Apple has been working for the past few years on developing a custom low-power Bluetooth radio chip for wireless earbuds, according to a new report in Forbes. The report notes that Apple could launch a set of Bluetooth earbuds as soon as September alongside the new iPhone model, which is expected to omit the 3.5mm headphone jack found on prior models. Recent leaks have suggested that Apple will bundle either Lightning EarPods or a Lightning audio adapter in with the next-generation iPhone models. Low-power Bluetooth headphones could provide another alternative — although it seems likely that such earphones would be sold as a separate option rather than being included in the package.
Apple is working on developing an enhanced digital TV guide service for its Apple TV, according to a new report from Re/code. According to industry sources cited by the report, Apple has been talking to TV programmers and other video companies about a solution that works not only on the Apple TV, but on other Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad. The new service appears to be an expansion of its Universal Search debuted on the fourth-generation Apple TV, letting users see what kind of programming is available in video apps such as HBO, Netflix, and ESPN, and to access shows and movies with a single click.
Apple has released iOS 9.3.4, a minor update that comes a little more than two weeks following the release of iOS 9.3.3, and purports to fix at least one security issue with the release notes merely describing it as “an important security update” that is recommended for all iOS 9 users. With iOS 10 expected to debut in the next six to eight weeks, future iOS 9 updates will likely be limited to security patches such as these to accommodate older devices incapable of being updated to iOS 10.
Apple has released the third public beta of iOS 10 through its Apple Software Beta Program. Corresponding to the fourth beta released to developers earlier this week, the latest public beta continues enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News. The latest version also features updated emoji characters first revealed yesterday, including Apple’s replacement of the gun emoji with a water gun. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions now; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site.
A man was severely burned when his iPhone exploded after a minor fall on his bike, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Gareth Clear said the phone was in his back pocket when he took a tumble off his bike, then burst into flames when he fell on top of it. “I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket…and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain,” he said. “I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus.” Gareth sustained third-degree burns to his leg that required a skin graft.
Apple has released its new Apple TV Remote app in the App Store. The app, which requires iOS 9.3.2 or later, allows users to take advantage of features found on the 4th-gen Apple TV’s Siri Remote. Siri access is available from the app, and an iOS device can be used as a game controller, in addition to past features like a keyboard for text, and playback controls. The app works for 2nd and 3rd-gen Apple TV units, as well, but without the Siri and game controller features, of course. We first detailed the Apple TV Remote app in our tvOS 10: Inside the betas article, and now the app is available to the public for free.
Apple has released the fourth developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. The fourth round of betas is intended to allow developers to continue working on the new features and APIs first debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, with the unveiling of each of the major new operating system releases; the fourth round of betas likely continues to refine the experience from the third round of betas, with the release notes indicating mostly minor updates. We’ll update if any major developments pop up.
A new video posted today on Vietnamese site tinhte.vn (via 9to5Mac) demonstrates what appears to be an official Apple Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter that will likely ship with the new iPhone coming this fall. The adapter, which features a design reminiscent of Apple’s previous Lightning accessory adapters, appears to be between 2.5” and 3” in length and includes a male Lightning connector on one end and a female 3.5mm headphone jack on the other. The post accompanying the video claims the adapter was picked up from a Foxconn Apple supplier factory in Vietnam, and that the adapter only works with devices running iOS 10 beta, not iOS 9; when used with a current iPhone model — one that actually has a headphone jack — audio is sent to the Lightning port rather than the built-in headphone jack.
Following up on his earlier leak suggesting that the next-generation iPhone will go on sale on Sept 16, Evan Blass has sent out a another tweet adding that iPhone pre-orders will begin on Sept. 9, and suggesting that readers can extrapolate the launch event date from there — likely to be Wednesday, Sept. 7, based on Apple’s prior event dates and the shorter Labor Day week.
Confirmed: Pre-orders start on the 9th. You can extrapolate the launch event date from there. https://t.co/gwoPzIM1dI— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 28, 2016
A Sept. 9 pre-order date with a Sept. 16 release date would be in line with most prior iPhone launches — Since the iPhone 4s release in October 2011, Apple has traditionally opened pre-orders one week prior to retail availability, although it’s worth noting that last year’s iPhone 6s launch had a two-week lead time for pre-orders.
Apple today announced that it has now officially sold one billion iPhones. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the news earlier today at an employee meeting in Cupertino, stating that “iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It’s become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day,” said Cook. “Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day.”
Apple crossed the threshold of “one billion active devices” earlier this year, announced at the company’s Q1 2016 Financial Results Conference Call in January, although this earlier number presumably included non-iPhone devices such as iPads and iPods, and was limited to active devices; today’s number refers to the total number of iPhones sold by Apple to date, and presumably includes those that have been retired from active use.
