Benjamin Mayo

@bzamayo

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.

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February 21

AAPL: 136.70

0.98
Stock Chart

A report from TrendForce today reinforces most of the rumors being floated for the radically new iPhone 8 as well as a few new details. The report says the high-end iPhone will include a 5.8 inch display but will not be curved, due to yield issues. The physical home button will go away to make room for more screen, reaffirming the rumor that the iPhone 8 screen aspect ratio will exceed 2:1 with a body size similar to the 4.7 inch iPhone 7.

TrendForce also says that the phone will have 3 GB RAM, the same as the iPhone 7 Plus, and will be available in two storage sizes: 64 GB and 256 GB. It says the 3D sensing features will service face recognition and augmented reality applications.

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Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 is going to feature a major upgrade to the front camera, according to Apple analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. A report published today says that the OLED iPhone will include a ‘revolutionary’ front camera and Infrared module that can sense the 3D space in front of it.

The analyst says the new components will be able to merge the depth information with the 2D images from the front camera for applications including face recognition, iris recognition, and 3D selfies …

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February 16

AAPL: 135.35

-0.17
Stock Chart

Last night, reliable Apple analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo posted his latest assessment of the iPhone 8 detailing the addition of a virtual function area replacing the physical Home button. However, the report also included screen resolution specs which help draw some additional insight.

KGI’s numbers imply that the iPhone 8 will have a pixel density around 521 PPI, far higher than the existing iPhone lineup (iPhone 7 PPI is ~320). It also seems likely that Apple will use Retina assets at 3x scale, packing Plus features into a body the same size as the 4.7 inch phones …

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9to5toys 

Apple has announced it is holding WWDC 2017 from June 5th to June 9th, with a big change from previous years: the conference will be held in San Jose, at the McEnery Convention Center.

At WWDC, Apple unveils the next major versions of its software operating systems. This year, expect the announcement of including iOS 11, macOS 10.13 as well as updates to tvOS and watchOS.

The 2017 conference marks a big shift in location — Apple typically holds WWDC in San Francisco — but it seems the logistics of the conference will otherwise be the same. Registration for tickets will start on March 27.

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Apple is testing a new version of the Apple TV set-top box for release ‘as soon as this year’, according to Bloomberg. The box is apparently codenamed ‘J105’ and would be an incremental upgrade over the current fourth-generation box with new internals to support output at ultra-high definition 4K resolution.

The report also details many of Apple’s internal attempts to revolutionize the living room, which are yet to see the light of day. Bloomberg says Apple considered building an MFi game controller with the Apple TV, for example …

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February 15

AAPL: 135.51

0.49
Stock Chart

D-Link has just announced that the first smart home security camera with HomeKit integration is now available to buy from Apple Online Store with delivery from next week. The Omna 180 Cam HD features a wide angle 1080p camera with night vision and two way audio, enclosed in a sleek cylindrical body.

It integrates with the latest HomeKit features in iOS 10 displaying a live video feed from the Home app. It can even send a rich notification to your iPhone when motion is detected, including video of the event.

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9to5google 

Pokémon Go is adding over 80 new Pokémon this week, from the Generation II Gold and Silver games. All of them will be available to catch in the wild whilst playing Pokémon Go, not just from hatching eggs. You will be able to evolve some of the Kanto Pokémon you’ve already caught into their Johto successors.

The expanded Pokédex will be accompanied by a host of new features, coming in an app update later this week …

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February 14

AAPL: 135.02

1.73
Stock Chart

Eddy Cue’s interview at Code Media conference contained the usual dodges regarding new Apple products like VR hardware and Apple’s attempts at negotiating with cable companies, but he was surprisingly blunt about Apple’s interest in the podcast space.

Cue said that the company is “working on new features for podcasts, stay tuned.” In spring last year, it was reported that Apple was soliciting feedback from select podcasters about ways to improve podcasts in the iOS/iTunes ecosystem.

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All four products in the announced Apple W1 lineup of wireless headphones and earbuds are now available: the Beats Solo3 headphones, the Powerbeats3, the BeatsX and the truly wireless Apple AirPods.

Wireless headphones are becoming the defacto choice for Apple users, with the iPhone 7 dropping the analog headphone jack. Apple Watch can also only pair with wireless music devices.

We don’t know what the future holds for the W1 chip, perhaps more manufacturers will be allowed to use it, but the product range is already diversified with what’s available today, spanning different form factors, audio quality, convenience, innovation and price points.

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electrek 

February 13

AAPL: 133.29

1.17
Stock Chart

A new report from KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that the upcoming iPhone 8 will be about the same physical size as the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 and yet pack a much bigger battery, comparable to the 2700 mAH battery in iPhone 7 Plus.

