Benjamin develops app for iOS and writes about Apple news, product reviews and more on 9to5Mac and his personal blog. Follow Benjamin on Twitter to keep up with his latest projects. You can also email him directly.
After a few months of speculation, Twitter has officially announced its plans to extend the length of tweets by no longer counting mentions and media attachments towards the 140 character limit as well as some new announcements including the ability to retweet yourself and the removal of the ‘.@’ convention to simplify the service. Twitter will roll all of these updates in the coming months.
The headline change is that Twitter handles (@mention), embedded photos, videos and other media attachments will no longer count towards the 140 character limit. This will allow users to fit more content into every tweet as metadata will not use up valuable characters.
[UPDATE: Video embedded below.]
Tim Cook featured at StartupFest this morning, in an interview with Neelie Kroes discussing Apple’s influence in startups and entrepreneurship culture. Cook covered many topics including the role of entrepreneurs and the App Store, the startup climate in Europe, economic optimism, technology in education, Apple Watch and more. We’ve included some snippets of the talk below …
In the interview, Tim Cook says Apple gives entrepreneurs the ability to sell their app instantly worldwide through the App Store. Apple provides technical and marketing assistance to clear the path so the developer can focus on their product. Most young companies should be principally focused on the product; Apple tries to help ease the frictions to fuel more entrepreneurs to do exactly that. Apple is bringing an app development center in Naples to kickstart the app economy in places it hasn’t yet been.
Via Weibo, the above image is claimed to be a real photo of an actual iPhone 7 back, not a mockup or case. Most interestingly in this picture is the new rear camera — it appears to be bevelled and protrude outwards. The camera is also aligned differently compared to current iPhones; it is positioned closer to the top-left corner. The camera hole also appears to be slightly larger than the current 12 megapixel shooter in the iPhone 6s. Unfortunately, people hoping for the camera bump to go away will be disappointed with this leak, as it suggests the bump will continue to be a part of iPhone design for at least another year.
On the positive side, the new design of the camera does suggest that substantial improvements to photo and video quality are on the cards. Whether the image truly shows an actual iPhone 7 back (not merely a dummy case) is hard to assert due to the low-resolution but the design mirrors previously-leaked schematics. The same source correctly leaked the iPhone 6 design too, adding to its legitimacy. More photos below …
An unusual iPhone 7 leak is making the rounds today, showing some changes that have not be seen before. An Italian case manufacturer is showing a potential chassis design that features ‘four speakers’ and new layout for the rear camera and flash, including a hole for a larger aperture (via NowhereElse). As pictured, there are two speaker grilles cut into the top of the case and another two grilles on the bottom side.
This is not corroborating with previous leaks, that showed an iPhone 7 design near identical to the existing iPhone 6s. The rearrangement of the flash is particularly unusual although the larger camera hole has been suggested by previous leaks. As expected, the case leaks do not include holes for a 3.5 mm headphone jack which is rumored to be going away for the iPhone 7 — Apple will rely on Lightning connector and Bluetooth wireless headphones for audio output ..
Update: Here’s Apple’s comment on the matter:
We’re working on a fix for an issue impacting a small number of iPad units that are receiving an error when trying to update the software. We’ll issue an update as quickly as possible”
Apple has today pulled iOS 9.3.2 for the 9.7 inch iPad Pro, following reports that users were seeing their iPads bricked after updating to the latest iOS release on Monday. The bug does not affect the larger, 12.9 inch iPad Pro. After updating, users seeing the bug would be prompted to Connect to iTunes on the iPad display. However, aside from an Error 56 debug message, the device could not be restored through iTunes or DFU.
Apple acknowledged the issue yesterday in a press statement, suggesting affected users who cannot restore through iTunes should instead contact Apple Support. There is no word on a temporary fix for users who have already been impacted by the problem. It is likely Apple will re-release iOS 9.3.2 for the relevant models soon.
In a press release, Apple has announced it is opening a new development office in Hyderabad, India. The team located here will apparently focus on improving Apple Maps, which is deeply integrated across Apple’s hardware and software as dedicated apps and embedded in other services, like Siri. The new center will create up to 4000 new jobs in the local economy. It is currently unclear as to the nature of the workforce, as Apple has preferred to keep its core software engineering team in California with most working solely in Cupertino.