The new iPhone 7 may do away with the standard home button in favor of a touch-sensitive 3D Touch home button, Macotakara reports. The speculation echoes a report from last week that the new device will use haptic feedback to mimic a click rather than relying on an actual button press. Unnamed supply chain sources said the improved home button is flush with the body and will not actually depress when pushed, even though users will feel the sensation of pressing on a button. Doing away with the physical home button may aid in Apple rumored efforts to make its iPhones more waterproof, but if recent leaks are any indication, it won’t drastically change the look of the phone. [via MacRumors]
Apple is relaxing its controls on autoplay videos in Safari with the release of iOS 10, allowing silent or muted videos to start automatically. A post on the WebKit blog explains the rationale behind the changes as an effort to keep up with new display needs, as developers integrate more video elements into their sites. Some of those pages don’t work on iOS 9 due to user gesture requirements, so Apple is relaxing its restrictions. Silent or muted video will be allowed to play, while video with an audio track will load but be paused.
Just to clarify, this refers to the retail release, not the launch event. To be even more specific, it should happen on Friday, Sept. 16th.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 23, 2016
Well-known leaker Evan Blass has sent out a series of tweets claiming the new iPhone will be released on Sept. 16, which would be slightly earlier than recent history. Apple released the iPhone 6s/6s Plus on Sept. 25 of last year — also a Friday, which is typical.
Meanwhile, German site Apfelpage has its own big prediction about the new iPhone, with its sources inside a Chinese manufacturer claiming the new device will be named the “iPhone 6 SE.” The source said packaging has already entered production under that name, but also claimed they had only seen information related to the 4.7-inch phone, shedding no light on how the company would handle naming its new 5.5-inch device, which at least some sources have claimed would be dubbed the “iPhone Pro.”
A new research note from Deutsche Bank (via Business Insider) reports that the next-generation iPhone will include a “Lightning-to-audio dongle” in the package rather than a set of Lightning-equipped EarPods. Although the research note confirms several other recent rumors about the upcoming iPhone, including the elimination of the 3.5mm audio jack in favor of a Lightning connection, it cites supply chain sources claiming that Lightning headphones will not be included in the package; however it’s unclear whether this means Apple will simply continue to include the 3.5mm EarPods of prior versions, or eliminate the headphones from the packaging entirely.
Former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden is designing a device to help prevent unauthorized monitoring of iPhone signals, Wired reports. The proposed device, which has been developed in cooperation with hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, is a case-like accessory that connects into the iPhone’s internals via its SIM card slot to monitor the signals sent to the iPhone’s internal antennas. The add-on would constantly check on whether the iPhone radios are transmitting, and Huang and Snowden suggest that it’s an “infinitely more trustworthy method” of ensuring that no unauthorized radio signals are being sent than simply using “Airplane Mode” which can be hacked or spoofed. By designing this device, which they’ve duebbed an “introspection engine,” Snowden and Huang are looking to provide strong privacy guarantees to iPhone users who would need to shield their iPhones from “government-funded adversaries with advanced hacking and surveillance capabilities,” such as reporters working in hostile foreign countries who want to shield their locations.
Corning has announced Gorilla Glass 5, the fifth-generation of the chemically-strengthened glass that has been used in iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads. The latest version promises to protect against even higher drops, and has been tested to survive 1.6-meter shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to eighty percent of the time — an improvement by a factor of four over competing glass solutions. Corning also notes that despite the improved toughness, Gorilla Glass still retains the same damage resistance, optical clarity, and touch sensitivity as prior generations. To date, Corning Gorilla Glass has been deployed in 4.5 billion devices worldwide across more than 1,800 product models and 40 major brands, and the company’s announcement notes that the new glass is “expected to be on product models from leading global brands later this year,” suggesting the possibility that it might make it into the next-generation iPhone. [via iPhone in Canada]
A new class action lawsuit has been filed in California alleging that Apple is not living up to the terms of its AppleCare+ service plan by providing refurbished service stock replacements to customers rather than new devices. The suit takes specific issue with Apple replacing damaged devices with refurbished devices, focusing on the clause in the AppleCare+ terms that state that devices replaced under the program are “equivalent to new in performance and reliability” with lawyers for the plaintiffs arguing that refurbished means “a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new” and therefore can’t be considered to be equivalent to a new unit in durability or functionality.
Apple has released the second public beta of iOS 10 through its Apple Software Beta Program. Corresponding to the third beta released to developers earlier this week, the latest public beta continues enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News, the new lock screen, today widget, and notification system, and on-device intelligence for face, scene, and object recognition in the Photos app on 64-bit devices. iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE users in the United States should also now be able to take advantage of the new beta transcription service in the Visual Voicemail app. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions now; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site.
A new report from Military.com claims the U.S. Army Special Operations Command is ditching its Android tactical smartphone in favor of the iPhone. An Army source not authorized to speak to the media said the iPhone 6S is slated to be used in an iPhone Tactical Assault Kit, a special-operations version of the Army’s Nett Warrior battlefield situational awareness tool. The source said the Army is making the switch because the iPhone is “faster, smoother. Android freezes up” and has to be restarted often.
In an effort to crack down on phones being imported into the country by smugglers, Iranian officials have demanded that Apple officially register in Iran or have its products banned, The Japan Times reports. “If Apple will not register an official representative in Iran within the next few days, all iPhones will be collected from the market,” the director of Iran’s anti-smuggling office told Tasnim News Agency. The director’s name wasn’t provided in the report. The new project, running under the president’s office, will require all mobile phones to be registered with Iran’s telecommunications user database.