Today’s topics include Apple’s release of iOS 10 just ahead of the iPhone 7 debut, the official recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones, the persistent rumors that Microsoft plans to release a Surface smartphone and Nvidia’s introduction of a single-chip version of its Drive PX2 processor for autonomous cars.
Apple’s iOS 10 mobile operating system has arrived for the iPhone, iPad and iPod bringing an array of new features and application improvements to these devices. The new mobile OS was released on Sept. 13, just three days before Apple is slated to begin selling its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones.
The latest OS version includes a major update for iOS Messaging, which now gives users more expressive and animated ways to message friends and family. New capabilities have been added to the Siri virtual digital assistant. The 3D Touch keyboard functionality has also been enhanced along with additional improvements to the Apple Maps, Photos, Apple Music and News applications.
Samsung is cooperating with officials at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to coordinate the procedures for a formal recall for the company’s recently released Note7 smartphones, some of which contain defective rechargeable batteries that can overheat causing fires and explosions. Earlier in September, Samsung announced that it is voluntarily recalling and replacing the handsets for users who currently own them.
But in a Sept. 9 statement, the CPSC said it is also working with the electronics maker to establish a formal recall procedure. One of the things the CPSC wants to ensure is that the replacement units Samsung offers are safe and don’t include the same defect that is causing the devices’ battery fires, the statement said.
Microsoft is getting ready to retire the Lumia brand in December, effectively spelling the end of the smartphone brand, according to a report in WinBeta, citing information gleaned from an anonymous insider. The report also notes that Lumia handsets are no longer prominently placed in Microsoft’s physical retail locations. The U.S. retail store’s website home page no longer features a direct link to the Lumia line of products, although they can still be found by navigating deeper into the site or with a quick search.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 7, Microsoft software engineer Laura Janet Butler, further stoked persistent rumors of a new Surface Phone brand with a pair of since-deleted tweets obliquely mentioning the unconfirmed hardware. In December, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela strongly hinted that his company is taking inspiration from its Surface line of tablets for its upcoming smartphones. Rumors suggest Surface Phone will debut in the coming months if Microsoft holds another hardware rollout event this fall.
Nvidia officials are looking to accelerate the development of self-driving cars with the release this week of a smaller version of the Drive PX 2 platform that was introduced earlier this year. At the company’s GPU Technology Conference in Beijing Sept. 12, Nvidia executives introduced the new single-processor Drive PX 2 that is designed for what they called “auto cruise” functions, including automated driving and high-definition mapping. Like its larger brethren, the new version uses artificial intelligence capabilities and machine learning to enable the computer system in the car to collect, store and process data from multiple cameras and sensors in real time.