Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Comments • Apple Sprint Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Apple iMac 2019 is a millennial trapped in the body of a baby boomer AirPower’s failure won’t hurt Apple. But these 3 things already are Apple’s origins: An oral history from inside the loop In other Apple news $999 Best Buy The canceled AirPower wireless charging mat. Apple Apple last week did something it rarely ever does: It canceled an already announced project. Specifically, AirPower, a wireless charging pad that would charge up the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at once. After 18 months, not a single AirPower device saw the light of day. The unexpected death of AirPower is an uncommon occurrence for Apple, which so carefully nurtures its buttoned-up public image. It’s rare for the company to announce a product so far in advance and even more rare that it publicly cancels a project before it ships.The AirPower misstep sticks out among Apple’s hit parade over the last 20 years. From iTunes, iMovie and FaceTime to the iPod, the iPhone, the Apple Watch and the MacBook Air, Apple has consistently rolled out great apps and devices for several decades. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See It After AirPower’s death we highlight Apple’s other fumbles The iPhone 4’s stainless-steel frame and gap. Angela Lang/CNET Antennagate, aka ‘You’re holding it wrong’ (2010)The iPhone 4 employed a stylish stainless-steel frame that wrapped around the device and housed the phone’s antennas — and when gripped just right (or just wrong, as the case may be) reduced the phone’s signal strength when it shipped that June. Amid rumors of a recall and software updates, and even free phones bumpers from Apple to keep fingers off the frame and its gaps, Apple apologized and said iPhone 4 owners could return their phones if they wanted. The loneliness of iTunes Ping (2010)Ping was a social network designed to connect you to your friends and favorite musicians as part of a big iTunes update. Before its release, Apple showed Ping with hooks into Facebook, but when Ping shipped, Facebook integration had been pulled from Apple’s attempt at social networking. Without Facebook, finding your friends on Ping was challenging. And once you did find them, you often discovered their musical tastes were as bad as you feared.Wobbling MobileMe (2008)There was much to like about MobileMe, Apple’s collection of online services users could subscribe to for $99 a year. With it, you could sync your calendar and contacts. It offered online storage, Find My iPhone, a photo gallery and even an easy-enough-to-use web design tool called iWeb. Unfortunately, the service got off to a terrible start, with potential subscribers unable to sign up and then were unable to access it once they did subscribe. The service never quite recovered, and Apple replaced it a few years later with iCloud.MobileMe includes a handy web-publishing tool called iWeb. Apple iPod Hi-Fi sky-high price (2006)Intended to replace your home’s stereo system, the iPod Hi-Fi was a bulky, expensive speaker that lacked an AM/FM radio, came with a limited remote and a precariously docked an iPod on top. It sounded fine as an audio device, but potential buyers balked at its cost (at $349, it cost $50 to $200 more than competing products), its design and the inability to use it with non-Apple audio players.G4 Cube, cracks and all (2000)The striking G4 Cube. Apple The G4 Cube was arresting, housed in acrylic glass, worthy of being in a museum. The boxy Mac was also expensive, didn’t come with a monitor, required external speakers and could form cracks that marred the exterior of the Mac. It barely was around a year when Apple discounted it in 2001.Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (1997)An all-in-one design that seemed more oppressive than elegant, The Twentieth Anniversary Mac packed just about everything you’d want in a computer: An LCD display, FM radio and a TV tuner, a CD-ROM drive, a Bose sound system, and leather palm rests. It was also expensive, with a $7,500 price tag at launch, and didn’t quite look right. It didn’t sell, and Apple reduced its price by almost 75 percent a year later to $1,995 to clear out stock. Pippin, an all-in-one that never took off (1996)The Pippin gaming console. Apple It was going to be a gaming console, an internet appliance, a set-top box — a way for Apple to get into the living room. The Pippin, however, never caught on with buyers, software developers or the hardware makers that would license the multipurpose design. In 1997, Apple moved on.Attack of the clones (1995)For the Mac’s first decade, Apple resisted licensing the Mac OS to third-party manufacturers. But in 1995, as its market share dwindled, Apple signed up a handful of tech companies to license System 7 and manufacture and sell Macintosh clones, with the goal of growing the Mac market. The clone makers were scrappy and competitive (“You can take my Mac when you pry my cold dead fingers off the mouse!” read one Power Computing ad), but instead of growing the market, the clones mainly took sales from Apple. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he ended the cloning experiment for good, and Apple went back to tightly controlling its ecosystem. Copland, the star-crossed OS (1994)In the mid 1990s, the original Macintosh operating system was starting to show its age, so Apple began work on its replacement. Code-named Copland, the project would give Apple a modern system that it could use to compete against Microsoft’s Windows PCs. The Copland designs were ambitious and far ranging — it was rumored at one point that Copland would be able to run Windows apps — and for several years Apple worked to bring it all together. However, the plans for Copland were too ambitious, and Apple wasn’t able to release anything stable to developers or Mac users. In the summer of 1996, Apple management canceled the Copland project, deciding instead to release the usable bits of Copland piecemeal through updates to its existing Mac OS. The collapse of the Copland project, however, left Apple with an aging OS and no clear path going forward. Deciding that the faster way to replace the Mac operating system was to buy one instead of build it, in a “stunning move,” Apple bought NeXT Computer, the company Steve Jobs founded after leaving Apple. With the purchase of NeXT, Apple got its replacement operating system and next CEO, Steve Jobs.Newton shows the future (1993)The Apple Newton. Apple The Apple Newton — Apple CEO John Sculley’s defining project — pointed to the future of handheld devices. The pioneering personal digital assistant fit in your hand, came with task-management apps, and could recognize handwriting on its screen. It was also overpriced and suffered from various glitches, so instead of being seen as pushing the edges of technology, the PDA became an easy joke. Steve Jobs killed the Newton project when he returned to Apple but applied its lessons to the iPhone and iPad, and even reused its handwriting recognition in the MacOS.More Apple goofsCNET editors also remember these infamous issues from the distant and not-so-distant past.FaceTime bug. A glitch in Apple’s video-conferencing app allowed a caller to eavesdrop on a conversation on the other end before the recipient answered (2019).Butterfly switch keyboards. A keyboard flaw caused keys to stick or otherwise not work as expected on some 2015 to 2017 MacBook models (2015).Magic Mouse 2 charging port position. You needed to flip over Apple’s wireless mouse to recharge it, making it unusable while powering up (2015).Misplaced iPhone 4. Even before Antennagate the iPhone 4 was off to a rocky start, with an Apple worker accidentally leaving a prototype at a bar, which eventually found its way into the hands of Engadget (2010).Apple USB mouse caused repetitive stress. The translucent hockey-puck mouse looked great, especially when attached to the first colorful iMacs. It was also miserable to use (1998).Overpriced Macintosh TV. Apple’s first attempt at embracing television was too expensive and had too many design compromises to succeed (1993).The late and expensive Apple Lisa. It was groundbreaking inside and out, but the much-delayed Apple Lisa was overpriced and was eclipsed by the Mac when it shipped a year later (1983).Apple III, delayed and problematic. Meant to build on the success of the Apple II, the Apple III was instead Apple’s first serious flop (1980). Now playing: Watch this: See It $999 Boost Mobile $999 Steve Jobs Apple Apple iPhone XS But once in a while — as with the AirPower charging mat — the company stumbles with a product design or launch. Here are 15 times Apple probably wished it had a do-over.Apple did not respond to a request for comment.Apple cancels AirPower wireless charger before its release (2019)Announced in 2017, Apple’s wireless charging mat was designed to charge iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods simultaneously, and the devices could communicate to ensure everything was charging efficiently. But the ambitious power mat missed its 2018 release date, and late last Friday Apple announced it was canceling the project.(If you’ve been waiting for AirPower, check out these alternative charging pads you can buy.)The AirPower, in action. Apple iPhone batteries, throttled; and MacBook batteries, exploding (2017)Following reports of older iPhones becoming unusually sluggish, Apple admitted it was slowing down older iPhones to conserve battery life. iPhone owners were, hmmm, displeased to learn that Apple had made that decision without their knowledge and consent. As a way to make good, Apple offers to replace affected batteries for $29.99, swapping in 11 million new batteries by the end of 2018. Along with iPhone batteries, Apple has had, over time, to deal with scattered reports of exploding batteries in MacBooks and Powerbooks.Bendgate warps iPhone 6’s upright reputation (2014)Shortly after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus shipped in late September 2014, YouTube seemed full of iPhone owners bending their Apple devices. It was shocking, and you couldn’t look away. Apple claimed only a handful of iPhone owner had flawed and bendable devices, but said it would replace phones that showed manufacturing defects. For a year or two after, the over-bendability of a new phone was a concern.The iPhone 6, under stress. Angela Lang/CNET iTunes spammed you with U2 (2014)To promote U2’s new album, Apple pushed the supergroup’s Songs of Innocence to 500 million iTunes libraries for free. Instead of thanking Apple and U2 frontman Bono for the gift, many felt imposed upon at best, or violated at worst. Stores that were counting on album sales became upset, as were other musicians who believe people should pay for music, not expect it for free. Then there was a good chunk of Apple’s 500 million customers, who felt Apple spammed them with an album they didn’t want or consent to.Apple Maps’ growing pains (2012)Designed to replace the preloaded Google Maps on iPhones, Apple Maps came as the default map app for iPhone and iPad in 2012. Unfortunately, Apple Maps also came with a collection of serious issues, from faulty directions to oddly distorted images. Apple Maps was CEO Tim Cook’s first fiasco following the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, and it got so bad that Cook apologized for the unsteady app. 25 Share your voice reading • Apple’s worst failures of all time, from AirPower to Bendgate to the Newton Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR See All See it Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors $999 2:45 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Tags Phones Audio TVs Culture Laptops See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers.
