Apple iPhone 6 unboxing and first impressions (Video)

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Today we’re taking a look at Apple’s iPhone 6. Anxious fans queued up at Apple Stores across the world to get their hands on the latest and greatest from Cupertino. Apple has bumped up the display size to 4.7-inches on the iPhone 6 and also added a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus model for phablet fans. For a closer look, be sure to check out our first impressions video

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Startup turns the iPhone into a portable optometrist office for quick field eye exams and prescriptions

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It seems like every week there is another revolutionary use of smartphones with the potential to change the way we do things. Smart Vision Labs has created such an invention with the help of the iPhone and its low-light 8-megapixel camera.  In short, what it does is enable is quick and inexpensive eye prescription diagnosis with a portable lens hooked up to an iPhone. The invention allows doctors to carry around in their pockets what used to require a visit to the optometrist’s office.

This week, we spoke with Smart Vision Labs co-founder Marc Albanese. Check out our interview and demo in the video below. Read more

Apple halfway to solving regulatory holdup delaying iPhone 6 launch in China

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Reuters is reporting that Apple has now received one of the two licences needed to allow it to sell the iPhone 6 in China. There is no word yet on the second licence required before the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be launched in this hugely important market.

Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval for use on domestic frequencies but still requires one more critical licence before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday [...]

Apple still needs to obtain a critical network access licence for the iPhone, after which sales may begin, Xinhua said …

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iMovie for iOS updated with iOS 8 support, video filters, clip speed settings, and more

Update: Apple seems to have temporarily pulled this update in order to fix widely-reported crashes. It will likely be available again soon.
Update 2: It’s back now.

Apple has pushed out an updated version of iMovie for iOS (version 2.1) today that features support for the newly-released iOS 8 software and several other new features. The update includes 10 new Apple-designed filters that can be applied to your clips, speed settings for projects on newer iOS devices (iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini), as well as iCloud Drive support.

You can also now export your videos to other apps using iOS 8’s inter-app connectivity features. An iMovie extension for the Photos application allows you to enhance the videos in your camera roll without leaving the app. Titles can now be created with bi-directional text, and support for five languages has been added.

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Apple releases iOS 8 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

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After more than three months in beta, iOS 8 brings actionable notifications, improved group chat support, new picture and voice messaging features in Messages, Continuity and Handoff, third-party Today widgets in Notification Center, sharing extensions and much more. Apple has released iOS 8 for almost all of its devices that run iOS 7. The full list of supported devices is as follows:

  • iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad with Retina Display, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display
  • iPod touch, fifth-generation

iOS 8 is now available as an over-the-air update or through iTunes. Go to Settings -> Software Update on your iOS device to update right now. Naturally, iOS 8 will come preinstalled on Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6 and the 6 Plus, when they are delivered later this week.

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If you have an iPhone 4s, you might want to hold back on iOS 8

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Ars Technica has done some field tests using an iPhone 4s running iOS 8. Although the operating system runs decently, there are definitely some drawbacks that might stop iPhone 4s users from hitting update right away.

As shown in the chart, the OS performs more slowly across the board when opening apps. Safari took almost twice as long to launch, when compared with iOS 7.1.2. Camera took 1.8 seconds on iOS 8 versus 1.5 on 7.1.2. Just upgrading adds an extra 3 seconds onto boot time, although that is done so infrequently on an iPhone it probably doesn’t matter. In addition to slower app loading, it’s important to note that iPhone 4s users can’t benefit from every single feature.

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Credit Suisse estimates iPhone 6 earns lowest ever margins but predicts 14 percent revenue growth

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Credit Suisse analysts have estimated that Apple is making a smaller margin on the iPhone 6 than on any previous model – but predicts that the impact will be offset by year-on-year revenue growth of 14 percent, reports Quartz.

The iPhone 6 costs Apple $350.60 to produce, all in. Apple typically receives $599 on the retail price of $649, leaving it with $248.40 in gross profit. That’s 41.5%. Still very healthy, but not at the levels of previous models.

In contrast, the iPhone 5s left Apple with $274.30, giving it a 45.8% margin. The two-year-old iPhone 5 gave Apple $293.70 per unit, or 49% …

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The five reasons Apple never intended to use sapphire displays on the iPhone 6 – Time

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Time is reporting that, in contrast to the many rumors (and GTAT investor claims), Apple had never planned to use sapphire displays for the iPhone 6, and the company may not use it for future iPhones.

Some reports stated that up until a few weeks before the iPhone announcement, Apple was going to use sapphire but dropped it because of yield issues. This is not true. My sources tell me that sapphire was never targeted for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and its role in future iPhones hasn’t even been decided yet.

Speculation about sapphire displays for the iPhone 6 began when Apple built a major new manufacturing facility in Arizona last November. But Time‘s Tim Bajarin says that while the scratch-resistance of the material may have made it sound superficially appealing, there were no fewer than five reasons it would not have made sense to use the material for the iPhone 6 display …

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iPhone 6 production by the numbers: 100 production lines, 200k workers, 540k phones a day

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The WSJ revealed some iPhone 6 production numbers as Foxconn struggles to meet demand from pre-orders: the company is operating around 100 production lines around the clock, has 200,000 workers dedicated to production of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – and is manufacturing 540,000 units a day.

“We have been churning out 140,000 iPhone 6 Plus and 400,000 iPhone 6 every day, the highest daily output ever, but the volume is still not enough to meet the preorders,” said a person familiar with the matter …

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Review: T-Mobile’s $25 Personal CellSpot is a no-brainer for Magenta customers and handover Wifi calling may even win some converts

In all of the hoopla over the new iPhone 6/Plus, T-Mobile in the US and EE in the UK got themselves a pretty big exclusive (for now). T-Mobile has been offering Wifi calling for years but it’s recently come to the iPhone – and with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, gets even better with cell/wifi handover. (T-Mobile partnered with Gogo to enable texting and voicemails on participating airline journeys as well).

Wifi calling, for some, may be the type of feature that makes or breaks a carrier relationship. With it, you can make calls anywhere there is a wifi signal. That means basements, country homes and even foreign countries are all now open to making and receiving calls from your carrier phone number… Read more