News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple drops Skype from China’s App Store at government’s request

Apple has confirmed that Skype — one of the last foreign-operated methods for online communication inside China — has been pulled from the App Store at the request of the Chinese government, The New York Times reports. Chinese users have been complaining they were suddenly unable to use Apple’s systems to pay for Skype services. “We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China,” Apple said in a short e-mailed statement. Skype is still technically functional in the country, but its removal from the App Store could leave it destined to join apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Telegram and Line that have been rendered unusable by government filters. The Chinese government has also insisted on the removal of other foreign apps, like that of The New York Times.

Apple warns developers that watchOS apps need to be native by April 1

In a blog post, Apple has warned developers that all watchOS apps need to be native apps by April 1. Apple will no longer be accepting updates to watchOS 1 apps after that date, meaning all submissions will have to be built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later, and new apps “should be built with the watchOS 4 SDK or later.” It appears that existing non-native apps will likely still remain on the App Store after April 1, 2018, however developers will not be able to release updates to those apps without rebuilding them with the newer watchOS2 SDK.

FBI served search warrant to unlock Texas shooter’s iPhone

After trying and failing to compel Apple to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone, the FBI has issued a new search warrant to the company asking for help unlocking Texas church gunman Devin Kelley’s iPhone, mySA reports. The warrant requests “files stored on Kelley’s iPhone, a second mobile phone found near his body and for files stored in Kelley’s iCloud account.” Court records show Kelley had an iPhone SE and a lower tech LG 328BG in his possession. Apple’s iCloud policy states that information stored on the service can be provided to law enforcement in answer to a search warrant, but Apple refused to comment on the story.

Apple looking to Intel for 5G modems as fight with Qualcomm continues

As Apple slugs it out in court with longtime modem supplier Qualcomm, the company is cooperating with Intel to prepare its devices for the switch to 5G technology, Fast Company reports. Qualcomm’s current 5G chips offer more specialized features, but a source said since many of those features won’t be widely adopted by carriers it’s likely Intel’s 5G modem will be more than sufficient for future iPhones. The source claims Intel has “multiple thousands” of employees working on the technology, calling the iPhone contract a “must-win” for the company. Apple first started splitting orders between Qualcomm and Intel with the iPhone 7 in 2016 and Intel has proved more than willing to customize its products for Apple. With Verizon abandoning the older CDMA networks that required Apple to keep some of its modem business with Qualcomm, Apple has one less reason to split orders for future devices.

Apple reportedly integrating streaming sports into TV app next month

Apple’s TV app is set to gain live streaming sports from ESPN next month, 9to5Mac reports. A source from a “major sports network” confirmed the launch date, claiming the update will arrive as part of iOS 11.2 on or around December 4, as well as being enabled on tvOS 11.2 at the same time. The app will gain live games from ESPN along with live scores and game clocks in a single interface. The app also includes the ability to receive live alerts for close games so users can switch back and forth. The feature is not yet live in any of the iOS 11.2 apps we’ve seen so far.

HomePod release delayed until 2018

After promising a December release, Apple has pushed that back to next year, 9to5Mac reports. In a statement confirming the delay, Apple said, “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers.” The statement only said “early 2018” for a release date, and it’s far from the first time Apple has delayed a launch to make sure it got everything right. Last October Apple pushed back the release of its AirPods, finally releasing the product in December.

iOS 11.1.2 update released, fixing cold temperature problem with iPhone X screen

Apple has released the iOS 11.1.2 update, which contains a fix for the iPhone X’s screen becoming unbresponsive in cold weather. The update also fixes distortion problems in Live Photos and videos recorded by the iPhone X along with other minor bug fixes.

Coach releasing new Apple Watch bands for fall

Coach is releasing limited quantities of new Apple Watch bands for fall, Haute Ecriture reports. Some of the old bands have been renamed and new bands are available in colors like heather grey, melon, beige and a brown with darker patches to mimic a camo look. Many of the bands also feature embroidered embellishments, like stars, a leaping shark and a penguin holding a martini glass. The bands retail for $150-$175, but some are only available for the 42mm Apple Watch.

International Trade Commission investigating patent infringement claims against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission is investigating patent infringement claims against Apple, Reuters reports. This particular inquiry stems from complaints made by Aqua Connect Inc and Strategic Technology Partners over technology used in iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple TVs and Macs. The USITC is also currently conducting a separate investigation into Qualcomm’s claims that Apple devices violate its patents, on of many fronts in Apple’s ongoing legal war with the chipmaker.

Apple to help design anti-spam app to end stalemate with Indian regulators

After refusing to allow India’s anti-spam app onto the App Store over privacy concerns, Apple is going to provide “limited help” to the Indian government to develop a suitable substitute for iOS, Reuters reports. Apple’s refusal to approve the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s app has drawn the ire of the TRAI at a very inconvenient time for the company, which is trying to expand its presence in India’s massive smartphone market. Google’s Android system already supports the app, which accesses the device’s SMS details and call records to enable users to report numbers and block numbers that have been reported. But Apple doesn’t provide third-party apps the ability to access those details, so the government’s app won’t function even though iOS does feature other apps that identify and block calls through other means.

Apple assembly partner hints at AR headset coming in 2019

Apple assembly partner Quanta Computer’s Vice Chairman C.C. Leung said he sees a “significant” augmented reality device “available in the market no later than the year 2019,” Nikkei Asian Review reports. He said the AR product is a “headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment,” leading analysts to speculate he’s referring to the rumored AR headset being developed by Apple. A previous report claimed Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, trying to get away from the traditional model of using a smartphone as the screen and engine. Leung said the device would need to cost less than $1,000 to be a hit in the market, solidly undercutting devices like Microsoft’s Hololens headset, which has a $3,000 price tag.

First GymKit-compatible equipment goes online in Australia

A Fitness First gym in Australia is the first to feature GymKit-compatible equipment, 9 News reports. In a demonstration of the new capabilities, reporters saw users tap their Apple Watches to a treadmill to send data back and forth automatically, with the watch pre-loading all of the user’s vital stats and the treadmill sending calories burned and incline information back to the watch during the workout. There’s no word on when the specialized gym equipment necessary for the connection will appear in the U.S., but Apple has previously said compatible machines from TechnoGym, Life Fitness, Matrix, StairMaster and Schwinn will start rolling out by the end of thew year. [via 9to5Mac]

10-year-old boy unlocks mom’s iPhone X with Face ID

In the latest case of mistaken Face ID verification, a video showing a 10-year-old boy unlocking his mom’s iPhone X underscores previous reports that even non-identical family members may be able to access the devices, WIRED reports. While hackers using sophisticated 3D mapping to create elaborate masks might not be of much concern to the average iPhone X owner, knowing that a child could fool the device and scroll through their texts or order food off GrubHub may give some pause. In an interview with WIRED, Attaullah Malik puzzled over his son’s ability to unlock his wife’s iPhone X reliably but not his, since “People generally say he looks more like me.”

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.

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2017 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy