After serious blowback from angry iPhone Upgrade Program customers who couldn’t pre-order an iPhone 7, Apple has added more stock to the online reservation program and has started returning calls to solve ordering issues, Apple Insider reports. Customer service has begun placing orders for program members’ desired model and second choice, promising that they won’t have to travel more than 15 miles past their preferred Apple Store for pickup. An Apple Store manager said they hadn’t been updated about the calls, saying “We don’t know if the orders that started again [on Tuesday] through AppleCare are coming from our reserved launch day stock, or are extras that they’ll send that we don’t know about yet.” It’s unclear how the added availability will affect a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple over the initial shortfalls.
CEO Tim Cook took on criticism of Apple’s new wireless AirPods in an interview with Good Morning America, telling Robin Roberts that he has worn them on the treadmill and out dancing without having the earbuds fall out of his ear. Cook even argued that wires make the old EarPods more likely to fall out during activity, providing chances to snag the cord on something, while also applying extra weight to the earbud that drags it down. A number of reviewers have said they were pleasantly surprised how well the AirPods stay in place, but The New York Times reported some interference and a glitch that caused a podcast to rewind and replay some segments. An Apple spokesperson said that reviewer had been testing pre-release hardware and that “bugs should be resolved by the time they are released next month.”
Apple has updated its suite of iWork apps — Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — for iOS 10, adding beta support for real-time collaboration with other iWork users. With the new feature, users can edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time across the iWork applications on iOS, macOS, and iCloud.com. Documents can be shared publicly or only with specific people. You can view who else is currently editing, and view their cursors in real-time as they’re editing. The apps also gain a new format pane for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, wide color gamut image support, support for older iWork ‘05 documents, improved downloading on-demand, and enhanced keyboard and navigation shortcuts. Additionally, a new Keynote Live feature in Keynote allows users to broadcast a slideshow to Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iCloud.com users, and the Apple Pencil can now be used to highlight when presenting from an iPad Pro.
Following the public release of iOS 10 today, Apple has also released iTunes 12.5.1, updating the design of Apple Music to match the new iOS 10 Apple Music app design, adding support for iOS 10 itself, and incorporating support for Siri and picture-in-picture video in macOS Sierra. iTunes 12.5.1 is available for download from Apple’s iTunes Download Page or via a software update in the macOS App Store.
As announced last week, Apple has released iOS 10, its latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update should now be available for over-the-air installation via Settings, General, Software Update, or by connecting to iTunes and using the Check for Updates option. The iOS 10 public release includes the new “Raise to Wake” feature, added Siri intelligence in the keyboard, enhancements to 3D Touch, redesigned Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Control Center user interfaces, the addition of the HomeKit Home app, upgrades to the Phone, Messages, Music, Photos and Maps apps, access to the iMessage App Store, and a number of other under-the-hood performance and stability improvements.
A quote buried deep in The New York Times review of the iPhone 7 backs earlier rumors that Apple’s 2017 iPhone will feature a “full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen.” Two Apple sources speaking on condition of anonymity reportedly confirmed rumors that have been circulating since May that the company is working on getting rid of the top and bottom edges and putting the Touch ID sensor behind the glass. The dramatic redesign—marking the 10-year anniversary of the first iPhone—is also rumored to feature an all-glass body and OLED display.
A class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court accuses Apple of shutting iPhone Upgrade Program customers out of getting an iPhone 7 on the day it launches. The suit, filed on behalf of Emil Frank, claims Apple knowingly “allowed non-Upgrade Program users to snap up the limited inventory of the new devices while telling countless iPhone Upgrade Program customers to ‘check back later.’” Many program members learned for the first time last week that their upgrade process requires making reservations at a local Apple Store, where inventories are generally more constrained, as opposed to placing a normal pre-order through the online Apple Store.
