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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.

Beats launches Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Beats has announced Studio3 Wireless, the latest model in the company’s iconic Beats Studio lineup of over-ear headphones. The updated version features Apple’s W1 chip providing the same proximity pairing features found on Apple’s AirPods and Beats’ other recent headphones, along with the ability to sync pairing data via iCloud and seamlessly switch between devices. Beats adds that the W1 chip’s increased efficiency allows Studio3 Wireless to provide nearly double the battery life of the company’s prior headphones, promising 22 hours of wireless playback with ANC on or 40 hours of playback in low power mode. “Fast Fuel” rapid charging allows users to gain an additional three hours of playback from just ten minutes of charging via a USB connection.

Happy Labor Day from iLounge

Happy Labor Day from iLounge! Our staff is off today, but we’ll return to our normal posting schedule on Tuesday. Now would be a good time to catch up on our most recent reviews, which can be found here. Have a great day!

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.

Plex adds location support for personal photo libraries

Plex has enhanced its photo library features to include support for geotagged photos, allowing users to see their photos organized by the location where they were taken — provided, of course, they were captured with a GPS-enabled device. With the latest version of Plex Media Server, location data is now read from photos, allowing users to see the locations where photos were taken and automatically grouping them into virtual albums based on location. Related photos and albums can also now be automatically discovered based on location, so users can see what other photos in their library were taken in the same place, regardless of when they were taken.

Apple strengthening push into Hollywood content with eye on iconic studio, bid on high-profile drama

Apple appears to be strengthening its push into producing original content, with the Financial Times reporting that the company is looking to an iconic Hollywood studio as the base for its original content division and bidding against companies such as Netflix on rights to a new high-profile drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

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.

Marshall unveils Wireless Multi-Room Speaker System

Marshall has introduced The Marshall Wireless Multi-Room System, the first Wi-Fi speaker lineup from the iconic audio company. The new multi-room speakers build on the designs of its wireless Bluetooth product range that debuted four years ago with the Stanmore, and the new speakers follow the same style and naming convention, with the classic Acton, Stanmore, and Woburn designs now available in “Multi-Room” versions, starting at $350. The new speakers provide full AirPlay compatibility along with support for Chromecast and Spotify Connect as well as Bluetooth wireless connectivity and a 3.5mm input jack along with RCA inputs to connect a traditional turntable or preamp.

Apple raises over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Apple has raised over $3 million in donations for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts, according to an internal e-mail sent by Tim Cook to employees, as reported by BuzzFeed News. Apple began accepting donations on Sunday for Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts via the iTunes Store, with funds going directly to the American Red Cross. In an e-mail sent out on Wednesday afternoon, Tim Cook discussed the effects of Hurricane Harvey, lauding the company’s fundraising impact, and noting that Texas is home to more than 8,700 Apple employees, and that the company has a global crisis management team on the ground in Texas helping to move some of the employees and their families who are impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Cook also added that Apple is matching employee donations two-for-one, in addition to a pledge of $2 million the company has made from its own coffers. Further, Cook also acknowledged Apple employees in the Houston area who have “generously been helping people displaced by the flooding by opening their homes to team members and their families, and in some cases, assisting in rescue operations.”

Apple receives an Emmy for Siri Integration on Apple TV

Apple has received an 2017 Technical / Engineering Achievement Emmy Award in the category of Contextual Voice Navigation for Discovering and Interacting with TV Content for the company’s Siri voice integration on the fourth-generation Apple TV. The award was given to Apple alongside Comcast, Universal Electronics, and Nuance Dragon TV.

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.

Amazon Prime tvOS app may not launch until after Apple’s September event

According to Recode, Amazon’s Apple TV app may not be ready in time for it to debut alongside the new 4K Apple TV next month. Although Apple only said it would be coming “later this year” when it announced Amazon Prime for the tvOS platform, many assumed it would be logical for Amazon to have the app ready to rollout for September’s event, particularly with Apple expected to debut a new Apple TV. The latest information from Recode, included as a footnote to an article discussing today’s earlier news about 4K content, indicates simply that its sources “say the app may not be live in time for next month’s product launch,” although it’s unclear if this actually represents any change to Amazon’s plans for launching the Amazon Prime tvOS app.

WSJ confirms a 4K Apple TV is coming, Apple and Hollywood struggling with pricing for content

Apple and Hollywood studios are once having difficulty coming to terms for movie distribution, this time concerning pricing for the offering of 4K “Ultra-HD” content on the iTunes Store. Confirming rumours of a new 4K-capable Apple TV, a new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Apple has been “scrambling” to strike deals with the studios to ensure content is available on the new set-top box when it’s expected to launch next month. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple has met resistance from the Hollywood studios in terms of what should be an acceptable price at which to offer ultra-HD content, with Apple pushing to sell movies at a standard price of $19.99 — the same price the company currently charges for new release HD movies — while Hollywood studios want to add a $5 to $10 premium for higher-definition 4K content.

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.

iOS 11 beta code reveals new Apple Watch workouts

More new workout options may be coming to the Apple Watch, according to a new report from MacRumors. Developers have been poring over the recently leaked HomePod firmware and various iOS 11 betas, looking for various pieces of code and other resources that may provide insights into what’s coming from Apple. The latest new discovery, found by iHelp BR, shows code strings and icons within the iOS 11 FitnessUI framework that refer to a fairly extensive list of new workouts for Apple’s watchOS Workout app, including basketball, bowling, climbing, cricket, cross-country skiing, curling, dance, equestrian sports, fencing, fishing, golf, gymnastics, jump rope, pilates, skating, surfing, and more.

Apple expands ‘App Development with Swift’ curriculum to over 30 Community Colleges

Apple has announced that, starting this fall, its App Development with Swift curriculum will be offering in over 30 community colleges through the United States. Designed by engineers and educators at Apple, the full-year course is geared toward students with no programming experience, taking them to the point of building fully-functional apps of their own design for the macOS and iOS platforms.

Apple publishes details of deep learning improvements to Siri voice quality in iOS 11

Apple’s latest post on its fledgling Machine Learning Journal provides some interesting insights into how the company is using artificial intelligence technology to not only improve Siri’s speech recognition capabilities, but to make the personal assistant’s voice sound more natural, smother, and provide more personality. The article provides technical details about the deep learning technology used to improve Siri behind the scenes, describing the basic technology behind speech synthesis and the differing approaches used to provide digitized and sampled speech, and how previously lower-quality “parametric” speech synthesis is being improved by the implementation of deep learning in speech technology.

 

Kensington releases new SecureBack Rugged Case for using Square reader with iPad

Kensington has released its new SecureBack Rugged Case, geared toward businesses that use an iPad and a Square reader to conduct their sales. The dual-layer case for 9.7-inch iPad, iPad Air or iPad Air 2 has a non-slip grip to keep the device in the user’s hand (and rubber cushioning to keep it safe when it falls out), along with a rotating hand strap and padded shoulder strap to provide different carrying options throughout the day. Cover plates keep customers from tampering with the power button and volume controls, while cutouts provide protection for the Square Contactless & Chip Reader and support for a Square Magstripe Reader. The case doesn’t include a ClickSafe cable lock, but one can be purchased to help further guard against theft if the user is willing to sacrifice mobility. The case — available now for $100 — can also be turned into an anchored kiosk with the available stand for those who want the ability to switch from anchored to mobile on the fly.

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]

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