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Apple releases iOS 11.0.1 update amid user complaints of app failures, battery drain

The release of iOS 11 has brought the usual complaints about performance issues, with an entire thread on Reddit dedicated to users who have seen a steep drop in battery life, slow load times for apps and buggy performance in general. Apple has released iOS 11.0.1, only saying the standard “bug fixes and improvements” in the way of explaining what has changed, so it’s unclear whether this is in response to problems or just a routine update, but Apple did tell The Verge it is working on the static users have reported hearing in the iPhone 8 earpiece. The company claims the crackling has only come up in a “small number” of devices and a fix “will be included in an upcoming software release.”

Apple ditches two-step authentication for two-factor in iOS 11, macOS High Sierra

Apple is eliminating its old two-step verification process and migrating all users to two-factor authentication with the roll out of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, according to an updated support document. The company rolled out two-factor authentication back in 2015, but the company had been letting people keep going with the older two-step authentication if they wanted. The two-step method requires logging in with an Apple ID and then sending a code to an Apple device via SMS text message, allowing users to require the added confirmation layer for things like signing into iCloud, tinkering with an Apple ID or buying things from iTunes, iBooks, or the App Store from a new device.

 

Apple drops Bing for Siri and Spotlight searches, moves to Google

Apple has switched Siri and Spotlight’s default searches to Google, leaving Bing behind and bringing the searches in line with Safari, TechCrunch reports. Apple’s web browser already used Google — both on macOS and iOS — so the move should make the results returned in Siri and Spotlight more consistent with Safari. For the time being Bing is still the go-to for Siri image searches, and video results are delivered courtesy of YouTube. Now if users want to use Bing for Siri searches they’ll have to specify that in their request, but Google is far more popular so the change is unlikely to cause many problems.

Apple hiring editor to curate live sports content, developing AR technology for MLB

Apple is making a push into the sports world on multiple fronts, posting a job opening for a sports editor “to lead content curation and programming for the recently-announced live sports feature in the Apple TV app.” Unsurprisingly the post is looking for someone who lives and breathes sports of all kinds and has extensive experience in all aspects of the television business. The new live TV features coming down the pipe with tvOS 11 include on-screen notifications for games and all kinds of tracking abilities for fans, but direct deals with the sports leagues that are streaming the content will still be necessary for access to live events.

Some 2018 iPhones may stick with LCD screens, include new 3D Touch sensors

The iPhone X hasn’t even opened up for pre-orders yet and speculation has already turned to what’s in store for 2018, with The Korea Herald reporting that Apple is eyeing releasing a 5.85” OLED iPhone and a larger LCD model. The report claims Apple has scrapped work on a 5.28” OLED iPhone in favor of the larger devices and has already placed orders with Japan Display for LCD screens larger than 6”. It’s unclear whether both of the new devices will feature the same narrow bezels of the iPhone X, so it’s hard to tell how the purported increase in screen measurements will affect the overall footprint of the device.

Report: 3D camera improvements slowing down iPhone X production

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple suppliers are having trouble shipping the TrueDepth camera components the company needs to produce the iPhone X, MacRumors reports. “The 3D sensing (TrueDepth camera) on iPhone X is composed of a structured-light system, time-of-flight system and a front-facing camera, which represents a far more complex structure than those of rivals,” Kuo said in a note to investors. “It will therefore be harder to achieve mass production.” Kuo sees production finally ramping up in mid-October, but with pre-orders slated to begin on October 27, Kuo thinks the iPhone X will likely be in very limited supply for a few months at least.

iPhone 8, 8 Plus support Enhanced Voice Services, but users reporting static in calls

Takashi Tanaka, President of Japan’s KDDI cellular provider, said the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support Enhanced Voice Services that provide clearer calls and boost the connection’s reliability, according to Engadget’s Japanese-language site. The codec is the next step in Apple’s HD Voice, which has been around since the iPhone 8. The latest incarnation — which Gizmodo reports is being called “Enhanced HD Voice” in the UK — boosts the upper frequency range of calls from 7kHz to 14.4kHz, but it only works when both users have phones with the capabilities.