Apple made the entire iMessage App Store available to iOS 10 beta users yesterday, ahead of today’s iOS 10 launch. The store includes apps like OpenTable, games like Words with Friends, and exclusive sticker packs from big names like Disney and Nintendo. While some of the new apps are standalone exclusives to the iMessage App Store, many others are simply extensions of existing apps already available in Apple’s primary App Store. The sticker packs are a varied bunch as well, ranging from the simple Super Mario Run tie-in that doesn’t do much of anything, all the way to Disney’s animated Star Wars stickers that can be peeled and pasted directly onto messages. We’ll have more on the iMessage App Store’s new offerings as we delve into iOS 10 after today’s public release. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple took to Twitter to announce the news that for today only, iTunes is offering six 10-movie bundles for $10 each to celebrate the 10th anniversary of iTunes Movies. The bundles are arranged by studio, with pre-selected movies from Sony, Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate grouped together for purchase. You can view which movies are included in each bundle on iTunes.
Sports Illustrated photographer David E. Klutho used Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus to take photos at this weekend’s Titans-Vikings NFL game, and the results are fairly impressive. Klutho’s crisp images show the dual-camera’s range, capturing quick motion, flames, vivid colors and intricate details in closer shots. Head over to Sports Illustrated’s website to see all 18 photos.
Users buying their iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from AT&T and T-Mobile are getting a version of the device that won’t fully work on Verizon and Sprint networks, Recode recently reported. An examination of the fine print on AT&T and T-Mobile agreements shows that Apple’s use of an Intel modem in those devices makes them incompatible with the CDMA standard still used by Sprint and Verizon. The Qualcomm modems used in other iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices work across more carriers, but splitting up the modem orders between Intel and Qualcomm gives Apple more leverage in negotiations with its suppliers. While most users stick with their carrier over the life of their phone, the modem difference could prove problematic for AT&T and T-Mobile users looking to switch for one reason or another. Apple, Intel and Qualcomm all declined to comment.
In a note to investors, well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple’s dual-camera feature will remain exclusive to the larger iPhone Plus model in 2017. Kuo’s prediction throws cold water on the idea that next year’s 10-year anniversary iPhone release will include dual cameras in both models, with the analyst noting, “While an attractive addition for avid picture takers and professional photographers, the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera is not a mass-market killer application yet.” Kuo also says the telephoto lens in the dual-camera is expected to get an optical image stabilization upgrade next year, claiming the iPhone 7 Plus camera only offers that feature on the wide-angle lens. Apple hasn’t discussed this difference, but if Kuo is right, images and videos taken with the iPhone 7 Plus’ 2x optical zoom will be more susceptible to blurring and distortion due to camera shake. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple has laid off dozens of employees and shuttered parts of its secret car project, The New York Times reports. Sources briefed on the move said after expanding the Project Titan team to more than 1,000 employees over the last two years and bringing back highly regarded Apple veteran Bob Mansfield to helm the project after losing VP of Product Design Steve Zadesky, Apple is rethinking its plans for self-driving cars, telling employees the layoffs were part of a “reboot.”
Customers of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program appear to have been left behind in the pre-order process for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Macrumors reports that a number of customers were unable to select the specific model, carrier, color, or storage capacity they were looking for as stock appeared to be limited immediately when orders began. The process left many customers questioning the value of the iPhone Upgrade Program, which is designed to allow users to purchase a new iPhone for fixed monthly payments over a two-year time period and receive annual upgrades to the latest model, as they quickly discovered that the upgrade process requires making reservations at a local Apple Store, where inventories are generally much more severely constrained, as opposed to placing a normal preorder through the online Apple Store. The problem was further exacerbated by the suspension of the reservation system in the U.S., leaving many customers unable to try to reserve an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus at all.
It appears that customers who were lucky enough to snag an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus with a Sept. 16 delivery date have begun seeing orders entering the “Preparing for Shipment” stage, suggesting that Apple is already underway with getting the early units shipped out to customers in time for the promised launch day arrival. In this stage, orders can no longer be canceled or modified, and purchasers can expect to see their credit cards or other payment methods billed, and eventually receive a shipment notification once their iPhone leaves Apple’s warehouses. Early shipments however shouldn’t be taken as an indication of an arrival before Sept. 16 — in prior years, Apple has arranged with couriers to ship out orders to local UPS and FedEx distribution centers with instructions to postpone actual delivery to customers until the scheduled launch day.
