Apple today made iOS 10.0.2 available to iPhones and iPads in order to resolve some bugs. According to Apple, the small update addresses a problem impacting audio controls, fixes an issue that prevents some app extensions from working, and solves a bug that caused Photos to crash. iOS 10.0.2 is free to download and install.
Apple today made iOS 10.1 beta available to those enrolled in the public beta testing program. The only known new feature of iOS 10.1 is Portrait Mode for the iPhone 7 Plus. Portrait Mode uses both the rear cameras of the 7 Plus to help blur the background of portrait images — creating a Bokeh effect. Apple already made iOS 10.1 beta available to developers. Apple hasn't said when iOS 10.1 will be released to all iPhones, but earlier indicated that Portrait Mode wouldn't reach the iPhone 7 Plus until October.
Apple today made a handful of beta operating systems available to developers. To start, the company releases iOS 10.1, which follows last week's public distribution of iOS 10. iOS 10.1 adds Portrait Mode to the iPhone 7 Plus and makes a resolves a number of bigs and performance issues. Along with iOS 10.1 Beta 1, Apple also released betas of watchOS 3.1, macOS Sierra 10.12.1, tvOS 10.0.1, and Xcode 8.1. Apple didn't discuss any details of the betas, such as new features. Registered developers can download these beta operating systems immediately. Apple is expected to make iOS 10.1 Beta 1 available to public beta testers by the end of the week.
Consumers hoping to walk into an Apple Store on Friday and pick up an iPhone 7 Plus will come away disappointed. Apple says launch day supply for the larger iPhone is sold out. Moreover, only a small supply of the iPhone 7 will be available in stores. "Beginning Friday, limited quantities of iPhone 7 in silver, gold, rose gold, and black will be available for walk-in customers at Apple retail stores," said Apple in a statement provided to TechCrunch. "During the online pre-order period, initial quantities of iPhone 7 Plus in all finishes and iPhone 7 in jet black sold out and will not be available for walk-in customers." Customers have been able to preorder the iPhone since Sept. 9 and choose from home delivery or in-store pickup. The black models quickly saw shipping times slip to two to three weeks. Apple says its carrier and retail partners may have some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units on hand, but availability will vary. Apple recommends people who want an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus order the device online. "We sincerely appreciate our customers' patience as we work hard to get the new iPhone into the hands of everyone who wants one as quickly as possible." The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have larger batteries, improved cameras, faster processors, stereo speakers, and touch-sensitive home buttons. The devices lose the headphone jack, but are water resistant.
Apple today made watchOS 3.0 available to the first-generation Apple Watch. WatchOS 3.0 allows apps to update quickly both in the background and when launched so they display new content as soon as opened. The UI includes a new dock accessed by the side button, and a new control center accessed by sliding up from the bottom of the screen. These new tools make it simpler to access apps and control toggles. Replying to messages now includes smart replies and scribbling directly on the screen. WatchOS makes it easier to switch and change watch faces; initiate workouts; and access notifications. WatchOS 3.0 adds an SOS function that will automatically call 911 with a long-press of the button in times of need. The revised platform allows users to share fitness data throughout the day. A new app included in WatchOS 3.0 called Breathe can be used to schedule and perform deep-breathing and calming exercises. WatchOS 3.0 is free to download. It requires an iPhone and 50% charge on the Watch.
Apple today released iOS 10 to the general public after months of testing. The refreshed platform, compatible with iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch, brings with it a number of core changes and features. The most important new tool is third-party access to Apple's voice assistant, Siri. Moving forward, Siri will be able to do more with third-party apps installed on iOS devices. Apple also made design changes to iMessage, adding new animations, stickers, and emoji. A sticker store now accompanies iMessage, allowing people to download sticker packs. The keyboard also adds contextual suggestions; further, people can more easily switch between languages for multi-lingual typing. Apple News, Music, Maps (reservations, in-route search, smarter re-routing), and Photos also gain retooled designs and features. Apple Photos, in particular, is better at organizing photos thanks to improved facial recognition aided by artificial intelligence. Notifications now appear when users raise the phone, and notifications offer previews of images and videos. iOS 10 is free to download over the air. It is compatible with all iPhones from the 2012 iPhone 5 and up. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will ship with iOS 10 preinstalled.
A former LG employee is suing both LG and Samsung, alleging the companies have a no-recruit agreement between them in the U.S., which can impact employees' potential earnings. Accuser A. Frost, once an LG employee, claims a recruiter from Samsung reached out to him for a job, but later reneged saying, "I’m not supposed to poach LG for Samsung!" The recruiter went on to explain the companies have an agreement not to hire away one another's workers. Mr. Frost is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit. Silicon Valley companies have been taken to task in recent years for such agreements. For example, in 2015 Apple, Intel, Adobe, and Google agreed to pay some 64,000 workers $415 million to settle similar class-action lawsuits. Those companies never admitted wrongdoing. Neither LG nor Samsung commented on this latest legal action.
