Follow Benjamin on Twitter to keep up with his latest projects. Benjamin blogs about Apple news and rumors, and posts insightful product and app reviews. Read his work on 9to5Mac and his personal blog.
Apple will run its next special Activity Challenge for Apple Watch owners on Mother’s Day, which takes place on Sunday, May 14. Like with Earth Day or New Years, Watch users will be able to earn a special achievement medal and iMessage sticker (shown above).
The challenge won’t be visible in the Activity app on the iPhone until Friday, although we have found backend references to it in the iOS code. Here’s what you will have to do if you want to earn the reward …
There have been a few reports recently about delays in the production pipeline for Apple’s next-generation iPhones. A new report from Economic Daily News claims that mass production of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7s is on track for the new iPhones to be announced by Apple in September and go on sale in October.
According to EDN, via Digitimes, one of the big issues was manufacturing of the new substrate-like circuit boards set to feature in all three new iPhones. Yields of these components have apparently now been improved.
In a lengthy report from JPMorgan, the analyst uildreaks down its latest predictions about the upcoming 2017 iPhone updates.
The ‘modest upgrade’ iPhone 7s models will reportedly use glass backs in addition to the radical OLED iPhone. It says the OLED display will be edge-to-edge horizontally on the iPhone 8, not vertically (pictures after the jump). The analyst also claims that the iPhone 8 may come bundled with a free pair of wireless AirPods and predicts the total added cost to Apple of all the new technology inside the OLED iPhone …
The discussion touches on Schiller’s management of App Store and Apple’s developer ecosystem, Swift adoption and his thoughts on voice-only assistants like the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Whilst Schiller would not gave any praise to its competitor’s products, he did say that these kind of devices are convenient in some situations …
Off the back of Apple’s earnings, JPMorgan has distributed its latest analyst report on the company’s outlook. Amidst the financial predictions, JPMorgan says that there is a ‘high likelihood’ that Apple will announce the iPhone 8 at WWDC in June.
The analyst believes Apple will preview the new iPhone lineup in June, but the device wouldn’t go on sale until the fall. This is a surprising claim to make given how unlikely it seems, flying in the face of everything else we’ve heard about the 2017 iPhone …
KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has published an industry report today claiming that Apple will likely announce a Siri Speaker product (branding unknown, Kuo calls it ‘Apple’s first home AI product’) at WWDC in June. The device will compete with the Amazon Echo and go on sale in the second half of the year.
Kuo says Apple’s product will feature ‘excellent’ sound with seven tweeters and a subwoofer, and will be positioned as a more premium product than the Echo … with a higher price tag to match.
The latest iPhone 8 leak is an image of a purported case for the device, via KKSneakLeaks. This (admittedly) bare bones clear case gives some clues as to the device’s characteristics by the shape and cutouts in the accessory. Most prominently, the case includes a camera cutout that would snugly fit the vertically-stacked dual camera that we have seen so much in recent weeks.
It also has a noticeably longer power button and notably lacks any hole for a rear Touch ID sensor to reside. This again supports the idea that Apple will successfully integrate the fingerprint scanner into the display, rather than an earlier leak which placed the sensor below the Apple logo on the back. The general proportions of the part also confirms that the physical size of the device is comparable to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7.
Although there are still many doubts about the iPhone 8 rumored design, mocked up above, a new schematic has surfaced on Weibo today. This drawing (embedded after the break below) is a more detailed version of what we saw yesterday and includes label annotations for many components.
The new dual front and (vertical) back cameras are visible and a rear Touch ID sensor is nowhere in sight, again implying it will be integrated into the OLED display. What’s most interesting about this latest leak though is that it indicates the parts used by the iPhone 8 for wireless charging …
Apple is reportedly in talks with partners to launch its own person-to-person payments service, extending the breadth of Apple Pay and closely competing with services like Venmo or Square Cash. Recode reports that the company wants to announce the payments-between-friends feature later this year — although plans can change.
Recode says that Apple has also held talks with Visa about the possibility of creating virtual Apple prepaid debit cards. This would allow users to spend the money they get from the new peer-to-peer payments service instantly without having to wait for the money to clear in their bank account.
Whilst we still aren’t entirely sure what the iPhone 8 will look like, there have been a flurry of rumors in the last month that the device will not be launching to Apple’s normal annual schedule.
Today, Nikkei is the latest publication to claim that the iPhone 8 may not be in customer’s hands until late October or November. The report pinpoints the OLED panel, wireless charging components and new circuit boards as the reason for the production problems.
We’ve been hearing several reports that the launch of the iPhone 8 could be delayed compared to previous years. Reputable Apple analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo has also weighed in today, reporting that mass production of the OLED iPhone will likely be pushed back to October/November, instead of the normal August/September timeframe for new iPhone launches.
KGI says the reason for the production difficulties is that the new iPhone 8 includes several major cutting-edge components that Apple has custom-ordered. The analyst still expects the iterative ‘7S’ models to launch on the normal schedule …
Tim Cook and other Apple executives have been chatty about the company’s interest in virtual and augmented reality in past months. There have been several reports that Apple is exploring an AR smart glasses product internally.
To add some fuel to the fire, Apple has recently hired prominent Final Cut Pro plugin developer Tim Dashwood, most well known for making 360VR Toolbox, which helped creatives make virtual reality videos …
Update: New details at the bottom …
The rumor mill for the iPhone 8 is seemingly flip-flopping between two distinct designs for Apple’s 2017 flagship iPhone, one made of aluminium and another more drastic look with a curved glass front and back. The latest unverified leaks from today depict the latter device.
These photo show an iPhone made of glass and stainless steel with the front screen seemingly going edge-to-edge with no discernible bezel. There is also no Touch ID visible on the back, implying it will be integrated under the display. More photos after the jump …
There are many ways to add HomeKit-connected lights to your home, allowing you to turn them on and off from your phone at a tap or with your voice using Siri. You can buy special Philips Hue bulbs, change wall switches with Lutron or Elgato, or plug in lamps to a smart plug socket.
The Koogeek Smart Socket is a different approach to the same problem. It puts an adaptor between your existing light fitting and bulb. All you have to do is screw it in. Keep reading after the jump for my full hands-on …
Analysts are expecting the price people will pay for an iPhone to rise significantly heading into next year. Apple analyst Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley released a report (via Business Insider) predicting iPhone ASP to rise to $753 in 2018, up from $695 in the holiday quarter just gone.
Much of this increase is attributed to demand for the upcoming flagship iPhone model with an all-new design, OLED display and (almost) bezel-less front face. This ‘iPhone 8’ is rumored to cost significantly more than Apple’s current lineup. Huberty also notes that more people are buying the iPhone 7 Plus than ever before, which starts at $769 and is priced at a $120 premium relative to the 4.7-inch iPhones.
Update: Apple appears to have fixed the issues; the page is now accessible as normal. There are no changes to iCloud tiers or prices. Original story below.
The iCloud storage plan settings on iPhone, iPad and Mac are acting a bit strangely at the moment. For some users, the panel loads but the $0.99/mo 50 GB and $2.99/mo 200 GB iCloud plans have vanished completely, leaving only the $9.99 1 TB and $19.99 2 TB options.
For other iCloud accounts, the storage settings panel simply doesn’t load at all, instead displaying an error. Apple has not announced any changes to iCloud storage tiers, so this is most likely a server-side bug …
Bloomberg has today published its overview of Apple’s plans for the new iPhone lineup this year, largely reaffirming what the rumor mill has said up to now. Apple will reportedly launch three new iPhones in the fall, iterative successors to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and a new ‘top of the line’ iPhone 8 with an ‘overhauled’ design.
Bloomberg details various prototypes for the radical new OLED iPhone with variations of curved glass and stainless steel chassis materials …
Logitech has today announced the POP Smart Button, a small toggle switch that you can place around your home and trigger smart home actions with a quick press. The POP is the first programmable button to support Apple HomeKit, although it isn’t actually on sale yet. It will be available exclusively at Apple Stores soon.
The POP accessories require a hub; Logitech will sell a bundle of one button and one hub for $60. Owners of the first-generation POP Home Switch are out of luck, they will be getting a software update but it will not add HomeKit integration.
Apple has already announced that it will launch new iMacs later this year, including models aimed at pro users. Today, Digitimes reportedly reveals some details about what the iMac update will bring.
The report says that the consumer iMac models are going into production next month, with a launch in the second half of the year. An update is certainly due; the latest 5K iMac launched in late 2015. The pro iMac will seemingly launch later, with ‘server-grade’ components …