Tags The basicsBoth the $229 price and 10-inch display dwarf the comparable numbers of the original Nest Hub (a 7-inch screen for $130, but it’s usually on sale for much less). The Hub Max is looking to be a premium alternative, and the stats match those of the main competition — the $230, 10-inch, second-generation Amazon Echo Show.As with other smart displays, you’ll primarily control the Hub Max with voice commands. It uses the same digital assistant (just called Google Assistant) as the Nest Hub and has the same voice enabled features as smart speakers like the Google Home Mini. You can ask questions, control your smart home devices, check the weather, play music, make a call, turn on the TV and much more with your voice.After you give a command, the touchscreen will show extra info when appropriate. Ask about the weather and you’ll see the forecast for the week. Search for restaurants in the area and you’ll see pics of the place and directions. You can use the screen to make video calls, watch YouTube and pull up a smart-home control panel. The touchscreen on the Nest Hub is particularly good at walking you through the steps of a recipe and acting as a digital photo frame. It has a light sensor that adapts both the brightness and color warmth of the image to match the room. These features and the well organized smart-home control panel help elevate it above the smart display competition from Amazon. The Nest Hub Max will start from this same strong base and offer a handful of unique extras. The Nest CamThe Amazon Echo Show has a built-in camera for making video calls while the Nest Hub doesn’t. The Nest Hub Max adds a cam with a 127 degree wide-angle lens and uses it to offer a variety of extra features. First, it doubles as a security cam. When you’re away, you can have your Nest Hub Max watch for motion and send you alerts via the Nest app if it sees something. If you have a Nest Aware subscription for cloud storage, you can set activity zones and customize notifications based on whether it sees a familiar or a strange face.Facial recognitionWith facial recognition, the Nest Hub Max can show you personalized reminders when you enter the room. Angela Lang/CNET In addition to Nest’s familiar face feature, you can opt into a feature that allows the Nest Hub Max to show notifications and personalize your home screen when you walk in the room. With the feature enabled, you’ll see your pictures and calendar on the screen. If it recognizes multiple people in the room, the Nest Hub Max will do its best to combine everyone’s info.Google representatives noted that this feature is meant more for convenience than security. You can’t make purchases verified by face match. The Nest Hub Max will also store all facial recognition data locally.Gesture controlsWith gesture controls, hold up your hand and your video will stop. Angela Lang/CNET Most smart speakers and smart displays struggle to hear you over loud music or background noise. The Nest Hub Max will try to solve this problem with basic gesture controls. Look at the camera and hold up your hand to pause whatever is playing. You can make the same gesture to resume your music or video. During my demo in May, the gesture recognition was easily fooled by a strong backlight, but it did pick up my hand gestures from a variety of angles in normal lighting conditions. The reliability of this feature will be one of the main areas we’ll look at once we get our hands on the device for a scored review. It could be quite handy if it’s polished.Video callsLike the Echo Show, you’ll be able to use the camera to make video calls. The Hub Max will even go one step further by taking a leaf from the Facebook Portal’s book. During a video call, you can have the camera pan, tilt and zoom automatically to follow the action. We really liked using this on the Portal. It’s particularly handy if you have small children and out-of-town relatives who want to keep up with the action.During video calls, the Nest Hub Max will pan and tilt its camera to follow the actions. Angela Lang/CNET The Hub Max feature doesn’t offer the same depth as the Portal. You can’t pick an individual to follow if multiple people are in frame; it always tries to follow everyone it can see. You’re also limited to using the company’s proprietary video chat software, called Google Duo. The Portal offers Facebook’s video chat software as well as WhatsApp (which Facebook owns). You can add silly hats and other augmented-reality adornments with Facebook, but not with the Hub Max. Still many of these deficits could be fixed with updates (or potentially added since we saw the demo in May) and the camera on the Hub Max already followed the action reliably. It brings most of the functionality, if not all of the extras. Comment Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Google Nest Hub Max: A closer look at Google’s bigger smart display reading • Everything we know about the Google Nest Hub Max 14 Photos Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Share your voice Smart Home See All The Google Nest Hub Max soups up the smart display Juan Garzon/CNET The Google Nest Hub Max hits store shelves on Sept. 9. It will cost $229 (£219, AU$349) and have a 10-inch touchscreen. In many ways, it will be similar to the Google Nest Hub — formerly the Google Home Hub — only with more features, a bigger screen, a built-in camera and beefier sound quality. It could be awesome, and we have a good idea what to expect as Google debuted and demoed the device in May at the company’s developer conference. As the release date nears, here’s everything you need to know about Google’s premium smart display. Now playing: Watch this: 4:47 • 12 Photos CNET Smart Home Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions 1 CNET Smart Home Better soundDuring my demo, I was able to hear the Nest Hub Max play music. It sounded pretty good and much better than the original Nest Hub. Given the size difference, I expected as much. The Nest Hub is roughly on par with the Google Home Mini in sound quality. It’s fine for background listening, but it’s well below the music chops of the Amazon Echo Show. We’ll pit the Nest Hub Max against the Echo Show directly when we test it. In isolation, I couldn’t tell if it was better, but it did play a variety of genres of music at max volume with no distortion.Ready to test itGiven how much Google showed in May, I wonder if the Hub Max will debut with any surprises as far as features. I doubt it, as it has already a longer feature list than the similarly priced competition. In fact, it looks to be the most robust smart display on the market yet. If it’s polished and everything works as promised, the Nest Hub Max will be a tough act to beat. Nest Google