News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

WSJ confirms a 4K Apple TV is coming, Apple and Hollywood struggling with pricing for content

Apple and Hollywood studios are once having difficulty coming to terms for movie distribution, this time concerning pricing for the offering of 4K “Ultra-HD” content on the iTunes Store. Confirming rumours of a new 4K-capable Apple TV, a new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Apple has been “scrambling” to strike deals with the studios to ensure content is available on the new set-top box when it’s expected to launch next month. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple has met resistance from the Hollywood studios in terms of what should be an acceptable price at which to offer ultra-HD content, with Apple pushing to sell movies at a standard price of $19.99 — the same price the company currently charges for new release HD movies — while Hollywood studios want to add a $5 to $10 premium for higher-definition 4K content.

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

Apple has released an eighth set of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, continuing to address a number of issues in the prior developer previews as we inch closer to their expected release next month. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will also likely follow within the next day or so.

Apple to hold product launch event on Sept. 12

A new report from the Wall Street Journal confirms rumours from last week that Apple is planning to hold its fall product launch event on Sept. 12. WSJ cites “people briefed on its plans” who provided the date of the event as well as information about a possible venue, but did not offer any further specifics on what would be launched. Other sources suggest that Apple will unveil three new iPhone models — two modest upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus along with a premium “iPhone 8” model that would feature and edge-to-edge display and facial recognition technology; other recent reports have suggested a next-generation Apple Watch with cellular capabilities will be announced at the same time as the new iPhone models.

iOS 11 beta code reveals new Apple Watch workouts

More new workout options may be coming to the Apple Watch, according to a new report from MacRumors. Developers have been poring over the recently leaked HomePod firmware and various iOS 11 betas, looking for various pieces of code and other resources that may provide insights into what’s coming from Apple. The latest new discovery, found by iHelp BR, shows code strings and icons within the iOS 11 FitnessUI framework that refer to a fairly extensive list of new workouts for Apple’s watchOS Workout app, including basketball, bowling, climbing, cricket, cross-country skiing, curling, dance, equestrian sports, fencing, fishing, golf, gymnastics, jump rope, pilates, skating, surfing, and more.

Apple expands ‘App Development with Swift’ curriculum to over 30 Community Colleges

Apple has announced that, starting this fall, its App Development with Swift curriculum will be offering in over 30 community colleges through the United States. Designed by engineers and educators at Apple, the full-year course is geared toward students with no programming experience, taking them to the point of building fully-functional apps of their own design for the macOS and iOS platforms.

Apple publishes details of deep learning improvements to Siri voice quality in iOS 11

Apple’s latest post on its fledgling Machine Learning Journal provides some interesting insights into how the company is using artificial intelligence technology to not only improve Siri’s speech recognition capabilities, but to make the personal assistant’s voice sound more natural, smother, and provide more personality. The article provides technical details about the deep learning technology used to improve Siri behind the scenes, describing the basic technology behind speech synthesis and the differing approaches used to provide digitized and sampled speech, and how previously lower-quality “parametric” speech synthesis is being improved by the implementation of deep learning in speech technology.

 

Kensington releases new SecureBack Rugged Case for using Square reader with iPad

Kensington has released its new SecureBack Rugged Case, geared toward businesses that use an iPad and a Square reader to conduct their sales. The dual-layer case for 9.7-inch iPad, iPad Air or iPad Air 2 has a non-slip grip to keep the device in the user’s hand (and rubber cushioning to keep it safe when it falls out), along with a rotating hand strap and padded shoulder strap to provide different carrying options throughout the day. Cover plates keep customers from tampering with the power button and volume controls, while cutouts provide protection for the Square Contactless & Chip Reader and support for a Square Magstripe Reader. The case doesn’t include a ClickSafe cable lock, but one can be purchased to help further guard against theft if the user is willing to sacrifice mobility. The case — available now for $100 — can also be turned into an anchored kiosk with the available stand for those who want the ability to switch from anchored to mobile on the fly.

