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After on-stage failure, Federighi tries to quiet fears about Face ID’s function and security

In its first big moment on stage during last week’s Apple Keynote, Face ID failed to unlock SVP Craig Federighi’s iPhone X, leading to all kinds of speculation that the new authentication system will be a disaster. Sitting down with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, Federighi did his best to assuage those fears, saying the very public failure surprised him because usually the Face ID “just works,” and he’s certain that any fears over the functionality will “melt away” as soon as users have their hands on the iPhone X. “Honestly, we’re just all counting the days that customers can finally get their hands on these. Because I think just like with Touch ID, initially people thought oh, ‘Apple’s done something that’s totally not going to work and I’m not a believer and I’m not gonna use this feature,’” Federighi said. “Now everyone’s worried because they can’t imagine life without Touch ID. We’re going to see exactly the same thing with Face ID.”

Apple gives developers new guidelines for apps using ARKit, Face ID

Apple has updated its App Store guidelines for developers looking to make use of the company’s new Face ID technology and ARKit framework, aiming to ensure that apps are providing a worthwhile experience rather than a single gimmick. In somewhat vague terms, Apple claims it will only approve ARKit-based apps that “provide rich and integrated augmented reality experiences,” likely meaning apps that feature the ability to place a single object into a situation or run a single animation won’t fit the bill. Apple also added in new privacy restrictions, explicitly prohibiting the mining of facial data to identify people, requiring that the use of facial recognition for authentication within the app use Local Authentication rather than ARKit technology, and forcing apps to provide an alternate method of authentication for users under 13.

U.S. Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular models will only work on U.S. carriers

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) models may only work to provide cellular services in the country where they were originally purchased, according to a new report by MacRumors. An Apple support representative told a MacRumors reader that an “Apple Watch purchased in the U.S. online store will only work with the four carriers in the United States.”  While no additional details were provided, it seems that the problem would most likely be due to a limited number of LTE bands supported by the new cellular-capable Apple Watch model. Unlike the iPhone, engineering constraints in the much smaller Apple Watch likely limit the number of frequencies that can be effectively supported, and with carriers in different countries supporting different LTE frequency bands, it seems likely that Apple would optimize each Apple Watch Series 3 for cellular services in the country where it is being sold.

Case makers rush to offer options for new iPhone X

While many companies are simply rebranding their existing iPhone 7/7 Plus cases as new models, there’s no mistaking which manufacturers have offerings for the new iPhone X, so we’ve rounded up the best for your consideration if you’re planning to upgrade this November. Most of these companies are well ahead of the curve, so you’ll have lots of time to decide which case options are best of you, and in fact could even have an iPhone X case in your hands weeks before you actually have an iPhone X to put into it.

4K Movies begin appearing on iTunes

Apple has begun offering a number of movie titles in 4K HDR ahead of next week’s Apple TV 4K, identify by a “4K” designation where “HD” was previously shown, as well as a “Dolby Vision” logo. In addition to selling content in 4K for the same price as other HD content, Apple has promised that users who have previously purchased HD versions of titles that are now available in 4K will be able to download or stream the 4K version at no additional cost.

iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 + Apple TV 4K Now Available for Preorder

Apple began accepting pre-orders for its new iPhone 8, Apple Watch, and Apple TV models today, with the online store re-opening at 12:01 AM Pacific time. In contrast to prior years, where high-demand models sold out in minutes, most products remain available for in-store “Reserve and Pickup” for Sept. 22, with shipping delivery dates only having slipped to “1–2 weeks.”  While it’s possible Apple may simply have more units available this year, it also seems likely that many of the early adopters — those users most likely to be up at 3 AM placing a pre-order — are in fact waiting for the iPhone X, which will not be available for pre-order until Oct. 27.

AirPods Wireless Charging Case rumoured to be available in Dec. for $69

During this week’s event, Apple announced that its AirPods wireless earbuds would also be supporting Qi-compatible wireless charging with its new AirPower charging mat expected to arrive next year. Swiss site MacPrime claims to have heard from Apple Switzerland that this charging support will be coming in the form of a new wireless charging case for the AirPods, expected to go on sale in December for $69.

U.S. Senator Al Franken raises questions about FaceID privacy and security

U.S. Senator Al Franken is pressing Apple to provide details on the privacy and security safeguards around FaceID data, Recode reports. In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Franken raised concerns that Apple could use the “faceprints” collected by FaceID “to benefit other sectors of its business, sell it to third parties for surveillance purposes, or receive law enforcement requests to access it facial recognition system — eventual uses that may not be contemplated by Apple customers.”

Apple drops prices on iPhone SE, raises them on AppleCare+, iPad Pro models

As Apple prepares to release its high-priced latest additions to the iPhone family, the company has dropped the prices on its entry level iPhone SE, cutting prices on both the 32GB and 128GB models by $50. The SE has proven popular among those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the current slate of larger iPhones, and Apple has been quietly improving the deal for customers, most recently by providing a memory boost at no increased charge.

Disney is only major holdout on Apple plan to sell 4K movies for $20

Apple has inked deals with nearly every major studio to sell 4K movies, with Disney proving to be the lone holdout, The Wall Street Journal reports. The 4K or ultra-high definition movies will come at the same $20 price tag as high definition movies, according to a person familiar with the discussions. While Apple reportedly struggled with most of the Hollywood studios to come to terms on pricing, it was ultimately able to ink deals with the others, so it remains unclear why Disney hasn’t gotten on board yet; the studio currently sells its 4K movies for $25 on other platforms, and Apple is said to be firm on not raising movie proices above $20. Apple has long-standing ties to Disney, with the studio being the first to sell its TV shows and movies on iTunes and Disney CEO Robert Iger sitting on Apple’s board of directors. Reports from last month had Disney balking at Apple’s plan to offer new release movies for streaming just one week after they debut in theaters as other studios showed interest in the idea.

