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New photos compare size of alleged iPhone 8 dummy to the iPhone 7 Plus

New photos that 9to5Mac received from Israeli tech blogger Shai Mizrachi show an alleged iPhone 8 dummy model next to an iPhone 7 Plus, allowing for the first real idea of its size. Like the purported iPhone 8 in previous photos, the device features a black glass back, silver trim and a vertical dual camera that appears larger than that of the iPhone 7 Plus despite being in a smaller handset. An accompanying video shows the device from all angles and a side-by-side size comparison with the iPhone Plus, placing it much closer to the footprint of the iPhone 7 if not exactly the same size. The device is never turned on, so it’s difficult to say how the edge-to-edge display’s size compares with that of the iPhone 7 Plus, but there is no visible home button on the front or back of the device, lending more credibility to the idea that Apple has introduced a fingerprint scanner embedded under a certain area of the screen.

Apple has former NSA, FBI investigators cracking down on leaks of company information

Apple has hired investigators who previously worked for the NSA, FBI, Secret Service and US military in an effort to crack down on product leaks coming from the company’s employees, The Outline reports. In a briefing titled “Stopping Leakers - Keeping Confidential at Apple,” members of the Global Security communications and training team laid out how Apple investigators are working to prevent information from getting into the hands of the press, counterfeiters and competitors, as well as hunting down the sources of the leaks. In a video played during the presentation, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of iPod, iPhone and iOS product marketing, said, “This has become a big deal for Tim. Matter of fact, it should be important to literally everybody at Apple that we can’t tolerate this any longer.”

Tim Cook floats teaching coding in schools during Trump meeting

During his meeting with President Donald Trump and some of the nation’s top tech CEOs, Tim Cook said the government should consider making coding a requirement in schools, Recode reports. The breif remarks — which came during Trump’s gathering to discuss how Silicon Valley can help modernize the government — echo previous statements Cook has made about his belief that it’s a disservice to kids not to be teaching them to code since it’s “just another language, and just like any other language it should be taught in schools.” Apple is making its own push in that regard, expanding its Swift programming education programs for older kids and partnering with Tynker on free games that prep younger kids for future lessons.

Apple working with Health Gorilla startup on health record data project

Apple’s health team has been working with tech startup Health Gorilla to add diagnostic data to HealthKit, CNBC reports. Apple is making a big push to expand HealthKit to become a portable repository of all of a person’s medical records, and two people familiar with the initiative said Health Gorilla is working to integrate with “hospitals, lab-testing companies such as Quest and LabCorp and imaging centers” to add blood work and other data directly into HealthKit. The company is working hard to turn HealthKit into a diagnostic tool capable of analyzing and understanding the implications of patient information, going so far as buying health data startups Gliimpse and Beddit to improve their data collection abilities and and make it easier to share that data with the right health professionals. Health Gorilla is focused on giving doctors a “complete picture of patient health history” according to its website, but offers free services to patients as well.

Apple adds $99 annual Apple Music subscription option for existing users

After releasing $99 gift cards that provide a full year of Apple Music, Apple appears to now be making that option available online for existing subscribers, Ukranian website Tehnot has spotted. The process for getting the annual subscription is convoluted, with users having to subscribe to the $10 a month option first, then go back into their account and change the option over to a $99 annual rate. The option was previously only available by purchasing an Apple Music Gift Card, although the $99 rate would renew annually once the first gift card was used. Given that the $99 rate isn’t present on the first enrolment screen, we’re left to wonder if the option was mistakenly enabled for all users instead of just gift card holders, but for existing users who plan to use Apple Music for a full year it’s worth the extra effort to go in and find it. For those who are looking to enroll for the first time, though, it’s probably still best to buy a gift card to start since that will save the trouble of having to pay for the first month at the $10 rate. [via TechCrunch]

IKEA to partner with Apple on AR app that places virtual furniture in your house

IKEA is planning an augmented reality collaboration with Apple to let customers see what the company’s furniture would look like in their houses, Digital.di reports. The company expects 500–600 products to be available in the app at launch, allowing users to see what the items would look like in various spots around the house, with Michael Valdsgaard, digital transformation manager at Inter Ikea Systems, saying they have the technology down to being accurate within a millimeter. “This will be the first augmented reality app that allows you to make reliable buying decisions,” Valdsgaard said.

Apple’s AirPort not cracked by CIA program that compromised many other routers

The latest round of Vault 7 WikiLeaks documents details how the CIA was able to break into routers and use them to monitor a subject’s web browsing history and intercept passwords, but Apple’s AirPort appears to have been unaffected by the efforts. The agency’s “Cherry Blossom” project ended up gaining access to routers from Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, DLink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao, and US Robotics through one of two methods — use of a still-unknown tool called a “Claymore” or through a direct “supply-chain operation” by accessing a production factory or other part of a company’s distribution chain. While the list of affected hardware was extensive, the “Harpy Eagle” operation targeting Apple’s AirPort never proved successful. After the initial release of the CIA documents confirmed Apple to be a target of the overall program, the company confirmed that most of the exploits that had been revealed were already patched in iOS 10. [via Apple Insider]

Apple hires two top executives from Sony Pictures Television

Apple is continuing its push into original TV programming, announcing today that it has hired two senior television executives from Sony Pictures Television into new positions that will oversee all aspects the company’s video programming efforts. The two new execs, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg have both served as presidents at Sony Pictures Television since 2005 and have been responsible for a number of hits such as Breaking Bad, Better Caul Saul, The Crown, Damages, The Goldbergs, Justified, Preacher, Rescue Me, The Shield, and Sneaky Pete, among many others. The pair will lead video programming worldwide, and report to Apple’s Senior Vice-President of Software and Services, Eddy Cue.

Canada bans locked cellphones and unlocking fees, effective Dec. 1

The Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that as of Dec. 1, 2017, all cell phones and other mobile devices sold in Canada must be provided unlocked. Further, as of that date, Canadian cellular carriers will also be prohibited from charging any fees for individual and small business wireless service customers to have their mobile devices unlocked.

Apple looking to expand HealthKit to store medical records

Apple is undertaking efforts to expand HealthKit to become a portable repository of all of a person’s medical records, CNBC reports. The idea would be to expand the iPhone beyond a place to simply record health and wellness data into a database of a user’s entire medical history — doctor’s visits, lab results, prescriptions, and more — keeping all of this data easily at hand. According to the CNBC report, another secretive team in Apple’s health unit has already been in discussions with various medical professionals and hospitals about bringing clinical data to the iPhone. The data would be stored locally — and presumably securely and privately — on the device, and users would have the option of sharing it from there with third parties, such as when changing doctors or being admitted to a hospital. A source also said that Apple has been looking at possible acquisitions among cloud hosting start-ups as part of this plan.

iPhone supplier confirms shipping 3D sensor lenses, but doesn’t mention Apple

Largan, a key supplier of camera lenses for the iPhone, says it will be shipping out lenses for 3D sensing modules later this year, leading to speculation that they will make their way into this year’s iPhones, Nikkei Asian Review reports. “We will have lenses for 3-D sensing [module used in smartphone] ready to ship in the second half this year,” said Largan CEO Adam Lin. Those lenses are essential in enabling facial and iris recognition-capabilities rumored to be coming in new iPhones. Lin didn’t say anything about Apple being the recipient of the lenses, but Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple is the only one in the world expected to release a device with those features this year. While even a July shipment schedule seems to create a tight timeline for getting the special lenses into the new iPhones, several sources including well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have predicted Apple will include a “revolutionary” front-facing camera as a tentpole feature in its iPhone 8.

Apple updates iWork apps with autocorrect improvements, hundreds of new shapes

Apple has updated its free Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps on iOS and Mac, adding autocorrect improvements and a library of more than 500 professionally drawn shapes that can be used in presentations and documents. There are also new options for replying to comments and joining in on threaded conversations, improvements to pan and zoom functionality, and an updated ability to add the most recent stock and currency information that syncs up with the previous day’s market closings. The iOS version of Keynote also received the Light Table view that was already featured on Mac, and both versions can now edit presenter notes while still in the Light Table view.

Teardown reveals the components that make 10.5” iPad Pro a formidable tablet

After giving the new 10.5” iPad Pro a complete teardown, iFixit found the device much more logically arranged and repairable than previous models. Display cables are arranged in the center of the iPad—away from the edges where prying tools could snip them while opening the device — and Phillips screws now hold down the display cable bracket instead of the special tri-point screws found in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. That’s not to say Apple intends the device to be friendly for home repair jobs, since there’s still plenty of plastic shielding that has to be melted and glue that has to be pried apart to access components like speakers and batteries, but once they’re accessed the speakers come out intact and cleanly for those willing to take the plunge.

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

Apple has released a third set of developer betas for iOS 10.3.3, tvOS 10.2.2, and watchOS 3.2.3. As with the second 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.

Sony’s PlayLink games will use iOS devices as PS4 controllers

The new line of PlayLink games for PS4 announced by Sony today at E3 will use the touchscreen and cameras on iOS devices as controllers. The new titles are designed to be played in group settings and range from quiz-show style games and choose-your-own-adventure detective thrillers to arcade-style minigames and karaoke singing using the device’s microphone. After downloading the companion app, a user’s iOS device will provide the ability to “swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game.”

Apple issues $1 billion green bond to fund clean energy

On the heels of the US exit from the Paris Climate Accords, Apple has issued a $1 billion green bond to fund investment in renewable energy, Bloomberg reports. The company issued a $1.5 billion green bond last year and is now adding to that total with a second round, planning to use the proceeds to bankroll efforts to increase energy efficiency and build up renewable energy resources in the hopes of creating a “closed-loop supply chain” where products are made using only renewable resources and recycled materials, according to a statement. The bonds are expected to mature in 2027 and yield 95 to 100 basis points more than Treasuries, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Leaked images show glass backs for iPhone 7, 7s and 8; claim all will have wireless charging

A pair of leaked images posted on Reddit show what the poster claims to be the black glass backs of an iPhone 7, 7s and 8 along with the front screen for the iPhone 8. The iPhone 8 back is a similar size to the iPhone 7, but features the vertical dual camera cutout seen in previous leaks. The front glass for the iPhone 8 is also in line with current rumors, with a much narrower bezel all along the edges and a small top cutout for the camera and speaker. The poster claims the photo came from a “friend in the industry,” saying Chinese manufacturers got the components in last week and have confirmed that all three models are going to feature wireless charging. The back of the iPhone 8 also features a series of markings that raised some red flags from commenters, but are actually in line with regulatory requirements of countries like Canada. One thing the back of the iPhone 8 lacks is a Touch ID sensor, casting doubt on previous leaks that showed a back cutout for that component and lending more credibility to rumors that Apple has devised a way to put the scanner under the screen.

Cook calls autonomous driving system ‘the mother of all AI projects’

In an interview with Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted the company is working on an autonomous driving system for vehicles, calling it “the mother of all AI projects.” After being particularly secretive about Apple’s Project Titan vehicle research for years, Cook revealed that the company sees self-driving technology, electric vehicles and the expanding ride-hailing industry as “three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame” within the automotive industry. Apple has invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing—China’s biggest ride-hailing service—and decided last year to shift the focus of its endeavors away from making an electric car and toward perfecting autonomous driving technology. Apple has been granted permits to test its self-driving systems on California roads, but what form their product will eventually take is still an open question. “It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on. So autonomy is something that is incredibly exciting for us,” Cook said. “But we’ll see where it takes us — we’re not really saying from a product point of view what we’ll do. It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

Audeze iSine now available in Apple-exclusive Colorway

Back in January, we reviewed the innovative Audeze iSine 10 in-ear planar magnetic headphones and thought they were pretty amazing. In fact, we think Audeze’s Sine and iSine headphones are still the best expression of what can be done with headphones and the Lightning jack.

For those still on the fence, Audeze just announced a new colorway for the iSine10 which will be exclusive to Apple’s online store and retail locations. The new Black/Steel version has a silver grille which we think complements the design nicely. Like the original iSine10, the new version comes with Audeze’s CIPHER Lightning cable with inline DAC & amplifier, works with any iOS device with a Lightning Port, and is upgradeable and tuneable using the free Audeze iOS app. The price remains the same at $399.

Apple eliminates ability to use custom prompts for app review requests going forward

After rolling out the ability to use its StoreKit API to simplify in-app review prompts in iOS 10.3, Apple’s App Store Review guidelines now say the company will no longer allow custom prompts going forward. The new process allows the user to leave a rating and/or review without ever leaving the app and eliminates the need for developers to write their own code to create the review prompt, but there are also drawbacks. Apple now limits the maximum number of requests to three per year and prevents apps from prompting too frequently, where before it was at the whim of the developer. [via 9to5Mac]

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