News | iLounge

News

Browse News by Category:

Apple Music opens Giphy channel

Apple has expanded its social media marketing efforts for Apple Music into a new Giphy channel, tweeting out a GIFs from the trailer for the upcoming “Harry Styles: Behind the Album” documentary, and linking back to the channel which includes 85 GIFs from other exclusive Apple Music content and marketing campaigns.

In addition to several GIFs from the Styles documentary, the Giphy channel also includes excerpts from Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour Concert video, along with music videos and Apple Music ads featuring Kendrick Lamar, Gucci Mane, DJ Khaled, Ray Liotta, and Drake. Apple’s promotion of the new Giphy channel suggests that the company plans to continue adding new animated GIF content to it for other marketing campaigns and exclusive releases going forward. [via AppleInsider]

Leaked photo allegedly shows new glass-backed iPhone SE model

A photo posted on Slashleaks appears to show the rear shell of a glass-backed iPhone on top of a document referring to Ion-X glass. Ion-X is the type of glass used in the non-sapphire Apple Watch Sport screen, and while the SE hasn’t been specifically mentioned as a candidate for a glass-backed update, there has been no shortage of rumors about Apple going that way for its new iPhones. The case features what appears to be a camera opening that doesn’t protrude from the back and another hole underneath, possibly for the flash. Apple has been mum on its plans for the SE line of iPhones since releasing its first—and so far only—model last March. Instead of updating the SE this March, Apple simply doubled the storage of the device at the same price, which led most to believe that was the only update it would get this year. The photo provides no context for scale, making it impossible to confirm the actual dimensions of the pictured phone, so it’s also possible the image shows an iPhone 7s or iPhone 8, if it’s even real.

Support app now allows scheduling repairs at authorized service providers

Apple has added authorized service providers to its iOS Support app, allowing users to schedule repairs at those locations in the same way they would at a Genius Bar. The move brings the app in line with Apple’s support site — which made a similar change at the end of last year — and allows service locations to be sorted by distance, carrier and appointment availability. The update also added support for iOS 10 rich notifications when chatting with technical support.

Apple acquires Beddit sleep monitoring system

Apple has acquired the Beddit Sleep Monitor system, according to an update to the company’s privacy policy. Beddit’s system includes an app that syncs up with a ribbon-shaped sensor placed between a user’s mattress and sheet to monitor everything from heart rate and breathing to room temperature and snoring. The app then provides tips on how to improve the user’s sleep based on the collected data, and Beddit’s site now touts the ability to link its own app to the iPhone’s Health app through HealthKit. The move further underscores Apple’s ambitious push into health monitoring technology, hinted at last year by CEO Tim Cook when he admitted that the Apple Watch might not be the only device needed to meet his ultimate vision. “The holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in your body,” Cook said at Startup Fest Europe. “If you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be incredible, and would extend life and extend quality. I’m not saying one device will do all of that.”

Apple sends out media invites for June 5 WWDC Keynote

Apple has sent out press invites for its the keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, being held from June 5 – 9, 2017 in San Jose, CA. As usual, the keynote is scheduled to open the conference on June 5, and will likely see Apple unveil major new versions of iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS, with developer preview editions to follow shortly thereafter. While new hardware announcements have become less common during the developer-focused event, recent rumours have suggested that Apple could use the event to unveil its new Siri home control hub and speaker. [via MacRumors]

Apple reportedly debuting Apple Store updates May 17

Apple will be doing overnight updates to its older stores on May 16 and debuting the new look the following morning, 9to5Mac reports. Apple sources said the changes are coming to “older and smaller stores that aren’t suitable for the full redesign we’ve seen in flagship stores.” Since not all locations can support the massive updates see in flagship locations like San Francisco and New York City, the company has put together a “halfway house” update to reflect Apple’s new look while working within the available space. While there are no firm details on what the updates will entail, Apple has but a greater focus on redefining their stores as community gathering places, adding in new spaces for its “Today at Apple” educational sessions and incorporating natural materials like wood and granite into their sleek designs.