iFixit posts teardown of iPhone 8

iFixit has posted its usual complete teardown of the iPhone 8, as usual confirming much of the information that’s already been revealed while discovering a few additional interesting details. The new iPhone 8 model appears very similar to its predecessor on the outside, and is only a fraction of a millimetre larger in its dimensions. The model is identified from the box as A1863, although the report notes that it’s now conspicuously absent from the iPhone 8’s new all-glass back, thanks to a recent law that allows this information to be displayed only in the software.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Unboxing + comparison photos

We’ve just gotten our hands on Apple’s new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models, and we’ve posted a quick first look with some unboxing and comparison photos. Users familiar with past iPhone models will find no real surprises here; despite support for rapid charging, Apple still only bundles its standard 5W power adapter, along with the usual wired EarPods and standard Lightning cable. The new glass backs on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus hearken back to the iPhone 4 era, and make the space gray version look closer to last year’s jet black iPhone 7 than the matte black version. The high gloss glass back on the silver iPhone 7 still isn’t quite as white as the iPhone 4/4s models, but it definitely bears a closer resemblance. The new iPhones both ship with iOS 11. Keep your eyes out for our full, independent, comprehensive review of the new iPhone models next week once we’ve had a chance to put them through their paces.

iPhone X production faces further ‘incremental delay’ to mid-October

Apple’s new iPhone X is experiencing an “incremental delay” in its build plans that will likely delay production until mid-October, according to a new investor note obtained by Barron’s. The note reveals that production of the flagship iPhone doesn’t appear to have started yet, and the mid-October production start represents a one-month delay compared to previous expectations. The investor note primarily concerns itself with aspect of when Apple would be able to realize earnings from the sale of the new iPhone, noting that production would shift more into “the December quarter” and that it relates to the “tone and expectations” for that quarter. It’s not entirely clear, however, whether Apple has already factored in these production delays into its promised Nov. 3 ship date, or whether that date could possibly slip, however the note does seem to make it more likely that availability of the new iPhone X may be more limited than originally anticipated.

Apple still working bugs out of Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi connectivity, iOS 11 Mail app

While Apple has done extensive hardware and software testing before rolling out its new products, reviewers have found a serious problem with the way the Apple Watch Series 3 handles Wi-Fi connectivity, The Verge reports. The new LTE Apple Watch is supposed to be more of a standalone device than the previous models, able to use cellular data rather than relying solely on Wi-Fi, but the reviewer found that two separate Apple Watches both experienced the same problem of trying to connect to unknown (and potentially dangerous) Wi-Fi connections rather than switching to cellular. With the device set to ship Friday, Apple has admitted that the company has “discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”

Apple waiting on iPhone X performance to decide if 2018 iPhones all get Face ID

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already turned his focus to next year’s iPhones, claiming that Apple is waiting on the reaction to the iPhone X to see if all the 2018 models should feature Face ID, according to a report seen by 9to5Mac. If the customer reaction proves positive, all of next year’s models could get the TrueDepth front camera that facilitates Face ID. Even if the reaction is mixed, Face ID could still come to all the next iPhones due to difficulties in embedding a fingerprint sensor under the 3D Touch-capable screen to eliminate the home button. But if Face ID is a flop with users, Kuo says it might be worth the effort for Apple to kunckle down and get the fingerprint scanner working after all.

Apple releases iOS 11 with improvements to HomeKit, new App Store, updates to Camera, Siri and more

After months of betas, Apple has released iOS 11 to the general public. Coming mostly as it was advertised at WWDC, the new operating system features a long list of updates, including new HomeKit compatibility thanks to AirPlay 2 capabilities and improved controls for timers, location triggers, speakers and sunrise/sunset times. For devices with cameras that support it, Portrait mode has been expanded to include image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash, and all photos and videos will take up half as much space thanks to Apple’s new photo and video formats. Maps gain support for indoor details of some larger buildings — like airports and malls — and Apple Music will gain new social features, adding a new “Friends are Listening to” section in the Music app. The Control Center has been completely reimagined and Siri has gained new natural male and female voices built using deep learning along with a new visual interface.

TV app lands on Apple TV in new countries ahead of tvOS 11; Apple Pay Cash won’t launch with iOS 11

Apple’s TV app has started popping up on Apple TVs outside the US ahead of today’s tvOS 11 release, with users in Canada and Australia reporting they gained access overnight, although some said the app was present but not yet functioning in tvOS 10. Apple also claims that the TV app will arrive in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK by the end of the year, but another feature put on display during last week’s Keynote won’t be making it out today. The Apple Pay Cash feature in iOS 11 and watchOS 4 won’t be coming until “this fall” according to Apple’s latest update. Once functional, the feature will allow users to send cash payments through Messages or command Siri to issue a payment from a credit or debit card stored in Wallet.

Geekbench tests show Apple’s A11 chip is way ahead of the competition

The official Geekbench benchmark tests are out for the A11 Bionic chip powering the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the results show Apple’s latest offering standing head and shoulders above the competition. The A11 Bionic turned out to be 25 percent faster than the previous 10 Fusion in single core tests and a whopping 80 percent faster in multicore tests. The multicore scores astoundingly even top out above the 13” MacBook Pro, although AppleInsider is quick to note that a laptop’s CPU is tasked with driving a much larger display. That also likely accounts for why the iPhone 8 tests better than the iPhone 8 Plus, and why the 8 Plus tests better than the X; namely, the higher the screen resolution, the more the processor has to work to run it and the less it will be able to dedicate to other tasks.

After on-stage failure, Federighi tries to quiet fears about Face ID’s function and security

In its first big moment on stage during last week’s Apple Keynote, Face ID failed to unlock SVP Craig Federighi’s iPhone X, leading to all kinds of speculation that the new authentication system will be a disaster. Sitting down with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, Federighi did his best to assuage those fears, saying the very public failure surprised him because usually the Face ID “just works,” and he’s certain that any fears over the functionality will “melt away” as soon as users have their hands on the iPhone X. “Honestly, we’re just all counting the days that customers can finally get their hands on these. Because I think just like with Touch ID, initially people thought oh, ‘Apple’s done something that’s totally not going to work and I’m not a believer and I’m not gonna use this feature,’” Federighi said. “Now everyone’s worried because they can’t imagine life without Touch ID. We’re going to see exactly the same thing with Face ID.”

iPhone 8 / 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 + Apple TV 4K Now Available for Preorder

Apple began accepting pre-orders for its new iPhone 8, Apple Watch, and Apple TV models today, with the online store re-opening at 12:01 AM Pacific time. In contrast to prior years, where high-demand models sold out in minutes, most products remain available for in-store “Reserve and Pickup” for Sept. 22, with shipping delivery dates only having slipped to “1–2 weeks.”  While it’s possible Apple may simply have more units available this year, it also seems likely that many of the early adopters — those users most likely to be up at 3 AM placing a pre-order — are in fact waiting for the iPhone X, which will not be available for pre-order until Oct. 27.

U.S. Senator Al Franken raises questions about FaceID privacy and security

U.S. Senator Al Franken is pressing Apple to provide details on the privacy and security safeguards around FaceID data, Recode reports. In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Franken raised concerns that Apple could use the “faceprints” collected by FaceID “to benefit other sectors of its business, sell it to third parties for surveillance purposes, or receive law enforcement requests to access it facial recognition system — eventual uses that may not be contemplated by Apple customers.”

Apple drops prices on iPhone SE, raises them on AppleCare+, iPad Pro models

As Apple prepares to release its high-priced latest additions to the iPhone family, the company has dropped the prices on its entry level iPhone SE, cutting prices on both the 32GB and 128GB models by $50. The SE has proven popular among those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the current slate of larger iPhones, and Apple has been quietly improving the deal for customers, most recently by providing a memory boost at no increased charge.

Apple unveils iPhone X with Face ID

Apple concluded today’s fall event with a classic “One more thing…” in honour of Steve Jobs, introducing the new-era-defining iPhone X. Describing it as the device that will shape the next ten years of smartphone technology, in the same way the original iPhone defined the past ten years, the iPhone X includes a 5.8” full front glass “Super Retina” OLED display that comes in at a resolution of 2436 x 1125 and a pixel density of 458 ppi. The display also features HDR support with a one million-to-one contrast ratio, enhanced colour accuracy and a True Tone display.

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