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Apple TV finally gets SiriusXM streaming

A little potential bonus for those thinking of picking up an Apple TV for the holidays. As of this week, streaming from the satellite radio giant SiriusXM is available to owners...

Drake, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Moana’ top Apple’s 2017 most downloaded list

Over the past several years, tech year-end lists have become as much of an annual tradition as Twilight Zone marathons and going to a bar to get away from the family...

You can now pick up an iMac Pro in-store, for $4,999 and up

Apple’s super-powered iMac Pro hit the company’s online store just ahead of Christmas. Now those who’d prefer to pick one up in-person can do so by paying a visit to one of its various retail establishments. Availability was first spotted by MacRumors earlier today, and you can check it for yourself by entering your zip code over on the company’s site. At $4,999 and up, this isn’t check out line impulse buy territory, but the professional version of the company’s well-regarded all-in-one packs a wallop. Matthew spent some time around the machine around its official launch, calling it “a love letter to developers,” adding that the company, “decided to see exactly how ridiculous it could get with iMac performance inside what is essentially the exact same shell as the current machines — with a nice coat of color treatment and a few additional cosmetic differences.” With the Mac Pro still in a state of limbo, the company has focused on the AIO desktop form factor to deliver some crazy high-end tech specs for users looking to perform truly CPU taxing tasks like editing 4K video and creating VR content. The iMac Pro represents a sort of recommitment to the developers and creative types that have long formed a core user base — which Microsoft has been actively courting with its own Surface line. The computers appear to be pretty well seeded out there in Apple Stores, though I suspect not every location is going to have every single configuration, so you’re going to want to call ahead. Of course, if you’re not willing to make the $4,999+ commitment, there’s apparently already a ridiculously inflated second-hand market for those limited edition space gray accessories.

Apple’s hand is down and its $1 trillion dream now rests with consumers

As we head into the end of 2017, it’s pretty safe to say that Apple’s fate — barring any major issue with its phones — is now in the hands of...

