Posts with #mac news tag

Published on July 26 2017

Apple Watch 3: News and rumors

The Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch ever released, and it’s certainly a great product, but there’s always room for improvement. While the Apple Watch Series 2 did alter the Series 1 for the better in a few key areas, it’s the rumored Apple Watch Series 3 that may offer what we really want to see.

But what exactly will the release of the Apple Watch Series 3 bring? The device is shaping up to be quite an interesting one. Here’s everything we know about it so far.

Release date

When will we get the new Apple Watch? DigiTimes suggested back in January that it would land at some point in the third quarter of this year, meaning that Apple could be shifting to a yearly upgrade cycle for the Apple Watch.

As there have only been two previous Apple Watch launches — the original in spring 2015, and the Series 2 in fall 2016 — there’s really no precedent established for a yearly launch. As such, Apple may opt for another year-and-a-half turnover, meaning we would see the Series 3 in spring 2018.

Alternatively, the company could be timing the Series 3 announcement to coincide with its next flagship phone. However, in recent months we’ve learned that iPhone 8 production has been particularly challenging for Apple. The latest rumors suggest it’s possible the device could miss its target launch of September. In that event, the Series 3 Watch could surface later in the fall, or ultimately be bumped to early 2018.

Sensors

Rumor has it that Apple may be stepping up the health tracking capabilities on the Apple Watch for Series 3. According to a report from BGR, the new Apple Watch may be able to monitor blood glucose levels, and new reports indicate that Apple CEO Tim Cook is testing the new accessory personally. Cook has reportedly been spotted on the Apple campus wearing a prototype device, and while it’s currently unclear if the device is Apple-built or built in partnership with a medical company, reports from CNBC suggest that it’s the blood glucose monitor.

Apple has reportedly been interested in helping tackle diabetes for some time now, and the glucose monitoring feature could be a game-changer for diabetics. Around 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from diabetes.

Currently, the only way to monitor blood glucose is to get a blood sample. According to the report, the Apple Watch’s glucose monitoring will be noninvasive.

Smart bands

Apple Watch 3: News and rumors

Apple may introduce a whole slew of new functionality with the Apple Watch Series 3 through a series of interchangeable “smart bands,” which will add different functions to the Apple Watch quickly and easily. That will give the Apple Watch a modular design, and allow users to add features without having to pay more for the Apple Watch outright. It’s possible that the glucose monitoring system will be introduced as a smart band rather than as core functionality to the Apple Watch itself.

A SIM card and LTE

The Apple Watch Series 3 may be the first in Apple’s portfolio to support LTE connectivity, although rumors about such a feature have spread since the very first version, indicating it’s something Apple often experiments with ahead of launch.

At the end of March 2017, an analyst from Susquehanna Financial Group published findings from a data-gathering trip to Asia, and claimed, “several parties” said the new Apple Watch would have a SIM card slot and support LTE connectivity. The analyst met with Qualcomm and Broadcom, among others, during his trip. Additionally, Apple may be investigating a low-power LTE chip for use in the Apple Watch 3 to ensure battery life doesn’t suffer.

 

This fits in with a previous Bloomberg report, which stated company engineers weren’t able to finalize a cellular design for the Apple Watch without compromising battery, and was reportedly invested in “low-power cellular data chips.”

The addition of LTE would make phone calls possible directly from the Apple Watch, and the Susquehanna analyst says Apple will push its wireless AirPods as the ideal companion product for the job.

Display

The Apple Watch Series 3 won’t use the same touch panels as its predecessors. According to DigiTimes, Apple will source glass-film capacitive glass from Biel Crystal or General Interface Solutions.

The reason: Apple is reportedly unhappy with the yields of its current glass manufacturer, TPK. The firm has been unable to produce the Apple Watch’s particular brand of glass at scale, reportedly because of the smartwatch’s curved surface.

Apple Watch 3: News and rumors

Moreover, a new report suggests that Apple will not be using OLED in the Apple Watch Series 3. Rather, it will be employing a new display technology called micro-LED. Back in 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue, a company that specializes in the technology, and now it appears the iEmpire is leveraging this company to bring micro-LED screens to market.

It would certainly make sense for Apple to begin testing out micro-LED tech in its smaller hardware, like the Apple Watch. After all, as Apple Insider points out, producing these panels is quite difficult, and as such, it’s likely not yet ready for application on say, the newest iPhone. That said, the smaller screen of Apple’s wearable makes it an ideal first candidate.

