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Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes iPhone 8 battery and design leaks, making the iPhone 7S cheaper, Apple’s wireless charging standard, how to make a transparent iPhone, the dream of Apple TV, repairing your own hardware, details on WWDC and a look at the door handles in Apple’s new HQ.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).
Batteries, Volumes And The iPhone 8
Of course Apple will mention the tenth-anniversary of the iPhone when this year’s flagship handset is announced, especially with the new features heralding some sort of "reinvention" of the smartphone. The presumptively named iPhone 8 has a number of features newto Apple, and FORBES contributor Gordon Kelly looks at the relationship between the new compact design and the batteries inside the upcoming smartphone:
Everything old is new again, and unlimited data plans are back in vogue.
With Verizon returning to the fray this week, all four of the major mobile carriers in the US now advertise unlimited offerings.
But, per usual, each of those plans comes with a significant slate of caveats.
So to help you sort through the fine print, here's a quick rundown of how this revived set of unlimited plans match up.
Verizon will begin offering unlimited data plans to customers starting Monday.
The largest U.S. wireless provider will let customers keep their current plans or opt for an $80 monthly plan, for a single line, with unlimited data, talking and texting. Customers must agree to AutoPay and paper-free billing. Families can also pay $45 per line for four lines (a total of $180).
Across the U.S., Verizon and T-Mobile are practically neck and neck in terms of mobile network speeds and performance, according to the latest findings from OpenSignal's crowdsourced monitoring.
OpenSignal also found that 4G speeds continue to rise, with typical speeds in many cities surpassing the national average. Of 36 cities the company studied from October through December, 25 now have one or more mobile service providers that deliver average LTE speeds faster than 20 Mbps (megabits per second).
It was a big, big week for the Nintendo Switch, the next home console from storied and iconic gaming company Nintendo. We learned the console's price, release date, initial launch lineup, and more. Go to GameSpot's Nintendo Switch page to see a rundown of all of our coverage so far.
The NPD Group announced this week that the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the United States for December 2016. The Xbox One was no slouch, however, as it was the best-selling system overall for the second half of 2016, Microsoft said. You can read our full December NPD report here.
There are still a lot of questions about Nintendo’s Switch, and the Kyoto gaming giant has everything to prove. But after spending a few hours in the hybrid console’s company this afternoon in Tokyo, I think Nintendo might be onto something. At the very least, there’s evidence that the Switch is a more credible effort than its predecessor, the Wii U, which was Nintendo’s biggest home console failure to date.
I say that because of product decisions that cut to the core of how each system is used. With the Wii U and its tablet-style GamePad controller, developers essentially had two options — beam the same image from the TV to the portable screen, or display different content on each. Few found much use for the latter scenario, so the vast majority of games ended up employing the former, relegating the GamePad to a clunky, low-res portable that couldn’t even be taken outside of the house. Most of the Wii U’s best games ended up being perfectly playable without the GamePad at all.
Waymo, the self-driving car startup spun-off from Google late last year, will be deploying its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans onto public roads for the first time later this month, the company announced at the North American International Auto Show today.
The minivans will be hitting the roads in Mountain View, California and Phoenix, Arizona, where the company’s self-driving Lexus SUVs have already driven thousands of miles over the past few years. Also today, Waymo gave the public its first look at the self-driving Pacificas, which have been under wraps since the deal between Google and Fiat Chrysler was first announced back in May 2016.
For a long time the expectation has been that Samsung would switch to a single model as the Galaxy S8, and this model would echo the S6 Edge and S7 Edge with the two long edges curving into the edge of the device. The curved screen is seen as Samsung's 'key physical attribute' by many and helps the Galaxy devices stand out in the crowded retail market.
The two previous generations of flagships have also provided 'vanilla' handset options with flat screens - the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 - although the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in Q3 last year (fiery issues notwithstanding) saw a single model with only curved edges. Putting the focus on a single design emphasises the message of innovation that Samsung always loves to push, it reduces the complexity of shipping multiple SKUs, and it removes the dangers of overestimating demand of one design over the other.
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co is expanding the use of Amazon.com Inc's Alexa personal assistant in its vehicles to allow drivers to talk to their cars - demanding anything from a nearby cheeseburger to a weather forecast - marking a leap by the Detroit automaker to incorporate a technology initially targeted for home use.