Tim Cook to field questions at Utah Tech Tour with senator Orrin Hatch

Apple CEO Tim Cook will take part in a Q&A session with U.S. senator Orrin Hatch this Friday, as part of the senator’s Utah Tech Tour. 

The event is set to highlight the state’s technology community, and Apple CEO is expected to provide short address before taking questions from Hatch and members of the public, including those submitted through an online form.

What topics will be discussed is unclear, but they will likely to dusciss the problem of national security versus personal privacy taking into account the company’s recent dustup with the U.S. Department of Defense and the FBI. Apple refused to obey a court order requesting the Cupertino company unlock an iPhone tied to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

Senator Hatch serves as the Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, and he is certainly aware of Apple’s position on the encryption debate.  Moreover, in April Hatch invited members of the Senate to a special Q&A session with Ted Olson, a prominent lawyer whom Apple hired to head its legal team during its dispute with the FBI. 


Additionally, Cook is also believed to talk about Apple’s latest products and services.

The Utah Tech Tour is set to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. MDT on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Grand America in Salt lake City.  The event is open to the public. Tickets are availbale to purchase via the Utah Tech Tour website

Accessories, Apps Lists, News/Rumors

DJI launched the Mavic Pro, its smallest drone

Drone maker DJI announced the launch of its latest and smallest drone, dubbed the Mavic Pro. The new drone is designed to be compact and allows to fold down to about the size of a tiny items.

The Mavic Pro has only one battery, and the developer promises 27 minutes of flight time.

The drone is also capable to broadcast live HD video to a connected iPhone, via the included controller, up to 4.3 miles away.

While the Mavic Pro is a tiny drone, it still featuresa stabilized 12-megapixel camera capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps and FlightAutonomy visual navigation system, plus it offers a 4.3 mile range. 

“Mavic Pro is a technological triumph filled with features that once again show how DJI leads the industry. Most importantly, Mavic Pro allows you to reach the skies easily, see the world with new eyes and tell your stories like never before,” said Frank Wang, DJI’s CEO and founder. 


Mavic Pro can be controlled via an included compact remote controller with a built-in LCD screen or through an iPhone or iPad with an accompanying app.  DJI’s hardware and software also offer autopilot and auto-follow capabilities. In addition, DJI’s ActiveTrack technology can follow, lead, or track alongside objects including people, animals and more.


The Mavic Pro is priced at $999 with the remote controller and $749 without it. You can also purchase additional batteries for $89 and a bundle with a Mavic Pro, two extra batteries, additional propellers, a charging hub, an adapter, a car charger, and a bag for $1,299.

The Mavic Pro is already available for pre-order from the DJI website.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Aetna plans to provide its 50,000 employees with Apple Watches for free

Healthcare company Aetna revealed that it is working with Apple on a new health and fitness initiative for its employees and customers using the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch starting in 2017.

“We are thrilled that Aetna will be helping their members and employees take greater control of their health using Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Aetna’s new initiatives will be a powerful force toward creating better customer experiences in health care, and we look forward to working with Aetna to make them successful.”

Aetna will be providing its 50,000 employees with Apple Watches for free.

Starting this fall during open enrollment season, the Insurance company will subsidize “a signficant portion” of the Apple Watch cost and will provide monthly payroll deductions to cover the remaining cost.1

Aetna is also going to develop a number of iOS health initiatives with “support” from the Cupertino company, debuting “deeply integrated” health apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that will be available to all Aetna customers. 

According to Aetna, these apps will focus on such features like care management to guide customers through a new diagnosis or a medication, medication reminders and tools for easy refills, quick contact with doctors, integration with Apple Wallet for paying bills and checking deductibles, and tools to allow Aetna users to get the most out of their insurance benefits. 

Apple Watch initiative is set to start in 2016. 


KGI: iPhone 7 sales will be lower than the iPhone 6s

According to a new note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities, demand for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be less than for the iPhone 6s in 2015.

The research firm has escalated its shipments estimates from 65 million to between 70 million and 75 million, mainly because of the Galaxy Note 7’s exploding battery recall.  Samsung’s recall made its users to search for another device if they still want a large-screen smartphone. In addition, Kuo also said that the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual-camera feature has been met well.

As for color options, a survey conducted by KGI shows that Jet Black is the most popular color. Jet Black saw about 35 percent of pre-orders worldwide, while in China it accounted for 45 percent to 50 percent of pre-orders. According to the survey, the 128GB model has also been the most popular among customers.

Kuo also noted that pre-order numbers of the iPhone 7 Plus roughly equaled that of the iPhone 7, again largely due to the problems with the Galaxy Note.


Finally, Apple analyst at KGI Securities Kuo adds that, despite the strong performance of the iPhone 7 Plus, the Cupertino company will see a year-over-year decline in shipments of its new smartphone. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus shipments are expected to be lower than that of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus shipments last year.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere called demand for the iPhone 7 a “phenomenon,” and noted that preorders up to Sept. 12 had been “like four times bigger than the iPhone 6.”

Accessories, News/Rumors

Hermès shared ad for Apple Watch Series 2 Hermès

Following some advertisements for its new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has shared a colorful 30-second video clip promoting the Apple Watch Series 2 Hermès model.

As the ad was scheduled to be released to the public later, many were baffled as to how legitimate the leaked Apple ad was. Now, we can confirm it was, as Hermès shared the ad on its own YouTube channel.

The ad demonstrates the variety of different bands that are available in the Hermès style.  Just like the other Apple Watch ads before it, Hermès’s ad is fast-paced and upbeat, focusing on different situations in which a Hermès band could be used.

The commercial also features Hermes’ iconic orange color. It is used in a ball of yarn, a wall, the woman’s dress and on Apple Watch itself in the form of Hermes’ Single Tour strap. 

Apple Watch Series 2 Hermès is set to be available starting today, which is a week after the other Apple Watch Series 2 models.

Apple debuted Apple Watch Series 2 at its fall iPhone 7 event on September 7 following a minor refresh in March 2016 with new bands and model configurations.

The new Apple Watch is swim proof and features a new S2 chip with a faster dual-core processor and a new GPU with 2x graphics performance. The new display is also 2x brighter at 1000 nits.

Apple and Hermès introduced new Apple Watch Hermès styles and bands that incorporate Hermès’ signature palette alongside a series of new colors. The expanded Apple Watch Hermès collection includes a new style — the Double Buckle Cuff in Swift and Epsom calfskin leathers.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Google launches intelligent messaging app ‘Allo’

As expected, Google has launched its new intelligent messaging app, called Allo.

First announced in May at Google I/O, the app combines now-standard messaging features, including stickers, changing font sizes and marked-up images with Google Assistant, an intelligent chat AI and Smart Reply option.

Smart Reply feature helps the app learn users’s texting habits and offer quick replies for more basic communication. The new option can also adjust to how you reply to certain people.

Google Assistant is available in two forms. Firstly, Assistant allows users to interact with an advanced chat bot which can return answers to simple queries directly in the Allo app. Users can also check the weather, search for restaurants, check travel time or flight status, and other information.

Secondly, Google Assistant can be brought into chats by tagging the service in a message line and issuing a command. For instance, you can type “@google show me local chinese restaurant” and Google Assistant will offer you the list of such restaurants. You can also be provided other forms of information, including Google Search, Images and YouTube results. Google reminds that Google Assistant is curretnly in “preview edition” and isn’t complete.


Allo is currently available for iPhones and Android phones and requires a phone number for registration. The app is vailable as a free download through the iOS App Store.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

James Corden stars in new Apple Music ad

Apple on Sunday debuted a new Apple Music ad during the 2016 Emmy Awards starring “Late Late Show” host James Corden.  

The ad, called “The all-new Apple Music,” stars James Corden of the Late Late Show and its popular Carpool Karaoke series, as well as Apple executives Jimmy Iovine, Eddy Cue, and Bozoma Saint John.

