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Composite Mockup of iOS 6 Maps App Based on Purported Leaked Screenshots

BGR reports that it has received a set of blurry photos showing portions of the new Maps app that Apple is said to be preparing for launch in iOS 6. Based on those photos, the site has put together a composite mockup demonstrating how the app would appear in its entirety.BGR has obtained exclusive information and photos of parts of Apple’s new Maps app from a trusted source, and the app features a refreshed user interface including a brand new navigation bar. This bar, we’re told, is silver instead of blue. Since the current Maps app follows the standard blue iOS color scheme, we think it’s possible Apple might shift toward a silver color theme in iOS 6 like on the iPad. The iPhone version of Maps has a floating locate me button (it sounds very similar to Android’s Google Maps app) in the bottom left corner. To access 3D mode, which will make use of Apple’s C3 Technologies acquisition, you have to peel back the lower right corner of Maps just like the current version and enable 3D mode. Once enabled, you can switch in and out of 3D mode by tapping a 3D icon in the lower left corner. The full set of actual screenshots, which show the 3D map toggle button, a new silver-themed "Directions" button and several closeups of map content, are available in a photo gallery

Microsoft Office for iOS and Android Arriving in November?

BGR reports that Microsoft is planning to launch Office for iOS in November this year, with the source claiming first-hand knowledge of the software running on an iPad. With the app's splash screen referring to it as "Office for iOS", the source also speculates that the app may also be coming to the smaller screens of the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition to its iOS effort, Microsoft is also said to be bringing Office to Android-based tablets in the same timeframe. Microsoft had indicated soon after the launch of the original iPad that it was investigating the possibility of bringing Office to the platform, but ultimately stated that it had no plans for such an effort. The Daily has since claimed several times that Office for iPad is in fact in the works, reporting in February that it had even had hands-on time with a prototype of the app. Photo of claimed Office prototype app running on an iPad (Source: The Daily) Microsoft denied the claim, but The Daily continues to stand by its report. Suggesting that there may have been a misunderstanding somewhere, Microsoft stated that the situation would become "clear in the coming weeks". No such clarification has yet surfaced,

Photos of Debug Software Show Alleged Details of iPad 3 with Quad-Core A6 and LTE

BGR reports that it has received from a source photos of what are claimed to be screenshots from Apple's iBoot development and debugging software for the bootrom showing details on an iPad 3. The screenshots, which show references to the known "J1" and "iPad3,1" code names, reveal that the device will indeed be using a new application processor carrying an S5L8945X identifier, presumably as part of a new A6 system-on-a-chip.For starters, the model numbers are J1 and J2 (iPad3,1 and iPad3,2), and while DigiTimes reported this a few weeks ago, these two models are not different devices, just a single iPad available in two versions — one with Wi-Fi only and one with Wi-Fi and embedded GSM/CDMA/LTE for all carriers. Also included in the photos is, for the first time, confirmation of which processor Apple will be using in the iPad 3: an A6 processor with model number S5L8945X. For reference, the Apple A4 model was S5L8930X and the A5 is S5L8940X.The report notes that the processor is expected to be of the quad-core variety, up from the current dual-core processor used in the A5 on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. The report also reiterates claims that the iPad will support LTE alongside GSM and CDMA 3G networks in a single device. BGR offers no assessment of the reliability of the source of the photos, and iBoot output could be easily faked, but if legitimate the details bolster claims that the iPad 3 will be a major upgrade to the popular tablet

Apple Planning Completely Redesigned iPhone for Fall 2012 Launch?

