Apple set to refresh Macs, but key feature may not arrive until 2018

Apple laptop keyboards to undergo radical shift in 2018?

The countdown is on to Apple’s next big event, slated for the 27th of this month. Apple has been under fire for letting their Mac lineup of desktop and laptops languish while other brands have caught up with sleeker and sometimes even thinner Windows machines. But that could all change when Tim Cook and crew take the stage, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting future models may have a unique new feature.

While rumors of a configurable OLED strip above the keyboard where the function keys usually reside on the expected new MacBooks have been around for a while, the Journal is reporting that in the near future, such as 2018, the whole keyboard may have e-ink keys that can be customized according to user preferences, languages or keyboard shortcuts for whatever software is being used.

CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with reps from aftermarket keyboard maker Sonder and Apple’s go-to maker partner Foxconn about just such a new keyboard, although all involved are saying “no comment.” However, Sonder is already taking preorders for their newest Mac-compatible keyboard that has – surprise – customizable e-ink keys. And it’s only $200, so you know implementation into a laptop would not be some huge expense.

Configurable keyboards are not new: DT tested a model with AMOLED keys way back in 2008, and while innovative at the time, it was so enormous it was barely usable. We’re looking forward to seeing how someone – perhaps Apple – finally brings this kind of highly flexible tech to a laptop.

CYA gone terribly wrong

Looks like Samsung hasn’t been exactly helpful in helping some customers who had Note 7 smartphones go boom and cause damage.

According to reports in the New York Times and on the BGR website, Samsung reportedly tried to hush up some early incidents, including this one captured on video in China. Samsung reportedly offered the owner of this phone $900 in compensation and a new Note 7 if he would agree NOT to post a video of the phone in full-on immolation mode. The man clearly didn’t take the bait, and the story has stirred up resentment against Samsung in China.

Additionally, a Note 7 owner in Britain said he’s been getting the runaround from Samsung after he says his phone lit his home on fire on September 8th, causing $9,000 in damage. He claims Samsung has been slow to respond, has yet to cover the cost of repairs, and seemed primarily concerned with recovering the exploded phone. He says he hasn’t seen any payments from Samsung’s insurance company, called Samsung Fire and Marine.

Just in case you need a refresher, Samsung has recalled all of the Note 7 phones it produced, including the so-called “safe replacement” phones, which apparently can light up as easily as the defective originals. Still have yours? Get rid of it.

Please uncarry a truckload of money to the FCC

It looks like the Uncarrier was up to some standard carrier shenanigans – and now it’s going to cost them. According to the FCC, T-Mobile was less than forthcoming about some key details of its “unlimited” data plan and was throttling the top three percent of data users. Now, T-Mobile has agreed to pay a $48 million fine for choking off the “unlimited” stream of bits to those users.

T-Mobile and Metro PCS users will get an additional 4 gigs added to their data caps for certain plans and discounts on phone accessories – but not apparently on phones. U.S. schools will get $5 million in gear and the U.S. Treasury will get a check for $7 million. So, the next time a data provider says their plan is “unlimited,” you’d better read the fine print.

Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.

With no plans for merging operating systems, Apple opts to combine apps instead

Apple is working on combining all of the the apps it offers to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users by 2021. App developers will soon be able to build and submit one version of their apps to be used by Apple product users.

Apple stomps on one FaceTime bug, only to have another one appear

Having fixed a FaceTime bug that let users eavesdrop on calls, another issue with Apple's video chat app appears to have surfaced. It concerns adding people to group calls, though there is a workaround.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Digital Trends Live

Original ‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin Harrington on what he loves about CES

Broadcasting from CES, the hosts of Digital Trends Live had a chance to talk to entrepreneur and original Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington about his love of trade shows and how he invests.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Highlights from day 2 of CES 2019 outline future of tech

In our second day of coverage for the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, Greg Nibler and Maude Garrett welcomed guests from industry leaders like Verizon, Intel, and Microsoft and we went out on the floor to discover new tech.
Digital Trends Live


Digital Trends Live

On the last day of CES, Digital Trends Live hands out awards and more

On the third and final day of CES, the annual tech trade show in Las Vegas, the Digital Trends Live team interviewed guests, dissected all the trends on display at the show, and gave awards to the very best tech.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix price hike, Starsona’s celeb connections, and more

On episode 48 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler, Adrien Warner, and Drew Prindle explored the tech news of the day, including Netflix’s controversial price hike, and an interview with Digital Domain’s Darren Hendler.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The dark age of streaming, booze delivery, and more

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, DT's daily morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Nicole Raney explored the biggest news from the tech world. On this week's episode: A massive data breach, the dark age of streaming, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar nominations, the future of blockchain, and more

From Oscar nominations, to the latest Spotify and Uber features, there was a lot to discuss on this episode of Digital Trends Live. Journalist Rachel Wolfson also joined the show to talk about the future of cryptocurrency.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.