Apple restores Workflow features, adds Apple Music actions

Apple’s latest version of the Workflow automation app has added back in support for Google Chrome and Pocket along with brand new actions using Apple Music. The app — which allows users to tie together functions from various apps to perform automated processes — now features actions for “Add Music to Up Next” and “Clear Up Next” to quickly reset or add music to Apple Music’s playlist. While Apple has added support for some Google software back in, Workflow still limits map-related actions to Apple Maps instead of the popular Google Maps app, and other actions using Uber, Telegram, and LINE are also still unavailable. [via MacRumors]

Senator reveals FBI paid $900K to hack San Bernardino iPhone

During last week’s questioning of FBI Director James Comey, California Senator Dianne Feinstein inadvertently revealed the amount the agency paid to hack into a terrorist’s iPhone, The Associated Press reports. The FBI has been resisting press requests to release the amount paid and the name of the vendor who broke into Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c, but Feinstein disclosed the $900,000 payment in the process of questioning Comey on unrelated matters. After ending its lawsuit against Apple after the company’s refusal to aid in unlocking the device, the Justice Department argued that the amount of the government’s payment for hacking services was properly classified. Neither the FBI nor Feinstein’s office would comment on her slip. Comey has previously made comments leading to speculation that the hack may have cost more than $1.3 million.

Apple extends repair coverage on iPad Pro Smart Keyboards to three years for ‘functional issues’

One week after extending warranty coverage for Apple Watch Series 1 batteries, Apple has also boosted its coverage of iPad Pro Smart Keyboards, 9to5Mac reports. An internal memo to retail staff and authorized service providers says Apple will now provide free service for up to three years for “functional issues” like sticking or unresponsive keys, sensor problems, connection issues and failures in the magnetic connector. The company will also be issuing refunds to customers who paid for replacement keyboards if they meet the newly announced criteria.

Apple clarifies changes to commissions from affiliate links to in-app purchases

Apple has issued a clarification to the company’s new policy for commissions paid to affiliates linking to apps, explaining that “commissions for all iOS in-app purchases will be reduced from 7 percent to 2.5 percent globally.” Last month Apple told affiliate members they would see the reduction on “all app and in-app content,” but the new statement limits the cut to in-app purchases only. The iTunes Affiliate program allows online outlets to claim the commissions if readers click on an embedded link and actually follow through with a purchase. For the time being Apple says “all other content types (including music, movies, books, paid iOS apps and TV) will remain at the current 7 percent.”

Apple accused of anticompetitive practices in Europe

Spotify and several other companies have submitted a letter to European Union officials claiming Apple and Google have used their positions as creators of operating systems and app stores to become “gatekeepers,” the Financial Times reports. The group claims the large companies prevent fair competition by abusing their position controlling a platform to restrict competitors in other areas, like streaming music. The EU is in the middle of considering new codes of conduct and the possible creation of a body to settle disputes between large companies and their smaller competitors, but there’s still some hesitation over whether such an act would amount to too much meddling in business affairs. The CEOs who signed onto the statement claim the power imbalance makes “specific rules guiding the interactions between platforms and their business users” necessary, but Apple’s position in many different markets complicates the matter. Spotify also accused Apple of blocking its app update last year, claiming “Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon” to protect its own Apple Music business.

Component suppliers deny delays in iPhone 8 production; analysts predict edge-to-edge screen

Pushing back against claims that the iPhone 8 would be delayed because of component production problems, several of Apple’s key suppliers now claim they’re on schedule for an October release, Chinese publication the Economic Daily News reports. TSMC claims it will “begin to fabricate the wafer starts needed for the production of A11 processes on June 10 and to deliver the chips in volume quantity in the second half of July,” while Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology have reportedly improved their yield rates on laminated motherboards enough to ramp up production by June as well. Foxconn, Pegatron and Winstron—Apple iPhone assembly partners—are also bracing for the added workload, “accelerating the recruitment and training of new workers in China in preparation of mass production of the new iPhone.”

Amazon Prime Video may finally be coming to Apple TV

Apple and Amazon are close to an agreement which would bring Amazon’s Prime Video app to the Apple TV, according to a new report from Recode. According to people familiar with the two companies, Amazon employees are expecting that the tvOS app could arrive in the third quarter of the year, allowing Amazon Prime Video subscribers to stream TV shows and movies to Apple’s set-top box. Currently, Amazon does provide an iOS app that will allow users to stream to the Apple TV using AirPlay, but it lacks the elegance and simplicity of a native tvOS app. It’s unclear what has prompted this sudden change of heart for Amazon, which has snubbed the Apple TV for almost two years now, beginning with banning sales of the Apple TV and other products competing with its own Fire TV hardware back in Oct. 2015. While many hoped for an Amazon Prime Video app when the new app-enabled fourth-generation Apple TV arrived around the same time, Amazon remained the one major holdout — a decision that, according to Apple, was entirely up to Amazon.

