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Report: Supply problems limiting iPhone 6s Plus availability

In a note to investors, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the iPhone 6s Plus is facing serious supply shortages due to backlight module production issues at Japanese supplier Minebea. Kuo said Apple is transferring module orders to alternate supplier Radiant in an effort to keep up, increasing that company’s orders to 4 to 5 million units in September. While Apple has cited record-breaking demand for the three to four-week wait times some users are seeing when trying to pre-order an iPhone 6s Plus, Kuo points to the supply problems as the cause. He expects Apple to have between 1.5 million and 2 million iPhone 6s Plus units available for sale on the Sept. 25 launch date. [via MacRumors]

Apple claims it’s on pace to break opening weekend iPhone sales record

Apple said strong pre-orders of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have put the company on pace to beat last year’s 10 million unit first weekend record, CNBC reports. The company said online demand for the iPhone 6s Plus exceeded its own forecasts and that it’s “working to catch up as quickly as we can,” while still guaranteeing that both iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units will be available at Apple retail stores when they open next Friday. Online demand in China was particularly high, with wait times for the iPhone 6s Plus at three to four weeks and waits for the iPhone 6s around two to three weeks, as of last Saturday.

Report: iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, iPhone 6s has 2GB

Developer Hamza Sood claims that a clever hack of Xcode’s asset catalogs confirms that the iPad Pro will contain 4GB of RAM and the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will each feature 2GB. Adobe posted similar specs for the iPad Pro’s RAM last week before quickly taking down the information. To find out if the information was accurate, Sood set assets in Xcode that would load different images depending on the device’s RAM capacity. If the figures hold up, that means the new iPhones have twice the RAM of the iPhone 6 and the iPad Pro also has double the RAM of the iPad Air 2. [via 9to5Mac]

Report: iPhone 6s Live Photos to take up 2X the storage

Photos taken with the new “Live Photos” feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will reportedly take up twice the storage as a standard 12MP picture, according to a new report from TechCrunch. In a video, TechCrunch’s Editor-in-Chief Matthew Panzarino explains that even current iPhones are buffering photos as soon as the Camera app is launched in order to create a fast and responsive user experience, with only the most recent image stored when the shutter button is pressed. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, on the other hand, will basically dump this entire buffer in such a way as to store the standard 12MP image along with “sidecar data” that adds up to approximately one more image’s worth of data, thereby requiring twice the space. According to Apple’s Developer Documentation on the feature, iOS 9.1 will also offer APIs that will provide third-party apps with the ability to incorporate playback of Live Photos, and export Live Photos for sharing and exporting both Live Photos and traditional JPEG versions of Live Photos.

Apple posts iPhone 6s ‘Get ready for pre-order’ instructions

Apple has added a “Get ready for pre-order” link on its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus store pages, leading to a pop-up box that provides customers with guidance on what they can do now to ensure that they’re ready to pre-order the new iPhone models when pre-orders begin on Sept. 12. Instructions include advising users to enter their account details to check their account status and upgrade eligibility now, as well as directing them to the Apple Store app on their current iPhone where they can store their wireless account details to save time when pre-orders actually begin. Customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT on Sept. 12, and if past years are any indication, availability of new models will become scarce within the first few minutes, so tips on speeding up the checkout process will be helpful both for customer satisfaction and avoiding heavier loads on Apple’s servers.

Apple adds ‘Hey Siri’ training mode in iOS 9 GM

Apple has added a new series of setup and training screens for enabling the “Hey Siri” feature in iOS 9, explaining the feature and taking users through a series of steps where they’re asked to speak phrases such as “Hey Siri”, “Hey Siri, how’s the weather today?”, and “Hey Siri, it’s me.” Users updating to iOS 9 — even from a beta to the GM candidate — will likely find that the “Hey Siri” feature has been disabled under Settings, General, Siri, and turning it on will take them through the process before the feature gets enabled. The new training mode should likely help to reduce the number of false positives where Siri accidentally thinks users are talking to it, and will probably be particularly useful in the case of the new iPhone 6s models which will allow “Hey Siri” to function even when not connected to power.

