Apple iPhone 6
Apple has won a reversal in a court case worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals tossed a decision that awarded the University of Wisconsin's patent licensing business $234 million in damages. The original decision found Apple guilty of violating patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). WARF had successfully argued that the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus used its patent for improving processor performance using a predictive model without permission. This week, a federal judge agreed with Apple that the jurors could not have reached this conclusion given the actual evidence presented during the trial. The original $234 million judgement was increased to a total of $506 million because Apple continued to use the technology in question in subsequent iPhones. With the original judgement now vacated, it's not clear what, if anything, is owed to WARF. The patent, granted to WARF in 1998, expired in December 2016. Neither Apple nor WARF commented on the latest development.
Olloclip's 4-in-1 lens is one of the first few accessories to work with Otterbox's new Universe modular case system. The case provides rugged protection, while the lenses let you be more creative with your Apple iPhone's camera. Here is Phonescoop's in-depth review of how these two products work together.
Dish today launched a new service called Smart Phone Repair that involves technicians making house calls. Smart Phone Repair is available to Dish and non-Dish consumers. Dish charges a $35 travel fee to send a tech, who can replace broken screens or dead batteries for the Apple iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. Dish says techs can fix one or many phones once on site, and pricing for the repairs will be the same nationwide. Dish plans to expand the service to other handsets over time. Dish mentioned that it uses "respected third-party replacement parts," which means it does not use genuine Apple screens or batteries. Dish offers next-day appointments, available seven days a week, in all 50 states. The company is pitching the service as a more convenient way to deal with phone repairs. Pricing varies by model.
Apple will now accept damaged iPhones as trade-ins when people wish to upgrade to a new iPhone. Previously, Apple only accepted working iPhones as trade-ins, but will now take in iPhones with "damaged displays, cameras, and buttons within reason." Apple will credit people who turn in a damaged iPhone 5s with $50. The company will credit people $200 for a broken iPhone 6 and $250 for a broken iPhone 6 Plus. Phones that don't have cracked screens or broken buttons may be worth up to $350. Apple hopes the change in policy will convince people holding onto older, possibly busted devices to upgrade. The new Apple trade-in policy is available at Apple's retail stores, but not online.
Apple has designed and released its own external battery case for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. The accessory is formed by soft-touch silicone. The battery itself is concentrated in an obvious rectangle on the back surface. The case wraps around the phone entirely and plugs into the Lightning port on the bottom to deliver its charge. Apple says the external power cell is good for 18 hours of LTE web surfing. Both the phone and the case can be charged at the same time. The case works with the iPhone to deliver intelligent battery stats to the notification center. The case, sold in white or gray, is available online for $99.
Apple is facing a massive judgment in a patent complaint concerning processors found in the iPhone and iPad. A jury in Madison, Wisconsin, found Apple guilty of using a patent owned by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) without permission. The patent involves increasing the efficiency of chips. The technology is found in the A7, A8, and A8x processors, which power the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, and the iPad Air 2. Apple sought to have the patent declared invalid, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Apple's bid. WARF originally filed the lawsuit in January 2014 and just recently filed a second lawsuit concerning the A9 and A9x chips, which are in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the forthcoming iPad Pro. Apple could be on the hook for up to $862 million. The trial is now moving to the penalty phase to determine how much Apple owes. Apple maintained its innocence.
T-Mobile said it will drop the Jump On Demand lease payment for the 16GB Apple iPhone 6s to just $5 if customers trade in an iPhone 6. Customers who trade in an iPhone 6 Plus can lease the 16GB iPhone 6s Plus for $9 per month. Without the trade-in, the lease payment is $20 per month for the 16GB 6s. T-Mobile says the out-the-door cost is $0, and the full price of the 16GB iPhone 6s totals $523.99 for customers who remain with T-Mobile for 18 months. By way of comparison, Sprint's iPhone lease program costs $15 per month with a trade-in or $22 without a trade-in. T-Mobile also said it will sell the Apple Watch Sport beginning Friday, Sept. 25, the same day the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus go on sale. T-Mobile is offering the wearable for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of about $14.50 for the 38mm Watch Sport ($349) and $17 for the 42mm Watch Sport ($399).
