1. Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Ships with No Headphone Jack and Static Home Button
On the outside, Apple has changed very little in this new release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7Plus, which both retain the same screen size and resolution (4.7 inches, 1334×750 pixels). The new versionscome in the standard colors from last year plus black and jet black. But the real buzzworthy feature is that Apple has removed the headphone jack, shipping the phone with Lightning EarPods designed for use with the lightning port rather than the traditional 3.5mm jack. Each phone will ship with a Lightning to 3.5 mm adaptor, so you can continue using wired headphones – but this adaptor will be extra weight to carry around. Apple’s main hardware delivery is AirPods, which are wireless headphones that connect via Bluetooth and have a sensitive back to tap on the headphone to activate Siri and answer calls using the built-in microphone. The AirPods cost $159 and come with a charging case. Many critics speculate they will be easy to lose.
(image source: Apple)
2. More Specs on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Despite the disappearing headphone jack taking all the attention, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have also received a few substantial upgrades on the inside. These models have a faster A10 Fusion processor and IP67 water resistance. The base model ships with 2x the storage from 16GB to 32GB. The camera is also beefier with 12-megapixels and an f/1.8 maximum aperture and 7-megapixel front-facing camera. The iPhone 7Plus has a dual-camera module on the back with a wide-angle lens and telephoto lens. Sadly, this did not make it to the iPhone 7 model.
3. Mercedes-Benz invests over $500 million into Automated Flying Drone Delivery Service with Drone Manufacturer Matternet.
Mercedes-Benz has initiated a five-year investment to speed delivery times for online product orders with plans to make electric vans equipped with automated flying drones. The “Vision Van” is a cloud-connected vehicle that enables the driver to deliver a package while drones deliver two additional packages launching from the roof of the same van. The German automaker, a division of Daimler AG, purchased a minority stake in Matternet, a commercial drone maker located in Silicon Valley, with drones capable of carrying a 4.4 pound package up to 12 miles. The interconnected cargo system loads the vehicle, cutting down on the driver’s need to rearrange packages, while cutting loading time and reducing the amount of stops the driver has to make while out on delivery.
(image source: Matternet)
4. Virtual Reality Giant Oculus Wins Emmy for Animated Short
Oculus Story Studio has won an Emmy for Henry, it’s second film, for best outstanding original interactive program. The interactive media category was added to the awards in 2013. This is a first for Oculus Story Studio although not the first virtual reality experience to win an Emmy. Henry is the story of a hedgehog narrated by Elijah Woods in Pixar-style animation.
5. AirBnB Fights Discrimination with Release of New Policies and Document “AirBnB’s Work to Fight Discrimination and Build Inclusion.”
This week, AirBnB updated its policies to help fight discrimination on the popular home sharing site. Starting on November 1st, a new “community commitment” statement will be required for users to agree to. AirBnB will also “experiment” with methods of reducing the prominence of profile photos. The new system will also make it difficult for hosts to turn down a guest by stating the home is not available as the host will not be able to book different guests for the same dates. If someone suspects they are being discriminated against, they will be assisted through a new “Open Doors” program to help them find a similar accommodations. You can access the report here.