- September 17, 2013
The first unboxing photos of Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c were recently posted on Weibo. Apple’s cardboard iPhone 5s box almost exactly matches a previously leaked box, with one exception — there is no iTunes Store icon on the box, likely a regional difference. Contents of the box were wholly unremarkable, and nearly identical to items bundled with the prior iPhone 5.
Official iPhone 5c boxes also appear to match previous leaks, showing an opaque white plastic package with a clear lid that enables the device’s color to stand out. A video of the iPhone 5c unboxing was posted, as well. [via HDblog.it (translated link)]
Apple’s iOS App Store is now letting users of older versions of iOS download specific legacy versions of apps. The App Store now prompts users to ask if they want to download “the last compatible version” of a selected app. First noted on Reddit, the move is beneficial to those with older hardware, or those using older versions of iOS for other reasons. App developers will also benefit from the change, as they’ll be able to offer staggered stable versions of software to users at various stages of iOS adoption. Apple has yet to officially comment on the new feature. [via TheNextWeb]
Sega’s Go Dance ($2) is an iOS dancing game, actively tracking your body movements using a FaceTime camera. Your hand, arm, and torso motions automatically are registered by the camera, which moves the on-screen character to follow your motions, hitting or missing beat-based triggers. Songs such as LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” come pre-loaded, while other songs are available as in-app purchases. Go Dance also supports AirPlay, letting players with an iPhone 5 or fourth-gen iPad view the game on an HDTV. Although the app is universal, we found that it’s much better when played with an iPad — standing at a distance from the iPhone’s small screen while trying to follow required dance movements presents obvious problems.
Joust Legend ($2) is a jousting game, though fans of classic arcade games may regret that no platforms or ostriches are involved. Rebellion Games has brought an authentic jousting game to iOS, with warriors charging at each other on horses, using lances to knock their opponents off their trusty steeds. The graphics are striking in Joust Legend, highly detailed with excellent polygon counts that really show off Retina displays. Gameplay itself is largely timing-based, with swipe and hold gestures determining the speed of your horse and direction of your lance, though the game gives players the option of upgrading armor, skills, and tricks before the joust.
Sprint is getting ready to launch its own early upgrade program for smartphones and tablets, reportedly called One Up. The program is set to launch on Sept. 20, the same date as Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c launch. Sprint becomes the last major U.S. carrier to offer such a program, as T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon all announced upgrade programs in prior months. One Up will allow Sprint customers to buy a device for no money down, instead paying in monthly installments with an Unlimited, My Way, or All-In plan. A customer will be able to upgrade to a new phone after one year. [via CNET]
Apple has updated its case design guidelines, releasing detailed schematics for the iPhone 5s and 5c. Notably, Apple’s guidelines for both devices include “keep away” spaces so that cases don’t interfere with ports or other iPhone features. However, based on the current schematics, no speakers and very few docks will be able to properly fit the Lightning connector—an issue discussed in a recent Lightning case/dock editorial.
As the size of the case “keep away” area for the Lightning port is significantly smaller than the Lightning connector supports Apple mandates for speakers, cases following Apple’s guidelines will not fit atop speakers. Though some companies may recognize this and adjust their case designs accordingly, it’s likely that there will continue to be compatibility issues with Lightning accessories.
- September 16, 2013
Customers in China and Hong Kong will be able to reserve the iPhone 5s or 5c online starting at 6 a.m. tomorrow — Tuesday, Sept. 17. Most customers worldwide are only able to reserve the iPhone 5c at this point, with no preorders being taken on the 5s. The Chinese release date for both devices is Friday, Sept. 20. Customers who reserve a device online will be able to pick it up on Sept. 20.
- September 13, 2013
Apple announced that Burberry will use the iPhone 5s to capture photos and video for its spring/summer runway show in London. The event is notable, because it’s a rarity for Apple to give anyone public access to its hardware before release. Burberry’s show takes place on Monday, Sept. 16, before the Sept. 20 release of the 5s. The show will be streamed live on Burberry.com.
As expected, Apple.com’s official pre-order pages have gone live for the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5c Dock, and iPhone 5c Cases. The company still shows availability for release day delivery for the iPhone and Dock, however, cases are listed as being on a 1-3 week delay through the online store. Orders are being processed with atypical efficiency for a pre-order event, given the number of outages and other issues Apple historically experienced on surge days; it is unclear how many people were waiting up at midnight Pacific Time to order the new plastic model. iPhone 5s orders will begin on September 20, the same day as in-store availability of both models.
Update: Canadian pre-orders are showing delivery date ranges from 9/20-9/24, suggesting that Apple may have prioritized U.S. orders and will be locking down specific delivery dates for other countries after demand for various models has been tallied across territories. UK, French, and Australian pre-orders now show 9/20 delivery “in most areas,” with Germany guaranteeing 9/20 delivery for the time being.
Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars ($1) has updated to version 1.4. The game now features 30 new Endor levels. New gameplay elements including bouncing items off drums and waking up jumping Ewoks have also been introduced with the update. A big battle has also been added, in which players must destroy a bunker to disable the Death Star’s deflector shield. Angry Birds HD ($3) for iPad has also been updated.
