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Company That Sued Apple for iPhone 6 Patent Infringement 'Barely Exists'

Shenzhen Baili, the Chinese company that claimed the iPhone 6 violated the patent of its 100c smartphone, is reported to "barely exist" following its victory in the Beijing Intellectual Property Office against Apple.

In response to Shenzhen Baili's patent lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal investigated the company, along with its parent Digione, and found that the latter company had collapsed, "brought down by buggy products, mismanagement and fierce competition, according to former employees and investors." Digione has apparently been absent from China's mobile phone market for nearly a year.

iPhone 6 (left) and Shenzhen Baili's 100c (right)
Phone calls to the company, Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services Co., ring unanswered. Its websites have been deleted. Visits to its three registered addresses found no company offices.

Baili and its parent, Digione, are part of a rapid boom and bust in China’s new wave of smartphone makers. When Baili took on Apple in December 2014, telling Chinese regulators that the Cupertino, Calif., company’s new models infringed on its smartphone design patents, it had bold aspirations, a big-name investor in Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. and a team of experienced executives.
All the same, Shenzhen Baili is claiming to continue to battle Apple through its pending appeal process, and the company "is still operational in its necessary functions,” according to Digione lawyer Andy Yang. The company originally filed the patent infringement claim in December 2014, shortly after the launch of the iPhone 6, but the case only recently reached

iOS 10: Taking a Closer Look at Apple's 'Swift Playgrounds' for iPad

At WWDC last week, Apple revealed its all-new Swift Playgrounds iPad app, which aims to help younger users learn how to code in Apple's programming language by making the experience more interactive and fun.

For those unfamiliar with Swift, the open-source language was announced by Apple at WWDC 2014, and developed over four years to be "concise and expressive" in order to make coding for iOS, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch more approachable.

Using Swift Playgrounds, Apple invites users to "solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift" and "take on a series of challenges" to step up to more advanced creations. Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge from new learners, but it also "provides a unique way for seasoned developers to quickly bring ideas to life," claims the company.

Users start out by learning the underlying concepts of coding, like commands, functions, loops, parameters, conditional code, variables, operators, types, initialization, and bug fixing. The learning takes place as users create code on the left side of the screen, while they observe the results on the right side in real time.
Learning to code with Swift Playgrounds is incredibly engaging. The app comes with a complete set of Apple-designed lessons. Play your way through the basics in "Fundamentals of Swift" using real code to guide a character through a 3D world. Then move on to more advanced concepts.
The Swift Playground interface supports the iPad's Multi-Touch capabilities, and lets students tap, drag, or type text and numbers, and then interact with their creations.

Check Out iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience

iOS 10 introduces an all new Apple Music experience and a redesigned Music app, which is aimed at making it easier for users to find new content to listen to. As seen in the video below, the new look of the Music app focuses on album art with a bright, simple aesthetic featuring big, bold headlines and lots of white space.

At WWDC, Apple execs said the redesigned app was meant to bring "greater clarity and simplicity to every aspect of the experience."

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Along with a bolder look, the Music app features the following tabs: "Library," "For You," "Browse," "Radio," and "Search." Gone is the "Connect" tab that allowed for direct access to the built-in social networking service where fans can follow artists, but Connect posts continue to show up in the "For You" section of Apple Music.

The Library portion of the Music app houses songs saved from Apple Music and previously owned music, with a new section that makes it much clearer which songs have been physically downloaded on a device. For You includes a better mix of music and new daily playlists, while Browse features curated playlists and top charts.

The search feature searches through both Apple Music content and each user's own personal library, and "Radio" tab is largely unchanged with access to Beats 1 radio shows. Apple Music in iOS 10 also has a new focus on lyrics, and for many songs, lyrics can be accessed by scrolling up from the album art when content is playing.

Apple Music design changes introduced in iOS 10 have also been expanded to macOS

iOS 10 Beta Features Unencrypted Kernel Making it Easier to Discover Vulnerabilities

Apple's iOS 10 preview, seeded to developers last week, does not feature an encrypted kernel and thus gives users access to the inner workings of the operating system and potential security flaws, reports MIT Technology Review. It is not known if this was an unintentional mistake or done deliberately to encourage more bug reports.

Security experts say the famously secretive company may have adopted a bold new strategy intended to encourage more people to report bugs in its software--or perhaps made an embarrassing mistake.
In past versions of iOS, Apple has encrypted the kernel, aka the core of the operating system, which dictates how software uses the iPhone's hardware and keeps it secure. According to experts who spoke to the MIT Technology Review, leaving iOS unencrypted doesn't leave the security of iOS 10 compromised, but it makes it easier to find flaws in the operating system. Security flaws in iOS can be used to create jailbreaks or create malware.
The goodies exposed publicly for the first time include a security measure designed to protect the kernel from being modified, says security researcher Mathew Solnik. "Now that it is public, people will be able to study it [and] potentially find ways around it," he says.
Apple has declined to comment on whether the lack of encryption was intentional or a mistake, but security expert Jonathan Zdziarski believes it was done by choice because it's not a mistake Apple is likely to have made. "This would have been an incredibly glaring oversight, like forgetting to put doors on an elevator," he told MIT Technology Review.