The commercial highlights the content and discovery features of the music streaming service.

In the video, Iovine, Cue and Saint John task Corden with pitching commercial ideas that can easily get across a number of Apple Music features, including offline listening, hand-picked playlists and over 40 million tracksMeantime, Corden offers several ads where he imitates a number of artists, including the Spice Girls and Pharrell.

The ad is the latest partnership between Apple and Corden. Corden and the Cupertino company are also working on a Carpool Karaoke TV show exclusively for Apple Music, but Corden will only be responsible for producing the series.

Apple has already debuted a few ads over the past week, including Go Time, Morning Ride and Midnight. On Sunday, Apple also debuted three other commercials: Two iPhone 7 commercials focused on its water resistance and low-light camera and an Apple Watch Series 2 commercial.

Apple Music is available for free for 3-months and then costs $4.99/month for students, $9.99 for individuals and $14.99 for families.


Apple is not looking to acquire Tidal

Following multiple rumors saying Apple was planning to buy Jay Z-owned streaming service Tidal, the company has finally moved to quash rumors.

Back in June of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Cupertino company was “in talks” to acquire Tidal.  However, Apple executive Jimmy Iovine on Wednesday said the company is not currently pursuing such plans.

“We’re really running our own race,” Iovine stated. “We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.”

Meantime, the report says Iovine did not deny that Apple and Tidal discussed a potential acquisition.

Tidal is owned by a number of different musicians including Jay Z, Alicia Keys, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, and Kanye West. Buying Tidal would have brought Apple Music an additional 4 million subscribers. 


Apple isn’t the first company to be rumored to be planning to acquire Tidal. According to a report earlier this year, such companies like Samsung, Google, and Spotify were also interested in buying the service.

Apple Music currently has about 17 million subscribers, while Tidal boasts about 4.2 million. Meanwhile, Spotify has recently revealed its subscriber numbers are now at 40 million people.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple’s first iPhone 7ad focuses on dual-cameras, water resistance and more

Apple shared the first iPhone 7 television advertisement focusing on the upcoming handset’s advanced picture taking capabilities, water resistance, stereo speakers and more.

The ad, which is called “iPhone 7,” appeared on the company’s YouTube channel and offers a bit different tone than most Apple’s commercials.

The 30-second video is shot almost entirely in black-and-white, and shrouds glimpses of black-colored handsets in flickering low light against shadowy backdrops. 

The ad starts with a nighttime shot featuring a forest and a close-up of an owl’s pupils dilating in the darkness at the sight of a deer. Then, you are offered a number of slick mirrored cut scenes demonstrating the iPhone 7’s doubled-up technological capabilities. 


The benefits of the dual lens camera in the iPhone 7 Plus are shown in a series of paired low-light photos. Meantime. the advantages of stereo separation are demonstrated in a volley of explosive sounds and rapid channel transitions.

It is still unclear if the Cupertino company is planning to follow up with more ads of the same manner. Probably Apple is taking a new direction with its advertising.

Preorders for Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus started last week. As promised, first shipments are set to arrive on September 16. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is sold out at Apple’s online store. T-Mobile and Sprint have also confirmed preorders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were record.


Samsung shares plummet following Galaxy Note 7 recall

Samsung has asked customers to stop using its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones immediately and return the handsets due to their tendency to catch fire while charging.

“We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note 7’s and exchange them as soon as possible,” stated Koh Dong-jin, Samsung’s mobile president. “We are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible.”

“Because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7,” the firm added in its recall notice.

The issue was first announced in late August, when a man in China shared images of a badly burned smartphone that he claimed was a Galaxy Note 7, which had allegedly caught fire while charging.

Since then, a number of videos were added to YouTube, with other users claiming similar issue. South Korean electronics giant later said it was investigating the problem, finally admitting that it had discovered an “isolated battery cell issue”.


The Federal Aviation Administration also warned passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage, citing “recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung” about the recalled devices.

Several analysts suggest the company might lose up to $5 billion worth of revenue after accounting for recall costs.