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Apple TV Said to Have Motion Sensitive Remote Control Targeted at Casual Gamers

In a report corroborating several oft-rumored features of the next-generation Apple TV, including an A8 chip and a native SDK for creating apps, TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino has revealed that the set-top box will also have a motion sensitive remote control with multi-axis sensors, a touchpad on the top, physical buttons on the bottom and a microphone for Siri. Panzarino claims the redesigned remote control will likely be targeted at casual gamers:A game controller with a microphone, physical buttons, a touchpad and motion sensitive controls would be extremely capable. While Apple is likely going to target the broad casual gaming market, I would not be shocked to see innovative gameplay blossom from that type of input possibility. Think, for instance, of multi-player gaming with several people using voice input, or many popular genres of party games that would do far better on the TV than on an iPad or iPhone.A new Apple TV with an App Store and easy-to-use controller could lure a significant number of casual gamers away from competing platforms such as Nintendo, in the same way that smartphones have undermined other handheld gaming devices. Coupled with on-demand movies and TV shows, home automation and a streaming TV service, the new Apple TV could dominate the living room. Almost instantaneously, the Apple TV will no longer be Apple's "hobby" product.If Apple did indeed ‘delay’ the Apple TV from being released at WWDC, then it probably had a reason. And, if my sources are correct, that reason could well be polish, polish, polish. The experience

Amazon Hints at Upcoming Apple Watch App

Although it went unmentioned at Apple's big Apple Watch event on Monday, an Amazon spokesperson hinted to TechCrunch that the company is looking "to expand to other devices", suggesting an Apple Watch app could be in the works for the device's launch next month, or sometime in the future. TechCrunch believes the app will be largely similar to the Android Wear Amazon app, letting users search using their voice, access their Wishlist, and use Amazon's 1-click check-out for shopping in a hurry. Image Mock-up via TechCrunch When asked for an official statement, the online retailer kept a vague description over the future of the company's appearance on the new Apple wearable, though given the ubiquity of the service, it's hard to imagine an Amazon Apple Watch app not showing up at all. “Amazon is constantly innovating on behalf of our customers. We are committed to being anywhere customers want to shop. That includes watches. We have an Amazon shopping app for Android Wear and will look to expand to other devices.” Multiple third-party apps were showcased at the event on Monday, but few were actually given in-depth moments at Apple's already packed keynote address. Most recently, Fandango confirmed its movie-focused service will arrive as an app on the Watch in time for the device's April 24 launch

The Apple Watch Battery Will Be Replaceable

New details are still emerging about the Apple Watch following yesterday's big "Spring Forward" event in San Francisco, with a new report pointing to a completely replaceable battery for Apple's new wearable. Following the event yesterday, an Apple spokesperson disclosed to TechCrunch that the Apple Watch "battery is replaceable." The big missing piece of information of course relating to how much the process will cost, if it will be done in both Apple's retail stores and online, and how long it will take. There's still well over a month to the Watch's launch, so no doubt this will be another piece of information Apple fills out as the April 24 release date gets closer. Well, when it comes to the battery at least, owners of Apple Watch will be able to extend its lifespan. An Apple spokesman confirmed to TechCrunch the “battery is replaceable”. Albeit, it’s not clear how much it will cost to send in your wearable to Apple to get it returned with a new cell in place. The other potential obsolescence issue relates to the processor. It’s not clear whether Apple will offer any kind of CPU and/or RAM upgrade to existing owners. At the time of writing Apple had not responded to our request for clarification.There had been much talk over the Watch's battery life leading up to the event, with Apple yesterday confirming all-day battery life with mixed usage for the device. This boils down, according to the company, to 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours. As TechCr

Apple Watch Takes Two Hours to Charge, Only Delivers Notifications While on the Wrist

Apple Watch will take approximately two hours to fully charge and deliver all-day battery life with normal on-and-off usage, according to TechCrunch. Those estimates corroborate a previous report that also claimed the Apple Watch will deliver all-day battery life and support up to five hours of heavy usage per charge. The report also claims that the Apple Watch will only deliver notifications while worn on the wrist. The smartwatch will not ping you for notifications without being in contact with skin so that the device is not disruptive at unnecessary times. Apple Watch will also stop delivering notifications when the battery reaches 10% or lower in an effort to conserve the remaining power."Here’s a tidbit you might not know — in order to receive notifications from apps, the Watch must be on your wrist and locked. They require contact with your skin. There will be no in-app dropdown notifications or constant pinging while it’s off your wrist. Push notifications also cease when the battery reaches 10 percent. Those decisions speak to the care with which Apple is handling notifications."Apple continues to tweak Digital Crown on the Apple Watch, giving the button a "weightier, higher-end feel." Pressing and holding down the Digital Crown activates Siri, which the report claims works well and can be used for labeling, directions and commands using a paired iPhone. The goal of the Apple Watch, the report describes, is to return some of your attention away from your smartphone by allowing you to communicate from your wrist on the go. While both reports this afternoon

Hidden Diagnostic Port on Apple Watch Could Allow for Smart Band Accessories [Updated]

Ahead of Monday's media event where Apple is expected to provide final details on the Apple Watch, a new report from TechCrunch details a hidden "diagnostic port" inside one of the channels on the Apple Watch where watch bands slip into place. While the port is currently used only for diagnostic purposes, the report argues it could be used in the future to interface with "smart band" accessories bringing additional functionality to the watch.The port has a 6-dot brass contact array inside the groove for the ‘bottom’ strap connector slot. Several sources have confirmed its existence and placement to me. It is very similar to the connector for the Lightning connector in iPhones, as that connector currently only uses 6 of its 8 available pins. Apple recently began opening up the Lightning port for use by third parties. A source says that this port is currently for diagnostic purposes only — but that there is nothing preventing it from being a connection port for future accessories.TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino is careful to state that he has no knowledge of any plans by Apple to launch such smart band accessories, but the idea remains an intriguing one. Possibilities for such bands include additional sensors, external batteries integrated into a band, and more. Apple revealed a number of high-level details about the Apple Watch at the device's unveiling last September, but even now with a launch set for next month there is still much that remains unknown, including pricing details beyond the $349 starting price. Apple will undoubtedly address many of the details at

Apple to Unveil Revamped Streaming Music Service at WWDC

Apple will launch a revamped streaming music service in June at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, according to 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. The report claims the new Beats-based service will debut at Apple's WWDC keynote, likely during the week of June 8, as opposed to an announcement taking place at the upcoming " 9">Spring Forward" media event on March 9."Apple currently plans to launch the new music service as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch following WWDC, but a final decision has not yet been made. It’s possible that the service will be bundled into iOS 9 this fall, which is expected to have a significant focus on bug fixes and stability improvements."As detailed last month, the purported streaming music service is expected to cost up to $7.99 per month, a few dollars cheaper than Apple-owned Beats Music and competitors such as Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. The service will be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android. Apple is developing its first in-house Android application for the upcoming streaming music service, one of the rarer times that the iPhone maker offers cross-platform support for its products and services. Nevertheless, as the release of iTunes for Windows in the early 2000s helped drive sales of the iPod, expanding beyond the iPhone, iPad and Mac will provide Apple with a much larger pool of potential subscribers in the competitive streaming music market. Apple is also reportedly

U.S. iPhone Sales Overtake Android Sales by Slim Margin in Q4 2014 with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch

For the first time since 2012, sales of Apple's iPhone overtook sales of Android devices by a slight margin during the October to December 2014 period in the United States, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch). Apple's iPhone took a 47.7% sales share of the U.S. smartphone market while Android accounted for 47.6%, with Windows Phone accounting for 3.8% of sales. In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," reported Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market. Kantar also notes that the iPhone 6 was the best selling smartphone in the United States, and that the iPhone's market share rose 6.2% in Europe during the holiday quarter. By comparison, Android's share declined 3.8% overall in Europe, as Italy was the only country to experience market share growth. In China, Apple grew 2.2% to claim a 21.5% market share, with the growth attributed to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. During the company's earnings call last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus brought more Android switchers and new customers than prior models. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold a record 74.5

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Boost Apple's Customer Base in Europe, but Market Share Slightly Down in U.S.

Research firm Kantar WorldPanel has released a new report (via TechCrunch) highlighting global smartphone sales over the July-September period which saw the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The report found that Apple's market share in major European markets is now higher when compared to the prior-year-period that saw the debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. However, Apple's share in countries like the United States and Japan were found to be lower when compared to the same timeframe last year. Our latest data covers the first few days of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus being available in Europe and it is clear that demand has been high for the eagerly awaited new models. In Great Britain, where the new iPhone models started shipping on 19 September, Apple saw its sales share up by 1.7% compared with the same period last year, taking share of iOS to 31%. Across the major European markets, where the new iPhone models were made available between the 19 and 26 September, initial sales of the new iPhone models have overwhelmingly been from existing iPhone owners (87%). Across Europe’s top five markets, the iPhone 6 has outsold the larger iPhone 6 Plus by five-to-one. Apple's total market share in the U.S. hit 32.6% during September, which is down 3.3% from the 35.9% market share it held in the year-ago period. In Japan, Apple's market share reached 31.3% in September, which is down 15.9% when compared to the 47.2% market share it held during same time period last year. In the US, market competition has been reinvigorated with LG and Motorola increasing

Lack of Maps Updates in iOS 8 Said to Be Caused by 'Internal Politics', Developers Leaving

Leading up to last week's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, various reports suggested that Apple would be significantly improving its Maps application in iOS 8, enhancing the underlying infrastructure that powers the application and adding public transit directions from acquired mapping companies HopStop and Embark. However, while last week's keynote included a lot of new information about iOS 8, Apple's software chief Craig Federighi mentioned no improvements to Maps aside from enhanced vector-based mapping maps in China. Now, a report from TechCrunch sheds new light as to why iOS 8 does not feature significant improvements to Maps, with an inside source noting that "many developers left the company," as map improvements for iOS 8 were not finished in time. The source added that tasks were "very badly planned", with developers having to jump from "project to project". The report also gives an account from another source at Apple: It’s a take that is both contested and corroborated by our other source. “I would say that planning, project management and internal politics issues were a much more significant contributor to the failure to complete projects than developers leaving the group,” the source said. Apple originally introduced its Maps app in iOS 6 as it looked to move away from Google Maps. However, Apple's Maps drew a significant amount of criticism over inaccuracies in mapping data, errors in locating points of interest, a lack of transit information, and bizarre 3D mapping. Apple CEO Tim Cook even issued a public apology to iOS owners over

Apple Regains Market Share in Some Countries with Strong iPhone 5s Sales

Research firm Kantar Worldpanel has released a new report (via TechCrunch) highlighting worldwide smartphone sales over the January-March period, finding that Apple has regained share in markets such as Europe, Japan and Australia due in part to the strong sales performance of the iPhone 5s. Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: "Apple regained ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5S, growing its sales share in Europe, Japan and Australia. By contrast, Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones." Apple's total market share in Japan, Australia, and Europe hit 57.6%, 33.1%, and 19.2%, which are increases of 8.6%, 2.0%, and 0.1% compared to the same timeframe last year, respectively. In the United States, Apple's market share was at 35.9%, which was down 7.8% compared to the 43.7% market share it held a year ago. However, Sunnebo noted in a prior Kantar report highlighting smartphone sales over the August-October 2013 period that customers in the U.S. generally react better to "full releases" like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 than "incremental" updates such as the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. Apple is expected to release a larger-screen iPhone 6 this year with new features including a thinner profile, faster A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an improved camera with optical image stabilization. Meanwhile, the iPhone's surging

Apple's New TV Effort May Kick Off This Fall with Focus on Third-Party Apps

TechCrunch's MG Siegler reports that Apple indeed appears to be moving closer to making a major push into television, perhaps leveraging the existing iOS-based Apple TV to pursue gaming as a focus point for the initiative. Xbox founding engineer Nat Brown had noted earlier this week that he believes Apple could destroy the traditional console gaming business by opening up the Apple TV platform to third-party apps, and Valve founder Gabe Newell had expressed similar sentiments several weeks earlier. But while Siegler has not heard any specific information about how Apple would open up the Apple TV to developers, multiple sources have informed him that something does appear to be brewing for later this year.I haven’t heard anything specific about the SDK, but the chatter about Apple’s broader television plans has been picking up. And if that chatter is to believed, something is happening this fall — likely late fall. As always with Apple, those plans are subject to change (and, in fact, have changed a few times in the past — see: “Project Sphere”). As you might imagine, content deals remain a bitch, yet remain vital to such a project. But multiple sources suggest everything is finally lining up for this fall.Siegler goes on to note that he does not know if the effort will include an actual television set at launch, but he argues that it doesn't really matter whether Apple does or not. The key is to bring apps to either the existing Apple TV concept or to new hardware, whether it be a new set-top box or integrated into a television set. Siegler suggests that under

AT&T's Vacation Blackout Pinned Down to September 21-30 for iPhone Launch

Two weeks ago, BGR reported that AT&T was planning for a launch of the next-generation iPhone in late September, instituting an "all-hands-on-deck policy" for the last two weeks of the month and into October. That news was followed last week with word that Verizon had instituted its own vacation blackout for September 21-30, bolstering claims that the new iPhone will launch in the United States on Friday, September 21. TechCrunch now reports that AT&T's vacation blackout period has been pinned down to the same September 21-30 timeframe seen at Verizon. According to the report, AT&T staff will be training up for an "iconic release" scheduled for that time, with all indications pointing to the next-generation iPhone as the device in question.According to an AT&T sales rep, AT&T staff has been given a vacation blackout from September 21 to September 30, just like Verizon employees. Our source also mentioned that blue carrier employees are undergoing training for an “iconic release.” Sounds like the next-gen iPhone to me.Apple is expected to introduce the next iPhone with a media event on September 12, with availability in the United States apparently set for nine days later. Several other major countries are likely to see a launch on that same date, with other markets following quickly in subsequent weeks. Apple is reportedly also preparing to launch its "iPad mini" in the coming months, but the company is said to be planning a separate media event for October to introduce that

Apple's Smaller iOS Device Dock Connector Said to Include 19 Pins

Back in February, iMore reported that Apple was working on a smaller dock connector for its iOS devices, seeking to shave the size of the current 30-pin connector in order to allow its devices to shrink further and to provide space for other components. Rumors of the smaller dock connector have persisted in the months since, and with claimed rear shells for the next-generation iPhone showing a smaller opening for the dock connector it does appear that Apple will be rolling out the new design with its next iOS device launch. TechCrunch now reports that it is hearing more about the smaller connector, including word that it will include 19 pins for connectivity.Although the form factor and actual size are still unknown, TechCrunch has independently verified that Apple is working on adding a 19-pin port, replacing the current 30-pin port, to the new iPhone. It is a move that will surely send shocks through the iPhone accessory ecosystem.TechCrunch's report comes as Mobile Fun shares several case drawings and renderings from a case manufacturer who is betting that the parts leaked so far will prove to be genuine.One manufacturer we spoke to said that he was sure that the leaked images were accurate – so sure that he was already preparing to construct iPhone 5 cases and he’d be willing to ship replacements for free if they turned out not to be perfect. He enumerated three big changes from the old iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5: 1. The phone is much bigger, measuring 58.47 mm wide, 123.83 mm high and 7.6 mm thin. The screen is 4″. 2. The earphone jack has been

iOS 6 to Bring Systemwide Facebook Integration

TechCrunch reports that iOS 6 will include system-level integration of Facebook, similar to the integration seen with Twitter in iOS 5. The report comes just days after Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke positively about Facebook at the D10 Conference, closing his thoughts on the relationship between Apple and Facebook with the suggestive phrase "stay tuned".After much speculation, Facebook integration will indeed be baked into the latest version of iOS, we’ve learned. [...] To be clear, Twitter will still very much be a part of the new iOS (presumably named “iOS 6″ and codenamed “Sundance“), and that company will be holding sessions at WWDC to chat more about the continued partnership (including the integration into the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion). But Facebook integration will be very important for iOS — tons of apps use Facebook for sign-ups and authentication (many use Facebook as the only way to do this, to the dismay of some). Apple was undoubtedly watching this activity and realized that it was time to formally bring Facebook on board.TechCrunch notes that Apple and Facebook are still working out how sharing items to Facebook will be integrated, given the varying levels of permissions on Facebook posts. The report also includes the caveat that Apple has been known to change its mind in the past, but as of right now Facebook integration is reportedly set to be unveiled in iOS 6 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference later this

Facebook to Launch iPad App, Preparing Web-Based Mobile Platform

The New York Times reports that Facebook is finally set to release a free iPad app "in coming weeks", remedying a curious omission for the social networking service that touts over 600 million users worldwide.People briefed on Facebook's plans say that in coming weeks the company plans to introduce a free iPad application that has been carefully designed and optimized for the tablet. The app has been in production at Facebook for almost a year, going through several design iterations, and is now in the final stages of testing, according to these people, who declined to be named because they were discussing confidential product plans.Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who along with other company executives noted last November that the company was still been trying to decide how best to handle the iPad, is said to have been "heavily involved" in the app's development.People who have seen the application said it has a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface. Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. And the app will go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.Facebook's iPad app comes just as TechCrunch reports that the company is preparing to launch a new HTML5-based mobile platform codenamed "Project Spartan" that would take on iOS on its home turf by running within the mobile Safari browser.As of right now, there are believed to be 80

Facebook Prepping New Photo Sharing App for iPhone [Updated]

TechCrunch reports that it has receiving detailed information on a forthcoming iPhone application from Facebook that will focus on photo sharing, building on top of the company's massive existing platform to apparently pull together aspects of many other popular photo apps in what appears from the leaked documents to be an "awesome" offering.But again, the app looks amazing. We've heard that internally it is being called either "Hovertown" or "WithPeople". And while it looks like a stand-alone app right now, there are also signs that it could be eventually integrated into Facebook's main iPhone app - as well as the main site. Either way, based on the images in front of us, the best way to think about it appears to be Path meets Instagram meets Color meets (Path's new side project) With - with a few cool twists. And obviously, it's built entirely on top of Facebook's massive social graph.No real details on the app other than a single image have yet been provided by TechCrunch, although the site is currently working through the significant amount of leaked material to decipher more about its features and functionality. Update: TechCrunch has now filed a follow-up report sharing more images of the forthcoming application.A few notes: the images we have suggest that while polished, this still may be a work in progress. It's clear that some of these mock-ups are older than other ones, given a few documents we have as well. Also, some images make it seem as if the service will eventually reside within the existing Facebook iPhone app, while others seem to showcase an

iOS 5 to Bring Revamped Notification System and Widgets?

TechCrunch reports on some of the discussion surrounding Apple's apparent efforts to encourage members of the international press to attend its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) early next month, disagreeing with the assessment that such encouragements suggest that an iPhone launch may indeed occur and instead arguing that iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion alone will be a big deal. To that end, the company is seeking to make sure that media members do not skip the event simply because it seems that the next-generation iPhone will not make its debut there. In addition, the report shares several tidbits that have been surfacing about iOS 5, most notably brief word that Apple is indeed planning to roll out a "completely revamped" notifications system and "widgets" that would presumably provide quick access to information without the need for launching dedicated apps, much the same as Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X.The other big news for iOS5 - and yes, I've completely buried the lede here, thanks for reading! - two things: completely revamped notifications and widgets.The iOS notification system has been one of the more highly criticized aspects of the platform, although optimism regarding a potential revamp rose earlier this year amid claims that Apple had acquired an unnamed development firm specifically to assist with the revamp. As an example of how widgets might be employed, designer Jan-Michael Cart earlier this month released a concept video demonstrating his vision of widgets on iOS. One other item of interest included in TechCrunch's report today is the claim

Apple's New Data Center Focus of Nuance Voice Recognition Partnership?

Late last week, we reported on claims that Apple is in discussions with voice recognition firm Nuance Communications regarding some sort of partnership presumably linked to rumors that Apple is integrating significant voice capabilities into iOS 5. TechCrunch now follows up to report that the deal seems to revolve around Apple utilizing Nuance's technology in its new North Carolina data center to drive centrally-hosted voice services. The partnership is said to likely be introduced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) early next month. In digging into the information about the relationship between the two companies, we had heard that Apple might actually already be using Nuance technology in their new (but yet to be officially opened) massive data center in North Carolina. Since then, we've gotten multiple independent confirmations that this is indeed the case. And yes, this is said to be the keystone of a partnership that Apple is likely to announce with Nuance at WWDC next month. More specifically, we're hearing that Apple is running Nuance software - and possibly some of their hardware - in this new data center. Why? A few reasons. First, Apple will be able to process this voice information for iOS users faster. Second, it will prevent this data from going through third-party servers. And third, by running it on their own stack, Apple can build on top of the technology, and improve upon it as they see fit.As was reported previously, Nuance is a leader in voice recognition technology and holds a number of key patents in the field, making Apple's

Apple Negotiating Deal With Nuance for Speech Recognition in iOS 5?

TechCrunch reports that Apple is rumored to be negotiating some sort of deal with Nuance Communications, the speech recognition company behind the Dragon NaturallySpeaking engine that powers a number of popular applications for Mac OS X, iOS, and other platforms. Apple has been negotiating a deal with Nuance in recent months, we've heard from multiple sources. What does that mean? Well, it could mean an acquisition, but that is looking fairly unlikely at this point, we hear. More likely, it means a partnership that will be vital to both companies and could shape the future of iOS.The report notes that Nuance's technology is already used to drive personal assistant software from Siri, a company purchased by Apple last year. Apple has also been said to be preparing to bring a substantial integration of Siri's artificial intelligence and voice control capabilities into iOS 5 presumably set for release later this year. The other option is for Apple to build the technology themselves. And some recent job postings suggest they may be thinking about that. But to get to where Nuance is today it would take a long, long time. Perhaps more importantly, it's well known in the industry that Nuance holds key patents for their technology and is very aggressive in protecting them. Even Apple would have a hard time dancing around this if they did go it alone.According to the new report, it is unlikely that Apple is seeking a direct acquisition of Nuance, given the company's $6 billion market capitalization and reports that the company is known for driving a hard bargain, including in

iOS 5 to Offer Significant Voice Integration? Fall iPhone 5 Launch Opens Door to LTE?

TechCrunch has posted another lengthy report detailing what it is hearing about Apple's plans for the fifth-generation iPhone and iOS 5, now both rumored for release closer to a "fall" timeframe than the traditional June/July timeframe seen in past years. Perhaps the most notable information comes at the end of the article, revealing that sources have said that Apple's April 2010 acquisition of personal assistant software company Siri is set to bear fruit in the form of "deeply integrated" artificial intelligence and voice control for iOS 5, a change that could potentially transform the way iOS devices are used. A year ago, Apple bought Siri, a virtual personal assistant startup that had released a very cool iPhone app. The Siri team and technology are now said to be a big part of iOS 5. The use of Siri's artificial intelligence and assistance technology is said to be deeply integrated into the OS for all the different services offered. And the team is now putting the finishing touches on the elements that will be demoed at WWDC, we hear. This tech may also be opened to developers for use in third-party apps - though that information isn't quite as concrete.The report also notes that a fall release for new iPhone hardware provides Apple with additional time to incorporate LTE 4G capabilities, speculating that a desire to add LTE may even be the reason for the shift in release schedule compared to past years. TechCrunch contributor Steve Cheney (who nailed the timing of the Verizon iPhone last year), believes that a fall iPhone 5 launch makes LTE much more likely. He