Next Apple Watch to Lack LTE Service Due to Battery Life Issues

Today's topics include Apple's decision not to include LTE as a feature in its next Apple Watch, Intel's announcement that it has begun shipping the first of its photonics modules, Twitter's plan to extend its protective features to prevent cyber-bullying and CNN launches its drone program after setting up an unmanned aircraft systems unit.

Apple's next Apple Watch will still have to be used alongside an Apple iPhone because a desired feature—built-in LTE cellular service—is not delivering adequate battery life in the smartwatch in testing. As a result, users desiring LTE service will have to wait for a later version of the Apple Watch.

Mobile carriers have been urging Apple to update the Apple Watch so it can work with LTE on its own, without an iPhone, for some time. LTE service would allow the device to access sports score alerts, email and mapping information for users without having to connect with an iPhone.

Intel officials are ready to bring silicon photonics—in development for 16 years—to market.

At the Intel Developer Forum last week, Diane Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of the company's Data Center Group, announced that the chip maker has begun shipping silicon photonics modules, the first products in an expected portfolio that officials have said will help meet the growing demand from cloud service providers for more network bandwidth, better scalability and faster connectivity.

Silicon photonics refers to the use of pulses of light rather than electrical signals over copper wires to move large amounts of data at high speeds and over long distances.

The first silicon photonics-based components will enable the transfer of data at 100 gigabits per second over distances of 2km or more, and will come in a pluggable model and an embedded form factor.

Twitter, which continues to struggle to find a balance between supporting free speech and empowering bullies and harassment, is planning to introduce new features that will give users control over what they see and whom they interact with, the company announced Aug. 18.

In "the coming days," Twitter plans to extend Notifications and a Quality Filter to all users—features that currently are only available to "verified" account holders, which are designated with a blue checkmark icon.

As of Aug. 18, users have the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and Users can tap the Settings icon and then select Notifications.

CNN will now use unmanned aerial drones to help it gather news in a wide range of situations as part of the company's newly created CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting unit. The news broadcasting company unveiled the CNN AIR efforts in an Aug. 18 announcement that also revealed that CNN has hired two full-time drone operators to fly the devices.

"For the first time in the company's history, CNN will have a designated unmanned aircraft systems unit … to fully integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN networks and platforms, along with Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner entities," the company said in a statement.

CNN has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration since 2015 on research to safely use drones for newsgathering, according to the company.

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