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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.

Apple debuts iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Apple took the wraps off of the first part of its much-anticipated new iPhone lineup today with the announcement of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The two new iPhones represent direct updates to last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, featuring a similar physical design that changes from an aluminum to a glass back that’s reinforced by aerospace-grade aluminum and steel, representing what Apple claims is the most durable glass that has yet been used in a smartphone. The new models also include Apple’s new A11 Bionic processor, a 64-bit six-core CPU with 4.3 billion transistors that improves performance by 25 percent over the iPhone 7’s A10 when using the performance cores, and up to 70 percent faster when using the four high-efficiency low-power cores. The new GPU is also 30 percent faster than the A10 at peak, and provides the same performance as the A10 at half the power consumption. A new Apple-designed image sensing processor (ISP) allows for faster low-light auto-focus, improved pixel processing, and hardware multiband noise reduction.

Apple creates mail-in option for iPhone Exchange program

For those waiting on today’s Apple announcement to decide on an upgrade, the company has added a new mail-in option for those interested in the iPhone Upgrade program. Customers who once had to go to an Apple Store to trade up can now “have a Trade-in Kit sent to you and return it by mail,” according to Apple’s updated website. The Trade-in Kit will be sent out after the user’s new iPhone ships and include a prepaid shipping label. As with all trades, Apple demands that the device be able to turn on, hold a charge, have a working screen and be free of cracks.

Firmware reveals details about ‘iPhone X’ 3D sensors, Face ID, internal components and more

Developers have been mining the latest Apple firmware release for every last detail about the new iPhones ahead of tomorrow’s Apple event, and Steve Troughton-Smith claims the much-hyped OLED iPhone will bear the name “iPhone X,” launching alongside an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that are skipping the usual “s” cycle naming conventions this time around. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) also seemed to put another long-standing question to bed, stating that all three colors of the “iPhone X” will feature black front bezels to provide “better aesthetic design,” blending the narrow cutouts in with the new OLED screen for a sleeker look than a while border would. Kuo said the iPhone X adds structured light transmitters and receivers to the existing iPhone’s sensor package, allowing it to “collect depth information, integrating with 2D image data from front camera to build the complete 3D image.”

Apple Events app gets update ahead of Sept. 12 keynote

Apple has updated its Apple TV Events app with a listing for its September 12 event — the first to be held at the new Steve Jobs Theater. As previously reported, at 10 a.m. Pacific time that day Apple is expected to reveal its new iPhones — including the tenth-anniversary iPhone 8/Edition — alongside a new 4K Apple TV and a cellular-capable Apple Watch. Apple TV owners will be able to stream the event through the Events app, and as always Apple will live stream the event on its website.

Report: New iPhones to be named iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone Edition

According to reputable case vendors claiming to have knowledge of the upcoming iPhone packaging, the two new standard iPhone models expected to be introduced next month will be designated the “iPhone 8” and “iPhone 8 Plus,” rather than using the more traditional “S” designations, while the premium iPhone will be called the “iPhone Edition.” While at IFA in Berlin, 9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub had several behind-the-scenes discussions with case makers who have heard information from Chinese manufacturing sources who claim to have seen packaging for the new iPhone models, and are certain enough fo the information that they are moving forward with preparing packaging for their own cases. Weintraub adds that these are large and reputable case makers, “not small, fly-by-night casemaker outfits,” with brand actually carried in Apple’s retail stores.

Apple sends out press invites for Sept 12 event at Apple Park

As expected, Apple has sent out media invites for its annual fall event, being held Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the Steve Jobs Theatre at the company’s new Apple Park campus in Cupertino. As usual, the media invites include a sneak peek at the theme of the event, along with a tagline which this time simply reads “Let’s meet at our place.” Unlike prior media invites, the tagline is most likely just a direct reference to the venue for the event as opposed to a cryptic clue to what Apple will be announcing.

