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iOS 11.2 to bring 7.5W wireless charging to iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X

While the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X are currently limited to 5-watt wireless charging speeds, MacRumors reports the release of iOS 11.2 will boost that speed to 7.5 watts. The speed increase will require a charging pad capable of achieving those speeds, and not all are up to the challenge. A test showed that the Belkin wireless charger currently sold by Apple—which supports 7.5 watt charging—did charge an iPhone X running the iOS 11.2 beta faster than a 5-watt charger, even proving faster than a wired 5 watt connection. Apple is expected to release its own AirPower wireless charging mat later this year, which will be large enough to allow users to charge iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods on a single pad, but Apple hasn’t released specs on how fast it will be able to charge the devices. The Qi standard used in Apple’s wireless charging technology is capable of handling up to 15 watt speeds.

Analyst predicts two OLED models, one LCD model for all-bezel-less 2018 iPhones

Well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting a larger OLED iPhone and a bezel-less LCD iPhone will join a device similar to the iPhone X to round out Apple’s 2018 three-device offering, AppleInsider reports. Kuo expects Apple to release an updated 5.8” OLED iPhone with the same footprint and general appearance as the iPhone X alongside a 6.5” version that will likely serve as a sort of “iPhone X Plus.” But with the ballooning cost of the premium devices in mind, the company is also rumored to be working on a 6.1” LCD iPhone that mimics the bezel-less appearance of the iPhone X in a slightly larger size and with a lower-resolution display. That device would likely come in at a $650-$750 price range while still featuring Face ID and improved cameras.

Report: Apple working on 3D sensors for 2019 iPhone’s rear-facing camera

Apple is working on bringing a 3D sensor system to the iPhone’s rear camera as early as 2019, Bloomberg reports. People familiar with the plan said the sensors would likely be different than those that power the iPhone X’s TrueDepth sensor system in the front-facing camera, which powers Face ID and other features. Instead of using the structured light technique that projects thousands of laser dots onto the user’s face, the rear-facing sensor would use time-of-flight measurements that calculate the return time for laser light projected off objects and use that to create a 3D image of the environment. Sources said Apple has already reached out to prospective suppliers for the new sensors.

Apple releases third betas for iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2

Apple has released the third developer betas for iOS 11.2, watchOS 4.2, and tvOS 11.2. The iOS 11.2 beta is reportedly allowing users to wirelessly charge their iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X devices at 7.5-watt speeds instead of the previous 5-watt limit. The latest iOS 11.2 beta also provides a new explainer for how the Control Center’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles work. Tapping these no longer turns off the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radios, but instead merely disconnects or re-establishes your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections, and Apple has clarified that for users. The latest beta for tvOS 11.2 provides more control over when videos are played in HDR and at different frame rates.

Report: iPhone 8 production may decrease as a result of iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus popularity

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that Apple’s production of the iPhone 8 may decrease by over 50 percent this quarter due to strong consumer preference for the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X models. According to a research note obtained by MacRumors, demand for the iPhone 8 has been lower than expected and could result in fewer orders for Apple’s supplier Pegatron. While Apple doesn’t disclose iPhone sales on a per-model basis, CEO Tim Cook noted recently that the company was surprised by how fast iPhone 8 Plus sales took off after the new model was released, citing it as “the fastest start of any Plus model.” Research firm Canalys also noted that the iPhone 8 Plus outpaced the iPhone 8 last quarter, making it the first 5.5-inch iPhone to beat out it’s smaller sibling in shipments.

Apple updates Clips app with iPhone X exclusive ‘Scenes’ feature

Apple has released a major update to its Clips app for the iPhone X, adding a new Scenes feature that takes advantage of the TrueDepth camera to place you in animated, 360-degree scenes with matching selfie filters to transform your appearance. Some of the scenes include the Millennium Falcon with a Star Wars style holo effect filter, a sketchbook scene with a filter that provides a charcoal drawing effect, and a scene that puts you into an 8-bit video game setting. Since Scenes require the TrueDepth camera, they’re only available to iPhone X users, however Clips 2.0 adds plenty of additional enhancements for users of other iPhone models as well, including a completely redesigned user interface, a collection of new stickers, posters, and titles, featuring Star Wars characters and Mickey and Friends along with retro Apple-designed stickers, four new artistic effects, a selection of new filters from the Camera app, and 21 new royalty-free soundtracks. Clips also now sync via iCloud so you can view and edit your work from any of your iOS devices.

Corephotonics sues Apple over dual camera technology patents

Israeli startup Corephotonics has filed lawsuit claiming Apple infringed on its patents to create the dual cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus, Reuters reports. Corephotonics alleges that its CEO David Mendlovic approached Apple about a partnership and that “Apple’s lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.” Apple has its own patents on dual camera technology, so it’s unclear which parts of the technology are at issue in the case. Apple refused to comment on the story.

EU wants more information on Apple’s tax moves in Jersey after leaked documents surface

After leaked documents detailing the process Apple undertook to relocate its Irish holdings to the island of Jersey were printed in The New York Times and other news outlets, the European Union’s competition chief is asking for more details from the company, The Washington Post reports. In its response to the initial reports, Apple claimed to have notified the US, Ireland and the EU about the reorganization of its Irish subsidiaries, claiming, “The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country.” But Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, said, “I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organized, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen.” Vestager said the information request came before the leaked documents came to light and is still unsure whether Apple’s moves will prompt more investigations.

Apple working on AR headset that could launch as early as 2020, run its own ‘rOS’ operating system

Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, Bloomberg reports. Previous rumors have revealed that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on AR applications and has developed multiple prototypes for AR glasses, and some bolder bloggers have even speculated that a partnership with Zeiss would lead to a viable product coming out this year. But Tim Cook has thrown cold water on the idea that the technology is anywhere near ready for Apple to ship a product to consumers, saying, “Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.”

Apple Pay Cash finally appears in iOS 11.2 beta

After weeks of speculation about when Apple Pay Cash would be made available to the public and confirmation that Apple employees had been testing it, the feature has finally appeard in the latest iOS 11.2 beta according to an Apple support document. Now users enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program can download the new beta and begin transferring money to one another through the Messages app. The feature only works if the person receiving the transfer is also running a compatible version of iOS, has two-factor identification set up and has an eligible credit or debit card in Wallet. Once that is all squared away, users can use Messages or Siri to send funds from the linked credit or debit cards, and once received they are stored in an Apple Pay Cash card within Apple Wallet, from which funds can be spent through Apple Pay or transferred to a bank account. Transferring cash from a debit card is free, but using a credit card to send funds charges a three percent fee. Apple Pay Cash is also currently only available in the United States, and users must be at least 18 years of age to send and receive money with Apple Pay.

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Samsung’s appeal on Apple patent case

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Samsung’s appeal of a patent case the company lost to Apple, Reuters reports. The refusal leaves Samsung on the hook for just under $120 million in payments to Apple after an appeals court upheld a verdict finding Samsung infringed on several Apple patents, including slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and the ability to turn things like phone numbers and addresses into quick links. The Supreme Court recently threw out a $399 million ruling against Samsung, but that trial has been sent to another court to be retried.

Apple responds after leaked records show overseas profits being moved to avoid taxes

Leaked documents show Apple began to move its offshore profits to the English Channel island of Jersey after heat from the European Union threatened to compromise its low-tax arrangement in Ireland, The New York Times reports. The records show Apple solicited the help of law firms that specialize in creating offshore tax shelters to research multiple tax jurisdictions before settling on Jersey, an independent island outside of EU jurisdiction that usually doesn’t tax corporate income. By the end of 2014, Apple had relocated Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International from Ireland to Jersey and moved Apple Operations Europe to Ireland, shuffling around its tax homes just ahead of Ireland’s new policy of allowing existing companies or those created before December 2014 to claim $1 billion in tax credits every year for up to 15 years if they transfer the rights to intellectual property to an Irish company — even if it’s a transfer from one company’s subsidiary to another.

