Today

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In this week’s top stories: The latest iPhone 7 leaks and mockups, Pokemon Go mania continues, and we go hands-on with the latest iOS 10 and macOS betas.

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Evan Blass, prominent leaker and VentureBeat reporter, has revealed what he believes to be the release window for the next iPhone. If his hunch is correct, then we should expect the iPhone 7 and its various iterations to be released during the week of September 12th, 2016.

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Yesterday

AAPL: 98.66

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Apple VP of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson has  shared a story via ABC7 News about a nine-year-old boy whose hearing was restored thanks to a new type of bone-conduction hearing aid controlled by a companion iPhone app. Highlighting accessibility and inclusion, Jackson wrote that ‘technology can transform lives [and] 9-year old Joshua is a great example.’

Joshua Gomez started losing his hearing at the age of three, and a succession of surgeries over a five-year period all failed. Conventional hearing-aids couldn’t help with his particular condition, but the Children’s Hearing Center at Stanford finally found a solution … 

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9to5toys 

A Deutsche Bank research note based on supply-chain sources claims that Apple will sell the iPhone 7 with a Lightning-to-audio dongle, rather than providing Lightning headphones, reports Business Insider.

It also suggests that the iPhone 7 Plus will have 3GB of RAM. All of the note’s other predictions echo things we’ve heard many times before: similar design to the 6s; dual cameras on the Plus, improved camera on the standard model; better sound, possibly stereo; better waterproofing; and a touch-sensitive Home button.

Supply-chain sources aren’t always the most reliable source of information on Apple’s plans, as Tim Cook himself has observed, and there are a couple of reasons to treat this report with some suspicion …

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The iPhone 7 leaks continue in the run up to the launch expected sometime in early September. As has been widely reported by now, both the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 and the 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus will include significant camera upgrades with the latter getting a brand-new dual camera system. In a new photo leak from Weibo, the separate cameras (rumoured to be dual 12 megapixel sensors) are clearly visible. The redesigned camera with ~25% larger iris for the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 can also be seen although technical specifications of the new component is unknown.

A separate Weibo post also includes a 30-second clip comparing the Rose Gold iPhone 7 to a Rose Gold iPhone 6s with all the characteristics we’ve come to expect from an iPhone 7 leak. Watch the video below after the jump …

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July 21

AAPL: 99.43

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Battery cases are bulky. The new MagicMount PowerBank from Scosche gives you all of the same benefits— a portable battery pack attached to your iPhone for extra battery life— but does so in a form factor that aims to be more convenient than a battery case. With the MagicMount, the battery magnetically attaches to your device using a very slim MagicPlate, so you can quickly remove it when no longer needed. And you can continue to use your device with a case of your choice or no case at all, so you don’t have to put up with that bulky battery case all day.

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9to5google 

We know Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg relies on good old-fashioned tape to disable his MacBook’s mic and camera, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is working on something a little more sophisticated to stop your iPhone from snooping. It’s a protective case not aimed at preventing damage from drops and tumbles but instead spying and snooping…

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It seems you can hardly turn a corner in China without bumping into an iPhone 7 mockup these days. With widespread consensus on the expected design, we’re now seeing both physical mockups and renders in a range of colors, so we’ve pulled together a number of them in a gallery, together with a new video …

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When covering Apple patents, we do so with the disclaimer that the company patents a huge number of ideas that never make it into products, but one group is taking no chances. A Care2 petition has launched a petition asking Apple not to implement a recently-granted patent that would allow iPhone cameras to be disabled remotely.

While the patent has in mind situations like concerts, where the audience can have their view blocked by a sea of cameraphones, the petition is concerned about the potential for more sinister uses of the technology …

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electrek 

July 20

AAPL: 99.96

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Corning, the company behind the popular Gorilla Glass brand, today announced the next iteration of its cover glass for mobile displays, a likely candidate for future Apple devices including the iPhone 7. Corning says that Gorilla Glass 5 survives drops onto rough surfaces four times better than other solutions, noting that clarity of the display and touch sensitivity are not affected.

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Now that Apple’s third iOS 10 developer beta has had some time to settle, Apple has released the second iOS 10 public beta for non-developers testing the pre-release software. The latest build includes over a dozen changes from the previous release. iOS 10 includes loads of new features in the Messages app, a redesigned Apple Music experience, and much more.

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An online poll of U.S. iPhone owners found that only 9.3% were planning to upgrade to the iPhone 7 due to the expected design being so similar to the iPhone 6/6s. That contrasts with 25.2% who would upgrade for a brand new design.

At this point, it’s unclear whether Apple is simply holding back significant design changes for a special 10th anniversary iPhone, or is – as a Nikkei report suggested – switching to a three-year major refresh cycle. But the Quartz survey indicates that the latter would be a dangerous move …

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July 19

AAPL: 99.87

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9to5toys 

This iPhone 7 “leak” doesn’t claim to show a real iPhone 7 at all, but rather an up close look at the Chinese-made clones of the upcoming device that have recently flooded the rumor mill.

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Update: With version 2 of the firmware, the previous maximum volume is now a recommended maximum. You now get a verbal message that you’re at the safe limit, but can then continue to increase the volume to the same level as typical earphones.

With it now looking all but certain that there will be no headphone socket in this year’s iPhone, demand for wireless headphones is likely to reach a new high. And when it comes to choosing a pair, Bragi’s Dash – marketed as ‘truly wireless smart earphones’ – seem on the face of it to be a very Apple-esque solution.

You can’t get much more minimalist than these. You have an earphone for each ear, and that’s it. No connecting cords, no neckband, nothing.

The earphones can also make a pretty good claim to living up to the ‘smart’ part of the branding, controlled by a mix of touch and gesture – such as nodding to accept an incoming call and shaking your head to reject it. For times when you don’t want to carry your phone, you can load music into the 4GB on-board memory. Which is handy when you’re swimming, as they claim to be 100% waterproof. And the carry-case has a built-in battery for on-the-go wireless charging.

I tried out a pair to find out whether they really do live up to the hype …

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Evan Blass has tweeted what he says are the codenames of two 2016 iPhone models. The tweet implies that the lack of a third codename indicates that only two models are planned. Both names are small towns in California.

From the volume of rumors about an iPhone 7 Pro, it appears likely that Apple has at least explored the idea, but the company of course plays with numerous ideas that never make it to market …

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9to5google 

Government officials in Iran have threatened to ban iPhones from the country, and ‘collect’ existing ones, unless Apple appoints an official representative in the country.

“If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” Tasnim News Agency quoted the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office as having said on Sunday.

The move is said to be aimed at countering the smuggling of smartphones into the country …

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July 18

AAPL: 99.83

1.05
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According to Military.com, the United States Army’s Special Operations Command will switch from Android to the iPhone. In the past, the Army has given soldiers an Android Tactical Assault Kit, equipped with what was believed to be a variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note. The new iPhone Tactical Assault Kit, however, will feature the iPhone 6s.

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Apple is continuing to emphasise its ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign, where it features photos and videos taken by ordinary iPhone users, with two new video commercials. One of the ads features a macro close-up clip of an ant carrying a leaf by Tim W. The other is another close-up of a squirrel eating a nut, credited to Linda H.

Watch the two fifteen-second commercials below …

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electrek 

Apple has just released iOS 9.3.3 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new software update is by no means as interesting or as feature-rich as iOS 10, due to be released publicly in the fall, but it includes some important bug fixes and performance improvements for iOS users.

The minor 9.3.3 software update went through a lengthy beta process, spanning five betas. As always, we’ll let you know about any surprises associated with the iOS 9.3.3 update.

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