Economic Daily News is reporting that Apple suppliers have begun hiring en-masse this month as they prepare for assembly of Apple’s upcoming flagship iPhone, the iPhone 7. The new iPhones (coming in 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch sizes) are expected to debut in the fall, following tradition. The report comes via CNBC.
Interestingly, the report notes that the surge in hiring at Foxconn and Pegatron is happening earlier than usual (‘at least a month earlier’). Apparently, the new Apple iPhone includes a ‘more complex design’ than previous models meaning suppliers need more time to train staff about the assembly process. This somewhat contradicts previous leaks in the rumor mill which indicated the iPhone 7 would look very similar to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus …
Apple just released iOS 9.3.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update weighs in at around 80 MB, although there are seemingly no new features. The update, as indicated by the version number, includes various bug fixes and security enhancements for iOS. Check Settings to update now. iOS 9.3.2 includes a critical bug fix for iPhone SE users with Bluetooth accessories; users were reporting audio quality issues. This is fixed with the new update.
As reported earlier, Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting Beijing, China this week. The earlier Reuters report suggested Cook was intending to talk with government officials about company matters amidst increasing tensions between the country and Apple, following trademark disputes and the ban on iTunes Movies and iBooks content.
On Monday, though, Cook met with Chinese app developers at an Apple Store. The talk was hosted by Jean Lui, president of taxi company Didi Chuxing, of which Apple has invested $1 billion dollars. A plethora of Chinese app publishers were in attendance, including a Groupon-esque clone ‘Meituan’, photo app MeituPic, news provider Toutia.com, cooking app DayDayCook and game developer Tap4Fun (via CNBC).
Apple has officially acknowledged community reports of inadvertently deleted music, with users left with missing tracks in their libraries that may never be recovered, in a statement to iMore. The company says that it is pushing an iTunes update next week with ‘safeguards’ to pre-emptively prevent data loss.
However, Apple says it cannot reproduce the issue in internal testing so the forthcoming iTunes update is not guaranteed to work. It also means that the exact cause of the bug is still unknown, although it appears to be a problem with the iTunes desktop app misbehaving rather than the Apple Music streaming service.
Taylor Swift is continuing her partnership with Apple Music, with yet another ad featuring the singer and the streaming service. The new minute-long commercial features Taylor Swift dancing around to ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness.
Swift demonstrates using the Apple Music discovery features (via the ‘Friday Night Rocks!’ playlist) to find the track. The ad ends with the slogan ‘Dance like no one’s watching’. Watch the ad after the jump …
Reuters is reporting that Apple CEO Tim Cook will visit China later in May to meet with government officials and address current tensions between Apple and China, seen by many as the main driver of revenue growth for the company going forward.
Apple has faced some significant setbacks in China in the last few weeks. The company has had to stop selling iBooks and iTunes Movies in the region following new governmental policy that restricts online publishing. Apple also ceded exclusive rights to the iPhone trademark after losing a court case, although it plans to appeal.
Apple is today introducing an Apple Music plan aimed at students. The service is identical in features to the standard plan but rather than paying $9.99 per month, qualifying students can subscribe to Apple Music for $4.99 per month. The offering is rolling out today in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and more countries (via TechCrunch). Prices vary per region but the discount should be around 50% of the normal Apple Music price.
To qualify, students must be currently attending an eligible university or college and gain the discount for up to four years. Apple has partnered with UNiDAYs to verify people who sign up to the student plan are legitimate students attending a school.
In a statement, Apple has said that it will appeal a Chinese trademark ruling which saw the company lose exclusive rights to the iPhone name, allowing other Chinese companies to use the name for leather goods products. Obviously, the iPhone is Apple’s cash cow so the initial ruling was a big blow allowing legal dilution of its most-valuable brand.
Apple will take the appeal to the Supreme People’s court, the highest court in the Chinese law system …
The iPhone 7 had been rumored to be dropping the analog 3.5 mm headphone jack, in favour of wireless Bluetooth or Lightning cable headphones for audio output. However, a new iPhone 7 component leak posted on Weibo disagrees with previous reports, depicting a board that includes a 3.5mm jack (in the top right of the photo above).
The 3.5mm jack is large (relative to the thinness of the phone), dates back more than a hundred years and has been superseded in terms of signal quality by the modern digital solutions, so it is plausible that Apple would want to abandon it. However, the idea of removing the port has been controversial (with complaints about existing accessory compatibility). This Chinese leak indicates it is sticking around …