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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
It's pretty much a given that next week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will bring new versions of MacOS and iOS. The real question is just how much convergence there will be between the 2 operating systems.
Why it matters: The Mac remains popular even as the bulk of Apple's business is now selling phones and tablets, both of which have been increasing in computing power.
In addition, Apple is likely to preview upgrades to its TV and watch operating systems and perhaps give a few more details on some of its new services, such as Arcade, a subscription iOS game service due out this fall.
Here are a couple other things I will be watching for at the conference, which kicks off with a keynote Monday morning in San Jose...
1. Mac Pro: Apple first announced back in April 2017 that it planned to scrap its cylindrical Mac Pro design and develop an all-new desktop for professionals.
2. Siri: The voice assistant is an important market for Apple, and the company has been falling further behind Google and Amazon when it comes to creating opportunities for developers.
Loon's internet-delivery balloon being inflated at Silicon Valley's Moffett Field. Photo: Loon
In the wake of an earthquake in Peru last weekend, Alphabet's Loon unit was able to quickly restore temporary internet access using its balloons.
This was due, in large part, because it had already been in talks with Telefonica to bring its service to parts of the country and had offered its service in 2017 after flooding.
Details: Loon delivered the first service to Peru's earthquake-hit areas within 48 hours, as compared to the 4 weeks it took to deliver the first Loon-based connections to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
What's next: Loon plans to start using its balloons to deliver regular service as opposed to just responding to disasters. The company plans to begin commercial service later this year in Kenya, among other places.
The Department of Justice wants T-Mobile and Sprint to establish another wireless competitor with a dedicated network in order to win approval for their merger, per Bloomberg this week.
Why it matters: The story reveals key aspects of how regulators are thinking about the deal on which both companies have staked their future, Axios' David McCabe reports.
A new competitor would need access to a credible brand, as well as access to wireless spectrum to build a network — although access to someone else's wireless network could be a stopgap until that was possible, Bloomberg notes.
Flashback: Previous regulators have drawn the line at moving from 4 to 3 wireless carriers.
The bottom line: If DOJ is serious about drawing that line again, then T-Mobile’s deal could be in trouble.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
If the future of personal transportation is scooters and self-driving cars that are most always on the go, that will leave a lot of empty parking spaces open for new uses — such as food delivery hubs or vehicle recharging centers, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Why it matters: The disruption in urban transportation is creating opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs who see value in repurposing the lowly parking space for the digital era.
A number of companies are already reimagining how parking space will be used...
1. ParkJockey: The Florida-based company’s ambition is to sell space access to businesses such as ride-hail, car rental and food delivery.
2. City Storage Systems: Best known as former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new undertaking, the company is also in the business of repurposing parking lots.
3. SpotHero: The company is focused on a parking spot booking app (for human drivers), but it’s already thinking about the arrival of robot drivers.
Go deeper: Kia has more here.
Computers may be able to take down chess champions but 8 elementary students took down the dictionary on Thursday.