California governor signs bill requiring all smartphones to have remote killswitches by July 2015

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As we’ve previously covered, the state of California has been in the process of passing a bill that would require all smartphones sold within the state to come with a remote killswitch option to deter thieves. The bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and today it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, as noted by CNET.

The law goes into effect in July 2015, and will require all smartphones sold within the state to include an option for remotely disabling a stolen device. Apple has already met the requirements of this law with its Activation Lock and Find My iPhone services, but now such features will be required by law on Android, Windows Phone, and other handsets.

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Chinese media get specific on iPhone 6 battery capacity, appears that Apple ‘thinnovation’ will exact a toll

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Much as we may love our iPhones, battery-life has never been one of its strengths (ask Samsung). But if you were hoping that the larger size of the iPhone 6 would mean a much bigger battery, some Chinese media reports spotted by GforGames suggest that we might be disappointed.

The reports claim that the battery in the 4.7-inch model will be in the 1800-1900mAh range – only around 20 percent more than in the iPhone 5s. Factor in the increased power requirement of the larger screen and corresponding increase in resolution, and we might not see a significant boost increase in battery-life …  Read more

These iPhone 6 renders show design details that physical mockups ignore [Gallery]

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For months, physical mockups, display components, front covers, and schematics for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 have leaked on the web. However, the physical reconstructions and diagrams simply do not do the potential design of the redesigned smartphone justice. Based on recent reports and earlier part leaks, designer Mark Pelin has created a set of iPhone 6 design renders that might just be the clearest and nicest looking view of the potential phone. You can see the full image gallery below from Pelin:

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Why won’t Microsoft give iOS users access to their Skype voice messages? (Updated)

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Skype may have recently launched a major update to its Skype for iPhone app, but one rather basic feature went missing – the ability to listen to voice messages. A subsequent update to Skype for iPhone 5.1 still hasn’t fixed the problem.

In a support thread on the Skype site, community manager Claudius provided what must qualify as one of the most unhelpful response ever to complaints by users:

Voice message playback is not supported in Skype 5.0 for iPhone. Please use Skype on another platform to listen to your voice messages …

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Dutch appeals court upholds ban on Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace

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A Dutch appeals court today upheld a 2011 decision that banned the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy S II and Galaxy Ace phones, as noted by Re/code. The devices in question were found to have infringed on Apple’s design in an earlier ruling and blocked from sale.

Apple’s original intent was to get an injunction against all Galaxy devices, but the company was forced to settle instead for just the two devices listed above.

Even though Apple and Google recently decided to settle their differences, thus halting the “thermonuclear warfare” instigated by former CEO Steve Jobs, there’s no indication that Apple plans to stop going after Samsung or other manufacturers directly any time soon. In fact, Samsung was recently found to have infringed on Apple’s design yet again with some of its newer devices and order to pay nearly $120 million in damages.

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iPhone 6 renders based on recent case leaks show off rumored edge-to-edge screen

Nowhereelse.fr has commissioned designer Martin Hajek to mockup the iPhone 6, using the most recent leaks about the upcoming device.

The renders, shown above, use the supposed iPhone cases pictured on Wednesday and leaked schematics from late March to envisage the look of the future iPhone. Naturally, the most striking change is the display, stretching almost edge-to-edge.

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Alleged iPhone 6 cases reflect rumored design changes, repositioned power button

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We’re still months away from Apple’s expected announcement of the iPhone 6, but ambitious manufactures are already designing accessories based on current rumors. Additional silicon cases rumored to fit the iPhone 6 were recently published on NoWhereElse and provide a closer look at some of the device’s possible design changes.

The case pictured above has slightly rounded edges, similar to the 5th generation iPod touch or iPhone 5c, and are consistent with previous rumors. As we’ve seen in recent accessory leaks, the case also features a repositioned power button and thin oblong volume buttons similar to an iPod touch. It has also been rumored that Apple’s iPhone 6 will feature a larger 4.7-inch display.

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Sketchy photo of an iPhone 6 front panel appears on Chinese forum (Update: additional photos)

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A picture claiming to be of an “iPhone 6″ front panel has surfaced on a Chinese forum after being posted without context on Weibo. Details surrounding the image are not clear, but the forum poster claims that it originates from within an iPhone ‘factory’. The image was first found by iphon.fr.

Compared to the iPhone 5s, as shown above, the screen size is noticeably larger. It appears to feature a screen approximately 4.7 inches diagonally, as previously rumored.

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Amazon reportedly announcing first smartphone in June, will feature glasses-free 3D

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to announce its first entry to the smartphone market in June. The possibility of an Amazon phone has been a long-running rumor, but recently sources claimed that the company had partnered with HTC to finally produce the device.

Following the launch of the Fire TV earlier this month, the Amazon phone will mark the second of Apple’s product categories the online retailer hopes to invade in 2014. With its Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon has been attempting to position itself to compete with the iPad for a few years.

The Amazon device will reportedly feature a display capable of creating 3D images without the need for glasses, according to the WSJ report:

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More North American consumers than ever planning to buy the iPhone 6, says survey

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A large-scale survey from 451 Research that tracks North American consumer purchase intentions shows that the percentage of those likely to buy the iPhone 6 is markedly higher than was the case for both the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. In all three cases, the survey tracked intentions prior to any official announcement by Apple, providing a like-for-like comparison.

A total of 40 percent of the 4,109 consumers question said that they were likely to buy the iPhone 6, compared to 33 percent for the iPhone 5 and 26 percent for the iPhone 5s …  Read more