KW 42: HomePod mini supports Thread, Android Auto struggles with issues after update, Hamburg is Germany’s smartest city


Apple’s HomePod mini supports Thread: Apple has released the pricing for AppleCare+ for the iPhone 12 lineup as well as the new HomePod mini. As disclosed on the specs page for Apple’s new HomePod mini, the diminutive speaker is Apple’s first to support Thread networking technology. Thread is a low-power IP-based networking technology for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices. However, ‌HomePod mini‌’s Thread support is limited to HomeKit devices.,

Android Auto struggles with issues after update: Google has confirmed that it is looking into reports pointing to a broken Google Assistant experience after the update to Android Auto 5.7. The company officially released this version of Android Auto a few weeks ago, and shortly after the update, several users revealed that Google Assistant no longer responded to input in their cars.

Hamburg is Germany’s smartest city: Two new studies have found that the city is leading the way in terms of mobility, everyday digitalization and strategy. Hamburg prevailed over 80 German cities for the second consecutive year to retain the title of the country’s smartest city. Hamburg proved the overall leader of the Bitkom study and scored 96.8 points for mobility and 93.4 for society making the city a “role model of multimodality”. The city’s HVV Switch app, which calculates the fastest route among all modes of public transport and allows users to book tickets, was also praised.

Fraunhofer Institute is developing 5G standalone networks: The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is coordinating the work to build 5G standalone networks at five locations in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The test environments will be open to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to research the possibilities offered by 5G.

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7.2 percent fewer smart home devices were sold in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in the second quarter of 2020, according to analysts at the market research company IDC. This means 20.3 million smart home devices were sold between April and June.


Apple integrates intercom function into its products: Alongside the HomePod mini, Apple is also planning to introduce a new form of communication for small groups, which is initially intended for families. With the use of intercom technology, it will be possible for groups to connect with each other via networked Apple devices. There is no official release date for the function, but it is likely that it will appear together with the HomePod mini in mid-November 2020 as part of a firmware update.

Autonomous parking at Stuttgart Airport: Mercedes-Benz is going to test an automated valet parking system co-developed with Bosch at Stuttgart’s main airport. The trial will be conducted at the airport’s P6 parking garage and involve Mercedes-Benz S-Class models equipped with the available Intelligent Park Pilot system. The aim is to test how the parking features of the S-Class interact with the intelligent Bosch infrastructure and APCOA FLOW, the digital platform used by parking garage operator Apcoa.

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“We have to rethink our cities and communities from scratch – as citizen-oriented, sustainable, intelligent and digital.”
Bitkom President Achim Berg on the question of what federal, state and local authorities should do now to take advantage of the currently prevailing enthusiasm for digitization.


Jealous ex-girlfriend hacks Alexa device: A bitter ex-girlfriend hacked into her past partners Alexa device to scare off his new lovers from 130 miles away, a court heard. The woman allegedly used the virtual assistant device to order the man’s new girlfriend to pack up and leave, and also allegedly used the device to flash the house lights on and off in an attempt to freak out the house guest.

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