Apple joins LG and Valve investing up to $10.6M in OLED display maker eMagin

Quietly, Apple has been bringing together a number of moving parts in its strategy around virtual and augmented reality hardware; and now one more element of that has come to light. eMagin, a maker of OLED miniature displays, says that Apple, along with LG, Valve, VR entertainment maker Immerex (which now appears to be operating publicly as Luci), and Stillwater Holdings, are collectively investing up to $10.6 million in the company. eMagin has only said that it plans to use the proceeds for “working capital and general corporate purposes”. The company has been increasingly doing more in displays targeting the consumer market (such as its Blaze night-vision goggles and smartphone case, goggles pictured above) in addition to the military and industrial/enterprise (including medical) sectors where eMagin’s technology is already used. “We believe that a key growth area for us is the consumer electronic OEM market for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hardware,” eMagin notes in its prospectus. “Our potential channels to this market include licensing of our direct patterning technology and partnering for the mass production of microdisplays.” The documentation for the new offering was filed January 23 of this year (first discovered, it looks like, by Road to VR, which also tipped us off on it). Further to that, eMagin released another statement saying the offering had been upsized to $11.5 million (with eMagin getting $10.6 million in proceeds), and it also said that it expected the offering to close around January 29, meaning the investment has likely been completed already. We have reached out to eMagin to confirm this, as well as the final amount raised, and if the company can tell us more about the intention for the investment. eMagin’s technology is notable in that it has created a new kind of display that can be used in VR headsets, which provides a sharper image by using a denser layout of lines (versus the pixels commonly used in existing products). The promise is for up to 2,500 pixels per inch, high when you consider that an iPhone X is currently 458 pixels/inch and Samsung is reportedly working on a headset with 2,000 ppi. This helps reduces the so-called “screen door” effect on the display and makes what you see up close through the headset much sharper. (Notably, those investing in eMagin aren’t putting all their eggs into one basket on this front, it seems: LG has also patented another way of coping with the issue, and there are other routes beyond OLED that are also being explored, such as liquid crystal on silicon displays.) “We believe that our direct patterning technology is a key differentiator for enabling next generation AR/VR hardware for the consumer and enterprise segments because of the brightness and the pixel density afforded by the technology,” the company notes. Although eMagin is arguably working at what might become the forefront of how VR experiences are delivered, the company has been fairly under the radar and modest in size — underscoring perhaps how we have yet to see a real breakthrough of the technology in terms of market penetration. Even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has downplayed the state of technology today and how so far we’re seeing little evidence of mass-consumer appetite for it. eMagin is traded on the NYSE American exchange and currently has a market cap of around $50.7 million and expects to report revenues of around $22 million for 2017. Its share price has shot up by nearly 14 percent in pre-market trading over the weekend (likely because of this news). This investment is interesting because it shows, in fact, that if VR may still have a ways to go before we see a breakout device, big tech companies are very much putting some money down to stake VR claims for the future. In the prospectus for the investment, eMagin notes that it is working with a number of unnamed “Tier One” companies to help get better economies of scale when manufacturing its new technology. “On the commercial front, we entered into strategic agreements with multiple Tier One consumer product companies for the design and development of microdisplays for consumer head mounted devices and, together with these companies, negotiated with mass production manufacturers for higher volume production capabilities,” it writes. Interestingly, while Valve and LG’s involvement in VR is well documented — Valve on the software side, making games and its SteamVR platform; LG as a maker of headsets, including one reportedly built on SteamVR — Apple’s involvement has been harder to parse because the company generally keeps quiet on its future plans. Case in point: when we uncovered in November that Apple had acquired VR headset maker Vrvana for around $30 million, it refused to confirm the deal to us, although it did not deny it. Other acquisitions that Apple has made in the general area of mixed reality include SMI, an eye-tracking firm that was working on solutions for VR and AR headsets; Flyby Media, metaio, Emotient, and Faceshift. We are contacting Apple, Valve and LG to see if any of them provide any further comment about their stake and interest in eMagin, and we’ll update this if and when the company responds. This is not the first time that Apple has invested in companies that it works with closely for its hardware. The company had a long product and investment relationship with UK-based graphics chipset vendor Imagination Technologies, and nearly considered acquiring it, before the two entered into a dispute, and Imagination was ultimately broken up and sold to others. In December, Apple also announced an investment of $390 million into Finisar, an optical component maker, part of a bigger plan to build a facility together in Texas. While this appears to be the first time that a relationship between eMagin and Apple has come to light, there were some who had noticed some increased communication between the two companies last year, leading them to wonder if they were working together.

Apple’s MacBook Air turns 10

Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs triumphantly held up a manilla interoffice mail envelope to a round of applause at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. It was a silly gimmick, but it got the point across. A year after introducing the Macworld crowd to the iPhone, the company was about to add another cornerstone product to its repertoire. Ten years and seven generations later, the MacBook Air’s design hasn’t changed all that much — a rarity for an aesthetically obsessed company like Apple. Sure, there have been little tweaks over the years, like the second generation Magsafe connector and a change to the ports, but otherwise, the wedge-shaped, “world’s thinnest notebook” has remained remarkably consistent. That first Air hit the market in February 2008, weighing a mere three pounds (Apple would later shave off a few ounces, but the weight would also stay more or less the same), coming in at two pounds less than a MacBook with the same screen size. A year after effectively killing the smartphone keyboard, the Air maintained a full-size QWERTY. Jobs promised “no compromises,” but some were certainly made in the name of keeping the system thin and light. Jobs talked down the importance of the optical drive, another in a long like of Apple-spurred obsolescence — in this case, the company was right on target there. Apple’s design team also hid some ports in a flip-down hatch, ultimately doing away with that bit in 2010. Even so, the laptop was a beautiful bit of engineering. Like the iPhone and iPod before it, this was peak Apple. In recent years, the laptop has largely stagnated — particularly once the company released the redesigned 13-inch MacBook. Air fans have mostly given up hope that the company will offer a major refresh to the line, as Apple has shifted its laptop strategy. Even though the product is no longer a main focus for the company, the Air’s had remarkable staying power. The laptop seems destined to fade away, rather than burn out — but even so, in the cut throat world of consumer electronics, a decade’s a pretty good run.

