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Apple World Today News Update: April 27, 2018

Happy Friday! Today’s podcast has a fun story about Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset that may arrive in 2020, what Apple says you should look for in a Wi-Fi router now that it’s no longer making them, and news about a fun Apple Music deal:

  • Dual 8K displays blasting your eyes with augmented or virtual reality? A WiGig connection to a powerful but lightweight computer? That’s what may be in store for us in 2020 with Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset
  • Apple has published a recommendation on what prospective Wi-Fi router buyers should look for
  • Apple’s giving away another month of free music to those who have been on the three-month Apple Music trial but haven’t signed up. The deal goes through May 27

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Friday, April 27th, 2018.

A report from CNET today called out some likely features of Apple’s rumored AR headset, which will not only handle the expected augmented reality but work as a virtual reality headset as well. Rather than being a bulky and heavy headset, the T288 — as it is apparently been codenamed — would use a separate box providing the computing power to drive dual 8K displays, one for each eye. Rather than needing a cable to connect the external box and the headset, the two would communicate via 60 GHz WiGig or 802.11ay, which will be a finalized standard in 2019. Current VR systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift need external satellite sensors to detect body movements, while the Apple headset would build all of the sensors required for motion tracking in both the headset and box. The other day on the podcast we discussed how Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC will be making 7nm process systems on a chip that are smaller and more efficient than the current 10nm process used in the iPhone X’s A11 Bionic. The processor for the Apple headset is expected to use a 5nm process. The 8K eyepieces would make the Apple headset light years beyond anything available at present, with HTC’s Vive Pro — considered a sharp headset — using only 1,440 by 1,600 pixels per eye. Following the 8K UHDTV-2 standard, this would mean Apple’s headset would boast 7,680 by 4,320 pixels to each eye. Don’t expect an announcement of a headset soon; it’s expected to come out in 2020 at the earliest.

As you well know from the post on Apple World Today, Apple has killed the AirPort Base Station line of Wi-Fi routers. That’s something that we all knew was going to happen as long as two years ago, but it’s still a shock that Apple decided to not move ahead with Wi-Fi technology, perhaps building a base station into a HomePod or creating a mesh network of smaller HomePods blasting Wi-Fi and music throughout a house. Nevertheless, Apple decided to stick to its more intelligent products and leave the Wi-Fi world to other companies, but they didn’t leave customers without some information about what to look for in a Wi-Fi router. The company suggests that a router follow IEEE 802.11ac, the latest wireless-networking standard, provide simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), allowing a router to transmit over both frequencies at the same time, WPA2 Personal AES encryption, and MIMO or MU-MIMO, which can offer improved performance for homes with many wireless devices. Apple notes that most homes are easily covered with a single router, but larger homes may need a mesh Wi-Fi system with multiple nodes. Apple is currently selling the Linksys Velop Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi system in 2 or 3 packs both online and at Apple retail stores.

Have you tried Apple Music but haven’t made the commitment to be a subscriber yet? Well, those who haven’t become subscribers can now get an extra month on the three-month trial for free. The service now has over 40 million subscribers and it’s expected that Apple is doing this to grab those folks who were on the verge of subscribing but didn’t push the button. Given the increase in subscribers over the past year, people seem to think that paying $9.99 per month for unlimited music from a library of 45 million titles is a really good deal.

That’s all the news for today – join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.

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Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!