Apple was at one time or another floating putting a camera into the Series 2 Watch for FaceTime calling, but ultimately decided against it. With the next generation on the horizon, many have assumed a camera may be in the cards, though we haven’t received any reports indicating Apple will go through with it this time around either.

Design

Many are hoping that the Apple Watch Series 3 will bring with it a major redesign, however if recent reports are anything to go by, unfortunately this may not be the year we see that happen. According to a report from DigiTimes, which sources Chinese publication Economic Daily News, the overall design of the third Apple Watch will remain the same, despite the fact that it will include a few new key features.

Apple Watch 3: News and rumors

What that means is that those hoping for a round Apple Watch may have to wait a little longer, if one is ever released at all. While round smartwatches have become quite a trend in the Android Wear market, the Apple Watch has stuck with a four-cornered form factor.

Battery

The DigiTimes report also mentions two key improvements to the Apple Watch Series 3: Battery life and performance. The Apple Watch has never been a high performer and it has always suffered from battery life issues, so improvements in those areas will certainly be welcome changes. Still, the Apple Watch Series 2 battery can generally last for around two or more days — so if Apple is seriously focusing on battery life for the Series 3, it’s possible that it’s also introducing new features that could put a bigger drain on the battery.

The story named Taiwan-based Quanta Computer as one manufacturing partner for the Series 3 watch. Quanta’s goal is reportedly to improve battery life first and foremost, as other aspects of the device may not receive the same kind of attention.

Article Source: Apple Watch 3: News and rumors
 

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Written by Jade

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Published on July 26 2017

The Galaxy Note 8 might beat the iPhone 7 Plus at its own game

The Galaxy Note 8 will be the first Samsung flagship handset to feature a dual lens camera on the back, capable of similar tricks to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. Reports said that Samsung wanted to equip the Galaxy S8 with a dual lens shooter on the back but ultimately decided against it. However, the dual lens camera will be the new Note’s signature feature, and a reputable analyst has new details about it.

KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s famous for his iPhone-related predictions, said in the past that the Galaxy Note 8 will have a dual camera with a telephoto lens. The analyst updated his predictions with more details, MyDrivers reports.

Assuming Kuo’s predictions turn out to be accurate, the Galaxy Note 8 might end up with a better dual camera than Apple’s, at least when it comes to features.

Kuo believes the Galaxy Note 8 will do 3x optical zoom compared to the iPhone 7 Plus’s 2x. Furthermore, both Galaxy Note 8 camera lenses will feature optical image stabilization (OIS), Kuo says. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, has OIS only on the main camera, not the telephoto lens.
That means the Galaxy Note 8 gets OIS on its zoom, something the iPhone 7 Plus is missing.

When it comes to megapixels, the Galaxy Note 8’s wide-angle lens should have a 13-megapixel sensor, while the telephoto lens gets a 12-megapixel one. The iPhone 7 Plus has two 12-megapixel cameras on the back — though Apple never engaged in megapixel wars with rivals.

Article Source: The Galaxy Note 8 might beat the iPhone 7 Plus at its own game

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Published on July 26 2017

This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8

To call the iPhone rumors cycle predictable might be the understatement of the year. Apple tries as hard as it can to keep the wraps on its unreleased iPhones, but there are simply too many people involved with the development and manufacturing of consumer electronics devices. There’s no way to plug every hole, and no company is more affected by that plain truth than Apple. Each and every year ahead of new iPhone releases, we get early details, then schematics and CAD drawings, then more details and component leaks, then dummy unit mockups, and so on. You can practically set your watch by the iPhone rumor cycle.

With August just around the corner and September a stone’s throw away, we’ve reached peak iPhone 8 rumor season. Apple’s plans have been finalized for some time now — we exclusively confirmed Apple’s final iPhone 8 design way back in May — and leaks are flowing freely. Now, thanks to all the earlier details we’ve seen, a new round of images gives us a look at what is believed to be the closest we’ve come to seeing Apple’s real iPhone 8.

Remember last week when we shared exclusive renders and an animation that showed the world what Apple’s iPhone 8 likely looks like when it’s powered on? Nodus, the same smartphone case maker that supplied us with those images, has given Forbes a new set of iPhone 8 renders that are some of the best we’ve seen so far.

