posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Back in September, MacRumors uncovered evidence that Apple had acquired Zurich-based real-time capture firm Faceshift, a move that Apple later confirmed. Before the acquisition, Faceshift worked closely with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. One of the lesser known aspects of Faceshift's business was licensing out its face tracking SDK to other companies, one of which was Xcessity, a small Austrian firm that specializes in designing human-computer interaction software to improve accessibility. One of the most popular products made by the firm is the KinesicMouse, which enables disabled people and those with degenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease to control a mouse through facial expressions. The functionality of the KinesicMouse software – which is also used in hospital settings – depended heavily on the SDK developed by Faceshift, which received a royalty fee for every purchased license. Earlier this week, Xcessity CEO Markus Pröll revealed in a tweet and a post on the Xcessity forum that Faceshift had revoked the license following Apple's acquisition of the company, and that he would no longer be able to develop or offer the software: The Faceshift SDK is the result of a research team that focused on this topic for several years at the university ETH Zürich. Whilst it would not be impossible to create such a software it would take way too much time and resources. Believe me after about four years of development I have tried about everything. I don't know who or why the decision was made to cancel the existing license agreement. I want to explicitly mention that I don't make any claims that Apple or Faceshift is responsible for the cancellation. On this part I am left in the dark just as you are. All I can tell is that the guys from Faceshift have been very supportive through all those years.The news came as a blow to users of the software, and Pröll says he has received "quite a few messages" from people that really depend on the app. One user of the software told MacRumors: People like me depend on this affordable solution to access computer games. It brought me back to gaming although I have suffered from muscular dystrophy since I was a child. Shame on Apple for locking down such a solution.If the license cancellation is indeed linked to Apple's acquisition of Faceshift, the KinesicMouse software would appear to be an unfortunate casualty, given Cupertino's stated commitment to accessibility. MacRumors has reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this story with any forthcoming response.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 19 days ago on mac rumors
Back in September, MacRumors uncovered evidence that Apple had acquired Zurich-based real-time capture firm Faceshift, in a move possibly related to the development of biometrics for unlocking devices or authorizing payments through facial recognition techniques. Apple later confirmed the purchase in a statement. Before the acquisition, Faceshift worked closely with game and animation studios on technology designed to quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. One of the lesser known aspects of Faceshift's business was licensing out its face tracking SDK to other companies, one of which was Xcessity, a small Austrian firm that specializes in designing human-computer interaction software to improve accessibility. One of the most popular products made by the firm is KinesicMouse, which enables disabled people and those with degenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease to control a mouse through facial expressions. The functionality of the KinesicMouse software – which is also used in hospital settings – depended heavily on the SDK developed by Faceshift, which received a royalty fee for every purchased license. Earlier this week, Xcessity CEO Markus Pröll revealed in a tweet and a post on the Xcessity forum that Faceshift had revoked the license following Apple's acquisition of the company, and that he would no longer be able to develop or offer the software: The Faceshift SDK is the result of a research team that focused on this topic for several years at the university ETH Zürich. Whilst it would not be impossible to create such a software it would take way too much time and resources. Believe me after about four years of development I have tried about everything. I don't know who or why the decision was made to cancel the existing license agreement. I want to explicitly mention that I don't make any claims that Apple or Faceshift is responsible for the cancellation. On this part I am left in the dark just as you are. All I can tell is that the guys from Faceshift have been very supportive through all those years.The news came as a blow to users of the software, and Pröll says he has received "quite a few messages" from people who really depend on the app. One user of the software told MacRumors: People like me depend on this affordable solution to access computer games. It brought me back to gaming although I have suffered from muscular dystrophy since I was a child. Shame on Apple for locking down such a solution.If the license cancellation is indeed linked to Apple's acquisition of Faceshift, the KinesicMouse software would appear to be an unfortunate casualty, given Cupertino's stated commitment to accessibility. MacRumors has reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this story with any forthcoming response.