Sprint's prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, will sell the Apple iPhone 7 beginning September 23. Boost and Virgin will not be selling the iPhone 7 Plus. The company didn't provide specific release details, but customers should expect to pay full retail price for the handset. The 32 GB iPhone 7 costs $649.
Google updated Google Photos for iOS and merged its separate Motion Stills app into the larger Photos app. This chiefly impacts Live Photos as captured by the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Live Photos can be shared with other Apple devices and through Facebook, but not other social networks. Google Photos now uses Google's video stabilization technology to freeze the background portions of Live Photos while allowing the subject/foreground to move independently. It can also pan across the background to follow moving subjects. The end result is a looping GIF that can be shared easily via most social media apps. The app allows iPhone owners to merge looping GIFs into a larger moving picture. The new version also makes it easier to select thumbnail photos, sort photo albums, and share to YouTube. Google Photos is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Motion Stills will remain available as a separate app.
Apple today made the penultimate version of iOS 10 available to public beta testers. The release gives testers one last change to check for and report bugs before the final version is released to everyone September 13. iOS 10 adds a number of features to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Most importantly, it opens Siri up to third-party developers, who will be able to integrate Siri voice commands and actions into their own apps. iOS 10 also improves Apple Photos, News, Maps, and Music, and adds features such as stickers and animations to iMessage. iOS 10 will be compatible with all iPhones from the 2012 iPhone 5 up. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be the first iPhones to ship with iOS 10 installed.
AT&T is giving people the opportunity to get a free phone with a new line of service. Beginning September 9, DirecTV or U-Verse customers who add a new line to their AT&T account will be rewarded with $695 in monthly bill credits towards a new phone. The free smartphone, which can be the new Apple iPhone 7 if that's what customers want, must be added to an AT&T Next or AT&T Next Every Year program when activated. People who are not DirecTV or U-Verse customers can still score a free phone. Consumers who port their number from another carrier to AT&T will be given up to $650 in bill credits when they trade-in their current device and buy a new one on an AT&T Next plan. AT&T says this port-in deal is limited to select phones, but didn't specify which ones. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available for pre-order starting September 9, but don't reach stores until September 16.
Apple has tweaked its AppleCare+ protection plans and made some pricing changes that will benefit customers. AppleCare+ costs $129. iPhone owners who subscribe to AppleCare+ will receive warranty coverage for two years from the date of purchase, which is one year more than standard coverage. Moreover, AppleCare+ customers will be given discounts on up to two incidents of accidental damage. Moving forward, screen repairs will cost $29 (down from $99). Cracked and shattered screens are the most common form of damage associated with iPhone repairs. Apple says any and all other types of repairs will cost a flat $99. AppleCare+ is included with the monthly price of Apple's iPhone financing program, or it can be added separately within two months of the original purchase date.
T-Mobile will give a free Apple iPhone 7 to customers who trade in an iPhone 6 or newer when they preorder the new phone. The offer is being made available to new and existing customers. T-Mobile says an iPhone 6 trade-in (any storage capacity) will net a 32 GB iPhone 7. Customers have to own the trade-in outright, it must power on, and it must be free of water and screen damage. Customers who trade in a device with more memory (or an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus) will be given extra credit towards purchases of the 128 GB iPhone 7, etc. T-Mobile says customers may also elect to pay some cash up front for pricier models. For example, customers who trade in an iPhone 6 but want the iPhone 7 Plus will need to pay $120 up front. The free device is being offered through bill credits over a period of 24 months. After 24 months, the customers will own the iPhone 7. Customers can walk away from T-Mobile at any time during the 24-month period by paying off the phone balance or giving the phone back to T-Mobile. T-Mobile also said it will carry the Apple Watch Series 2 (online only) and the new Beats Powerbeats headphones in an exclusive magenta color. Last, MetroPCS will carry the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus beginning September 23. T-Mobile pre-orders for the new iPhones kick off Friday, September 9th at 12:01a.m. Pacific Time.
The shiny, jet black finish of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus may show scratches, according to Apple. "The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process," explained Apple in the footnotes on the iPhone 7's product page. "Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone." Apple didn't say how just how obvious the micro-abrasions may be. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also come in matte black, silver, gold, and rose gold.
