Another week has passed in the year, in our quarantine, and ... well, I don't even know what day it is anymore, really. If it weren't for the calendar and clock on my computer, I honestly wouldn't have any sense or idea of the time these days. I'm sure I'm not the only one either. Anyways!
Despite all that's going on, it seems that there are many things to look forward to in the world of Apple, so let's dive right in.
First, Apple has acquired AI startup Voysis, and this purchase could improve Siri's natural language processing. I'm eager to see if this actually helps improve Siri overall. Honestly, while I love the idea of having a digital assistant, I really don't use Siri for much besides asking it to start a timer when I'm cooking something. That's because in the past, I've tried to have Siri add stuff to my calendar or reminders list, and it ends up failing miserably. Siri never seemed to get it right, and I would have to go in and edit it myself. It would have just been faster if I did it without Siri in the first place. For me, and many others I'm sure, Siri just never worked that well, so I just don't bother with it for much. If the acquisition of Voysis can improve Siri's capabilities, then I'm all for it. It's just the waiting game now...
If you haven't already marked your calendars, there are rumors going around right now that the launch of the much-anticipated low-cost iPhone SE/9 is imminent. A much more reliable and a bit more specific rumor comes from the new Apple leaker celebrity, Jon Prosser, who predicts that next Tuesday or Wednesday, Apple will announce it with a purchase date of April 22. We'll see how Prosser's track record holds up.
We're just about two months away from WWDC 2020, which will be held online, and there's no doubt that iOS 14 will be shown off at this digital-only event. I've been using iOS since the beginning, so I've seen all of the changes that it has gone through, but it's still not enough, even with the current iOS 13. I can't wait to see what new features Apple thinks up next.
There's been a new concept for live widgets on the Home screen in iOS 14, and this is something I would love to see. This concept calls for "live icons," which are widgets that are integrated directly with the home screen, rather than a separate view. This concept would make it easier to access information or functions immediately, similar to Microsoft's live tiles on Windows phone. Of course, the concept shows off switching between a static icon and the live version, and it's quite pleasing. I hope that Apple makes some changes to how widgets work in iOS 14, or at least spice up the Home screen a bit — I'll admit that it's gotten stale.
Finally, there are some reports going around from Jon Prosser once again about how Apple is going to launch some new headphones and eventually phase out Beats completely. According to Prosser, it seems Apple will be launching some over-ear headphones, as well as a sports/running pair of earbuds (think Beats X), both coming sometime later this year. Supposedly, the endgame was always to phase out the Beats branding, despite Apple paying a pretty penny for it several years ago. But it's not farfetched, as Apple usually absorbs its acquisitions and puts its own branding on everything. I honestly don't need any more headphones, but I'd be curious how some Apple-branded over-ear headphones would look.
If you're looking for some distractions this week, I'd highly recommend watching Parasite on Hulu. This is the first time that the award-winning movie is available to watch for free on a streaming service, and there's a reason why everyone was talking about it a few months ago. It's unique, darkly funny, and won the Best Picture award at the 2020 Oscars. And if you are looking for a family-friendly game to enjoy with others in the house, maybe give Bubble Bobble 4 Friends on Nintendo Switch a look.
Don't forget to give yourself a laugh with some work from home memes while you're at it.
Until next time, iMorians!
- Christine Romero-Chan