FreedomPop today announced a new calling plan that targets owners of the Apple iPhone. Owners of the iPhone 6 or 6s who activate their phone with FreeomPop will receive 500MB of data, 500 texts, and 500 voice minutes each month for free. As a bonus for signing up, new iPhone customers will also receive 5GB of free data to get started. iPhone customers may choose to upgrade to the new $19 service plan that improves the offering to unlimited talk and text and 1GB of data. FreedomPop is offering new iPhone plan customers the first month for free. The company plans to sell the Apple iPhone 6s in October through its own financing plan. In addition to the iPhone-only plan, FreedomPop also announced an expansion to the U.K. FreedomPop U.K. users will get 200 minutes, 200 texts, and 200MB of data free for as long as they remain customers. Last, FreedomPop will award users in the U.S. and the U.K. with unlimited data if they take surveys, download coupons, or engage in other such activities. FreedomPop is an MVNO that resells access to Sprint's network (in the U.S.), though its calling and texting services also function over WiFi.
Apple today changed up its pricing mix for existing iPhones. The iPhone 5s drops to free with a two-year contract, while the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will cost $99 and $199 with a two-year contract, respectively. The space gray and silver versions of the 6 and 6 Plus are still available, but the gold options gone. The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will cost $199 and $299 with contracts, respectively. Monthly prices for financed iPhones will vary by carrier. Apple is offering its own leasing program that ranges between $32 and $45 per month.
Sprint has kicked off a new program that lets customers upgrade to "the latest" iPhone at any time. Starting today, new or upgrade-eligible customers can lease a 16GB iPhone 6 for $22 per month. When a new iPhone becomes available (possibly in late September), those customers will be able to go into Sprint stores and swap their iPhone 6 for the new iPhone with no change in monthly lease payments. Sprint is offering to reduce the lease payment to $15 for customers who trade in old smartphones under several conditions. Current customers who are upgrade eligible and new customers who port to Sprint can get a new 16GB iPhone 6 today for $15 per month as long as they turn in an old smartphone. If these customers upgrade to the latest iPhone after Dec. 31, they will see their lease change to $22 per month. Separately, new or existing upgrade-eligible customers can turn in any smartphone and lease the 16GB iPhone 6 for $15 per month. If these customers then upgrade to the new iPhone before Dec. 31, they will get to keep the $15 monthly lease payment until their next upgrade. This promotion, which mirrors one recently revealed by T-Mobile, is meant to entice customers to sign up sooner rather than later. Sprint hopes prospective customers who may be waiting for Apple to reveal a new iPhone will jump on a new iPhone in the next few weeks. The iPhone Forever program is offering those new customers some protection, assuring them they'll be able to get the latest iPhone when it arrives later this year. Thee plans require customers to activate their iPhone on an individual unlimited plan or family share pack plan.
Sprint today introduced a new plan that combines the cost of a service plan with the cost of a handset in one monthly payment. The Sprint All-In plan costs $80 per month and includes unlimited talk, text, and data, and a Sprint Lease on handsets such as the Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, and HTC One M9. There are no up-front phone costs aside from a one-time, $36 activation fee. The $80 monthly rate does not include taxes. Sprint believes this is the simplest, most straight-forward plan in the market. Sprint will use soccer star David Beckham to advertise the plan, which is available in Sprint stores beginning today.
Chase today added support for Touch ID to its mobile banking application for the iPhone. Owners of the iPhone 5s, 6, and 6 Plus can now use their fingerprint rather than a password to unlock the application. The JP Morgan app is also Touch ID enabled. Chase said it will add fingerprint support to its Android application later this year.
Verizon Wireless today marked the one-year anniversary of its XLTE service by expanding coverage to six additional markets. XLTE is now available in Marshalltown, Iowa; Madisonville and Owensboro, Ky.; Traverse City, Mich.; Meridian, Miss.; and Martinsville, Va. Verizon's XLTE coverage is available in more than 400 markets. It combines Verizon's 700MHz and AWS spectrum to boost capacity of its LTE 4G network. Verizon says it has more than 40 XLTE-capable devices, including the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6.
