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.
Swift creator and ex-head of Apple developer tools Chris Lattner is a special guest on this week’s episode of the Accidental Tech Podcast, following the announcement that he is leaving the company to join Tesla as a VP of the Autopilot self-driving features.
Lattner talks about his general career at Apple, from compiler manager to senior director, the invention of Swift language and how it was brought up from within Apple to become its new premier development language, debuting at WWDC in Swift 1.0. The interview gives some insight into how new projects at Apple are made and managed …
Apple is rising the prices for apps and in-app purchases in a few countries following changes to exchange rates and taxation policy, with customers in India, Turkey and the United Kingdom to see price increases.
In the United Kingdom, one of Apple’s largest markets, app prices are rising up more than 25% following the weak pound exchange rate after the Brexit vote. An app sold for $0.99 in the US will now cost £0.99 in the UK, up from £0.79.
The iPhone 8 is being fabled by all sides as a major upgrade, following three years of the same chassis design for the iPhone. One of the flagship iPhone 7 features was the addition of waterproofing.
Along with a glass chassis redesign and bezel-less screen, The Korea Herald reports that the new iPhone will also best the iPhone 7 with even higher resistance to water and dust.
On the Backchannel blog, Steven Levy has posted a concise interview with Apple SVP Phil Schiller timed with the iPhone’s tenth anniversary. The post includes Levy’s anecdotes about Steve Jobs back in 2007 at the original iPhone launch followed up with some questions to Schiller about the success of the iPhone looking back and looking forward.
Regarding voice-only personal assistant devices like the Amazon Echo’s Alexa, Schiller says that the best intelligent assistant is the one that’s always with you, and that you can’t discount the value of a color display to present information …
The Mixtile Hub is the first smart home hub that can bridge existing smart accessories from other popular home automation protocols, like ZigBee and Z-Wave, and bring them into the HomeKit ecosystem. This means customers will be able to view various accessories in the Home app and control them with Siri voice commands, even if they weren’t designed for HomeKit originally.
The hub, announced at CES, appears to be the first of its kind consumer product although Focalcrest didn’t announce when the product would actually go on sale. The current workaround solution involves running a hacky network server whereas the Mixtile is MFi-licensed and should be as easy to setup as any other HomeKit product.
Update: Apple has confirmed that the pictured iPhone is in fact a silver iPhone 7. A combination of harsh lighting and Instagram filters make it look much whiter than it really is. Original story below for reference …
A photo posted to the official Beats by Dre Instagram page has led some people to suggest that the rumors of a new ‘Jet White’ iPhone 7 are real. The photo is certainly convincing at first glance, depicting an iPhone with a stark white finish and black Apple logo (pictured left). The possibility of a new white iPhone 7 finish, to be released before the iPhone 8 in the fall, was first raised by a report in November.
However, it is unlikely that Beats will leak a new iPhone design ahead of an official unveiling by Apple. Given the device’s characteristics, it seems like what is pictured is actually a silver iPhone 6s or an iPhone 5c …
Apple has updated its iOS 10 usage statistics, which tracks the operating system version used by iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices that visit the App Store. The company now says that more than three quarters of the iOS device user base are running iOS 10, at 76%, with iOS 9 sitting at 18%.
This is an increase of more than 13 percentage points since the chart was last updated in late November. Apple has previously said that iOS 10 had the highest adoption rate ever of any release.
ViewSonic has announced three new high-end displays for 2017 including a 31-inch 4K with ‘frameless’ design and a 37-inch curved 4K model. It is also launching a cheaper 27-inch QHD display. Two of the new monitors feature USB-C connectivity which means a single cable acts as the display connector, provides power and some I/O thanks to the integrated USB hub.
The displays seem well positioned as professional monitors for Apple customers with the new USB-C only MacBook Pro. The good looks come at a price though: the 4K models cost upwards of $1300. ViewSonic says the new displays will be available in June …
Apple has just announced that the holiday season set another new record for the App Store with app sales on the 1st January 2017 topping $240 million. Across December, Apple customers made $3 billion worth of purchases from the App Store.
In total, the company announced developers made $20 billion from the App Store across 2016, up 40% compared to the previous year. Top markets includes the US, UK, Japan and China with 90 percent revenue growth compared to 2015 …
Joining the crowd of Thunderbolt 3 products announced at CES 2017, CalDigit has announced a new generation of its Thunderbolt 3 USB-C dock designed for the new MacBook Pro. As well as a range of I/O ports (for 5K displays, dual 4K displays, eSATA and more) the TS3 Dock will feature 85 W power — this means it can fully charge the new MacBook Pro whilst in use.
