News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple still working bugs out of Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi connectivity, iOS 11 Mail app

While Apple has done extensive hardware and software testing before rolling out its new products, reviewers have found a serious problem with the way the Apple Watch Series 3 handles Wi-Fi connectivity, The Verge reports. The new LTE Apple Watch is supposed to be more of a standalone device than the previous models, able to use cellular data rather than relying solely on Wi-Fi, but the reviewer found that two separate Apple Watches both experienced the same problem of trying to connect to unknown (and potentially dangerous) Wi-Fi connections rather than switching to cellular. With the device set to ship Friday, Apple has admitted that the company has “discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”

Apple waiting on iPhone X performance to decide if 2018 iPhones all get Face ID

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already turned his focus to next year’s iPhones, claiming that Apple is waiting on the reaction to the iPhone X to see if all the 2018 models should feature Face ID, according to a report seen by 9to5Mac. If the customer reaction proves positive, all of next year’s models could get the TrueDepth front camera that facilitates Face ID. Even if the reaction is mixed, Face ID could still come to all the next iPhones due to difficulties in embedding a fingerprint sensor under the 3D Touch-capable screen to eliminate the home button. But if Face ID is a flop with users, Kuo says it might be worth the effort for Apple to kunckle down and get the fingerprint scanner working after all.

Apple releases iOS 11 with improvements to HomeKit, new App Store, updates to Camera, Siri and more

After months of betas, Apple has released iOS 11 to the general public. Coming mostly as it was advertised at WWDC, the new operating system features a long list of updates, including new HomeKit compatibility thanks to AirPlay 2 capabilities and improved controls for timers, location triggers, speakers and sunrise/sunset times. For devices with cameras that support it, Portrait mode has been expanded to include image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash, and all photos and videos will take up half as much space thanks to Apple’s new photo and video formats. Maps gain support for indoor details of some larger buildings — like airports and malls — and Apple Music will gain new social features, adding a new “Friends are Listening to” section in the Music app. The Control Center has been completely reimagined and Siri has gained new natural male and female voices built using deep learning along with a new visual interface.

Apple releases tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 to the public

Alongside today’s iOS 11 release, Apple has made tvOS 11 and watchOS 4 available to all users. The tvOS update isn’t quite as flashy as its iOS counterpart, but it does add some cool new features like automatic Dark Mode, iCloud home screen syncing, support for the new AirPlay 2 protocol and tweaks to the interfaces of the Computers, HomeKit and Music apps to streamline the experience. Music also gets an update in watchOS 4, adding support for storing multiple playlists on the Watch itself, as well as automatically saving music from the paired iPhone to the Apple Watch based on a user’s listening habits.

August updates Smart Lock, unveils Smart Lock Pro, Doorbell Cam Pro

August has updated its Smart Lock and created the new Smart Lock Pro, adding an integrated DoorSense sensor that can let users know remotely whether their door is open or closed. The new Smart Lock ditches the large cylindrical look of the original for a more traditional thumb turn, and also shaves the price from $229 to $149. The more upscale Smart Lock Pro ($279) maintains the original look and includes a Connect Wi-Fi Bridge to allow for control through HomeKit, Bluetooth and Z-Wave Plus. The company’s Doorbell Cam Pro has added a flood light to its original design, and the light can be motion triggered to monitor outside the home at night. As soon as we get our hands on the new models we’ll post full reviews, so check back soon.

TV app lands on Apple TV in new countries ahead of tvOS 11; Apple Pay Cash won’t launch with iOS 11

Apple’s TV app has started popping up on Apple TVs outside the US ahead of today’s tvOS 11 release, with users in Canada and Australia reporting they gained access overnight, although some said the app was present but not yet functioning in tvOS 10. Apple also claims that the TV app will arrive in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK by the end of the year, but another feature put on display during last week’s Keynote won’t be making it out today. The Apple Pay Cash feature in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 won’t be coming until “this fall” according to Apple’s latest update. Once functional, the feature will allow users to send cash payments through Messages or command Siri to issue a payment from a credit or debit card stored in Wallet.

Geekbench tests show Apple’s A11 chip is way ahead of the competition

The official Geekbench benchmark tests are out for the A11 Bionic chip powering the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the results show Apple’s latest offering standing head and shoulders above the competition. The A11 Bionic turned out to be 25 percent faster than the previous 10 Fusion in single core tests and a whopping 80 percent faster in multicore tests. The multicore scores astoundingly even top out above the 13” MacBook Pro, although AppleInsider is quick to note that a laptop’s CPU is tasked with driving a much larger display. That also likely accounts for why the iPhone 8 tests better than the iPhone 8 Plus, and why the 8 Plus tests better than the X; namely, the higher the screen resolution, the more the processor has to work to run it and the less it will be able to dedicate to other tasks.

Apple defends new stricter Safari ad-tracking blockers

While Apple has taken heat from marketing groups for blocking cross-site tracking in Safari, the company doubled down on its commitment to user privacy and explained the move in comments to 9to5Mac. Safari has historically been tougher on third-party tracking than other browsers — it was the first to block third-party cookies by default — and the company said its Intelligent Tracking Prevention is the next step to keep user data from being misused. “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history,” Apple said in its statement. “This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet.”

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.

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