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Apple releases iOS 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, tvOS 9.2.2, iTunes 12.4.2

Apple released a big set of of updates yesterday afternoon, as iOS 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, tvOS 9.2.2, and iTunes 12.4.2 were all launched to the general public. The updates mostly contain bug fixes and minor enhancements, but the iTunes update resolves a playback issue with short Apple Music songs in your Up Next queue. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.

Report: Apple will source iPhone 8 ‘A11’ CPU solely from TSMC

After dropping Samsung to source its new iPhone 7’s A10 CPU exclusively from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) earlier this year, Apple has made TSMC the exclusive manufacturer of its upcoming A11 chip as well, Chinese-language site Economic Daily News reports. Apple split its A9 chip orders between both Samsung and TSMC, but a number of reports claimed the TSMC version of the A9 provided significantly better battery life than the Samsung version in at least some benchmark tests. Unnamed sources said the new A11 chip will be built with TSMC’s new 10nm manufacturing process, with the company starting small-volume production as early as the second quarter of 2017. [via Digitimes]

New video shows alleged iPhone 7 lacks headphone jack, still has mute switch

A new, longer Weibo video comparing a purported iPhone 7 and an iPhone 6s shows extended views of what was seen in a much shorter video last week, seeming to confirm that the new device lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and features an updated camera, redesigned antenna lines and two speaker grills. The new video also provides one new update: The new phone still has a mute switch just like the iPhone 6s, contrary to other leaked photos that showed the switch would be eliminated in an iPhone featuring a dual-camera setup.

Video of alleged iPhone 7 shows lack of headphone jack, other features

A short video has been posted by unknown sources on Chinese site Weibo purporting to be of the next-generation iPhone 7, seems to corroborate many of the prior rumors and leaked photos seen up to this point. Specifically, the video shows a larger opening for new camera hardware, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, and redesigned antenna lines on the back of the device. [via 9to5Mac]

Prototype iPhone 7 molds reveal no change to color options?

A new set of photos from Macitynet purporting to be of molds for the next-generation iPhone suggests that the new model will come in the same set of colors as the iPhone 6s, casting some doubt on prior rumors that Apple would offer a “deep blue” color option. While these types of molds are provided to MFi program partners to fit cases and other accessories against the new body design, it’s unable to be certain that what is shown in the leaked photos are molds provided directly by Apple, or if they were designed by a third-party for the same purpose, based on rumored or incomplete specifications.

Report: iPhone 7 to include increased battery capacity

A recent tweet from OnLeaks cites a reliable source suggesting that the battery in the new iPhone being released this fall will likely see a modest increase from the battery in the iPhone 6s, jumping to 1960 mAh from the 1715 mAh capacity of the current model.

These numbers presumably represent the battery capacity for the standard 4.7” iPhone model, rather than the larger Plus/Pro models that have been rumored. Last year’s iPhone 6s actually saw a slight decrease in raw battery capacity from the 2014 iPhone 6 model, which came in at 1810 mAh, although both the 2014 and 2015 iPhone models achieved roughly the same actual battery life despite the capacity differences. It’s unclear whether any increased capacity for the iPhone 7 would be intended to mean longer battery life, or if it would simply be required to supply the additional power for new components.

New leak shows ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ with Smart Connector, no mute switch

One day after a fairly clear photo purporting to show the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 emerged, new photos have leaked, showing what could be the larger 5.5-inch model, with a dual-lens camera, Smart Connector on the back, and the notable absence of a mute switch. The photos, which turned up on Chinese search engine Weibo, are consistent with previous renderings where the size and shape of the dual camera opening is concerned, but the appearance of the Smart Connector is a bit strange. While some other leaks have hinted at the larger model featuring a Smart Connector in that general location, the pictured iPhone’s ports look different than those of the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector. The Apple logo on the back of the device is also hollow, so it’s possible the phone seen here is unfinished.

New iPhone 7 leak shows larger camera, relocated antenna lines

The clearest leaked photo of an alleged iPhone 7 that we’ve seen so far, posted by NowhereElse, has further reinforced rumors that the phone will feature a redesigned camera and relocated antenna lines. The picture gives us our best view yet of the 4.7-inch model’s new camera, which features a much larger lens surrounded by an circular protrusion in the back casing. The redesigned antenna lines, as predicted, ditch the straight line across the back of the phone, instead hugging the top and bottom edges. The photo only shows the phone’s back, so it sheds no light on rumors of the removal of the headphone jack or the inclusion of stereo speakers.

Apple expected to release iOS 10 public beta today

Following the release of the second iOS 10 Developer Beta earlier this week, Apple is expected to be releasing the first public beta of iOS 10 for non-developers through its Apple Software Beta Program. Unveiled last month at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 10 is being billed as the biggest iOS update that Apple has ever released, with major redesigns and enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News, an entirely new lock screen, today widget, and notification system, and breakthrough on-device intelligence for face, scene, and object recognition in the Photos app. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions later today; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site. [via CNET]

Apple releases fifth developer betas for iOS 9.3.3, tvOS 9.2.2

Apple has released the fifth developer betas for iOS 9.3.3 and tvOS 9.2.2, in parallel with the iOS 10 and tvOS 10 development cycle. 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. The minimal list of “Known Issues” in the release notes as compared to prior betas suggest that both versions may be nearing final release and will likely be the last updates in the iOS 9 and tvOS 9 series before the release of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 in the fall. 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.