Despite language in the blog post like “Apple’s biggest changes reveled” and “delve deeper into Apple’s supply chain,” absolutely nothing new can be gleaned from these renders. They’re merely a visualization of the leaks and rumors we’ve seen for months now. What these renders do accomplish, however, is throwing a bit of fit and finish into the mix.

iPhone dummy models like this one do a good job of giving us a general idea of what to expect each year, but they obviously never have the refinement of a real Apple product. In these new renders, we can see what Apple’s iPhone 8 might look like as a real finished device, not some 3D model that was slapped together in a dark room in the back of a Chinese factory.

Here are a few of the new images:

This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8
This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8
This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8
This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8

This, as you can see, is what a finished Apple product looks like. In line with old rumors, the polished stainless steel edges are perfectly aligned with the glass front and back panels, creating unbroken lines that bring Apple’s design boss Jony Ive closer than ever before to realizing his dream of an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass. It’s stunning, and it’s likely the closest we’ve come so far to the real thing.

Also of note, these renders show a display setup like the one we suggested back in June. While it appears as though that ugly cutout at the top of the display is indeed happening, reserving the space on either side solely for the status bar would mean there won’t be a big chunk of the graphics missing like there is on that ugly upcoming Essential phone. Of course, this only works if Apple decides not to release the iPhone 8 in white, and we explained why in our earlier post.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 during its regular summer press conference in September, though rumor suggest the phone’s release could be delayed by a few weeks. Of course, as we discussed in some earlier coverage, any delay or supply shortages at launch really wouldn’t matter at all.

Article Source: This is the closest we’ve come so far to seeing a real iPhone 8

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Published on July 11 2017

Apple releases iOS 11 beta 3—Get it now!

Apple on Monday released the third beta for iOS 11, bringing us one step closer to the software’s expected fall launch. You can get the new update as an over-the-air download if you’re a developer.

Users can likely expect plenty of bug fixes and enhancements in the newest beta, which comes a few weeks after iOS 11 beta 2. The last release was greatly improved over the initial beta release of iOS 11, so we’re expecting more of the same with today’s roll out.

Of course, if you plan to use this on your main device, you may want to hold off. We’ve been using the iOS 11 beta here in the office since it launched and we’ve run into a number of issues, particularly with Apple’s Messages application.

The release of iOS 11 doesn’t fundamentally change how iOS looks or works, but it’s an exciting release nonetheless. In fact, there were a lot of features Apple didn’t mention on stage that could prove to be very exciting when iOS 11 becomes available to consumers.

Article Source: Apple releases iOS 11 beta 3—Get it now!

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Written by Vivian

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Published on July 11 2017

The iPhone 8 could cost $1,000 or more, but analysts say there will be big discounts (AAPL)

US carriers are likely to offer "assertive promotions" alongside the new, redesigned iPhone expected to come out this fall, Nomura-Instinet analysts forecasted on Wednesday.

The iPhone 8, as Nomura-Instinet calls it, could cost more than the iPhones currently on the market — maybe more than $1,000, according to previous rumors.

But there's a good chance that carriers like Verizon or T-Mobile will discount either the phone or a payment plan for the phone, which means that people may be able to get a deal on an iPhone 8 if they sign up for a long-term contract.

A lot of people with older iPhones are waiting for a big launch to update.

"US telcos indicate record-low upgrade rates have not eased further ahead of the iPhone 8," analyst Jeffrey Kvaal wrote. "Modest feature enhancements post-iPhone 6 drove plateauing volumes."

The iPhone expected to come out this fall does sound like a big update — it's rumored to have a glass body, wireless charging, and new, high-quality screen that covers the entire front of the phone, and there will most likely be a lot of iPhone users and Apple fans lining up to get one.

"We believe that Apple has plenty of innovation to add to future cycles, such as AR, machine learning, voice integration, 3D sensing, and optical zoom," Kvaal wrote.

Analysts call the possibility that this new design spurs a boom in sales the "supercycle" theory. And if there's a supercycle, carriers could see a good chance to gain new customers.

"We believe US carriers are preparing assertive promotions for the launch," Kvaal wrote.

Nomura-Instinet rates Apple a "buy" with a price target of $165.

Article Source: The iPhone 8 could cost $1,000 or more, but analysts say there will be big discounts (AAPL)

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Published on July 4 2017

Following a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting the next-generation "iPhone 8" will do away with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor entirely, Bloomberg says Apple is working on an "improved" security system that will let customers unlock their iPhones and make Apple Pay payments with facial recognition technology. 

