New Apple TV software likely coming next week, but don’t expect fresh hardware (yet)

apple-tv-deal

Apple won’t announce a new piece of Apple TV hardware next week (as had been previously rumored), but AllThingsD says that Apple will debut some new software for the existing device. Of course, an Apple TV software update is already expected, but ATD says that there could be some neat new AirPlay-related functionality:

Sources say that one new feature in the works will let people who’ve bought content from Apple play that stuff on other users’ Apple TVs, via Apple’s Airplay system. So if you’ve bought a TV show or movie from Apple’s iTunes store, you could watch it at a friend’s house, by calling it up on your iPhone, and telling your friend’s Apple TV to start streaming it.

The new Apple TV software update will also unlock iTunes Radio, the ability to setup an Apple TV over Bluetooth 4.0, and OS X Mavericks multi-display support.

We’ve heard that Apple has some Apple TV related announcements up its sleeves for the coming months, but major hardware changes aren’t expected until at least next year. Sources say that Apple has been working on ways to control the Apple TV (whether that be a full on display – or just a box) via motion…

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Bob Mansfield reduced role to focus on chips, senior execs given new responsibilities

Executives

Apple executive Bob Mansfield’s unexplained departure from Apple’s leadership team is due to the long-time engineer’s desire to focus on chipset design plus future products and less on executive duties, according to sources with knowledge of the change.

As part of Mansfield’s leave from the executive team and role change to “special projects” under Apple CEO Tim Cook, Mansfield’s former duties as Senior Vice President of Technologies have been split between two Senior VPs: Hardware chief Dan Riccio and Operations head Jeff Williams, according to these sources.

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Corning says sapphire ‘not a major threat’, posts video showing why Gorilla Glass is superior

In case you needed some proof that the rumors of Apple switching from Corning glass to sapphire crystal are unlikely, Corning has posted a video on its website showing how its current Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire for mobile devices.

Recently, speculation has arisen that manufactured sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.  “Sapphire’s performance as a cover for high-end watches probably leads to the current speculation.  But those covers are much smaller than a mobile phone and are two to three times thicker than Gorilla Glass.  In one of our commonly accepted strength tests, sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla Glass after the same simulated use.  Additionally, sapphire’s cost and environmental hit are huge issues,” Steiner said.

There have been a couple rumors floating around that smartphone makers are looking into using sapphire crystal as a replacement for other cover glass solutions. With Apple using the material as a cover for its camera lenses on iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch, some have speculated it could use sapphire for other parts of its devices, such as the display’s cover glass or home button. However, that’s not likely, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is “about half the weight”, requires 99 percent less energy in manufacturing, provides brighter displays, and “costs less than a tenth” of sapphire.  Read more

Class action lawsuit claims iPhone 4 has defective power button nearly three years after its launch

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Nearly three years after the device first launched, GigaOm points us to a recently filed class action lawsuit that claims Apple’s iPhone 4 has a defective power button. The lawsuit claims that a defective flex cable typically causes the on/off switch to fail shortly after the device’s one year warranty has expired. It also claimsApple is aware of the problem, which is costing users around $149 to fix off of warranty.

Apple of course still sells the iPhone 4 through a number of carrier partners as its low end, $0 down iPhone option.

According to the lawsuit, “thousands of iPhone 4 users have suffered” from the issue that Apple allegedly knew existed before manufacturing and selling the device. The problem has never received a lot of mainstream media coverage or a response from Apple, but the lawsuit notes that a support forum on Apple’s website boasts over 800K views since first popping up in January 2011.                                                                                                        
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Job postings suggest Apple to begin chip development in Orlando, Florida, near chip partners AMD and Qualcomm

Several job postings looking for both hardware and software engineers reveal that Apple is looking to begin its own chip development in Orlando, Florida.

Last week we learned that Apple is hiring software engineers to work on fingerprint technology at Authentec in Melbourne, Florida, which is about one hour south of the future site of the company’s development labs.

The job posting are interesting as Samsung, which works with Apple to develop the custom chips used in iPhones and iPads, continues to compete with Apple in the smartphone and tablet space.

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