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Apple's wireless earphones go on sale online and will hit store

Apple's wireless earphones go on sale online and will hit store Science & Technology World Website

Hot on the heels of rumours that the long-awaited Airpods would not go on sale until next year, Apple has confirmed that they will hit the shops next week.

The $159 (£159) wireless earphones are now available to buy online with Apple vowing to start deliveries next week.

The earphones, which were originally scheduled to go on sale in October, will also land in Apple Stores and other selected retailers next week.

The distinctive wireless earphones created a big buzz among Apple fans when they were unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in September.

However, delays in availability have dampened some people's enthusiasm for them.

'We don't believe in shipping a product before it's ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers,' said Apple in October. 

The wireless earphones are now available more than 100 countries the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan.

They are also on sale in China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands and the UAE.

'AirPods will be shipping in limited quantities at launch and customers are encouraged to check online for updates on availability and estimated delivery dates'' said Apple. 

While some users had expressed concern that they might lose the AirPods, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he 'never personally had one fall out since using them' and has used them on treadmills.

The launch of the AirPods coincided with Apple's controversial decision to drop the traditional headphone jack.

Owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus must now use wireless headphones, or use their traditional headphones with a supplied Lightning adapter. 

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that reported that Apple was having technical problems with getting both earphones to play music at the same time are the problem. 

Citing a 'person familiar with the development of the AirPod,' it claims Apple is struggling to ensure that both AirPods receive a Bluetooth signal simultaneously, something that would help them avoid sudden connection dropouts or out of sync audio.

'Apple must ensure that both earpieces receive audio at the same time to avoid distortion', the person familiar with their development said. 

'That person said Apple also must resolve what happens when a user loses one of the earpieces or the battery dies.' 

Apple hasn't given any official explanation for the delay and has been contacted for comment. 

The AirPods resemble Apple's older white EarPods minus an attached cable.

They connect to the iPhone using a form of Bluetooth technology. 

They work to a distance of around 10 metres (32 feet) from the paired device, meaning if the wearer wanders away any further, the connection will drop.

To pair them with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac running the latest iOS 10, watchOS 3 or macOS Sierra software, the user opens their small magnetic carry case close to the device and waits for a notification asking to connect. 

Every time they remove the headphones from the case and put them into the ears, they will connect automatically.

The AirPods charge through their case, which in turn is charged by a lightning connector, just like an iPhone.

AirPods require Apple devices running the latest version of iOS 10, watchOS 3 or macOS Sierra.

Apple to unveil the most radical redesign of its handset in 2017

Apple's wireless earphones go on sale online and will hit store Science & Technology World Website

Apple is expected to boost the screen size of its iPhone - but keep its physical dimensions the same.

The firm is set to unveil the most radical redesign of its flagship handset so far for the iPhone's 10th anniversary in 2017.

The latest rumours claim it will have a radical edge to edge curved screen - and a screen size boost.

Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang says the screens will allow the handsets to maintian the same overall size as the current 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models

The analysts, citing sources 'within Apple's supply chain' said 'iPhone 8 design didn't sound 100% locked down but we believe the move is to a bezel-less design with screen sizes getting larger and curved edges in the original envelope. 

'The iPhone 8 moves to 5' (from 4.7') and the Plus moves to 5.8' (from 5.5').'

In the research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said only the 5.8-inch model will use OLED display technology, which can be sharper, brighter, and more energy efficient than LCD technology.  

It comes days after experts predicted the iPhone 8 will also have wireless charging.

Foxconn Technology Group in New Taipei City, Taiwan is making wireless charging modules to go with Apple's next iPhone, due for release in 2017, according to an industry source familiar with the matter, Nikkei has reported.

'But whether the feature can eventually make it into Apple's updated devices will depend on whether Foxconn can boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level later on,' the source told Nikkei. 

It is not clear whether Apple would offer a wireless charging plate, along the same lines as the one made by Samsung for its Galaxy S smartphones.

But a patent application, filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Office in September showed images of a round charging device with a concave top, similar to the plastic wireless charger used by the Apple Watch. 

The patent was first filed in late 2015 but was only just published last month. 

While the patent is largely focused on brushing and polishing tools for metallic cylindrical and contoured devices, it also refers to an 'inductive charging station', notes Patently Apple.

It appears that the polishing tools are being developed specifically for a wireless charging station with a metal finish, which would match the iPhone.

'In describing how the tools would work, the application includes multiple illustrations of a charging station used to provide electrical current to another device via inductive power transmission,' notes Mac Rumours.

'An inductive transmitter coil wraps around a metal core and is designed to pair with a receiver coil and charge the battery in the electronic device'. 

Previous rumours have suggested new MacBook computers could include a wireless charging module on which the device can be placed to power it up.

Last week it was revealed Apple is set to launch three versions of the iPhone 8 next year, including a new 5inch handset.

Citing a supply chain source, Nikkei said Apple will release the three iPhones in the following  5.5 inches, 5 inches, and 4.7 inches (14cm, 12.7cm and 11.9cm).

Apple recently killed the headphone jack and its next victim could be the home button, according to previous rumours.

A patent awarded last month describes technology that is capable of scanning fingerprints almost anywhere on the screen of an iOS device - making the home button obsolete.

The latest application suggests using a special lens behind the display that connects the screen and sensors, allowing the device to capture an accurate print reading.

Rumours of Apple doing away with the iconic home button are not groundbreaking - many believed the firm would leave it out of the iPhone 7 design.

Apple to release Augmented Reality smart glasses in 2018

Apple's wireless earphones go on sale online and will hit store Science & Technology World Website

Perhaps the Apple Watch was merely the beginning of Apple's foray into the ever evolving world of wearables. Citing sources purportedly familiar with Apple's plans,Bloomberg reports that Apple is currently exploring the idea of releasing digital glasses similar, in a broad sense, to what Google released just a few years ago.

The smart glasses Apple is said to be developing will reportedly lean heavily on augmented reality and will present information to wearers by relaying information gleaned from a user's iPhone. Still in the very early stages of development, Apple has already ordered "small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing."

If development proceeds swimmingly, the report claims that we could see a pair of smart glasses from Apple on store shelves as early as 2018.

The glasses may be Apple’s first hardware product targeted directly at AR, one of the people said. Cook has beefed up AR capabilities through acquisitions. In 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense, which developed motion-sensing technology in Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect gaming system. Purchases of software startups in the field, Metaio Inc. and Flyby Media Inc., followed in 2015 and 2016.

Apple's interest in smart glasses comes at an interesting time. While Google Glass wearers were ridiculed if not downright shunned, the recent release of Snapchat's Spectacles signals that the world may be more welcoming of connected glasses than they were when Google first entered the fray a few years ago.

It's also worth noting that Tim Cook has been unusually vocal with regards to hyping up augmented reality related technologies, even going so far as to say that Apple is "high on augmented reality for the long run." For a company that's as notoriously tight-lipped as Apple, Cook's remarks are rather telling.

Adding some more credence to Bloomberg's report, you might recall that reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo just one month ago said that Apple will release an AR related device in just one to two years. What's more, Kuo added that Apple's technology could very well be so sophisticated as to leapfrog all rival products by three to five years.



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