Apple's new facial recognition engine is powered by a 3D sensor rumored to be built into the front-facing camera, and according to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is also said to be testing eye scanning to "augment the system." Using facial recognition, the iPhone can be unlocked within a few hundred milliseconds and it allegedly works even when the device is lying on a table. It's said to capture more data points than a fingerprint scan, making it more secure than Touch ID. 

Apple Working on 'Improved' Security System for iPhone 8 That Replaces Touch ID With Facial Recognition
The sensor's speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face. The feature is still being tested and may not appear with the new device. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the person. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Samsung built a similar feature, iris scanning, into its Galaxy S8, which has not proven to be foolproof. Hackers have successfully bypassed the feature using a printed photo with a contact lens on top of it, and in a video, a launch version of the S8 was shown being fooled by a photograph alone. 

Apple's solution is said to be more secure because it is using 3D depth perception, preventing it from being bypassed by 2D pictures. 

Bloomberg warns that the feature is "still being tested" and that Apple could have decided to nix it, so it continues to be unclear if the iPhone 8 will indeed do away with Touch ID entirely in favor of facial recognition. 

Rumors surrounding Touch ID in the iPhone 8 have been all over the place during the course of the last few months. Apple was rumored to be having difficulty embedding the Touch ID fingerprint sensor under the display of the device and explored other solutions including a rear Touch ID button, but the company's final solution remains up in the air. What we do know is that the most recent dummy models and part leaks show a display without a Touch ID button, suggesting it's either under the display or non-existent. 

Today's report also includes a quick mention that Apple is testing faster displays with ProMotion technology for the iPhone 8. ProMotion display technology, which features a 120Hz refresh rate for improvements to motion and animations, was first introduced in 2017 iPad Pro models.

Article Source: Apple Working on 'Improved' Security System for iPhone 8 That Replaces Touch ID With Facial Recognition

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Published on July 4 2017

Well-regarded KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this morning released a note for investors in which he made 10 predictions related to the three iPhones slated for release in 2017, including the elimination of Touch ID in the "iPhone 8." 

We've now gotten our hands on Kuo's full note, and it includes several additional details that were not covered in our original post. 

All 2017 iPhone Models Said to Include Standard 5W USB-A Adapter, With Wireless Charger Sold Separately

First and foremost, on the topic of Touch ID, Kuo's note clearly says the iPhone 8 will not support fingerprint recognition, a prediction some MacRumors readers thought was ambiguous in the first post based on the included wording. Direct from the note:

As the OLED iPhone will not support fingerprint recognition, we think it may have to rely on facial recognition to ensure security. As such, we believe Apple (US) will be very demanding as regards the quality of 3D sensing, thereby increasing the difficulties in hardware production and software design.

Kuo's claim has since been backed up by Bloomberg in a report suggesting Touch ID will be replaced by advanced facial recognition technology in the iPhone 8, lending more credence to Kuo's prediction. 

A second tidbit suggests the iPhone 8 and its companion devices, the "iPhone 7s" and the "iPhone 7s Plus" will all adopt glass bodies with metal frames to facilitate WPC-standard wireless charging functionality. WPC-standard refers to the Wireless Power Consortium, which supports the Qi wireless charging functionality built into many Android devices. 

According to Kuo, wireless charging will be enabled through an optional accessory that will be purchased alongside the new iPhones -- it won't be a default feature available out of the box. Qi wireless charging is in line with rumors that have predicted the iPhone 8 will support inductive charging rather than a true wireless charging feature. 

All 2017 iPhone Models Said to Include Standard 5W USB-A Adapter, With Wireless Charger Sold Separately

Kuo also believes that while the iPhone 8 will include an embedded USB-C power delivery IC for higher charging efficiency, it will continue to ship with the same 5W power adapter equipped with a USB-A port that's included with iPhones today. A USB-A to Lightning cable will also be included as a standard accessory. 

That deviates from a prediction made by Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, who last week said the iPhone 8 would come bundled with a 10W power adapter with a USB-C connector. 

Kuo's final prediction has to do with the RAM in the three new iPhone models. The first post said that the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s would include 2GB RAM while the 5.8-inch OLED iPhone 8 and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s would include 3GB RAM, but what was left out is that he also believes the DRAM transfer speed of the three new models will be faster than the iPhone 7 by 10 to 15 percent for better AR performance. 

The rest of what Kuo had to say is available in the post we shared this morning, covering predictions like limited color options, 3D sensing for facial recognition, 64 and 256GB storage options, an improved speaker system, and possible supply shortages.

Article Source: 17 iPhone Models Said to Include Standard 5W USB-A Adapter, With Wireless Charger Sold Separately

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Published on May 13 2017

Apple plans to bring its iTunes app to the Windows 10 Store, Microsoft announced today at its Build developer event. iTunes, is, of course, already available on the Windows platform, but adding it to the Windows Store will make it easier for Windows users to find the software. 

Gaining iTunes for the Windows Store is a win for Microsoft, as the Windows store is currently lacking many key apps like Google's Chrome browser and Spotify. Microsoft has strict app requirements that some companies aren't able to work with. 

Apple to Start Offering iTunes on the Windows Store

The addition of iTunes could potentially drive more customers to use the Windows 10 Store, with iTunes said to be one of the apps that Windows users search for most often. 

According to Microsoft, iTunes will be added to the Windows Store by the end of this year.

Article Source: Apple to Start Offering iTunes on the Windows Store

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Published on May 13 2017

The Apple Watch's built-in heart rate monitor is 97 percent accurate when detecting the most common form of an abnormal heart rhythm when paired with an algorithm to sort through the data, according to a new study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco and the team behind the Cardiogram app (via TechCrunch). 

There were 6,158 participants in the study, all of whom used the Cardiogram app on the Apple Watch to monitor their heart rate. Most were known to have normal EKG readings, but 200 suffer from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (an occasional irregular heartbeat). 

Apple Watch Able to Detect Abnormal Heart Rhythm With 97% Accuracy

Data from these participants, along with data taken from normal Cardiogram users, was used to build a neural network that could recognize the abnormal heart rhythms solely from data collected by the Apple Watch. As of today, Cardiogram says its algorithm can almost always successfully determine when a patient is in atrial fibrillation.

In order to validate the model, we obtained gold-standard labels of atrial fibrillation from cardioversions. In a cardioversion, a patient experiencing atrial fibrillation is converted back to normal sinus rhythm, either chemically or with a shock to the heart. 51 patients at UCSF agreed to wear an Apple Watch during their cardioversion. 

We obtained heart rate samples before the procedure, when the patient was in atrial fibrillation, and after, when patient's heart was restored to a normal rhythm. On this validation set, our model performed with an AUC of 0.97, beating existing methods.

Cardiogram is a startup that's aiming to garner more information from the data collected by the Apple Watch. The study, which Cardiogram has raised funding for, started in March of 2016 and will continue as UCSF and Cardiogram work to refine the neural network and detect other conditions beyond atrial fibrillation. 

Cardiogram plans to put in additional work before using its algorithm to start notifying Cardiogram users of arrhythmias. The company needs to conduct further testing to make sure the algorithm works in a variety of conditions and it needs to work on scaling it so it can be used continuously by all Cardiogram users. 

The Cardiogram app can be downloaded from the App Store for free.

Article Source: Apple Watch Able to Detect Abnormal Heart Rhythm With 97% Accuracy

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Published on May 13 2017

Apple plans to make a major Apple TV announcement at WWDC that should delight Amazon Prime subscribers - the addition of an Amazon Prime Video app for the Apple TV.

The news comes courtesy of BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, who often accurately shares details on Apple's plans ahead of events. According to Paczkowski, sources of Apple's plans say the company will announce an Amazon Prime Video app during its keynote event. 

There are tentative plans for the app to go live in the summer, but its official release date could change.

Apple to Announce Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV at WWDC

With Amazon Prime Video on the Apple TV, Amazon also plans to resume offering the Apple TV through Amazon.com. Amazon stopped offering the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast in 2015, citing Amazon Prime Video incompatibility as the reason why. It is not known when the Apple TV will return to the Amazon website. 

News of a potential deal between Apple and Amazon that would see the app made available on the Apple TV first surfaced last week. At the time, Apple and Amazon were said to be close to an agreement, and now an agreement has been reached. 

Amazon Prime Video is one of the only major streaming video services that is currently absent from the Apple TV, and Apple TV owners have long wanted to see the Prime Video app on Apple's device.

Article Source: Apple to Announce Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV at WWDC

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