Apple released a big set of of updates yesterday afternoon, as iOS 9.3.3, watchOS 2.2.2, tvOS 9.2.2, and iTunes 12.4.2 were all launched to the general public. The updates mostly contain bug fixes and minor enhancements, but the iTunes update resolves a playback issue with short Apple Music songs in your Up Next queue. The updates are currently available. We’ll add to this piece this afternoon if there are any other major findings.
A new round of photos unearthed by NowhereElse on Chinese search engine Weibo purport to show three new iPhone models, an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the rumored iPhone 7 Pro. When viewed from the screen side, the devices labeled Plus and Pro are virtually identical in size and shape. But in images of the back, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both feature a single camera lens, where the iPhone Pro features a dual-lens camera and what appears to be a Smart Connector.
Apple has filed a proposal with the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board suggesting that songwriters and royalty holders be paid a flat rate for online streams, Billboard reports. Apple suggests a simple, “all-in” statutory rate of 9.1 cents per 100 plays, which the company said is “fair, simple and transparent, unlike the incredibly complicated structure that currently exists.” The move would directly undercut rivals like Spotify and YouTube, who pay songwriters and publishers a percentage of the revenue they generate from streaming.
After dropping Samsung to source its new iPhone 7’s A10 CPU exclusively from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) earlier this year, Apple has made TSMC the exclusive manufacturer of its upcoming A11 chip as well, Chinese-language site Economic Daily News reports. Apple split its A9 chip orders between both Samsung and TSMC, but a number of reports claimed the TSMC version of the A9 provided significantly better battery life than the Samsung version in at least some benchmark tests. Unnamed sources said the new A11 chip will be built with TSMC’s new 10nm manufacturing process, with the company starting small-volume production as early as the second quarter of 2017. [via Digitimes]
A new, longer Weibo video comparing a purported iPhone 7 and an iPhone 6s shows extended views of what was seen in a much shorter video last week, seeming to confirm that the new device lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and features an updated camera, redesigned antenna lines and two speaker grills. The new video also provides one new update: The new phone still has a mute switch just like the iPhone 6s, contrary to other leaked photos that showed the switch would be eliminated in an iPhone featuring a dual-camera setup.
Music sensation Katy Perry has just released “Rise” her first new single in over two years, exclusively on Apple Music and iTunes, reports Entertainment Weekly. The new single, released for the 2016 Rio Olympics, came as a surprise to music fans, and is described as an “uplifting track with a dash of electronic influence” written by the pop star herself. Perry described the track as something she was eager to finish sooner than expected as an encouraged for “our world to unite” and “rise above the fear” and that the Rio Olympics were a great symbolic example of the message she’s trying to convey in the song.
Elgato has released a firmware update for its Elgato Eve Weather sensor to enable the accessory to be configured to trigger HomeKit scenes. Prior to iOS 9.3, Apple did not provide a way for actions or data from Bluetooth-based HomeKit accessories to be used as triggers in HomeKit automation. So, for example, you could not set up a scene to activate when unlocking or opening a door or changing a temperature reading. With iOS 9.3, Apple released a new BTLE 2.0 HomeKit spec that introduced this capability, however, vendors of Bluetooth LE accessories need to release firmware updates to their products in order to take advantage of this new functionality.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, provided some interesting perspective into Apple’s strategy in regards to television services and providers, tacitly denying many recent reports suggesting the company is pushing into original content. Cue emphatically denied that Apple is looking to acquire a studio or launch its own streaming TV service anytime soon, suggesting that Apple’s strategy is instead to work with many content providers and allow end users to “consume content in a much better way.”
A short video has been posted by unknown sources on Chinese site Weibo purporting to be of the next-generation iPhone 7, seems to corroborate many of the prior rumors and leaked photos seen up to this point. Specifically, the video shows a larger opening for new camera hardware, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, and redesigned antenna lines on the back of the device. [via 9to5Mac]
A new set of photos from Macitynet purporting to be of molds for the next-generation iPhone suggests that the new model will come in the same set of colors as the iPhone 6s, casting some doubt on prior rumors that Apple would offer a “deep blue” color option. While these types of molds are provided to MFi program partners to fit cases and other accessories against the new body design, it’s unable to be certain that what is shown in the leaked photos are molds provided directly by Apple, or if they were designed by a third-party for the same purpose, based on rumored or incomplete specifications.
A recent tweet from OnLeaks cites a reliable source suggesting that the battery in the new iPhone being released this fall will likely see a modest increase from the battery in the iPhone 6s, jumping to 1960 mAh from the 1715 mAh capacity of the current model.
These numbers presumably represent the battery capacity for the standard 4.7” iPhone model, rather than the larger Plus/Pro models that have been rumored. Last year’s iPhone 6s actually saw a slight decrease in raw battery capacity from the 2014 iPhone 6 model, which came in at 1810 mAh, although both the 2014 and 2015 iPhone models achieved roughly the same actual battery life despite the capacity differences. It’s unclear whether any increased capacity for the iPhone 7 would be intended to mean longer battery life, or if it would simply be required to supply the additional power for new components.