Apple releases iOS 9 GM seed, first iOS 9.1 developer beta

As in previous years, following yesterday’s event, Apple has now released the final GM seed for iOS 9 to registered developers. The GM seed is a final “release candidate” and barring any problems found in this version, it is expected to be identical to the final iOS 9.0 release scheduled to be rolled out to the public next week. Unlike prior beta updates, the GM seed does not appear to be available as an over-the-air update; developers will need to download the GM seed from Apple’s site and update to it manually via iTunes.

Along with the iOS 9 GM Seed, Apple has also already released the first beta version of iOS 9.1 to developers. The iOS 9.1 beta release notes don’t reveal much new in iOS 9.1, although it appears to include developer-level enhancements for new features introduced on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus yesterday, such as 3D Touch and Live Photos. The iOS 9.1 beta continues to support the same devices as iOS 9.0 and registered iOS developers can download the iOS 9.1 beta from Apple’s Developer site.

Apple increases AppleCare+ pricing for iPhone 6s

Apple has increased the pricing of its AppleCare+ plans for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to $129 — $30 more than last year’s AppleCare+ pricing for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models. The less expensive $99 AppleCare+ for iPhone 6 and earlier models remains available, with the new pricing only applying to users purchasing AppleCare+ for Apple’s newest iPhones. The AppleCare+ plan for the iPhone 6s models is also included in Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program. The terms and conditions of the AppleCare+ program do not appear to have changed for the new models, however.

Apple announces iPhone Upgrade Program

During its fall event today, Apple also briefly announced a new iPhone Upgrade Program initiative. Being introduced initially in U.S. Apple Retail stores, the program will allow customers to pay a monthly fee to receive a new iPhone each year. Pricing for the program starts at $32/month and would include AppleCare+ and an unlocked iPhone that could be used on a carrier of the customer’s choice. Users could then upgrade to the latest model each year, presumably an equivalent version to their current iPhone, appropriate to the price level they’re paying. Additional details are not yet available, although Apple did indicate that it plans to roll the program out to additional countries in the future.

Apple schedules iOS 9 release for Sept. 16

Apple has announced Sept. 16 as the official release date for iOS 9, the next major update to its mobile operating system. Originally shown in June at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference and then released into public beta over the summer, iOS 9 will add a number of new features including a more proactive assistant mode for Siri, Transit directions in Apple Maps, a News app for curated news feeds, split-screen multitasking for iPad users, and support for loyalty cards in Passbook, which is being renamed Wallet in light of its new role. The new version will also offer HomeKit support for new devices, as well as accessing HomeKit via iCloud, and support for wireless CarPlay connections. New developer features will also allow for smaller and more efficient iOS applications. The new version is also expected to run more efficiently on older iPhone and iPad models.

Apple announces iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus

As expected, Apple also unveiled its next-generation iPhone models, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Sporting the new third-generation 64-bit A9 chip that promises 90 percent better graphics performance from the previous generation, the headline feature on the new models is a new 3D Touch feature which uses force touch sensors similar to the Apple Watch to provide an additional layer of navigation through the iPhone user interface. 3D Touch gestures will allow users to access shortcuts to frequently access features from the home screen icons, which appear as contextual style menus that pop up near the icon, enabling actions such as quickly taking selfies from the Camera icon or quickly composing a new email from the Mail icon.

Users can press lightly to peek at content — such as pulling up a map view from an address in a calendar appointment, pulling up a web page preview from a link in an email, or pulling up a calendar view when looking at a proposed meeting time in an email message. Pressing slightly harder will take the user directly into the new content area, and releasing closes the “peek” to return the user back to their original content. The new 3D Touch also enables distinct tactile feedback for actions. The app switcher can now also be accessed with a 3D Touch gesture at the end of the iPhone screen to more naturally bring up the panel of apps and then swipe across to switch apps. Selected third-party developers such as Dropbox, Facebook, and Instragram have also already implemented support for 3D Touch.