With reports indicating the OLED iPhone screen is circa 5.5 inches, it seems that the ‘no bezels’ rumor is true as its the only way the device would be able to be similar in physical width and height to a 4.7 inch iPhone.

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Samsung has signed a deal with Apple to make 160 million OLED panels for the company’s next-generation iPhone, according to the Korea Herald. The iPhone 8 will likely debut in the fall with an OLED screen and Apple needs all the panels it can get for its new flagship phone.

The iPhone 8 is expected to distance itself from the iPhone 7 with a radical new all-glass design, an OLED screen between 5.2-5.8 inches, wireless charging. Rumors indicate the phone will have almost no bezels with the Touch ID home button somehow integrated into the screen.

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February 12

AAPL: 132.12

-0.30
Stock Chart

Verizon is bringing back its unlimited data plans. With the new Verizon Unlimited plan launching on Monday, customers can use as much 4G LTE data, send as many texts as they like and talk for as long as they please … for $80 per month. An equivalent uncapped family plan charges $45 per line for 4 people, or $180 monthly.

The ‘unlimited’ plans have a few strings attached, namely hotspot tethering is limited at 10 GB for 4G (will fallback to 3G after) and although data is uncapped, high data users will not be prioritized if the network is congested …

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February 10

AAPL: 132.12

-0.30
Stock Chart

Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey has responded to the legal dispute taking place between Apple and the major Australian banks, in an interview with AFR.com. Bailey revealed that participating customers in Australia use the contactless payment service more frequently than any other country, and that the holdout banks do not fully understand the benefits of Apple Pay yet.

Bailey says customers are prepared to switch banks in order to use Apple Pay, which should help Apple wield its bargaining power. In fact, a handful of smaller Australian banks have signed up to Apple Pay as of today …

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9to5toys 

WhatsApp, the popular free cross-platform messaging app, is today launching a two-step verification security feature for all users of the service. The feature adds an additional layer of protection by requiring a passcode when resetting and verifying your account.

This combats a recent hack where if your phone number was hijacked somehow, your WhatsApp account would be available meaning crooks could freely read your private messages and conversations. Two Step Verification requires setting up a six-digit passcode and an optional backup email address. Here’s how to enable it …

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Update: Tim Cook has also visited Apple’s flagship Regent Street store today (photo after the jump).

Tim Cook’s Europe tour is not over just yet. Cook met the UK Prime Minister yesterday, discussing Apple’s UK investment commitments. Cook said he believes Britain will be just fine after Brexit, when the country leaves the European Union, even if there are some ‘bumps in the road along the way’.

Cook then met the Mayor of London, as well as visiting a London school that uses iPads in the classroom and saw a digital artwork exhibition at the Tate Britain gallery. As usual, he documented his tour on Twitter …

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February 9

AAPL: 132.42

0.95
Stock Chart

A new report from KGI predicts that all new iPhone models introduced in 2017 will feature wireless charging, on both the redesigned iPhone 8 and the iterative iPhone 7 devices expected to debut in the fall.

KGI has mentioned the addition of wireless charging previously. Today’s report reaffirms it will be available on all three new models after some reports to the contrary, not merely limited to the premium OLED device. However, the analyst warns there may be higher costs in production, especially with the 3D Touch sensor …

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9to5google 

Apple seeded its latest beta of Safari for developers yesterday, as it does every two weeks. Whilst the seeds usually contain little of interest to non-developers, the newest seed (Release 23) includes a few interesting changes.

Most notably, it includes Mac laptop battery life improvements for WebGL content by relying less on the dedicated GPU.

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For an operating system as simple as iOS, it’s surprising how much stuff can appear in the 20px status bar almost always visible when using an iPhone or iPad. Ever since the Apple Watch came out, I’ve had a bit of a pet peeve that the Bluetooth symbol is always visible there as I’m always paired to the watch.

Is it really necessary to show me something that is always there? This leads me into a feature request that isn’t a critical new addition to the system by any means, but a small refinement to polish the iOS experience. I believe the status bar is too cluttered with redundant information and would like to see Apple make it tidier and less busy …

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Following on from an appearance at the University of Glasgow yesterday, Tim Cook was spotted entering 10 Downing Street in London this morning, the home of the UK Prime Minister. A statement from a government representative confirms that Tim Cook did indeed meet with Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 AM GMT this morning.

The meeting covered Apple’s investments in the UK and the importance of digital skills in the workforce. May also outlined her Brexit plan to Cook, which will see the UK leave the European Union by 2019.

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electrek 

Mac security researchers have found two separate instances of new macOS malware making the rounds this week, although the Mac exploit scene still remains far behind the sophisticated worms and trojan horses seen on Windows as noted by ArsTechnica.

One of the new malware exploits relies on an old Windows technique, exploiting code execution inside Word documents using macros. It is believed to be the first of its kind targeted at the Mac platform. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid in large part because it relies on such an old attack vector …

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