Apple Watch 2 components show ‘noticeably thinner’ display, expected battery boost

We’re expecting to see Apple introduce the Apple Watch 2 alongside the iPhone 7 at next week’s September 7 event, and now alleged components from the updated watch are finally starting to leak. Apple Watch 2 is expected to look like the current model and feature a faster processor and gain GPS, and a new video from international electronics shop Byte gives us a new look at a few other details that could change with Apple Watch 2.

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Filed under: Apple

HDMI to USB-C without adapters now possible as more Macs expected to adopt port

USB-C first debuted in Macs last year with the 12-inch Retina MacBook, and this fall even more Macs are expected to adopt the new standard port. While the MacBook is a lightweight machine (both physically and in terms of workload), MacBook Pro uses will expect wider functionality without adapters if USB-C replaces ports available on current hardware.

Add HDMI to the list of ports USB-C can now easily replace. The group behind the HDMI standard today shared that it’s now possible to connect HDMI and USB-C directly. Manufacturers will have to produce the cables, of course, but the new HDMI Alt Mode makes it possible. Previously, USB-C to HDMI required a dedicated adapter between cables.

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Opinion: How Apple is likely PR-managing the loss of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7

Apple has never been afraid to declare that technology has moved on, and that something we all thought of as essential is now legacy equipment. It did this first with the 3.5-inch floppy drive, omitting it from the iMac G3 in 1998 because Steve Jobs held the view that the CD-ROM had rendered the medium obsolete.

Apple was also one of the first companies to abandon optical drives, with the MacBook Air being the first Mac to launch without one in 2008. The company of course later dropped optical drives from the Retina MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.

Finally, in launching the 12-inch MacBook, Apple also declared that every prior port except the headphone socket was no longer necessary.

Each time Apple has done this, there have been anguished complaints and negative press. Apple has weathered the storm each time, and other manufacturers tended to quietly follow Apple’s lead a little later. But in seemingly planning to abandon the oldest and best-established standard of them all – the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack – I believe Apple is being a little more careful in how it has prepared the ground …

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In run-up to iPhone 7 launch, Bowers & Wilkins launches wireless P7 headphones

Well-respected British audio company Bowers & Wilkins clearly wants to be ready for the anticipated loss of the headphone socket in the iPhone 7: it has just announced a Bluetooth version of its P7 over-ear headphones.

We’re big fans of the company’s smaller on-ear P5 headphones, which made it into the holiday gift guide selections of both Jeremy and myself after the company launched a wireless version earlier in the year. This launch brings the same wireless freedom to the larger over-ear model …

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Tim Cook responds to tax ruling in Irish press: it is “total political crap”, 0.005% rate is a “false number”

Earlier in the week, Apple was hit by a European Commission ruling to the tune of 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland. Apple immediately refuted any wrongdoing and has already said the Irish government will appeal. Apple CEO Tim Cook has continued this tirade today in the Irish press, with a newspaper column in the Independent and a rare radio interview (with RTE’s Paschal Sheehy).

Cook does not hold back on his language. He says the 0.005% effective tax rate bandied about by the Commission is false and “total political crap”. He says Apple actually paid $400 million to Ireland in the same year and believes it was the largest taxpayer in the country that year.

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Comment: Reactions to Irish tax ruling reveal divide between US & European perceptions

I expressed surprise on Monday that Tim Cook would write what I described as a ‘tone-deaf’ open letter on the Irish tax ruling, and it’s been fascinating to see the responses.

In particular, I think there’s a significant difference in perceptions of this issue between Americans and Europeans. This difference does, I think, explain why Cook made what seemed to me to be a strategic error.

My surprise was that he focused exclusively on arguing that Apple was obeying the law, doing nothing that other large companies don’t do – and the unfairness of the situation from Apple’s perspective. Many commentators on the piece echoed these arguments, and it’s clear that many Americans are puzzled by my description of the letter as tone-deaf, so I thought a little context would be helpful …

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Filed under: Apple