News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Facebook integrating Apple Music into Messenger app

At its F8 conference, Facebook revealed it is working on integrating Apple Music into the company’s Messenger app “very soon,” The Next Web reports. The feature is part of Messenger’s new Chat Extensions platform tool that will let users perform functions they’d usually need to leave Messenger to complete. Messenger will soon include an app list, and once Apple Music is selected users will be able to search for an artist or song title and share the resulting link through Messenger without exiting the app. Music can also be played from within Messenger, but there’s no word on whether users will be able to sync up their playback for a simultaneous listening experience.

China meeting with Apple to discuss concerns over live streaming apps

Chinese officials in charge of regulating the internet have met with Apple representatives to discuss live streaming apps available in the App Store, Reuters reports. China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the Beijing Cyberspace Administration is urging Apple to “tighten its checks” on apps that make it possible to live stream video. The government recently ordered three live-streaming websites in the country to “rectify management loopholes,” but the restrictions that were put in place aren’t entirely clear. The country’s live-streaming market has become lucrative, producing $4.36 billion in revenue last year despite crackdowns on sites that provide illegal content. Earlier this year Apple pulled The New York Times’ apps from China’s App Store at the government’s request, but there’s no word yet on which live-streaming apps are at issue and whether there will be restrictions or outright bans placed on them.

New Prince single available on iTunes, Apple Music; EP available for pre-order

Deliverance, the title track of the posthumous EP from Prince set to be released this Friday, is now streaming on Apple Music and available on iTunes for $1. The full six-song record is also available for pre-order for $4. Parts of Prince’s back catalog began streaming on Apple Music earlier this year after previously being exclusive to Tidal.

Apple makes iWork apps, iMovie and GarageBand free to download

Apple has made GarageBand, iMovie, Numbers, Pages and Keynote free to all Mac and iOS users on the App Store. All of the programs have been free since 2013 with a new Mac or iOS device purchase (and by extension to any other device owned by the user since all purchases are shared between multiple devices courtesy of the App Store), but now the company has made them free to anyone. With the exception of iMovie, the latest versions of all the apps require iOS 10 or later, and since the iPhone 5 is the only device capable of running iOS 10 that came out before the apps went free, most users with devices capable of running the newest versions will already have received them for free with new device purchases. But for those with devices that couldn’t make the leap to iOS 10, we tested the downloads on a fifth-generation iPod Touch running iOS 9.3 and found that Apple still offers the older versions of the apps for devices that are unable to run the most recent version, so users with older devices will still be able to take advantage of the change.

iPhone 8 prototype’s edge-to-edge display fits iPhone 7 Plus-sized screen into iPhone 7-sized device

For its deluxe iPhone 8 model, Apple is “testing a screen that covers almost the entire front of the device,” Bloomberg reports. People familiar with the development process said the overall size of the prototype is close to that of the iPhone 7, but the removal of the home button and narrowing of the bezels makes for a display that’s a bit larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus. Multiple prototypes are still being tested, some of which feature “symmetrical, slightly curved glass on the front and the back” that fits into a steel frame, similar to the iPhone 4’s design. Another version featured more dramatic curves, but with suppliers struggling to reliably produce such an extreme curve sources close to the development said Apple is more likely to go with the “more subdued curves,” or even a simpler aluminum-backed design.

Apple releases third betas of iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, and tvOS 10.2.1

Apple has rolled out a third beta of iOS 10.3.2 to its registered developers, along with new betas of watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1. This latest betas all appear to include only bug fixes and security improvements.

Apple offering superior iPad Air 2 for fourth-generation iPad replacements

Customers eligible for a replacement of their fourth-generation iPad could also receive something of an upgrade, 9to5Mac reports. With stock of the discontinued fourth-generation iPad running out, Apple sent a memo to retail stores that stated, “Starting March 30th, iPad 4th generation whole unit repairs may be substituted to iPad Air 2.” Owner replacing a 16GB or 64GB fourth-generation iPad will likely be particularly happy with the upgrade, as they’d also be getting a storage upgrade since the iPad Air 2 only comes in 32GB and 128GB sizes. The iPad Air 2 is also discontinued, but Apple will offer it as a replacement until supplies run out.

