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Apple hires adds to video executive team, plans $1B investment in video content

Apple has hired former WGN America President Matt Chreniss to oversee a $1 billion investment in acquiring new video content, The Wall Street Journal reports. After hemming and hawing on the sidelines for years and dabbling in video projects to bolster its Apple Music product, Apple is ready to produce as many as 10 original TV shows, according to sources familiar with the matter. The $1 billion investment is about half of what HBO spent on its own content last year and roughly on par with what Amazon spent in 2013, the year after it moved into the video content business. Apple has been feeling out original content deals with Hollywood power players for months — if not years — but got serious in June when it hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two senior television executives from Sony Pictures Television. Erlicht and Van Amburg, hired to oversee all aspects of the company’s video programming efforts, have been holding meetings to see what types of shows are available for outright purchase and have brought on Chreniss to oversee development.

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Report: iPhone 7s slightly larger than iPhone 7 due to glass backing

German blog Giga Apple claims to have renderings showing the iPhone 7s will be about 0.1mm larger than the iPhone 7 on all sides, possibly complicating the use of existing cases despite keeping mostly the same form factor. Apple made a similar move with the change to the iPhone 6s from the iPhone 6, slightly increasing the size of the device to add 3D Touch capabilities. This time around it’s possible the addition of glass backings could be the cause of the slightly larger size, but the report also claims that the redesign will reduce the camera bump on the device (or at least bury it within the extra glass on the back). How that change in size will affect the fit of an iPhone 7 case is anyone’s guess, since most iPhone 6 cases fit the iPhone 6s despite the small boost in size while others didn’t. [via 9to5Mac]

Cellular Apple Watch said to be launching alongside iPhone 8 in September

Backing previous rumors about a cellular Apple Watch, CNBC is reporting that the device will arrive in September alongside three new iPhones. A source with knowledge of the development said the new Apple Watch with an embedded SIM will launch at the same time as the full version of watchOS 4, delivering new music features and Siri-based watchface capabilities that will directly benefit from being able to operate untehtered to an iPhone. Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said both LTE and non-LTE version of the Apple Watch 3 will appear this year — although he was less specific as to when — and expects the devices to maintain the current form factor rather than implementing a drastic redesign. [via 9to5Mac]

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Apple releases developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4; public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a sixth series of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, adding new icons for Maps and the App Store as well as addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. Public betas were made available for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 too, breaking with the usual process of waiting a few days after the developer release to roll them out. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending.

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Daily Deal: Drive Genius 5 Standard License

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Supplier claims HomePod will ship in December, but supplies will be limited

Photo: Nikkei

Inventec Appliances — the supplier responsible for producing Apple’s AirPods — claims the HomePod home speaker will be available in limited quantities in the fourth quarter of this year, Nikkei Asian Review reports. “We will finally ship the smart home device this year, but its contribution will be fairly limited and hopefully that will improve next year,” Inventec Appliances President David Ho said during his company’s earnings call, never specificallly mentioing the HomePod by name. An unnamed source, however, confirmed Inventec would have the HomePod available by December, backing up Apple’s earlier availability estimate, along with the likely reason behind its expected release in only three countries. Apple is rumored to be dealing with supply constraints on the iPhone 8 ahead if its launch as well, and the AirPods already being supplied by Inventec have also been in notoriously low supply since their launch last year.

Developing Smart Connector accessories proving to be a challenge for everyone but Logitech

While Apple touted the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector as a valuable new port for charging and linking accessories, so far only Apple itself and its close collaborator Logitech have produced anything to make use of it, Fast Company reports. While Apple has confirmed “multiple companies are now developing Smart Connector accessories,” those in the industry are looking at a daunting task when examining the market advantage Logitech has in being able to launch its iPad Pro-friendly keyboard offerings on launch day or shortly after. “With an iPad Pro keyboard on the market already, we are evaluating the market’s appetite for another iPad Pro keyboard and identifying if there are any gaps that we can fill,” said Kelly McElroy, a spokeswoman for Incipio. “So we are developing with having a point of difference in mind rather than developing to be quick to market.”

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New videos appear to show assembly processes, dummy models of iPhone 8 in 3 colors

YouTube star Danny Winget claims to have obtained dummy models of the iPhone 8 in three colors, showing the mockups off in his latest video. Winglet’s non-functional devices show the silver and copper/gold coming with white front bezels and cutouts, leaving the black as the only model with the black bezels and cutouts if Apple sticks to three colors as previously rumored. The silver has a glass back with shinier stainless steel sides, and the copper/gold features a similar split between a flat bronze color on the back and a shinier gold look on the edges. The models also sport no visible home button or Touch ID sensors (either front or back) and as expected come in at about the same size as the iPhone 7.

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