Apple gives up building a car, moves to autonomous self-driving software

Apple has reportedly changed its plans for the Project Titan electric car project, moving to autonomous self-driving software, for now.

Multiple reports have stated that Apple was working toward developing a fully electric veicle with next-generation features that would include advanced self-driving technology. However, according to people familiar with the project, the company has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts.

Hundreds of employees have been offered to go or re-assigned with the remaining members focusing on development of a self-driving autonomous car platform. Apple initially assembled a team of about 1,000 employees to work on the project by 2020.


According to Bloomberg, the plans were changed because of “strategy disagreements, leadership flux and supply chain challenges inside Apple’s unmarked car labs in Sunnyvale, California.”

The company’s executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to provide results. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment.

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. 


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, Mac, News/Rumors

What to expect from Apple’s Sept. 7 event

In just a couple of days, Apple will announce the iPhone 7/Plus and an updated Apple Watch.

September event is expected to unveil even more new products. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming announcements.

Apple is believed to unveil the “iPhone 7” and “iPhone 7 Plus.” “iPhone 7” is rumored to come with a pair of Lightning-connected headphones in the box, while also bringing an adapter for traditional headphones. Water resistance may also be improved thanks to a new haptic feedback home button that will simulate a click when pressed, rather than moving.

The Cupertino company is also reportedly working on its own wireless earbuds with completely separate left and right earpieces, which are expected to be called “AirPods.”


The larger 5.5-inch device is expected to debut with a unique dual-lens camera capable of capturing more advanced pictures and optical zoom. The smaller 4.7-inch version is believed to get an enhanced 12-megapixel camera, but lack the dual-lens design.

“iPhone 7 Plus” will reportedly feature more capable hardware in the form of 3 gigabytes of RAM and come in a total of five colors.


As for capacity, “iPhone 7” is rumored to start with 32 gigabytes of storage, and will max out at 256 gigabytes.

A second-generation Apple Watch, which is also set to debut at Sept. 7 event is rumored to feature a GPS radio, which will let owners measure distance and pace without the need for a connected iPhone.

The device will also feature a slightly larger battery, a barometer and better waterproofing than the first-generation model.


Some reports suggested that the company will provide Apple Watch an improved processor based on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 16-nanometer process.

New Beats products are also in the works, with a debut set for the September 7 event. There are now details on the upcoming update, but it will certainlty see the release of new wireless Beats headphones and wired Beats headphone models with Lightning connectors. 


As for Mac, Apple will likely not update Mac hardware at the Sept. 7 event. Instead, the company will roll out new Macs in October.


Apple’s keynote is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. It will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Nike announced its plans to rebrand Nike+ Running app

Nike revealed its plans to rebrand its popular Nike+ Running app. The app’s update comes with a number of performance, feature, visual, and stability enhancements.

In addition to the rebrand, the app was redesigned visually, bringing faster access for users to such info like run time, distance, and location. Moreover, the update adds some personal post-run sharing options with friends, which are expected to increase the motivation of people to workout in the first place.

Nike pays a lot of attention to the Apple Watch integration of its Run Club app. The Cupertino company is planning to refresh the Watch lineup later this year with a built-in GPS, which is expected to allow users to go on runs without their devices and still track location.


Nike’s update also brings a number of new personalized coaching plans. “Whatever your goal, your Nike+ Coach has a plan for you. One that STARTS with your goals and fitness LEVEL, and ADAPTS as you progress,” the company says.

Here is the full changelog of the update:

Welcome to Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Running app is now the Nike+ Run Club app with a fresh, new & improved look.

  • Coaching plans now adapt to your schedule and progress.
  • More fun and personal post-run sharing than ever.
  • Compare and compete with your friends by hash-tagging runs.
  • Leave your phone at home and run free with Apple Watch.


Nike+ Run Club can be downloaded  via the App Store for free.


Apple reportedly making a documentary with Cash Money Records

Apple is reportedly making an exclusive documentary with Cash Money Records, one of the world’s most popular hip-hop labels.

The Cupertino company yesterday has inked a new deal with Cash Money Records, which represents popular, well-known artists that include Drake, Young Money, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, with some of whom Apple already has an exclusive deal. For example, “Views,” Drake’s fourth studio album, appeared at the top of the charts in May after a one-week exclusive on Apple Music. The Cupertino company also used a Drake track in an advertisement featuring Taylor Swift. 

Co-founder Bryan Williams shared a photo via his Instagram account on Tuesday alongside Larry Jackson, the head of Apple’s original music content. The picture celebrated Apple agreeing to fund a documentary for the label, according to people familiar with the deal.

“Welcome to the fam @birdman5star. Tough negotiator. Much respeck,” Jackson reported. Birdman first thanked Jackson in his message, but soon updated the text with a link to Music Business Worldwide’s report.


Apple is currently working on a show focusing on the app business titled “Planet of the Apps.” Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, musician and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk will reportedly take part in the project.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

CarPlay coming to 2017 Civic Hatchback this fall

Honda yesterday revealed that when it debuts in North America this fall, the 2017 Civic Hatchback will come with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Japanese car manufacturer confirmed that Apple’s iPhone-connected infotainment system will come back in the new five-door 2017 Civic Hatchback. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback itself is expected to feature striking, Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility with the Civic’s world-class driving dynamics and Honda direct-injected turbo engine technology. In addition, the Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for the radical new Civic Type-R launching in the U.S. in 2017.

All five trims of the car—the LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Sport Touring— will support the technologies via Display Audio, but only the Sport Touring trim will include CarPlay by default, in addition to Android Auto support, Honda Sensing features and LED headlights, with a number of other available options like heated rear seats, remote engine start, heated side mirrors and others.


Apple’s technology was reserved a lot for high-end cars, but that’s changed with adding more vehicles from brands like Kia, Hyundai, Ford, and Chevrolet.

The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple working on wireless earbuds with power saving Bluetooth chip

Apple is reportedly working on a custom Bluetooth radio chip for wireless earbuds

Citing a source familiar with the new project, Forbes reports the product has been in development for several years and might debut in September. The same time Apple is believed to introduce its next-generation iPhone, which will reportedly feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

A report from Forbes says  the company is working on its own Bluetooth radio chip bouncing off of an acquisition the company made in 2013; Passif Semiconductor.

The low-power chip is expected to provide wireless headphones longer playtime and less charging.


Apple is no stranger to wireless earbuds. Earlier in the year, a number of reports stated Apple was working on completely wireless, in-ear headphones that come with a carrying case that doubles as a battery pack.

According to multiple rumors, Apple is planning to exclude the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, pushing users towards wireless headphones and Lightning-based headphones.

The iPhone 7 is expected to be announced at a media event on September 6th or September 7th. The company may also announce other products, including a new second-generation Apple Watch and maybe some new Macs. The iPhone 7 release date is pinpointed for September 16 with preorders on the 9th.

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New iPhone 7 video gives comparison with iPhone 6s

A new video and photos posted to Chinese microblogging site Weibo give a deeper comparison of a purported iPhone 7 unit against Apple’s current flagship iPhone 6s. 

The clip demostrates an iPhone 7 casing (4.7 inch model) that features a larger camera opening on the backside, updated antenna lines, missing headphone jack in lieu of an additional speaker grille. 

In addition, the new camera component is embedded into the metal body with a curved smooth edge. It is also set closer to the corner of the smartphone, while iPhone 6s’s camera is positioned horizontally. The size of the camera hole is also about 25% larger, suggesting that significant upgrades to camera quality are in the cards.


Besides, the iPhone 7 is expected to come with a new A10 processor and may be given 3GB RAM, up from 2GB in the previous device. Internal storage is also expected to see a boost, with the entry-level devices believed to begin at 32GB instead of 16GB. 

The device comparison allows to suggest that the iPhone 7 will retain the dimensions of the iPhone 6s. 


Not demonstrated in the clip is the iPhone 7 Plus, which is believed to come with a dual-lens camera with a wider camera cutout. Meantime, the absence of the headphone jack in both devices is also expected to enhance their water resistance.


If the Cupertino company follows its usual release schedule, the iPhone 7 will likely debut in September.