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Apple ID now required for online Genius Bar appointments

Apple now requires all users booking a Genius Bar appointment online to sign in using an Apple ID. In the past, only a name, address, and email were required, but the Genius Bar appointment page now asks for an Apple ID and password. A report notes Apple is trying to link the Apple ID with all actions in the company’s ecosystem. Additionally, by tying appointments to one specific Apple ID, scalping issues — such as those reported in China — should be eliminated. [via TechCrunch]

iPhone 5s Touch ID won’t store fingerprint images

Apple’s new Touch ID system in its upcoming iPhone 5s won’t store users’ fingerprint images on the device, an Apple spokesman said. Touch ID will store encrypted “fingerprint data” in the iPhone processor, according to the Wall Street Journal. At this point, third-party applications will not be allowed to use the scanner. Touch ID users will also be required to set a passcode as a backup. Although the sensor is said to perform better than laptop fingerprint scanners, Apple noted Touch ID may have issues reading fingertips covered in sweat, lotion or liquids. The system might also struggle with reading scarred fingertips.

Apple offers discontinued iPhone 5 starting at $99/$549

Following the introduction of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s yesterday, Apple is selling off its stock of iPhone 5 units at $99/$199/$299 for 16GB/32GB/64GB models with a standard contract, iLounge has confirmed. The recently discontinued device will also be sold for $549/$649/$749 off contract. The prices are notably for new — not refurbished — iPhone 5 devices. It’s likely the iPhone 5 will be sold at these prices for at least the next week or so until the remainder of the stock goes back to Apple; refurbished models may well appear at even lower prices in the near future.

iLuv debuts iPhone 5c cases

iLuv has introduced a number of cases for the iPhone 5c, including the Aurora Illusion ($20). A glow-in-the-dark case for 5c, Aurora Illusion is a silicone case with enhanced grip, and will melt your brain with its hypnotic design.

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iLuv also introduced the Flightfit Gaudi ($25) for 5c, a two-layer glow-in-the-dark case with a dot pattern, and the Vyneer ($20), a minimal, translucent case. Vyneer is in stock now, while Aurora Illusion and Flightfit Gaudi are available for pre-order.

Miniot announces 5s cases, 5c grip case

Miniot has announced new cases for the iPhone 5s and 5c. The Dutch casemaker has “redesigned” its iWood case as the iWood 5s ($106). iWood5s comes in walnut, padouk, cherry, oak, mahogany, and maple. Miniot has also included its book ($194), contour ($194), and cobra ($194) cases in its 5s collection.

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Miniot has also announced the Miniot grip for iPhone 5c. Made from one piece of colorful wood, the case is coming soon. Pricing is not currently available.

AppleCare+ now for iPod touch/classic, iPhone price hiked

Apple has added its AppleCare+ extended warranty coverage to iPod touch and iPod classic, at a cost of $59 for either device, then $29 per service incident. AppleCare+ launched in Europe yesterday, with iPod coverage in the UK, France, and Italy. That iPod coverage is also now available for countries that already had AppleCare+.

Apple also quietly increased the service fee for iPhone AppleCare+ to $79 per incident, from $49. New customers will now pay $99 for AppleCare+ for iPhone, then $79 each time they require a replacement device under the plan. Up to two replacement devices can be issued under the policy.

Apple kills Cards app

Apple quietly announced that as of yesterday, its Cards service for iOS is no longer available, putting an end to an unusual standalone app that debuted in October 2011. A support page notes that “Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work.” Previous purchases can still be viewed in the app’s Saved Cards feature. On the same support page, Apple recommends using iPhoto on the Mac for ordering letterpress cards with customized photos and text.

Apple TV software refresh Sept. 18 to add new features

Although not addressed during yesterday’s media event, the Apple TV is scheduled for a software update on Sept. 18, AllThingsD reports. One new feature in the update will let users stream their purchased iTunes content to another user’s Apple TV using AirPlay. The content will stream directly from the cloud to an Apple TV — it will no longer be necessary to download the content to an iOS device to send to the TV. It’s also likely that the update will contain iTunes Radio, Apple’s new music exploration service. The software update will be released the same day as iOS 7.

Apple intros space gray iPod touch, nano, shuffle

Apple has quietly added space gray as a color option for the iPod touch 32GB and 64GB models, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, replacing the previously slate black versions of each device. The new color option is sold as a color option for the devices at the same prices as before.

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Considering the unannounced color addition, it’s unlikely that Apple will further update their iPod line this year. In 2011, the fourth-generation iPod touch skipped a year in updates, only adding white as a new color.

Incipio debuts case line for iPhone 5c, 5s

Incipio has announced a new line of cases for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. For the iPhone 5c, Incipio has introduced 12 new cases, many of which are new versions of previous designs from the company. Rowan ($30) is a textured case that comes in five different colors. Other 5c designs include a new NGP ($20) impact-resistant case and Watson ($45) folio wallet case, among many others.

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For the iPhone 5s, 16 cases are currently shown on Incipio’s site, including the Stashback ($40) credit card case and Kicksnap ($35) with integrated stand. A new case called Phenom was announced, but isn’t on the website as of yet. All of the cases are currently listed as “coming soon.”

Apple now accepting iOS 7 app submissions

Following the release of the iOS 7 GM seed to developers earlier today, Apple has officially announced that developers can now begin submitting apps built with the new iOS 7 SDK to the App Store.

Apple has also posted a set of developer documents covering building apps for the new iPhone 5s, including programming guides for the new A7 64-bit chip, OpenGL ES 3 and M7 and Core Motion.

China gets cheap iPhone after all: 4 remains, now 2,588 Yuan

Although many observers expected Apple to target the new iPhone 5c at the lower-end of the market, specifically to win over particularly budget-conscious Chinese consumers, the company instead has kept the 2010-vintage iPhone 4 alive in China at a new low price: 2,588 Yuan (approx. $423) off-contract, down from a previous price of 3,088 Yuan (approx. $505). This model includes 8GB of storage capacity. To help ease the cost of the iPhone 4 for consumers, Apple continues to offer a monthly installment plan of 119 Yuan (approx. $20) over 24 months.

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Apple also lowered the price of the iPhone 4s in China to 3,288 Yuan (approx. $537), also with an 8GB capacity, markedly down from 4,488 Yuan (approx. $733) before, though with 8GB of storage capacity rather than 16GB. Notably, the iPhone 4 and 4S have more limited support for Chinese cellular networks than the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s introduced today.

Apple releases iOS 7 GM seed to developers

Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 7 to registered developers. Listed as build 11A465, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 18, and as such can be used to submit iOS 7 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 7 GM seed will be made available as an over-the-air software update, as has been the case with past iOS beta releases, however Registered Developers can download the iOS 7 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.

Apple quietly introduces 2m Lightning to USB Cable

Among new iPhones and corresponding accessories, Apple today added a 2m version of its Lightning to USB Cable to its online store. It appears that the only differences between this cord and the 0.5m and 1m cables are the length, and the $10-higher price.

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Apple’s website lists the cable as shipping within 24 hours, and ready for in-store pickup starting September 12, 2013.

 

AppleCare+ launches in Europe

Apple launched its AppleCare+ program in Europe today. The extended warranty program is available in the UK, France, and Italy. Apple is offering AppleCare+ for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod in each country. In the UK, AppleCare+ will cost about $124 for iPad and iPhone, and $78 for iPod. Until today, AppleCare+ was only available in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. It’s unknown if or when other countries will gain access to AppleCare+. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple unveils iPhone 5c, 5s Docks

After abandoning its white plastic docks with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has brought them back with new editions for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

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Both docks cost $29, and sport Lightning connectors inside recessed ridges. On the back, each has a Lightning output, next to line out audio. They’ll both be available for purchase on September 20, 2013.

