Apple's 2017 Roadmap Leaked by 'Foxconn Insiders'; Includes Siri Speaker and AR Glasses

HIGHLIGHTS
iPhone 8 has been tipped to come with 3GB of RAM
iPhone 7s is expected to come with aluminium body
MacBook Air has been tipped to be discontinued
It is not a new thing for an Apple product to be leaked ahead of launch but if a newly surfaced leak turns out to be legitimate, we might already have information about several upcoming products from the Cupertino-based company. Alleged Foxconn insiders have reportedly leaked information about company’s plans about augmented reality, upcoming smartphones, laptops, and a voice-activated speaker.

In a Reddit thread, ‘foxconninsider’ has revealed that a 32GB RAM variant will be introduced to the 15-inch MacBook Pro lineup and that MacBook Air laptop will be discontinued by the company, as pointed out in a report by AppleInsider. However, the source didn’t respond to a query seeking the timeline for the addition of the new RAM variant.

Interestingly, earlier reports have suggested that Apple will be introducing the 32GB RAM variant of the 15-inch MacBook Pro on Monday at its WWDC 2017 event. Further, the leaks have suggested that Apple will be refreshing its MacBook Air laptop at its event, contradicting the new information.

While foxconninsider says that new designs have been tested including “more glass and dark black body,” the glowing Apple logo is also expected to be reintroduced to the lineup. A MacBook with dynamic E-Ink keyboard, rumoured since last year, is apparently in the pipeline for 2018 as well.

Moving to the iPad, the alleged insiders have suggested that a new size variant is expected to be launched but said that they don’t have access to the tablet, as pointed out in a report by The Verge. Apple is currently expected to launch two iPad Pro tablets – one with a 10.5-inch display and the other with a 12.9-inch display.

Apple is already expected to announce its Siri-powered speaker at WWDC 2017, and foxconninsider says that Foxconn lost out to another contract manufacturer for its production. Calling it the Apple home speaker, the tipsters added that its availability will be delayed until late-2017. The tipsters also said the speaker has a similar shape to Mac Pro, adding that it hadn’t been seen in a while. The Siri-powered speaker has been tipped to come with a modified A9 chip, as pointed out by The Verge.

Apple's 2017 Roadmap Leaked by 'Foxconn Insiders'; Includes Siri Speaker and AR Glasses

Coming to the information leaked regarding iPhone 8 aka iPhone X, the design of the smartphone has been described as “more like an iPhone 7 with glass and without the AuthenTec’s capacitive touch module.” The design on the smartphone has been described by foxconninsider as closest to a leaked image that shows a vertical dual camera setup with glass back.

The source said that some units with glass back and fingerprint sensor beneath the glass were tested as well but the yields were not found to be “not good”. The iPhone X has been said to feature facial detection as well as a retina scanner that will be “included in the front facing camera modules,” as pointed out by The Verge. The foxconninsider says that the iPhone X will pack 3GB of RAM. The glass has been said to be included to enable wireless charging and USB Type-C has been tipped to be removed from the phone altogether. As a result, the iPhone X is also expected to be water resistant as well. On the other hand, iPhone 7s, the rumoured refresh for the iPhone 7 has been tipped to come with aluminium unibody and not feature wireless charging.

Notably, the augmented reality glasses from the company, which have been in leaks, were also discussed in the Reddit session. As per foxconninsider, the project for augmented reality glasses has been termed Project Mirrorshades and is being designed to bring AR to a larger audience, as pointed out by The Verge.

The Apple AR glasses, termed Apple Smart Glasses, have been tipped to come with “Kopin NED Acetate frame, Polarisized or prescription lens with Zeiss smart optics, Bone induction modules Microphones (noise cancellation), Light sensor Accelerometer for step tracking and head movement, app navigation Magnetometer for navigation, Capacitive Pavel Ceramic battery, Apple chipset, Charging circuit BL5 Induction module.”

The cost of the materials used for these glasses have been estimated to be around $150 (roughly Rs.), and would eventually place the retail price around $600, as per the information made available by foxconninsider. However, the entire project can even be cancelled with the source claiming that there is 65 percent chance of cancellation.

While some of the information might be proved correct or be disproved at company’s WWDC event, we might have to wait a little longer for information on other products. Till that time, we would advise you to keep grain of salt by your side.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Return to Harvard Today as Commencement Speaker

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Zuckerberg on Tuesday live-streamed a visit to his dorm room
  • The Facebook CEO will address its graduating class on Thursday
  • Bill Gates has also spoken to Harvard graduates in 2007

One of Harvard University’s most famous dropouts, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, returns on Thursday to the Ivy League school to address its graduating class.

The 33-year-old tech titan, who dropped out the college to found the pioneering social network company, has been on a nostalgia trip during the week leading up to Harvard’s commencement. On Tuesday, he live-streamed a visit to the dorm room where he started the website he initially called “thefacebook.com” and made available just to his classmates.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Return to Harvard Today as Commencement Speaker

“This is literally where I sat. And I had my little laptop here and this is where I programmed Facebook. It took me about two weeks,” Zuckerberg said in the video. “This is where it happened.”

Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has grown into the world’s largest online social network and inspired a host of competitors, including Twitter and Snapchat.

Today some 1.9 billion people use Facebook each month. Its broad reach has made the company a lightning rod for controversy, most recently for the ways that producers of fake news stories used it to influence public opinion during the 2016 US presidential election and for a pair of incidents last month in which users posted videos of two murders, one of them live.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has vowed to tackle both problems and earlier this month said it would hire 3,000 new workers to speed up the removal of videos depicting murder, suicide and other violent acts.

Zuckerberg’s speech on the 381-year-old school’s leafy campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will not be the first by a successful dropout who has returned to address a graduating class.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spoke to graduates in 2007, shortly after saying that he would step away from his day-to-day role with the world’s largest software company to focus his time on philanthropy.

“Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree,” Gates joked to the crowd as he accepted an honorary law degree. “It will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume.”

WWDC 2017: Apple Unveils HomePod, Its Siri-Powered Smart Home Speaker

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple unveiled its Siri-powered home speaker called HomePod
  • HomePod is designed to work with Apple Music
  • It will also be able to send messages, get news updates and more

WWDC 2017: Apple Unveils HomePod, Its Siri-Powered Smart Home Speaker

One of the most anticipated announcements expected from Apple was its Siri-powered home speaker, which the Cupertino-based giant finally unveiled towards the final moments of its WWDC 2017 keynote address. Apple’s newest product is called HomePod, which the company says will “reinvent music in the home”.

The Apple HomePod is a wireless speaker that promises to deliver amazing audio quality. The speaker uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjusts the audio output. The HomePod is designed to work along with Apple Music, so it essentially requires one to have a subscription to music streaming service, which will give access to over 40 million songs. Apple says “the HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.”

The cylindrical-shaped HomePod is roughly 7-inches in height and features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, an array of seven beam-forming tweeters for pure high frequency acoustics with directional control. The HomePod is powered by Apple’s A8 chip and will be available from December in Australia, the UK, and the US, which will be getting the initial batch of speakers in White and Space Grey at $349 (roughly Rs. 22,500).

apple homepod wwdc gadgets360 homepod

“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.”

The HomePod features six microphones for users to interact with across the room. Siri will be able to handle advanced searches within the music library. For example, you can say “Hey Siri, who’s the drummer in this?” And Siri will be able to give you an answer. Siri will also be able to create a shared Up Next queue with everyone in the home.

The HomePod is Apple’s answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo. So apart from its well-rounded music ecosystem, the speaker will also be able to send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home (read HomeKit-enabled) devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. It can also provide remote access and home automation through the Home app on the iPhone or iPad. Setting up the HomePod is as easy as setting up the AirPods. Simply hold your iPhone next to the speaker and it will pair with the device.