Apple now in top position for worldwide wearables sales in Q1 2017

A new research report from Strategy Analytics places Apple as the number one vendor in the wearables market in Q1 2017, unseating Fitbit. According to the report, total shipments of wearables globally reached 22 million units in the first quarter of this year, and Apple captured 16 percent of that marketshare, with 3.5 million wearable devices shipped in the prior quarter — an increase of 1.3 million from the first quarter of 2016. While it’s likely that most of these sales represented Apple Watches, it’s important to keep in mind that Apple also includes products such as AirPods and Beats headphones in its “wearables” category, and the research report refers to “wearables” in general, defining that as “products such as smartwatches, fitnessbands and smartglasses.” The report also attributes the results to a 21 percent annual increase in global wearables shipments, citing the cause as “stronger demand for new smartwatch models” in several regions, and notes that “the new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the US, UK and elsewhere.” [via MacRumors]

Apple seeds fifth beta of tvOS 10.2.1 to registered developers

Apple has released a lone fifth beta of tvOS 10.2.1 to registered developers. Featuring a build number of 14W585, the release notes simply state that the update “includes bug fixes, and security improvements in the OS,” but do not specifically list any known or fixed issues.

Apple posts new web page emphasizing U.S. job creation

Apple has published a new web page highlighting U.S. domestic job creation by the company, reiterating and expanding on numbers shared by CEO Tim Cook during Tuesday’s earnings call. As the new web page points out, Apple is “one of the biggest job creators in the United States,” both directly and indirectly supporting more than two million jobs across all 50 U.S. states, and having spent over $50 billion into the U.S. economy through deals with American suppliers, developers, and partners. Apple’s new web page breaks down the numbers more specifically, citing 80,000 employees in the U.S. directly employed by Apple, 450,000 jobs through U.S.-based suppliers, and then adds over 1.5 million jobs attributed to the App Store ecosystem. Interestingly, the page also specifically breaks down the number of jobs in each U.S. state, along with a few key apps that originated in those states (not surprisingly, California represents the largest numbers), and a map showing where App Store ecosystem jobs have been created across the U.S.

Qualcomm petitioning ITC to ban import of iPhones into the U.S.

In the latest salvo of the fight with Apple over royalty payments, Qualcomm is now seeking a total ban on all U.S. iPhone imports, Bloomberg reports. According to a “person familiar with the company’s strategy,” Qualcomm is planning to petition the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to block all shipments of the iPhone, which is built in China, from entering the country. The ITC is a U.S. Federal Agency in Washington that has the authority to block imports of goods into the U.S. and can act more quickly than the federal district courts in which the two companies are currently battling it out. The legal dispute between the two companies began earlier this year when Apple accused Qualcomm of withholding $1 billion in royalty payments and accused the company of abusing its position in the chip industry and not delivering on its promises to inexpensively license “standard essential patents.” Qualcomm fired back in April with a lawsuit in which it accused Apple of breaching its contract, which led to Apple deciding last week that it would withhold further royalty payments until the matter is settled.

Report: Inventec involved in producing Apple’s Siri-enabled home hub speaker

Inventec, a long-time Apple partner that produces the company’s AirPods, is also being used to produce the company’s new Siri-enabled home hub speaker, the Economic Daily News reports. Whether the company is creating components and/or assembling the finished devices is unclear, but the report claims production may have already started. Earlier this week both tech blogger Sonny Dickson and KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the device—which would allow for control of HomeKit devices using Siri in addition to being a speaker—could launch as early as WWDC in June. [via AppleInsider]

Hulu with Live TV app lands on App Store

The iOS app for Hulu’s live TV service has appeared on the App Store with little fanfare. The apps will allow subscribers to the service to stream more than 50 live and on-demand channels, including Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, History Channel and TNT. Live TV can also be recorded via a cloud-based DVR for viewing any time, and concurrent streams can be viewed on multiple devices. The service offers up to six personalized profiles so that users within a household can curate their own show, network and movie picks, and the system makes its own recommendations as it learns what users like to watch. The app itself is free to download, but access to the service requires a $40 a month subscription after a one-week free trial (or $44 a month to get rid of commercials). While Hulu’s official guide lists the service as being available on Apple TV as well, there’s currently no tvOS app available.

Notes from Apple’s Q2 2017 earnings call

Opening Apple’s investor conference call following the company’s announcement of numbers for Q2 2017, CEO Tim Cook described the results as representing a “strong March quarter” that accelerated revenue growth and earnings per share up by 10 percent over last year. Cook noted that iPhone sales were in line with Apple’s expectations and demand for the iPhone 7 Plus continued to be strong. He explained that the installed base of iPhones grew by double-digits year-over-year and that based on the latest IDC data, the iPhone gained market share in nearly every country.

Cook went on to outline how services revenue topped $7 billion in this quarter, with a deep level of customer engagement across all services. The number of App Store developers increased by 26% over last year, and Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage also saw double-digit revenue growth. The total number of paid subscriptions, both for Apple’s own services and third-party content offered on the App Store, now exceed 165 million.

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