Apple boss drops heaviest hint yet about future device

Apple is famous for keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to upcoming products, so comments made by CEO Tim Cook this week have surprised many observers.

Speaking in an interview with China Daily USA, Cook gave the clearest hint yet that Apple is working on a high-tech headset.

Discussing AR technology, Cook said, “Stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer.”

Yes, that was pretty much it, but for Cook that’s saying a lot. It’s funny that he actually said, “sort of stay tuned …,” as if he couldn’t quite bring himself to be emphatic about it, because that’s not the Apple way.

Rumors about Apple’s interest in a headset have been swirling for a long time, but Cook, despite often expressing an interest in AR technology, has until now been careful not to give anything away.

Sure, we still have no concrete details on the product, but the person at the top has all but confirmed that a head-based device is on the way.

Speculation over the last few years has pointed toward Apple developing one but two products. A pair of AR glasses and a mixed-reality headset that incorporates both AR and VR.

To put it simply, a VR (virtual reality) headset offers an immersive experience in a digital world, and is popular for gaming. AR (augmented reality) specs, on the other hand, place digital overlays of text or images over what you’re seeing in the real world. An AR/VR headset (mixed-reality) combines both technologies.

In this week’s interview, Cook only ever talked about AR, saying he was “incredibly excited” about the technology and adding that he believes “we’re still in the very early innings of how this technology will evolve.”

He continued: “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space,” before finishing off with his line suggesting folks “sort of stay tuned.”

Many expected that Apple might unveil its first headset at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, but it wasn’t to be. Recent reports have suggested the tech giant could unveil an AR/VR headset toward the end of this year, while the AR specs might not land until 2024. Perhaps that’s what Cook meant by “sort of stay tuned.” The expression usually suggests something will be along soon, but Cook’s unusual choice of words is perhaps his way of saying, “But don’t stay too tuned ‘cos it’s gonna be a while.”

To find out everything we think we know about Apple’s headset plans, Digital Trends has a carefully curated page featuring all of the incoming news.

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iPad mini 6 renders hint at an iPad Air mini

Despite expectations of its demise thanks to larger iPhones, the iPad mini continues to sell well due to its particular appeal. It’s simple, handy, and, thanks to Apple Pencil support, productive as well. What the iPad mini isn’t is modern and its design hasn’t changed significantly in the past years. It stands in stark contrast to all other iPads, something that seems uncharacteristic of Apple’s design standards. That might finally be changing this year if these renders come to pass, making it a true mini version of Apple’s tablet line.

The iPad mini is, in many ways, a holdout of Apple’s past. Aside from the iPhone SE 2020, it is the only one of Apple’s mobile products still bearing very thick bezels and a home button with Touch ID. It is the only iPad now that is left using Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.

The iPad mini (2021), which most will probably call the iPad mini 6, may change all that. According to Jon Prosser of Frontpage Tech, this year’s iPad will finally go in line with the rest of the iPad family in terms of design. He created renders based on numerous sources and leaks to tease what may be the most interesting iPad mini iteration yet. Of course, it might not be that interesting if you’re already tired of how modern iPads look.

The iPad mini will be a dead knocker for the iPad Air 4th gen at the very least, with its thin bezels and sharp, flat edges. Noticeably gone is the home button but Touch ID hasn’t left the building entirely. Instead, it will be relocated to the top button. Interestingly, the iPad mini might also be making the jump to USB-C, marking the transition of the entire iPad line to the standard port.

Prosser also throws a puzzle that even he isn’t that sure about. While the iPad mini 6 will still be compatible with an Apple Pencil, it might finally support the Apple Pencil 2 that’s used on the iPad Pros. More than that, however, Apple might even launch an Apple Pencil 3 that may be smaller than any Pencil so far, just right for the iPad mini 6.

The iPad mini 6 will reportedly come in Silver, Black, and Gold colors. Excited fans might have to wait a bit longer, though, as the slate isn’t due until later this year. When it does, it will come with 5G and an Apple A14 chip, not an M1 l, of course.

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Galaxy Book Go specs leak hint at durable Windows 10 Arm laptop

When Samsung unveiled its most powerful Galaxy devices this week, it clearly didn’t consider the Galaxy Book Go to be worthy of being included in that category. After all, there hasn’t been a Windows 10 Arm device that could be considered on par with their Intel equivalents, unlike the M1 Macs. That may be the reason why the Galaxy Book Go was a no show at this week’s event but that only means that there’s plenty of room for someone to leak the affordable device in its entirety.

Of course, that’s exactly what happened when WinFuture took it upon itself to announce the Galaxy Book Go that Samsung didn’t. When that actual announcement will happen is still up in the air but, with this leak, there aren’t any surprises left anyway. At least for those interested in getting their hands on a Windows 10 laptop running on an Arm processor.

That processor will, of course, be the Snapdragon 7c and the Snapdragon 8cx, depending on the model. The base configuration only has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage, which is pretty low for a Windows machine. It also has a 14-inch 1920×1080 LCD screen to keep the price low.

Both models, however, will offer basic connectivity options, like Bluetooth 5.1, one USB-C port, and one USB-A port. Interestingly, the leak says that the Galaxy Book Go will be MIL-STD 810G certified, meaning it will be quite a rugged device despite its looks. Curiously, there is no mention of any camera for making video calls.

Of course, Qualcomm won’t miss the opportunity to flaunt its LTE and 5G chops, though the latter will only be available on the Snapdragon 8cx variant. With a starting price of 449 EUR ($545) for the base Snapdragon 7cx model, the Galaxy Book Go is both tempting but also worrying in its ability to smoothly run Windows 10, let alone any emulation of x86 programs it will need to do.

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iPhone 13 mini renders hint at a conspicuous camera redesign

Despite the popularity that its iPhone SE models enjoyed, last year’s iPhone 12 mini failed to meet Apple’s expectations. Sales of the smallest iPhone 12 were so low that the company reportedly slashed production by a large percentage. That said, it seems that it isn’t giving up on the mini iPhone just yet and a new leak reveals that it will even stick to the same design in the iPhone 13 mini but with a change that can be immediately seen on the outside.

While Android phone makers seem to be unhampered in expanding the camera bump to any space they can occupy on the back of smartphones, Apple has stuck to its design cues for a few generations now. The wide notch isn’t going away but will be getting smaller and it seems that the square camera bump on the iPhone’s back will still remain square.

For the iPhone 13 mini, however, that will also remain the same yet slightly different. According to a post on Weibo, the phone will still carry two cameras only but their layout inside that bump will switch from being one-sided to a diagonal formation. Aesthetically speaking, this could give the phone a more balanced look, though it remains to be seen if the same can be said of the larger iPhone 13.

In all other aspects, however, the iPhone 13 mini is expected to be almost exactly like the iPhone 12 mini, down to the 5.4-inch screen. Of course, it will have upgraded hardware inside, mostly a new Apple A14 processor and 5G modem. Those should hopefully address some of the performance and battery life complaints over the iPhone 12 mini.

The iPhone 12 mini’s disappointing market performance was rather surprising and put into question the chances of yet another “iPhone Lite” this year. Apple seems to still be trying to find the sweet spot for such a phone and might continue to tweak specs, performance, and price until it finds something that consumers will be willing to pay for.

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Leaked Android 12 features hint at iOS-style clipboard and location permissions

Last year, Apple introduced some neat privacy-focused features in iOS 14 such as a notification pop-up when your mic, camera, or clipboard is accessed, and granular location controls.

Now, leaked Android 12 screenshots indicate that Google might bring some of these features to the upcoming version of its mobile OS.. Mishaal Rahman and his team at XDA Developers have got their hands on an unreleased Android 12 version that uncovers plenty of new features, including enhanced privacy controls.

The report noted that the upcoming version will have a “Show clipboard access” toggle in privacy settings. If enabled, it’ll show you a notification indicating that an app is accessing your clipboard. In iOS, the toast notification for clipboard access appears on the top. In Android’s upcoming version, it might appear on top of your keyboard.

Credit: XDA Developers