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is working on wire-free earbuds built around a custom Bluetooth radio chip that will result in a longer battery life than is possible with traditional Bluetooth chips, reports Forbes. Citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, Forbes says Apple has spent the last several years working on a custom Bluetooth chip that's designed to solve the battery life problems that plague existing wireless earbuds.The low-power Bluetooth chip comes from technology developed by Passif Semiconductor, a startup Apple purchased in 2013. But the project has hit performance snags. Apple originally planned to launch the Bluetooth gadget in 2015, but Bluetooth performance issues stalled the release, the source told FORBES. "The way it works at Apple is if it doesn't work 100%, it gets cut," the source said. Whether Apple's wireless earbuds arrive with a custom Bluetooth chip by Apple, or instead use a third-party supplier is still unknown.This isn't the first time we've heard about Apple's work on wire-free earbuds. Back in January, a rumor unveiled Apple's earbud plans, pointing towards Bragi Dash-style wireless Bluetooth earbuds with a battery life of approximately four hours. According to that rumor, the earbuds will also charge through an included carrying case that serves as a rechargeable battery, further extending battery life. In recent years, Apple has delved into developing its own chips to reduce its reliance on third-party vendors, cut down on supply chain issues, and drive technology improvements. Apple has been developing its own ARM-based CPUs for mobile devices since 2010, so a move into other chip categories is unsurprising. Rumors indicate Apple will remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, pushing consumers towards wireless headphones and Lightning-based headphones, so the timing is right for the release of new wireless earbuds. According to Forbes, the earbuds could potentially launch in September alongside the new iPhone 7, but the site's source was not able to confirm a launch date. Based on trademark filings discovered by MacRumors, Apple may be planning to name its rumored wireless earbuds "AirPods."Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: forbes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is working on wire-free earbuds built around a custom Bluetooth radio chip that will result in a longer battery life than is possible with traditional Bluetooth chips, reports Forbes. Citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, Forbes says Apple has spent the last several years working on a custom Bluetooth chip that's designed to solve the battery life problems that plague existing wireless earbuds.The low-power Bluetooth chip comes from technology developed by Passif Semiconductor, a startup Apple purchased in 2013. But the project has hit performance snags. Apple originally planned to launch the Bluetooth gadget in 2015, but Bluetooth performance issues stalled the release, the source told FORBES. "The way it works at Apple is if it doesn't work 100%, it gets cut," the source said. Whether Apple's wireless earbuds arrive with a custom Bluetooth chip by Apple, or instead use a third-party supplier is still unknown.This isn't the first time we've heard about Apple's work on wire-free earbuds. Back in January, a rumor unveiled Apple's earbud plans, pointing towards Bragi Dash-style wireless Bluetooth earbuds with a battery life of approximately four hours. According to that rumor, the earbuds will also charge through an included carrying case that serves as a rechargeable battery, further extending battery life. In recent years, Apple has delved into developing its own chips to reduce its reliance on third-party vendors, cut down on supply chain issues, and drive technology improvements. Apple has been developing its own ARM-based CPUs for mobile devices since 2010, so a move into other chip categories is unsurprising. Rumors indicate Apple will remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, pushing consumers towards wireless headphones and Lightning-based headphones, so the timing is right for the release of new wireless earbuds. According to Forbes, the earbuds could potentially launch in September alongside the new iPhone 7, but the site's source was not able to confirm a launch date. Based on trademark filings discovered by MacRumors, Apple may be planning to name its rumored wireless earbuds "AirPods."Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: forbes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
At today's Black Hat Conference, an annual event designed for the global InfoSec community, Apple's head of security engineering Ivan Krstic announced the launch of a bug bounty program that will see Apple paying money to individuals who discover major bugs and security flaws in the company's software. Many major technology companies like Google and Microsoft offer bug bounty programs to encourage people to discover and report major vulnerabilities, but until now, Apple has declined to provide a similar program. At #BlackHat2016, Apple just announced a new Security Bounty program and has promised to prioritize pushing updates. pic.twitter.com/1jXW1tNMrb— Jay Freeman (saurik) (@saurik) August 4, 2016 According to TechCrunch, Apple's new bug bounty program is part of Apple's effort to open up to hackers, researchers, and cryptographers who want to help improve the company's security. Apple will be offering bounties of up to $200,000 to researchers depending on the vulnerability that's discovered. Secure boot firmware components will earn $200,000 at the high end, while smaller vulnerabilities, like access from a sandboxed process to user data outside of the sandbox, will earn $25,000.Although each category of vulnerability maxes out at the given rate, Apple will determine the exact reward amount based on several factors: the clarity of the vulnerability report; the novelty of the problem and the likelihood of user exposure; and the degree of user interaction necessary to exploit the vulnerability.Apple plans to launch its new bug bounty program in September. To be eligible for a reward as part of the program, researchers will need to provide proof-of-concept on the latest versions of iOS and the company's newest hardware. Apple will also encourage researchers to donate their earnings to charity and will match all bug bounty donations. The program will be invite only for the time being, limited to a few dozen researchers. Apple plans to make it more open as it grows, and if a non-member discovers a significant bug, they'll be invited to the program. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