Apple distributed a third beta of iOS 8.4 to developers today and the pre-release operating system revealed at least one new feature. The iBooks app now supports textbooks created by Apple's iBooks Author tool. iBooks Author textbooks were initially limited to the iPad at launch, but eventually added to the OS X iBooks app last year. iOS 8.3 beta 3 marks the first time textbooks developed with Apple's iBook Author tool will be available to the iPhone. iOS 8.4 beta 3 also makes some refinements to the music player application, which is in the process of being overhauled completely. Apple is expected to say more about iOS 8.4 at its Worldwide Developer Conference slated in June.
WhatsApp is rolling out voice calling to its iPhone application beginning today. The feature launched on the Android platform last month. With the feature on board the iOS app, WhatsApp users will be able to chat with and make voice calls to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp calls use your the iPhone data connection rather than voice minutes. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has already added calling features to Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp voice calling isn't available to the iPad tablet. The update is rolling out over the next few weeks.
Apple today made iOS 8.3 available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The update adds several new features to Apple's mobile devices, including more than 300 new emoji and an updated keyboard for using the emoji to personalize messages. The update adds the ability to filter incoming messages to help sort out junk. Siri gains the ability to speak Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish in iOS 8.3, and can now initiate phone calls via the speakerphone when requested. iOS 8.3 was released as a public beta earlier this year. The update is free to download. Apple also released OS X 10.10.3, which, among other things, adds Apple's new Photos application. The Photos app on Apple's Mac computers now mirrors the version on iOS devices. Apple is offering users a handful of cloud storage options for managing images stored in Photos, which can be accessed from Macs, smartphones, and tablets. OS X 10.10.3 is also free to download from Apple.
MasterCard today announced that 25 of its financial institution partners now support Apple Pay with their credit and/or debit cards. Some of the new banks allowing Apple Pay include Centennial Bank, GTE Financial, KeyBank, Meijer Credit Union, and US Bank. People who have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will be able to use the cards issued by these and other banks to make mobile payments at participating retailers, as well as within select applications. MasterCard also said it has updated its MasterCard Nearby application to help iPhone owners find retail establishments that accept Apple Pay. MasterCard Nearby is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Twitter today released a new application for the iPhone called Periscope. The app lets people broadcast live video to their Twitter followers. When Periscope users choose to publish live video, their followers are notified and can view the stream, comment on the video, and send feedback in the form of hearts. Periscope saves broadcasts for up to 24 hours for replay, and permits people to share live video privately if they wish. Periscope will suggest who to follow based on the user's Twitter network, as the app allows people to follow/unfollow other Periscope users at will. Users can easily act on or ignore incoming notifications when others in their network begin streaming live video. The feedback mechanism, which uses hearts, tells Periscope streamers how much love their video receives. Periscope is battling a third-party app called Meerkat, which similarly offers live video feeds via Twitter. Periscope is free to download from the iTunes App Store. Twitter didn't indicate if it will release a version for Android devices.
Opera Software today made an updated version of its Coast browser available to Apple's iOS devices, including the iPhone. The primary new feature is Opera's video boost technology, which uses Opera's Rocket Optimizer engine to smooth out video playback. Users will have to turn the feature on, which is under the Opera Turbo setting. Opera makes use of compression technologies to deliver web sites and the video contained therein faster and more efficiently to devices over mobile networks. The browser also added sharing support for Pinterest, Evernote, Pocket, and Kik. Coast 4.1 is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Nokia today made its HERE Maps application available to the Apple iPhone via the iTunes App Store. Nokia has offered the same HERE Maps to Android devices since December. Nokia had made a version of HERE Maps available to the iPhone back in 2013, but pulled the app due to its poor performance. The new HERE Maps app for iOS allows users to download entire countries or regions, which makes the maps available even when the device is offline. This can help save data charges when roaming. HERE Maps for iOS devices include free, voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. Users can plan routes via car, public transport, or foot. Nokia says maps for iOS are available for about 190 countries with turn-by-turn directions available in about 100. Transit maps are available in 950 metro areas across 50 different countries, with more being added all the time. Nokia HERE Maps is free to download.
Google today released a version of its calendar application for iOS devices. The app includes features such as Assists to help schedule regularly-occurring meetings, as well as Schedule View to make it easier to glean daily schedule details in a glance. The app integrates with Google Apps for Work, too, so companies can manage the app if need be. Google Calendar for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
GameStop today announced it will soon support Apple Pay at its 4,200 U.S. locations. Owners of the Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Apple Watch can pay for video games, consoles, and other merchandise at GameStop retail stores beginning later this month. GameStop's said its Spring Mobile retail brand plans to begin accepting Apple Pay later this year. Apple recently said the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has grown to 700,000.
Marriott said it will begin accepting Apple Pay at some of its properties later this year. Guests will be able to check in with an Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, or Apple Watch. They'll need only tap their device against the terminal at the registration desk, and the necessary payment details will be transferred to Marriott's computers. The company already allows guests to check in or check out with a mobile application. Marriott sees Apple Pay as another step in making its guests' stays more convenient. Marriott will start accepting Apple Pay at: The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park; The Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C.; Edition Miami; JW Marriott Chicago; Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel; San Francisco Marriott Marquis; San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront; New York Marriott Downtown; Courtyard Chicago Downtown/North River; San Jose Marriott; Courtyard Los Angeles L.A. Live; and Residence Inn Los Angeles L.A. Live. Apple Pay will go live at these properties this summer.
Google has pushed out a minor update to its Gmail application for iPhones and iPads that allows people to reply to or archive emails directly from incoming notifications on the lock screen. When pressed on the lock screen, the new reply button opens a response in the Gmail application, which reduces steps and saves time. Gmail now also allows users to share media content (photos, videos) from other apps directly to new messages in Gmail. Gmail is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
JetBlue Airways today announced that it will soon accept Apple Pay aboard its aircraft. Owners of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be able to use their smartphone to purchase goods and service, such as snack boxes, premium beverages, and a la carte food options, while on board. JetBlue said Apple Pay will reach some transcontinental flights between New York, L.A., and San Francisco by the middle of the month. JetBlue will expand Apple Pay to more routes in March, with all flights accepting Apple Pay by June.
Skype today announced version 5.9 of its app for the Apple iPhone. The updated communications app has an improved dial pad that suggests contacts as users type in order to make if faster to find people. Skype also updated the chat picker, which it says makes starting conversations with select contacts easier. Last, Skype said it is seeking people willing to test pre-release versions of its app. Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to sign up for free. Skype 5.9 for the iPhone is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Google today published a version of its Chrome Remote Desktop application on the App Store for iOS devices. The app allows iPhone and iPad owners to remotely access their home computers. It requires users to download and install an extension in the Chrome browser on their PC. Together the app and the extension permit people to control their connected desktops and laptops from afar. Chrome Remote Desktop is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple has made unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus available on it web site. Customers can now choose to buy their iPhone without a carrier commitment. The unlocked models support GSM-based networks such as those operated by AT&T and T-Mobile. They can also be used on networks in other countries. The unlocked models cost the same as standard models. The 16GB unlocked iPhone 6 costs $649 and the 16GB unlocked iPhone 6 Plus costs $749. Consumers can opt for higher capacity models if they so wish. The unlocked models are sold without SIM cards.
Typo was forced to redesign its iPhone accessory keyboard thanks to some legal trouble. The result isn't all that pretty.
ReSound is a line of proper hearing aids that connect to your iPhone or Android phone for both audio and control. They connect just like a Bluetooth headset, to enable the user to hear calls, music, and video clearly. An app also offers detailed control over the hearing aid functions. The app lets the user choose from and customize various sound profiles, and also includes a "find my hearing aid" feature to help locate a lost hearing aid. ReSound is already available for iPhone; Android support was just announced this week, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Read on for more detail in our quick hands-on report.
Apple is facing a lawsuit from consumers who feel the company's mobile operating system consumes too high a percentage of the on-board memory. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue, "The discrepancy between advertised and available capacity is substantial and beyond any possible reasonable expectation. For the devices, the shortfall ranges from 18.1% to 23.1%." The lawsuit alleges that Apple hid the size of the iOS8 update from users and then "aggressively marketed" additional cloud storage to those who ran out of storage space on their mobile devices. The issue primarily impacts owners of Apple's 16GB iPhones, iPads, and iPads. The operating system leaves as little as 12.3GB available to consumers on some devices. Further, the lawsuit alleges that Apple falsely advertises the amount of storage available to its devices due to the way the company partitions the drives. Drives in Apple devices have a media partition and a root partition. The lawsuit claims the size of the root partition is unnecessarily large, leaving consumers with an even smaller portion of the drive for their media. Finally, the lawsuit also complains about the iPhone's inability to use swappable memory cards; its incompatibility with file manager programs; and its strict ties to Apple's cloud services. The lawsuit was filed in California on behalf of two Florida residents.
