Saturday, 3 October 2015

Silicon Saturday!

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Happy German Unity Day and welcome to Silicon Saturday! It's been another week and it's been full of technology news, from Apple filing a new patent to Microsoft getting the mobile VR game. Let's go:

Wireless Earpods?
First up, MacRumours have uncovered a paper trail that seems to say that Apple are working on wireless versions of their Earpod earphones that come with every iPhone. On September 22nd, a trademark filing for "Airpods" was made by Entertainment in Flight LLC, a company set up in the same month and having no other trademarks to its name. Apple has set up trademarks with shell companies before, and there's more (Albeit shaky) evidence that these Airpods could be real - Apple's law companies made the same filings in other countries, the fact that the company is using a Gmail account as contact info and a trademark filing in Jamaica all point to Apple filing these trademarks, but this is pure speculation. Apple has used all of these tactics in previous filings (Including the iPad) so these could very well be true.

Coffee Without Queues?
Good news for all you Pumpkin Spice lovers - Starbucks has finally launched its Mobile Order app for iPhone and Android in the UK! Using the app, you can customize your sugary, diluted beverage and send the order to your nearest branch for them to make, ready for you to pick up! You get the full menu, which is cool, but sadly it's only available in central London stores for the time being. At least there are 150 there!

Google Photos Update
Sure, the iPhone 6S just launched, but what has Google done to prevent you from making your way to Apple's side? They've updated their Photos app of course! Headline on the list is Chromecast support, which coincides with the announcement of a second-generation Chromecast, but there's also "People Labelling", (Available on Android now, iOS and web app later) which allows you to label people in photos as what you call them, not their full names. Shared albums between friends and family are also being added, which is starting to affirm that Google's cloud-based photo platform is the best around.

Work It, VR Kit.
Everyone admits that the Google Cardboard is a good laugh on Android, thanks to its cheapness, but you wouldn't expect any more competitors - it was a bit of a joke, after all. However, according to a Thurrott article, Microsoft are working on a VR Kit that'll accompany their new range of Windows 10 phones, which is being awarded to developers in a Russian hackathon. Not much news on it yet, but it's a little weird that Microsoft would be working on their own cardboard headset considering that the Cardboard is already on iOS. Still, could Microsoft break into the Mobile VR market that Samsung has already entered?

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