At today's Black Hat Conference, an annual event designed for the global InfoSec community, Apple's head of security engineering Ivan Krstic announced the launch of a bug bounty program that will see Apple paying money to individuals who discover major bugs and security flaws in the company's software. Many major technology companies like Google and Microsoft offer bug bounty programs to encourage people to discover and report major vulnerabilities, but until now, Apple has declined to provide a similar program. At #BlackHat2016, Apple just announced a new Security Bounty program and has promised to prioritize pushing updates. pic.twitter.com/1jXW1tNMrb— Jay Freeman (saurik) (@saurik) August 4, 2016 According to TechCrunch, Apple's new bug bounty program is part of Apple's effort to open up to hackers, researchers, and cryptographers who want to help improve the company's security. Apple will be offering bounties of up to $200,000 to researchers depending on the vulnerability that's discovered. Secure boot firmware components will earn $200,000 at the high end, while smaller vulnerabilities, like access from a sandboxed process to user data outside of the sandbox, will earn $25,000.Although each category of vulnerability maxes out at the given rate, Apple will determine the exact reward amount based on several factors: the clarity of the vulnerability report; the novelty of the problem and the likelihood of user exposure; and the degree of user interaction necessary to exploit the vulnerability.Apple plans to launch its program in September. To be eligible for a reward as part of the program, researchers will need to provide proof-of-concept on the latest versions of iOS and the company's newest hardware. Apple will also encourage researchers to donate their earnings to charity and will match all bug bounty donations. The program will be invite only for the time being, limited to a few dozen researchers. Apple plans to make it more open as it grows, and if a non-member discovers a significant bug, they'll be invited to the program. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
In a recent patent filing detailing smart watch band swapping mechanisms, Samsung appears to have cut some corners and borrowed a few familiar looking images from Apple. The South Korean company’s patent application for a “Wearable Device” features several design drawings of the Apple Watch that appear to be based on Apple Watch marketing materials and images, as was discovered by Patently Apple and Business Insider. Samsung uses Apple Watch drawings alongside its own product drawings as examples of methods for attaching a band to a smart watch. The Apple Watch’s lug attachment site is clearly depicted along with bands like the Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle, Milanese Loop, and Leather Loop, suggesting Samsung’s product designers and engineers are drawing inspiration from Apple’s wearable device. Figures 10A to 10F and 11A to 11F are views illustrating diverse shapes, structures, and materials of a first strap portion or second strap portion in a wearable device according to am embodiment of the present disclosure.Samsung has a long history of copying Apple designs and is often ridiculed for its tendencies to emulate Apple, so the use of Apple Watch design images for its patent examples is a curious choice. One of Samsung's images (right) compared to a marketing image of the Apple Watch (left). Via BusinessInsider. Apple and Samsung continue to be embroiled in a long-running lawsuit that found Samsung guilty of infringing on iPhone design patents, and Samsung has already paid Apple $548 million as a result. Just today, more than 100 designers wrote an amicus brief supporting Apple in its ongoing battle with Samsung, describing how the visual design of a product has “powerful effects on the human mind and decision making processes.”Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
In a recent patent filing detailing smart watch band swapping mechanisms, Samsung appears to have cut some corners and borrowed a few familiar looking images from Apple. The South Korean company’s patent application for a “Wearable Device” features several design drawings of the Apple Watch that appear to be based on Apple Watch marketing materials and images, as was discovered by Patently Apple and Business Insider. Samsung uses Apple Watch drawings alongside its own product drawings as examples of methods for attaching a band to a smart watch. The Apple Watch’s lug attachment site is clearly depicted along with bands like the Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle, Milanese Loop, and Leather Loop, suggesting Samsung’s product designers and engineers are drawing inspiration from Apple’s wearable device. Figures 10A to 10F and 11A to 11F are views illustrating diverse shapes, structures, and materials of a first strap portion or second strap portion in a wearable device according to am embodiment of the present disclosure.Samsung has a long history of copying Apple designs and is often ridiculed for its tendencies to emulate Apple, so the use of Apple Watch design images for its patent examples is a curious choice. One of Samsung's images (right) compared to a marketing image of the Apple Watch (left). Via BusinessInsider. Apple and Samsung continue to be embroiled in a long-running lawsuit that found Samsung guilty of infringing on iPhone design patents, and Samsung has already paid Apple $548 million as a result. Just today, more than 100 designers wrote an amicus brief supporting Apple in its ongoing battle with Samsung, describing how the visual design of a product has “powerful effects on the human mind and decision making processes.”Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is working with television content providers and video companies to create a universal digital TV guide for the Apple TV and iOS devices, reports Recode. Apple's goal is to help users discover all of the different television channels that are available through dedicated apps from companies like HBO, Netflix, and ESPN without the need to open up each app. The digital TV guide would also include a feature allowing users to play TV shows and movies with one click. Last year, after Apple shelved its plans for a streaming television service, it shifted its strategy to the tvOS App Store, positioning it as a way for content providers to share their own content on Apple's platform. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he believes the future of TV is apps.Industry sources say Apple's plans are an outgrowth of the TV service it wanted to launch last year. The difference is that in 2015, Apple wanted to sell TV programming directly to consumers, and provide them with a new interface that would make it easy find the stuff they paid for. Now Apple is just working on the interface. It is letting programmers, distributors and customers work out the money part among themselves.According to Recode, the single sign-on feature that's bundled into tvOS 10 is the first part of Apple's TV guide plan. Single sign-on will allow customers with a cable subscription to sign into the Apple TV once and access all of the apps that are available through cable authentication. Apple already has access to information about the television content within apps to power Siri's Apple TV search features, but the company is said to be speaking with content providers about additional metadata for its full guide. It's not clear what an Apple TV guide might look like, but it could perhaps work similarly to the App Store, with editor-based show recommendations, custom "For You" recommendations based on watched shows, lists of popular television shows, and more, making it easier for customers to discover new television content. There is no word on when an Apple-designed television guide could be added to the Apple TV and iOS devices, but TV execs that spoke to Recode expressed some hesitation about the idea because it would eliminate their ability to draw customers to their own guides and channel promotion efforts.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tag: recode.net Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is working with television content providers and video companies to create a universal digital TV guide for the Apple TV and iOS devices, reports Recode. Apple's goal is to help users discover all of the different television channels that are available through dedicated apps from companies like HBO, Netflix, and ESPN without the need to open up each app. The digital TV guide would also include a feature allowing users to play TV shows and movies with one click. Last year, after Apple shelved its plans for a streaming television service, it shifted its strategy to the tvOS App Store, positioning it as a way for content providers to share their own content on Apple's platform. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he believes the future of TV is apps.Industry sources say Apple's plans are an outgrowth of the TV service it wanted to launch last year. The difference is that in 2015, Apple wanted to sell TV programming directly to consumers, and provide them with a new interface that would make it easy find the stuff they paid for. Now Apple is just working on the interface. It is letting programmers, distributors and customers work out the money part among themselves.According to Recode, the single sign-on feature that's bundled into tvOS 10 is the first part of Apple's TV guide plan. Single sign-on will allow customers with a cable subscription to sign into the Apple TV once and access all of the apps that are available through cable authentication. Apple already has access to information about the television content within apps to power Siri's Apple TV search features, but the company is said to be speaking with content providers about additional metadata for its full guide. It's not clear what an Apple TV guide might look like, but it could perhaps work similarly to the App Store, with editor-based show recommendations, custom "For You" recommendations based on watched shows, lists of popular television shows, and more, making it easier for customers to discover new television content. There is no word on when an Apple-designed television guide could be added to the Apple TV and iOS devices, but TV execs that spoke to Recode expressed some hesitation about the idea because it would eliminate their ability to draw customers to their own guides and channel promotion efforts.Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10 Tag: recode.net Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
As expected, Apple has just released its revamped Apple Store iOS app, bringing along a new "Discover" tab that takes into account each user's previous purchases so it can curate content from the company's online storefront in order to recommend what to buy next. The update for the Apple Store app introduces a universal functionality for both iPhone and iPad devices as well, along with a redesigned interface.The newly redesigned Apple Store app is a more personal way to shop for the latest Apple products and accessories. Get recommendations based on the Apple products you already own. Find out which accessories are compatible with your devices. Easily upgrade to a new iPhone from your current one. Keep track of your orders wherever you go. And reserve a spot in an upcoming workshop or event. Word of the revamped app surfaced last week, with Apple seeking to leverage the success and user feedback from similar "For You" sections in its other services, like Apple Music and Apple News. Based on your previous activity, the Apple Store app will automatically go to work in putting forth purchase suggestions when users begin placing orders in the store.- Get recommendations and shop for new products based on what works with the Apple devices you already own. - Manage your Apple account at a glance with the updated, easy-to-use Account tab. - Learn about helpful workshops and exciting events happening at your nearest Apple Store. - Stay on top of your in-store activities. Find out when your order is ready for pickup and see what time your reservation starts. - Scan a product at a participating Apple Store to get more information, make sure it’s compatible, and buy it from your iPhone. - Find out if a product you’ve added to Favorites is available when you visit a participating store.You can download the new update for the Apple Store app from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link] Update: We went hands-on with Apple's new Apple Store app to show off all the new features. Make sure to check out our video below. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.Tag: Apple Store Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
As expected, Apple has just released its revamped Apple Store iOS app, bringing along a new "Discover" tab that takes into account each user's previous purchases so it can curate content from the company's online storefront in order to recommend what to buy next. The update for the Apple Store app introduces a universal functionality for both iPhone and iPad devices as well, along with a redesigned interface.The newly redesigned Apple Store app is a more personal way to shop for the latest Apple products and accessories. Get recommendations based on the Apple products you already own. Find out which accessories are compatible with your devices. Easily upgrade to a new iPhone from your current one. Keep track of your orders wherever you go. And reserve a spot in an upcoming workshop or event. Word of the revamped app surfaced last week, with Apple seeking to leverage the success and user feedback from similar "For You" sections in its other services, like Apple Music and Apple News. Based on your previous activity, the Apple Store app will automatically go to work in putting forth purchase suggestions when users begin placing orders in the store.- Get recommendations and shop for new products based on what works with the Apple devices you already own. - Manage your Apple account at a glance with the updated, easy-to-use Account tab. - Learn about helpful workshops and exciting events happening at your nearest Apple Store. - Stay on top of your in-store activities. Find out when your order is ready for pickup and see what time your reservation starts. - Scan a product at a participating Apple Store to get more information, make sure it’s compatible, and buy it from your iPhone. - Find out if a product you’ve added to Favorites is available when you visit a participating store.You can download the new update for the Apple Store app from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link]Tag: Apple Store Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
With the launch of the iPhone 7 fast approaching, images of device components are leaking out at a rapid pace. This morning, we saw what appeared to be a functional iPhone 7 model running Apple's SwitchBoard prototyping software, and now an image depicting what's said to be the front panel of the iPhone 7 has surfaced on Weibo. The panel looks distinctly different than the front panel of the iPhone 6s, with a longer and wider earpiece that's closer in proximity to the camera cutout and two sensor cutouts towards the top of the device. Also included is a home button cutout at the bottom of the panel. Curiously, the alleged front panel does not look like the front panel that was seen in the photos and video of the fully assembled and functional iPhone 7 that was leaked this morning, but it is in line with past rumors about the iPhone 7. Back in June, Japanese site Mac Otakara said the iPhone 7 would feature a redesigned front panel with a longer earpiece cutout and dual proximity sensors. That rumor and the front panel image both conflict with the full device images, so either the front panel is fake or the full device images are fake. Conflicting rumors have been surfacing about the iPhone 7 for months, making it difficult to suss out concrete details about the device. On top of that, many leaked dummy models said to be based on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus specifications have been floating around, and not all of them are the same. As we get closer to the launch of the iPhone 7, we'll undoubtedly see additional parts that will allow us to get a clearer picture of what to expect, but right now, there are a few features that are up in the air. While some details are still murky, there are rumors that have surfaced time and time again, allowing us to reliably predict some iPhone 7 changes. The device is expected to include a slightly redesigned body with relocated antenna bands, no headphone jack, camera changes (larger camera in the iPhone 7 and dual cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus), and an improved A10 processor.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
With the launch of the iPhone 7 fast approaching, images of device components are leaking out at a rapid pace. This morning, we saw what appeared to be a functional iPhone 7 model running Apple's SwitchBoard prototyping software, and now an image depicting what's said to be the front panel of the iPhone 7 has surfaced on Weibo. The panel looks distinctly different than the front panel of the iPhone 6s, with a longer and wider earpiece that's closer in proximity to the camera cutout and two sensor cutouts towards the top of the device. Also included is a home button cutout at the bottom of the panel. Curiously, the alleged front panel does not look like the front panel that was seen in the photos and video of the fully assembled and functional iPhone 7 that was leaked this morning, but it is in line with past rumors about the iPhone 7. Back in June, Japanese site Mac Otakara said the iPhone 7 would feature a redesigned front panel with a longer earpiece cutout and dual proximity sensors. That rumor and the front panel image both conflict with the full device images, so either the front panel is fake or the full device images are fake. Conflicting rumors have been surfacing about the iPhone 7 for months, making it difficult to suss out concrete details about the device. On top of that, many leaked dummy models said to be based on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus specifications have been floating around, and not all of them are the same. As we get closer to the launch of the iPhone 7, we'll undoubtedly see additional parts that will allow us to get a clearer picture of what to expect, but right now, there are a few features that are up in the air. While some details are still murky, there are rumors that have surfaced time and time again, allowing us to reliably predict some iPhone 7 changes. The device is expected to include a slightly redesigned body with relocated antenna bands, no headphone jack, camera changes (larger camera in the iPhone 7 and dual cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus), and an improved A10 processor.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released an iOS 9.3.4 update for the iOS 9 operating system, just over two weeks after releasing iOS 9.3.3 and less than two months before we expect to see the public release of iOS 10, currently in beta testing. iOS 9.3.4 is available immediately via an over-the-air download on all devices running iOS 9. According to Apple's release notes, iOS 9.3.4 provides "an important security update" and is recommended for all iOS 9 users. iOS 9.3.4 is likely to be the last update to iOS 9, with iOS 10 coming in September alongside new iOS devices. iOS 10 brings a slew of new features, including a revamped Lock screen experience, an overhauled Messages app with new functionality and its own App Store, a new Photos app with object and facial recognition, a redesigned Music app, a centralized HomeKit app, and a Siri SDK for developers. Update: iOS 9.3.4 fixes the Pangu iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak exploit. In a support document covering the security fix included in the update, Apple credits Team Pangu with discovering a vulnerability related to a memory corruption issue.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today released an iOS 9.3.4 update for the iOS 9 operating system, just over two weeks after releasing iOS 9.3.3 and less than two months before we expect to see the public release of iOS 10, currently in beta testing. iOS 9.3.4 is available immediately via an over-the-air download on all devices running iOS 9. According to Apple's release notes, iOS 9.3.4 provides "an important security update" and is recommended for all iOS 9 users. iOS 9.3.4 is likely to be the last update to iOS 9, with iOS 10 coming in September alongside new iOS devices. iOS 10 brings a slew of new features, including a revamped Lock screen experience, an overhauled Messages app with new functionality and its own App Store, a new Photos app with object and facial recognition, a redesigned Music app, a centralized HomeKit app, and a Siri SDK for developers. Update: iOS 9.3.4 fixes the Pangu iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak exploit.Related Roundup: iOS 9 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
It appears that Apple's revamped Apple Store app for iOS is set to go live at any moment, as signs of the new app have begun appearing on Apple's sites and in the App Store. As noted on Twitter, a new featured banner promoting the app with a color-reversed icon has gone live on the Turkish App Store, while we also spotted it in the United Arab Emirates App Store. The banner text promotes "the new Apple Store app" with "shopping designed around you." Earlier today, Apple also added a new "Easily track your order" section to its Shipping and Pickup page, showing off a partial order tracking screen. The new app should be going live shortly, but Apple has not made any official announcement about its launch plans.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Academy Award winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been named a mentor for Apple's upcoming "Planet of the Apps" (casting website) competition show, alongside hip-hop artist will.i.am and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, according to Variety.“Developing and launching a business based on your own original idea can be exhilarating, but intimidating,” Paltrow said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to be part of a series that lets us use our experiences to help app developers break through and create viable businesses that will impact peoples’ lives.”The reality TV series, co-produced by Apple and Propagate Content's Ben Silverman and Howard Owens, will be an unscripted program about apps and the people who make them. Apple is currently looking for up to 100 developers from San Francisco, Austin, New York, and Los Angeles to participate. In addition to mentorship from Paltrow and others, participating developers will receive up to $10 million in funding if they reach the final round of the show, and featured placement in the App Store at the end of the show. The series is set to debut in 2017, with filming to begin in late 2016. The deadline for developers to apply is August 26.Tag: Planet of the Apps Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
After sharing photos of the first powered on and fully functional iPhone 7 earlier, Chinese firm GeekBar has created a brief accompanying video that shows the smartphone's camera in action for the first time. The individual who recorded the video can be seen panning over his MacBook and other desk objects with the iPhone 7 view finder open. The smartphone appears to be running Apple's internal testing software SwitchBoard, rather than a public version of iOS. The short 25-second clip is too blurry to provide an accurate look at the expected camera improvements on the iPhone 7, but it does confirm that the overall design of the device seen in leaked photos is very likely the real deal. In particular, that design is expected to include no headphone jack, dual speakers, a larger rear-facing iSight camera, repositioned antenna bands, and a slightly longer earpiece cutout. The device still has a home button, but whether it is touch sensitive as rumored cannot be clearly distinguished. iPhone 7 pre-orders could begin Friday, September 9, ahead of retail availability on Friday, September 16, according to noted leaker Evan Blass.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: GeekBar Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
While several photos depicting what is believed to be the iPhone 7 have surfaced in recent months, most if not all of the components have been early prototypes, design molds, or well-designed Chinese counterfeits. A new series of photos have leaked, however, that quite possibly could be the real deal. The first photos of what is claimed to be a real, fully assembled iPhone 7, shared by GeekBar on Chinese microblogging service Weibo, show the smartphone in a powered on state running Apple's internal testing software called SwitchBoard. The photos were first spotted and vetted by French website NWE. The device itself lines up with previous photos, showing no headphone jack, dual speakers, a larger rear-facing iSight camera, repositioned antenna bands, and a slightly longer earpiece cutout. The device still has a home button, but whether it is touch sensitive as rumored cannot be clearly distinguished. Apple is widely expected to introduce the tentatively named iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next month, with noted leaker Evan Blass pointing towards U.S. retail availability on Friday, September 16. If true, Apple could begin pre-orders in first-wave launch countries one week earlier on Friday, September 9.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: nowhereelse.fr Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Calvin Klein, Dieter Rams, Norman Foster, and over 100 of the world's leading design professionals have filed a lengthy amicus brief [PDF] in support of Apple in an over five year old patent lawsuit against rival Samsung. Apple was awarded nearly $1 billion in damages in 2012 after Samsung was found to have copied the "look and feel" of the iPhone, but a significant part of the decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million -- a sum that Samsung has paid but continues to appeal. The patent lawsuit began back in 2011 and has since made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Apple is fighting for it to remain. The design professionals, which have collectively provided services to Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, GM, Google, IBM, Knoll, Lenovo, LG, Louis Vuitton, NASA, Nike, Polaroid, Porsche, Starbucks, Target, Xerox, and even Samsung itself, among others, believe that Apple was entitled to the full amount of damages, citing the importance of industrial design.Tags: Samsung, lawsuit Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 20 days ago on mac rumors
Over the weekend we reported that Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing had agreed to acquire the Chinese operations of rival Uber in a deal worth $35 billion. In a Reuters story filed yesterday, sources close to both companies revealed that Apple's $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing was the driving factor in Uber's decision to agree to the deal, in return for a one-fifth stake in a bigger Didi. "The Apple investment is one of the factors that influenced the decision," a person close to the companies told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "Both sides raised enormous amounts of capital. They were probably thinking this was going to escalate to nuclear warfare, which raised the question: do we really want to assure mutual destruction?"According to the sources, Didi raised far more money than Uber China, which was forced to subsidize its operations in the country using profits it had made in the U.S., Canada, and about 100 cities elsewhere. The company's relinquishment of its independence in China marks the first failure in Uber's strategy of outspending its biggest competitors. In June, Didi secured $7.3 billion in funding from investors including Apple, China Life Insurance Co Ltd, Ant Financial and other new shareholders, giving the company a $28 billion valuation that made it the world's third highest-valued start-up. The company says it now has $10.5 billion in available funds, thanks to backing from Chinese Internet giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings. "Apple's investment in Didi likely spurred Uber to think harder about doing some kind of deal here," said Jan Dawson, an Uber analyst at Jackdaw Research. "Uber and Apple have been partners in other markets, so for Apple to side with Didi must have been something of a red flag that things weren't going to go Uber's way." According to Hans Tung, a managing partner at GGVCapital (which backed Didi), Uber is eager to secure a wider partnership with Apple beyond its current relationships, such as Uber passengers' use of Apple Pay to pay drivers who use iPhones provided by Uber. Opportunities may open up for such a partnership, said Tung, now that Uber has agreed the deal with Didi.Tags: China, Uber, Didi Chuxing Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced on Twitter that a new App Store record was set last month, with July seeing Apple's highest ever monthly billings for the App Store and the largest amount of money paid out to developers. According to Cook, Apple has now paid out more than $50 billion to developers over the lifetime of the App Store, which first launched for the iPhone in 2008, a year after the iPhone was released to the public. App Store revenue has been growing rapidly over the past several years, with Apple citing its success as the reason behind its steadily increasing services category. July was a record-breaker for the @AppStore! Highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to developers.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 3, 2016 During Apple's most recent earnings call, Cook also said that Apple saw its highest quarterly App Store revenue ever, with a 27 percent growth rate year over year. Apple also set a new record for customers making purchases through the App Store, with the average amount spent per customer reaching the highest level the company has ever seen. Cook expects that over the course of the next 12 months, revenue from Apple's services category (consisting of the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Music, iCloud, and AppleCare) will "be the size of a Fortune 100 company." .@AppStore developers have now earned over $50 billion! Congratulations on your success and such inspired creativity.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 3, 2016 In July, the App Store's most notable release was Pokémon Go, which launched in the United States on July 5 and then in multiple other countries around the world throughout the month. Pokémon Go set an App Store record for the most ever app downloads during its first week of availability and it is already considered the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. Pokémon Go is now estimated to have been downloaded more than 100 million times and it is said to bring in $10 million in revenue daily across the iOS and Google Play app stores.Tags: App Store, Tim Cook Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has released updated diversity numbers that reveal its overall workforce, including tech, non-tech, and retail jobs, is 68% male and 32% female as of June 2016, a slight change from a 69%-31% split in 2015. Apple profiled some of these employees, including Divya, Ryan, Adrienne, Aurelio, Edith, Riad, Charissa, and Kully, and shared a Creating Opportunities page highlighting its diversity programs and partnerships. Denise Young Smith, Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources at Apple:"Diversity is more than any one gender, race, or ethnicity. It's richly representative of all people, all backgrounds, and all perspectives. It is the entire human experience."Apple's race and ethnicity breakdown among U.S. employees is 19% Asian, 9% Black, 12% Hispanic, 2% Multiracial, 1% Other, and 56% White, representing a 2 percent increase in White employees and a 1 percent increase in both Asian and Hispanic employees compared to last year's data. Females represent 37% of Apple's global new hires, while U.S. underrepresented minorities represent 27% of global new hires. Apple defines underrepresented minorities as "groups whose representation in tech has been historically low — Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander." Apple said that it has achieved pay equity in the United States for similar roles and performance as of August 2016. The company said female employees earn one dollar for every dollar male employees earn, while underrepresented minorities earn one dollar for every dollar white employees earn.We see diversity as everything that makes an employee who they are. We foster a diverse culture that’s inclusive of disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, and service to country. We want all employees to be comfortable bringing their entire selves to work every day. Because we believe our individual backgrounds, perspectives, and passions help us create the ideas that move all of us forward. Creating an inclusive culture takes both commitment and action. We’re helping employees identify and address unconscious racial and gender bias. We’re cultivating diverse leadership and tech talent. We’re continuing our advocacy for LGBTQ equality, investing in resources for Veterans and service members and their families, and exploring new ways to support employees with disabilities. We’re also strengthening our common bonds through on-campus groups, events, and programs.Apple has shared its recently filed Federal Employer Information Report EEO-1 [PDF], representing employees as of August 2015. Note: Due to the nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tag: diversity Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has twice claimed the next 5.5-inch iPhone, tentatively referred to as the iPhone 7 Plus, will carry 3GB of RAM for improved performance, and now DigiTimes says the same in a new report.Increasing built-in memory capacity at next-generation smartphones, including new iPhone devices, will further ramp up demand for memory products in the third quarter, said sources, noting that the mobile DRAM capacity of the next-generation iPhone is expected to increase to 3GB from 2GB previously.The report stops short of specifying whether the 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch, or both iPhone 7 models will have 3GB of RAM, but in general it will mark an increase over the 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its supply chain sources have provided accurate information on occasion in the past, and the rumor is backed by the more credible Kuo. The increased RAM should prove valuable given the camera improvements expected with the new iPhones, including a dual-lens system on the 5.5-inch model. Deutsche Bank has also thrown its weight behind the 3GB of RAM rumor, although its prediction is likely based on Kuo rather than independent sources.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tags: digitimes.com, RAM Discuss this article in our forums

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