News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple shows off watchOS 4

Apple took the wraps off watchOS 4 today during its WWDC Keynote, with VP of Technology Kevin Lynch demonstrating several new features in the next major update to Apple’s wearable device. watchOS 4 will add several new Watch Faces, most notably a proactive “Siri Face” that will provide a display of relevant information throughout the day, similar to the “Proactive Assistant” introduced in iOS 9 two years ago. For example, the Siri Face will adapt to a user’s routines and usage patterns, automatically surfacing things like weather, meeting notifications, photo memories, reminders, news, flight information, and more, based on the time of the day and location and how the user typically uses their Apple Watch. Additional new faces includes a “Kaleidoscope” watch face that displays a symmetrical pattern throughout the day, which can be customized using a picture from the user’s photo library, a swell as three new animated faces for popular Toy Story characters Woody, Jessie, and Buzz.

Apple announces iPad Pro updates, including new 10.5” model

During today’s Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote, Apple took the wraps off two new iPad Pro models, including an update to the 12.9” iPad Pro along with the expected new 10.5” model, which replaces last year’s 9.7” iPad Pro. The 12.9” iPad Pro retains the same size and form factor as before, but comes into line with its smaller counterpart, which previously provided a better display. The 10.5” iPad Pro provides a screen 20% larger than the prior 9.7” model, reducing the screen borders by about 40% to retain the same general size and weight. Both devices now incorporate a six-core A10X Fusion Chip that provides 30% faster performance and 40% faster graphics performance from the prior models, while still maintaining the same ten-hour battery life. New displays provide True Tone and a Wide Colour Gamut, ultralow reflectivity, 600 nits brightness, and HDR video — a minor display upgrade for the smaller iPad Pro, but a larger bump for the 12.9” model, which previously lacked the True Tone display technology.

Apple has also added a new “ProMotion” feature to the display technology in both models, doubling the refresh rate to 120Hz, thereby providing significantly smoother scrolling performance as well as reduced latency for Apple Pencil users. The display can, however, automatically adjust refresh rates downward when the faster rates aren’t necessary, thereby improving battery performance. The new models also gain the iPhone 7 camera improvements, with a 12MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, an f/1.8 aperture, six-element lens, quad-LED True Tone flash, and wide colour and 4K video capture, as well as a 7MP front camera with wide colour capture and optical image stabilization. Both models will also feature USB 3.0 support and high-speed USB-C charging — a feature previously limited to the 12.9” iPad Pro. Apple has also doubled memory capacities across the board, with the entry level iPad Pro models starting at 64GB, and the higher-end models available in 256GB and 512GB capacities.

The new iPad Pro models are available for order from Apple’s online store beginning today, starting at $649 for the 10.5” and $799 for the 12.9” and are expected to begin shipping early next week.

Tim Cook speaks out on Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris Accord

Apple CEO Tim Cook has added his voice to large chorus of CEOs who have been expressing disappointment over President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. In an internal memo obtained by Buzzfeed News, Cook told employees that he “spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn’t enough.”

Following the email sent out within Apple, Cook later also publicly tweeted on the matter, stating pointedly that he considers the decision “wrong for our planet” and reiterating Apple’s unwavering commitment to fighting climate change. In the internal e-mail, Cook reassured employees that President Trump’s decision will have “no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment,” emphasizing the company’s significant efforts in powering all of its operations with renewable energy, which as Cook says is not only good for the planet, but “makes good business sense as well.”

Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us.

Cook also promised to keep working toward the “ambitious goals of a closed-loop supply chain,” that were outlined in the company’s Environmental Responsibility Report released last month.

Apple expanding Swift Playgrounds to teach coding for robots, drones and musical instruments

In advance of next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple has announced that Swift Playgrounds, its educational coding app for iPad, will be expanded to teach kids to code using robots, drones, and musical instruments. Apple has already been working behind the scenes with several companies, including LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3, Sphere SPRK+, Parrot, and others, to enable Bluetooth-enabled robots to be connected and interfaced with in the Swift Playgrounds app. The new features are expected to arrive in a version 1.5 update to be released on the App Store next Monday.

Report provides new insights into Apple’s upcoming Siri smart speaker

Apple’s long-rumoured Siri smart speaker is already in production, according to a new report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. Citing people familiar with the matter, Gurman lends his weight to recent rumours that Apple may in fact debut the speaker next week at WWDC, although he stops short of declaring that a sure thing, and notes that sources suggest the device will still not be ready to ship until later in the year.