Last-minute details emerge before today’s Apple event

Ahead of what 9to5Mac believes will be Apple’s only event this fall, the site’s sources have spilled more last-minute details about the company’s new products. Contrary to previous rumors that had the iPad Pro starting at 64GB of storage, the new device will reportedly start at a base 32GB storage capacity — still double that of current iPad base models — priced at $800. 64GB and 128GB models are expected to cost $900 and $1,000, respectively, and LTE-capable models will tack on another $130 — bringing the total cost for a top-of-the-line iPad Pro to $1,130, just under the base price of a new Retina MacBook. In addition to camera upgrades, all-new “3D Touch Display” screens, improved A9 chips and more efficient wireless systems, the new iPhones are expected to feature always-on Siri functionality, allowing users to activate Apple’s personal assistant simply by saying, “Hey Siri” at any time. Current iPhone models have to be plugged into a power source to activate that feature.

The fourth-generation Apple TV is getting software upgrades too, expected to run a new iOS 9-based system appropriately named “tvOS.” While based on the current Apple TV OS, the new system reportedly includes plenty of new elements from iOS 9 and El Capitan, including enhanced transparency effects. And finally, although Apple Watch isn’t expected to get a second-generation version this year, the company is expected to debut new gold color options and bands at today’s event — a PRODUCT(RED) Sport band box has already been posted on Twitter — as well as possible announcements about the company’s collaborations with popular fashion brands. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 EST) today.

Report: iPhone 6S, iPad Pro to feature ‘3D Touch Display’

Ahead of Apple’s announcement tomorrow, 9to5Mac is reporting the new iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and iPad Pro are expected to feature a next-generation version of the Force Touch display, likely to be called “3D Touch Display.” The new screens will be able to detect and act on three different levels of pressure — a tap, a press and a deep press. Sources said this improvement allows Apple to add new shortcut gestures to apps in the iPhone version of iOS 9, eliminating the need for multiple button pushes to do things like starting navigation in Maps or adding songs to a playlist in Music.

In addition to the new screen, 9to5Mac said the iPad Pro base model will feature four stereo speakers and 64GB of storage — substantially higher than the 16GB starting capacity of previous models. The new iPad will likely also come in a 128GB model and be available with built-in LTE capabilities like current iPad Air and iPad Mini lines, but will feature an A9X chip considered to be a large leap over the iPad Air 2’s A8X. Upscale models are expected to cost more than $1,000, placing them closer to the price point now reserved for a smaller MacBook than that of the most expensive iPad currently on the market. Even with the top of the line model, Apple is expected to make customers buy the Force-Touch-integrated stylus and Bluetooth keyboard separately, further upping the price for those looking for a more robust experience. The company is rumored to have two versions of the keyboard in the works, with one similar to the Apple Wireless Keyboard previously sold with Macs and iPads and another that doubles as a case. While the new iPhones will probably be available in rose gold, the iPad Pro will start with the gold, silver and space grey colors we’ve already seen. Pre-orders may start in October, but production issues and supply constraints could keep the iPad Pro from shipping until the end of November.

iPhone 6S to use 7000 series aluminum from Apple Watch Sport

The new iPhone 6S models will be constructed from the new 7000 series aluminum first introduced in the Apple Watch Sport earlier this year, 9to5Mac reports. When it was released for the Apple Watch, the new alloy was touted by Apple as being 60 percent stronger than typical aluminum alloys while remaining very light. With Apple having developed the new alloy for the Apple Watch, it makes sense that the material would find its way to the new iPhone 6S models, and should serve to help increase durability, particularly in the larger iPhone 6S Plus. Apple is expected to debut the two new iPhone 6S models a week from now on Sept. 9, and if past releases are any indication, the new models will go on sale September 18.

Google omits HealthKit support from Android Wear iOS app

Although Google released an iOS app able to link certain Android Wear watches to iPhones, the new interface doesn’t yet include support for Apple’s HealthKit, BuzzFeed reports. While Android watches can track steps, heart rate and other fitness metrics, the data won’t show up in Apple’s Health dashboard like data collected from the Apple Watch does. Instead, the information will be routed through Google’s competing health dashboard, Google Fit. An Apple spokeswoman was quick to point out that the choice not to integrate Android Wear watches with HealthKit was entirely Google’s, leading to speculation that Google is happy to tap into Apple’s iPhone user base, but reluctant to allow its watches to share data with competing platforms. It’s possible that Google could change its mind in the future and allow Android Wear to interact with HealthKit.

