store. In this case, iOS would translate app descriptions and reviews from users if these were written in another language.

More Apple Pencil tools

Apple added some new Apple Pencil related features on iPadOS 13 last year, and 9to5Mac learned that iPadOS 14 might include full support for Apple Pencil input on websites, making it compatible not only to scroll and touch but also to draw and markup with all its capabilities in Safari and other browsers.

Keyboard brightness shortcut

Apple’s Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard designed for iPad lacks function keys, which can be a downside as users need to access the Settings app or Control Center to change screen brightness or keyboard backlighting.

We also found evidence in code that suggests the existence of new keyboard shortcuts to change the brightness of the iPad screen or even the backlight of the keyboard. We believe that the brightness function keys will be adjustable just as modifier keys, but with shortcut combinations.

Although this is already being tested internally with the iPadOS 13.5.5 beta, we believe these new shortcuts might be introduced with iPadOS 14.

‘Find My’ alerts

Apple revamped Find My app last year with iOS 13, which now allows users to track lost devices and also share their location with family and friends. With iOS 14, Find My is expected to get another massive update, as Apple is planning custom alerts, AR mode, and more.

The updated app will include a new option to receive an alert when someone doesn’t arrive at a specific location at a scheduled time of day. The new alert options will also include being notified when a contact leaves a location before a set time, which can be useful for monitoring children.

Apple’s Find My app in iOS 14 will also work with augmented reality, as users will be able to locate a friend or a lost device visually using augmented reality for more precise directions from close locations.

OS Recovery

If an iPhone or iPad stops working, it’s often necessary to restore the device’s firmware using a Mac or PC. But Apple is now testing a new feature called “OS Recovery” that will let users restore an iOS device directly over-the-air as well as by connecting it via USB to another iPhone or iPad, similar to how Apple’s Migration Tool works.

It should work just like the macOS Internet Recovery, which has been available for years and allows users to reinstall the operating system over the internet without needing another computer nearby.

Ready for new hardware

More than just new features, iOS 14 should be ready to work with Apple’s newest products likely to be announced this year. Evidence of the second-generation iPhone SE and the new 2020 iPad Pro models were found by 9to5Mac in iOS 14 code long before these products were launched, and there is more to come.

iOS 14 code also includes new details about changes to the Apple TV. Prior versions of tvOS 13 code have revealed that Apple is working on a new Apple TV box, but iOS 14 also includes the tidbit that there might also be a new Siri TV Remote.

Apple is yet to introduce its AirTag item trackers, but iOS 14 code revealed that it will have a user-replaceable battery instead of an internal rechargeable battery. Users will be able to attach an AirTag to any object to track it through Apple’s Find My app.

This early build of iOS 14 also revealed that Apple is testing new iPhone models with a time-of-flight sensor, which is likely the same LiDAR Scanner as iPad Pro. There are only two new iPhones in the code that are listed with three rear cameras plus the LiDAR Scanner, presumably the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

9to5Mac offered the first look at Apple’s over-ear headphones thanks to a glyph found in iOS 14. Based on the two versions of the same glyph, we expect Apple to offer at least two color options for the so-called “AirPods Studio”, likely black and white.

Apple Headphones

iOS 14 features: Device compatibility

A recent report suggests that iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhone models that currently support iOS 13, ranging from iPhone 6s to iPhone 11 Pro Max. However, iPadOS 14 might drop support for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, as these devices are powered by the A8 and A8X chips.

So these are the iOS devices that should be compatible with iOS 14:

  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

And the iPadOS 14 compatibility list:

  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro

iOS 14 wrap-up

Even without major design changes, iOS 14 is expected to bring several new features to enhance user experience. On the Home screen, iOS 14 features are likely to include widgets and a new list view.

Accessibility improvements are always welcome, and HomeKit enhancements will make the integration between devices even more seamless. The new AR system should prepare Apple’s operating system for its upcoming AR headset, and the CarKey API will certainly make life easier for those who own a car.

Keep in mind, however, that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple’s plans may have changed and some features might be delayed or scrapped at all. Check out 9to5Mac’s guide for more details on everything we know about iOS 14.