BGR reports that Apple is planning to launch a completely redesigned iPhone in the fall of next year, following the trend set by the iPhone 4S of new hardware being released later in the year as opposed to the mid-year timeframe used previously. According the report, the next iPhone will utilize an aluminum back panel rather than the glass found on the iPhone 4 and 4S. The new design will reportedly also see the incorporation of a rubber or plastic bezel covering similar to that used on Apple's iPhone bumpers, with the covering serving to protect the device's antennas from direct skin contact.We have also learned that Apple is planning to use a rubber or plastic material — similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases — that will be built into the new iPhone case. In all likelihood, this material will be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone (like the iPhone 3GS bezel) and it will serve two purposes. First, it will join the glass iPhone face with a new aluminum back plate. It will also cover a redesigned antenna system that surrounds the device, allowing Apple to build the rear case out of aluminum without having to use a large plastic insert above the antennas as the company does on its iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G.BGR has a mixed track record when it comes to hardware rumors, coming relatively close on Apple's late 2011 iPhone lineup while missing with a claim of a redesigned WiMAX iPhone 5 exclusive to

AT&T Joins Sprint and Apple in Setting Mid-October Employee Vacation Blackouts

BGR reports that AT&T has issued a blackout on retail store employee vacations for the first two weeks of October, apparently in anticipation of the launch of the iPhone 4S and/or iPhone 5.With reports circling that Apple’s next iPhone is due to launch on October 14th, BGR has received new information from a trusted AT&T source that seems to confirm a mid-October launch. AT&T has started to block all employee vacation requests for the first two weeks of October in order to have “all hands on deck.” Our source clarified that the dates are the first two works weeks starting on Monday, October 3rd and ending on Friday, October 14th.The source notes that previous blackouts have sometimes been extended after their initial announcements, suggesting that AT&T could push the blackout into the following week to handle heavy traffic in the days after a potential October 14th debut. Apple has reportedly blacked out vacations for its retail employees for October 9th through 12th and 14th through 15th. Sprint, which is expected to begin offering the iPhone for the first time, has also blacked out vacations for the first two weeks of October. BGR's AT&T source also indicates that the carrier has added six new placeholder listings for "new products" in its internal database. The new listings are not specifically linked to Apple, but handsets from other manufacturers generally appear under their actual names. The six new listings could refer to black and white versions of three different iPhone handsets, potentially two different capacities of the iPhone 4S or 5 and a single,

iOS 5 Beta 8 on Friday, GM on September 23rd, Carrier Approval by October 5th?

BGR reports that it has received information from a "trusted source" outlining Apple's plans for finishing up work on iOS 5 and delivering it to the public. According to the report, Apple is planning to release the eighth beta version of iOS 5 to developers this Friday, September 16th. A golden master version is planned to follow about a week later "on or around" September 23rd.After beta 8, Apple will introduce a Gold Master build on or around September 23rd as has been rumored. We believe that build is what will be loaded onto the already-assembled iPhone 5 hardware currently waiting for final software in China.Apple's iPhone carrier partners are said to then be scheduled to give final approval to iOS 5 by October 5th should no issues be found with the release. If any issues are found, Apple will likely have to quickly develop a minor software update to be released as a patch alongside the official iOS 5 and iPhone 5 release. As we reported yesterday, Apple has been claimed to be preparing to send iOS 5 out to iPhone assemblers sometime between September 23rd and 30th, giving them time to load the operating system onto new iPhones for delivery in early-to-mid

Early October Launch of iPhone 5 Confirmed by AT&T Vice President to Employees? [Updated]

BGR briefly reports that an AT&T vice president has confirmed to some employees that the iPhone 5 is indeed slated to launch in early October as has recently been rumored by several sources.Additionally, the VP communicated the following to a group of managers: “Expect things to get really, really busy in the next 35-50 days, so prepare your teams accordingly.”Apple's carrier partners are frequently kept in the dark about Apple's exact launch plans, although AT&T has proven to be one of Apple's closer partners and hints from the carrier such as employee vacation blackouts have in the past narrowed down iPhone launch dates. Update: The Loop's well-connected Jim Dalrymple just quoted the BGR report and added a single word response of his own: "Yep." Dalrymple is known to have solid sources within Apple and has at times almost appeared to be an unofficial outlet for the company as when he quickly debunked last week's claim of a September 7th media

Carriers Testing LTE-Enabled iPhone?