In the wake of high demand for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, Apple appears to have temporarily suspended its “Reserve and Pickup” service in the U.S., the U.K., and Italy until Sept. 17 — the day after the new iPhone models are expected to be available in Apple Stores. Reservations are now expected to open at 8 AM local time for U.S. Apple Stores and 6 AM local time for Apple Stores in the U.K. and Italy. Notably, Reserve and Pickup remains available for at least some models in Canada, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, although not surprisingly the iPhone 7 Plus appears to be largely sold out already at most stores in Canada, and likely many of these other countries as well. Users can still try lining up at an Apple Store in person on Sept. 16, although whatever inventory is available will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis as in prior years. [via Macrumors]
As previously announced, Apple opened preorders for the new Phone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this morning at 12:01 AM PT. Shipping dates of the Jet Black iPhone models slipped back into October, and then November within minutes of preorders going live, suggesting either overwhelming popularity or limited stock of the new color option. The Black model followed as a close second, with ship dates pushed into late September. By contrast, the white-faced Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold models remained available with Sept. 16 delivery dates for some time after preorders began, although by press time this morning all of the iPhone 7 Plus models had moved into availability ranging from late September to early October, with only some of the standard non-black iPhone 7 models still retaining the Sept. 16 delivery date. All iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are expected to become available for direct purchase at Apple Stores and other participating retailers on Sept. 16.
Google has released an update to Google Photos, incorporating some of the Live Photos features it debuted in its Motion Stills app earlier this year. While Google Photos added support for backing up and viewing live photos back in March, Google Photos 2.0 now allows users to apply image stabilization to Live Photos and save them as looping animated GIFs or video clips for easier sharing with non-iOS devices. The new version of Google Photos will also allow users to freeze the background in a Live Photo or create “sweeping cinematic pans” — although more advanced Live Photo editing features beyond this remain the purview of the full Motion Stills app. The Google Photos 2.0 update also adds the ability to choose a new thumbnail for faces in the People section, sort photos in albums chronologically or by date added, and more streamlined sharing to YouTube.
Although Apple didn’t discuss Apple TV hardware at yesterday’s event, the company may be taking steps to gradually phase out the older third-generation Apple TV. According to 9to5Mac, Apple has reportedly been pulling stock of the older Apple TV from its retail store shelves, with employees being told to ship them back to Apple. Links to purchase the device also appear to have been removed from the company’s online store, making last year’s new tvOS-powered fourth-generation Apple TV the only box in the lineup. Although the third-generation Apple TV has no expansion capabilities beyond the “channels” that Apple chooses to add on the back end, at $69 it does make for a useful entry-level device into the Apple TV ecosystem, as well as an inexpensive AirPlay video receiver or secondary Apple TV box that could be used in an alternate room in the house. At this point, the fourth-generation Apple TV still begins at the much costlier $149 price point.
Two key Apple executives behind the iPhone 7 have provided a bit more insight into the company’s logic behind killing off the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack in the new iPhone 7.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s VP of iOS, iPad, and iPhone Product Marketing, and Dan Riccio, Apple’s SVP of Hardware Engineering, expand on Phil Schiller’s comments during Wednesday’s Apple event. Schiller said that it was time to move on from the hundred-year-old analog headphone technology in order to allow Apple to create more space inside the iPhone for new features. Joswiak explained that the only innovation the legacy audio connector has seen in the past 100 years was a simple reduction in size back in the 1960s, with nothing new since then. “It’s a dinosaur. It’s time to move on,” Joswiak said.
“It was holding us back from a number of things we wanted to put into the iPhone,” Riccio says. “It was fighting for space with camera technologies and processors and battery life. And frankly, when there’s a better, modern solution available, it’s crazy to keep it around.”