Malware steals 225,000+ Apple account logins from jailbroken iPhones

Malware has stolen login credentials for more than 225,000 Apple accounts from jailbroken iPhones, according to network security company Palo Alto Networks. The malware, now named “KeyRaider,” is distributed through Cydia repositories in China — Cydia is an (obviously) unofficial App Store alternative for jailbroken devices. Users in 18 countries are said to be affected, with Palo Alto Networks claiming, “We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware.” The stolen data appears to have already been accessed more than 20,000 times, with the data also having been uploaded online. Some infected iPhones have have been disabled for ransom requests, and some affected users have already seen abnormal charges in their app purchasing history. [via Ars Technica]

Google releases iOS app that links some Android Wear watches to newer iPhones

Google announced on its official blog that an iOS app rolling out today will finally let users pair some Android Wear watches with newer iPhones. Android Wear for iOS will let users running iOS 8.2+ on an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 or 6 Plus connect their phone to the LG Watch Urbane. Google said all future Android Wear watches — including those from Asus, Huawei and Motorola — will support the iOS app as well, but for now, only the Urbane offers support. Once connected, the watch will mirror the notifications on a user’s iPhone, display messages, and show info about incoming phone calls. In the announcement, Google makes a point of noting that Android Wear’s always-on display means users won’t have to move their wrist to “wake up” their watch — a clear dig at how the Apple Watch only turns its screen on to display notifications after a user rotates their wrist or taps the smartwatch. Android Wear is going after Apple Watch on the health front as well, allowing iPhone users to track heart rate, distance traveled, and progress toward fitness goals. The app also attempts to provide an alternative to Siri in offering the “OK Google” capability, which allows users to get responses to questions, check traffic or flight information, and create to-do list reminders on the fly.

Judge limits further filings in patent case between Apple and Samsung

After a week of rapid-fire filings in the never-ending court struggle between Apple and Samsung over patents, a U.S. judge has banned any further filings without the consent of the court, Apple Insider reports. A week after Samsung lost its appeal to overturn a $548 million fine for infringing on certain Apple patents, the U.S. Patent office issued a non-final action saying some of those patents shouldn’t have been granted to Apple in the first place. With Samsung still hoping to have the case go before the U.S. Supreme Court, Apple filed a motion with U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh proposing a partial final judgment that wouldn’t take the invalidated patents into account. That sparked an angry response from Samsung, a response to that response from Apple, a motion for judgment as a matter of law from Samsung, and one final Samsung objection to Apple’s partial judgment request that sent Koh over the edge. “The Court has not yet received the mandate from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals,” Judge Koh wrote in her order. “Despite this, the parties have already filed a letter, two responses, an objection, and a motion. The parties shall not file any further motions, briefs, or letters with the Court until authorized by the Court.”

Report: iPhone 6S to retain 16GB base model

A new tweet from Steve Hemmerstoffer of OnLeaks shows more leaked photos of iPhone 6S packaging that would appear to confirm that Apple plans to release a 16GB version of the iPhone 6S, contrary to earlier speculation that the lowest-capacity device would be dropped in the next release. The leak notably also matches a report from early July that analyzed components purported to come from an iPhone 6S, identifying a 16GB Toshiba memory chip among them.

iPhone 6S to get front flash mode? (Update: Rose Gold color on the way)

The iPhone 6S will include a screen-based front flash mode, 9to5Mac reports. The article also bolsters claims of a report from last month that the camera will be upgraded to 12MP and support 4K video recording. Apple is expected to move from its current 8-megapixel sensor design to a custom 12-megapixel image sensor in both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, along with an upgraded image signal processor that will be built into the new A9 system-on-a-chip. The new iPhones will also reportedly include an upgraded front FaceTime camera sensor for higher quality video calls and selfies, along with front-facing panorama shots and slow motion 720p video. Although contrary to earlier rumors, the new iPhone will not sport a physical LED on the front, the “flash mode” will illuminate an entirely white screen when the shutter button is pressed to simulate a flash when photos are taken — a feature that has already been implemented previously in some third-party apps such as Snapchat.

Update: 9to5Mac has added an additional report noting that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models will be available in a new “Rose Gold” color option, similar to that of the Apple Watch, although made from anodized aluminum rather than actual gold. The color is described as a “copper-like variation” on the existing gold color option. The front will be the same white color as the white and standard gold iPhone models.

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