Reports: Apple will reveal ‘iPhone 8’ on Sept. 12 with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB options

A pair of reports from hit-or-miss sources claim the “iPhone 8” will be revealed at an event on September 12 and come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options. In a Chinese-language social media post, GeekBar founder Lei Ge provided what he claims is an image of Sandisk flash memory chips destined for the next-generation iPhone. In addition to revealing the upgraded base storage capacity, Ge also predicts the new device will be called the “iPhone Edition” rather than the “iPhone 8,” borrowing the naming convention used in the initial rollout of the top-of-the-line Apple Watch. Whatever the device ends up being called, French site Mac4Ever claims carrier sources have revealed that the official Apple event announcing it will be held on Sept. 12, a week later than some others are predicting. Carriers typically know about the launches in advance to prepare their stores and staff for pre-orders and overnight stocking requirements. The carriers didn’t have a firm launch date to share, but the site predicts that the new iPhones would hit stores on Sept. 22, the Friday of the week after the announcement. [via 9to5Mac]

Latch unveils new HomeKit-enabled Latch C smart deadbolt

Startup smartlock maker Latch has created a new HomeKit-enabled deadbolt that lets users unlock their door with Siri using the iOS Home app, TechCrunch reports. The device includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities and boasts a wide-angle camera, a touchscreen and various other sensors alongside a traditional key slot for those who prefer to unlock the door the old-fashioned way. The Latch C can also provide temporary access to service providers or guests and maintains a digital log of who goes in and out using the camera. The company is backed by various real estate funds and is more business-facing than consumer-facing — meaning its Latch C deadbolt, Latch M mortise doorknob/lock and Latch R electronic reader for apartment building entrances are geared toward the owners of rental properties.

New details, possible photos of iPhone 8’s 3D sensor emerge

In a memo obtained by 9to5Mac, well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple has a “significant lead” on Qualcomm wjhen it comes to 3D sensors, saying Apple is likely two years ahead of its rival. Qualcomm’s “immature” software and hardware will likely delay the appearance of 3D sensing technology in Android phones and give Apple a rare moment where it is first to market with a new feature. As Bloomberg points out, Apple usually prefers to perfect technological advancements rather than rush to be first to market, but their analysis shows that the iPhone 8’s expected advancements in using infrared sensors to detect depth, improve scene detection, boost AR applications and use facial recognition both to unlock the device and authorize payments will all be new in the smartphone space this time around. A photo on Slashleaks claims to show the module responsible for all the 3D sensing magic, but the post has no accompnaying information to help verify whether it is genuine.

iOS 11 beta shows Control Center interface, new swipe gestures; tvOS 11 beta hints at 4K video

New betas have been released for iOS 11, tvOS 11 watchOS 4 and macOS 10, and developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered a couple of gems amid all the bug fixes and minor improvements. In ios 11, Rambo found one video that seems to show off a new swipe-up gesture used to activate the iOS app switcher and another that runs through changes to the lock screen interface. Swiping down brings the lock screen up from anywhere in the operating system, and while a left swipe still brings up the device’s widgets, a right swipe now seems to bring up the phone’s Control Center instead of activating the camera as it does in iOS 10. Swiping up from the bottom — which activated the Control Center in iOS 10 — now turns on the iOS app switcher, which previously was accessed by a home button double tap or by swiping right after pressing down on the left edge of the screen; the latter method has already been removed from iOS 11

Promise Technology releases Apollo Cloud 2 Duo personal cloud system

For those who enjoy the benefits of the cloud but are more than a little wary of trusting their data to third-parties, Promise Technology has released the Apollo cloud storage device to combine the benefits of the cloud combined with keeping data safely inside the home. The Apollo Cloud 2 Duo provides 8TB of space split between two surveillance-class hard drives that can be accessed remotely with a dedicated app, all with no subscription fees. Up to 40 members can have access to the system and time-limited links can also provide access to files with outside users. Photos uploaded to the system can be sorted using facial recognition and/or location, making it simpler to find photos of specific people or places. The device is available now for $449 and is compatible with iOS and macOS operating systems.