Crunch Report | Jimmy Iovine is not leaving Apple

Today’s Stories Jump will be the first stationless, e-bike-sharing service to launch in SF Kodak announces ICO, stock jumps 44% Jimmy Iovine says he’s not leaving Apple Credits Written by: Tito Hamze Hosted by: Tito Hamze Filmed by: Joe Zolnoski Edited by: Tito Hamze Notes: I don’t know what to wear on Crunch Report (It’s a hard decision and I suck at dressing myself). If you are a startup and want to me to wear something mail me an XL T-shirt and I’ll wear it in an episode. I’m not going to mention the company on the shirt in the episode but it will be there. No offensive stuff, it’s totally at my discretion if I wear it. Mail it to me. Thanks <3 Ok, bye. TechCrunch C/O Tito Hamze 410 Townsend street Suite 100 San Francisco Ca. 94107

Tim Cook says you’ll soon be able to turn off the system that slows...

As we learned back at the end of December, Apple has been limiting the maximum performance of iPhones as the batteries within get older. The goal, they’ve stated, is to prevent random device shutdowns as time goes on and the battery’s output starts to wane. But that’s something they ought to have explained better from Day 1 of the software change; most users would never expect that swapping a battery could impact a phone’s speed. It’s a misstep that has since resulted in apologies, lawsuits, and the rollout of a new battery replacement program. And soon, it seems, you’ll be able to turn off the battery/performance balancing system all together. Tim Cook mentions the coming change in an interview with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis: “We will tell somebody we’re slightly reducing, or we’re reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart. If you don’t want it? You can turn it off. Now, we don’t recommend it, because we think people’s iPhones are really important to them, and you never can tell when something is so urgent…” You can see the relevant bit for yourself at just after the 4:00 mark: Apple had previously promised an update that would provide better insight about the life of your battery and its impact on your device, but this is the first time I’ve heard them mention allowing the user to turn off battery/performance management overall. Cook mentions that these changes, as with most things Apple rolls out, will ship to developers first (sometime next month) before arriving for all. We’ve reached out to Apple for more details.

Apple wants to gather all your medical records in the Health app

Apple announced a new health effort as part of iOS 11.3. The new Health Records section in the Health app lets you gather and view all your medical records. The company is partnering with hospitals and clinics. Apple released the first beta version of iOS 11.3 today. While the new version of iOS is going to remain in beta testing for a couple of months, it should be available as a free download to all iPhone users pretty soon. Health Records is going to be a new menu in the Health Data section of the Health app. You’ll be able to add any file to this menu as long as it’s a CDA file (Clinical Document Architecture). Some hospitals already email you those files or make them available on their website. But Apple wants to automate this process. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and others are already testing the feature with their patients. Health Records is based on on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard when it comes to data formats and APIs. So it means that those hospitals and clinics will be able to push this data to your phone directly. You’ll receive a notification alerting you that you just received a new medical record. Data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode. And it looks very thorough based on the screenshot. You’ll be able to list your allergies, medications, immunizations and lab results in the Health app. This could be particularly useful for patients who get a lot of lab results to track cholesterol or something else. Newest results appear at the top of the Healthcare Records timeline. It’s going to be hard to convince every single hospital and clinic around the U.S. and around the world to adopt the new Health Records feature. But here’s a list of all the institutions participating in the beta test: Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish, Louisiana MedStar Health – Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio Cerner Healthe Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri iPhone_X_Apple_All_Health_Records_Screen_01232018 iPhone_X_Apple_Health_Records_screen_01232018 View Slideshow Previous Next Exit Featured Image: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

Apple’s iMac Pro arrives December 14, starting at $4,999

It seems like forever ago that Apple first teased the iMac Pro, the souped up, professional grade version of its all-in-one. Announced back at WWDC, the company promised the computer would...