The TS3 is the successor to CalDigit’s existing Thunderbolt 2 Dock. The new dock is available to preorder now with availability for ‘Q1 2017’ …
Rumors for the next-generation Apple Watch have begun, whilst the latest Apple Watch Series 2 models continue to be supply constrained. The report from Chinese media Economic Daily News, via Digitimes, indicates that Quanta will manufacture the ‘Apple Watch Series 3’ (name unknown) with a release in the third quarter of 2017.
However, the report is pessimistic on the inclusion of major new features for the Apple Watch citing minor improvements, in performance and battery life.
December 23, 2016
Spotify has updated its Mac client app today featuring integration with the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar for the first time, with a similar experience to the iTunes Touch Bar interface. Spotify continues to lead in the streaming music space with 40 million paid subscribers, Apple Music currently touts 20 million customers on the $9.99/month subscription plan.
The Spotify app now shows transport, shuffle and search controls in the Touch Bar whilst the app is frontmost as well as integration with Now Playing for persistent access to playback options whilst music is playing in the background. Moreover, Spotify now supports the Apple AirPods auto-pause feature.
December 21, 2016
Super Mario Run launched last week with much anticipation, as Nintendo’s first real entrance into the iOS gaming market. Today, Apple and Nintendo have announced that the game has set a new App Store record with more than 40 million downloads in four days. The game continues to rank #1 for Top Free and Top Grossing in the App Store.
December 20, 2016
Apple has now activated in-store pickup on its website as another way to buy Apple AirPods from retail stores. If you are lucky, your local store might just have some units in stock and you can go and collect them today. If you are desperate to buy AirPods before Christmas, it’s worth refreshing your local pickup options as retail stores are getting new shipments all the time.
AirPods are also now being sold on Verizon’s website, which is another place where you might be able to buy some before the end of 2016. They were briefly available with two-day shipping this morning. eBay scalpers continue to sell AirPods with Christmas availability at inflated prices.
For UK readers, Carphone Warehouse is now selling AirPods for £159 with free Christmas delivery if you order before the 23rd.
The Apple AirPods are a marvel of miniaturization, packing a lot of features into a small and light body. iFixit has completed its teardown of the AirPod earbuds and case revealing all the tiny chips, components and circuity hidden inside the plastic.
Perhaps most interestingly, the earbuds each contain a tiny 93 milliwatt battery — that’s 1% the size of an iPhone battery. Fitting so much stuff into a small product comes at a cost though; iFixit says the AirPods are not repairable or recyclable.
Yesterday, we shared a video of a marathon runner testing the real-world resilience of the AirPods as fitness workout headphones. Apple doesn’t claim that the wireless earbuds are waterproof so there were some fears that they would be ruined by sweat or simply fall out.
These concerns appear unfounded as the AirPods excelled in that test and now another video show the AirPod earbuds and case going through multiple drop tests, water submersion and even a washing machine cycle with detergent. Incredibly, they still work after all of that with only minor scuffs …
December 19, 2016
I’ve been looking forward to using Apple’s wireless earbuds, AirPods, ever since they were teased at the iPhone 7 event. They gripped me as something that is quintessentially Apple; a streamlining of earbuds as far as they can go, headphones stripped to the bare essentials.
I just got my new Apple AirPods delivered this morning and I’m happy to say they seem to be living up to my expectations a few hours in. Here’s my first impressions ..
If you weren’t in the festive holiday spirit already, Apple is launching its legal challenge this week to oppose a 13 billion euro charge levied on the company in August by the EU Commission for supposed illegal tax benefits from Ireland.
Apple will argue that the EU ignored tax experts and disregarded corporate law. Bruce Sewell, Apple SVP, said that the company was targeted to ‘generate lots of headlines’ in a statement.
Apple AirPods wireless headphones are now being delivered to customers and the usual bevy of real-world tests have started hitting YouTube. One interesting test is from Daniel Garcia, who takes the AirPods on a hilly mountain run to see how they work as earbuds for fitness workouts in terms of comfort, secure fit and battery life.
He came away impressed; the AirPods stayed in his ears throughout the jogging and sprinting in windy conditions. Watch the video after the jump …
December 18, 2016
Apple’s new iPhone for next year is widely expected to be a radical departure from the existing aluminium and glass design. A report from the Korea Herald indicates that the new display in next year’s major new phone, currently dubbed iPhone 8 by the rumor mill, will be a plastic OLED panel that curves ‘all over’.
This report reaffirms the idea of Apple introducing three new phones in 2017: one flagship OLED-display device and two less-radical models (iPhone 7s?) that resemble the existing iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.