Apple has released a whole slew of updates this afternoon, as iOS 9.3.2, watchOS 2.2.1, tvOS 9.2.1, and iTunes 12.4 have all been launched to the general public. The updates are mostly made of bug fixes and minor enhancements, but as alluded to last week, a few design and navigation tweaks have been made to iTunes. Also, the iOS update fixes a Bluetooth audio quality issue with the iPhone SE. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.
A photo circulating on Chinese blogging site Weibo purports to show the rear shell of a new iPhone, featuring two holes between the camera lens and flash, Letem Svetem Applem reports. There is no way of confirming the authenticity of the photo, which conflicts with leaked design renderings that show only the single microphone hole between the lens and flash, just like on the iPhone 6s. What the second hole would be used for is unclear, with some speculating it could be used for stereo recording but no one able to explain why one hole is larger than the other.
The CEO of the British driving authority has hinted at the U.K. becoming the first country to make its driver’s license available through Apple Wallet, The Independent reports. Oliver Morley posted a mock up image showing a driving license installed alongside credit cards in Apple Pay with the caption, “So here’s a little prototype of something we’re working on.” There’s no word on when such a system would be up and running or how verification would work, but the image indicates that governments are beginning to see potential to expand on what Apple Pay has accomplished, and they’re placing a high degree of trust in the security of the system Apple has built.
Apple has been unable to recover any data from the iPhone belonging to the teen who went missing last summer, the Sun Sentinel reports. Fourteen-year-old boys Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen went missing at sea last summer, with no clues as to their fate until this past March, when their capsized vessel was discovered by a Norwegian supply ship, with some of their belongings, including Austin’s iPhone, still on board. Apple offered to help recover data from the iPhone when approached, but with the device having been submerged in salt water for over eight months, the chances of recovering any information were considered to be slim from the very beginning.
In the latest episode of his podcast, The Talk Show, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has revealed “scuttlebutt” he’s heard regarding the long-term plans for the iPhone. In the discussion, Gruber confirms the wide range of rumors suggesting that this year’s iPhone model will likely remain in the same form factor as the prior iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models, with a few distinguishing features to differentiate it. Gruber adds that he’s hesitant to even call this year’s model the “iPhone 7” right now for that reason, and suggests that this may be Apple’s first major departure from the traditional two-year ‘S” cycle, citing the iPhone SE as an example of an older design that’s now been used for a third time. Interestingly, Gruber also speculates that rumors about the dual-camera lens system only coming to the larger, 5-5-inch “Plus” iPhone model “doesn’t sound like Apple” and suggests that perhaps the rumor mill only has leaked schematics from the 5.5-inch iPhone and the 4.7-inch schematics haven’t leaked. While Gruber noted he was unwilling to “bet against it” as so much of the rumor mill has been suggesting it, the 4.7-inch iPhone is the best selling model, so it seems unusual that the dual-camera feature wouldn’t also be available on that unit.
Leaked ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ renderings show larger camera cutout and Smart Connector, lack headphone jack
Another round of alleged schematics provided to uSwitch appear to show that the iPhone 7 Plus will have a dual camera and Smart Connector, but lack a headphone jack. Leaked images sourced from Steve Hemmerstoffer of NowhereElse depict renderings of an iPhone 7 — which appears much like the iPhone 6s minus a headphone jack — and an iPhone 7 Plus that looks decidedly different. In addition to showing the three dots associated with the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector, the back of the larger phone has a bigger, oval-shaped camera cutout that lends more credibility to the rumor that the new Plus will feature a dual camera setup.
As of this morning, Apple is allowing Canadian users with accounts at certain banks to add MasterCard and Visa cards to their Apple Pay account. MasterCard released a statement confirming that users with credit cards through Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canadian Tire Bank and ATB Financial can use Apple Pay starting today, with BMO Financial Group to follow suit “in the coming weeks.” Visa hasn’t released a similar statement as of this writing, but the Apple Pay site lists CIBC and RBC Visa cards as compatible with Apple Pay.
A design sketch that French site NowhereElse claims to have obtained from an employee of an Apple subcontractor appears to show the height and width measurements of the new iPhone 7 to be the same as the iPhone 6s. The thickness isn’t labeled and there is no side view, so the new image sheds no light on whether Apple is doing away with the headphone jack. The camera cutout is slightly larger, hinting at some improvement to the camera and appearing similar to another leaked chassis photo from March. Both of those images look decidedly different than leaked schematics that purported to show an iPhone 7 “Pro” with a much larger camera cutout, which could mean one is wrong or that Apple has plans to make both.
A new post by Japanese site Macotakara indicates that Apple may be abandoning its rumored plans to include a Smart Connector on the upcoming iPhone 7. The rumor that the iPhone 7 could include a Smart Connector similar to the one found on the iPad Pro surfaced when Chinese site Bastille posted a leaked image purporting to show an iPhone 7 with what appeared to be a Smart Connector on the back. The leaked image was never corroborated by other sources, however, and it was unclear whether it represented an actual iPhone 7 prototype or simply a conceptual mockup.
Apple has announced a partnership with enterprise application software leader SAP to build a new software development framework that would allow SAP developers to build native iOS applications that integrate with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, providing organizations with efficient mobile access to SAP enterprise data within their organizations. The two companies will deliver a new SAP HANA Cloud Platform SDK that will be available exclusively for iOS, which will empower SAP’s 2.5-million member global developer community to build mobile enterprise apps for SAP’s open platform. The platform will have a new design language — SAP Fiori for iOS — that will combine the SAP Fiori user experience with the consumer-grade iOS experience, and a new SAP Academy for iOS will offer tools and training for SAP developers. The new SDK, design language and academy are expected to begin rolling out later this year.
The Los Angeles Police Department successfully hacked into a locked iPhone 5s belonging to the slain wife of “The Shield” actor Michael Jace, according to a new report from the Los Angeles Times. Reviewing court papers, The Times discovered that LAPD detectives were able to hire an outside an outside “forensic cellphone expert” who was able to “override the locked iPhone function” and gain access to the data. The case notably involves an iPhone 5s, which has previously been considered more secure than the iPhone 5c involved in the San Bernardino case, although it wasn’t specified which version of iOS the phone was using, or whether Touch ID was enabled.
The iPhone topped inventions like the TV, VCR and personal computer to take the number one spot on Time’s most influential gadgets list. The writeup gives the device credit for putting “a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions” and ushering in a new era of touchscreen phones. Later additions to the phone’s software and mobile store created the app industry as we know it, “forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks.”
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the “iPhone” trademark in China, Legal Daily reports. The Beijing Municipal High People’s Court ruled in favor of Xintong Tiandi Technology, which was granted a trademark on “iPhone” in 2010 to be used in connection to a line of leather goods the company sells. Apple filed applications to trademark “iPhone” for sales of electronic goods in 2002, but was only granted the trademark in 2013. Apple sued in 2012 over Xintong Tiandi’s use of “iPhone” on its handbags, phone cases and other leather products, but the courts ruled that Apple couldn’t prove it was a well-known brand in China before Xintong Tiandi filed for its trademark in 2007. Apple’s iPhone first went on sale in China in 2009.
Apple has released the fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2 and tvOS 9.2.1. As with prior betas, the sparse release notes and minor version numbers suggest that the betas are primarily focused on bug fixes and performance improvements and do not likely include any new user-facing features. The much smaller number of “Known Issues” in the release notes as compared to prior betas suggest that both versions may be nearing final release.
The new betas are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.
India has rejected Apple’s request to sell used iPhones in the country, an unnamed telecommunications ministry source told Bloomberg. Apple wanted permission to sell used devices to draw in cost conscious buyers left in the cold when the company discontinued sales of the iPhone 4s and 5c in February, driving the price of an entry-level iPhone from 12,000 rupees to 24,000 rupees. But after rivals made the case that Apple was essentially turning India into a dumping ground for electronic waste and skirting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India program, the company’s application to sell used devices seems to have fallen flat.
A photo posted on Chinese site Weibo purports to show an internal component from the upcoming iPhone 7 that would prove the phone will still have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If true, the news would fly in the face of months of speculation that Apple planned to drop the traditional headphone jack in favor of wireless or Lightning port options for connecting headphones. Just last week an alleged leak of iPhone 7 schematics supported the rumor that the headphone jack was being ditched, but this new photo shows a similar configuration to the same component in the iPhone 6s, with spaces for both a headphone jack and a Lightning port.
Apple is reportedly upholding its pledge to make every effort to access the iPhone 6 of a teen who was lost at sea, but whatever data they find is now going to the courts rather than the family, ABC News reports. Blu Stephanos contacted Apple for help accessing his son Austin’s phone after it was discovered aboard the 14-year-old’s ship, but Pam Cohen, mother of the other teen who went missing during the voyage, took the issue to court, fighting to have the phone handed over to experts instead.
In a new front in the ongoing fight over iPhone encryption, federal officials in Los Angeles obtained a warrant allowing them to force a woman to unlock an iPhone by holding her fingerprint to the Touch ID scanner, the Los Angeles Times reports. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld decisions allowing police to access phone data with a search warrant and law enforcement’s right to compel a person in custody to provide a fingerprint without a judge’s permission, but legal experts worry that the combined use of these two abilities to unlock a personal device could violate a person’s Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
Schematics claiming to be of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 “Pro” have appeared in Japanese magazine Mac Fan, according to a new report by Mac Otakara. The leaked specs support many of rumoured details about the upcoming device, including the reports of a dual-camera system, body design similar to the iPhone 6s Plus, and elimination of the headphone jack. The MacFan report claims the new iPhone will actually measure in at 158.22mm tall by 77.94mm wide by 7.3mm thick — identical to the dimensions of the current iPhone 6s Plus.
A tweet from Nintendo America is teasing the release of more Nintendo games for the iOS platform, specifically mentioning Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing — versions of two existing Nintendo franchises.
A year ago, Nintendo announced that it would be moving into the mobile space, promising the release of one title this year — the company’s Miitomo social app — followed by four more games by March 2017. Mobile versions of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing presumably account for two of these promised four apps, but details are scarce beyond the company’s tweet; it’s unclear whether these will be new mobile games that are loosely related to their respective franchises or full-fledged ports of the Nintendo Wii and DS counterparts.