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iPhone X: Unboxing + comparison photos

We’ve just gotten our hands on Apple’s new iPhone X, and have a quick first look with some unboxing and comparison photos. With all of the news around the iPhone X, there aren’t a lot of surprises here, and it looks pretty much like you’d expect it to on the surface, with the edge-to-edge OLED screen looking as impressive first-hand as it does in the photos. As with the iPhone 8 models, Apple is also still bundling only its 5W power adapter alongside the usual wired EarPods and standard Lightning cable. Surprisingly, the iPhone X doesn’t appear to include iOS 11.1 — the version we received came with iOS 11.0.1 installed. Keep your eyes out for our full, independent, comprehensive review of the new iPhone X next week once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

Third-party apps will be able to collect facial data on iPhone X

Third party developers will be able to fully utilize the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to collect advanced facial data, according to a new report by Reuters. Although Apple has promised that the facial profiles used for Face ID will be securely stored in the iPhone X Secure Enclave — in the same way that fingerprints are stored for Touch ID authentication on other iPhone models — third-party app developers will be permitted to access the advanced features of the TrueDepth camera to access facial recognition features that would allow them to build entertainment apps for the iPhone X, such as pinning three-dimensional masks for selfies or mirroring real-world facial expressions on an in-game character.

Report: Apple to unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1

Apple is planning to remotely unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1 to comply with new government regulations banning locked iPhones as of that date, according to a leaked document obtained by MobileSyrup. A document obtained from smartphone retailer WOW! Mobile notes that locked iPhones will be “automatically be unlocked over-the-air effective December 1st.”

Report: Apple replacing GPS-only Apple Watch models showing ‘display edge stripes’

Apple has responded to a problem with discolored Apple Watch displays by ordering retail locations to send the affected devices in for replacement, 9to5Mac reports. The issue seems to be affecting just the GPS-only Apple Watch Series 3 models so far, with the device showing small lines around the edge of the screen that become more obvious when it’s turned off. The problem isn’t widespread, but Apple has told Apple Store employees and third-party repair locations to mail devices in for complete replacements rather than attempting repairs.

Apple going after press, YouTube stars ahead of iPhone X launch in uncharacteristic move

Instead of its usual method of sending a few products to tech reviewers and mostly letting the device speak for itself, Apple is taking a decidedly different approach with the iPhone X, sending the new phone out to a wide swath of publications and angering some of the dedicated tech bloggers. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball seemed particularly bent out of shape, ripping reviews from publications and YouTube celebrities that he didn’t find up to the usual standards. Recode remarked on Apple letting YouTubers jump the line as well, saying “For many of us, they won’t replace the utility of more sophisticated reviews, which are supposed to tell us whether the iPhone X is worth our $1,000. They’re not great videos, frankly.”

Ikea releases update to make Tradfri smart lights HomeKit compatible

After a false start this summer, Ikea has released the firmware update necessary to integrate its Tradfri smart lights with HomeKit. Once the Tradfri hub is updated, users can generate a HomeKit code for the attached lights and add them to the Home app. Ikea was poised to be the first to retroactively add HomeKit support to its products, but Philips beat them to the punch early last month. Ikea’s offerings are far less expensive, but unfortunately the bulbs are currently only sold as part of a bundle with a remote, so it’s unclear when (or if) Ikea will sell them by themselves for users who just want to add the bulbs to an existing smarthome configuration.

Apple releases iTunes 12.7.1 with minor updates

Alongside the release of new versions of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS, Apple has rolled out iTunes 12.7.1, featuring only “minor app and performance improvements.” The small update continues the program’s more focused emphasis “on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks” after a redesign that saw the removal of the App Store. For those looking to keep the App Store within iTunes, Apple has released a standalone version of the program that won’t update to a newer version.

Apple releases iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, tvOS 11.1

Apple has released iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, and tvOS 11.1, featuring some notable improvements. The new version of iOS brings back the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, much more fluid scroll-to-top animations and more than 70 new emoji options. The new watchOS gets an improved Music app with full iCloud Music Library access and support for Apple Music and Apple Radio streaming on the Series 3, taking the next step toward making the Apple Watch less dependent on the iPhone. GymKit support for syncing the Apple Watch with smart gym equipment also landed, but the accompanying equipment hasn’t made its way out into the world yet. The update for Apple TV was the least impressive, offering only bug fixes and no real new features.

Identical twins can’t fool iPhone X’s Face ID in new video

The first video of the iPhone X’s Face ID being tested by twins has emerged, and the Business Insider test found the device could tell them apart. Brian Fieber successfully used the Face ID feature while wearing sunglasses, a scarf, a hat, or all three, while his twin brother Greg wasn’t able to access the device. “I was pretty shocked that the iPhone X could really pick apart the details between me and my brother considering some of our own family members can’t tell us apart,” Greg said after the experiment.

YouTube TV rolling out Apple TV app ‘in the coming weeks’

After launching its own cable subscription service a few months ago, YouTube will soon be rolling out a YouTube TV app for Apple TV, The Verge reports. The package includes network broadcasters ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox alongside major cable networks like ESPN, MSNBC and Fox News, and the new TV app will include some things the mobile version doesn’t, like an in-depth program guide to see what’s in in the next few hours the the ability to browse a transparent sidebar of other channels while keeping on the show you’re watching.

Apple designing iPhones, iPads that ditch Qualcomm modem chips

Amid its bitter legal fight with Qualcomm over patent royalties, Apple is moving to eliminate Qualcomm’s components from the iPhone and iPad as early as next year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter said Apple is considering using modem chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek exclusively since Qualcomm has been withholding key software used to test its chips in prototype iPads and iPhones. Qualcomm disputes that claim, saying its “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.”

Apple adds SiriKit support for HomePod in iOS 11.2 beta, releases betas for watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

With the release of iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 and watchOS 4.1 likely imminent given the limited updates in the last round of betas, Apple has moved on and released betas of iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2 to developers. The beta version of iOS 11.2 is of particular interest as it adds SiriKit support for the upcoming HomePod speaker. In a blog post, Apple encouraged developers to make sure that their app’s use of SiriKit — which has been available since iOS 10 — is up to date. The HomePod will include support for Siri commands to third-party apps and send those requests over to a connected iPhone or iPad (where the app is actually hosted) for processing.

Apple asks SEC to exclude shareholder diversity proposal from next meeting

Apple has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow the company to exclude a shareholder proposal demanding more diversity in the company’s senior leadership from its upcoming shareholder meeting, SiliconBeat reports. The small group of shareholders has issued repeated demands for moves to mandate diversity requirements for Apple’s top positions and now wants to tie mandatory diversity numbers to CEO Tim Cook’s compensation. In a letter to the SEC, the company asked the SEC for permission to exclude the proposal, arguing that since it has been proposed twice in the past five years and received less than 6 percent of the shareholder vote, under SEC rules the motion can be left off the proxy materials for the next meeting.

Apple encourages developers to test apps on iPhone X ahead of launch

Apple has posted an update to its developer forum encouraging developers to test their apps in an iPhone X simulator ahead of the device’s launch. The company is touting its accompanying App Store redesign and asking developers to submit new screenshots geared toward the iPhone X’s display size along with updated metadata to include on the new product pages. Testing the apps is also expected to expose issues with the Super Retina display and adaptive layouts, but we’ll have to wait until users actually get their hands on the new devices before we’ll know if there are any problems with non-updated apps.

Supply of TrueDepth cameras stabilizes, but no big updates coming in 2018

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that Apple won’t experience the same shortage of 3D TrueDepth cameras with its 2018 models that caused this year’s iPhone X to release later in the year, but adds that users won’t see a real upgrade in the quality next year, 9to5Mac reports. Kuo said next year’s iPhones will see “no major spec upgrade” of the TrueDepth camera, responsible for powering Face ID and other features. Kuo disputes other reports that Apple will adopt a “hybrid lens (glass and plastics),” writing that doing so would put the company right back in the same supply constraint problem it has been in this year.

Report: Apple fires engineer who let daughter film iPhone X video on Apple campus

In a followup to her original iPhone X video shot on Apple’s campus, YouTube vlogger Brooke Peterson claims her dad has been fired by Apple over the incident. During a 5-minute video, Peterson visited her dad at Apple’s campus and included under a minute of footage of the new iPhone X’s screen and camera functionality. The video quickly went viral and in her next video Peterson tearfully recounts how the company fired her dad in the aftermath. “At the end of the day, when you work for Apple it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are,” she said. “If you break a rule, they just have no tolerance. They had to do what they had to do.”

Apple describes iPhone X demand as ‘off the charts’

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Apple representative has described customer demand for the iPhone X as being “off the charts” and emphasized Apple’s commitment to increasing the supply of the new iPhone as quickly as possible, noting that the company will still be accepting online orders and still plans to have stock available in its retail stores next Friday.

We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world.

Pre-orders for Apple’s new flagship iPhone opened this morning at 3:01 a.m. ET with initial stock not surprisingly selling out within minutes and many users being greeted with shipping dates of 2 – 3 weeks or more by 3:05 a.m. While Apple claims that stock will be available in its retail stores on Friday, it’s unclear how many units are being held for walk-in customers as opposed to pre-ordered or reserved pickups.

Apple reveals Service Pricing for iPhone X

Apple has added details on the iPhone X to its iPhone Service Pricing page, revealing that out-of-warranty screen repairs for the iPhone X will cost $279 — over $100 more than repairs for the iPhone 8 Plus. Repairs for other damage will carry a similar premium for the new model, costing $549 vs $399 for the iPhone 8 Plus and $349 for the iPhone 8. These service prices are for users without AppleCare+ for the iPhone X, however, which costs $199 up front but provides up to two repairs at $29 for screen replacement or $99 for other damage.

iPhone X pre-orders predictably sell out within minutes

As expected, pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone X went online at approximately 3:01 a.m. ET this morning, and not surprisingly saw initial stock running out and ship dates being pushed into 2 – 3 weeks within two or three minutes of the Apple Store going live, and in fact within a half-hour availability moved to 4 – 5 weeks, pushing delivery dates for many into late November or early December, and by 4:30 a.m. the iPhone X ordering page was reporting 4 – 5 weeks. Notably, there didn’t seem to be any difference in demand or availability between models this year, with both the Silver and Space Gray colors and 64 GB and 256 GB capacities appearing to sell out at roughly the same time.

Nintendo to debut Animal Crossing game for iOS next month

Nintendo is set to debut its next iOS offering — Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp — next month, according to the company’s website. The game lets players take the role of campsite manager, allowing them to craft a campsite to appeal to animals from the surrounding area. Players can also do all the things you’d usually do in a camping environment, like catch bugs, pick fruit or go fishing. The app will be free to download but have in-app purchases, and users can sign up here to be notified when it’s available to download.

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