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Apple, Google, and Amazon are working on a new smart home standard [Wiretapped]

[From the December 20th, 2019 Wiretapped newsletter.]

This is it. This is the last Wiretapped newsletter I’m doing this year. 2019 has been one crazy year, front to back. I kicked it off with a trip to Las Vegas for CES 2019, and I’m ending it by writing out the final 2019 edition of my new favorite side project. I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.

But before I bid you farewell, we still have a number of headlines to get through. So let’s tackle them.


APPLE, GOOGLE, AND AMAZON ARE WORKING ON A NEW SMART HOME STANDARD

Smart home tech is a bit awkward since you have to pay attention to whether the certain devices you buy work with the systems that live in your home, whether they’re from a big name like Apple or Samsung or from some third-party company.

That’s all gonna change as Apple, Google, Amazon, and  13 other companies have announced a new alliance called the Working Group. This alliance will help develop a new, open-sourced smart home standard that will help far more devices work with each other. All three major tech companies promise continued support of older standards and protocols, so there shouldn’t be any issues with backward compatibility whenever this technology rolls out.

You can read more about the project at this link.


APPLE GIVES THE MAC PRO 8TB OF STORAGE

Apple’s super-expensive Mac Pro is getting another upgrade. This week, Apple added an 8TB storage option to the machine, allowing you to spend upwards of $53,000 on this insane computer. For reference, this is all SSD storage, so it should be pretty fast. Also worth noting is the absence of two new graphics card options that remain greyed out on Apple’s website. These options are the Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of GDDR6 memory and the twin Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of memory each. The graphics configurations should be available soon.


REPORT: IPHONES MIGHT RECEIVE DATA DIRECTLY FROM SATELLITES IN THE FUTURE

In the future, your iPhone might receive data directly from satellites. Apple’s been rumored to be working with companies like Boeing to build satellites that beam some type of internet connection to developing nations, and Bloomberg says the company is now taking that project seriously. The company has reportedly dedicated a team to the project so work can be done going into the next decade. While this doesn’t confirm anything, it at least means at some point, you might be using dedicated satellites to send emojis and cat photos to other iPhone users.


TESLA WILL SOON LET YOU CHARGE YOUR CAR AT EVGO STATIONS

Wrapping today’s headlines up is a story on Tesla (via The Verge). According to the futuristic car company, it’s partnering with charging company EVgo to allow Tesla owners to charge at EVgo charging stations. EVgo stations will soon adopt the proprietary Tesla connector at some locations in San Francisco, with other areas to follow throughout 2020.

If you own a Tesla, you likely know the inconvenience of having to drive around with an adapter just so you can charge at a charging station not branded by Elon Musk. If you only go to Tesla and EVgo charging stations, you won’t need that adapter any longer, at least at some point in the future.


I’m gonna go enjoy the holidays with the family. Wiretapped will return January 6th, 2020. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone!

– Your pal, Max


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