BGR reports that Apple appears to already be testing a 4G LTE-enabled iPhone with carriers, as evidenced by a special internal carrier test build of iOS carrying a property list file for LTE compatibility.While we can’t confirm that the upcoming fifth-generation iPhone will be able to support 4G LTE, we can now exclusively confirm that Apple’s carrier partners are testing iPhone models with LTE capability. BGR has obtained evidence of an internal iOS test build from one of Apple’s major carrier partners, and buried in the firmware is a property list (.plist file) for LTE.The iPhone 5 is expected to support HSPA+ technology for GSM networks, which is being marketed by many carriers as "4G", but carriers are also beginning their rollouts of 4G LTE networks that will bring even faster data speeds. Apple has indicated, however, that it has been reluctant to adopt LTE technology so far due to a lack of appropriate chipsets, with size, power and other issues forcing design compromises that Apple has been unwilling to make. LTE chips suitable for Apple's needs are reportedly set to debut in early 2012. It should come as no surprise that Apple has been testing LTE technology for the iPhone as it seeks to find the proper time to deploy the functionality. Apple has notably been conservative in adopting the latest cellular technology standards, as evidenced by the original iPhone debuting with only EDGE capabilities when a number of carriers had already begun building out their 3G

iPhone 5 Update 'Bigger Than Expected', Coming to Canada October 1st?

Rumors regarding the iPhone 5 continue to fly fast and furious, and a couple of reports from earlier today are making the rounds with more claimed details on the next-generation device. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu today reported in a research note related by AppleInsider and Business Insider that the iPhone 5 update looks to be "bigger than expected", with the device said to be bringing a larger display and thinner bezel in addition to a dual-core processor. The form factor is said to otherwise be "similar" to the iPhone 4.What is different is that in addition to a dual-core processor that we have talked about before, our supply chain sources indicate that it will sport a slightly larger display than the current 3.5-inch retina display that is already industry leading. We are picking up that it will retain a similar form factor and size but with thinner bezel. We believe this makes sense to improve the iPhone experience without making it too bulky as we have seen with models from competitors.Consistent with other reports, Wu says that the iPhone 5 will not offer 4G LTE compatibility, as chipsets of acceptable size and power draw are not yet available and network coverage remains low. Wu does not have a terribly good track record when it comes to iPhone rumors, and some of the case designs floating around and said to have been designed based on the iPhone 5's form factor instead show a slightly teardrop shape with rounded or tapered edges, with the latter feature much more akin to earlier iPhone models than the iPhone 4. Those cases also suggest that the iPhone 5

AT&T Reportedly Prepping for iPhone Launch in 'Early to Mid-September'

BGR reports that AT&T is beginning preparations for an expected "early to mid-September" launch of the next-generation iPhone, in line with launch rumors and expectations and other reports of Apple beefing up its retail store staffing over a similar timeframe.BGR has exclusively learned that AT&T has begun communicating launch plans internally for Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5 handset. We have been told that AT&T has begun informing employees across the company, and those who work in retail locations, to finish any sort of employee training as soon as possible. AT&T is asking managers to finish training in order to have employees available for the influx of foot traffic expected in September, a proven source has shared with us.Apple has been preparing to increase staffing at its retail stores in the United States and United Kingdom, and rumors have suggested that Apple will use its traditional fall iPod media event to introduce the next-generation iPhone this year. That event has typically taken place in early September, although some reports have pushed that date up into late August this year ahead of a September launch for the device. Apple has announced that iOS 5 will debut this "fall", and that software launch will undoubtedly occur right around the release of the next-generation

Apple to Launch Next-Generation iPhone in Late August, Offer Unsubsidized 3GS for $350?

BGR reports that it has received information from an "incredibly solid source" claiming that Apple will be introducing its next-generation iPhone "by end of the Summer, late August-ish" and taking advantage of the opportunity to expand its iPhone line to three models by selling the new handset alongside the existing iPhone 4 and potentially continuing to offer the iPhone 3GS as a low-cost device available for $349 without a contract. The source reports that the next-generation iPhone isn't likely to sport a major redesign compared to the iPhone 4, suggesting that case manufacturers should have already leaked the new design if it was in fact different from the iPhone 4. With other sources adamantly reporting in recent weeks that the next-generation iPhone will receive an external redesign, the "will it/won't it" debate remains unsettled.If this turns out to be true, it will mean there would be an iPhone 4S in addition to the prepaid iPhone 3GS available within the next month to two. Let's do one better, though. In addition to that news, we are told that Apple will continue to sell the current iPhone 4 as well, finally giving the company a full range of devices in the lower, mid, and high-end price segments.Rumors of Apple releasing a low-cost iPhone carrying an unsubsidized price in the range of $350 have been circulating in recent weeks, with one analyst claiming that Apple will in fact be using the iPhone 3GS to fill that role, slashing its price to free on-contract and $399 without contract. The 8 GB iPhone 3GS currently retails for $449

Next-Generation iPhone With 'Radical New Case Design' Coming in August?

