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Apple releases iOS 12 beta 9 alongside eighth tvOS 12 + watchOS 5 betas

Apple has released the latest iOS 12 beta, the ninth beta release following last week’s release of iOS 12 beta 8 to replace the flawed seventh beta. The new iOS 12 beta is accompanied by the regularly scheduled eighth beta releases of tvOS 12 and watchOS 5. iOS 12 beta 9 features a build number of 16A5362a, while tvOS 12 beta 8 is build 16J5355a and watchOS 5 beta 8 is build 16R5357a. With a release of all of the new OS versions expected by this time next month, the latest betas are down to polishing up performance and fixing bugs.

German carriers peg Sept. 14 as iPhone preorder date

Leaked information from German mobile carriers suggests that Apple will be opening pre-orders for its new lineup on Sept. 14, according to information sourced by German blog Macerkopf and reported by MacRumors. While the information hasn’t been confirmed, it would line up with Apple’s typical announcement schedule, which has occurred during the second week in September for the past several years, with pre-orders frequently opening the Friday following the announcement.

Eurasian database filings suggest six upcoming Apple Watch models

Leading up to the expected launch of new models next month, Apple has now registered six new model identifiers for the Apple Watch Series 4 in the Eurasian economic database, according to Consomac. This suggests that Apple may be selling fewer models of the new Apple Watch than in the past, although the finings aren’t specific enough to determine for sure which models may be excluded. Since it’s safe to assume there will still be two sizes as with prior Apple Watch models, this leaves three distinct models, as opposed to the four Series 3 versions — three cellular and one GPS-only. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple pulls 25,000 illegal apps from Chinese App Store

Apple has pulled approximately 25,000 illegal gambling apps from its App Store in China, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move reportedly comes as a result of pressure from Chinese state media, although Apple released a statement emphasizing that “Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” and that it has “already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store” and remains “vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.” Apple has been under fire from Chinese news outlets for its weak enforcement in filtering banned content and applications. According to one of Apple’s more vocal critics, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, approximately 25,000 apps had been removed as of Sunday. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology notes that Apple offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, so 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4 percent of the total number of apps available on the Chinese App Store, although Apple has not confirmed either number.


Twitter client Leaf discontinued as a result of Twitter API changes

The iOS Twitter app Leaf is the latest casualty of Twitter’s recent API changes, with the developer today announcing that the app is being discontinued entirely due to the limitations of the new API. While some Twitter apps, such as the popular Tweetbot, have attempted to scale back and simply remove unsupported features, the new Twitter API has resulted in even these apps becoming shadows of their former selves. Leaf has clearly decided that there’s no advantage in continuing to develop a more limited app, so while those who have already purchased it can continue to use the existing version, it is no longer available on the App Store and there will be no further updates released.


Daily Deal: Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can get the Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip for only $85.99 — that’s 14% off the regular price. This handy accessory lets you take better control over your iPhone camera by not only providing an easy way to get a grip on it, but intuitive buttons and wheels that let you shoot one-handed while easily adjusting settings like exposure, zoom, and ISO, without having to fiddle with finding controls on your touchscreen.

Get the Pictar Smartphone Camera Grip now for only $85.99

Daily Deal: Avanca 9000mAh Powerbank

In our iLounge Deal for today, you can pick up the Avanca 9000mAh Powerbank for only $39.99 — that’s 42% off the regular price. This lightweight powerbank is fueled by 9000 mAh of juice and three USB outputs — so it can charge up to three devices at once, and you aren’t restricted to charging your mobile phone — it charges practically anything USB-compatible, like tablets, GPS devices, e-readers, and more.

Get the Avanca 9000mAh Powerbank now for only $39.99

Report: 2018 OLED iPhones to support Apple Pencil

A new report from Economic Daily News (via 9to5Mac) is adding its voice to a chorus of other recent rumours that Apple may be bringing Apple Pencil support to its 2018 OLED iPhone lineup. Although Apple Pencil support debuted on the iPad Pro almost three years ago, support for Apple’s stylus hasn’t arrived on the iPhone as many had hoped it would. A report last fall suggested that Apple was at least considering iPhone stylus support by 2019, particularly in light of some of the new handwriting and markup function in iOS 11. Now, reports are suggesting the Apple may in fact bring support to its OLED iPhone models this fall, in hopes of driving adoption of the higher-end models, and making it another feature that will differentiate the OLED models from the lower-cost LCD version expected to also arrive this fall. The move may not be entirely surprising, considering that Apple expanded the previously iPad Pro only feature to the lower-end iPad with the release of the sixth-generation model earlier this year, suggesting a desire to move toward universal support for the stylus across all iOS platforms.

Tweetbot update removes deprecated features in advance of Twitter API changes

Tapbots has released an update to its popular Tweetbot client for Twitter, removing features that will no longer be supported as of today’s Twitter API changes. Twitter announced changes to its APIs last year — a move that was met with protests by developers of third-party Twitter clients, and while the company later extended its deadline, it offered no leeway in allowing third-party app developers to continue using many of the streaming and notification features that they had come to rely on. In the release notes for Tweetbot, Tapbots notes that “because Twitter has chosen not to provide alternatives to these interfaces we have been forced to disable or degrade certain features” and that the matter is out of its control. this includes not only the popular live timeline streaming feature — users will now be limited to 1-2 minute refresh intervals rather than live updates — but also delays push notifications for mentions and direct messages, and removes them entirely for likes, retweets, follows, and quotes. Ina addition, the Activity and Stats tabs and the Apple Watch app are casualties of the new changes, as the latter depended heavily on the Activity data that is no longer available to third-party apps. Although Tapbots notes that it will be investigating how to bring some features back in the future, it seems this will depend heavily on finding workarounds in Twitter’s more limited API, and it’s unclear whether this will be successful, or, if so, for how long. [via 9to5Mac]

Australian teen pleads guilty to hacking Apple’s secure systems

An Australian teenager has pled guilty to criminal hacking charges for repeatedly breaking into Apple’s secure computer systems, The Age reports. The intrusions, which were discovered by Apple’s internal security teams and reported to the FBI and Australian authorities, saw the teen breaking into Apple’s mainframe from his home in suburban Melbourne on multiple occasions over the course of a year. According to his lawyer, the teen engaged in hacking Apple’s systems because he “was such a fan of the company” and that he had told police that he had “dreamed of working for Apple.” The teen had downloaded 90 GB of secure files and accessed various customer accounts over the course of his unauthorized access and had developed VPN tunnels and other systems to attempt to hide his identity, however, Apple was able to trace the source of the intrusions by logging the serial numbers from the MacBooks he was using, which were also matched up by authorities the the laptops were seized, along with a mobile phone and hard drive. The teen’s method of accessing Apple’s systems reportedly “worked flawlessly” until the intrusions were discovered by Apple and the teen was caught. The teen’s guilty plea has been acknowledged, however sentencing has been put off until next month due to the complexities involved in the case. [via MacRumors]

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