Introductory pricing for app subscriptions in iOS 11.2 beta; watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2 betas released

In the release notes for its latest developer beta for iOS 11.2, Apple has revealed that it will allow developers to offer “a discounted introductory price for your auto-renewable subscriptions.” Auto-renewing subscriptions became available with the release of iOS 10, and the public release of iOS 11.2 will include new subscription classes for developers looking to entice users to try their product with a lower introductory rate. Apple said developers will be able to set up introductory pricing options in iTunes Connect soon. The company also released a second developer beta for watchOS 4.2 and tvOS 11.2 alongside the iOS 11.2 release.

Future of Apple’s planned Irish data center uncertain after years of legal wrangling

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Apple CEO Tim Cook is no longer committing to build a $1 billion data center in the country after multiple objections have slowed the process, Reuters reports. Apple committed to build the data center back in Febuary 2015 and last month Business Insider reported that an Irish court had cleared the way for its construction. But in a meeting last Thursday Cook refused to commit to moving forward with the project, Varadkar said. While the PM said the government would do “anything within our power” to move the project along — including amending its planning laws to make data centers easier to approve by listing them as “strategic infrastructure” — he said, “We didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that,” at the meeting. Meanwhile a second European data center is already in the works in Denmark after another announced around the same time as the project in Ireland is preparing to go online later this year.

Apple Watch bug causing restarts when Siri’s asked about the weather

Questions to Siri about the weather have been causing many Apple Watches running watchOS 4.1 to restart according to multiple MacRumors readers and Reddit posters. The issue affected both LTE and GPS-only Apple Watch Series 3 devices and older models as well, but not all users have been affected, and in fact we haven’t encountered or been able to reproduce the issue here. The weather app itself appears to be working well, and questions about future weather forecasts seem to work fine, but queries about current weather conditions like “Is it raining” or ‘What is the temperature right now?” can result in a restart. Apple hasn’t commented on the issue publicly, but one user seems to think it was related to the end of Daylight Saving Time, as many users saw an end to the problem after the switch occurred.

iPhone X teardown reveals most efficient device yet; some drop tests find it to be very breakable

In its full teardown of the iPhone X, iFixit found the device to be drastically reconfigured inside to maximize performance in the smallest space possible. The stacked logic board is of special interest, taking up only around 70 percent of the space of the iPhone 8 Plus’ board but cramming in even more chips and connectors by being folded in half. That design leaves more room for the two battery cells that give the iPhone X a small edge on the iPhone 8 Plus despite coming in a much smaller footprint. Internal brackets, spot welds and foam hold the front-facing cameras firmly in place so they can pull off delicate features like Portrait Mode, and the rear-facing Face ID camera technology comes out of the display when it’s separated, making the OLED display replaceable without fiddling with the cameras embedded within it.

Siblings who aren’t even twins finding ways to break Face ID; other methods are hit or miss

Apple admitted from the start that its one-in-a-million figure for the odds that someone other than you could unlock your iPhone X with Face ID comes down substantially when you start facoring in twins and siblings, and users have wasted no time putting it to the test. One Reddit video shows that even non-identical siblings who just look enough alike can fool the face scanning technology. While the second brother’s face wasn’t able to open the iPhone X on several failed attempts, after repeated tries and passcode entries after failure, the second brother adding a pair of black-rimmed glasses did the trick, allowing him to unlock the device. That leaves the question open as to whether the iPhone X was actually fooled or whether it was trained to recognize the second brother’s face as close enough by all of the repeated failures, and Apple hasn’t shed any light on whether the Face ID technology can be taught to accept a greater degree of variation. Another video shows two half-brothers breaking Face ID, but one of the brothers is 14 and Apple has warned that kids who don’t have “fully developed facial features” will be somewhat problematic for the Face ID scans as well, so that could be a contributing factor.

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.

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