Rumor: iPhone 8 with Touch ID under glass one of two prototypes being tested

The latest iPhone 8 rumor out of iDrop News claims Apple is testing two iPhone 8 prototypes, one with a Touch ID sensor on the back and another with the sensors placed under the glass. The new leak—purportedly from a Foxconn employee—supports last week’s images of a supposed rendering of an iPhone with the Touch ID, placing that model in contention with another that would place the sensor on the front like current models, but embed it under the glass rather than putting it in a dedicated home button. The report claims Apple is down to two models under consideration, a big reduction from the “more than ten prototypes” estimates we heard last fall. This latest prototype is also said to feature an “invisible” front-facing camera under the display itself—allowing for 4mm bezels around all four edges of the phone—and a large power button with two points of contact for some as-yet-unknown reason.

Apple granted permit to test self-driving car in California

Apple has been granted the necessary permits to test self-driving cars in California, Business Insider reports. Apple’s autonomous vehicle project has been the company’s biggest open secret for years, but on Friday the California DMV added Apple’s name to a list featuring 29 other companies testing self-driving cars. “The permit covers three vehicles, all 2015 Lexus RX450h, and six drivers,” a DMV spokeswoman said, backing up previous reports that Apple is now focused more on the self-driving component than in building its own vehicle from the ground up. Apple declined to comment on the story in its usual fashion, pointing to its previous statement that it is “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems.”

Happy Easter weekend from iLounge!

We hope that all of you, our readers, have a happy and joyful Easter this year. We’ll be on a limited publishing schedule for Good Friday as we spend time with our families this weekend, and will return to our normal publishing schedule next week. Happy Easter!

iTunes Podcasts gets rebranded as ‘Apple Podcasts’

Apple has announced a full rebranding of iTunes Podcasts to “Apple Podcasts,” complete with a new “Listen on Apple Podcasts” logo and even a renaming of the company’s official Twitter account for podcasts. The announcement came this morning via Twitter from Steve Wilson of Apple’s Podcast marketing team.

In his tweet, Wilson provided an example of the new marketing badge, along with a link to Apple’s Podcasts Identity Guidelines page covering the guidelines for podcasters’ use of official Apple assets and materials to promote their podcasts. The change brings the branding more in line with Apple’s other media services such as Apple Music, although it’s unclear whether this is the first step in a broader rebranding of Apple’s media services to move away from the “iTunes” focus or is merely a case of separating free and subscription content from media sold on the iTunes Store.

Leaked image reveals ‘iPhone 8’ render with vertical cameras, rear Touch ID sensor

A new image posted on /LEAKS earlier today shows what appears to be a manufacturing design render of a next-generation iPhone that features a vertical dual-camera layout and a Touch ID sensor on the rear of the device. The drawing appears to have come from a computer belonging to an Apple manufacturing partner, however there are no other details such as when the photo was taken, or even if it’s authentic. Text in the drawing suggests it’s from the EVT — Engineering Verification Testing — phase, which means it could be related to any one of the “more than ten prototypes” that Apple was reported to be considering last fall, and therefore may not have any connection to the final design of the new iPhone. [via MacRumors]

Apple quietly working on non-invasive blood glucose monitoring sensors

Apple has quietly put together a small team of biomedical engineers to work on a new form of sensor that would be able to monitor blood glucose levels non-invasively and continuously, CNBC reports. Citing people familiar with the matter, the team is part of a “super secret initiative” that was initially envisioned by Steve Jobs, and is located in a nondescript office several miles away from Apple’s corporate headquarters. Numerous life sciences companies have attempted to create such sensors with no success due to the challenges in accurately tracking blood glucose levels without piercing the skin, so the ability to do accomplish this would be a significant breakthrough. The project has reportedly reached the point that Apple has been running feasibility trials at several clinical sites in the Bay Area, and has also hired consultants to attempt to navigate the regulatory channels.

Apple updates TestFlight program with support for multiple builds

Apple has released an update to its TestFlight app for iOS developers and their beta testers, adding support for managing multiple builds, enhancing groups, and improving tester management, as well as extending the beta period time frame to 90 days. With the new capabilities, developers can now distribute multiple builds of a given app at the same time, allowing beta testers to either choose a specific build to test, or creating groups of TestFlight users that are assigned to different builds. Beta testers will also now be able to continue using a build when it goes live on the App Store, avoiding the disruption or having to switch to the App Store version and then later switch back to the TestFlight version when the next beta cycle begins. While the official Apple announcement doesn’t mention any changes to the beta testing timeframe, AppleInsider reports that the validity period for builds has also been extended to 90 days, providing developers with a longer period for their testers to work with development builds.

