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]
Alongside the second developer betas for iOS 10 and tvOS 10 released earlier this week, Apple has also been providing developers with betas of the new Apple TV Remote App. We took a look at the first beta of the remote app in our sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10, noting that the new app will provide all of the capabilities of the Siri Remote, with a button for issuing Siri commands and support for turning the device into a game controller in landscape orientation, complete with accelerometer and gyroscope support. Now with the second beta of the Remote app released earlier this week, it appears that users will be able to use their iPhone as a second game controller, alongside the Siri Remote, marking an interesting slight departure from the original single Siri Remote limitation — although it appears that users will still only be able to pair one hardware Siri Remote with a given Apple TV.
Apple has released the fifth developer betas for iOS 9.3.3 and tvOS 9.2.2, in parallel with the iOS 10 and tvOS 10 development cycle. As with prior betas, the sparse release notes and minor version numbers suggest that the betas are primarily focused on bug fixes and performance improvements. The minimal list of “Known Issues” in the release notes as compared to prior betas suggest that both versions may be nearing final release and will likely be the last updates in the iOS 9 and tvOS 9 series before the release of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 in the fall. The new betas are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.
Nintendo may be designing its own controller for smartphones, Polygon reports. Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo’s general manager of entertainment planning and development, told shareholders the company is looking into both hardware and software development for its burgeoning entry into the smartphone and tablet game market. “Physical controllers for smart device applications are available in the market and it is possible that we may also develop something new by ourselves,” he said. “I believe Nintendo’s way of thinking is to look at whether action games are really not impossible (without a physical controller for smart device applications) to create and how we can make it happen to create such a game.”
After rolling out a beta test in May, Pokémon GO has hit the App Store in Australia, but a company spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that U.S. and Japanese customers will have to “wait a while” for the formal launch. While the timeframe seems unclear at this point, we’d expect to see the game pop up in the U.S. App Store soon, and we’ll update this story once the game is available in the U.S.
Update: Pokémon GO was released in the U.S. App Store on Wednesday night.
A new set of renderings, said to be of the upcoming iPhone, has recently been posted by NowhereElse. The renderings back up previous rumors that Apple is doing away with the headphone jack and adding a dual-lens camera to its larger model. The casing designs also show a larger camera hole on the smaller model—again, consistent with previous leaks—and the phone’s antenna lines moved to the edges, as has been seen before.
Starting with this fall’s new iPhone release, Apple will be bumping the base storage of the entry level model to 32GB, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Citing a person familiar with Apple’s iPhone plans, the report notes that the new starting point for the iPhone will be 32GB, although there is no discussion of what other capacities will be available, making it unclear whether Apple plans to increase the capacities of other models accordingly or not. The report also touches on a number of other rumored features on the upcoming iPhone, noting that two main selling points for the device will likely be “improved water resistance and a thinner design.”
Apple has released the second developer betas for iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. The second round of betas is intended to allow developers to continue working on the new features and APIs first debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, with the unveiling of each of the major new operating system releases; the second round of betas likely continues to refine the experience from the first round of betas, with the release notes indicating several items fixed in each beta, as well as the introduction of promised features such as auto unlock for watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra users, the Emergency SOS feature for the Apple Watch, an updated design for Apple Music in tvOS 10, and improvements to Apple Music in iOS 10. The updates are available to registered developers from Apple’s Developer Site; those developers who installed the necessary beta configuration profiles for the prior beta cycle should also automatically see the new betas appear as an over-the-air update.
A subsidiary of China’s broadcasting regulator has sued Apple over the rights to a 1994 propaganda film, The Associated Press reports. The suit from Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center accuses the developer of the Youku HD app of enabling users to watch “Xuebo dixiao,” a film that depicts Chinese forces fighting Japanese soldiers in the 1930s. The plaintiff claims that by making the app available for download, Apple has infringed its exclusive rights to broadcast the film online, resulting in “huge economic losses.” The production company is asking both companies to stop broadcasting the film and pay damages amounting to around $10,000. Apple declined to comment.
When Apple rolls out iOS 10 this fall, the Health app will be getting a small update that CEO Tim Cook hopes will make a big difference for people waiting for an organ transplant, The Associated Press reports. The improved Health app will include a simple sign-up button allowing users to enroll in the National Donate Life Registry quickly and easily. Cook said the issue hit home for Apple since he and many others witnessed the “excruciating” wait Apple co-founder Steve Jobs endured while awaiting a liver transplant in 2009. More information on enrollment through the Health app and Donate Life America can be found on Apple’s website.
Apple has responded to Spotify’s “public attacks” in a letter from Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell. Spotify recently made the public claim that Apple blocked the update to its latest app for anti-competitive reasons — Spotify is the top streaming rival of Apple Music. Sewell maintains that Apple’s guidelines are applied equally to all developers, and that Spotify has benefitted greatly from its App Store. “To imply that Spotify should not have to pay” would give the service a “tremendous advantage over other developers,” Sewell wrote, claiming this would be “preferential treatment.” Sewell also noted the Spotify app currently on the App Store is in violation of Apple’s guidelines. [via Buzzfeed]
Apple is exploring the idea of buying competing music streaming service Tidal, The Wall Street Journal reports. The report claims Apple is “exploring the idea” of buying Jay-Z’s streaming service due to Tidal’s connections to such artists as Kanye West and Madonna. Terms are unknown at this point, and the talks “may not result in a deal,” sources said — a Tidal spokesman denied that such talks had taken place. Tidal currently has 4.2 million paying subscribers, who either pay $10 for a standard monthly plan, or $20 for a hi-fi plan. Apple recently noted that Apple Music has 15 million paying subscribers.