Apple has revealed it is investing "heavily" in driverless vehicles and has called on the US highways regulator to promote "fair competition". In a letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the tech giant said it was "excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation". Apple director of product integrity, Steve Kenner, said the firm wanted to "help define the best practices for the industry". In a statement, Apple added Mr Kenner had written to NHTSA because it is "investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems". Following years of speculation, the letter is the first time Apple has publicly acknowledged it has plans to develop self-driving cars.
Google has made a strong phone debut, according to the first round of reviews. Strong enough to take on the market-leading iPhone. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL are the company's first pure Google-branded smartphones, with the tagline "made by Google." To date, Google has released phones under the Nexus brand, which tended to emphasize the phone's manufacturer, such as LG and Huawei, not Google. Wall Street Journal: "The Google Pixel is now the best Android smartphone you can buy," the Journal said in its review.
The Google-branded phone has arrived, and Apple and Samsung are its primary targets. But to make room for the Google-branded Pixel, Google's Nexus phone brand will fade, according to an official statement Tuesday from Google. "As Nexus users, you've played an integral role in this journey for Google. We're excited about Pixel, and also want you to know that we'll continue to support your Nexus devices," Google said Tuesday. Nexus phones have been co-branded with Google, but the branding tended to emphasize the partners that manufacture the device such as LG and Huawei, the two current Nexus phone makers.
Google has unveiled its hotly-anticipated new Pixel smartphones, which are branded with the Google logo on the back. The new glass and aluminum phones come with Google Assistant included, a made-by-Google artificially-intelligent assistant that can do things like make dinner reservations through OpenTable. The devices come in two sizes, 5 and 5.5 inches, and are available immediately for pre-order, Google said. "While Pixel's beautiful, what really makes it come to life is how the hardware and software work together," Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of Google's hardware division, said at the San Francisco event, during which they heavily emphasized the importance of the Google Assistant. The Pixel phones will come in three colors, which Google calls "quite black," "very silver" and "really blue."
An Aussie mom recently penned a heartfelt thank-you note to Apple, and her story of how the company's "Hey Siri" feature helped save her 1-year-old daughter is now making the rounds. Stacey Gleeson noticed her daughter, Giana, wasn't breathing back in March, and as she leaped into action to perform CPR, she dropped her iPhone. As Gleeson started taking life-saving measures on her baby, she shouted, "Hey Siri, call the ambulance," 7 News reports. Gleeson was able to have a back-and-forth with emergency dispatchers as she continued CPR on Giana, who the BBC reports had been dealing with a respiratory illness and chest infection. The child was breathing again by the time the ambulance arrived at their Cairns home, and Gleeson says doctors told her every second had mattered.
Apple harvested almost 40 million worth of gold from recycled gadgets last year, and is now deploying robots to take iPhones apart in a major environmental push. In its latest annual environmental responsibility report, which was published last week, Apple explained that it gathered 2,204 pounds of recycled gold during its fiscal year 2015. The gold, which weighs more than a ton, is worth 39.6 million. Apple recovered more than 63 million pounds of various materials via its "take-back" recycling initiatives in 2015, according to the company's environmental report. The tech giant gathered over 23 million pounds of steel, making it the most recycled material, and more than 13 million pounds of plastics.