Apple today said it will continue to sell the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone SE will be sold in 16 GB and 64 GB variants. Apple has decided to improve the value of the bigger models by improving the storage. Moving forward, the 6s and 6s Plus will be available in 32 GB and 128 GB models only. The 16 GB option will no longer be available. The 32 GB iPhone 6s costs $549 and the 32 GB iPhone 6s Plus costs $649.
Apple today revealed that iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners will be able to upgrade to the latest version of its iOS platform come September 13. iOS 10 focuses on integrating Siri into third-party apps and makes significant changes to the Apple Photos, News, Maps, and Music apps. Apple expanded its HomeKit compatibility and says the iPhone will be compatible with more than 100 home-automation products in the near future. The messaging app adds stickers, animations, accents, and contextual suggestions. News stories will appear cleaner. Users will be able to make dinner reservations from within Maps. iOS 10 will ship in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It will be available for download to the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus.
Apple today showed off a set of wireless AirPods that connect to the iPhone and Apple Watch with a single tap. The AirPods can automatically switch from iPhone to Apple Watch based on what the owner is using. The AirPods provide up to 5 hours of battery life. The devices rely on the W1, what Apple says is its first wireless chip. The pods include a battery, antenna, accelerometer, and proximity sensor. The case has a built-in battery, which can provide a total of 24 hours of play time. The AirPods will go on sale in October for $159.
Apple today announced the iPhone 7, the latest version of its flagship product. The device is machines from aluminum and features a refreshed design. The home button, which owners use hundreds of times per day, is now a capacitive, force-sensitive button that works with a taptic engine to create an entirely new feedback feel. The enclosures are water and dust resistant. It rates IP67 thanks to new seals and baffles. The camera is all new. It includes a large-pixel, 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and six-element lens with optical image stabilization. The quad-tone LED flash helps balance skin tones and wide color gamut. An image signal processor makes billions of calculations in a fraction of a second to ensure the best photos. The camera adds stabilization to Live Photo capture, and iOS 10 permits RAW image capture both from the Apple camera app as well as third-party camera apps. The user-facing camera has a 7-megapixel sensor with wide color and image stabilization. The iPhone 7 Plus adds a second, telephoto 12-megapixel camera. The main camera has an effective focal length of 28mm, and the second has an effective focal length of 56mm for a zoomed-in effect. Apple is calling it 2x optical zoom and, when combined with digital zoom, produces higher quality photos at up to 10x zoom. The 7 Plus also includes a Bokeh effect to create better portraiture. (This feature will be added to the 7 Plus later this year.) Apple updated the displays, which it says are 25% brighter than last year's models, offer a wide color gamut, color management, and 3D Touch. For the first time, the iPhone includes stereo speakers that are twice as loud as the 2015 iPhones and have twice the dynamic range. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus remove the headphone jack and rely on just the Lightning port for audio connections. The devices will ship with Lightning earbuds, as well as a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. The new iPhones rely on the A10 Fusion processor, which Apple says is 40% faster than last year's A9 and twice as face as the 2014-era A8. The four-core CPU offers two high-efficiency cores that run at one-fifth the power draw for low-intensity or background tasks. Graphics are improved, too. Apple says battery life better, with the 7 providing two more hours of life per day when compared to the 6s and the 7 Plus providing one more hour when compared to the 6 Plus. The devices include LTE-Advanced for speedy wireless. The iPhone 7 comes in jet black, black, silver, gold, and rose gold. Pricing for the iPhone 7 is $649 for 32 GB, $749 for 128 GB, or $849 for 256 GB. Pricing for the iPhone 7 Plus is $769 for 32 GB, $869 for 128 GB, or $969 for 256 GB. The iPhone will be available for preorder September 9 and goes on sale September 16.
Apple today revealed the Apple Watch Series 2, a new version of its wearable. The Watch will ship with watchOS 3.0, which adds a number of new features. For example, text recognition for finger-drawn text, new animations within messaging, and an SOS function that can alert family/friends in an emergency. The device itself is waterproof, which Apple says can handle depths up to 50 meters and repeated use in the water for those who swim daily. Apple developed new fitness software for swimming workouts to accompany its new waterproof status. It can calculate time, distance, calories burned, and more during swim workouts. The device runs Apple's second-generation System-in-a-Package. It has a dual-core processor and new GPU for better performance. The refreshed display is now two times brighter than before at 1,000 nits. Apple added GPS to the watch to better track runs and walks. The wearable will be sold in stainless steel, aluminum, and ceramic finishes. Apple partnered with Hermes again for custom straps, and also with Nike for the Nike+ variant with colorful nylon band. The device meets Apple's environmental standards for sustainability. The Watch Series 2 and Nike+ models will start at $369. The ceramic model starts at $1,269. The wearable will continue to be sold in 38m and 42mm sizes. Apple has replaced the processor in the original model with the new SiP and is now calling it Apple Watch Series 1. The Series 1 will start at $269. The wearables will be available for preorder September 9, with watchOS 3.0 landing September 13m and the device reaching stores September 16.
