About the Author

Benjamin Mayo


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.

Benjamin Mayo also creates apps for iOS as a professional indie developer and contractor; more details here. Email to discuss making your iOS project a reality.

Benjamin Mayo's Favorite Gear

September 11

AAPL: 161.50


It seems someone at Verizon was a little too eager to hit the update button over the weekend; several people on Reddit noticed that the Verizon app was displaying ‘Apple Watch Series 3’ in one of the configuration screens for adding a device.

This certainly gives a strong indicator that Apple will indeed brand its next-generation LTE-enabled Watch as ‘Series 3’. However, it is worth noting that the leaked firmware hasn’t been able to corroborate the name …

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September 9

AAPL: 158.63


We think we know the names of the new iPhones, thanks to the iOS firmware. Apple’s three new phones are called iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X (via Steven Troughton Smith).

The 8 and 8 Plus would be the lower-tier LCD phones, whereas the iPhone X is the highly-anticipated nearly-bezelless OLED model. The name reveal joins a flurry of leaks from earlier in the day, detailing new features like Face ID and Animoji, new wallpapers, and confirming the LTE Apple Watch.

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In yet another discovery from the firmware leaks, we have found references to two new Apple Watch case colors. These are likely to make an appearance next week at Apple’s September 12 event.

It seems Apple Watch Series 3 will come in a new ‘blush gold’ color for the aluminium Sport watches and a new gray ceramic material for the Apple Watch Edition.

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The leaked firmware today continues to bear fruit. The iPhone 8, set to be announced on Tuesday, features a near bezel-less display with a cutout notch for front camera, earpiece and sensors. Now, Guilherme Rambo has found exactly how that will work.

As well as splitting the status bar items in two, with time on the left side, the new status bar also has slick animations to transition between states. Video after the jump …

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September 8

AAPL: 158.63


We are continuing to dig through the leaked iOS 11 GM firmware. We’ve found a brand new feature for the iPhone 8 called ‘Animoji’, which uses the 3D face sensors to create custom 3D animated emoji based on the expressions you make into the camera.

Users will be able to make Animoji of unicorns, robots, pigs, pile of poo and many more.  Full gallery below …

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In continuing news from the Apple Watch GM firmware, we’ve found several string references to how cellular plans on Apple Watch work and how users set them up.

The code explains that Apple Watch uses the LTE cellular network to make and receive calls and data whilst away from phone. Users add their Apple Watch to their existing iPhone plan (assumedly at additional cost) …

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An analyst report today reiterates claims that the OLED iPhone 8 launch could be significantly delayed compared to the debut of the ‘7s’ models, which represent more modest improvements over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Rosenblatt believes that whilst all three new iPhones will be announced on September 12th at the event, the iPhone 8 release date could be as far out as late October, citing production issues with the stainless steel metal frame.

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September 7

AAPL: 161.26


September 6

AAPL: 161.91


Apple has started promoting iOS 11 to its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch user base ahead of the new OS’ launch later this month. The Tips app is sending out notifications like ‘Learn about the new Control Center coming in iOS 11’ as of this morning.

Users can tap through to the Tips app to preview some of the new features; Apple is advertising the new Control Center, Do Not Disturb While Driving, the new Files app, and more.

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September 5

AAPL: 162.08


Pixelmator have today announced their next app, Pixelmator Pro for Mac, which will launch later this year. Pixelmator Pro adds major new photo editing features in a new single window user interface.

The app is built from the ground up to enable non-destructive editing, new effect layers, a new painting system with realistic brushes, and a lot more.

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The new iPhone is going to be announced in a week’s time. In the runup to launch, we keep seeing new part leaks for various components and today is no exception. Benjamin Geskin has shared photos of the alleged iPhone 8 SIM trays.

Following previous rumors, Apple appears to be changing up the color lineup slightly for the 2017 iPhones as the SIM tray appears to be a different shade of gold than what Apple currently offers with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

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September 4

AAPL: 164.05


Apple has added a new addition to its W1 lineup, the Beats Studio 3 over-ear headphones ($349). The new models utilize the W1 chip for automatic pairing to iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch as well as boasting up to 40 hour battery life. These look very much like Beats’ answer to the Bose QC35 headphones.

The other flagship new addition for the Studio 3 series is adaptive noise cancelling. The headphones listen dynamically to the surrounding environment and algorithmically adjust the intensity of noise cancellation. With noise canceling enabled, battery life drops to a (still impressive) 22 hours.

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September 1

AAPL: 164.05


It certainly seems like Apple is approaching original content more seriously now, with Eddy Cue reportedly wanting to challenge the likes of Game of Thrones with Apple’s TV shows. The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is bidding on a new drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, battling against Netflix for rights.

The concept of the show relates to morning television chat shows, pitched by HBO’s former head of drama. A previous report said Apple has budgeted a billion dollars towards original content efforts for the coming year.

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More OLED iPhone 8 components surface as video claims to show (likely fake) Apple leather case

With less than two weeks before Apple’s blockbuster event on September 12th, there’s still time for more iPhone 8 parts to leak out as production ramps. Today, new photos allegedly reveal the internal iPhone 8 speaker and Lightning connector components. Whilst Apple is pushing wireless inductive charging as a flagship feature of the new phones, the Lightning connector will be upgraded to support Type-C fast charging when using a wire …

August 31

AAPL: 164.00


Apple iTunes affiliates can now get paid in App Store and iTunes Store credit

Apple has notified members of the iTunes Affiliate program that it has opened up a new payment option for partners. Rather than sending money directly to your bank, iTunes Affiliate commissions can now instead be paid directly as iTunes Store credit. This means the payments are channeled as redemption codes to top up the credit on an Apple ID account, to buy apps, music, or pay for iCloud Storage.

Philips have announced several updates to their HomeKit-compatible smart home lighting range, Hue. Firstly, the new starter kits offer better value for money.

The flagship White and Color Ambience kit now features 4 bulbs and a hub for just $199, the best value Hue has ever offered for its multi-color bulbs. The cheapest entry point into the Hue smart home ecosystem is now the White starter kit, which bundles 4 A19 white bulbs and a hub for $99.

Hue also announced that new suspension and ambience ceiling Hue lights will go on sale from October, as well as selling multi-pack bulbs for the first time (i.e. four standalone additional bulbs, no hub) …

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August 30

AAPL: 163.35


The ‘bezel-less’ iPhone 8 is going to be unveiled in under two weeks, and will be the first iPhone not to feature a physical home button.  A report from Bloomberg provides fresh details on how Apple plans to replace the button with new gestures and navigational elements for the iPhone 8 user interface.

At the bottom of the screen, the display will show a ‘thin bar’ where a physical button normally resides. On the lock screen, users pull this bar upwards to unlock the phone — reminiscent of the iconic ‘slide to unlock’ action that Apple removed in iOS 10. Inside an app, dragging upwards opens a redesigned multitasking UI. It sounds a lot like the new multitasking gestures for iPad we’ve seen in iOS 11 …

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August 29

AAPL: 162.91


The HomeKit ecosystem continues to expand with new accessories coming out all the time. Koogeek has now released the first hub-less HomeKit light bulb ($36) that can display more than 16 million colors. Existing solutions like Philips Hue require running a bridge hub in additional to buying the special multicolor bulbs.  The Koogeek solution is simpler and easier to recommend as a gift item — just replace your current bulb and you are pretty much good to go.

The Smart Bulb integration with HomeKit enables users to toggle the light on and off, change color and set the brightness level; everything is accessible from the Home app on iOS or with Siri voice commands. The hub-less approach has some tradeoffs, but on the whole it is a great accessory that adds smart home features to a room with very little fuss. Read on below for my full hands on …

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Apple has not yet finalized deals with movie studios for 4K content, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. The clock is ticking as Apple readies a 4K Apple TV unveiling for September 12, and naturally the company wants to announce a sizeable 4K content ecosystem to back it.

It appears the studios are pushing back on pricing. Whereas Apple wants to sell 4K movies for $20, the same price it sells many new release HD movies at, studios are demanding an additional $5-$10 premium per sale.

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August 28

AAPL: 161.47


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has indeed scheduled an event on September 12. On that date, Apple is set to announce the new iPhone models, as well as cellular Apple Watch and a 4K Apple TV set-top box. We are still waiting for Apple to send out invites to press to make the event official, although it is all but confirmed at this point.

In terms of event location, the report says that the company is ‘aiming to use’ the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park for the first time …

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