Apple continues to fight the U.S. government over mobile device encryption. At the same time, it prepares for the company’s first media event of 2016.
Top news stories
Apple prepares for a long fight
Apple’s unlikely allies
The saga behind the San Bernadino iPhone 5c is about to heat up again, as Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice begin their court battle on March 22. At stake is the possibility of Cupertino being forced to create a backdoor into iOS. According to The New York Times, a surprising number of Apple’s competitors and business colleagues are showing their support for the tech giant’s stance.
New iOS devices
If we needed more evidence that a successor to the iPad Air 2 is coming, we’ve received it from a familiar channel. A report from AppleInsider points out that several older models of the iPad are growing more difficult to find, as resellers are experiencing low or no stock of those configurations.
Older versions of the iPad mini are also starting to dry up. While supplies of the iPad mini 4 are still strong, the original iPad mini and iPad mini 2 are much harder to find. This doesn’t really signify a new model of the smaller tablet; it’s more than likely the expected results of the recently-released iPad mini 4.
Apple is likely to announce a new 9.7-inch iPad later this month, alongside the so-called 4-inch “iPhone SE.”
Also making news:
- The iPhone will soon advise you if your handset is being tracked
- Think different again, as Apple updates the slogan’s trademark
- Video streaming has a long way to go on Apple TV
- Apple’s Phil Schiller promises ‘more good work to come’ on the App Store
- An Apple lawyer says there is no middle ground in its battle against the FBI
On the App Store
Siri gets a really good competitor
Nine years in the making, there’s finally a virtual assistant app that truly rivals Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. It’s called Hound – Voice Search & Assistant, hands-free speech recognition and has been created by SoundHound.
Once you open the iPhone app, you can tap on the microphone or say, “Okay Hound,” and start asking questions. You speak naturally, and the app is amazingly good at understanding your speech.
Other apps and games making news:
New apps and games
Games in review
Each week, Christine Chan reviews new App Store titles
I highly recommend giving Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers a try if you are in the mood for a crazy, over-the-top stylish auto-running arcade platformer.- Christine Chan
This week’s titles include a few space adventures, a trip to Broadway, and more:
- Manipulate wind and deflect your foes in Steelbound Sky
- Live the Broadway dream with Peter Panic and mini-games
- Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers is an exciting run-and-gun game
- You have to be fast when you’re Chased By The Sun
- Reach the target in Spiral Splatter, a challenging arcade puzzle
- Waste In Space is a meaningful endless arcade shooter
- Ride the Sparkwave and see how far you can go
Christine's favorites this week
Amazon’s voice-controllable speaker lineup grows with the new Echo Dot and Tap
Amazon’s lineup of voice-controllable speakers is growing. Earlier today, the online retailing giant unveiled two new options to join the popular Echo – the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap
The Dot can be described as a much shorter version of the Echo. While it features a built-in speaker, it can also connect to other speakers with an included 3.5mm audio cable or via Bluetooth. The Tap is the first portable speaker in the lineup. The built-in battery can provide up to 9 hours of music playback on a single charge.
Other accessory news: