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New details, possible photos of iPhone 8’s 3D sensor emerge

In a memo obtained by 9to5Mac, well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple has a “significant lead” on Qualcomm wjhen it comes to 3D sensors, saying Apple is likely two years ahead of its rival. Qualcomm’s “immature” software and hardware will likely delay the appearance of 3D sensing technology in Android phones and give Apple a rare moment where it is first to market with a new feature. As Bloomberg points out, Apple usually prefers to perfect technological advancements rather than rush to be first to market, but their analysis shows that the iPhone 8’s expected advancements in using infrared sensors to detect depth, improve scene detection, boost AR applications and use facial recognition both to unlock the device and authorize payments will all be new in the smartphone space this time around. A photo on Slashleaks claims to show the module responsible for all the 3D sensing magic, but the post has no accompnaying information to help verify whether it is genuine.

iOS 11 beta shows Control Center interface, new swipe gestures; tvOS 11 beta hints at 4K video

New betas have been released for iOS 11, tvOS 11 watchOS 4 and macOS 10, and developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered a couple of gems amid all the bug fixes and minor improvements. In ios 11, Rambo found one video that seems to show off a new swipe-up gesture used to activate the iOS app switcher and another that runs through changes to the lock screen interface. Swiping down brings the lock screen up from anywhere in the operating system, and while a left swipe still brings up the device’s widgets, a right swipe now seems to bring up the phone’s Control Center instead of activating the camera as it does in iOS 10. Swiping up from the bottom — which activated the Control Center in iOS 10 — now turns on the iOS app switcher, which previously was accessed by a home button double tap or by swiping right after pressing down on the left edge of the screen; the latter method has already been removed from iOS 11

iOS 11 introduces way to prevent Touch ID from opening device with fingerprint

Those testing the iOS 11 public beta have discovered pressing an iPhone or iPad’s lock button five time or opening a Medical ID now disables Touch ID and forces a user to enter their passcode to unlock the device. A source told 9to5Mac that the behavior is intentional, claiming it’s aimed at protecting people who have fallen unconscious from having their fingerprint used to access their private information. However Apple ends up presenting the feature, it can also clearly be used to protect information from police if used before an arrest, as at least some judges have proved willing to compel suspects to allow their fingerprint to be used to discover data that could incriminate them.

Report: iPhone 8 facial recognition unlocks in ‘millionths of a second’

The iPhone 8’s facial recognition sensors “can deeply sense a user’s face in the millionths of a second,” The Korea Herald reports. The source claims 3D sensors will be integrated in both the front and rear cameras to provide augmented reality experiences in real time, but provided scant information on how they would work. In an effort to answer that question, The Wall Street Journal points to Apple’s 2013 acquisition of PrimeSense, an Israeli company that helped develop Kinect motion sensors for the Xbox 360. That depth-sensing technology — referred to as “structured light” — emits thousands of tiny infrared dots and senses their reflection to gather highly accurate depth information that could even be used to unlock the device in total darkness. Apple declined to comment, but leaked firmware for the HomePod seems to reveal that the iPhone will have some form of depth and facial recognition sensors.

ESPN tvOS app now streams 4 games at once; Walmart’s streaming service coming to Apple TV

ESPN’s Apple TV app has been upgraded to include a new MultiCast feature that allows users to view up to four streams at the same time, according to Variety. EPSN typically features 30 or more live events on a given day, all of which will be available for simultaneous viewing. The company has also released an update to its iOS app, adding a “Watch” tab that provides live streams of events and shows. In other tvOS app news from Variety, Walmart’s streaming service will be landing on Apple TV next week. While Apple TV users have previously been able to use AirPlay to play Vudu’s movies and TV shows, the dedicated Vudu app is expected to become “widely available” starting August 22.

Report: iPhone 7s slightly larger than iPhone 7 due to glass backing

German blog Giga Apple claims to have renderings showing the iPhone 7s will be about 0.1mm larger than the iPhone 7 on all sides, possibly complicating the use of existing cases despite keeping mostly the same form factor. Apple made a similar move with the change to the iPhone 6s from the iPhone 6, slightly increasing the size of the device to add 3D Touch capabilities. This time around it’s possible the addition of glass backings could be the cause of the slightly larger size, but the report also claims that the redesign will reduce the camera bump on the device (or at least bury it within the extra glass on the back). How that change in size will affect the fit of an iPhone 7 case is anyone’s guess, since most iPhone 6 cases fit the iPhone 6s despite the small boost in size while others didn’t. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4; public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a sixth series of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, adding new icons for Maps and the App Store as well as addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. Public betas were made available for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 too, breaking with the usual process of waiting a few days after the developer release to roll them out. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending.

New videos appear to show assembly processes, dummy models of iPhone 8 in 3 colors

YouTube star Danny Winget claims to have obtained dummy models of the iPhone 8 in three colors, showing the mockups off in his latest video. Winglet’s non-functional devices show the silver and copper/gold coming with white front bezels and cutouts, leaving the black as the only model with the black bezels and cutouts if Apple sticks to three colors as previously rumored. The silver has a glass back with shinier stainless steel sides, and the copper/gold features a similar split between a flat bronze color on the back and a shinier gold look on the edges. The models also sport no visible home button or Touch ID sensors (either front or back) and as expected come in at about the same size as the iPhone 7.

Fifth beta of iOS 11 hints at German Apple Pay rollout

New details found in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 suggest that the launch of Apple Pay in Germany may be coming sooner than expected. While Apple’s website hinted at a German launch last fall, more recent reports from last spring have suggested that negotiations have moved more slowly than expected. However, iOS developer Philipp Ebener told MacRumors that the fifth regional betas of iOS 11 and watchOS 4 now include the option to add German bank cards to Apple Pay for the first time. While Ebener reports that he wasn’t able to actually register any of his German cards, the fact that the feature appears to now have been partially enabled suggests that full activation could come with the official public launch of iOS 11 in the fall.

iOS 11 drops ‘beta’ status for Portrait Mode, allows effect to be removed from existing photos

It appears that Apple has decided that the iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode feature will be ready for prime time with the release of iOS 11. The latest iOS 11 beta removes the “beta” status of the feature, first introduced in iOS 10.1 last fall, and also adds the ability to remove the effect from existing photos after the fact.

[via AppleInsider]

International Trade Commission looks into Qualcomm’s request to ban US iPhone imports

The U.S. International Trade Commission has announced it is investigating Qualcomm’s claims that Apple devices violate its patents, the latest front in Apple’s ongoing legal war with the chipmaker. Qualcomm asked the ITC to ban imports of iPhones into the U.S. in May, and the commission said it will set a target date for the completion of the investigation within 45 days. WHile the back and forth in the courts could take years, the ITC promised to “make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time.” Apple didn’t comment on the development, but CEO Tim Cook has previously said, “I don’t believe that anyone is going to decide to enjoin the iPhone based on that. I think that there’s plenty of case law around that subject, but we shall see.”

Apple suppliers ramping up to mass production of all 3 new iPhones

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple has already entered mass production for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, with the iPhone 8 expected to pass verification later this month before going into mass production as well in mid-September, according to AppleInsider. Kuo’s report reflects what has been seen by supply chain sources speaking to Digitimes, who said that all three models “have entered volume production.” Both reports foresee supply shortfalls of the iPhone 8, with Kuo estimating the company will produce 2–4 million units in this quarter.

Apple releases fourth round of public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a fourth series of public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11, allowing end users an opportunity to get an early preview of what’s coming in the new operating systems this fall and provide their feedback to Apple. With this round, Apple has also taken the unusual step of sending out e-mail notifications to at least some registered developers letting them know that the public beta is available, although it’s unclear whether this was intentional or not. Users can enroll in Apple’s public beta program by visiting the company’s Apple Beta Program website.