New alleged iPhone 7 renderings show more angles, lack of headphone jack

A new set of renderings, said to be of the upcoming iPhone, has recently been posted by NowhereElse. The renderings back up previous rumors that Apple is doing away with the headphone jack and adding a dual-lens camera to its larger model. The casing designs also show a larger camera hole on the smaller model—again, consistent with previous leaks—and the phone’s antenna lines moved to the edges, as has been seen before.

WSJ: New iPhones to bump base model storage up to 32GB

Starting with this fall’s new iPhone release, Apple will be bumping the base storage of the entry level model to 32GB, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Citing a person familiar with Apple’s iPhone plans, the report notes that the new starting point for the iPhone will be 32GB, although there is no discussion of what other capacities will be available, making it unclear whether Apple plans to increase the capacities of other models accordingly or not. The report also touches on a number of other rumored features on the upcoming iPhone, noting that two main selling points for the device will likely be “improved water resistance and a thinner design.”

Apple releases second developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10 + watchOS 3

Apple has released the second developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. The second 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 second round of betas likely continues to refine the experience from the first round of betas, with the release notes indicating several items fixed in each beta, as well as the introduction of promised features such as auto unlock for watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra users, the Emergency SOS feature for the Apple Watch, an updated design for Apple Music in tvOS 10, and improvements to Apple Music in iOS 10. The updates 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.

Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection

Apple is working to explain its new “differential privacy” method of collecting enough user information to make its products more useful while still protecting user privacy, Recode reports. Data collection will begin with the rollout of iOS 10, but will be entirely opt-in, allowing users to decide whether they’re willing to trade a little privacy in return for added functionality. Those opting in will allow Apple to see new words added to their local dictionaries, emojis they type, deep links used inside apps, and hints within notes.

Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’

Tipsters have indicated that the space gray version of the new “iPhone 7” will be a “much darker color” than that on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, Apple Insider reports. There is already some variability in Apple’s space gray from product to product, with the space gray on the Apple Watch Sport quite a bit darker than that on the iPhone 6 or 6s. But citing trusted sources, Macotakara‘s Danbo told the site that the darker shade will be nearly black, refuting earlier claims that space gray was being ditched for a “deep blue” color. Sources who claim to have seen the next-generation iPhone’s colors are said to have mistaken the darker space gray for a blue.

Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance

Apple has confirmed to TechCrunch that the opening up of the iOS 10 kernel was an intentional decision on its part, citing performance optimizations as the main motivator for the move. Speaking to TechCrunch, an Apple spokesperson noted that “The kernel cache doesn’t contain any user info, and by unencrypting it we’re able to optimize the operating system’s performance without compromising security.”

Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny

Security researchers examining the first iOS 10 Developer Preview beta have discovered that Apple has taken the unusual step of leaving the new operating system’s kernel open to examination, according to a new report by MIT Technology Review. The iOS kernel — the heart of Apple’s mobile operating system — has always been encrypted in the past, making it more difficult for security researchers to reverse engineer the software to look for flaws or exploits in the code. While the report speculates that it’s possible this may have been an oversight on Apple’s part for this first developer preview release, it would be difficult to believe that Apple’s engineers would make such a basic error, leading many researchers to speculate that this is actually a bold move by Apple to open up the operating system to more scrutiny by third parties.

Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple

A judge has thrown out the class-action lawsuit against Apple over ‘Error 53’ messages that temporarily left some users’ iPhone locked, Fortune reports. After users who had third-party repairs to their iPhone’s Touch ID sensor began seeing their phones rendered useless upon updating to iOS 9 in February, Apple quickly released a patch to fix the issue and offered to reimburse customers who has been forced to pay for out-of-warranty replacements for their devices.

Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct

The company that won a major patent ruling against Apple in Beijing last week barely even exists, The Wall Street Journal reports. Last week the Beijing Intellectual Property Office ruled that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models infringe upon the design of Baili’s 100C phone. Since that ruling, phone calls to the company in question — Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co. — ring unanswered. The company’s websites are gone and visits to its registered addresses turned up no company offices.

WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack

A new report from The Wall Street Journal is adding weight to several recent rumors suggesting that the next-generation iPhone, expected to be released this fall, will see only subtle changes, essentially breaking Apple’s two-year iPhone redesign cycle. Citing sources familiar with the matter, as well as other recent analysts, the WSJ is confirming with some confidence that Apple’s long-rumored plans to drop the headphone jack are likely to come to fruition with this next-generation model, but that any other large changes will be held back to 2017 — the year that also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPhone.

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