New details from Aetna meeting show concerns about Apple Watch privacy, costs

Mandi Bishop, now running a startup called Lifely Insights after running Dell’s health analytics section, said Apple was very focused on privacy at the previously reported meeting between the company, Aetna and other health influences, CNBC reports. Aetna employees asked about how data sharing with outside vendors would be handled and if it would be possible to extract measurements like heart rate and other vitals to be store in a personal health record. “Both companies wanted to make sure that we knew what data is shared and what isn’t,” Bishop said. Privacy is particularly important for employees of self-insured companies, who could potentially target their workers for termination if doing so would cut their insurance rates substantially.

iOS 11 introduces way to prevent Touch ID from opening device with fingerprint

Those testing the iOS 11 public beta have discovered pressing an iPhone or iPad’s lock button five time or opening a Medical ID now disables Touch ID and forces a user to enter their passcode to unlock the device. A source told 9to5Mac that the behavior is intentional, claiming it’s aimed at protecting people who have fallen unconscious from having their fingerprint used to access their private information. However Apple ends up presenting the feature, it can also clearly be used to protect information from police if used before an arrest, as at least some judges have proved willing to compel suspects to allow their fingerprint to be used to discover data that could incriminate them.

Report: iPhone 8 facial recognition unlocks in ‘millionths of a second’

The iPhone 8’s facial recognition sensors “can deeply sense a user’s face in the millionths of a second,” The Korea Herald reports. The source claims 3D sensors will be integrated in both the front and rear cameras to provide augmented reality experiences in real time, but provided scant information on how they would work. In an effort to answer that question, The Wall Street Journal points to Apple’s 2013 acquisition of PrimeSense, an Israeli company that helped develop Kinect motion sensors for the Xbox 360. That depth-sensing technology — referred to as “structured light” — emits thousands of tiny infrared dots and senses their reflection to gather highly accurate depth information that could even be used to unlock the device in total darkness. Apple declined to comment, but leaked firmware for the HomePod seems to reveal that the iPhone will have some form of depth and facial recognition sensors.

Apple and Hollywood still discussing plans for early movie rentals

Movie studios are still considering plans to offer premium early access movie rentals via iTunes, Bloomberg reports. Despite objections from cinema chains, Hollywood wants to forge ahead in offering digital rentals of films only weeks after they arrive in theatres, according to people familiar with the matter. Discussions about possible studio agreements between Apple and the studios began late last year, and have been ongoing for months since, although the two sides have been struggling to arrive at a means for offering a $30–$50 premium movie-download solution that would be mutually beneficial.

Despite cellular capabilities, next-gen Apple Watch unlikely to support phone calls

Although several recent reports have suggested that the next-generation Apple Watch will be adding cellular capabilities, a new note from reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that it’s unlikely that the new device will support direct cellular phone calls as Apple’s priority will be to improve the “user experience of data transmission.” Kuo’s note, however, suggests that support for traditional phone calls is likely still on the horizon, simply saying that the Apple Watch “probably” won’t provide the support “this year” but leaving the possibility open for future models.

iDevices adds Dimmer Switch to its lineup

In its first release since being acquired by Hubbell, iDevices has introduced its Dimmer Switch, featuring customizable dimming and LED night light functions. The device can operate without a hub and be controlled through its own app or with Siri, providing in-app dim range settings designed to prevent low-level bulb flicker and the ability to remember the setting from when the light was last turned off. The Dimmer Switch — available on iDevice’s website for $100 — can be installed like a traditional wall switch and is compatible with single pole, three- and four-way setups with no extra wiring needed.

Apple joins other companies in opposing warrantless use of location data

Apple joined more than a dozen other prominent technology companies in filing a brief with the Supreme Court opposing warrantless use of a cellphone’s location data, CNET reports. The case in question concerns armed robbery charges against Timothy Carpenter, who was convicted in 2011 based on his cellphone’s location data. In the friend-of-the-court brief, the companies argue “that users rely on technology companies to process their data for limited purposes does not mean that they expect their intimate data to be monitored by the government without a warrant.” Apple has made a habit of being uncompromising with regards to its preservation of user privacy, despite being sued by the Department of Justice and criticized by President Donald Trump for doing so.

ESPN tvOS app now streams 4 games at once; Walmart’s streaming service coming to Apple TV

ESPN’s Apple TV app has been upgraded to include a new MultiCast feature that allows users to view up to four streams at the same time, according to Variety. EPSN typically features 30 or more live events on a given day, all of which will be available for simultaneous viewing. The company has also released an update to its iOS app, adding a “Watch” tab that provides live streams of events and shows. In other tvOS app news from Variety, Walmart’s streaming service will be landing on Apple TV next week. While Apple TV users have previously been able to use AirPlay to play Vudu’s movies and TV shows, the dedicated Vudu app is expected to become “widely available” starting August 22.

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