Apple's 2016 iPhone Update to Focus on Headphone Jack Removal, Major Changes Won't Come Until 2017

Rumors have suggested the 2016 iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will not feature major design changes aside from the removal of the headphone jack, information that has been confirmed in a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus will continue to feature 4.7 and 5.5-inch displays, with only "subtle changes" to the exterior of the devices. Past rumors indicate the two devices will be the same general size as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but with relocated antenna bands that no longer span across the back of the bodies.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the removal of the headphone jack will make the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus thinner while also improving its water resistance. Just how thin is a matter of contention in rumors -- schematics show little reduction in thickness but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the iPhone 7 could be 1mm thinner than the current iPhone 6s.

Mockup of what the iPhone 7 will look like
While 2016 will mark a minor update, 2017 will bring major changes to the iPhone in celebration of the device's 10th anniversary. Citing sources "familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal suggests features could include an edge-to-edge OLED display with built-in Touch ID fingerprint support to allow Apple to eliminate the home button.

Apple is said to be deviating from its standard tick-tock upgrade cycle in order to introduce major new features in the 2017 iPhone, which take time to develop.
At a meeting with an Apple executive last month, one of the company's China-based engineers asked why

Apple Seeds Third Beta of iOS 9.3.3 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 9.3.3 update to developers and public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second beta of iOS 9.3.3 and more than a month after the release of iOS 9.3.2, a minor bug fix update. iOS 9.3.3 has been in testing since May 23.

The third iOS 9.3.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

As a minor 9.x.x update, iOS 9.3.3 features under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements to address issues discovered since the release of iOS 9.3.2. No outward-facing changes or obvious bug fixes were discovered in the first two betas of iOS 9.3.3.

iOS 9.3.3 beta three follows the developer launch of iOS 10, a new version of iOS that will be released to the public this fall. We'll update this post with any changes that are found in the third iOS 9.3.3

Apple SIM Now Available in 140+ Countries in Partnership With GigSky

Apple SIM partner GigSky has announced that it has expanded availability of its pay-as-you-go cellular data plans for iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and 4 to over 140 countries, up from more than 90 countries and territories in June 2015.

The new additions, among others, include Afghanistan, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Argentina, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Dominica, Ecuador, Honduras, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Pakistan, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Apple has a full list of countries on its website.

Apple SIM is embedded in the latest cellular iPads and enables users to easily switch between different short-term data plans from select carrier partners without needing multiple SIM cards. It is particularly useful for traveling abroad, especially now that coverage reaches more than 140 countries and territories through GigSky.

Other Apple SIM partners include AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the United States, EE in the United Kingdom, Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Three in Hong Kong, and au by KDDI in Japan. AlwaysOnline Wireless also offers pay-as-you-go LTE data plans in at least 45 countries, with the option to pay by hour, day, or

Apple Announces 2016 Summer Camps for Kids at Retail Stores

Apple has opened registration in the U.S. and a number of other countries (links below) for its annual Apple Summer Camp, where kids aged 8 to 12 can attend a company retail store and learn how to create interactive books and movies using Apple products and software, ranging from iBooks Author on Mac to iMovie on iPad.

Apple's summer workshops will be hosted between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. local time, on various dates between July 11 and August 12, in the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Parents are recommended to sign up early due to limited spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year's free workshops are called "Stories in Motion with iMovie" and "Interactive Storytelling with iBooks." A third workshop will be offered in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom called "Coding Games and Programming Robots," in which kids will learn visual block-based coding for games, apply logic skills and problem solving, learn to program their own robots, and more.

Apple notes that children attending Apple Summer Camp 2016 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the duration of each workshop. Once their initial registration is confirmed, parents can register another child. All campers will receive a complimentary youth-size Apple Summer Camp

Dozens of Former Apple Employees Team Up to Launch ‘RearVision' Vehicle Camera

A group of three former Apple engineers, along with around 50 various designers and workers also formerly employed by Apple, have created a new startup in the vehicle accessory market, called Pearl, and today announced pre-orders on their product "RearVision." The $500 device is an attachable license plate accessory that connects via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android smartphone, displaying a 180-degree rear-view field of vision when backing up your car (via The Verge).

The RearVision unit comes with a dongle that connects with a vehicle's on-board diagnostic port to help communicate and determine the car's speed, and battery power isn't a concern since the device charges using an integrated solar panel. Bryan Gardner, one of the co-founders of the company, said that one full day of sun equates to an entire week of charge for the device, and the RearVision can store one month of battery in its reserves.

Otherwise, the device functions like many integrated rear-view cameras: when backing up, the device's dual-camera system automatically sends video to the connected smartphone in optional portrait view (with two levels of zoom) or landscape view. Two alternate alerts emit from the smartphone when the RearVision camera wants the user to slow down for a passerby or another car, and a more insistent sound when a collision might be imminent and the driver should stop the car completely.

Once the car is in forward motion above 10 mph, RearVision shuts off the rear-view camera and moves into a "Home Screen" section of the app. Here, users can choose their favorite and

Hands-On With watchOS 3: Instant App Launching, Favorites Dock, New Watch Faces and More

watchOS 3, set to be released this fall, introduces some radical changes to the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. There are new apps and watch faces, interface tweaks overhaul the way we interact with watchOS, and a new feature for keeping apps running in the background allows for instant launch times.

Since most of us won't be able to check out watchOS 3 until the fall of 2016 following an extended beta testing period, we've created a video to highlight the must see features.

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Glances are gone in watchOS 3, replaced with a "dock" accessible by pressing the side button. 10 favorite first and third-party apps can be added to the dock, where they'll be kept continually up to date and able to launch in a second. Changing watch faces is done with a left and right swipe, while a downward swipe now brings up the Control Center.

Activity Sharing features allow Apple Watch owners to share workout and activity information with friends, and there are new options for Wheelchair users. A Breathe app guides users through daily deep breathing sessions, an Apple Watch can unlock a Mac, and Apple has added apps for Reminders, Find My Friends, and accessing one's heartbeat.

Watch faces support more complications, there are three new watch faces to choose from, including a new Activity watch face, and an SOS feature will make sure an option to get help in an emergency is always right at your fingertips. On the iPhone, there's a new Face Gallery for customizing Apple Watch faces, and watchOS 3 allows the

iPhone 7 Rumored to Ship With Standard 3.5mm EarPods and Lightning Adapter

Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be manufactured without a 3.5mm headphone jack, leading to speculation about the accessories that will be included alongside the two devices.

Lightning-equipped EarPods and wireless EarPods are two rumors that have been bandied about, but a new report from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggests Apple may ship the iPhone 7 with standard 3.5mm headphones and a 3.5mm jack to Lightning adapter to allow them to connect to the new devices.

Mac Otakara's information comes from sources at Computex Taipei 2016 and the reliability of those sources cannot be confirmed. Shipping EarPods with a 3.5mm jack included seems like an unusual choice for Apple, even if an adapter is included in the box.
At Computex Taipei 2016, many manufacturers showcased their new Lightning audio adaptors, and it seems there has been rumors that the headphones to be included with the new iPhone 7 series will still come with its own headphone jack as usual, and that a Lightning headphone jack adaptor will also be included in the package.
Past rumors, including one from Mac Otakara itself, have suggested Apple will introduce a new EarPods design that connects to the iPhone via Lightning or Bluetooth, something that would better ease the transition away from the 3.5mm jack than an adapter. We've only heard a few rumors about the EarPods, though, so Apple's exact plans remain unclear.

Mac Otakara's report also reiterates claims 256GB of storage will be an option and suggests the iPhone 7 will feature speaker holes on both the right and left sides of the Lightning port,

Spotify Has Twice as Many Paid Subscribers as Apple Music

Spotify confirmed to The Telegraph today that it now has more than 100 million monthly active users worldwide, including approximately 30 million monthly paying subscribers.

Comparatively, Apple services chief Eddy Cue announced at WWDC 2016 last week that Apple Music has 15 million paying subscribers, just two weeks before the streaming music service turns one year old. Apple Music was at 13 million subscribers in April and 11 million subscribers in February, meaning that it has been growing at a rate of about 2 million subscribers every two months.

Spotify, which launched in Europe in October 2008 and expanded to the U.S. in July 2011, thereby remains the world's most popular streaming service, but Apple Music is quickly closing the gap. Both services cost $9.99 per month for individuals and $14.99 per month for families, while only Spotify offers a free ad-supported tier.

Nevertheless, Spotify recently said that Apple Music has helped, not hurt, its business. Since Apple Music launched on June 30, 2015, its European rival has grown at a faster pace than beforehand. Spotify has now surpassed Skype as the most lucrative European startup, with an estimated valuation of roughly $8.5 billion.
"It's great that Apple is in the game. They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own," Jonathan Forster, a vice president and one of its first employees, told Reuters in an interview.

"Since Apple Music started we've been growing quicker and adding more users than before."
Despite rising users and revenues, Spotify continues