Apple today revealed new iPhones, the 7 and 7+, via its Twitter account before executives had a chance to show them off on stage at its live event. The devices largely resemble the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but still manage to make some significant changes to the hardware. To start, the phones are water resistant, come in full black colors, and the larger iPhone 7+ has dual cameras. Apple's Twitter account said the device will be available for preorder later today and reach stores September 16. Apple later pulled the tweet.
Apple today demonstrated how users of its iWork productivity suite will be able to collaborate on documents in real time. The capability will work across Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers, as well as the web. The idea is to allow remote groups to contribute to a single project together. Apple hopes education and business customers will be able to put this functionality to use.
Nintendo today said its famed Mario character will come to the iPhone for the first time. Nintendo plans to bring a game called Super Mario Run to iOS devices. The side-scroller features hopping and jumping movements based on tapping and swiping the screen. Super Mario Run will also feature "battle mode" for multi-player action. The game will be sold at a single price with no in-app purchases for unlimited playing. Availability is slated for before the holidays. Nintendo has long resisted making the leap from its own consoles to today's mobile platforms, iOS and Android.
Apple has doubled the maximum amount of iCloud storage people can subscribe to. The new tier provides up to 2TB for $19.99. Apple also offers 1TB for $9.99, 200GB for $3.99, and 50GB for $0.99. The fees are assessed on a monthly basis. All users are given 5GB of iCloud storage for free.
Apple today made iOS 9.3.5 available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The update, according to Apple, resolves three security issues. Two of the problems could have led to remote code execution. Apple suggests all users update as soon as possible. The update is free to download over the air.
AT&T and dozens of other companies are escalating the war on robocalls with a new Strike Force aimed at disrupting spammers' ability to call and pester consumers. AT&T CEO Randal Stephenson says carriers, device makers, OS developers, network designers, regulators, and lawmakers will all need to work together to create a play book to tackle the problem. "In parallel with technological solutions, we need our regulatory and law enforcement agencies to go after the bad actors. Shutting down the bad guys is a necessary step, and a powerful example to others. Our goal isn't complicated: Stop unwanted robocalls. Easy to say. Hard to do," said Stephenson in remarks made at the FCC's first meeting of the Robocall Strike Force. Industry player are gathering today to discuss initial plans and are expected to report back with more solid short- and long-term plans on October 19. Some of the companies participating in the Strike Force include AT&T, Apple, Blackberry, Comcast, Ericsson, Google, LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon.
Apple today released iOS 10 Developer Beta 6 and iOS 10 Public Beta 5, fresh builds of the pre-release operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The release notes suggest the update contains only bug fixes and other unspecified improvements. At nearly 2 GB, Apple recommends the developer beta be downloaded only over WiFi. At around 100 MB, the public beta is much smaller. Apple typically updates the developer and public betas separately, so today's double release suggests important fixes are contained within. The final version of iOS 10, which improves Siri, News, Music, and Photos, isn't expected to arrive until September.
Mobile accessory giant Incipio today announced the purchase of Griffin Technology, a long-time maker of high-end Apple and mobile accessories. Within the past year, Incipio has also purchased Skullcandy and Incase.
Apple today released iOS 9.3.4, an update for iPhones and iPads that plugs an unspecified vulnerability. In the release notes, Apple calls the iOS 9.3.4 an "important security update" and recommends all iOS 9.x users update right away. The update is free to download over the air.
Microsoft has updated Skype for Android, iOS, Mac, the web, and Windows devices and given the communications tool access to more chat bots. Microsoft says it worked with select partners this time around to bring dedicated services to Skype. A bot from Skyscanner lets Skype users search for flights, while a StubHub bot makes it simpler to find event tickets. A bot from IFTTT can deliver alerts from apps, devices, and web sites, while a Hipmunk bot helps book entire vacation packages. Microsoft updated its bot platform last month with support for group bot chats and info cards. The company says more bots and capabilities are on the way. Skype is free to download from the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, Apple App Store, and Windows Store.
Apple updated its Music app for Android devices and it has finally exited beta status. The 1.0 app adds a single feature in its full release, a graphic equalizer tool for adjusting sound levels. Apple says the app also received a variety of performance, playback, and stability improvements. Apple Music allows people to create personalized stations, as well as listen to tracks on-demand. It includes Beats1 Radio, and supports local caching for offline playback. The app itself is free to download from the Google Play Store, but the service costs $10 per month.
