Apple schedules long-rumored March event: bring on the new hardware

The first few months of the new year are no fun for Apple fans: Android and Windows enthusiasts get to check out all sorts of new gear at CES and MWC, while everybody goes gaga over Samsung’s latest flagships. But this year, maybe more than most, there’s been hope of some big Apple news in the spring: for months now, we’ve been hearing rumors about a new four-inch iPhone, and now it finally seems ready to launch. Better still, it could be joined by new iPad hardware, bringing Apple Pencil support to a more traditionally sized tablet. But when could we actually hope to see these new devices launch? Sources late last month suggested Apple was eying a March 21 date, slightly pushed back from earlier March 15 rumors. Now that’s picking up official confirmation, as Apple sends out invites for just such a March 21 event.

The Amazon Echo listens to anyone – even NPR

I’ve had the repeated pleasure of meeting the Boston Globe’s Hiawatha Bray — he writes his Tech Lab column for the newspaper — and have appreciated his “big picture” stories on innovation. He gets into the nitty gritty, too: last time I saw him on my way home, he was toting a Moto X for review.

It’s with that cred that NPR’s Rachel Martin invited Bray for a segment a couple weeks ago on Weekend Edition Sunday about the Amazon Echo and the company’s voice-powered assistant, Alexa.

Apple’s first OLED iPhone might be its biggest yet, with 5.8-inch screen

Apple’s near-term smartphone future may include a return to smaller screens, but for the longer outlook some recent rumors haven’t been talking so much about size, but about screen tech: and namely, when we might see Apple move past the LCD panels it’s been using for years and give us an iPhone with an OLED display. We’ve heard industry reports suggesting that Apple could bring us an OLED iPhone as soon as next year (though others suggest a slower timetable), and now the latest adds another twist to this OLED story, claiming that the iPhone that brings us OLED screens could be Apple’s largest to date.