Four key claims of Apple’s “rubber-banding” patent have been validated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Apple informed Judge Lucy Koh of the USPTO’s intent. In April, a “Final Office Action” ruled one of the main claims invalid; this claim had been key in Apple’s patent battles with Samsung. That claim will now receive a reexamination certificate, strengthening Apple’s case moving forward. [via FOSS Patents]
Apple’s iOS 7 is adding improved integration for Bluetooth 4 LE (low-energy) accessories. iOS devices will work with more Bluetooth 4 accessories, and include new features for time, notifications, stereo sound, keyboards and more. An ability to sense location beacons will make location awareness much more precise. It will also be possible to set up and configure Wi-Fi accessories from iOS. Bluetooth will also be linked to the Apple Notification Center Service and Preservation and Restoration service. The ANCS allows for push notifications to Bluetooth Smart accessories. The Preservation and Restoration Service can figure out why an app was terminated, or to continue running an app, whereas in iOS 6, an app would stop talking to a Bluetooth device in such situations. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is considering releasing two larger iPhones next year, according to Reuters. One phone could have a 4.7-inch screen, and the other would have a 5.7-inch screen, though Reuters’ sources are unclear as to whether either or both would actually come to market. If true, Apple would effectively be entering the “phablet” market, which has been written off by some as impractical despite growing demand. Sources also said test production for the next two iPhones — the iPhone 5S and budget iPhone — will start next month, with an eventual September launch target for both phones. Reuters suggests that the iPhone 5S will have new fingerprint technology, while Apple’s budget iPhone will come in a range of five to six colors. Additionally, Apple has discussed a price of $99 for the low-end iPhone, though it’s noted that the phone’s release “could slip to next year.”
iOS 7 users will be able to redeem iTunes gift cards using the device’s camera, thanks to an addition to the upcoming operating system’s App Store. iTunes for the Mac added the same feature last year, and it makes even more sense to bring the option to iOS devices. Additionally, the ability to read barcodes is built into iOS 7, opening up greater possibilities from third-party developers going forward. [via 9to5Mac]
Many of the new icons in Apple’s recently revealed iOS 7 were “primarily designed by members of Apple’s marketing and communications department,” according to a report. Apple Senior VP of Industrial Design Jony Ive reportedly used the print and web marketing design team to “set the look and color palette of the stock app icons.” The app design teams then designed the icons using those set palettes as a guide. Sources also said there are “inconsistencies in icon design,” and it’s been noted that iOS 7’s first beta is “mid stride” and a “work in progress,” fueling speculation that there could be a fair number of changes to the new OS by the time it’s ready for full release in the Fall. [via The Next Web]
Apple has updated its warranty policy in Belgium to comply with EU law, offering a full two-year statutory warranty, according to a Dutch Apple site (translated link). The company also similarly updated policies in France and Germany. Apple published a document in Dutch, noting the Belgian warranty changes. Previously, Apple had come under fire from a Belgian watchdog group, which filed a complaint regarding the company’s warranty practices. Apple was fined twice in Italy over similar warranty issues. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple is now offering developers instructions for creating officially sanctioned game controllers. Two game controllers are illustrated — both with a d-pad, four front buttons, and shoulder buttons. One of the controllers slightly resembles a Wii U Gamepad, as an iOS device could be placed within the controller’s center. The other controller is more traditional, and similar to Xbox or PlayStation controllers, adding two analog joysticks and two extra shoulder buttons. It closely resembles the shape of Nintendo’s Wii Classic Controller.
The new Game Controller framework describes three controllers — a standard and extended version of the iOS device controller, and a controller that connects wirelessly to an iOS device or Mac. The controllers must be optional, and will connect automatically once discovered. In addition to gaming for iOS devices and Macs, expect speculation about the devices being used for the Apple TV, which could conceivably become a home gaming console of sorts with wireless accessories. [via Touch Arcade]
iOS 7 detects when non-certified Lightning accessories are connected to iOS devices, and offers an onscreen warning: “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this (iPod/iPhone/iPad).” The message appeared when connecting a non-certified accessory.
Despite the warning, the message can be dismissed, and users can continue to use a non-certified accessory. The current version of iOS 7 is only a first beta version, and the message may be changed or eliminated by the time the software is officially released. [via 9to5mac]
As announced earlier at today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple has released the first beta of iOS 7 to registered iOS developers. Carrying a build number of 11A4372q, the beta is available for all models of the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4, as well as the fifth-generation iPod touch.
An iOS 7 beta for the iPad is not yet available and was announced as coming later this month. The beta downloads are also accompanied by a beta of Xcode 5 with the iOS 7 SDK, a pre-release Apple TV Software version for the second- and third-generation Apple TV, and a beta version of Find My iPhone for the new security features in iOS 7. The beta is available now to registered iOS developers from Apple’s iOS Dev Center.
Apple has launched an iOS 7 page, showcasing the features of its newly announced mobile operating system. The iOS 7 introduction video is available on the site, in addition to 12 new or updated iOS 7 features, shown in action.
These features include: Control Center, Notification Center, Multitasking, iTunes Radio, Photos, AirDrop, Camera, Safari, Siri, Mail, Weather, and Messages. Links on the page let readers get a closer look at the new design and features.
Apple announced iTunes Radio, the company’s long-rumored streaming music service. iTunes Radio is a free, ad-supported service, and it’s ad-free for iTunes Match users. The Pandora-esque service lets users choose featured music stations, or create their own stations based on specific artists. iTunes Radio keeps track of played songs within its history. Initially launching in the U.S., iTunes Radio is built into the iOS 7 Music app, and it will also be built into iTunes for Mac, PC, and Apple TV.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced iOS 7, the company’s latest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Touting amazing new features and a “stunning new user interface,” iOS 7 represents a significant departure from the well-known iOS software design, delivering an entirely new UI structure with refined typography, redesigned icons, and a new color palette. The new UI also involves more transparency, layered effects, and new animation and motion. iOS 7 was described by Cook as “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.”
The App Store now updates apps automatically. Notification Center is now accessible from the lock screen. Multiple pages are now possible within folders. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen now activates Control Center, which allows users to adjust brightness, volume, playback controls, Do Not Disturb, and more, while accessing a flashlight option as well. All apps will now allow multitasking, and iOS 7 uses “intelligent scheduling” to refresh app information. A double-click on the home button lets users swipe left and right through all open apps to multitask. An updated weather app, calendar, and messages were shown off in a demonstration.
Safari for iOS 7 has a full-screen interface with swipe navigation for browsing. Tabs for Safari now give a preview of the page, while scrolling up-and-down, and there’s no longer an 8-tab limit. AirDrop for iOS 7 lets users share securely encrypted files with nearby users over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. Filters have been added to Camera, and a new Photos app makes it easier for users to organize photos with its new Collections feature.
Siri has been updated with a new interface and new voices — female or male. French and German voices are available with other languages to be added “over time.” Siri can now do more commands such as “turn on Bluetooth” or “increase brightness.” Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing have also been integrated into Siri. iOS in the Car was announced, featuring integration into the display screens of cars.
A new “Activation Lock” feature has also been introduced that will prevent a stolen iPhone from being re-activated—even after a full wipe—without entering the original owner’s iCloud Apple ID and password.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote that there are now 900,000 apps available in the App Store, and 93 percent of those apps are downloaded each month. About 375,000 apps have been developed for iPad. Cook also said Apple has paid $10 billion to developers through the store, with $5 billion in the last year alone. There are now 575 million iTunes accounts.
Cook later announced there are 300 million iCloud accounts, 300 million users of iTunes in the Cloud, and 240 million Game Center users. iCloud has sent 800 billion iMessages and 7.4 trillion push notifications.
Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote is about to begin in San Francisco, California, with iOS 7, an Apple music streaming service nicknamed iRadio, and new Mac computers/software expected to be officially announced. We’ll be providing live updates throughout the course of the event to let you know what’s happening with iOS 7, any new iOS-related accessories, and other products that may be announced. Click on the title of this article for the latest details as they happen.
Note: We’ve moved iOS-related updates to the top of the article so you can see them before the Mac-related news.
Note 2: The event is now over, with all updates below.
Apple is set to unveil iOS 7 today, and 9to5Mac has posted a mockup of Apple’s new OS released with additional details before its official debut. iOS 7 reportedly uses a thinner font throughout the Home Screens. Apple has replaced the carrier signal bars with five white or gray dots. App icons have also changed in various ways — for instance, Camera is now gray with the image of a camera, as opposed to a lens. The Photos, Game Center and Safari icons have changed, while Mail, Music, App Store, and iTunes Store icons apparently look like flatter versions of the previous icons.
There are also apparently two color schemes for many of the apps — a “black” color scheme and “white” scheme. It’s unknown what role these schemes will play, but black and white iPhones could have their own color schemes, or the phone might change color schemes based on time or the amount of ambient light. Maps will reportedly add walking directions, and as was previously reported, AirDrop sharing will be available.
Apple will be running live video of its keynote event today, both on its website, and via an “Apple Events” channel on Apple TV. Starting at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EST, viewers will be able to tune in and watch as the company is expected to introduce iOS 7, iRadio, as well as new Macs, and an update to OS X.
The Apple Events channel reappeared on Apple TVs overnight, and currently provides access to past keynote addresses. iLounge will provide coverage of the event and Apple’s new product announcements.
An Anandtech report claims Apple isn’t throttling iPhone or iPad cellular data through carrier bundles, directly refuting a recent claim from developer Joseph Brown. While Brown claims cellular data speeds for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are throttled through coding, Anandtech’s Brian Klug writes that “Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — there’s both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices.” Klug offers a detailed technical explanation explaining his stance. Brown is standing by his own claims, as he has tweeted.
Sony Music has agreed to terms with Apple on the company’s iRadio service, making an iRadio debut at next week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference likely. A report notes that Apple has now agreements with “all three major music labels,” although the company was previously reported to be working to sign four major music labels. The seemingly forgotten major label is BMG Rights Management — the status of BMG’s negotiations with Apple is unknown at this point. It’s also unknown if those negotiations will affect a WWDC debut. Sony/ATV, Sony’s separate publishing arm, also apparently has yet to sign with Apple at this point. [via AllThingsD]
A Washington Post report claiming the National Security Agency and FBI are accessing the servers of Apple and eight other companies has been denied by Apple. The program is code-named PRISM — launched in 2007, it is claimed to let the NSA directly collect data from Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, and Youtube. It is unknown whether the program involves direct cooperation with these companies, or relies upon indirect monitoring of their servers using surveillance tactics.
For its part, Apple has denied knowledge of PRISM. “We have never heard of PRISM,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.” Other companies have also denied the report, using similar language. The Post claims the program focuses on “foreign communications traffic.”
In an effort to sell more iPhone 5s, Apple will start an in-store iPhone trade-in program this month, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple is running the program in conjunction with mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. According to the report, “Used iPhones collected in the U.S. will only be resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s share is lower and demand for cheap devices is greater.” By doing this, sales of the used devices won’t chip away at Apple’s iPhone 5 sales. Apple has not publicly announced any trade-in plan, and it’s unclear whether the company’s buy-back prices will be competitive with existing third-party vendors.