New details emerge on ‘iPhone 8’ design, removal of Home Button

A new report from Bloomberg provides an in-depth look at the user interface changes that will likely accompany the buttonless “iPhone 8” expected to make its debut next month. With Apple expected to eliminate the concept of a home button entirely and effectively turn its flagship iPhone into one big screen, many of the classic iPhone user interactions will have to change along with it. The iconic home button has been a key component of the iPhone’s design since it launched in 2007, providing a single an intuitive control that users can click to return to their home screen. While later iOS updates added more functions to the home button accessed via press-and-hold and double and triple-click gestures, the main function of the button has remained the same for the past decade.

Apple releases eighth developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4

Apple has released an eighth set of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, continuing to address a number of issues in the prior developer previews as we inch closer to their expected release next month. Public betas for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 will also likely follow within the next day or so.

Apple to hold product launch event on Sept. 12

A new report from the Wall Street Journal confirms rumours from last week that Apple is planning to hold its fall product launch event on Sept. 12. WSJ cites “people briefed on its plans” who provided the date of the event as well as information about a possible venue, but did not offer any further specifics on what would be launched. Other sources suggest that Apple will unveil three new iPhone models — two modest upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus along with a premium “iPhone 8” model that would feature and edge-to-edge display and facial recognition technology; other recent reports have suggested a next-generation Apple Watch with cellular capabilities will be announced at the same time as the new iPhone models.

Reports: Apple will reveal ‘iPhone 8’ on Sept. 12 with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB options

A pair of reports from hit-or-miss sources claim the “iPhone 8” will be revealed at an event on September 12 and come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options. In a Chinese-language social media post, GeekBar founder Lei Ge provided what he claims is an image of Sandisk flash memory chips destined for the next-generation iPhone. In addition to revealing the upgraded base storage capacity, Ge also predicts the new device will be called the “iPhone Edition” rather than the “iPhone 8,” borrowing the naming convention used in the initial rollout of the top-of-the-line Apple Watch. Whatever the device ends up being called, French site Mac4Ever claims carrier sources have revealed that the official Apple event announcing it will be held on Sept. 12, a week later than some others are predicting. Carriers typically know about the launches in advance to prepare their stores and staff for pre-orders and overnight stocking requirements. The carriers didn’t have a firm launch date to share, but the site predicts that the new iPhones would hit stores on Sept. 22, the Friday of the week after the announcement. [via 9to5Mac]

New details, possible photos of iPhone 8’s 3D sensor emerge

In a memo obtained by 9to5Mac, well-respected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple has a “significant lead” on Qualcomm wjhen it comes to 3D sensors, saying Apple is likely two years ahead of its rival. Qualcomm’s “immature” software and hardware will likely delay the appearance of 3D sensing technology in Android phones and give Apple a rare moment where it is first to market with a new feature. As Bloomberg points out, Apple usually prefers to perfect technological advancements rather than rush to be first to market, but their analysis shows that the iPhone 8’s expected advancements in using infrared sensors to detect depth, improve scene detection, boost AR applications and use facial recognition both to unlock the device and authorize payments will all be new in the smartphone space this time around. A photo on Slashleaks claims to show the module responsible for all the 3D sensing magic, but the post has no accompnaying information to help verify whether it is genuine.

iOS 11 beta shows Control Center interface, new swipe gestures; tvOS 11 beta hints at 4K video

New betas have been released for iOS 11, tvOS 11 watchOS 4 and macOS 10, and developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered a couple of gems amid all the bug fixes and minor improvements. In ios 11, Rambo found one video that seems to show off a new swipe-up gesture used to activate the iOS app switcher and another that runs through changes to the lock screen interface. Swiping down brings the lock screen up from anywhere in the operating system, and while a left swipe still brings up the device’s widgets, a right swipe now seems to bring up the phone’s Control Center instead of activating the camera as it does in iOS 10. Swiping up from the bottom — which activated the Control Center in iOS 10 — now turns on the iOS app switcher, which previously was accessed by a home button double tap or by swiping right after pressing down on the left edge of the screen; the latter method has already been removed from iOS 11

iOS 11 introduces way to prevent Touch ID from opening device with fingerprint

Those testing the iOS 11 public beta have discovered pressing an iPhone or iPad’s lock button five time or opening a Medical ID now disables Touch ID and forces a user to enter their passcode to unlock the device. A source told 9to5Mac that the behavior is intentional, claiming it’s aimed at protecting people who have fallen unconscious from having their fingerprint used to access their private information. However Apple ends up presenting the feature, it can also clearly be used to protect information from police if used before an arrest, as at least some judges have proved willing to compel suspects to allow their fingerprint to be used to discover data that could incriminate them.

Report: iPhone 8 facial recognition unlocks in ‘millionths of a second’

The iPhone 8’s facial recognition sensors “can deeply sense a user’s face in the millionths of a second,” The Korea Herald reports. The source claims 3D sensors will be integrated in both the front and rear cameras to provide augmented reality experiences in real time, but provided scant information on how they would work. In an effort to answer that question, The Wall Street Journal points to Apple’s 2013 acquisition of PrimeSense, an Israeli company that helped develop Kinect motion sensors for the Xbox 360. That depth-sensing technology — referred to as “structured light” — emits thousands of tiny infrared dots and senses their reflection to gather highly accurate depth information that could even be used to unlock the device in total darkness. Apple declined to comment, but leaked firmware for the HomePod seems to reveal that the iPhone will have some form of depth and facial recognition sensors.

ESPN tvOS app now streams 4 games at once; Walmart’s streaming service coming to Apple TV

ESPN’s Apple TV app has been upgraded to include a new MultiCast feature that allows users to view up to four streams at the same time, according to Variety. EPSN typically features 30 or more live events on a given day, all of which will be available for simultaneous viewing. The company has also released an update to its iOS app, adding a “Watch” tab that provides live streams of events and shows. In other tvOS app news from Variety, Walmart’s streaming service will be landing on Apple TV next week. While Apple TV users have previously been able to use AirPlay to play Vudu’s movies and TV shows, the dedicated Vudu app is expected to become “widely available” starting August 22.

Report: iPhone 7s slightly larger than iPhone 7 due to glass backing

German blog Giga Apple claims to have renderings showing the iPhone 7s will be about 0.1mm larger than the iPhone 7 on all sides, possibly complicating the use of existing cases despite keeping mostly the same form factor. Apple made a similar move with the change to the iPhone 6s from the iPhone 6, slightly increasing the size of the device to add 3D Touch capabilities. This time around it’s possible the addition of glass backings could be the cause of the slightly larger size, but the report also claims that the redesign will reduce the camera bump on the device (or at least bury it within the extra glass on the back). How that change in size will affect the fit of an iPhone 7 case is anyone’s guess, since most iPhone 6 cases fit the iPhone 6s despite the small boost in size while others didn’t. [via 9to5Mac]

Apple releases developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11 + watchOS 4; public betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11

Apple has released a sixth series of developer betas for iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4, adding new icons for Maps and the App Store as well as addressing a number of issues in the prior developer previews and moving all three of the operating systems closer to their expected release this fall. Public betas were made available for iOS 11 and tvOS 11 too, breaking with the usual process of waiting a few days after the developer release to roll them out. The release notes continue to list a large number of known issues that are still pending.

New videos appear to show assembly processes, dummy models of iPhone 8 in 3 colors

YouTube star Danny Winget claims to have obtained dummy models of the iPhone 8 in three colors, showing the mockups off in his latest video. Winglet’s non-functional devices show the silver and copper/gold coming with white front bezels and cutouts, leaving the black as the only model with the black bezels and cutouts if Apple sticks to three colors as previously rumored. The silver has a glass back with shinier stainless steel sides, and the copper/gold features a similar split between a flat bronze color on the back and a shinier gold look on the edges. The models also sport no visible home button or Touch ID sensors (either front or back) and as expected come in at about the same size as the iPhone 7.

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