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Apple TV 4K launches September 22 for $179

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4K Screen and Apple TV

Apple has introduced an update to Apple TV, bringing 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content support. While it was long speculated, the Cupertino giant confirmed the Apple TV 4K during its Special Event, right after the Apple Watch Series 3 announcement.

Apple TV 4K will also render support for 4K HDR content for sharp, crisp images, richer, more true-to-life colors. Notably, you will be able to get automatic upgrades of HD titles in your existing iTunes library to 4K/HDR for free. Plus, new 4K releases will cost same as HD titles. That’s not all on the content part, Apple says 4K HDR content from popular video services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, will be available to Apple TV 4K users soon.

New Apple TV 4K HDR Comparison

So, what’s inside the Apple TV 4K?

While the entire outlook of the hardware remains identical to the one we witnessed last year, the Apple TV 4K is built upon A10X Fusion chip — the same chip that powers the iPad Pro —and has support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. The A10X Fusion chip is paired with 3GB of RAM, offering CPU performance twice as fast as previous Apple TV, and GPU four times as fast. The new Apple TV 4K is future-proof too, as it can handle 4K video rendering at up to 60FPS, which is almost double of what most video run (either 24FPS or 30FPS).

During the event, Journey developer Jenova Chen demoed a new game called Sky, which you can play on Apple TV with the help of TV’s remote, showing off gaming capabilities of the Apple TV.

Apple says it’ll be adding local video services, which typically require a cable or satellite subscription, to the streaming box as well. Soon, sports fans in the US will be able to watch Live Sports and track their favorite teams. If you’re wondering about the TV app, well, it will launch in Australia and Canada this month, followed by France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the UK by the end of the year.

Apple TV 4K will cost you $179 (USD) and $199 (USD) for 32GB and 64GB, respectively. Pre-orders for the Apple TV 4K begin September 15, and shipping starts a week later.

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Apple Support hits YouTube with iOS tips and tricks

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Apple Pencil iPad Pro Notes

Apple’s brand new YouTube channel has quite a lot to teach you, especially if you’re getting started with your iPhone or iPad. Published under Apple Support banner, the new YouTube channel from Apple provides tips, tricks, and how-tos — straight from Apple.

It has been a day since the channel appeared to the public, with a collection of ten how-to videos (at launch) that teach you how to take screenshots, send attachments in Mail, change the wallpaper, delete call logs, and more. Apple Support how-to videos are under two minutes of length, and provide easy step-by-step instructions, with bullet points on screen.

This isn’t the first time Apple Support became more accessible; Apple expanded the support service to Twitter early last year. And now, YouTube. Apple will continue adding more tips and tricks to this part of YouTube over time, but we’re not sure just how often.

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Apple started woking on HomePod in 2012

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Apple HomePod White

Apple started working on the Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker back in 2012, according to a new report. Well, that’s just a year after Siri’s debut on the iPhone 4S.

The report says HomePod was cancelled and revived several times since then.

Two years later, the project got an official codename (B238), and was moved to Valley Green 1 office (near Apple’s headquarters) under Apple’s accessories division.

Apple designers came up with different prototypes for the speaker; one of which was a 3 feet tall model, while another featured a ‘flat panel with a mesh screen on the front.’ The company also considered different color variants for the device initially, but the finished product ended up being black, and white.

Apple even considered selling the HomePod under Beats brand name, however, it scrapped the idea.

Apple’s HomePod was originally designed to be a superior speaker than the likes of JBL, Bose, and Harman Kardon, the report claims. Perhaps that’s why Apple isn’t allowing app ecosystem for HomePod, unlike Amazon’s Echo, which is a standalone product with over thousands of skills (voice-activated apps). HomePod appears to be more of an accessory than a platform, as it is heavily dependent on iPhone than cloud, with Siri being one of the key selling points.

The company did study Amazon Echo when it launched in 2014, but the inferior sound quality couldn’t impress Apple engineers back then, and they went to work on something that sounded better.

Despite the delay in HomePod’s launch, Apple is reportedly expected to sell 4 million HomePod units next year, according to the source. A holiday season without an actual competitor is definitely a good sales time for Amazon (and Google, too).

/ Bloomberg

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Apple delays HomePod launch until early 2018

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Apple HomePod White

Apple’s new smart-speaker has been delayed until early 2018. HomePod won’t be in Apple’s 2017 product launch list, confirmed the company.

Apple issued a statement to John Paczkowski, which mentioned the company needs ‘a little more time’ to get the smart-speaker ready for customers. The HomePod will not be released this year, rather early next year.

Apple announced HomePod during this year’s WWDC back in June, and is supposed to be one of the biggest product launches in Apple’s space. However, the company didn’t even mention HomePod during its September Special Event. And now we know why!

With holiday season already arrived, it would be a good sales time for rival companies in smart-speaker business (like Amazon and Google) to cover the market, while Apple fans will have to bypass this season to get their hands on the HomePod.

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