Apple’s wireless charger set to debut in 2018; Belkin’s coming this week

Alongside its wireless charging-capable iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models, Apple showed off its upcoming AirPower charging mat during yesterday’s keynote. While the accessory won’t be available until next year, it will be large enough to allow users to charge iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods on a single pad (provided users have the new compatible AirPods case). The company didn’t say how much the charging pad will cost or a specific release date, only saying customers will see it sometime in 2018.

Apple releases iTunes 12.7, ditching App Store and adding iOS 11 support, new social features

Apple has released iTunes 12.7 to all users, adding support for iOS 11 and Apple Music’s new social sharing features. The update also entirely does away with the App Store and Ringtones (and Books for Windows users), leaving those items to live on the iOS devices where they’re actually used and taking iTunes out of the equation. Apple has also eliminated separate categories for Internet Radio and iTunes U, streamlining the interface to place iTunes U collections in Podcasts and listing Internet Radio stations in the music library’s sidebar.

Apple unveils iPhone X with Face ID

Apple concluded today’s fall event with a classic “One more thing…” in honour of Steve Jobs, introducing the new-era-defining iPhone X. Describing it as the device that will shape the next ten years of smartphone technology, in the same way the original iPhone defined the past ten years, the iPhone X includes a 5.8” full front glass “Super Retina” OLED display that comes in at a resolution of 2436 x 1125 and a pixel density of 458 ppi. The display also features HDR support with a one million-to-one contrast ratio, enhanced colour accuracy and a True Tone display.

Apple debuts iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Apple took the wraps off of the first part of its much-anticipated new iPhone lineup today with the announcement of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The two new iPhones represent direct updates to last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, featuring a similar physical design that changes from an aluminum to a glass back that’s reinforced by aerospace-grade aluminum and steel, representing what Apple claims is the most durable glass that has yet been used in a smartphone. The new models also include Apple’s new A11 Bionic processor, a 64-bit six-core CPU with 4.3 billion transistors that improves performance by 25 percent over the iPhone 7’s A10 when using the performance cores, and up to 70 percent faster when using the four high-efficiency low-power cores. The new GPU is also 30 percent faster than the A10 at peak, and provides the same performance as the A10 at half the power consumption. A new Apple-designed image sensing processor (ISP) allows for faster low-light auto-focus, improved pixel processing, and hardware multiband noise reduction.

Apple to expand ‘TV’ app to seven additional countries, add Live Sports

In addition to today’s announcement of the Apple TV 4K, Apple also announced that it will be expanding its ‘TV’ app to seven additional countries over the next few months, beginning with Australia and Canada, as well as adding Live Sports and Live News section to the TV app, integrated with providers such as ESPN.

Apple announces Apple TV 4K, new 4K content coming to iTunes

Today during its fall event, Apple also announced Apple TV 4K, an upgrade to its set-top box that provides support for 4K resolution across the board as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. The new Apple TV 4K includes an A10X processor — the same as that found in the iPad Pro — that promises double the CPU performance and four times the GPU performance of the prior-generation Apple TV.

Apple releases Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular Capabilities

Apple kicked off the product announcements at today’s fall event with a quick recap of the health and fitness features coming in watchOS 4 and a new Apple Watch Series 3 version that incorporates a faster CPU and cellular capabilities that allow users to place and receive phone calls, communicate via text messages, and use other Internet-connected apps without having an iPhone in close proximity. As predicted by analysts, the new Apple Watch Series 3 incorporates an integrated eSIM card and shares the phone number with the user’s iPhone, meaning that although the new Apple Watch can be used without an iPhone in range, it is still not a completely standalone device.

Cozmo updates companion app to add new challenges, more depth to robot’s AI

Anki has released a major update to its Cozmo robot’s companion app — arriving later today — that adds new dimensions to what the toy can do, introducing a system of three basic needs that users can monitor and develop in each area to make the robot more adept. Where Cozmo previously had Daily Challenges that could be completed, each Cozmo now has three primary needs — Play, Energy and Tune-up — and will exhibit certain behaviors if any need isn’t being met. Playing games, performing tricks and seeing human faces all qualify as Play, and the device’s Power Cubes can be used in Play as well, in addition to filling out the Energy demand by “feeding” Cozmo. Tune-ups are exactly what they sound like, making sure the robot is in good enough working order to fulfill the Play and Energy requirements.

Apple creates mail-in option for iPhone Exchange program

For those waiting on today’s Apple announcement to decide on an upgrade, the company has added a new mail-in option for those interested in the iPhone Upgrade program. Customers who once had to go to an Apple Store to trade up can now “have a Trade-in Kit sent to you and return it by mail,” according to Apple’s updated website. The Trade-in Kit will be sent out after the user’s new iPhone ships and include a prepaid shipping label. As with all trades, Apple demands that the device be able to turn on, hold a charge, have a working screen and be free of cracks.

Apple working with Stanford, American Well to test Apple Watch heart monitoring

Apple has partnered with Stanford University and telemedicine company American Well to test whether the Apple Watch can be used to monitor common heart conditions, CNBC reports. People familiar with the discussions said the tests aim to discover whether the device’s sensors are sensitive enough to detect abnormal heart rhythms. American Well currently provides iPhone apps that allow those with an internet connection to quickly get in touch with a doctor, and Apple recently secured a patent covers methods of using an iPhone’s FaceTime camera and sensors to take health measurements. Apple is rumored to be working on partnerships across the health care industry, including a potential deal with Aetna to provide “free or discounted” Apple Watches to the company’s 23 million members.

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