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A 2000 Honda Civic Si just sold for $50,000 at Bring a Trailer – Yahoo Style

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="
See Full Image Gallery &gt;&gt;
” data-reactid=”20″>
See Full Image Gallery >>

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A Honda Civic just sold for $50,000. And no, it’s not the brand new 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition that was announced earlier this year. While that one may seem prime for a $50,000 MSRP, the Civic we’re talking about is much older. It’s an Electron Blue 2000 Honda Civic Si, an EM1, if you’re fluent in Honda lingo.” data-reactid=”21″>A Honda Civic just sold for $50,000. And no, it’s not the brand new 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition that was announced earlier this year. While that one may seem prime for a $50,000 MSRP, the Civic we’re talking about is much older. It’s an Electron Blue 2000 Honda Civic Si, an EM1, if you’re fluent in Honda lingo.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="We promise that there is no typo on the price. Someone just won the auction on Bring a Trailer for $50,000 even. The car in question has 5,600 miles on the odometer and will now be going to its third owner. It’s about as perfect as it gets from an aesthetic and mechanical standpoint, though it does have an unsightly aftermarket Pioneer head unit installed in the dash.” data-reactid=”22″>We promise that there is no typo on the price. Someone just won the auction on Bring a Trailer for $50,000 even. The car in question has 5,600 miles on the odometer and will now be going to its third owner. It’s about as perfect as it gets from an aesthetic and mechanical standpoint, though it does have an unsightly aftermarket Pioneer head unit installed in the dash.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Plenty of older Hondas have surprised us over the past few years with an almost meteoric rise in value. The Acura Integra Type R has seen a huge uptick, and at $50,000, this Civic Si isn’t too far behind. So, why the sudden appeal for a 20-year-old Civic?” data-reactid=”23″>Plenty of older Hondas have surprised us over the past few years with an almost meteoric rise in value. The Acura Integra Type R has seen a huge uptick, and at $50,000, this Civic Si isn’t too far behind. So, why the sudden appeal for a 20-year-old Civic?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It has VTEC, yo. The little 1.6-liter four-cylinder revs to 8,000 rpm and makes 160 horsepower (at 8,000 rpm!). Torque is rather nonexistent, as the engine produces a whole 111 pound-feet at 7,000 rpm. Nothing much happens below 5,000 rpm, but revving these little engines to the sky is part of the appeal. The car is light, so it still feels strong and quick.” data-reactid=”33″>It has VTEC, yo. The little 1.6-liter four-cylinder revs to 8,000 rpm and makes 160 horsepower (at 8,000 rpm!). Torque is rather nonexistent, as the engine produces a whole 111 pound-feet at 7,000 rpm. Nothing much happens below 5,000 rpm, but revving these little engines to the sky is part of the appeal. The car is light, so it still feels strong and quick.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Above: Yes, the radio antenna was a pull-your-own-up affair. You can sort of do it from the driver’s seat.” data-reactid=”41″>Above: Yes, the radio antenna was a pull-your-own-up affair. You can sort of do it from the driver’s seat.

Honda gave the Si a much sportier suspension compared to the standard Civic. It also had disc brakes all around! You can tell the Si apart from other Civic coupes of that era through a number of ways. It has a lower, painted lip spoiler, painted side sills and an Si badge on the rear trunk lid. “DOHC VTEC” stickers are placed just rear of the doors on the lower part of the body, and it has unique 15-inch alloy wheels. The package is understated, but handsome at the same time.

Seeing a 2000 Civic Si in an unmolested, unmodified form is exceedingly rare, which is perhaps the biggest reason for this one’s high selling price. Many have been ruined with eye-wateringly terrible modifications, mistreated or have gone through an engine swap. This one appears to have one non-factory extra: a DC Sports lower tie bar. However, that’s it. Even the exhaust is stock.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The buyer could very well be buying this based on speculation about prices climbing even higher, and they could be right. Each time an Integra Type R sells for an even more extravagant price, it feels like a ceiling has been reached, but then another sells for even more. We’ll certainly be watching the next time a perfect EM1 comes up for auction. In the meantime, a 2020 Honda Civic Si starts at $26,155, if that’s of an interest to you.” data-reactid=”44″>The buyer could very well be buying this based on speculation about prices climbing even higher, and they could be right. Each time an Integra Type R sells for an even more extravagant price, it feels like a ceiling has been reached, but then another sells for even more. We’ll certainly be watching the next time a perfect EM1 comes up for auction. In the meantime, a 2020 Honda Civic Si starts at $26,155, if that’s of an interest to you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Related video:” data-reactid=”45″>Related video:

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