Apple has put out an open casting call for app developers looking to be featured in the company’s original series “Planet of the Apps.” Announced earlier this year, the show will follow developers as they receive hands-on guidance from experts in the tech community, funding from top venture capitalists, and featured placement in the App Store. Online applications are being accepted until August 26, and applicants must agree to have “an iOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS app in a beta or functional state by October 21.” The first season will film in Los Angeles from late this year into early 2017, so those hoping to be on the show will need to be available for that period.
Somaltus has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming that batteries in the iPhone 6s and similar devices infringe upon its patent on a complex battery technology, MacRumors reports. The suit seems to focus on the iPhone’s process of charging faster until the battery reaches 80 percent, then switching to “trickle-charge mode” after that. Somaltus can be described as a “patent troll,” as the company seems to exist simply to collect money from patents, providing no obvious products or services, but the company has won settlements from Ford and Nissan related to the same patent.
Photos that have popped up on Chinese search website Weibo appear to show new Apple EarBuds with a Lightning connector in place of the old 3.5mm headphone plug. Since Apple bundles EarPods with all of its iPhones, this is another indication that rumors about Apple ditching the headphone jack may be true. The Lightning connector on the pictured EarPods is a bit thicker than the one that comes with the current iPhone’s cable—perhaps due to the added bulk of the technology required to transfer digital audio—which could be an issue for some iPhone cases if the images prove to be legit. [via NowhereElse]
One day after a fairly clear photo purporting to show the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 emerged, new photos have leaked, showing what could be the larger 5.5-inch model, with a dual-lens camera, Smart Connector on the back, and the notable absence of a mute switch. The photos, which turned up on Chinese search engine Weibo, are consistent with previous renderings where the size and shape of the dual camera opening is concerned, but the appearance of the Smart Connector is a bit strange. While some other leaks have hinted at the larger model featuring a Smart Connector in that general location, the pictured iPhone’s ports look different than those of the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector. The Apple logo on the back of the device is also hollow, so it’s possible the phone seen here is unfinished.
Pokémon GO getting full access to Google Accounts of some iOS users (Update: Niantic working on fix)
While Pokémon GO has become a major phenomenon in less than a week, researcher Adam Reeve has noted a major flaw in the game, calling Pokémon GO “a huge security risk.” Pokémon GO players have two ways to sign on to the game — through a Google Account, or a Pokémon Trainer Club account. The latter is having major problems, so most users are signing on using their Google Account. And as Reeve points out, for some iOS users, Pokémon GO has been granted full access of that account. This means that the game and/or developer could conceivably read and send email from your account, delete emails and Google Drive documents, and much, much more.
Nintendo’s Pokémon GO is already a full-fledged phenomenon, sending players out into the world to hunt down Pokémon in augmented reality and pushing the company’s stock up by 25 percent, The Wall Street Journal reports. Less than a day after its release, the game became the most downloaded and highest-grossing app in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand — the only countries where it’s currently available. People familiar with plans for the game said it will likely be launching in Europe, Japan and other Asian countries “within a few days.” Data firm SimilarWeb said the game is on pace to surpass Twitter among Android users in the U.S. in its number of daily active users, and it has even prompted safety warnings from police who warn users to be aware of their surroundings while hunting down Pokémon.
Apple underscores its dedication to making its products accessible to the blind and low-vision community in a new story fromMashable, told from the perspective of engineer Jordyn Castor. Blind since birth, Castor said Apple’s iPad took her existing love for technology to another level because of the features aimed directly at people like her. “Everything just worked and was accessible just right out of the box,” Castor said. “That was something I had never experienced before.”
The clearest leaked photo of an alleged iPhone 7 that we’ve seen so far, posted by NowhereElse, has further reinforced rumors that the phone will feature a redesigned camera and relocated antenna lines. The picture gives us our best view yet of the 4.7-inch model’s new camera, which features a much larger lens surrounded by an circular protrusion in the back casing. The redesigned antenna lines, as predicted, ditch the straight line across the back of the phone, instead hugging the top and bottom edges. The photo only shows the phone’s back, so it sheds no light on rumors of the removal of the headphone jack or the inclusion of stereo speakers.
Following the release of the second iOS 10 Developer Beta earlier this week, Apple is expected to be releasing the first public beta of iOS 10 for non-developers through its Apple Software Beta Program. Unveiled last month at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 10 is being billed as the biggest iOS update that Apple has ever released, with major redesigns and enhancements to Music, Maps, Messages, and News, an entirely new lock screen, today widget, and notification system, and breakthrough on-device intelligence for face, scene, and object recognition in the Photos app. Users who have already signed up for the Apple Software Beta Program should be able to log in and download the new versions later today; users who haven’t signed up can do so at the same site. [via CNET]