Top telcom regulator in India angry over Apple’s slow review of government’s ‘do not disturb’ app

The head of India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority is taking Apple to task for refusing to approve an official government “do not disturb” app for iOS, The Times of India reports. The app serves to block annoying unsolicited calls and texts, and TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma claimed Apple is engaging in “anti-consumer” actions by not approving it. “So basically you (Apple) are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice. If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed?” Sharma said. “This is what we call data colonization.”

Apple patents way to use FaceTime camera and sensors to take health measurements

A recent Apple patent describes new ways to use the FaceTime camera and accompanying sensors in current iPhones to take health measurements. The process “uses one or more of the camera and the proximity sensor to emit light into a body part of a user touching a surface of the electronic device and one or more of the camera, the ambient light sensor, and the proximity sensor to receive at least part of the emitted light reflected by the body part of the user,” much like the Apple Watch uses reflected light from the sensors in contact with a user’s skin to take its measurements. With added sensors in future devices to boost what is already there, Apple claims it might be able to provide “a blood pressure index, a blood hydration, a body fat content, an oxygen saturation, a pulse rate, a perfusion index, an electrocardiogram, a photoplethysmogram, and/or any other such health data.” [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases fifth round of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released a fifth series of betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, as usual addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will likely follow within the next day or two.

iPhone 8 fingerprint sensors reportedly scrapped while cameras add “SmartCam” mode, better 4K video

Code extracted from Apple’s new HomePod and posted on iOs developer Guilherme Rambo’s Twitter account seems to show a “SmartCam” feature in the iPhone 8 that will automatically select the best shots while photographing particular subjects. The setting names cover a variety of commonly photographed objects or scenes, including babies, pets, documents, brightly lit stages, fireworks, foliage, sports, snow, the sky, sunsets and sunrises. While the iPhone already makes educated guesses at which shots are best when used in burst mode, Rambo said the “SmartCam” functionality is new to the HomePod iOS 11.0.2 firmware. Other snippets of code show that both the front and rear iPhone 8 cameras may support recording video in 4K at 60 fps, according to iHelp BR. The front cameras on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus currently record video at 4K at 30 fps, but the FaceTime camera tops out at 1080p.

Leaked HomePod firmware suggests Apple Pay may use Facial Recognition

Developers are continuing to dig through the leaked HomePod firmware, discovering new insights into features that may be implemented on the upcoming premium “iPhone 8” that Apple is rumoured to be working on. The latest discovery by iOS developer @r_idn suggests that Apple may in fact be preparing to leverage the facial recognition features that are expected to be included in the new flagship iPhone to work with Apple Pay, supplementing or possibly even replacing Touch ID as the authentication method.

Tim Cook dances around questions about autonomous systems, augmented reality

While Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments during yesterday’s earnings call didn’t contain any major revelations, he did reiterate that he expects the cutting edge augmented reality and autonomous systems technology that the company is working on to fundamentally improve the way people live. Earlier this year Apple shifted its focus away from building an electric car and toward constructing an autonomous driving system, but Cook said cars are just one of many applications for autonomous technology, “the mother of all AI projects.” “Autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways. A vehicle is only one, but there are many different areas of it. And I don’t want to go any further with that,” he said, although he did add that the company does “have a large project going, and we’re making a big investment in this from our point of view.”

Judge allows FaceTime lawsuit to proceed

A federal judge has ruled that iPhone 4 and 4s users can pursue their class action lawsuit against Apple for intentionally disabling FaceTime on iOS 6 devices, Reuters reports. After losing a patent lawsuit to VirnetX in 2012, Apple was forced to discontinue its direct device-to-device mode for FaceTime, greatly increasing the fees it had to pay to Akamai Technologies — dropping as much as $50 million in one six-month period according to court documents. In developing iOS 7, Apple engineers were able to include a method of peer-to-peer FaceTime communication that didn’t infringe on the VirnetX patents, however, Apple was either unable to unwilling to bring these improvements into an iOS 6 update. Based on internal emails and sworn testimony from the VirnetX case, the new class-action lawsuit claims that Apple made plans to deliberately “break” FaceTime on older iOS versions by forcing a key digital certificate used for FaceTime to expire prematurely.

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