Epic Games debuted Infinity Blade III ($7) during Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday. The newest adventure in Epic’s acclaimed series is scheduled to hit the App Store next Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Silvio Rizzi has introduced Reeder 2 ($5). The new RSS reader is a sequel of sorts to Rizzi’s Reeder, and it brings the reader back to the iPad — Reeder 2 is universal. Reeder 2 is a client for Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever, and Readability. It has a number of new sharing services, and its new interface has been redesigned to match iOS 7. Gesture-based navigation has also made its way into the new app.
- September 12, 2013
Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5s and 5c have larger batteries than the iPhone 5, according to FCC disclosures. Anandtech reports the iPhone 5s has a 5.96 Wh battery, and the iPhone 5c has a 5.73 Wh battery, as compared to the 5.45 Wh battery on the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s battery reportedly has a capacity of 1570 mAh, while the iPhone 5c has a 1507 mAh capacity — the iPhone 5 had a capacity of 1440 mAh. As always, we will be conducting our own independent battery testing of Apple’s newest devices.
Apple’s new Touch ID system in its upcoming iPhone 5s won’t store users’ fingerprint images on the device, an Apple spokesman said. Touch ID will store encrypted “fingerprint data” in the iPhone processor, according to the Wall Street Journal. At this point, third-party applications will not be allowed to use the scanner. Touch ID users will also be required to set a passcode as a backup. Although the sensor is said to perform better than laptop fingerprint scanners, Apple noted Touch ID may have issues reading fingertips covered in sweat, lotion or liquids. The system might also struggle with reading scarred fingertips.
Following the introduction of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s yesterday, Apple is selling off its stock of iPhone 5 units at $99/$199/$299 for 16GB/32GB/64GB models with a standard contract, iLounge has confirmed. The recently discontinued device will also be sold for $549/$649/$749 off contract. The prices are notably for new — not refurbished — iPhone 5 devices. It’s likely the iPhone 5 will be sold at these prices for at least the next week or so until the remainder of the stock goes back to Apple; refurbished models may well appear at even lower prices in the near future.
Apple has added its AppleCare+ extended warranty coverage to iPod touch and iPod classic, at a cost of $59 for either device, then $29 per service incident. AppleCare+ launched in Europe yesterday, with iPod coverage in the UK, France, and Italy. That iPod coverage is also now available for countries that already had AppleCare+.
Apple also quietly increased the service fee for iPhone AppleCare+ to $79 per incident, from $49. New customers will now pay $99 for AppleCare+ for iPhone, then $79 each time they require a replacement device under the plan. Up to two replacement devices can be issued under the policy.
Apple quietly announced that as of yesterday, its Cards service for iOS is no longer available, putting an end to an unusual standalone app that debuted in October 2011. A support page notes that “Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work.” Previous purchases can still be viewed in the app’s Saved Cards feature. On the same support page, Apple recommends using iPhoto on the Mac for ordering letterpress cards with customized photos and text.
Apple has also posted a set of developer documents covering building apps for the new iPhone 5s, including programming guides for the new A7 64-bit chip, OpenGL ES 3 and M7 and Core Motion.
Although many observers expected Apple to target the new iPhone 5c at the lower-end of the market, specifically to win over particularly budget-conscious Chinese consumers, the company instead has kept the 2010-vintage iPhone 4 alive in China at a new low price: 2,588 Yuan (approx. $423) off-contract, down from a previous price of 3,088 Yuan (approx. $505). This model includes 8GB of storage capacity. To help ease the cost of the iPhone 4 for consumers, Apple continues to offer a monthly installment plan of 119 Yuan (approx. $20) over 24 months.
Apple also lowered the price of the iPhone 4s in China to 3,288 Yuan (approx. $537), also with an 8GB capacity, markedly down from 4,488 Yuan (approx. $733) before, though with 8GB of storage capacity rather than 16GB. Notably, the iPhone 4 and 4S have more limited support for Chinese cellular networks than the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s introduced today.
Apple has released its Gold Master seed of iOS 7 to registered developers. Listed as build 11A465, the GM build is normally the last to be seeded prior to the software’s official launch, expected on September 18, and as such can be used to submit iOS 7 applications to the App Store for review. It is unclear whether the iOS 7 GM seed will be made available as an over-the-air software update, as has been the case with past iOS beta releases, however Registered Developers can download the iOS 7 GM seed and the accompanying SDK from the iOS Dev Center now.
Both docks cost $29, and sport Lightning connectors inside recessed ridges. On the back, each has a Lightning output, next to line out audio. They’ll both be available for purchase on September 20, 2013.
At its keynote address today, Apple introduced cases to accompany its new iPhone 5c and 5s handsets. The iPhone 5c Case, which goes for $29, is made of silicone rubber and features a 5 x 7 series of dots to reveal the color of the device below. It will be available in white, pink, yellow, blue green, and black.
The iPhone 5s Case sells for $39, and is made of leather, with brown, beige, black, yellow, blue, and PRODCT (RED) hues. It’ll also fit the iPhone 5.
- September 10, 2013
Apple has set up pages to pre-order the iPhone 5c. The new phone can be pre-ordered starting Sept. 13, with plans from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, or contract-free from T-Mobile at $549 or $649 for 16GB or 32GB, respectively.
Notably, the new iPhone 5s can not be pre-ordered. Instead, it will be available in stores on Sept. 20.