Spotify partners with ‘Spotty’ developer to create official Apple Watch

Developer Andrew Chang has announced on Reddit that he will be partnering with Spotify to help develop and official Apple Watch app for the popular streaming service. Chang originally announced development of a third-party Apple Watch app for Spotify back in February, with a hand-on video walk through posted by 9to5Mac, with plans to include advanced features such as offline playback, allowing music to be stored on and played from the Apple Watch without an iPhone in range. Chang initially ran into some opposition from Spotify’s legal team in relation to his choice of name, forcing him to rebrand his app as “Snowy,” however Chang updated his Reddit post yesterday to announce that he’s now going to be “working closely with Spotify to bring Snowy to the Apple Watch as part of an official Spotify iOS app.” Chang notes that he was able to build the app independently thanks to Spotify’s iOS SDK, but that with “the expertise and tools available at Spotify” he expects that he’ll be able to “take things to the next level.” While Chang did not provide any estimate on when the official Spotify Apple Watch companion app will be available, he states that it’s definitely “in the pipeline.” [via iPhone in Canada]

Analyst says integrated fingerprint scanner could hold up ‘iPhone 8’ release

While other rumors have claimed that adding 3D imaging technology and OLED screens are hindering progress on the iPhone 8, Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company believes it’s the integrated fingerprint sensor that’s the main issue, AppleInsider reports. “For the 5.8-inch OLED version, the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display — the current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and AAPL seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products,” Arcuri wrote in a note to investors. Arcuri said Apple is faced with three options in the face of the problem: Ditch Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, move the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone or delay production of the iPhone 8. He sees the first two options as pretty unlikely, expecting to see the iPhone 8 announced alongside new iPhone 7s and 7s Plus models but possibly becoming available for purchase later.

NYU student documents 6 weeks working on iPhone assembly line

New York University grad student Dejian Zeng spent his 2016 summer vacation inside Pegatron’s ChangShuo factory — a facility that produces iPhones for Apple — and he shared some of his experiences on the factory floor with Business Insider. When he started, Zeng was in charge of connecting iPhone 6s speakers to the back case and putting one screw in to hold it in place for more than 12 hours a day (including overtime). Two-hour stretches of work were punctuated by 10 minute breaks where many people try to catch any sleep they can, sometimes choosing to close their eyes over going to the bathroom for a drink of water. “It becomes a struggle when you’re very sleepy but also you need to drink some water,” Zeng said. “You can only do one thing. It’s just go to the restroom or come back and take some sleep.” The 50-minute lunch break in the middle of the day is also a popular time to sleep, with employees flocking to sofas scattered through a lounge area. But the factory has its own peculiar protocols for these naps as well, mandating that employees are allowed to sleep, but not allowed to lay down. “There are people walking around. If they see you lay down, they will swipe the ID and take a record of it,” Zeng said. “And they put the record in your profile. And then they will publish it to your whole assembly line, so your manager would come and yell at you later. Sometimes if it happens multiple times, they deduct money.”

Qualcomm countersues Apple, seeks damages for breach of contract

Qualcomm is counter-suing Apple in the companies’ ongoing patent dispute, claiming Apple breached its contract and asking for an unspecified amount in damages, CNET reports. In the filing, Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, admits Apple has played a key role in bringing mobile technology to the masses, but argues “Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm’s fundamental cellular technologies.” In its lawsuit, Apple claims Qualcomm is charging excessive royalties “despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards” and asked the court to declare Qualcomm’s patents invalid or reduce the royalty amounts the company is able to charge for their use.

Report: Apple may drop Dialog Semiconductor, build its own power management chips

An analyst at Bankhaus Lampe claims that there is “strong evidence” Apple could cut ties with Dialog Semiconductor and begin producing its own power management integrated circuits, Reuters reports. Another source said Apple is “poaching like crazy” from Dialog, hiring top engineers from the company and ramping up to begin its own in-house efforts. Neither Apple nor Dialog commented on the report, but Dialog’s stock lost as much as 36 percent in one day on the news.

Apple releases second betas of iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, and tvOS 10.2.1

Apple has rolled out a second beta of iOS 10.3.2 to its registered developers, along with new betas of watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1. This latest iOS beta fixes issues with SiriKit and third-party VPN apps, while the new watchOS and tvOS betas appear to include only bug fixes and security improvements.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2017 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy