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Animoji Karaoke videos produced on iPhone X take Twitter by storm

With last week’s release of the iPhone X, the much-ridiculed Animoji got a serious boost when Fast Company’s Harry McCracken invented a new use for the feature in the form of Animoji Karaoke. The simple premise — lip-sync a song as one of the Animoji avatars using the iPhone X’s 3D camera — immediately took off, even spawning an @animojikaraoke Twitter page. McCracken even has some tips on how to hack the experience to get the highest quality videos, subverting the usual 10-second limit to Animoji recordings by using iOS 11’s screen-recording feature and bringing two videos into iMovie on a Mac to create a duet. He even took it to a new level by using iMovie to add in a high quality version of his songs, but the iPhone X’s microphone will do just fine for those who want to belt out a tune with the face of a cartoon without too much fuss. Let us know if you’ve tried to make your own Animoji Karaoke or found any epic productions in the comments below.

Apple acknowledges autocorrect bug in iOS 11.1

In a blog post, Apple has acknowledged a problem with the autocorrect feature in iOS 11.1 that is replacing the letter “i” with an “A” accompanied by a symbol. So far it’s the only autocorrect problem that Apple has specifically addressed, but we’ve seen other problems as well — like the word “it” being converted to “I.T.” or “I’d” being changed to “I.D.” — and there’s an entire Reddit thread dedicated to the issue where users have seen everything from strange capitalization suggestions to missing punctuation fixes like changing “im” to “I’m” as it usually does.

Apple releases iOS 11.2 developer beta for iPhone X

After developers complained that the iOS 11.2 beta wasn’t available for their new iPhone X devices, Apple pushed out a compatible version late Friday afternoon. Developers who had already updated to the iOS 11.2 beta on their older devices initially had no way to restore their iCloud or iTunes backups onto Apple’s newest iPhone, as a backup cannot be restored onto an iPhone running an older iOS version. The quick fix issued by Apple ensures that developers can now load their backups onto the iPhone X and proceed with their work.

iOS developers stuck waiting for iOS 11.2 beta release for iPhone X

Despite releasing iOS 11.2 earlier this week for all current iPhone models, Apple has not actually yet pushed out a build of the latest beta for the iPhone X. Numerous iOS developers who received the new iPhone X today who had already updated to the iOS 11.2 beta are now discovering that they have no way to restore their iCloud or iTunes backups onto Apple’s newest iPhone, as a backup cannot be restored onto an iPhone running an older iOS version. While some have reported success in downgrading their older iPhones to iOS 11.1, others have reported the loss of some data such as health and activity information and iCloud keychain entries. Apple has provided no information on when an iOS 11.2 beta build will be released for the iPhone X.

iPhone X: Unboxing + comparison photos

We’ve just gotten our hands on Apple’s new iPhone X, and have a quick first look with some unboxing and comparison photos. With all of the news around the iPhone X, there aren’t a lot of surprises here, and it looks pretty much like you’d expect it to on the surface, with the edge-to-edge OLED screen looking as impressive first-hand as it does in the photos. As with the iPhone 8 models, Apple is also still bundling only its 5W power adapter alongside the usual wired EarPods and standard Lightning cable. Surprisingly, the iPhone X doesn’t appear to include iOS 11.1 — the version we received came with iOS 11.0.1 installed. Keep your eyes out for our full, independent, comprehensive review of the new iPhone X next week once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

Third-party apps will be able to collect facial data on iPhone X

Third party developers will be able to fully utilize the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to collect advanced facial data, according to a new report by Reuters. Although Apple has promised that the facial profiles used for Face ID will be securely stored in the iPhone X Secure Enclave — in the same way that fingerprints are stored for Touch ID authentication on other iPhone models — third-party app developers will be permitted to access the advanced features of the TrueDepth camera to access facial recognition features that would allow them to build entertainment apps for the iPhone X, such as pinning three-dimensional masks for selfies or mirroring real-world facial expressions on an in-game character.

Report: Apple to unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1

Apple is planning to remotely unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1 to comply with new government regulations banning locked iPhones as of that date, according to a leaked document obtained by MobileSyrup. A document obtained from smartphone retailer WOW! Mobile notes that locked iPhones will be “automatically be unlocked over-the-air effective December 1st.”

Apple going after press, YouTube stars ahead of iPhone X launch in uncharacteristic move

Instead of its usual method of sending a few products to tech reviewers and mostly letting the device speak for itself, Apple is taking a decidedly different approach with the iPhone X, sending the new phone out to a wide swath of publications and angering some of the dedicated tech bloggers. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball seemed particularly bent out of shape, ripping reviews from publications and YouTube celebrities that he didn’t find up to the usual standards. Recode remarked on Apple letting YouTubers jump the line as well, saying “For many of us, they won’t replace the utility of more sophisticated reviews, which are supposed to tell us whether the iPhone X is worth our $1,000. They’re not great videos, frankly.”

Apple releases iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, tvOS 11.1

Apple has released iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, and tvOS 11.1, featuring some notable improvements. The new version of iOS brings back the 3D Touch gesture for multitasking, much more fluid scroll-to-top animations and more than 70 new emoji options. The new watchOS gets an improved Music app with full iCloud Music Library access and support for Apple Music and Apple Radio streaming on the Series 3, taking the next step toward making the Apple Watch less dependent on the iPhone. GymKit support for syncing the Apple Watch with smart gym equipment also landed, but the accompanying equipment hasn’t made its way out into the world yet. The update for Apple TV was the least impressive, offering only bug fixes and no real new features.

Identical twins can’t fool iPhone X’s Face ID in new video

The first video of the iPhone X’s Face ID being tested by twins has emerged, and the Business Insider test found the device could tell them apart. Brian Fieber successfully used the Face ID feature while wearing sunglasses, a scarf, a hat, or all three, while his twin brother Greg wasn’t able to access the device. “I was pretty shocked that the iPhone X could really pick apart the details between me and my brother considering some of our own family members can’t tell us apart,” Greg said after the experiment.

Apple designing iPhones, iPads that ditch Qualcomm modem chips

Amid its bitter legal fight with Qualcomm over patent royalties, Apple is moving to eliminate Qualcomm’s components from the iPhone and iPad as early as next year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter said Apple is considering using modem chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek exclusively since Qualcomm has been withholding key software used to test its chips in prototype iPads and iPhones. Qualcomm disputes that claim, saying its “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.”

Apple adds SiriKit support for HomePod in iOS 11.2 beta, releases betas for watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

With the release of iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1 and watchOS 4.1 likely imminent given the limited updates in the last round of betas, Apple has moved on and released betas of iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2 to developers. The beta version of iOS 11.2 is of particular interest as it adds SiriKit support for the upcoming HomePod speaker. In a blog post, Apple encouraged developers to make sure that their app’s use of SiriKit — which has been available since iOS 10 — is up to date. The HomePod will include support for Siri commands to third-party apps and send those requests over to a connected iPhone or iPad (where the app is actually hosted) for processing.

Supply of TrueDepth cameras stabilizes, but no big updates coming in 2018

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has told investors that Apple won’t experience the same shortage of 3D TrueDepth cameras with its 2018 models that caused this year’s iPhone X to release later in the year, but adds that users won’t see a real upgrade in the quality next year, 9to5Mac reports. Kuo said next year’s iPhones will see “no major spec upgrade” of the TrueDepth camera, responsible for powering Face ID and other features. Kuo disputes other reports that Apple will adopt a “hybrid lens (glass and plastics),” writing that doing so would put the company right back in the same supply constraint problem it has been in this year.

Report: Apple fires engineer who let daughter film iPhone X video on Apple campus

In a followup to her original iPhone X video shot on Apple’s campus, YouTube vlogger Brooke Peterson claims her dad has been fired by Apple over the incident. During a 5-minute video, Peterson visited her dad at Apple’s campus and included under a minute of footage of the new iPhone X’s screen and camera functionality. The video quickly went viral and in her next video Peterson tearfully recounts how the company fired her dad in the aftermath. “At the end of the day, when you work for Apple it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are,” she said. “If you break a rule, they just have no tolerance. They had to do what they had to do.”

Apple describes iPhone X demand as ‘off the charts’

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Apple representative has described customer demand for the iPhone X as being “off the charts” and emphasized Apple’s commitment to increasing the supply of the new iPhone as quickly as possible, noting that the company will still be accepting online orders and still plans to have stock available in its retail stores next Friday.

We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world.

Pre-orders for Apple’s new flagship iPhone opened this morning at 3:01 a.m. ET with initial stock not surprisingly selling out within minutes and many users being greeted with shipping dates of 2 – 3 weeks or more by 3:05 a.m. While Apple claims that stock will be available in its retail stores on Friday, it’s unclear how many units are being held for walk-in customers as opposed to pre-ordered or reserved pickups.

Apple reveals Service Pricing for iPhone X

Apple has added details on the iPhone X to its iPhone Service Pricing page, revealing that out-of-warranty screen repairs for the iPhone X will cost $279 — over $100 more than repairs for the iPhone 8 Plus. Repairs for other damage will carry a similar premium for the new model, costing $549 vs $399 for the iPhone 8 Plus and $349 for the iPhone 8. These service prices are for users without AppleCare+ for the iPhone X, however, which costs $199 up front but provides up to two repairs at $29 for screen replacement or $99 for other damage.

iPhone X pre-orders predictably sell out within minutes

As expected, pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone X went online at approximately 3:01 a.m. ET this morning, and not surprisingly saw initial stock running out and ship dates being pushed into 2 – 3 weeks within two or three minutes of the Apple Store going live, and in fact within a half-hour availability moved to 4 – 5 weeks, pushing delivery dates for many into late November or early December, and by 4:30 a.m. the iPhone X ordering page was reporting 4 – 5 weeks. Notably, there didn’t seem to be any difference in demand or availability between models this year, with both the Silver and Space Gray colors and 64 GB and 256 GB capacities appearing to sell out at roughly the same time.

Apple cuts accuracy requirements for Face ID to increase supply of iPhone X devices

Amid rumors of delays in iPhone X production due to low yields of 3D camera components necessary for the device’s Face ID, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple loosened its requirements for the accuracy of the components to increase supplies ahead of next week’s launch. People familiar with the discussions said the company quietly informed suppliers that they could “reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture.” As recently as a month ago Foxconn pulled as many as 200 workers off an iPhone X assembly line because there weren’t enough of the delicate sensor components to justify their staffing levels.

Apple promises iPhone X stock at retail stores on Nov. 3 as other retailers announce discounts

Despite Nikkei Asian Review’s report that Apple is only getting half of its planned number of iPhone X shipments this year due to a lack of components for the new 3D camera, Apple has promised “iPhone X will be available in more than 55 countries and territories, and in Apple Stores beginning Friday, November 3 at 8:00 a.m. local time.” The company does give a nod to supply constraints, however, saying walk-in customers are “encouraged to arrive early.” Those in Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program can also start the pre-approval process for their loan in the Apple Store app, which will speed up the process of getting an iPhone X on launch day.

Apple releases fifth developer betas for iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1

Apple has released a fifth set of betas for iOS 11.1, tvOS 11.1, and watchOS 4.1 to registered developers, the third release in under a week. The number for the latest iOS 11.1 beta is only one digit from the previous release, showing that Apple seems to be pushing out minor tweaks to its operating system for testing ahead of the iPhone X release next week. The release notes for both platforms mostly indicate bug fixes, and it’s unclear what new changes were made. Recent reports also suggest that iOS 11.1 may add support for Apple Pay Cash, with Apple’s corporate and retail employees already testing the feature, although it doesn’t appear to have yet been unlocked in the developer betas.

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