GE-backed Quirky Aros is a window air conditioner with Nest smarts, controlled by iPhone

Quirky Aros window a/c unit

Finally some much needed smart appliance love for those without central air conditioning (and it’ll keep you cool): the Quirky Aros. Backed by GE, the New York-based start-up Quirky has combined the traditional window A/C unit with some very modern technologies to create the Nest (smart thermostat) of window air conditioners at a particularly reasonable price. On the surface, the Aros is an 8,000 BTU window A/C unit (rated to cool 350 square feet) with an almost Apple-like exterior (it looks as good as any window A/C unit I could imagine). Throw in touch capacitive buttons, Wi-Fi, and an iPhone and Android app for adjusting remotely and you’ve got your smart window air conditioner. The smartphone app doesn’t just let you control the temperature remotely…

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Google releases ‘Android Wear’ SDK developer preview, watches from LG, Moto & others due next quarter

silver_metal_600_00010Ahead of the release of Apple’s much rumored “iWatch” wearable product, Google has now officially announced Android’s entrance into wearables with project “Android Wear.” The Android Wear SDK allows developers to integrate a number of features into Android powered wearables and relies heavily on Google Now functionality, as we were first to report late last year.

Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year: Read more

Former VP of marketing at Apple talks iPhone, Steve Jobs, and more at the 99U conference

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Apple’s former Vice President of Marketing Allison Johnson talked about her time at Apple during the 99U conference, as reported by Cult of Mac. Johnson now works with companies like Jawbone and Anki.

In the video, Johnson discusses her time working with Steve Jobs, including his response to the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate” issue. Johnson describe’s Jobs as being “so sad and so angry” about the problem, declaring that Apple would not be the kind of company that people regarded negatively.

She also talks about her role (and Jobs’) in marketing the original iPhone and other key events in the six years she was in charge of the company’s marketing.

The full twenty-five minute interview is included below:

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Apple’s CarPlay technology using BlackBerry subsidiary QNX?

Update: QNX confirmed to us the validity of their statement to N4BB.

Though you presumably won’t see the handset maker’s logo anywhere on your dashboard or in the CarPlay interface, BlackBerry-owned QNX’s software for smartphone and display compatibility is apparently present in Apple’s new automotive technology. Tech site N4BB speculated and later updated (via iDownloadblogwith a statement from QNX that Apple’s existing partnership with the firm extends to implementing compatibility support for Apple CarPlay.

Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles. We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.

The move to work with QNX on CarPlay is interesting, not only because of the BlackBerry connection, but also for the approach used to launch CarPlay. Apple, of course, doesn’t manufacture vehicles so the service is dependent on partnerships with automakers, but the apparent QNX relationship on the software and hardware side illustrates Apple’s focus on getting the feature announced at WWDC last June into the hands of users and out of concept rather than building it in-house from the ground up. Read more

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to retire in September, Luca Maestri to take over

Apple has announced that its CFO Peter Oppenheimer is leaving Apple for retirement in September this year. Luca Maestri, vice president of finance, will take over as CFO. The transition will begin in June to smooth the changeover from Oppenheimer to Maestri.

Oppenheimer has been at Apple since before Jobs returned in 1997, as a senior director. He became Senior Vice President and CFO in 2004. Yesterday, it was announced that Oppenheimer would join Goldman Sachs as a board member. Oppenheimer was the lead of the Apple Campus 2 project; whether Maestri will take over this responsibility is currently unclear.

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