Apple today made iOS 10 Public Beta 3 available to those who've signed up to test the pre-release operating system. The beta, which Apple says contains bug fixes and other improvements, can be downloaded and installed over the air. Apple did not spell out any specific new features or improvements. The third public beta follows the fourth developer beta, which Apple released earlier this week. iOS 10 makes significant changes to the Music, Photos, and News apps, the lock screen and notifications, and iMessage.
A judge has overturned a decision that would have seen Apple pay VirnetX $625 million in patent damages. The case took place earlier this year. Apple was ordered to compensate VirnetX for using one of the company's patents without permission. VirnetX's patent covers "the use of a domain-name service to set up virtual private networks." Under VirnetX's patent, the VPNs are then used by corporations to communicate with customers or employees. VirnetX claimed Apple used the patent in its iMessage and FaceTime apps, and a Texas jury agreed. The decision was tossed, however, because the appellate judge felt the jury received confusing information from two separate lawsuits. The judge said the cases need to be tried separately, and put them on the docket for later this fall.
Apple has released a brand new version of its Apple TV Remote application for the iPhone, making it more powerful in the process. To start, the app introduces the same swiping navigation gestures found on the Siri remote and allows for use of the keyboard to input text and passwords. People who own the fourth-generation Apple TV can ask Siri on their iPhone to find and play movies or television shows, as well as control the media being played. The app also lets users play games using the iPhone's gyroscope and accelerometer. Last, the revised remote app can be used to turn on Game Mode for simpler gaming. The Apple TV Remote app is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today made iOS 10 Developer Beta 4 available to registered app developers. The beta, which Apple says contains bug fixes and other improvements, can be downloaded and installed over the air. Apple did not spell out any specific new features or improvements. This is not the public beta. Apple will provide a separate update to the iOS 10 public beta in the days ahead. iOS 10 makes sweeping changes to Apple Music, News, and Photos; opens up Siri to third-party app developers; and improves myriad other functions, such as the keyboard.
Nest recently updated its iOS app and added support for the Apple Watch. With the update installed, Nest owners can control their Nest Thermostat from their wrist. The app also makes it easier to view various spaces by grouping Nest products together by room. When connected to WiFi, the app automatically shows live views of all associated cameras. Users can now share a password-protected live view of their camera with others online. Last, the Dropcam Pro gains support for 1080p HD video, and video quality will adjust automatically to provide the clearest possible picture. The Nest app is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
T-Mobile today added 16 more video streaming services to its Binge On program, bring the total number of services to over 100. The new video services include ABC, Apple Music, Big Ten Network, CEEK VR, DISH Anywhere, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, D-PAN.TV, DramaFever, FOX NOW, FXNOW, NAT GEO TV, Shalom World, Sioeye, and Tubi TV. T-Mobile customers can now stream an unlimited amount of content from these services over T-Mobile's LTE network without impacting their monthly data allotment. Binge On content is streamed at 480p, rather than high-definition. Users may activate or deactivate Binge On at any time.
Apple today made iOS 10 Public Beta 2 available to those who've signed up to test the pre-release operating system. The beta, which Apple says contains bug fixes and other improvements, can be downloaded and installed over the air. Apple did not spell out any specific new features or improvements. The second public beta follows the third developer beta, which Apple released earlier this week. iOS 10 makes significant changes to the Music, Photos, and News apps, the lock screen and notifications, and iMessage.
Deezer today made its music-streaming service available to anyone who wants it in the U.S. The service was previously limited to Cricket Wireless customers and those who owned Sonos home stereo equipment. Deezer's offering is similar to Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Music in that it provides access to millions of tracks, radio stations, and podcasts to mobile devices. Songs can be streamed or downloaded for offline playback. Deezer is available to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. The app itself is free to download, but the Premium+ experience requires a $10 monthly fee.
Apple today made iOS 10 Developer Beta 3 available to registered app developers. The beta, which Apple says contains bug fixes and other improvements, can be downloaded and installed over the air. Apple did not spell out any specific new features or improvements. This is not the public beta. Apple will provide a separate update to the iOS 10 public beta in the near future.
T-Mobile's prepaid brand, MetroPCS, is now selling the entire range of Apple iPhones at more than 5,000 of its stores around the country. The prepaid carrier first tested iPhone sales at a limited number of stores in Florida. MetroPCS is selling the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for $649 and $749, respectively, and the iPhone SE and iPhone 5s for $349 and $199, respectively. MetroPCS does not require contracts and service plans start at $35 per month.