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.
Very sketchy images have surfaced showing off supposed future iPhone product packaging, raising the potential of Apple calling a new iPhone the iPhone 6 SE. Whether this is meant as a successor to the 4 inch iPhone SE or the ‘real’ name for the iPhone 7, due to be announced early next month, is unclear. An upgrade to the iPhone SE is not expected and has not been rumored, as the device only launched a few months ago.
Update: More photos from Priceraja, including a look at the pamphlet.
AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson will soon announce that a consortium of 33 companies, including Apple, AT&T, Google and Comcast are joining the FCC in an effort to crack down on phone call spam made by robots, according to Reuters. In the inaugural “Robocall Strike Force” meeting, the companies will announce their initial plans on how to stop US phone owners from receiving advertorial spam run by automated machines …
The Australian banks have been denied permission to act as a monopolistic cartel in the country, preventing them from negotiating collectively with Apple over Apple Pay terms for the time being as reported by Reuters. Australian banks are resisting adoption of Apple’s mobile payment solution (available in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s), referring to hefty fees and loss of customer control.
Apple says that the banks are being anti-competitive by blocking the introduction of innovative payment technologies like Apple Pay. The banks want to force Apple to open up the NFC chip to third-party developers, which Apple says would cripple the security standards of its platform.
With Twitter winning the bid for Thursday night NFL football, the company is keen to get its live streaming content in front of eyeballs. This apparently includes Apple TV, according to a report by the New York Times. Twitter is holding talks with Apple regarding a new app which would enable Apple TV customers to watch NFL live through the Twitter app.
Apple is going to shake up the iPad lineup in a big way in 2017, according to securities analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo. Next year, Apple will reportedly release three new iPads, a 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2, a low cost 9.7 inch iPad and — most interestingly — a new iPad Pro with a 10.5 inch display, a new screen size for Apple’s tablet range. With a diagonal increase of just 0.8 inches over the 9.7 inch iPad, its unclear at this stage what will justify the introduction of another SKU.
Perhaps, the device will stay the same physical shape but feature an edge-to-edge screen, enabling Apple to increase the screen size slightly. An edge-to-edge iPad display would mirror the rumored revolutionary glass redesign currently expected for iPhone 8, which would also debut next year. Further into the future, Kuo also reports that the iPad will follow the iPhone in adopting OLED technology screens starting in 2018 …
In a continuation of the Fast Company interview from Monday, Apple execs Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi discuss in detail the issues Apple Maps faced when it launched and how the company responded. Interviewed by Rick Tetzeli, Cue explains the problems Apple encountered with Maps: “it just never ends”. Cue says that Maps is an endless task as businesses open and close, POIs and streets change, etcetera. Initially, Apple’s engineering processes did not account for this kind of dynamic activity.
However, Cue says Apple now uses data from customer iPhones to constantly make Maps better. For example, Apple can find out if a new golf course has opened by tracking user App Store downloads. If a burst of iOS users start downloading golfing apps in the same location, Apple can reasonably assume a new POI has been setup.
Apple has made a formal complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in response to resistance from Australian financial institutions to adopt Apple Pay. Apple says the country’s three largest banks have formed a monopolistic cartel and are collectively dictating terms of new payment business models, like Apple Pay.
It also rejected the request from banks to let them have access to the NFC radio and create alternate contactless payment systems on top of the iPhone. Apple says doing so would compromise the security of its platform as it mandates very high standards when customers make payments on Apple systems.
Over the weekend, a few photos appear to show that the iPhone 7 will indeed come in a new Space Black color variant, as previously rumored. The black chassis, SIM tray and mute button we saw earlier pictured are markedly darker than the Space Grey color seen with iPhone 6s. The exact source of these new images is unclear.
The new black color mirrors the Space Black option for Apple Watch. It is unclear if the Space Black iPhone 7 would be released alongside the Space Grey color option, or if it would replace it in the lineup.
Apple Watch 2 is indeed imminent, according to reliable Apple analyst KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo. Although there have been a lack of leaks about the upcoming new Watch, KGI says the device will launch in late 2016 (likely announced alongside the iPhone 7 in September) and feature several flagship changes.
The new Apple Watch will include a GPS, barometer, waterproofing beyond what is already touted with Apple Watch 1 as well as a new internal SoC for faster performance. However, KGI does not expect the physical design of the watch to change with this generation.
The removal of the 3.5mm analogue headphone jack from the iPhone 7 is well documented at this point. What is less clear is what Apple will offer as a replacement for new iPhone buyers. There have been rumors (and alleged photos) of Lightning EarPods to be bundled in the box … but there has also been rumors of Apple developing Bluetooth headphones too.
A report from Forbes says Apple has been working on an in-house custom designed Bluetooth chip for several years. The Apple Bluetooth component focuses on power efficiency and could enable Apple to debut new wireless headphones with really long battery life, perhaps in concert with the iPhone 7 launch — expected release date is September 16th.
Apple is adding a lot of new emoji in iOS 10 as well as redesigning the most popular icons to a modern style, as seen in iOS 10 beta 4 which just dropped for developers.
iOS 10 includes over 100 new emoji in total with new female gender options for athletes and professionals, new family characters and redesigns of the most popular emojis. Here’s all the new emoji …
Apple continues to experiment in the social media space to promote its businesses and products. In this vein, iBooks has launched its own official Instagram account this weekend. Apple is using the photo-centric social network to share book artwork, quotes, min-reviews and more. Interestingly, none of the posts so far feature call-to-action links where users can directly purchase the promoted novels from iBooks itself.
It appears to be using a more subtle marketing approach, raising awareness of books which users can then lookup and buy from the iBookstore if they choose.
In a report by Bloomberg, Apple is said to be preparing an update to its iOS Apple Store app, where customers can buy Apple’s hardware and accessories online. The new update will feature recommendations for suggested purchases, in a new ‘For You’ tab (mirroring Apple Music).
The privacy implications of the move are unclear; Apple will use a customer’s purchase history to suggest additional relevant products for them to buy, a tactic already heralded by most other online stores like Amazon. For example, if a user buys a set of Philips Hue lightbulbs, the app may also suggest adding other smart lighting HomeKit products to their cart, from the same range as well as other brands like the Lutron light systems, for instance.
The Wall Street Journal has posted an extensive report detailing Apple’s many attempts at getting serious about a TV product. This includes both hardware and software: the article says Apple did consider building a physical TV set at one stage. On the media front, the report says Apple’s harsh terms have put off the cable networks from getting onboard.
The article includes several choice anecdotes regarding Apple SVP Eddy Cue. In one case, Cue curtly responded to a cable network execs that “time is on my [Apple’s] side”. More after the jump …
Following the earnings report yesterday, Apple company stock has popped 7% as investors were pleased with Apple’s guidance for the September quarter and total revenue drop for fiscal Q3 was lower than anticipated.
This means Apple stock is back into triple digits, after fleeting the $101 mark briefly last week. The stock opened this morning at $103, up significantly from yesterdays close os ~$97
iOS 10 includes a lot of new flagship features, from iMessage apps to a Siri SDK, as well as a lot of small tweaks and enhancements. The WebKit blog is highlighting one of these small feature changes, which makes watching animated GIFs on the web way better with iOS 10.
A lot of GIFs today are actually encoded as videos as GIF itself is a very bad format for animated content despite its popularity. However, Apple has imposed many restrictions on how videos behave in iPhone Safari such as requiring user interaction for playback to start until now. Up until iOS 9, many websites displayed GIFs as <video> elements but were held back by the limitations Apple enforced. With iOS 10, silent videos can now autoplay in the page, perfect for animated GIFs …
As rumors about what the ‘iPhone 7’ update will include have reached wide consensus (similar design to iPhone 6s, redesigned antenna lines, new cameras, removal of headphone jack), news about availability and release date are starting to surface. Evan Blass, @evleaks, said he believes the iPhone 7 will be released week of September 12. Over the weekend, he strengthened his claim by indicating that his claim is referring to the retail release date, specifically that the new iPhone will go on sale on Friday, September 16th …
The iPhone 7 leaks continue in the run up to the launch expected sometime in early September. As has been widely reported by now, both the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 and the 5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus will include significant camera upgrades with the latter getting a brand-new dual camera system. In a new photo leak from Weibo, the separate cameras (rumoured to be dual 12 megapixel sensors) are clearly visible. The redesigned camera with ~25% larger iris for the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 can also be seen although technical specifications of the new component is unknown.
A separate Weibo post also includes a 30-second clip comparing the Rose Gold iPhone 7 to a Rose Gold iPhone 6s with all the characteristics we’ve come to expect from an iPhone 7 leak. Watch the video below after the jump …
Rounding out the major launch countries, Pokémon GO has hit Japan — the home nation of Nintendo and Pokémon. Due to the major cultural significance of the company and intellectual property behind Pokémon, developers are expecting Pokémon GO to be a big hit in the region.
The launch in Japan also has knock-on effects for the player base in the rest of the world as it shows how the game plans to add advertising to the game for additional monetization. In Japan, 3000 McDonald’s outlets have been turned into sponsored Pokémon gyms where players can go and take over the area after battling.