BGR reports that it has received word from a reliable source indicating that the next-generation iPhone will indeed be a significant departure from the existing iPhone 4 form factor, bringing a "radical new case design" for the handset. According to the source, Apple may be preparing for an event in early or mid August to introduce the next iPhone, which would become available in the last week of August.While Apple has indeed been giving some developers access to a device known as the iPhone 4S -- an iPhone 4 with upgraded internals -- BGR has independently confirmed that the next-generation iPhone will not merely be an upgraded iPhone 4 as had been previously rumored. We have been told by a reliable source to expect a radical new case design for the upcoming iPhone. We have not been given any additional details surrounding the design of the new iPhone case, though.BGR's claims contradict a number of other reports that have claimed that Apple's next iPhone will appear nearly identical to the iPhone 4, with most improvements confined to the internals of the device. Several reports have also suggested that the new iPhone won't appear until the September-October timeframe, in line with the company's iPod-focused media event traditionally held around that time. While BGR has demonstrated solid sourcing for Apple's iOS updates and offered some accurate information from Apple's retail store operations, the site has been less accurate with other recent claims. Recent misses include Back to School promo details and claimed MacBook Pro details.

Apple to Announce Back-to-School Promotion at WWDC? iPad Discounts Included?

Last week, a report surfaced claiming that Apple could launch its annual back-to-school promotion in the United States as early as this week, offering educational customers free or discounted iPod hardware with the purchase of a qualifying Mac product. With it now appearing that the offer will not debut this week, BGR is reporting that Apple may wait until next month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to announce the promotion.One of our Apple sources has informed us that they've been hearing Apple's yearly back-to-school special will be announced at WWDC next month. We have been told Apple will continue to offer educational discounts on computers and either a free iPod touch, or $229 towards the purchase of any other iPod.The report also indicates that Apple may be preparing to include a $200 discount on the iPad as an option for those participating in the promotion. Last year's promotion offered rebates of up to $199 on Apple's full line of iPod models, but did not include the iPad. Apple has also never included iPhone discounts in the promotion, which typically runs through early September, around the time the company traditionally introduces new

Apple Bringing NFC Payment Technology to Retail Stores?

Just one day after a research analyst claimed that Apple will not be including near field communication (NFC) capabilities in the next-generation iPhone, BGR reports that Apple has been making changes to its retail store payment setup and iPod touch-based EasyPay system that could allow the company to begin accepting NFC payments. The development would of course argue in favor of Apple deploying NFC capabilities in the iPhone sooner rather than later.First off, Apple's POS devices - its iPod touch-based wireless payment terminals - recently all went offline for "maintenance" for an entire day, leaving customers unable to purchase some items or return merchandise. Additionally, we have been told that there were recently multiple "overnights" in Apple retail locations, which required store employees to "assist in installing TBD devices" throughout the stores "as the retail segment of Apple grows." Lastly, sources tell us that there have been new tables installed in stores that have different wiring compared to Apple's standard tables.The report notes that the changes may have something to do with behind-the-scenes retail store activity potentially related to a 10th anniversary event or product launch but that at least one source has indicated that the new point-of-sale systems will support NFC

Apple Schedules Extended Retail Meetings May 22nd Sparking Speculation About Event

MacStories reports that Apple retail stores are holding all-hands employee meetings on Sunday, May 22nd. While it's not unusual for Apple to hold such meetings, the early timing of the meeting seems strange.Store meetings at 7AM Sunday across United States. Unusual time. Expecting some announcement. All stores, brand-wide US. Don't know about other countries.While there had previously been some speculation about some sort of 10th anniversary Apple retail event, we'd heard that this may simply be due to training. Boy Genius Report also details some of the seemingly extreme measures:- There's an overnight shift planned for around 10-15 individuals at each Apple Store to work from late Saturday all the way through mid-Sunday. - During the overnight shift, it's going to be required that employees lock cell phones in the main office. They will also have to sign an NDA with Apple. - There are a wide variety of roles, we're told, for the overnight shift. This includes all visuals staff, a manager, a business team member, a few Genius team members, one back-of-house employee, and a few generic Apple specialists. - Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install, and are expecting more hardware to come on Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night. - Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that people walking outside cannot see inside. - Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled,

iOS 4.3.3 Coming Soon to Address Location Tracking Bugs

As part of its comments on the recent iOS location-tracking controversy, Apple acknowledged several bugs in the mobile operating system that have led to more data than originally intended being stored on devices and caused data to be stored even when Location Services are disabled. The company reported that the issues would be addressed in a software update to be addressed "sometime in the next few weeks". BGR now reports that that update is indeed on the way, in the form of iOS 4.3.3. We've been sent the OS and while we haven't loaded it on our iPhone just yet, here is what we have been told it will address: - The update will no longer back up the location database to iTunes. - The size of the location database will be reduced. - The location database will be deleted entirely when Location Services are turned off. - Battery life improvements. - iPod bug fixes.An exact timeframe for a release of iOS 4.3.3 is not known, but BGR has been provided with advance access to the last several iOS releases, and the site's reports on them have generally come not more than a week prior to the public

Apple Testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA

BGR provides photos of an iPhone prototype that supports T-Mobile USA's 3G service. Thats right, youre looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apples iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apples employee directory app. The T-Mobile US network uses different frequencies than AT&T's, requiring different hardware to support. It's not clear what this will mean given that AT&T is planning to acquire T-Mobile USA, though that transaction will take some time before it goes into effect. In the meanwhile, T-Mobile continues to operate as an independent carrier in the

iOS 4.3.2 to Fix Verizon iPad 2 Connectivity, FaceTime Issues

BGR has managed to obtain an early copy of the iOS 4.3.2 update and claims it is due in the next week or so. One of our Apple sources has just let us know that Apples iOS 4.3.2, due within the next week or so, will fix the issues weve been hearing about with some Verizon iPad 2 models. Additionally, the new update is said to contain a fix for FaceTime in addition to security fixes for things like WebKit vulnerabilities and other minor changes.BGR has reportedly installed it on their phone and we'll update this post if they find any other changes. Apple had previously stated they were looking into the Verizon connectivity issue which was causing some customers problems connecting on

iOS 4.3.2 Due in Next Two Weeks?

BGR claims that Apple is already working on another 4.3.x release that is due in the next two weeks. Its said to include a few enhancements, address security issues, and it will also fix several bugs that have affected users. Were told to expect the software update for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad in about two weeks.Few details are provided. iOS 4.3.1 was just released March 25th and brought minor bug fixes and

iOS 4.3.1 to Bring Minor Battery Life Improvements?

BGR, which reported on Monday that users should expect bug fixes in the form of iOS 4.3.1 to be released in the next week or two, now reports that it has had a few days of hands-on time with the update, confirming that minor bug fixes to seem to be the primary purpose. But the report also hints that users may be able to sneak a bit more battery life out of their devices with the new update, potentially addressing widespread battery life issues noted under iOS 4.3. We reported the changes from iOS 4.3 a few days back, and it really does look as if iOS 4.3.1 will simply fix bugs, hence the version numbering. Battery life seems a tad bit better, though that's not scientific at all.While evidence for improved battery life seems thin at this point in the absence of explicit testing by BGR or others with access to iOS 4.3.1, many users are no doubt hoping that such changes are indeed included. Despite much testing documented in the thread in our forums, users have been unable to pin down exactly what might be causing decreased battery life. Some have suggested that the Ping functionality from iTunes is at least partially responsible, but others have claimed that turning off the feature leads to battery life improvement that is only marginal at