Gurman’s report also provides a few additional insights into Apple’s plans for differentiating the new device from competing Google and Amazon offerings, noting that Apple will naturally offer “deep integration” with its product lineup, as well as focusing more heavily on audio fidelity by offering virtual surround sound technology, providing better sound quality, and possibly even sporting advanced features such as integrated sensors to measure a room’s acoustics and adjust audio settings accordingly. However, the speaker will not feature any kind of touchscreen, according to sources who have seen the actual product.

Apple releases WWDC app update ahead of next week’s event

Apple has released a big update to its companion app for the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled to begin next Monday. WWDC 6.0 features a number of significant improvements, including the ability to use almost all of the features in the app without signing in with an Apple ID. The app now provides curated video playlists based on featured themes, a new “Venue” tab that provides information on the venue, and interactive venue and street maps for the local area. The update also adds an iMessage app that provides some exclusive stickers for WWDC attendees to share.

Apple releases second round of betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, watchOS 3.2.3

Apple has released a second set of developer betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3. As with the first round of betas, these all include only minor updates and bug fixes. iOS 11 is expected to be debuted next week at WWDC, with a public release likely to follow alongside the new iPhone models in the fall.

Apple announces Live Stream of WWDC 2017 Keynote

Apple has added an events page for its upcoming WWDC 2017 Keynote, confirming that the Jun. 5 event will be live streamed, similar to prior years. As usual, Apple will use its own HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology introduced in 2010 to broadcast the event so that users of any relatively recent iOS or macOS device can view it in the Safari web browser. PC users can view the event using Microsoft Edge on Windows 10; older versions of Windows don’t appear to be supported. For Apple TV users, the event will be broadcast in the Apple Events tvOS app; interestingly it also appears that Apple will still be broadcasting the event to second- and third-generation Apple TV devices, suggesting the “Apple Events” channel will simply appear on these now-discontinued models in time for the event. [via MacRumors]

Apple and Nokia settle patent dispute

Apple and Nokia have announced a resolution to the patent dispute that began late last year. In addition to settling all litigation related to the intellectual property dispute, the two companies have also agreed to a multi-year patent license, which will see Nokia providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple, and Apple returning Nokia’s digital health products (formerly Withings) to its store shelves. The two companies are also exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives, with regular summits between their top executives to maintain the business relationship. Details of the agreement remain confidential, however Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional payments made during the term of the agreement.

Qualcomm sues Apple suppliers over withholding royalties

Qualcomm is suing four Apple suppliers over withholding royalties, Reuters reports. The move is the latest in an ongoing battle between Qualcomm and Apple over licensing payments Qualcomm charges for the use of patents the company holds on several integral components used in iPhones. Apple suspended all licensing payments to Qualcomm last month, and Qualcomm’s latest filing goes after Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal Electronics for their part in the proxy war. “While not disputing their contractual obligations to pay for the use of Qualcomm’s inventions, the manufacturers say they must follow Apple’s instructions not to pay,” Qualcomm said in a statement. Apple has agreed to indemnify its partners against any damages resulting from their refusal to pay Qualcomm, but Qualcomm is now seeking a court order to force the manufacturers to comply with existing contractual obligations.

Apple begins production of iPhone SE in India

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Apple confirmed it has started production of the iPhone SE in Bangalore and plans to start shipping the devices to customers in India this month. Sources close to the production said the first handsets could hit store shelves as early as this week, although it’s unclear how much the phones will cost. Indian government officials say they’re hopeful the final price will land somewhere near $200, but resellers are currently charging around $320 for the iPhone SE.

Apple launches new site for Today at Apple educational programs

Apple has launched its Today at Apple website to support the company’s new educational programs, allowing users to select their local Apple Store and see which programs are available. The site provides the ability to sort by date and type of training, and adds in results from nearby Apple Stores to expand the range of programs that users can select. Clicking on the Details button attached to any event provides a brief description of the training offered and directions for those looking to attend. All of the programs are free to attend. On a related note, Apple Stores around the world revamped their store layouts last night to accommodate the new requirements for the tutorials.

Apple releases betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, watchOS 3.2.3

Yesterday Apple released developer betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3. The betas include minor updates and bug fixes, but Apple seems to be saving its big updates for iOS 11, expected to be debuted next month and WWDC before landing on devices whenever Apple’s new iPhones are released later this year.