Apple debuts iPhone 5c, 5s Cases

At its keynote address today, Apple introduced cases to accompany its new iPhone 5c and 5s handsets. The iPhone 5c Case, which goes for $29, is made of silicone rubber and features a 5 x 7 series of dots to reveal the color of the device below. It will be available in white, pink, yellow, blue green, and black.

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The iPhone 5s Case sells for $39, and is made of leather, with brown, beige, black, yellow, blue, and PRODCT (RED) hues. It’ll also fit the iPhone 5.

Apple sets up Sept. 13 pre-order page for 5c

Apple has set up pages to pre-order the iPhone 5c. The new phone can be pre-ordered starting Sept. 13, with plans from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, or contract-free from T-Mobile at $549 or $649 for 16GB or 32GB, respectively.

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Notably, the new iPhone 5s can not be pre-ordered. Instead, it will be available in stores on Sept. 20.

Apple debuts flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5s. It comes in three colors — space gray, silver, and gold. The iPhone 5s is made of aluminum, with chamfered edges. It uses a Touch ID fingerprint scanner within a sapphire Home Button, for security purposes. Touch ID can be used to unlock the iPhone 5s, or to authenticate iTunes purchases. It can be set up to read multiple fingerprints. Apple says fingerprints will never be uploaded to its servers, or backed up to iCloud. The data will be encrypted. The Touch ID sensor is 170 microns thin, with 500 ppi resolution. It can be read in any orientation — 360 degree readability. A ring around the Home Button is a detection ring that activates the Touch ID.

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It contains a 64-bit A7 processor with 2x general purpose registers and one billion transistors. Apple pointed out the 5s is 40 times faster than the original iPhone, while graphics are 56 times faster. It’s noted that iOS 7 has been reengineered for 64-bit, and is backward-compatible with 32-bit apps. The iPhone 5s runs Open GL ES 3.0, which will allow for greater graphic performance. A demo showing off the graphics used Infinity Blade III, which will be along with the iPhone 5s.

A new part, the M7, works as a motion coprocessor alongside the A7. It continuously measures motion data, with accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass support.

The new iPhone 5s iSight camera has a newly developed five-element Apple lens with f/2.2 aperture, and a 15 percent larger active area. iOS 7 is designed to work with the new camera — to set white balance and exposure level, and to create a dynamic local tone map. The camera actually takes multiple photos and picks the best one available. True Tone Flash is the expected dual-flash LED — one cool and white, the other warm and amber. The flashes are used in tandem to improve color balance. Auto image stablization has also been added, and a new 10 frames-per-second Burst Mode is activated when holding the button down to take pictures. Exposure in a 28MP panoramic shot can be adjusted automatically.

As for video, the iPhone 5s camera can record slow-motion video and 720 HD video at 120 frames-per-second. It’s possible to select separate parts of a video to be normal speed or in slow-motion.

Battery life is 250 hours on standby, 10 hours of 3G talk, 10 hours of LTE browsing, and 40 hours of music playback.

iPhone 5s costs $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, with a standard two-year contract. A line of Apple cases for the device will be $39 each. The iPhone 5s will be released Friday, Sept. 20.

Apple debuts colorful iPhone 5c

Apple has officially announced the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 5c comes in five different colors — white, blue, pink, yellow, and green. Made from a single part, the seamless iPhone 5c has a polycarbonate shell.

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Containing a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c comes with the same A6 processor as the iPhone 5, with the same rear camera. The front-facing FaceTime camera is improved, with larger pixels and improved backside illumination. It supports “more LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world.” The iPhone 5c is also equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. A steel frame inside the device doubles as an antenna.

The iPhone 5c is $99 for a 16GB model, and $199 for a 32GB model with two-year contract. Apple also introduced a line of its own custom cases for the iPhone 5c at $29 each. The iPhone 5c will be released Friday, Sept. 20. It will be available for pre-order on Friday, Sept. 13.

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