Next version of iOS with overhauled notifications, lock screen, Messages, Apple Music, and much more.
The ad, titled "Surface Pro 4 is the one for me", was posted on YouTube and features a woman trying out some of the features of the Surface Pro 4 and then attempting to replicate the functionality on a MacBook Air, to no avail. All the while, a melody man plays a musical keyboard and quirkily sings the praises of Microsoft's PC offering against the Apple machine, which he calls "less useful, like a hat for your cat".
The lighthearted ad plays upon the Surface Pro 4's signature features like the detachable keyboard, pen, and touchscreen, as well as the machine's relative lightness compared to the MacBook Air, which is "slower, heavier, and a bit square," sings the keyboard player. The ad ends with the tagline: "Surface does more. Just like you."
The commercial follows a similar anti-Apple theme adopted by Microsoft in recent ads, which have previously compared the iPad Pro with the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book with the MacBook Pro, and Windows 10 with OS X.
The 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 for 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM, and goes up to as much as $1,799 for 256GB of internal storage and 16GB of RAM.
Comparatively, the 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $899, with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, increasing to $1099 for 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, while the 13-inch model starts at $999 for 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, and rising to $1199 for 256GB of storage.
The battery is allegedly for the 42mm model, which currently has a 246 mAh battery, suggesting the next-generation 42mm model could have a 35.7% larger battery. The photo does not provide any clues about potential battery life improvements coming to the smaller 38mm model, which is currently equipped with a 205 mAh battery.
The veracity of the photo cannot be confirmed, as is often the case, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said an Apple Watch 2 with a higher capacity battery will launch later this year. The larger battery should unsurprisingly lead to longer battery life for the Apple Watch, which is currently rated for up to 18 hours of mixed usage and up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode on a single charge.
The much-rumored Apple Watch 2 is expected to be released in late 2016 with a faster TSMC-built processor, GPS, barometer, superior waterproofing, and a higher capacity battery -- but no cellular. Both 38mm and 42mm screen sizes will be retained with thinner display technology adopted. The device could launch in September alongside the iPhone 7 and spec-bumped Apple Watch 1 models.
Spotify has explicitly told artists who offer Apple Music exclusives that their music won't be included on featured playlists, and Spotify has also "buried" their songs in its search rankings. The music streaming service has reportedly been using these retaliatory tactics for about a year.
Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won't be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps.Spotify's tactics may not affect major artists in a significant way, but according to Bloomberg, the service has also threatened smaller acts who introduce their music on Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe.
Since Apple Music launched last year, Apple has been using exclusive content as a way to lure new subscribers to the service. Artists like Drake, Frank Ocean, Dreezy, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry have debuted content exclusively on Apple Music, something both Spotify and record labels have become increasingly uncomfortable with.
Earlier this week, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grange told employees that UMG is now prohibiting its artists from offering music exclusives, meaning popular content from Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and more, will no longer be eligible for debut solely on Apple Music. UMG's new policy has already affected Apple, preventing Apple Music from inking a deal with Lady Gaga.
At its one year anniversary in June, Apple Music boasted more than 15 million subscribers, and should it continue its rapid growth rate, the service could eventually eclipse Spotify as the most popular streaming service. Spotify continues to have approximately twice as many subscribers but the music service continues to struggle because it has yet to become profitable.
Update: According to a Spotify spokesperson that spoke to MacRumors, Bloomberg's claim that Spotify has "buried" search results for songs of artists who have signed Apple Music exclusives is "unequivocally false."
iOS 10 beta 8 is available as an over-the-air download to those who installed the first seven betas or the beta configuration profile and it's available for direct download via Apple's Developer Center (developers only).
iOS 10 is a major iOS update with a ton of new features and design tweaks, including a new Lock screen experience with 3D Touch-enabled notifications, a more easily accessible camera, a redesigned Control Center, and a new widgets screen. According to Apple, iOS 10 is the company's biggest iOS update ever released.
The Messages app in iOS 10 has been overhauled with features that include background animations, bubble effects, Digital Touch, handwritten notes, Tapback replies, predictive emoji, and a dedicated App Store, and Photos has gained new facial and object recognition capabilities along with a Memories feature for rediscovering forgotten moments.
iOS 10 is currently available to developers and public beta testers, with a full public release planned for the fall. iOS 10 beta 8 is likely to be the last update before the golden master version is released as Apple will need time to finalize the software before its public launch. For full details on iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup.
Update: Many users appear to be running into an error when attempting to download the new beta, getting an "Unable to Check for Update" popup.
"If Apple sticks to its launch schedule from last year, there may not be enough supply at the beginning, as some suppliers are still trying to fix low yield rates of their components," an industry source familiar with the issue said.Apple is said to be staying close to its launch schedule from last year, which could lead to low supply "during the first round of the rollout," resulting in low yield rates, higher costs for manufacturers, and subsequently less volume to deliver to customers. Yuanta Investment Consulting analyst Jeff Pu believes total iPhone 7 builds to be 10 million less than that of the iPhone 6s last year.
Pu cut his forecasts for iPhone production to 114 million from 120 million, including both new and old models, in the July-December period, due to defects in the waterproof speaker and dual-camera module, which have yet to be resolved.Continuing the usual doom-and-gloom sentiment regarding Apple's 2016 iPhone sales, the new report points to "weakening demand" for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as a contribution to manufacturing numbers falling as well. Apple's own orders are said to be "conservative" this year compared to years past, with individual components dropping precipitously year-over-year. According to various sources, core processor chips "may drop up to 15 percent," and panel orders "are dropping around 20 percent," both compared with the company's 2015 supply chain orders.
"We estimate total iPhone 7 builds to be 74 (million) in 2H16F, compared to 84 (million) for iPhone 6s in 2H15. Together with pricing pressure, we expect most Apple food chain suppliers to see (year-on-year) revenue decline for the rest of the year," Pu wrote in a note dated Aug. 23.
Although it's true that the iPhone 7 will be a modest update on the iPhone 6s, like every model before it, the 2016 iPhone is expected to see a heavy influx of pre-orders the day it goes live on Apple's website, currently rumored for September 9. Users will then have to wait a few weeks to get their hands on the smartphone, with a launch either on September 16 or September 23.
The report cited analysts that believe Intel could supply Apple with at least a portion of tentatively named A12 chips for iPhones in 2018, following reports that TSMC will be the sole supplier of A10 and A11 chips for iPhones in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
"TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then," Samuel Wang, a veteran semiconductor analyst at research company Gartner, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC."The switch to Intel may not have significant implications for iPhone users, but it provides Apple with an opportunity to secure the best manufacturing deal and technologies available. Intel's foundries will manufacture ARM-based smartphone chips based on a 10-nanometer process, which TSMC is also moving towards. The move could also shift at least a portion of A-series chip production to the United States, which could help create new jobs on the company's home turf.
"Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC,” a senior Taiwanese chip industry executive said. "There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it's really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington's policy to encourage U.S. companies to make more products at home."Intel is also expected to supply modems for select iPhone 7 models, including AT&T versions and some international models sold in other countries, as Apple lessens its dependance on existing supplier Qualcomm.
Apple is already at work on a major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display by removing the Home button, according to a person familiar with the matter.According to past rumors, the 2017 iPhone, which may be called the iPhone 8, will feature a complete design overhaul with an edge-to-edge flexible OLED display that does away with the top and bottom bezels where features like the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and front-facing camera are housed.
Instead, the functionality of the Home button, including Touch ID, may be built directly into the display. Apple design chief Jony Ive is said to have wanted to build an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass for several years, and 2017, the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, is when it will happen.
The iPhone display may also feature edges that are curved on both sides, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and it is rumored to have a glass body, moving away from the aluminum that's been used for iPhones since the iPhone 5. Other features that may be built into the 2017 iPhone include wireless charging, an enhanced Taptic engine, and new biometric capabilities like iris scanning or facial recognition.
FeliCa is a tap-to-pay format developed by Sony and built into cards that are used to access Japan's railway and bus system. FeliCa is faster than Apple Pay, allowing transactions to occur in a fraction of a second, which makes it suitable for use in a fast-paced transit environment. It's also able to store e-money that can be used at vending machines and cafes across the country.
Apple plans to work with several transit card providers to create virtual versions of FeliCa transit cards that can be stored in the Wallet app on the iPhone and used in place of a physical card.
The FeliCa chip will let customers in Japan store their public bus and train passes on their iPhones. Users would then be able to tap their phones against the entrance scanners instead of using physical cards. While the FeliCa chip is the standard technology underlying the service, there are several different providers of transit payment cards based on the type of transit and areas within Japan.The addition of a FeliCa chip to the iPhone will help Apple make inroads into the mobile payment market in Japan, which is dominated by the standard. 1.9 million payment terminals in the country have already adopted FeliCa and FeliCa terminals saw 4.6 trillion yen ($46 billion) in transactions in 2015.
The FeliCa payment feature could be available as soon as next month, built into the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that Apple plans to unveil in early September. Bloomberg warns, though, that Apple could potentially delay the feature's launch until next year should discussions with Japanese payment networks fall through.
While processors, camera sensors, and other vital iPhone components have evolved rapidly over the course of the last several years, the same can't be said for microphones. Digital microphones still have trouble focusing on filtering out background noise and clearly detecting faraway voices, impacting device listening capabilities.
With artificial intelligence growing in popularity, however, Bloomberg says manufacturers are scrambling to improve microphone tech.
"No doubt, there is an arms race," says Peter Cooney, an analyst at SAR Insight & Consulting. The big tech companies are thinking a lot more about mics than they have for the past few years. Since the 2012 launch of the iPhone 5, "microphone performance has not really improved that much," says Marwan Boustany, an analyst with research firm IHS Markit.Apple and other companies who rely on microphones to deliver queries to smartphones and other devices are said to want technology improvements that will make them better able to distinguish voices from other sounds at longer distances.
In a recent interview, Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi said that microphones have a big impact on Siri's ability to understand commands. "It's not just the silicon," he said. "It's how many microphones we put on the device, where we place the microphones. How we tune the hardware and those mics and the software stack that does the audio processing." He said Apple's expertise at combining hardware and software gives the company "an incredible advantage" over companies just working on AI with software.
In the same interview, Apple execs said Siri's capacity to interpret commands has reportedly improved greatly following the introduction of machine learning, but in practice, Siri still often fails to hear commands or misinterprets spoken words, mistakes that could perhaps be improved with better microphone technology in the future.
Siri has long been limited to iOS devices and the Apple Watch, but with the launch of macOS Sierra this fall, the personal assistant will expand to Macs. Siri also came to the Apple TV last fall with the launch of the fourth-generation set-top box.
The "Celebration" Apple-1, so named by computer historian Corey Cohen, features a blank "green" PCB board that was never sold to the public and was not a part of a known production run.
The auction included an original Apple-1 ACI cassette board, pre-NTI, with Robinson Nugent sockets, a period correct power supply, an early Apple-1 BASIC cassette labeled and authenticated by original Apple employee Daniel Kottke, Apple-1 manuals, marketing materials, and Cassette Board schematics.
Unlike other Apple-1 computers that have fetched lower prices, the Celebration Apple-1 is not in working condition but could be restored to full functionality with minor tweaks. Cohen recommended against such restoration to preserve the board's uniqueness. "The Apple-1 board is a not just a piece of history, but a piece of art," he said.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak originally created and sold 175 Apple-1 computers during the summer of 1976, marking the launch of Apple computer, a company that's grown to be one of the largest and most influential in the world. Of those 175 machines, only 60 or so are still in existence, making them quite valuable to collectors.
Several Apple-1 computers have surfaced at auction over the past few years, selling for prices between and $365,000 and $905,000.
10 percent of the proceeds from the CharityBuzz auction will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
iOS 9.3.5 is available immediately to all devices running iOS 9 via an over-the-air update.
iOS 9.3.5 is likely to be the last update to the iOS 9 operating system, introducing final bug fixes, security improvements, and performance optimizations before iOS 9 is retired in favor of iOS 10. iOS 9.3.4, the update prior to iOS 9.3.5, included a critical security fix patching the Pangu iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak exploit. iOS 9.3.5 features major security fixes for three zero-day exploits and should be downloaded by all iOS users right away.
According to The New York Times the three security vulnerabilities patched in the update were exploited by surveillance software created by NSO Group to jailbreak an iPhone and intercept communications.
In an overview of the exploits, security firm Lookout says NSO Group's spyware software, nicknamed "Pegasus," was highly sophisticated, installing itself through a link sent via a text message.
The exploit was initially discovered on August 11 after human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor received a suspicious link and sent it to Citizen Lab and Lookout. Had Mansoor clicked the link, it would have jailbroken his iPhone and installed "sophisticated malware" able to intercept phone calls, text messages, FaceTime calls, email, and more.
Pegasus is the most advanced attack Lookout has seen because it is customizable, can track a range of things, and uses strong encryption to avoid detection. Lookout believes "Pegasus" had been in the wild for quite some time before it was discovered, with some evidence dating back to iOS 7.
Citizen Lab and Lookout informed Apple of the vulnerabilities and the company worked quickly to implement a fix, patching the exploits in just 10 days.
Existing WhatsApp users can choose not to share their account information with Facebook. On the iPhone app, before you tap "Agree" to accept the updated terms, tap on "Read," scroll to the bottom, and toggle the control. Users that agree to the updated terms also have an additional 30 days to opt out by going to Settings > Account > Share My Account Info and toggling the appropriate control in the app.
WhatsApp is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone.