ITy Bytes 15 March are a quick weekly bite-sized chunk of news that didn’t have enough content for a full article.
ITy Bytes 15 March – digestable news
Apple’s China woes – January sales down 67% Y-o-Y
Apple does not release iPhone sales figures, so a whole industry has grown up monitoring new
phone activations, retailer sell outs etc.
Longbow Research says Apple sales are going from bad-to-worse
in China with a 67% drop Y-o-Y in January. Chinese search engine Baidu said
iPhone searches were down 47% in February.
Longbow said, “Multiple, deep, iPhone price cuts did not
stop China iPhone search trends from weakening further while February supplier
sales were abysmal, decelerating on a Y-o-Y year basis vs. January. Of 42 Apple
suppliers, 37 of them reported worse than seasonal sales in February.”
Why is this important? If Apple sneezes the rest of the
world gets pneumonia. Over 80% of Apple’s
revenue comes from the iPhone, and this impacts its business model and share
Gender neutral voice assistant
OK Google, Siri, Cortana and Alexa et al., have sweet,
melodious female voices. Non-binary users (the latest euphemism for LGBTIQ etc.) says the voice
reinforces sexual stereotypes. Oxford University boffins have developed ‘Q’ by
recording and analysing non-binary users.
Why is this important? No comment.
Shutup10 inundated by Australian users
One of the most clicked through GadgetGuy links ever is Shutup10 – review here as people discover a wonderfully simple tool to control Windows 10 privacy and free up memory and CPU resources at the same time.
Why is this important? This incredibly easy to use,
standalone, tool should have been part of Windows to start with.
Tear in for the tear down on Samsung Galaxy buds
iFixit has given the new Samsung Galaxy Buds an
unprecedented 6-out-of-10 repairability and bouquets for moving further towards
the right to repair with replaceable batteries.
Firefox Send (here) lets you share files (free up to 1GB – 2.5GB with registration and adds additional features) with end-to-end encryption. Simply send the link to the recipient who can access it until the link expires in seven days.
Why is this important? Drag
and drop sharing and no snooping.
Why do we need a foldable?
Samsung’s latest video shows us why – and it’s coming soon
Why is this important? Foldables will be expensive – well
over $2K, and the use case apart from
more screen real estate needs further development. This video does a good job in showing multi-tasking and the
benefits of both an internal foldable screen and an external smartphone screen.
Take that Huawei!
Huawei to announce P30 series in Paris on 26 March
Why is this important? The P20 and Mate20 Pro took the crown
as the most advanced smartphones in 2018. Huawei now needs to outdo Samsung’s
amazing Galaxy S10 series. It is also likely that two Watch GT variants will go
on sale as media response has been very positive towards the Watch GT.
Huawei sells 10 million Mate20 series since launch – without
the US market
It is a great phone, the best of 2018 and despite no US market, it has set sales records for a flagship
device. The US market is a closed shop as the
majority of phones are sold by telcos on a plan.
Why is this important? While Samsung has the #1 market share position any activity by the
Apple killer (market share wise) is worth watching. To describe Huawei as
aggressively seeking market share by good tech and good deals would be an
Older GPS may fail due to a ‘millennium’ bug
The first weekend
in April (6-7 April, so it is not an
April fool’s joke) a Week Number Rollover issue could reset the GPS time and
corrupt its location data. Expect reports of “Turn left – over a cliff”. We
don’t know how serious this is but older
GPS include many air traffic control systems. It won’t affect smartphones –
they use more modern GPS technology.
Why is this important? Don’t fly that weekend – just in
Android Q enters beta
Android Pie (9.x) is barely out of the gate, and now Android Q beta is coming next week. Apparently, it runs on a wider range of devices.
Why is this important? Each version of Android gets
better and more secure. Look for it on phones released in Q3, 2019.
OK Google expands
continued conversation mode.
It keeps the microphone open for a few seconds after a
reply, allowing users to ask a follow-up or a new question without needing to say “OK, Google” again. It will roll out to
most OK Google devices including smart displays.
Why is this important?
My wife will love it!
Intel Lakefield hybrid processors
Intel will release its new 10nm hybrid architecture x86
processors this year. The hybrid refers to a complete system on a chip – SoC
(like Qualcomm et al. do with smartphone
SoC). This is going to reduce power
consumption, increase speed and make motherboards far smaller.
Why is this important?
Smaller, faster and better Windows devices
Microsoft releases HoloLens 2
AR is going to be bigger than VR, and HoloLens 2 is a more consumer-friendly
version at US$3500 each. One of the first applications is a guided Museum tour
In-depth audio, interpreted by professional
Animated 3D models
Why is this important? Microsoft says AR is the future
USB 4 is coming – based on Thunderbolt 3
A 40Gbps USB port (same as Thunderbolt 3), daisy chain
devices (no hub required), fully
backwards compatible (albeit at a slower
speed) and should be available by the end of
Why is this important? Evolution of the USB standard
Nokia 9 PureView 5+1 camera phone is amazing
XDA developers have a
video roundup of the new Nokia 9 (We will review it soon).
Why is this important? Portends the future of smartphone
3D printed La Petite Mort
From Switzerland via Kickstarter comes La Petite Mort. It is 3D printed Day of the Dead skull with cut-outs that allow it to project graphic shadows! It is made from a biodegradable and fully compostable material derived from corn starch.
The lamp has a 12-hour
rechargeable LED candle to choose between sixteen different colours. It’s not OK Google just yet!!!
Why is this important? Whimsical yet interesting use of 3D