Apple looking for someone to head up video programming strategy

Apple is looking for someone to lead its video programming strategy efforts, The Information reports. People familiar with the matter said Apple has talked to former HBO programming head Michael Lombardo, who left HBO early last year to focus on his own production projects. Sources at Apple claim the company is actively looking to fill the role, but what types of video content viewers could end up getting from the arrangement is still an open question. Apple has been all over the place with its video strategy, often publicly claiming its video moves are simply made to boost Apple Music while continuing to discuss possible deals with the likes of Paramount Pictures and Sony, all the while adding that the company isn’t ruling any kind of video content out if they find it interesting. Some of the discord stems from several Apple executives — including Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services, Robert Kondrk, VP of Apple Content and Media Apps, and Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine — all working to arrange their own exclusive deals, which may be why the company is looking to put one person at the helm.

Apple patents construction method for cylindrical device that could be Siri speaker

Apple has been granted a patent for techniques to mount multiple components inside a cylindrical device, fueling further speculation that the device in question is the rumored Siri speaker. The patent covers the methods used in mounting speakers, microphones, sensors, lights, touch displays and other electronic parts so that they will lay flush with an outer cylinder-shaped casing. Methods for using gaskets to surround components to seal them against the outer wall while still allowing for openings for acoustics and airflow are of particular interest, since this would be necessary for the multiple-speaker setup rumored to be coming in the Siri speaker. While the Mac Pro is also assembled inside a cylinder, the methods outlined in the new patent provide for a more sealed off device. [via AppleInsider]

Apple acquires ‘dark data’ company Lattice Data

Apple has acquired “dark data” company Lattice Data for around $200 million, TechCrunch reports. Founded in 2015, the company has produced its own AI-enabled inference engine to convert unstructured “dark data” into more structured and usable information. A source claims Apple closed the deal a couple of weeks ago, adding around 20 of the company’s engineers to its ranks. Apple confirmed the acquisition with its usual blanket statement, but gave no indication of how the technology would be used. The company has boosted its research into AI, with CEO Tim Cook sharing his hopes that the technology will transform the way people use their phones “in ways that most people don’t even think about.” The company recently joined the Partnership on AI and began allowing employees to publish their AI research.

Apple publishes ‘How to shoot on iPhone 7’ tutorial series

Apple has posted a new web page with a series of tutorials on taking great photographs using the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Titled How to shoot on iPhone 7, the page hosts sixteen tutorial videos ranging from basics such as taking great portraits, close-ups, and action shots, to more advanced techniques such as shooting from unique angles, working with street lights and backlit subjects, and taking photos during the golden hour. Each video is brief and to the point, running only 30–40 second in length with three to four clear steps presented to accomplish each action, and only background music without narration. The first five videos in the series have also been published on Apple’s YouTube channel.

Report: Apple to announce Prime Video for Apple TV at WWDC

Following a report last week that Apple and Amazon were close to sorting out their differences preventing Amazon Prime from coming to the Apple TV, Buzzfeed News now reveals that the two companies are preparing to make an announcement to this effect at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Citing “sources in a position to know,” the report suggests that not only will Amazon Prime’s video app make its debut on the Apple TV at the June event, but that the set-top box will also see a return to Amazon’s virtual shelves — a logical move considering that Amazon’s rationale for banning sales of the device in 2015 were due to its lack of support for Amazon Prime.

Apple Music opens Giphy channel

Apple has expanded its social media marketing efforts for Apple Music into a new Giphy channel, tweeting out a GIFs from the trailer for the upcoming “Harry Styles: Behind the Album” documentary, and linking back to the channel which includes 85 GIFs from other exclusive Apple Music content and marketing campaigns.

In addition to several GIFs from the Styles documentary, the Giphy channel also includes excerpts from Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour Concert video, along with music videos and Apple Music ads featuring Kendrick Lamar, Gucci Mane, DJ Khaled, Ray Liotta, and Drake. Apple’s promotion of the new Giphy channel suggests that the company plans to continue adding new animated GIF content to it for other marketing campaigns and exclusive releases going forward. [via AppleInsider]

Apple reportedly debuting Apple Store updates May 17

Apple will be doing overnight updates to its older stores on May 16 and debuting the new look the following morning, 9to5Mac reports. Apple sources said the changes are coming to “older and smaller stores that aren’t suitable for the full redesign we’ve seen in flagship stores.” Since not all locations can support the massive updates see in flagship locations like San Francisco and New York City, the company has put together a “halfway house” update to reflect Apple’s new look while working within the available space. While there are no firm details on what the updates will entail, Apple has but a greater focus on redefining their stores as community gathering places, adding in new spaces for its “Today at Apple” educational sessions and incorporating natural materials like wood and granite into their sleek designs.

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