Google recently updated its Google+ app for iOS devices. The latest version of Google+ adds support for the screen sizes and resolutions of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The revised app makes it easier to vote on polls and share a wider range of content/media with Google+. The app also makes several performance improvements and bug fixes. Google+ is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple Pay has garnered more support from banks and retailers around the country, according to the New York Times. SunTrust, Barclaycard, and USAA have already agreed to support Apple Pay with their cards, and 10 more banks, including TD Bank North America and Commerce Bank, are adding support for Apple Pay beginning today. With the new financial institutions on board, a significantly larger percentage of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners can use Apple Pay to make mobile payments at participating retailers. More retailers are interested in Apple Pay, too. Staples will begin accepting Apple Pay at its 1,400 stores beginning today, and Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic basketball team plays, will begin accepting Apple Pay at concessions stands during games. Apple Pay uses an NFC radio embedded in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to power tap-and-go payments at more than 220,000 retail outlets around the U.S. iPhone owners use their fingerprint to approve purchases, which are secured thanks to unique codes assigned to each transaction. Apple Pay launched Oct. 20. Competing services, such as Softcard, are available to select Android and Windows Phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
Opera today announced Coast 4.0, a new version of its browser for the iPhone and iPad. According to Opera, the idea behind the new browser is to make it easier for iOS device owners to find content. For example, it introduces the Discover feature, which helps users find stories and news from all over the internet. It uses Opera Turbo Compression to reduce the size of web pages as they transit networks and deliver them to devices faster. A new sharing button makes it simple to push content in the browser to social networks. Last, the app adds compatibility with iOS 8's continuity tool, which allows Coast users to browse on one device and pick up right where they left off on another device thanks to web session syncing. Opera's Coast 4.0 for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today released iOS 8.1.2, a minor update to its mobile operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPods. According to Apple, the release includes bug fixes and addresses a problem where ringtones purchased through the iTunes Store may have removed them from devices. The update is small, but still requires WiFi to download and install.
Facebook today detailed some updates it's made to search both on Facebook.com and within the iPhone app. Most importantly, Facebook is adding Graph Search to the iPhone mobile app, which will allow iPhone users to search for things such as "Which of my friends likes 'Homeland'?" and other natural language queries. According to Facebook, such search results are unique to each user, and will only contain items that their friends have shared with them. Facebook said it also made it easier to find old posts. Users should be able to find content (photos, videos, articles) they've already viewed faster. Facebook called today's updates a first step in improving search across its product line. The changes will reach U.S. users this week. Facebook didn't say if or when the updated search powers will reach Android or Windows Phone.
Square founder Jack Dorsey said the company will add support for Apple Pay at Square-based terminals at some point in 2015. Square makes a dongle that attaches to smartphones and tablets, as well as a tablet-based register device, in order to help small businesses use modern tools to expand their customer base. "We're not building a credit card," said Dorsey to CNN. "We're not building a payment device. We're building a [cash] register, and this register accepts all these forms of payments." Apple Pay is accepted at about 220,000 retail locations around the U.S., and just this week became available at Winn-Dixie and Harveys grocery stores. Apple Pay lets iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners make tap-and-go payments at compatible terminals.
Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and BI-LO grocery stores, today said Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners can use Apple Pay at most of its locations across the southeast. Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and BI-LO stores are available in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Bi-Lo didn't specify exactly how many stores are involved. Apple Pay uses an NFC radio embedded in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that is connected to a credit card for making payments at contactless terminals. Apple Pay is accepted at about 220,000 locations around the U.S.
Apple today made available iOS 8.1.1, a minor update meant to help improve the performance of the iPhone 4s and iPad 2. The update also resolves some on-going bugs for newer Phones and iPads. It is free to install.
Google today announced several new features its adding to Google Drive for iOS devices. Drive now supports extensions in iOS 8, which means users can more easily share files to and from Drive. The app can now be locked with Touch ID for security purposes. Last, Drive for iOS now allows users to save videos from Drive to their iPhone's camera role. Google Drive for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store and has even optimized for iOS 8.