When iOS 10 launches this fall, iPhone users will finally be able to use various third-party app just by asking Siri. "Among the first apps to yield to Siri are big names like WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Square Cash and Slack," The Wall Street Journal notes. "It's clear that this long-overdue feature is important to making Siri more useful in everyday life."
The next batch of Google-branded Android phones will not use the "Nexus" name, Android Central reports, citing sources. "The widely expected HTC-built handsets -- referred to as 'Nexus' phones in recent online leaks -- will instead come to market under a different brand name," AC writes. "The move would seem to draw a line under the long-running Nexus series."
The first detailed U.S. rules for flights of small commercial drones officially went into effect, this week. They include "nationwide licensing requirements for pilots and a ban on nighttime operations," "The Wall Street Journal" notes. "But the long-awaited move won't satisfy pent-up demand for more-complex uses of unmanned aircraft -- especially at higher altitudes and beyond the sight of operators."
Giving Apple and its Watch a little more competition, Fitbit just debuted its latest batch of fitness trackers, including the $150 Charge 2 with heart rate monitoring and a larger screen, and a smaller, "swim-proof" $100 Flex 2. "The Flex is Fitbit's first aquatic device," Venture Beat notes. "The new Flex includes an 'automatic swim tracking' feature, and you can wear it in the shower -- that's handy."
Apple is expected to make a big announcement on Sept. 7, which some think will be related to the iPhone 7. "It's expected to announce the next iPhone model and possibly a new version of the Apple Watch," Business Insider reports. "According to numerous reports, leaked photos, and industry gossip, this year's iPhone ... is expected to look nearly identical to the iPhone 6s, but with a larger camera, redesigned antenna lines, and no headphone jack."
Not all is going according to plan at Google X -- the company's "moonshot" maker. "Several people who have recently left X and those close to it describe the Alphabet unit as sputtering, unable to bring projects to life," Recode reports. "They say the issues at X aren't technical hurdles, but a combination of red tape and knotty internal politics."
Beginning in Japan, Apple is reportedly readying a new iPhone feature with which users can pay for their mass-transit rides. "A future iPhone will include technology called FeliCa, a mobile tap-to-pay standard in Japan developed by Sony Corp.," Bloomberg reports, citing sources. "The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones."
Frustrated with mounting costs, Alphabet is reportedly shrinking its Google Fiber unit. "Creating broadband networks via traditional pipes is enormously expensive," Recode notes. "And Fiber still hasn't proven that it has figured out a better way to do it." News of the belt-tightening at Google Fiber was first reported by The Information.
Apple is developing a video sharing and editing app. "The early plans are part of a newly directed focus to integrate social networking applications within Apple's mobile products and are a response to the success of social media-focused companies such as Facebook Inc. and Snapchat Inc.," Bloomberg reports, citing sources.
Google will soon add a unique data-saving feature to Nexus smartphones. "Called Wi-Fi Assistant, the feature lets your device automatically connect to millions of open and free Wi-Fi hotspots," The Verge reports. The idea is to cut down on data use, and optimize mobile data speeds.